World Cup proves passion is the sweet spot for data capture

The World Cup will throw up a flurry of marketing opportunities and challenges for marketers to ponder long after that final whistle at the Maracana Stadium. But the most salient points will come from how fan passion can shape the art of data seduction.

Seb Joseph

The tournament is here and finally we will get to see how the content plans and social media strategies from the world’s biggest brands play out in what many observers claim will be the biggest social conversation ever. It presents a myriad of opportunities for data capture around more than just football, spanning political, social, economic and cultural passion points.

A lack of insight has prevented marketers from exploiting these themes in the past and the tense political situation in Brazil means it is unlikely they will look to exploit all four over the coming weeks. Brands have been reluctant to discuss their data plans for the event, but look at Adidas’ work with Google or Sony’s own football social network and its clear that data is front and center of many activation plans this summer.

Data on the demographics and shopping habits of preferences on audiences are key to the customer experience but it makes consumers feel uncomfortable to reveal too much. And the threat of jeopardising customer relationships has made it difficult to determine how hard marketers can push with that data. For every disgruntled consumer hitting out at about being watched by “Big Brother”, there is someone sharing a playlist, personal pictures or their views on cultural events.

This is brought into sharp focus around Brazil and everything from football to the civil unrest in the country, are being amplified by millions online. People are not so secretive about their passions and understanding that dynamic opens up an opportunity to take marketing to the next level.

The need to cut through to fans or push them to a purchase amid the marketing clutter will only happen at scale if content is more attuned to customers’ interests. Sponsors and non-sponsors have talked openly about tapping into fan passions and yet beyond crouwdosurcing content it is hard to see how they will capitalise on the data for customer acquisition and retention.

Adidas’ tie-up with Google affords it access to what people are searching for during the games and the data on the videos that are trending on YouTube with a view to uncovering content likely to go viral ahead of its rivals. On a more fundamental level, the insight allows the brand to piggy-back off other trending posts that could give it more prominence in search results around the World Cup or football in general.

We have now reached the stage where all marketing activities are defined by technology and the way the target market interacts with it. The likes of Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter have a big role to play in turning passions into the sweet spot for data capture.

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