We are entering a long-awaited season, where game watching meets holiday shopping. The biggest soccer tournament in the world and the Double Day sales are happening around the same time this year, and it’s huge. 5 billion people around the world are planning to tune in to games as they play in their annual holiday plans. And 28% of those fans are in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region (GWI Sports Q4 2021).

It’s time to ask a question: How will your brand successfully engage these billions?

Create space for your goals

There is no doubt that many challenges come with this season.

But the good news is, there’s a way to turn them into huge opportunities.

#1 – Balance shopping and sports watching interests

How many tabs/apps do you have open right now? That’s right, people do more than one thing at once. The behavior of shoppers on the Microsoft network found that 27% of their audience are more likely to look for information or products related to the game they are watching, such as their favorite team shirt or some other merchandise. The data also indicates that 36% of the public are more likely to buy a flat screen TV and 60% are more likely to buy a laptop. These trends show that viewers will always be watching a second screen.

The public is likely to watch their PC during matches and business hours to watch the match, research teams and check results while also shopping. It is highly possible that they have a second screen to get match updates while keeping track of their emails and spreadsheets on another screen.

Marketers could benefit from developing a robust advertising strategy focused on engaging their audience across devices to create a seamless experience. For example, Microsoft Advertising enables markets to effectively target and engage PC audiences and can make seasonality adjustments to account for increased activity during this period. Target ROAS and target cost-per-acquisition are both supported bidding strategies with these seasonality adjustments. Additionally, shoppers on the Microsoft network are more likely to have a high income than the average internet user, so brands have an audience more likely to make a purchase.

#2 – Conquer the rising cost of media

We get it: While soccer players tackle the ball, brands are faced with investment and returns. Luckily, as traditional media gets expensive, there’s a big chance you’ll score points with digital media. Thoughtful contextual placements can take your brand a long way in connecting with consumers.

For example, Microsoft used its Audience Intelligence to develop easy-to-use in-market audience segments designed specifically for the soccer event. This will enable your brand to target high-value customers on Microsoft Search and the Microsoft Audience Network. In Search Network campaigns, these in-market audiences can be associated with your brand’s current top performing ad groups with the “bid only” targeting model. You might start with a 20% bid increase and then adjust as you evaluate campaign performance. In audience campaigns, it will be beneficial for your brand if you add these lists under “target and bid” to existing ones using in-market audiences. Alternatively, you can create a separate campaign that effectively targets these sports and football fans.

Guarantee a class act

Most games fall during non-spectator hours in APAC, meaning viewers are more relaxed and less likely to be distracted or busy. This attentive audience will have all eyes on your content, so make them a cracker.

Microsoft Advertising reported seeing a huge number of football fans from APAC on their platform. The platform is home to 63% of Australian football fans, 54% of Japanese football fans and 46% of Indian football fans.

Also, since fans are likely to use both mobile devices and personal computers (PCs) to watch games, it would be wise to use platforms like Microsoft Advertising that are designed to reach them across devices.

Our take: A combination of search and native placements to deliver rich content and thoughtful experiences to the soccer viewer will ensure that class action.

There is no doubt that with anticipation building, there is a huge opportunity for brand building. Whatever your goals, score this year with a strategy on mobile and PC.

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