It is just a matter of days until the World Cup kicks off an incredible festival of sport this summer with Royal Ascot, the US Open, Wimbledon Tennis Championships, and Commonwealth Games to name just a few events. And that’s not even counting the start of the new Premier League season in just two months’ time, writes Income Access affiliate services manager Allan Petrilli.

Over the last few months we have provided Gaming Intelligence readers with a series of articles on how to prepare for and position your World Cup campaigns during the four-week tournament. So, in anticipation of the build-up to hosts Brazil kicking everything off on Thursday night against Croatia, we thought it was important to cover some last minute checks in order to ensure you correctly leverage your plans.

Content / promotions plan
Ideally, you will already have set out your tournament goals and expectations of what you have at your disposable in terms of promotions and content. At this stage it is not worth panicking to make last minute changes, but it is worth double checking whether or not your promotions are ready to go live, what content resources you will have available and whether or not all of your creative materials are ready ahead of Thursday evening’s game. Next, ensure all of this information has and is being communicated to the right channels such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, PR, and your affiliates in the most effective way. It often only takes one minor error to score an own goal when communicating to customers. Finally, check your ads and ask yourself whether or not they match the rest of your messaging throughout the customer journey.

Benchmarking is of course harder with World Cups than it is with other more frequent events given both its size and the fact that technology moves on a great deal in four years, but don’t be afraid to set aggressive targets. Some of the largest bookmakers have set themselves a goal of doubling revenue compared to South Africa 2010 and, in these cases, we’re talking hundreds of millions of pounds.

Campaign tracking
The best methods to track campaigns as the tournament progresses are affiliate programme reporting, internal reporting and Google Analytics. Also, monitor whether or not the affiliates that you planned or assumed would do well are doing well. Compare these results against your original goals. If they are being met, or perhaps not, then you have the ability to ramp up or cancel certain promotions in order to reach your goals. Remember, if you have not set quantitative goals, then you will not be able to properly benchmark.

Campaign performance
If one particular channel or campaign isn’t working while another is showing great results, you have a dilemma as to what to do. Cutting spend on one campaign that is struggling early on, for example, could mean you miss out if it improves as the tournament progresses.

I would, however, always recommend to have a budget in place to spend on the duration of large events such as this. If something is working exceptionally well, this type of budget allows you to increase traffic quickly within that channel to achieve immediate results.

Affiliate performance
Meanwhile, if a particular affiliate isn’t performing, given the short term nature of the World Cup, you should arguably give them the tournament to show what they can do. But only do that if you can control costs. For example, an uncapped CPM campaign at a high CPM rate may not be worth continuing if results are low, as costs could get out of hand.

About the author: Allan Petrilli is manager of affiliate services at Income Access