Lessons that your marketing strategy can take from the Sochi Winter Olympics

Posted by Daryn Smith on 6 February 2014 | Comments

       

This year, from 7th – 23rd February, some of the best winter sports athletes in the world will be battling it out at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. As snow fever grips the world and millions of eyes turn to Sochi, there are a few important insights that you can apply to your own marketing strategy.

As one of the premier sporting events of 2014, the Winter Olympics will be watched by millions of people from all over the world.

Of course, only a tiny fraction of viewers will take the form of spectators at the actual event – the vast majority of spectators will be watching the action on their TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones.

Back when the Games were first held on the plains of Olympia in Ancient Greece, the only people who watched the races were those who lived in the area or were wealthy enough to travel from further afield. Later, with the modern reinvention of the Olympic Games, more and more spectators were able to follow the Games as technology advanced. First, they were able to listen in on the radio, and then later TV coverage allowed them to watch the action unfold from the comfort of their own homes. Now there are dedicated TV channels featuring 24-hour live coverage of the Games.

You can even stream the Games online, follow hashtags on Twitter and engage with other spectators – or even the athletes themselves – on social media networks.

Herein lies the first lesson that your marketing strategy can take from the Winter Olympics coverage. In order to attract advertisers, the Winter Olympics organisers want as many people to tune into the Games coverage as possible. What they’ve realised is that TV coverage isn’t where they’re going to get the most views. People’s lifestyles today dictate that they’re most likely to get their fix of Winter Olympics action while they’re at their desk at work or while they’re browsing their smartphone or tablet during a few minutes of evening downtime. As a result of this, digital platforms have become the biggest distribution channels for Winter Olympics content and coverage.

This makes sense from an advertiser’s perspective, too. The people who are in a position to sit on the couch all day and watch the Winter Olympics TV coverage aren’t likely to be the most economically viable people; they’re probably either unemployed or retired. The people you want to capture, on the other hand, are most likely to be found at their desks at work, constantly consuming media through various online platforms.

Your marketing strategy needs to take note of the fact that people don’t consume media via traditional channels – like TV – as they once did. These days, they primarily consume media via various digital platforms.

Your marketing strategy should be reducing spend on traditional media and focusing instead on how people today consume content, respond to advertising and make buying decisions.

Your marketing strategy should also focus on producing different kinds of content aimed at the different personas in your target market.

Content is a driving factor behind the success of the Winter Olympics; there’s a staggering amount of content generated before, during and after the event. Apply this content-rich philosophy to your marketing strategy, specifically taking note of the wide range of varied content that is created.

Different stories appeal to different people. Apart from actual coverage of the Games themselves, you’ll come across content that tells the Winter Olympics story from many different angles. Content ranges from interviews with the athletes and their families, to the history of the Winter Olympics, to travel stories about Sochi and Russia, to reports on the financial or environmental impact of the event on the local area – the angles for new content are endless.

A great marketing strategy includes content aimed at a wide variety of personas in your target market.

Persona development is the process of defining who you need to be targeting with your content. Once you have a good idea of who you want to target, you can produce content specifically angled towards those people. Just as the Winter Olympics targets younger viewers by running fun interviews with popular snowboarders while also targeting the older generation with historical pieces that look back at the great stars of the past, your marketing strategy should target a range of different personas with specially tailored content.

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Author: Daryn Smith

Image credit: centralasiaonline.com

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