Words & Sports

NCAA Tournament Selection Show: Stealing Time

Stealing time from your customer is a quick way to lose trust

The NCAA Basketball Tournament is underway! That’s great! It’s exciting! But you know what’s not great or exciting? The many minutes of my time they stole with that over-inflated tournament selection show.

These shows are getting more drawn out every year. Why? Obviously, to sell ads. Do these people not realize it’s 2018? Consumers will tune you out immediately if you don’t value their time. They will turn to social media. I don’t even remember a single brand advertised during that show, because I was talking to my son (who by the way was completely turned off by the show–he moved on from it quickly) or looking at my phone during the commercials. If I’m at all typical in my viewing habits, they ate up my time for nothing because nobody even watched the ads.

Look, I get it, it’s commercial TV, there are going to be ads. Maybe advertising on TV has become a pointless and outdated form of marketing, but we’re stuck with it, for the time being. But if you’re going to run a show purely and obviously to run ads, that tells me you care more about (pointless) ads than giving me the value I came for. I’m not going to like you after that. I’m not going to trust you.

Speaking as a marketer, sacrificing the trust of your potential customers for the short-term money grab is stupid – in my humble opinion.

Twitter took notice, of course. The complaints started almost as soon as the tournament selection show did. You cannot BS people anymore, they notice and they say something. That’s negative publicity, for those of you keeping score, and it’s not good.

The needs and wants of your customers or clients cannot be at odds with your needs as a business, or you’re probably not going to last very long—and you shouldn’t last very long. You need to provide value even when you’re marketing, not manipulate people into watching extra ads by creating shows with many instances of delays—which the content doesn’t need. Stealing time is bad for business.

Look, I’m speaking as both a marketer and a sports fan, here. The marketer says you can do better than this. The sports fan in me says stop trying to steal my time!

If you liked this article on Stealing Time, then check out our audio podcast and listen at 2x speed!

Image By Phil Roeder from Des Moines, IA, USA (NCAA Basketball) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons