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March Madness: Engaging Customers and Driving Leads

A Case Study on Brands Using March Madness to Drive Leads and Sales

Everyone’s getting on the March Madness bandwagon! Maybe it’s the fact that we’re all starting to emerge from our winter cocoons and have lots to do, but there’s something about March that creates a contagious frenzy– and it’s not just basketball. Sure, the NCAA coined the term and it’s mostly connected to the NCAA college basketball tournament, but more companies and brands (outside of basketball) are using similar terms to challenge their clients and community to better themselves. In doing so, these companies are building a stronger, more committed client base.

Brands and companies using terms inspired by “March Madness” are using them in ways that create buzz and excitement, build a community, and challenge their clients to do more for themselves. These companies aren’t using the term arbitrarily or to directly promote their products or services. Instead, they’re using it to create a frenzy of devoted fans, which could be all a business needs to survive. So who’s using the March Madness concept as a marketing launchpad this spring? I’m sure there are many, but two examples I’ve seen and really liked are Pure Barre and Blog Society. As a Pure Barre addict and a Blog Society Instagram follower, I wanted to share what I, as a client and follower, really love about what they are doing and how we can all learn from their success.

  1. Pure Barre is currently growing and building more boutique fitness studios across the country, but they already have fiercely loyal clients. So fierce that they’re willing to compete in the Pure Madness Challenge, which has Pure Barre studios competing for the highest percentage of client participation across the country. While the overall winning studio will win some swag, the ultimate goal of this challenge is personal fitness. Clients who sign up for the challenge must complete 20 classes in 31 days during March. Participation does help the client’s studio win and other clients can help pick up the slack for participants who are falling behind in classes. Why I love this: The Pure Madness Challenge encourages clients to step up and take more classes for the sake of the competition, but what it’s really doing is challenging people to increase their fitness goals. Also, this challenge allows clients and studios to connect and share common goals, struggles, and motivation through social media using hashtags such as #PureMadness and #PureBarreChallenge. Why it’s great for the business: As clients get hooked on going to class more often and start seeing or feeling the physical benefits, the more classes they will continue to take after the challenge ends. In addition to connections made through social media, Pure Barre is great about making their clients and community feel like family.
  1. Blog Society is a global community and resource center for bloggers, creative business owners, and the endlessly curious. Their site and social media community allows these creative people to collide, connect, collaborate, and share a variety of creative and blog-based topics and ideas. The Blog Society challenge, March Marketing Madness Challenge, includes a month of free marketing tips and tricks to help business owners get organized and think creatively. Why I love this: The March Marketing Madness Challenge is great for creative business owners who need to embrace their inner marketing guru. The free tips and tricks (which are emailed to you) are small, fun, and actionable challenges designed to get you thinking and organized. Each day, the Blog Society community is encouraged to do this together – to stay on track and keep everyone accountable – by attaching the hashtag #31daymarketingchallenge to their Instagram and social media posts. Why it’s great for the business: Blog Society’s 31 Day Marketing Challenge is likely a teaser for their online e-courses. If users like what they’re gaining and learning from the small, quick email challenges, they’ll likely be more willing to invest in more intensive marketing courses. In addition, the shared ideas of the challenge will further fuel the already large social media community.

What Can We Learn From This?

In each of the examples provided, the client is making a choice to do more for themselves. In these cases, it’s personal fitness and business growth, but it could be anything in which the company helps the client invest in themselves. And, while these businesses do need to provide the idea, information, or facility, it’s the client who ends up whole-heartily buying into the product, resource, or community because they love what they’re gaining, learning, or who they’re connecting within the studio, online through social media, and more.

Along with stellar products or services, people are looking for ways to grow personally and communicate with others. Solid business-to-client or client-to-client relationships can help make that a reality – and an area of growth – for your business. Find out what motivates your clients. How can your business help them grow? How can you challenge them to share their progress? Whether your community-based social campaign is in March or some other time of the year, we can all learn from the NCAA’s marketing of March Madness and the other businesses that successfully use the March Madness concept as a way to increase their fan base.