Communications professionals typically see the Super Bowl as a time for business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers to capitalize on the benefits of that coveted conversation, but the truth is business-to-business (B2B) companies can, and should, take advantage of major consumer events as well.

Conversations from the newsroom to the living room, and even the conference room, are all about the Super Bowl. It’s natural for companies to want to engage in that conversation – and they can, and they should. With any ‘trend intervention’, brands must tread cautiously to make sure that their interactions are appropriate and valued rather than inappropriate and unwelcome interruptions of the conversation. When done right, B2B marketers can take advantage of the opportunity to reach a portion of the 171-184 million spectators expected (Source: Yahoo News) for this year’s Super Bowl.

Here are just a few of the tactics that B2B marketers can employ to get in the game:

  • Get in the Game – B2B advertising content and marketing collateral can jump on the Super Bowl bandwagon. When the public is so focused on this major event, tying it in to your marketing efforts may help increase awareness and message retention. Perhaps a football-themed infographic, whitepaper, email campaign or tradeshow booth can help you garner a few new fans for your company.
  • Wave Your Fan Flag – The Super Bowl is practically a religious holiday. Just like your organization might wish folks a great holiday celebration or share something about the culture of your organization, it’s good to demonstrate the excitement of your employees for the game. From creating a special home page banner to posting photos of your decorated office on social media, there are many subtle ways to show your organization is full of loyal fans.
  • Be In It To Win It – Consider adding giveaways or a well-designed contest to your marketing mix. On the low end, you could provide customers with a care package to enjoy the big game and on the high end you could give actual tickets to your best customers. If planned well, a contest leading up to the event could serve as a lead-generation tool as well as garner goodwill with your current customer base.
  • Know the Score – For most sports fans, knowing the stats of every game and player is a badge of honor. Is there a way for you to dig into the data to support your customers or inform your industry? Perhaps your company sells products or provides services that may be impacted by the game. It’s not just sales of chicken wings, beer and giant TVs that spike before the Super Bowl. This is the first year that the game can be streamed live to a device without the need for a cable subscription so we may see spikes in everything from wireless router sales to computer and mobile device upgrades. Share that knowledge with your customers to help them plan accordingly.
  • Coach Your Customers – This could be an opportunity to help your customers succeed at their own game. If you can offer them solid advice or guidance on how they can use this opportunity or other trends and breaking news events to their advantage, they will appreciate the gesture. If you can weave your product or service into that story, you might be able to spur sales at the same time. Alternatively, you could just incorporate a ‘playbook’ approach to your business advice and turn it into anything from a simple blog entry to a longer-form e-book for more in depth coaching. One of the easiest analogies to make is between scoring on the field and scoring in business. Pick a theme, own the cheese factor, and score a touchdown.
  • Pace Yourself – As any good fan knows, overindulging at the pre-game can wind up hurting more than helping your brand – everything in moderation. When done well, adopt a major consumer event as part of an overall marketing effort can help B2B communicators have a positive impact on engagement with customers through public relations, social media and traditional marketing efforts.

At the end of the day, businesses are comprised of individual consumers and when something is capturing the hearts and minds of the general public, that public also brings it to work. Careful planning and thoughtful program development can lead to a win-win for your company and your clients.