June 10, 2014

The importance of real-time marketing during the World Cup

Written By Martin Sandhu


As the World Cup grows ever nearer, the big global brands like Nike and Adidas have launched multi-million dollar marketing campaigns to cash in on the event. Everyone from sports brands to banks are getting in on the act, aware of the opportunities it provides. But it’s not only major brands that can take advantage of the biggest sporting show on Earth. SMEs can also get involved, and real-time marketing provides a great opportunity.

Taking Advantage of the New Way of Watching

These days, many people watch sporting events on the TV while using another device like a tablet or a smartphone at the same time. Social media accounts are updated in reaction to live events during a game, and this provides a great opportunity for companies of all sizes to react to the biggest moments of the tournament.

In the World Cup, as many as 3 billion people will be engaged in real-time with events happening on the pitch, including goals, penalties and red cards, and marketers can use this to their advantage.

How to Plan for Real-Time Marketing

Marketers must plan to engage with fans at the right time, which involves knowing how people will use networks like Twitter as they watch a game. One area to get involved is to provide facts and statistics during the game, which is something that will add to the viewing experience rather than distract from it.

Promoted posts on Twitter could be used during the game to capture the attention of social media users. Social video is also likely to be a useful tool for marketers during the World Cup.

Another technique involves advertising on videos that are likely to go viral. By being able to spot opportunities, marketers can get their advertising on the most-watched videos and take advantage of more exposure in this way.

Above all, marketers should be prepared to think quickly. Being able to think in the moment and come up with a creative reaction to an event on the field – or even a quick response to a competitor’s comment – could generate a good deal of publicity. A well-timed creative tweet can go a long way.

How Companies Are Getting Creative

Other companies are getting creative with their marketing to take advantage of the World Cup without actually being official sponsors. This form of ambush marketing is often associated with larger companies, but smaller companies can get involved.

A recent Guardian article highlighted a number of companies that are planning on taking advantage of the World Cup. For example, St Austell Brewery is launching a beer named Rain Forest Gold, linking it with the Brazilian rainforest without actually mentioning Brazil or the World Cup.

If you have a product or service that you could somehow associate with the World Cup, this could be a good opportunity for you. You do not even have to link it to Brazil, because other key areas to focus on could include national pride, teamwork and competition among others.

Take Advantage of the Opportunity Provided by the World Cup

You don’t have to be a major sponsor to take advantage of the sales boost that the World Cup can provide. Even with a limited marketing budget, you can tap into the opportunities by thinking creatively and planning ahead. So start thinking about your own real-time marketing and plan carefully to take advantage of the coming World Cup.