5 Ways Marketers Need to Rethink Their Approach to Sports Partnerships

Strategies to get brands on the field with today’s consumers

Sports are inherently nostalgic. We all share memories of that game-winning play or agonizing defeat. These moments never leave us. They become a part of our lives.

With this emotional power as a backdrop—and in a world where interruptive campaigns are losing to invited content—sporting events have an advantage. They play an influential role in shaping our beliefs and values at an early age, and activating against them helps form the ultimate emotional connections with consumers.

The best sports marketers help create those connections. From Red Bull’s transformation into a media company to (our client) Visa’s 27-plus years supporting Olympians through stories that pack an emotional punch, the brands that win enable unique experiences and provide access to content that stands out from the norm and is social by design.

Unfortunately, too many of today’s sports marketers remain content with traditional tactics. Chasing quantifiable metrics, we follow the formula of classic sponsorships and media that is priced by CPM. We endorse programmatic buying as the answer to our desire for greater efficiencies. But in the midst of all this data and targeting-enabled technology, we still don’t know which 50 percent of our marketing spend is wasted. The safe route isn’t getting us where we need to be.

In today’s shifting media landscape, broadcasters are paying a premium for the rights to live sporting events, on-demand content rules, and sports that didn’t exist six years ago (eSports) are now being watched by 27 million people and counting each year. We have to find unique ways to win on this new playing field.

So how do we get there? Today every agency offers strategic thinking, develops creative ideas and claims to have integrated digital capabilities. But these offerings aren’t enough. We have to help brands better understand the world around them, become clear on their reason for being and focus on establishing ownable platforms that deliver real value.

For example, financial services company USAA launched an ongoing NFL partnership called Salute to Service in 2011 to celebrate the military community USAA serves. With the help of IMG, Salute to Service has become a culturally relevant program that includes in-arena fan activations, on-field recognition ceremonies and player visits to military bases. USAA gets to play a credible role in the sports world with no national media buy. Members of the military gain better access to a sport they love and fans appreciate an integration that gives back.

To achieve shifts like these, we have to start answering the following questions:

Culture shapes content: What is happening right now that informs our consumers’ perspectives and preferences? What is missing and where should it be shared?

Content creates community: How can we accrue and consistently engage a group of like-minded followers?

Community engages in conversation: How are we enabling discussion and sharing?

Conversation influences commerce: How can we guide discussion to influence purchase or preference decisions?

Once you’ve identified the narrative, you have to consider its delivery. Technology has now turned passive spectators into active participants. Take what Snapchat is doing with its Live Stories feature that collects snaps at marquee sporting events—from college football games to the World Cup—and grants insider access to millions of fans who can’t be there in person.

So is there still power in appointment viewing? Yes, but brands now have the chance to engage with fans before, during and after those few hours by delivering original content, creating discussions across social and seeking feedback at every step.

With all this in mind, consider these playbook updates:

1. Partnership vs. sponsorship: Value the client enough to help them create something they can own—something only attributable to them.

2. Own vs. rent: Never rent awareness, but rather create programs that can scale.

3. Agency diversification: Eliminate the middleman by working directly with creators of culture.

4. Smart data drives big emotion: Smart data is the new creative and when unlocked can strengthen a brand’s connection to its audience like never before.

5. Live (adj.) vs. live (verb): Live events begin with the brand and end with the fan, but we should start with the fan and build the event with and for them.

We’ve never had as many tools at our disposal to help brands create an emotional tether with sports fans.

Now go use them.

This story first appeared in the July 6 issue of Adweek magazine.

5 Ways Marketers Need to Rethink Their Approach to Sports Partnerships

Ralph Lauren Is Using Data to Revolutionize Fashion

Ralph Lauren Is Using Data to Revolutionize Fashion

The way the world we live in is increasingly becoming digitally connected is impacting everything, and fashion is no exception.

Wearables are expected to become increasingly popular as the Internet of Things takes off – a process which is expected to accelerate with the launch of the Apple Watch.

Among the big names in high-end consumer fashion which have shown they are keen to embrace this new market is Ralph Lauren, which unveiled its connected Smart Polo shirt at last year’s US Open.

Sensors attached to silver threads inside the shirt pick up movement data as well as heart and breathing rates, which can be monitored on the accompanying smart phone app, and potentially uploaded to the cloud for analysis, although the company has not yet released details of exactly how this will work.

And although this is firmly in the realm of sportswear – an industry which is already brimming with smart IOT tech such as the Babolat smart racquet and Adidas MiCoash smartball – Ralph Lauren has plans beyond that.

David Lauren, the son of founder Ralph, and in charge of global marketing for the company, told Wired “A lot will come in the next few months. We are a lifestyle brand, a major fashion luxury brand. I want to be able to gather this (biometric) information in a boardroom or from a baby in a crib. We’ll find new needs and we’re just at the beginning.”

Data drives every type of business

This is a clear sign that every industry is waking up to the potential benefits of smart, connected and Big Data-driven innovation, and no one wants to be left out. Effectively, all businesses are becoming data businesses.

Ralph Lauren first made its name with ties – so perhaps the Smart Tie is on the drawing board and will be featuring across both fashion and tech blogs in the near future?

A wealth of data is generated in the average board meeting – not just in what is said, but in the tone of voice of those who say it, and the biometric readings that could give clues about how we perform under pressure in corporate situations.

Solutions such as Hitachi’s Business Microscope offer opportunities to capture some of this, and integrating this functionality into clothing seems like a logical step.

For those who are wondering – yes you can wash the Polo Tech shirt, but you have to remove the slightly-larger-than-credit-card-sized Bluetooth transmitter first. The company is currently looking into ways that the device can be shrunk – perhaps eventually ending up the size of a button – or incorporated inside the fabric in a way that makes removing it unnecessary.

Trend forecasting

In the wider fashion world, Big Data is increasingly playing a part in trend forecasting, where social media data, sales data and reporting from fashion shows and influential publications is aggregated to help designers and retailers work out what are the season’s must-have looks.

Over the last few years the major players in every industry have had their eyes opened to the possibilities that technology, and in particular connected, data-enabled technology can offer them. No one wants to be left behind in the Big Data and Internet of Things gold rush.

The huge increase in the number of data science jobs advertised clearly offers opportunities for those whose aim is to work outside of Silicon Valley and the tech industry. And there are rich opportunities on offer for people with skills in data, but passions elsewhere – whether that’s in fashion, food and drink or finance.

Source: Linkedin

Ralph Lauren Is Using Data to Revolutionize Fashion

Introducing: The Smart Data Collective

A Social Media Today Community; litterally « The World’s Best Thinkers on Data » (smartdatacollective.com)

A few articles selected with great care:

– How Manufacturers Can Use Big Data to Acquire New Customers

– 3 Ways Data-Driven Marketing Drives Higher ROI

– A Day Late and Big Data Architecture Short

– What Is Big Data and How Useful It Is? 

Introducing: The Smart Data Collective

From Intent To Purchase: Taking Mobile Marketing to the Next Level

« The following is an exclusive guest contributed post from Dippak Khurana, Founder & CEO of Vserv.

Economics in India works very differently from that in the U.S. While consumers in the U.S. are used to buying physical products in bulk, Indian consumers are averse to the idea of buying these products in large volumes. This has forced companies to adopt a sachet-based marketing approach, selling physical products in smaller quantities or packages.

However, it also means that consumers in India shop frequently, a trend that has carried over even to the digital side. Telecom service operators or Telcos have to sell segmented packs for Internet data and voice minutes. Direct-to-Home (DTH) cable service providers have to sell channel packs segmented by genre such as only movies, or sports or entertainment instead of all channels, and consumers are even asking for these packs on hourly or daily basis instead of paying for the entire month.

On the other hand, a growing number of Indian consumers are choosing to discover and shop products via mobile. E-commerce businesses are seeing as much as 40% of their sales coming via mobile, which goes to show that more consumers are transacting via their smartphones. Reaching out to the consumer on mobile with customized offers that translate to increase in revenue, is a challenge consumer-facing companies such as Telcos and DTH service providers are grappling with today.

Tapping into the ever-growing mobile internet user base

The challenge lies in the fact that even if Telcos and DTH service providers reach out to consumers with segmented pre-paid offers, these offers may or may not be relevant to the consumer. If they did find a relevant offer, the intent for purchase can diminish since consumers still have to resort to going to the nearest brick and mortar location for activating the service. Even if they want to activate the service via their smartphones, the process is tedious and time consuming.

Staying with the consumer through the entire purchase journey

So how can Telcos and DTH service providers overcome this challenge? They can do so by staying with the consumer through his entire journey, right from intent to purchase. Today, with smart data led mobile marketing, these companies can reach out to the right consumer on mobile with relevant offers.

However, it should not stop there. These companies need to go the last mile, enabling their consumers to activate the offer while they are looking at it. To help them do so, we created a solution that helps the consumers to buy the relevant internet data, voice or segmented channel packs from within the mobile ad. The consumer will see a buy button along with the offer within the ad, and he can now complete the transaction with just two clicks, without having to leave the ad experience to go to a different website or app. By giving a seamless intent to purchase experience, such a solution redefines the relevance, simplicity and convenience of Telco and DTH services for these consumers.

The burgeoning opportunity for consumer-facing companies

In 2014, the Telco/DTH market in India and Southeast Asia reached $31 billion. At the same time, the mobile Internet user base is showing tremendous growth potential. By eliminating steps between intent and purchase, $31 billion is just the starting point.

Through targeted advertising via smart data and secure one-click mobile commerce, intent and purchase can now be linked together with a few seamless clicks. Such an end-to-end approach will help consumer-facing companies such as Telcos and DTH service providers to ride the mobile Internet wave and scale greater heights. The only question that remains is how soon will consumer-facing companies take advantage of this massive opportunity.  »

From Mobile Marketing Watch

From Intent To Purchase: Taking Mobile Marketing to the Next Level

Big Data: The Amazing Numbers in 2015


Big data is growing — in fact, the sector is growing so fast and we are producing data so voraciously, that no one can afford to ignore it as a “fad” any more.

And, it’s going to affect all companies, large and small, across all segments of the market — from healthcare to public safety, and retail to wholesale.

Big data is changing the world as we know it. If you don’t believe me, check out some of these (frankly staggering) statistics:

  • 60%
    One study suggests that retailers who fully leverage the power of big data could see an increase in their operating margins by as much as 60 percent! (Source)
  • 4.4 million
    That’s how many IT jobs there will be internationally in the big data field by the end of 2015, and it’s estimated that 1.9 million of these jobs will be in the U.S. alone. It also suggests that there will be a large gap between the number of jobs available and the number of skilled workers to fill those jobs. (Source)
  • $3.4 billion
    The advanced and predictive analytics (APA) software market is expected to grow to $3.4 billion worldwide by 2018. (Source)
  • $8 million
    In one study, the average business expected to spend $8 million this year on big data and related projects. (Source)
  • $50.1 billion
    Big Data was a $28.5B market in 2014, growing to $50.1 billion overall in 2015. (Source)
  • 5 times more likely
    Companies that use big data analytics are five times more likely to make decisions “much faster” than their competition. (Source)
  • $65.7 million
    As little as a 10 percent increase in the accessibility of data can mean an additional $65.7 million net income for a typical Fortune 1000 company. (Source)
  • $200 million
    The Obama administration is investing more than $200 million in big data initiatives. (Source)
  • 90 percent
    Ninety percent of the data in existence was created in the last two years. (Source)
  • $3.57 billion
    Customer experience enhancement is expected to be the largest big data business category, and the one with the most growth, with forecasts saying this sector will grow from $0.75 billion in 2015 to $3.57 billion in 2020.
  • 26 hours
    Macy’s has reportedly been able to save 26 hours every time it optimizes pricing for its 73 million products through use of big data, allowing them to change pricing more frequently to follow retail trends. (Source)
  • $500 billion
    One study suggests that the U.S. government could save $500 billion annually by implementing big data projects. (Source)

Studies also show that companies (especially small and medium sized companies) put cost and personnel problems as the top reasons they haven’t implemented big data projects yet, but these projects need to become priority fast, or those companies risk being left behind.

As always, thank you very much for reading my posts. You might also be interested in my new book: Big Data: Using Smart Big Data, Analytics and Metrics To Make Better Decisions and Improve Performance You can read a free sample chapter here.

From Smart Data Collective

Big Data: The Amazing Numbers in 2015

10 Techniques to migrate from Data Driven to Data Smart Marketing Read

« In the next few minutes I will show you 10 different techniques that will help you in migrating from being data driven to being data smart.

I will also prove it to you how being ‘data smart’ will give you an edge over your competition.

Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with being data driven. It is still better than making all business decisions purely on faith or whatever your boss/client has to say.

But being data driven is just not good enough. You have to be “data smart”. 

Read more: http://www.optimizesmart.com/10-analysis-techniques-fool-data-driven-marketers/#ixzz3e0y0i8ZA

10 Techniques to migrate from Data Driven to Data Smart Marketing Read