This article first appeared in Business Insider India.
The year 2022 will most likely determine how brands in India bounce back to achieve or sustain growth in the wake of the pandemic. While macro-economic trends such as rising input costs, supply-chain constraints, and inflationary concerns are already forcing brands to pass on the cost to consumers, brands are also playing catch up with the ever-evolving connected consumer’s behavior and expectations in the next normal. This makes owning share of voice to drive awareness and growth critical – be it for legacy or digital-first brands.
IPL – The First Big Marketing Opportunity of the Year
The first big marketing opportunity of the year – the Indian Premier League (IPL), is set to arrive. Given the passion cricket ignites, the viewership it attracts, and the varied conversations it generates across the country, IPL will own individual and household attention this summer. But what’s important to note is that the IPL-consumer relationship extends way beyond the live matches as viewers partake in fantasy and in-app cricket gaming, watch informational videos, participate in polls and quizzes, and so much more during and outside matches.
Needless to say, as IPL captures eyeballs and conversations, brands cannot afford to stay away. At the same time, they must be mindful of the disproportionate investments and costs required via sponsorships, TV airtime, or digital live-match ads. So, how do brands on a strict budget continue to own share of voice and associate themselves with the conversations around IPL? The answer is Mobile-based Audience Buys.
The Smart Mobile Advertising Strategy: Audience Buys
While most brands have either developed Mobile Marketing Maturity or are in the process of developing it, the key competitive edge this IPL season will be the mobile-advertising strategy they choose for each campaign. In today’s hyper-connected and digitally active world, audiences are present on multiple channels as they navigate and switch between a myriad of apps and content in real-time.
Given the breadth and depth of mobile signals, adopting an audience-based mobile advertising strategy can help brands tap into “always-on” segments that are unique to their products and use cases. Brands can also amplify their reach via household graphs to identify and target IPL viewing households. By engaging intelligently with audiences “when” and “where” they are most likely to engage, brands can increase the value of impressions delivered; increasing SOV, and as a result, increasing share of wallet.
Deploying a Mobile Audience Strategy
Sprite, a world-leading soft drink, initiated an innovative activation last IPL with mobile audiences and the result was record breaking engagement within just five days of the “Din Bhaari, Life Jaari” campaign going live; Sprite helped Young India hit “Refresh” and get on with life with a fresh perspective. By identifying cricket enthusiasts, the brand engaged them with the Sprite Cricket Premier League (CPL) – a virtual cricket tournament. Closely reflecting the IPL format, it allowed users to choose and play for a city of their choice. A heightened stadium experience was brought to life while tactfully using the platform in innovative ways to create brand associations. The signature green color of Sprite, the bottle, and the logo were strategically integrated as native elements within the game, maximizing the impact for the brand. Moreover, high-intent users were directed to instantly buy the product from e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Big Basket, Flipkart and BlinkIt.
As brands witness pressure to balance risings costs with the need to engage with consumers in moments that matter, devising a smart mobile audience strategy is one of the most impactful ways for brands to better their return on ad spends. IPL being the first big marketing opportunity of the year, brands can build readiness and efficiency for the remainder of the cricket season and other seasonal marketing opportunities this year.