For sports fans, March is the best month of the year. It brings buzzer beaters, Cinderella stories, and alarmingly low ink levels on the office printer thanks to all those brackets. While the games grab our attention for three straight weeks, we can learn a lot about inbound marketing from the tournament for those other 49 weeks of the year.
Think of the buyer’s journey as a tournament bracket. Each round presents a new challenge, a new strategy, and a new opponent. You can't expect to reach your goal after one round. You need to carry your buyer persona, or your team, through the journey, or the tourney. If you succeed and make it to the final round, the groundwork you’ve laid over the past rounds will give you the best chance to cut down the nets. If you want generating leads to be your “One Shining Moment,” here are a few March Madness strategies to make that happen.
The point guard is the leader on the floor. Without strong guard play, no team will go far in March. Guards control the ball and keep teammates on the same page. In the case of inbound marketing, think of content as the point guard of your business. Your content controls your messaging. With good content, it can be the difference between winning and losing a visitor to your website. Valuable content makes your entire marketing strategy function, just like a talented point guard running the offense. Blogging, social media, and video all play roles on the team. Video content is like a star freshman guard. With the right seasoning and experience, video will help you exceed your marketing goals when used correctly.
Experienced coaching is a huge X-Factor in the NCAA Tournament. Mike Krzyzewski, Rick Pitino, Jim Boeheim, and Jay Wright all have the knowledge of the game that has paid dividends in March. Showcasing your knowledge of the industry will help your business emerge from the rest of your competition. When players see their coaches as valuable sources of information, they trust them, and buy into the system. The same goes for content marketing. When your buyer personas look to your company as a thought leader, you will begin to establish brand loyalty and trust with them.
The teams that make it to the Final Four always have great team chemistry. It doesn’t matter if the team is made up of upperclassmen like the 2007 Florida Gators or inexperienced freshman like the Syracuse Orangemen in 2003. Teamwork and chemistry can go a long way in the tournament and in business. The relationship between sales and marketing is crucial to the success of the overall team. Marketing and sales need feedback from each other and their goals aligned. When they are, marketing will be passing off sales qualified leads like a no-look behind the back dish for a monster dunk.
Embrace the Madness
Anything is possible in the tournament. Until the clock hits zero, there’s always chance to pull off that last second miracle. If a marketing strategy isn’t working, call timeout, regroup, and try something new. Remember, not all buyer personas have the same pain points. A team may see 40 minutes of a full-court press one round, and 2-3 zone the next. Approach your content strategy the same way. There are different ways to win a game, and different ways to convert a visitor into a lead. It's up to you to find the best ways to win, and just like a championship team, it all starts in practice.