Want to Score Big With Your World Cup Marketing? Target the Omnichannel 'Majority'

Did you know 3.2 billion people watched the last World Cup and 715 million watched the Finals alone? Compare that to the 108 million people who watched this year's highly anticipated Super Bowl. To put it into better context, let's look at some brand engagement numbers. During the 2010 World Cup, Nike, which was not an official sponsor, drove more than twice as much social conversation as Adidas. Adidas fared pretty well itself, setting a company record with more than $1.8 billion in soccer-based sales that year. When it comes to capturing mind share with an international audience, nothing tops the World Cup. 

To market your brand effectively at this event, it's mission-critical to first understand whoyour audience is, their needs and wants, as well as the types of digital ads and experiences that will convert them from one-time browsers into loyal brand advocates and purchasers across multiple channels and devices. So who are these soccer fans?



While I won't generalize the behavior for all of them, a significant chunk of them are more than likely 20- and 30-somethings, also known as Millennials, cheering loudly for their favorite team, donning their team's colors, proudly waving their country's flag, chugging beers — be it at the stadium, local sports bar or at home with friends and family. All the while, they have limited attention spans, are multi-taskers by nature and alternate between multiple platforms, both traditional and digital, to watch and partake in all sorts of World Cup festivities. 

At over 80 million strong with $600 billion in spending power, research has shown that these digital-first Millennials place a high premium on transparency, value social consciousness and are heavy multi-platform users of media, including social networking, video viewing and gaming. However, the consumer benefits of mobility - choice, convenience and control — have also made them far less tolerant of faulty, impersonal, irrelevant, one-size-fits-all digital ads and interactions. 

That being said, it's going to take a lot more than just creating beautiful, emotionally charged, uber creative, “cool” ads. If brands want to connect and engage in a meaningful way with this omnichannel “majority,” technology, math and data science must be the foundation upon which their overall marketing strategies are built, deployed and measured for success. That requires crunching hard data in real-time and targeting the right ad format to the right audience at the right time on the right platform. Otherwise, brand CMOs could very well lose $83 billion in sales in the U.S. each year, according to a recent IBM study

With the stakes for digital engagement and revenue growth so high, what types of metrics should marketers use to measure cross-channel engagement among these Millennials? Here are just a few of the many metrics, most recently defined by the IAB, that will help brands score big with omnichannel marketing at this year's World Cup. 

  • Interaction Rate: Percentage of users who purposely enter the frame of an ad continuously for at least 0.5 seconds
  • Interaction Time: Average amount of time users spend with an ad
  • Display Viewthrough Rate: Number of brand site visits that could have been influenced by display media within a particular look-back window
  • Searched For More Information: After seeing an ad, the number of users who visited a brand's website
  • Total Video Starts, Pauses, Stops and Completes: Number of times a user played a video, and how
  • Video Completion Viewthrough Rate: Percentage of times a video ad was viewed to completion, of total times it was served
  • Social: Read a Brand Post/Viewed a Brand Video: Number of users who read/saw a brand post/paid brand ad/brand video on a social media site

For marketers who want to expand their reach to the international stage, I cannot stress enough that every single marketing decision, tactic and campaign must be driven by data and technology. As Aisling McCarthy, who handles the Adidas account at social media agency We Are Social, professed during an Advertising Week Europe 2014 panel session, "It is a reactive environment, so you need to know how fans behave in and around games. They watch the game, they update on Twitter, they second-screen. If you understand the behavior, then you can work out how to engage with that." I concur.

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