Digital Marketing and Olympic Hysteria

Over the past two weeks during the Olympics in Rio, I’ve picked up three peculiar and unhealthy habits;

1: Staying up until ungodly hours at night, cheering on Australian athletes I’ve never heard of, who are pursuing a dream of Olympic gold (but commonly coming fourth).

2: Checking my Olympics app at various stages throughout the day, and finding that I’m suddenly some sort of rugby sevens or rhythmic gymnastics enthusiast.

3: (Locating) and then meandering over to the customer service module at work, as it has a TV fixed on channel 7 throughout the day…

All three have consequentially lead to a decrease in my (and probably national) productivity, but what can we attribute this to. Olympic spirit? Olympic fever? Whatever it is, it’s bloody addictive, and a dream state for e-marketing.

European managing director at RadiumOne says the Olympics provides a sustained series of ‘moment marketing’ opportunities, and gives brands the opportunity to marry ads with specific events whilst targeting multiple devices. “It’s about taking a TV moment and using technology’s capability to extend audience reach for an ad in real-time, achieving better engagement and ROI”.

 

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Digital analytic measures such and engagement and return on investment (ROI), are crucial in assessing the success of online marketing strategies. A study by Google reported that search engagement on YouTube was higher for the last Summer Olympics than for the last World Cup, or each of the past six Super Bowls (year on year the most watched sporting event in the world). Analysing this interest from a digital perspective allows us to draw stimulating insights on the power the Olympics can have for a brand. For example, Olympic audiences in the United States are more likely than the average YouTube viewers to watch content about gaming (1.8X), auto (1.9X), and travel (2.3X).

A study also found that 55% of those who aren’t normally interested in sports plan to watch events in Rio, and that 76% will read olympic related content.

 

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Ultimately, overlooking all the statistics in the world, the underlying fact is this: The 2016 Olympic games is elevating digital fan engagement to new heights, and coincides with the expansion of social platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.

It leads us to consider what the future holds for e-marketing in the global sporting arena.

What platforms are going to be the buzz of the electronic world in Tokyo, 2020?

Will new technologies bring about new analytical measurements?

In four years time will we be marvelling at how low engagement and global audience rates were in 2016 compared to 2020? 

 

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3 thoughts on “Digital Marketing and Olympic Hysteria

  1. Hey Matt,

    Loved your blog. I too have been glued to the couch or my phone screen the past couple of days whilst watching the Olympics, falling under that 34% bracket of obsession.

    Many of my friends are not interested in sport, yet so many of them seem to come out of the woodwork in our whatsapp group messenger when the Olympics is on. I’ve noticed as well that girls I’m friends with have done the same during the Rio Olympics, and maybe that is indicative to the social platforms that its now being advertised on.

    Seeing as though Tokyo are the tech gurus of this world, it will be interesting to see what they will produce for the viewers. If anyone is able to boost audience rates, Tokyo would be the country to do it. Especially because of the money they have to spend on infrastructure. I read a stat the other day that the Rio Olympics has cost a tenth of what the London Olympics has overall – which I found very surprising.

    I see you mentioned in your post how digital analytical measures such as engagement and return on investment are crucial in assessing the success of online marketing strategies. No doubt these two play a key role, however I thought there were a few more variables that should also be included in the mix as well?

    Thanks Hamish

    Like

    1. Hi Hamish,

      Thanks for your response. The level of interest from those not generally concerned with sport is astounding isn’t it? It seems that the patriotic nature by which the Olympics is presented and branded leads to situation where a mass audience cheers on for their country to succeed, regardless of what event it may be in. A strong sense of nostalgia is also attached to Olympic moments provided by athletes such as Cathy Freeman, Ian Thorpe and Steven Bradbury, and brands clearly want to utilise the attention and positive associations encouraged through such events. It’s a really interesting point you raise about the surprising level of engagement from girls, and potential connection with social media platforms. Having done a bit of research it seems this is true; Of millennial women planning on watching the Olympics, 63% intend to stay updated through social media, with Facebook (67%), Instagram (51%), Twitter (41%) and Snapchat (37%) being the most prevalent. This isn’t even taking into account the example you provided in conversation on apps such as Whatsapp, which is probably difficult for brands to measure in terms of metrics, but definitely would contribute to the total global audience of the event, and consequential exposure for sponsoring brands. In terms of other key analytical measures, it is probably important to consider the large cost of advertising through the Olympics. Therefore, metrics such as cost per impression (CPI), and the number of new leads acquired during the campaign could be indicative of the success of the campaign. Another consideration of Olympic advertising campaigns is that brands (e.g. Suisse and Industry Superfund), appear to be more focused on positive brand association rather than short terms sales. Therefore, a key measurement resulting from a digital campaign could be sales uplift over a period of 6-12 months.

      Thanks again for the feedback,

      Matt

      Like

  2. Hi Hamish,

    Thanks for your response. The level of interest from those not generally concerned with sport is astounding isn’t it? It seems that the patriotic nature by which the Olympics is presented and branded leads to situation where a mass audience cheers on for their country to succeed, regardless of what event it may be in. A strong sense of nostalgia is also attached to Olympic moments provided by athletes such as Cathy Freeman, Ian Thorpe and Steven Bradbury, and brands clearly want to utilise the attention and positive associations encouraged through such events. It’s a really interesting point you raise about the surprising level of engagement from girls, and potential connection with social media platforms. Having done a bit of research it seems this is true; Of millennial women planning on watching the Olympics, 63% intend to stay updated through social media, with Facebook (67%), Instagram (51%), Twitter (41%) and Snapchat (37%) being the most prevalent. This isn’t even taking into account the example you provided in conversation on apps such as Whatsapp, which is probably difficult for brands to measure in terms of metrics, but definitely would contribute to the total global audience of the event, and consequential exposure for sponsoring brands. In terms of other key analytical measures, it is probably important to consider the large cost of advertising through the Olympics. Therefore, metrics such as cost per impression (CPI), and the number of new leads acquired during the campaign could be indicative of the success of the campaign. Another consideration of Olympic advertising campaigns is that brands (e.g. Suisse and Industry Superfund), appear to be more focused on positive brand association rather than short terms sales. Therefore, a key measurement resulting from a digital campaign could be sales uplift over a period of 6-12 months.

    Thanks again for the feedback,
    Matt

    Like

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