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The Great March Madness Marketing Machine

By Jason Mudd

A basketball going through a basketball hoop.Taking advantage of all the hype around an annual event takes more strategy than you may think. With changing buyer behavior, we’ll look at how top brands like Wendy’s, Macy’s, and Estee Lauder are embracing new technology to engage the audience in unforgettable ways. 





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  1. Prepping for March Madness 2023
  2. Macy's and Estee Lauder Using Data, AI and Social to Change Buyer Behavior
  3. 60-Second Close: Lean into the Data

1. Prepping for March Madness 2023

  • March 12 marks the beginning of the 2023 men’s NCAA March Madness tournament, culminating with the final four teams left standing competing April 1 and April 3 in Houston. With all the buzz around the tournament and its start just around the corner, make sure your messaging is primed and ready. 

  • The concept of utilizing tournament fervor is called "March Madness Marketing," and elite brands capitalize on the hype with well-timed cross-platform content. Take Wendy’s “We Beefin?” playlist drop to accompany the 2018 tournament. The five-track rap mixtape was all satire with titles like “Rest in Grease,” and you can still download the list on Spotify – five years later. 

  • Even without a Super Bowl ad budget, brands can think outside the box with basketball-themed promotions, podcasts, social media contests, watch parties, and more. If done correctly, stunt marketing like Pizza Hut’s Pie Tops II sneakers that order pizza and control the game pops to mind long after the final buzzer.

2. Macy's and Estee Lauder Using Data, AI, and Social to Change Buyer Behavior

  • The rise of digital centrism is changing how beauty brands attract and engage new users. Top beauty brands like Macy’s and Estee Lauder are embracing a potent combination of data, AI, and social platforms to pursue a brand-new generation of consumers. 

  • The rise of the Facebook-now-Meta’s Metaverse is inspiring brands to invest in their digital footprints. Beauty product customers can visit a digital storefront, see products, ask questions, and even “try on” makeup and other products all from the comfort of home. 

  • Outside of virtual, these brands are now heavily leaning into influencer engagement across platforms. Influencer product “how-to” videos on YouTube are vastly popular and can be used in every industry from construction to cybersecurity. If you are looking at YouTube, make sure to tweak your video’s thumbnail. That’s the preview box that users look at before deciding to click. According to one of YouTube’s top-earning creators, Mr. Beast, having a click-inspiring thumbnail is the secret sauce to massive engagement.

3. 60-Second Close: Lean into the Data

  • The common theme between savvy March Madness marketing and beauty brands going virtual is a reliance on the data. The data produces actionable intelligence that lets you tailor your message to the right audience at the right moment for maximum impact.  

  • Being end-market-driven means producing content that engages and delights your audience. Doing that consistently sets America’s most admired companies apart in the eyes of consumers.

The team at Axia Public Relations brings to bear boundless creativity wholly led by the power of data. Our proven approaches within news, social, and web content are what keep the audience wanting more. Ready to compose those unforgettable brand moments your audience never forgets? Just ask me how we can help get you there.


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axia-jason-mudd-portraitClients love Jason’s passion, candor, and commitment as well as the team he has formed at Axia Public Relations. He's advised some of America’s most admired brands, including American Airlines, Dave & Buster’s, Hilton, HP, Pizza Hut, and Verizon. He is an Emmy Award-winning, accredited public relations practitioner, speaker, author, and entrepreneur and earned his certification in inbound marketing. He founded the PR firm in July 2002. Learn more about Jason.


Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

Topics: PR tips, 60-Second Impact

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