How Traackr is using Influen¢e to make a billion dollars (Warren Buffet doesn’t want you to read this!)

Every year at this time, I find myself thinking “If you can just make it until March…” The snowmelts, the first quarter of the year is coming to an end and the best tournament in sports is about to begin: It’s time for March Madness!

This year there is heightened interest in the tourney — thanks to Warren Buffet’s offer of a billion dollars to anyone who can complete a perfect bracket. The odds of winning are something like 1 in 128 billion, but, after all we live in a country where we snack on endless orders of french fries and Big Mac’s during McDonald’s Monopoly Challenge in hopes of finally landing Boardwalk.

This year, we are abandoning our typical pick strategies like whose mascot would win in a fight or which team has the best looking uniforms and turning to a more data-driven approach by utilizing influencers.

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Here’s how we approach this at Traackr: First, we check the geographic spread of our influencer community to ensure there isn’t any sort of bias for any particular teams or conferences. We found that our data was decently distributed across the country so we are comfortable with its reliability:

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Next, acknowledging that the selection of the winning team is the most important part of completing a winning bracket, we looked for a recognizable winner. This year, college basketball has been a non-stop whirlwind of unpredictability, setting the stage for a very flat tournament where so many teams have the opportunity to win. To thoughtfully choose among so many close contenders, we decide to turn to our influencer pool as the experts. We utilized the Share of Voice feature to enter in the Top 8 teams leading up to Selection Sunday.

Our hypothesis is: Team most mentioned by influencers leading up to the tournament start = our winner

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and the winner is FLORIDA!

The Gators make a lot of sense as a National Champion. They start 4 Seniors, which is often the key to a deep run in the tournament; they can play at any speed; their defense rarely gives up easy baskets; and Billy Donovan is no stranger to cutting down nets.

Does this strategy of utilizing team mentions actually make sense to select a winner of a basketball tournament? We shall see in a few weeks. In the competitive business world, where companies have billions of their own money at stake (usually not Warren Buffet’s), the ability to monitor brands and competitor mentions along with the date they are mentioned is a powerful analytical tool. Companies that use the share of voice indicator for competitive analysis and finding a brand’s advocates and detractors gain access to valuable data and insight that can help create and leverage valuable relationships that have a measurable impact on their brand.

You can view our official Traackr bracket here. (Feel free to Google “Traackr” after the tournament is over to read all the headlines about us winning a billion dollars.)

Special thanks, in advance, to Warren Buffet!