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The own goals of World Cup marketing

Brands have been queuing up to align themselves to the World Cup, as spending on marketing campaigns looks set to top over £1bn by the end of the tournament.

But is this money well spent? While promotional tie-ins have long since provided a golden opportunity for advertisers to tap into the public’s interest, it seems companies are ignoring basic marketing principles in their haste to capitalise on the tournament.

With this in mind, The Rocket Marketing Group present three examples of common ‘Own Goals’ to avoid when promoting your product during the World Cup.

Irrelevant Campaigns

While the competition provides a great opportunity to market to a captive audience, many brands seem to ditch their fundamental messaging in an attempt to jump on the World Cup gravy train.

In an age where people are increasingly savvy to marketing techniques, viewers tend to see through campaigns that have little to do with the tournament. If you can’t find an engaging and relevant way of relating your brand to the World Cup, it’s probably better to concentrate on your core messaging and look to a more long term strategy instead.

Rather than trying to crowbar a product to fit the latest event or craze, most companies would do better choosing a marketing opportunity that suits their product. There are plenty of low cost ways of marketing your business that will actually be relevant to the product you are selling. From promoting your company through specially created membership clubs to distributing consumer incentives, relevant, targeted marketing will always be the best way to attract and retain customers.

Ignoring Your Audience

Women make up around 46% of the TV audience for England World Cup games. This makes the World Cup one of the highest watched TV programmes by women in the UK for the whole year, yet nearly all adverts that are screened during the tournament will be directed at men.

Brands like Lastminute.com are at least taking the female demographic into account with their ‘Embrace/Escape’ campaign, which offers World Cup specials aimed at women such as spa breaks and dance lessons. However it appears many advertisers are still missing out on a golden opportunity to appeal to a huge section of female viewers watching the tournament.

Money Over Quality

A recent survey by The Nielsen Company has revealed that so-called ‘ambush’ campaigns by unofficial sponsors have had a greater impact with customers than those of rivals who have spent millions on becoming official World Cup sponsors.

Nike’s ‘Write The Future’ ad, has become a viral phenomenon, generating twice as many mentions on blogs, social media pages and online forums as official partner Adidas. Its fun ‘what if?’ theme is fresh and innovative when compared with Adidas’ rather derivative ad featuring footballers showing off their new boots in slow-motion.

The lesson here is that simply throwing money at promotional campaigns is not enough to make your brand stand out in what is an extremely over-crowded marketplace. The quality, messaging and timing of Nike’s campaign was what established a connection with its audience, and they didn’t have to spend £30m on sponsorship to do it. Whatever the size of your company, you should always be aware of the most cost-effective methods of generating revenue, and driving customer loyalty.

The Rocket Marketing Group specialises in developing, implementing and managing consumer incentives and loyalty programmes to generate revenue, drive acquisition and retention of customers and employees. Contact us to find out more.

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