Amsive

Insights / Strategy

PUBLISHED: Jun 12, 2024 9 min read

Olympic Gold: How to Build a Winning Multichannel Marketing Mix

Greg Harbinson

Greg Harbinson

Vice President, Digital Strategy

Inna Zeyger

Vice President, Digital Media

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With the Olympic Games in Paris right around the corner, marketing juggernauts like Coca-Cola and Gatorade are already ramping up their advertising—but what can that mean for the efforts of advertisers that may struggle to maintain their visibility during peak seasons? 

With 59% of adult Americans poised to tune into the summer Olympics in Paris, marketers and brands will face competitive ad spaces and some limited ad inventory as a result of this unique event’s viewership. Skillfully adapting your advertising, rather than relying on what’s worked or putting your eggs in a single marketing basket, will help keep your ROI steady and increase the likelihood of maintaining visibility in a landscape with increased competition. We’ll break down key aspects of this strategy, including audience segmentation, channel diversification, and data analysis.  

Reexamine your audience segmentation  

With all generations expected to watch the Olympics, it may be tempting to cast as wide a net as possible while they’re more likely to have eyes on your content—but it’s important to remember that you can’t be all things to all people. Prioritizing your ad budget and content to target your best audience will ensure the right message is received at the perfect moment.

During periods of increased advertising competition, it’s crucial for marketers to reevaluate their audience segmentation. These market conditions lead to increased jockeying for visibility, with many marketers exploring alternative channels and tactics to hold their audience’s attention and loyalty. Increased competition may force advertisers to choose the audiences that are more likely to convert, as opposed to going after all their audiences and promoting all of their products. By reassessing their audience segments, marketers can identify untapped or underutilized segments that may present new opportunities for engagement or conversion.  

ECommerce brands looking for a visibility boost this summer may be able to carve out an additional audience by segmenting CRM data from previous summer and winter Olympics. Narrowing your targeting to audiences who have historically made purchases during big events can increase the likelihood of those same consumers taking desired actions like interacting with content or purchasing during periods of visibility. Companies should nurture and reengage with customers who previously sought out your brand or site during big events.  

Proactively assessing and refining your audience segmentation will help you stay agile and adaptive in the face of changing or increased competitively priced market conditions. 

Channel diversification 

A crowded ad market during peak sports seasons is nothing new. Sports law professor John Grady told the New York Times that “as the space gets cluttered with more and more brands, consumers are less able to identify who is who.” Compared to the 2021/2022 Olympics, this year’s games are expected to result in increased attention on digital channels, including social media and streaming services. 

Diversifying channels that you target your audience through will increase the chances of engaging them on the platforms where they’re the most active. Prioritizing the channels that you want to use will also help you tailor your messaging and content using deep insights into your target audience. You can adapt your content strategies and channel mix to effectively reach and engage with each segment during times of limited ad inventory and competitive advertising spaces. 

Some of the channels that marketers should consider to focus on or optimize include:

In periods of highly competitive advertising and marketing volatility, rather than fixating on particular audiences dependent on specific verticals, leaning into high-intent channels like search can offer strategic stability. Search queries are real-time snapshots of consumer needs and interests. Marketers who pay close attention to these signals can adjust their messaging and offers to align more closely with consumer expectations.  

CTV

CTV is expected to account for one-third of overall TV ad spending in 2024, which is important in a landscape of shrinking inventory. Targeting first-party lookalike audiences through CTV will help you target your prime viewers who may be watching or streaming TV, but aren’t necessarily on channels or streaming services focused on the Olympics.

Using our unique Audience Science™ approach and data and intelligence from our Xact™ agency data platform, Amsive can overlay first-party customer intelligence and segmentation data on CTV to reach a smaller, far more focused audience than traditional reach capabilities could otherwise provide. For example, 1-3% decile rather than 10%. This applies to other platforms that have lookalike audiences can also be focused on 1-3% decile versus higher deciles, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and more.

Email  

Accurately segmented emails drive 30% more opens and 50% more clickthroughs than unsegmented emails. Consumers, particularly Gmail users, are also more likely to view their email from mobile devices. Email is a high-visibility and high ROI channel, with an average of $36 in return for every $1 that marketers spend.    

Social Media 

Spark conversation and grow community with your organic social presence, leaning into user-generated content (UGC). In cases where paid content is more likely to capture your audience’s attention, leverage influencer partnerships to exemplify and support your brand. UGC and influencer partnerships can help to encourage conversation around events where community is just as important as sportsmanship.  

Digital Out of Home 

Capitalizing on DOOH (Digital Out of Home) can help you reengage or retarget consumers after engaging with them on another platform. Some available DOOH locations include malls, train stations, gyms, airports, and public or roadside screens.  

Direct Mail  

While many of the world’s eyes will be on their screens, you have a chance to stand out in people’s mailboxes. Personalizing mailers to include relevant products, promotions, or coupons can help you drive engagement. You can also include QR codes or personalized URLs to encourage recipients to engage with relevant digital channels. 

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Clever ways to win within competitive ad spaces

With Olympic and athletic-focused brands increasing competition in advertising spaces around and during the games, it’s important for advertisers to engage with tactics and channels that they may not otherwise tap into during periods of optimal marketing conditions.  

A few of these options include:  

Native Advertising 

Native advertising is a strategic workaround for marketers facing advertising competition. By integrating branded content into the natural flow of a platform, native ads blend in with the user experience, making them less intrusive and more engaging. This approach allows marketers to reach their target audience in a more organic manner, increasing the likelihood of capturing user attention and driving desired actions.  

Content Partnerships 

With content creators or publishers, brands can tap into existing audiences and distribution channels to extend their reach without relying solely on traditional ad placements. Through sponsored content, co-branded campaigns, or guest contributions, brands can embed their messaging into relevant and engaging content, capturing the audience’s attention in a more organic way.  

Partnering with established content distributors can leverage the credibility and authority of the content you put out, enhancing brand perception and trust among audiences. Additionally, content partnerships may offer more flexibility and creativity in messaging, allowing brands to tailor their content to resonate with specific audience segments or address niche interests.  

Influencer Marketing 

By collaborating with influencers with an established foothold in your target audience, brands can target audiences authentically during times of increased advertising competition. Working with influencers can also offer higher visibility and engagement than may otherwise be achieved with traditional advertising. Leveraging an influencer partnership will not only help ensure that your brand is visible, but may help create an authentic association between your brand and your consumers.  

Industry News Sites and Forums 

Engaging with more focused communities like these can be valuable ways to engage with audiences while avoiding the noise of events like the Olympics. Forums are useful for many different verticals to drive engagement, brand equity, and authenticity. Industry news sites and trade publications are great for spreading awareness in places where big advertisers and mass-market campaigns aren’t present. 

Implement automation 

Implementing and optimizing automation can enhance your efficiency and effectiveness when reaching your target audience. Using social listening and content coordination offered by platforms such as Soci’s Genius Social tool will allow you to keep a close eye on the real-time conversations that your audience is having. By leveraging email automation, you can send accurately timed and personalized messages to your audience to keep them engaged when they’re most active.  

Analyze and optimize your data 

While competitive advertising spaces require detailed planning, marketers must still be nimble enough to recognize when a facet of their strategy isn’t working for them and when it’s time to pivot. If you’re seeing a higher rate of engagement or ROI on a platform that you weren’t expecting while your old reliable is tanking, lean into what’s working.  

Go for the marketing gold 

Navigating the marketing landscape around and during the Olympics requires marketers to take a strategic approach that leverages a diverse multichannel mix. Working closely with a strategy multichannel agency partner can help marketers improve performance during a peak season, when brands risk losing visibility to the rest of the marketing noise.  

The Olympics are just one period of marketing volatility set to make waves during 2024, and building a robust yet nimble marketing strategy that employs automation, AI, and data optimization will help your brand maintain visibility in a crowded landscape.

Ensure your cross-channel marketing is cohesive. Learn how to maintain your brand’s balancing act of steady growth and evolution, or let’s talk about achieving more for your marketing—and your business.       

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