With the first weekend of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in the books, you may be ready to burn your bracket or are enjoying your bragging rights – at least until next weekend. March Madness makes for a lot of fun around the water cooler and the best part is that you don’t have to follow college basketball to win the office pool. It is entirely possible that your co-worker who made their picks based on the height of the mascots will end up with the winning bracket even though you spent countless hours watching highlights and building a predictive model based on the offensive scoring efficiency for all 68 teams. The beauty of the madness is that anyone has a shot when it comes to filling out brackets in March, but the same can’t be said for how to approach a media plan. With your advertising budget at stake, you want to make data-driven decisions based on full-funnel attribution instead of guessing when it comes to your media strategy. To maximize the return on your investment, here are a few keys to executing a successful media strategy. KEYS TO THE GAME: Strong court vision. By knowing how your teammates and defenders are positioned on the court, you have the ability to see how a play will unfold which sets you up to make better decisions. In the media world, attribution modeling improves your court vision. Attribution modeling provides greater visibility into how each marketing channel is impacting the others, and which ones are truly driving results, so you’re able to see the entire conversion process from beginning to end. Give credit to the entire roster. Similar to how every player on the team contributes to winning the game, every media tactic contributes to the final conversion. Attributing credit to the various marketing touch points that influence the path to conversion is crucial in order to be able to allocate your media spend effectively, beginning with the first touch point. Know your match-ups. A team that relies on guards can beat a higher ranked team that is stacked with inside players by stretching the court and making the big guys defend in space. Likewise, some marketing tactics are more effective at the top of the marketing funnel while others are more influential downstream so it is important to leverage the strength of each tactic. This will create opportunities to drive conversions more effectively. Spend money on high percentage shots. If your three-point field goal percentage for the season is in the single digits, you probably shouldn’t keep taking those shots. Knowing what marketing levers have the greatest impact on your business empowers you to invest where you’ll see the highest return, and not waste money on tactics that aren’t producing results. Full-court press on the right audience. Applying defensive pressure at the right moments can lead to game-altering turnovers, but you also don’t want to get caught with all of your defenders in the backcourt and give up an easy lay-up. Reaching your target audience with the optimal frequency needed to drive conversions is key before you reach a point of diminishing return on ad frequency. Good luck with the rest of the tournament and enjoy the madness, but don’t treat your media plans like brackets. Watch the film, do the research and execute your game plan for a slam dunk media strategy.