Was digital marketing the real World Cup winner

Was digital marketing the real World Cup winner?

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The World Cup was a triumph for football – and social media. Our blog looks at the hits and the ‘own goals’.

Brazil 2014 has been called by many sports fans (and perhaps even more importantly by a few non-sports fans) “the greatest World Cup ever” and for fans it was a feast of goals and great football. But the long term legacy might be digital marketing as this was certainly a global event which saw social media interest achieve record breaking levels – and that will be good news to digital marketers looking to leverage the popularity of digital channels for the benefit of their clients.

The most tweeted about event recorded in history was the football match between Brazil and Chile, which took place during the 2014 World Cup. By the end of the first 90 minutes, there was an average of 199,731 tweets per minute. When Neymar slotted the ball into the net to put Brazil into the lead the figure increased to 239,219 tweets, peaking at 388,985 per minute by the end of the match.

A blog in The Drum recalled the impact that one bite had on the world of digital marketing. Luis Suarez biting of Italian defender Giorgio Chellini set new records for Twitter and, as Dominic Grammate reports in the blog, offered a golden opportunity for smart marketers. A Tweet from Snickers:

‘Hey @luis16suarez. Next time you’re hungry just grab a Snickers. #worldcup #luissuarez #EatASNICKERS’.

was retweeted 48,000 times and was one example of the digital channels ability to move swiftly to react to a ‘real time’ event. Whether the retweets sold a single more Snicker is not known. And this is perhaps one area that many of us remain cynical about – increased levels of interactions are easy to see, but how this effects the bottom line receives less reporting.

The lessons for Direct Mail

So does the success of social media have any lessons for more traditional marketing channels such as direct mail? Certainly Grammate’s blog demonstrate that even the biggest spending advertisers can get it wrong. The immediacy of the real-time event can create actions that, given more thought, might have been avoided. There were unfortunate tweets from KLM and Delta Airlines that provoked controversy. So perhaps the first lesson for Direct Mail is to use the time to best advantage – think carefully about the message and the target audience.

Many events are forgotten as soon as they are reported but others remain in the zeitgeist for longer and DM can still leverage these events: a DM campaign that riffed on the Suarez bite would still be meaningful.

The second lesson is for DM to look at the nature of these digital interactions: to take incorporate the tone, language and nature of the responses to develop a style of DM that mirrors but also extends the nature of social media marketing.

A third lesson to learn is that for many consumers accessing information digitally is on the increase. A DM campaign can reflect this, creating a virtuous circle that moves consumers between traditional print direct mail towards digital channels and back again for a 360 degree marketing experience.

Image Credit: National Media Museum

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