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Brands Leveraging the Power of Data to Woo Audiences this World Cup

Authored by Projjol Banerjea - Founder & CPO at zeotap.

The cricket fever isn’t over yet. IPL 2019 ended with a bang, and the World Cup Championship began last month. Cricket binds India together, mainly thanks to Kapil Dev’s team, which won the World Cup in 1983. 

The love for cricket hasn’t abated since then, but the viewing habits have changed since then with the smartphone revolution. Viewers are most likely to watch their matches, be it IPL or World Cup, on their smartphones according to BARC’s report of 2019. In 2018, for instance, television viewership of IPL increased by only 11 per cent whereas the digital viewership doubled.  

Let’s Talk Data and OTT

As an Ericsson report suggests, Indians consume an average of 9.8GB of data every month, which is set to grow to 18 GB by 2024. According to the report, the increased number of LTE subscriptions, attractive data plans and Gen Zs and millennials changing content consumption habits are driving the growth of data usage. 

With these huge developments in the data space, the OTT (Over the Top) revolution has followed after and has set in the country. The first league of OTT platforms included the likes of Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime, but some local players like MXPlayer, Zee5, ALTBalaji, Sonyliv are already making a global impact—and even Made in India content is being consumed across the world (see below Sensor Tower report). It should come as no surprise then, that IPL and the World Cup’s viewership is shifting to OTT platforms—and so are advertisers’ budgets during this period. 

Advertising during the World Cup

We all know the World Cup is an excellent opportunity to drive growth and revenue: the whole country comes together, there’s a high level of engagement with the content, and fans can be found online—and increasingly so. As we are watching yet another thrilling edition, the advertising industry is leaving no stone unturned in wooing audiences with the power of data and OTT.

During this season, deterministic third-party data providers can unlock varied consumer attributes (from income to interests and purchase intent) to create clusters and help brands reach their right target audience with precision. Interestingly enough, there has been a clear trend from brands seeking to target general audiences this year. “Millennials” and “office goers” have been the ‘go-to’ targets since these audiences are active and out of the home during the most of the match, especially considering the time difference between India and England during the Cricket World Cup. 

Identity resolution providers, on the other hand, can also become very helpful during the sports season. They can help brands connect all their different user identifiers across channels and devices, which are usually siloed, for a 360-degree campaign. Advertisers can act on their first-party customer data and reach their consumers consistently wherever they are. They can be contacted on the OTT of their choice, for example, on their phones or desktops. 

Timing is everything

Data remains at the epicentre of all marketing activities across channels and devices, through which brands can give personalised experiences to their customers. And sporting events that bring the country together like cricket are a big opportunity for brands to make the most of their consumer data. 

The viewership of the World Cup or IPL on OTT platforms is only going to increase, and, hence, advertisers must seize the opportunity. Brands must ensure that they engage with the right data and identity resolution providers to leverage the power of data. 

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