March Madness is right around the corner, and players and coaches are not the only people at universities excited for the chance to join the Big Dance. School administrators and their marketing departments are well aware of the boost exposure via the NCAA Tournament brings.
When I enrolled at Butler University 16 years ago, it had little exposure outside of the Midwest. That was before the men’s basketball team made back-to-back runs to the national championship game in 2010 and 2011. According to The Washington Post, Butler experienced a 40% increase in applications, ESPN reported the school netted $1.2 billion in publicity and USA Today cited an 18% increase in donations.
That notoriety and the ongoing strength of its basketball program led Butler to the Big East, a move that brought in more money and nationally televised games. The relatively sleepy campus is now being transformed with new buildings, making it even more attractive to students and keeping application rates up.
Butler is experiencing what’s known as a virtuous cycle. It’s a cycle that any business would love to have. In the precast industry, there’s no nationally broadcast tournament to kick start yours. There are plenty of opportunities to get your name out there and get the ball rolling though.
For example, marketing doesn’t stop when you make the sale. If you keep treating your customers like you did when you were wooing them, they are much more likely to recommend you to others. Do that with those new customers, and the cycle continues. Also, listen to your market for what they need. There are countless stories on precast.org about companies that took the time to listen and did some research – including into sectors not previously thought to be in their market – and now have one or numerous very profitable product lines. When you are no longer seen as a precaster that makes X Y and Z products, but rather as a partner and a problem solver, a very positive cycle has begun.
Your March Madness moment may be around the corner.
Kirk Stelsel, CAE
Director of Communication & Marketing, NPCA