March Madness marketing

Life in a corporate marketing department is not always as exciting and creative as the people working in it would like it to be. So, how can you keep your marketing team out of a rut?

Take a cue from the NCAA’s March Madness.

The first night of games drew a TV audience of 10.3 million. This after a regular season that averaged 482,000 viewers a game (on ESPN).

How does this translate to staying out of a rut in your marketing department? Create your own madness at different times throughout the year. Shake things up. Think about this:

Why do sports fans like me and other viewers, stay away from college basketball during the regular season but tune in to watch in large numbers in March?

Why? Because the:

  • Pace is quick
  • More is at stake
  • Players step up their game

Can’t you do the same three things in your office?

Step up the pace

Give your team or yourself less time to complete a task or a project. If you’re given a deadline of three days, challenge your team to get it done in two—or even one!

Honestly, I was a little skeptical when a LinkedIn friend suggested this as a way to boost productivity in copywriting. So I tested it myself, and it worked.

I found that self-imposed time limits boosted my creativity and helped me accomplish more each day. If I set a limit of one hour to get a flyer written, I’d stop at one hour. Even if I didn’t accomplish much, I moved on to another task. This kept me from getting bogged down in writer’s block. Try it yourself and let me know how it goes.

Put more at stake

If your creative team has assigned roles, change things up. Let them compete for the most wanted projects. Have them all present ideas or storyboards, and then decide as a group which one is best.

Letting the group hear all the ideas and then decide makes this both competitive and collaborative.

Challenge them to step up their game

Increase the rewards and recognition for team members who perform well. Encourage new ideas, new ways of thinking. And give them a shot at something they may not normally do.

For example, let’s say you do all your marketing communications in-house, but you send your advertising to an outside agency. Next time you need an ad campaign, see what your in-house department can do. Send it to the agency too and compare the results.

The bottom line

Don’t let talent and innovative ideas get strangled in a web of red tape or bogged down by assigned roles. The more you let your creative team spread their wings and use more of their talents, the happier they will be and the better your business will be.

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Interesting blogs I found while researching this post: Sports Media Watch, 1000Watt blog.

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