In this state, basketballs pound wooden gym floors like our hearts beating in our chests. We’re sharp shooting, free throwing, slam dunking Hoosiers who live for competition. Okay, maybe not all of us are like that, but we’re going to say a good majority of the state is.
So when a certain tournament rolls around, we’re more than ready to be completely consumed in nothing but basketball and our beloved brackets. Which made me think, following the madness of March is remarkably similar to working in marketing.
It’s all about the long game
I can barely describe the frustration and anguish that comes when a team I pick for my bracket ends up losing. There goes my perfect paper, my beautiful bracket. In marketing, you may have a loss every once in a while or a bad day you wish had never happened. But just like your bracket, not everything is ruined. You can still win your pool. Because I guarantee you, no one is going to have a perfect bracket.
It’s important to remember the ultimate goal—to remember not just what you’re doing, but why you’re doing it. In marketing, you do what you do to tell a story, grow your business, or to make a difference to someone. In March Madness, it’s to win your company pool, maybe put some extra money in your pocket, and have bragging rights for an entire year. Having a loss here and there won’t necessarily prevent you from making this happen, so long as you focus on the long game.
Run the numbers
When it’s tournament time, you run the stats, size up the teams, and run the figures through your brain. You think of all possibilities. Who’s battling injuries? How does each team handle pressure? There are many times in marketing where I do similar research for clients, their competition, and the market they’re in.
It’s always important to do your research. Things are a lot easier to handle when you have the data in your head. You have stronger selling points and a better understanding of what should and could be done. You find it’s a lot easier to write teams down in your bracket when you know the history of the players behind them.
Play together, cheer together
Whether you’re cheering on your alma mater with fellow alumni, or being welcomed with open arms into the loser pool, there is always a sense of belonging that can be found.
The same goes for working in marketing. Often times I’m collaborating with other writers or designers and other times I find myself writing alone at the front table of our office. But even then, I come back to the bigger picture, putting my piece of the puzzle into overall plan.
Working in marketing isn’t exactly like a basketball tournament, like but it strikes some remarkable parallels. Both thrive on competition, perseverance, and cheering on your team.