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The Retail App Marketer’s Guide to Winning the World Cup 2022

Shhhhhh …. Listen … Can you hear that? It’s the unmistakable sound of head-scratching, keyboard-thumping, and finger-drumming as retailers across the world sit down and start planning their Q4 campaigns. But this year, it’s different as we career at high speed towards the FIFA World Cup 2022 …

If you’ve been here before, you know only too well that when the world’s biggest sporting event takes place, the passion, excitement, and undeniable frenzy that accompanies it presents unparalleled opportunities to tap into the magic of the moment and reap the rewards that at any other time would be a distant dream. 

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If you’re a first-timer? Then it’s worth noting that in 2018, the tournament demanded the attention of more than 3.5 billion viewers – with a whopping 77% of those viewers using their mobile devices while watching the game on TV.

Whether you’re a rookie or an expert, the time is now to start planning how to capture, connect with, and convert your audience to win the mobile marketing game with your retail app this winter. Here are our top recommendations to help you get started.

Segment, segment, segment!

Some brands waste too much of their time, money, and precious resources shipping mobile marketing campaigns that miss the mark and fail to garner the results they’re looking for simply because they’re missing the opportunity to capitalize on the insights their data can give them. Nowhere is this more true than in the realm of segmentation.

When you’re planning for World Cup success, you’ll need  to go beyond a one-size-fits-all approach so you can maximize engagement across the different subsets of your users. For example, you could create tournament campaigns that are based on the following user attributes and behaviors:

  • Recent and past purchases
  • When they were last active
  • Location, age, gender, etc.
  • The type of content they consume

Long and short? Establish your World Cup campaign goals and segment accordingly . By creating targeted messaging for your established audiences, you’ll be in a far better position to drive engagement.

OK, now that you’ve got your segmentation in order, let’s focus on timing…

… because timing is everything 

Mobile streaming is HUGE when it comes to global sporting events like the World Cup. A whopping 30% of sports fans stream (big events) on their mobile devices. Whether they’re gathered around the big screen at home (or in the pub) 80% of viewers will be using their smartphones to search for game and player stats, replay key match moments, and check in with fan feedback across social media. 

Bottom line? The World Cup 2022 is going to give you unprecedented opportunities to reach your customers when they’re most likely already engaged. 

For example, if you know that customers are usually engaged at 6 pm and there’s a match set for kick-off at that time, you might ship a push notification with a time-sensitive discount code that will expire when the game ends. Or if a user’s team wins, an offer with an unmissable 50%-off coupon that can be redeemed against any item in their wish list will go a long way to keeping that customer engaged for the duration of the tournament – and beyond!

The key to success is going to be segmentation and analytics insights which will tell you where your audience is (super-relevant for your World Cup campaigns), when they’re most likely to engage, and what they’re most likely to engage with. 

Then look to in-app messaging to reach already-engaged customers – and reconnect with lapsed users

In-app messages are invaluable when it comes to communicating with your customers during big events about sales, discounts, and other promotions. Connecting with them while they’re actively engaged, triggering messages based on in-app behavior, and nudging them from passive interest to purchase is invaluable during these times.

With the World Cup ensuring that a large percentage of customers will already be glued to their smartphones, here’s your opportunity to reach them with your tantalizing promotions and compelling content:

  • Highlight what’s new: If you’re running new features in your retail app during the tournament, drive engagement when users are in your app to showcase them and encourage users to take it for a spin. One effective method of doing this is letting them jump straight into your new feature via a CTA button, making it easy for them to try it out. 
  • Re-engage lapsed users. Often when users go dormant, big events are the perfect opportunity to re-engage them with unmissable offers and content.  For example, you might share tournament-related content (product videos, competitions, etc) and updates tied to your promotions. 

Make the most of in-store and proximity marketing 

When it comes to app promotion and driving engagement before and during the World Cup tournament, focusing your marketing efforts in and around your brick-and-mortar stores as well across your digital real estate can be highly effective. And because the 2022 tournament is taking place during peak Christmas shopping season, you’ve got an unmissable opportunity to capitalize on increased traffic while customers are keen to take advantage of your World Cup promotions:

  • Hand out app cards with customer receipts and packaging to increase app downloads
  • Run ‘app-exclusive’ World Cup campaigns that require your app so they can access special offers that you’ll be running throughout the tournament
  • Send World Cup promotional offers at the perfect time using geofencing and push notifications – For example,  when customers are near your store (or your competitors’), shipping  push notifications with discount codes for tournament-related products (football kits, electronic goods, food and drink, etc.), or beacon-activated messages about in-store competitions to win big during the tournament, are super-effective methods to capture customer engagement while they’re already primed to purchase and receptive to your marketing efforts
  • Use QR codes on packages, in fitting rooms, and at tills to drive new app downloads and promote time-sensitive tournament-only offers.

Capitalize on key moments with push notifications

Retailers looking to capitalize on the world cup by leveraging the inevitable excitement that surrounds it will have unmissable opportunities to do just that with well-planned push campaigns that engage users by focusing on key moments throughout the tournament. 

To succeed, you’ll need to focus on adding value, timing it right, and making your messaging relevant. Think money off coupons during key tournament events such as your country scoring and/or winning; offering free shipping throughout the duration of the tournament; running tournament-focused competitions (guess match scores for a chance to win … etc.), and running promotions based on events such as match kick-offs, home wins (and losses), and penalty shoot-outs (Celebrate on Us/Drown your Sorrows promotions), all while helping boost sales while customers are ‘in the moment’ and ready to connect.

A final word

During any big global sporting event, fans are typically never far from their smartphones, giving smart mobile marketers the opportunity to reach and connect with customers who are already hyper-engaged. By laying some solid groundwork – identifying your goals, segmenting your audience, and crafting the perfect promotions that tap into the always-palpable excitement –  your in-app and push campaigns stand a great chance of scoring big during Qatar 2022.  To find out how Optimove can help you deliver, let’s get the conversation started!

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Bob Lawson

Bob Lawson is Director of Mobile Offerings at Optimove. He joined Optimove early in 2022, when it acquired Kumulos, the company he co-founded. Kumulos was a market-leading Mobile and Web Messaging Platform serving a broad range of industries. Bob has spent more than 18 years in technology, particularly Mobile MarTech. He has held commercially facing roles in start-ups, scale-ups, and large enterprise businesses, particularly in Mobile Technology. Before working in the Tech space, he spent 15 years in Financial Services, most recently as Marketing Director of one of Europe’s largest Fund Management Companies.