There are less than 100 days to go until the 20th FIFA World Cup kicks off and with Cheltenham almost over, operators will be re-focusing all efforts on the run-up to the June 12th opening day in Sao Paulo, when home nation Brazil faces Croatia.

Last month we discussed how best to market pre-tournament betting, but with the big event drawing closer it’s time to drill down further and examine ways in which operators can create targeted campaigns with different offers for each round and even individual games.

Plan ahead
The majority of betting companies should already have promotional strategies in place, or at least be working on them. Studying each head-to-head contest from the eight groups will help in building a firm idea of the specific promotions they will create for each leg of the tournament.

While having a fixed plan is preferable, it is equally important to allow for a degree of flexibility in the event of a big upset, potentially being able to use this to your advantage in creating an innovative promotion at short notice. Snack brand Oreo’s lightning-fast response to the 2013 Super Bowl blackout, when it sent out a tweet to followers explaining they could “still dunk in the dark”, is a great example of how being able to react quickly to the unexpected using a simple mechanic can produce positive results.

The World Cup generates huge amounts of interest and, with millions of eyeballs firmly focused on the tournament and activity surrounding it, you should also consider leveraging and promoting other gaming verticals and products such as bingo, poker and casino. There is no better time to cross promote or alternatively offer a unique one-off, mass market promotion such as a gigantic jackpot or prize of a lifetime to coincide with one of the biggest matches in Brazil.

If England succeeds in escaping Group D, for instance, and that is a big ‘if’, there is every possibility they could be the dark horses of the tournament. Therefore, having a cross-promotional offer up your sleeve, alongside more traditional sports betting campaigns, could be a great money spinner.

Targeted campaigns
The World Cup is a complex betting event. There are, after all, 32 teams that span North America, Africa, Europe, South America and Asia. But instead of targeting promotional campaigns towards team supporters across numerous time zones, operators should target each stage of the tournament. For example, offera variety of bonuses for every round and build them up as the tournament progresses, leading up to the biggest bonus offering in the run-up to the final. Also, with in-play such a vital element of modern day multi-channel betting, operators should consider setting up offers well in advance, both benefiting their brand and the marketing partners they work with. The more targeted a campaign, the better the conversion.

Geo-targeting will also be crucial. While it takes time to set up campaigns, this remains the largest sporting event on the planet, and planning time should not be an excuse for not leveraging the World Cup to its fullest potential. There are ad serving solutions, including Income Access Traffic Optimisation, that enable operators to set up targeted campaigns for each round of the tournament with ease.

First round strategy
Ideally, all operators should have an increased deposit bonus for the first round of matches. Depending on budget, increasing the match deposit, or even offering no deposit bonuses as the tournament progresses, will guarantee a consistent flow of new players.

Operators should also think about incorporating retention bonuses into their CRM engines for those players who start betting during the first round in order to ensure they continue to deposit throughout.Technology is playing an increasingly important role in large sporting events and geo-targeted CRM, timely email messages, social media posts, and SMS campaigns will be crucial in communicating and pushing offers at specific times of the day.

Getting results
While you won’t be able to guarantee the results on the pitch, the best technique to ensure results off it will be toconstantly monitor tournament activity and react accordingly by having a back-up promotion (including marketing materials and banners prepared in advance) as follows:

•    An increased deposit requirement for the promotion if there were more wins on previous days

Or

•    A lowered deposit requirement or a low no deposit bonus if not enough traffic or deposits have been achieved and the daily goals are not on target to be met

If the back-up promotion doesn’t end up being used throughout the World Cup it can be applied as a standard or a special bonus in future campaigns. One key thing to remember is that different channels yield different values and therefore a one-size-fits-all bonus may not work for everyone. It is therefore worth segmenting promotional creative by channel.

Keeping up-to-date on what teams and types of matchups are generating the most revenue is important.Using this information to quickly adjust your offers, if necessary, will also be key to ensuring the event is properly leveraged.

Integrating tracking and ad serving software into up-to-the minute offers such as this is also vitally important. Traffic Optimisation allows operators to create ads for specific campaigns and only target them to IPs in the geographical location of their choice, all the way to city level. The software enables operators to replace existing and older creatives with new versions in order to display and offer players updated promotions, which in turn, can also be adjusted where they display.

Using this tool to set up pre-World Cup campaigns, and activating these when needed,is a way to ensure that the most up-to-date offers are prevalent across all acquisition channels. After all, a sporting event of this grandeur only comes around every four years.

About the author: Andrew Simpson is Affiliate Manager at Income Access, digital and affiliate marketing and management specialists.

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