Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

Last-Minute March Madness Marketing Tips

By
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

We're in the midst of -- one of the biggest social events of the season. It's all about the brackets in March: speculating, strategizing, debating and of course, sharing – socially. It's impossible to avoid the conversation and energy. That's why March Madness presents a tremendous opportunity for marketers to make a connection with customers.

Shutterstock

The big brands are doing it and so can you. UPS has a seven-city tour showcasing the court being used in The Final Four. has a "bracket challenge" that pits coaches against to raise money for the . Gold's Gym is repeating its annual "March Music Madness," a bracket-style contest that focuses on their customers' workout music picks rather than basketball.

But how do you, as a owner, jump into March Madness and use it to your advantage?

Related: Why Startups Should Take a Big-Brand Approach to Marketing

With the digital world at your fingertips, it's not too late to apply March Madness to your even though the event is already underway. With , you can blast out promotional messages daily and update your page to announce bracket activity and related promotions. You can quickly create a display ad to run on platforms or a local community site. You can also get your employees -- who are probably already playing -- involved, which will score points with them because you are right by their side.

Contrary to popular belief, this doesn't have to be planned far in advance. Try a few quick things now to see if they resonate with your customers, then apply the thinking to other pop moments throughout the year. This is a great time to experiment.

Related: Marketing Strategies for the Future

Once you start talking about March Madness with your customers, you will quickly find that it's a way to engage with them. Ask to see their brackets. Run promotions with the brackets as an incentive. If you operate a brick-and-mortar store, hang signage that says "March Madness Lives Here." Show that you are a part of the event and the community.

For example, if you run a restaurant, consider offering patrons a free appetizer if they still hold winning brackets. If you own a shop, you can offer special discounts to customers when teams on their brackets win. If you have a hometown team, capitalize on the local fever. Tie your product to local success by offering special discounts with every win or every time there's a three-point shot, for example.

Use March Madness momentum to show you "get it" and you're a "player" by connecting with customers about something that's important to them. The point is to get into the game.

When it's important to them, it should be important to you too.

Related: What Your Business Can Learn From March Madness

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks