Commentary

Brands Refine 'Plays' On Game Day

Marketers have used data to tailor campaigns for years, and the new era of Big Data has paved the way for marketers to further customize campaigns in real time – a practice known as adaptive marketing. 

Adaptive marketing enables brands to create a flexible framework for an ad or marketing campaign, and then refine and modify their messages based on consumer reaction to the campaign or other relevant events.

The Super Bowl provides a prime opportunity for brands of any size to use consumer behavior data to create highly targeted and relevant ads, bolstered by social media. Jaguar has been most vocal about their adaptive strategy, and we can expect to see examples of adaptive messaging, large and small, during the big game.

Powerful insights lurk within the nooks and crannies of online behavior, and those insights can be put to work immediately to deepen a brand’s connection with its customers. The data may include everything from social connections to dwell time on a web page, and it can be combined with location details, specific demographic data, and a bit of human understanding.

There are several real-time digital marketing tools that brands can use at the Super Bowl to refine their "marketing play" on game day. 

Jeff Curry, brand vice president, Jaguar North America, is widely quoted as claiming that the brand is planning to be “the most real-time engaged advertiser” during the Super Bowl this year. 

Jaguar’s multi-channel campaign began with a 30-second preview of their ad online on Jan. 28, and it includes wraps on trains in New York; TV ads on BBC America, IFC, and ESPN; print ads, banner ads, a dedicated website with sound bites from the ad’s characters; and undefined “social integration.”

That social integration is likely to be the cornerstone of the effort. While traffic to Jaguar’s website will undoubtedly be tracked throughout the campaign, the real excitement is found in the online activity that happens off-site. 

Jaguar’s media agency, Mindshare, will manage the real-time data and drive rapid marketing decisions. The adaptive marketing strategy includes a collaboration of platform experts from Facebook, Google+, and others with Jaguar’s creative team of writers, digital teams, and marketing teams.

Based on early descriptions of the campaign, Jaguar will prioritize one-to-one conversations with influential consumers, aiming for maximum viral reach.

So what can brands of every size learn? 

Your content is a product.

It’s well-documented that the Super Bowl ads can no longer stand alone if brands want to move the needle on brand awareness. The ads themselves are being promoted with YouTube previews, pre-game ad promos, and massive PR campaigns. Jaguar is investing in their ad as if it were a product all its own. Marketers are well-served to pay attention to this lesson. Your content, no matter how clever, cannot stand alone. 

Big data still needs people to work.

Jaguar’s campaign is technologically advanced, but it’s far from automated. Jaguar has engaged a team that includes experts on Jaguar’s business, as well as experts in the various social platforms that they are going to track. Midsize businesses can (and should) invest in the technological foundation to effectively gather data – but the investment doesn’t stop there. Any business that wants to deliver responsive and adaptive marketing campaigns needs to be ready to put people on the job.

While data will fuel the efforts – likely focusing on trending topics and spontaneous memes – the data will not stand in for the decisions about what to do with it. Big Data can clue this team in on the opportunities, but it will take a creative team’s instincts to craft the right response.

Midsize businesses can mirror the Jaguar model to a smaller degree to impact their market reach. It can be as simple as tracking trending topics on game day, and watching the game with a laptop or smartphone within arm’s reach. Marketers should be ready to be playful with big moments, have some basic graphic design tools at the ready, and assign the task to team members who have a strong understanding of your brand’s core values and attributes.

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