4 Avoidance Tactics for Marketing to Digital World Cup Widows

Despite his ‘athletic’ figure, Ashwin, our Social Media and Content Marketing Manager, is not the biggest footie fan. So who better to suggest a few ideas that digital marketers may want to think about, if they don’t want to get caught up in World Cup fever. 

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Football (next to American ‘Football’) is one of the world’s most valuable marketing channels. FIFA’s World Cup is literally the single biggest marketing free-for-all known to mankind. 3.2 billion people watched the last 2010 World Cup – nearly half the entire planet’s population, if you haven’t been keeping score. In the UK alone, it’s estimated that around £2.5 billion will be spent, directly attributable to World Cup-related activities and promotions.

However, what about the other half of the world that really could not care for ‘the beautiful game’? There’s a massive market for people looking to avoid the crush at the bar, the traffic and possible and terrifying re-emergence of the vuvuzela. So here are 4 thoughts to get you started on building your shelter to the ‘World Cup Widow’.

1 – Don’t Make Assumptions about your Audience

For those of you who read our other ‘World Cup’ blog, you’ll be feeling a sense of déjà vu. Yes, we closed out the other article with this point but it’s so important that it deserves being reiterated.

Don’t make assumptions about the interests of your audience based on very general data – i.e. sex, location, etc. In the first instance, it’s impersonal –customer retention and engagement are built on relationships and familiarity. We’ve recently been talking at length on the ‘humanisation’ of digital retail. International consultancy, CAPGemini, supports our thinking in their recent blog on how the personalisation of the shopping experience should develop customer retention – in particular how the digital experience should aim to be ‘an excellent butler’.

Check out our webforms blog for ideas of how to develop your touch-points into opportunities to get to know your customers even better.

“The digital experience should aim to be ‘an excellent butler’.”

2 – Your Subject Line is your Front Line

As per our last point, segmenting your marketing list is your main priority. However, don’t forget the main thing that you’re offering them – in our case, World Cup avoidance. In the words of journalists immemorial, ‘Don’t Bury the Lede!’. This very article is most probably buried in Google Search, in between a hundred other marketing blogs looking to take advantage of World Cup opportunities – it’ll be a similar case with your customers’ inboxes. “Avoid the World Cup” or a similar phrase within the first 20 characters is more than likely to stand out against the noise.

3 – Engage your customers, when they turn off

Marketing automation and social media management platforms allow marketers to operate in real-time, or near enough real-time. We can all have our own ‘Oreo Moment’ – that is, a moment of timely relevance. Much of this comes down to knowing where your customers are going to be, and what they’re going to be using.

We know that disengaged viewers are most probably not going to be at the pub, most probably going to be engaging their mobile devices looking for a temporary distraction, and wanting to get away from the saturated sponsorships and advertisements that come with the international tournament. How can your product fill this void in a way that is native to your brand?

One idea could be a match-timed online flash sale for retail brands, which are a great way to drive site traffic at a time when online traffic is likely to dip. eBay positions itself as a ‘solutions provider’ for World Cup avoidance, with a suggested products page.

Well-known UK cinema chains have been known to offer date-sensitive discounts and free tickets (think Orange Wednesdays!). Customers on East and West Coast America will be in the ‘eye of the storm’, and more than willing to take advantage of a match day distraction, that can be delivered through a scheduled and triggered marketing automation programme.

A behaviour-based trigger could initially offer free product – such as cinema tickets, timed to overlap with a game. Depending on whether it generated a conversion, it could enrol a customer into a loyalty-based discount program. Check out our customer re-engagement blog for ideas on how this would look.

4 – Turn your Brand into a ‘Content Refuge’

Let’s face it – the World Cup is going to be pretty hard to avoid. So if your brand does a lot of content marketing and social curation and you’re looking to offer comfort and solace to the World Cup widow, do the common sense thing and avoid programming tournament-related news and offers into your output.

Similarly if you’re in retail, consider setting up a couple of landing pages stripped of any football-related themes. Use your email and social marketing segments to target who you’re sending these to. You may even wish to consider employing a pop-over survey tool to act as preference centre for when your repeat customers login to ask whether they’re actively interested in the World Cup, and route them to a more personalised user experience.

5 – Use your email as a ‘Preference Centre’

If you’ve begun to notice a theme here, you’d be right. When marketing inside of massive events such as the World Cup, gaining insight and understanding your customer is vital to making any headway against the noise.

Every tracked link out from your email is effectively a feedback mechanism, allowing you to develop a better grasp of your individual customer’s user persona, as well as providing an opportunity to enroll the user into an automated campaign which can deliver dynamic content. A working example is our ‘World Cup Inspiration Campaign’ in which we placed links to our World Cup and World Cup widows blog. Depending on which links users clicked on, the dynamic content blocks will deliver one of four different content permutations in a further – a simple, yet tailored experience based on click preferences.

At every step in your marketing campaign, build a bridge to your customers, listen to them and act on that insight.