It’s a question that’s relevant to any area of marketing. Knowing your brand’s fans is essential to effective communication, but sports fans are a particularly tricky group to market to.
The problem is that sports supporters come from all demographics, geographics and psychographics. Segmenting a sports audience is hard, purely because sport is one of the great levellers. So when you can find fans anywhere and everywhere, what’s the best way to reach them?
Well, technology has given us another great leveller. A device that‘s predicted to reach over 93% penetration in the UK by 2025: the smartphone. The proliferation of smartphones has meant the number of ways you can communicate with your supporters has increased exponentially. That’s made it easier to converse with fans, but has also made sports marketers jobs much more complicated.
The sheer wealth of data available thanks to mobile devices means that personalising your messages to fans is actually relatively simple. It’s organising the data that’s that hard part.
Creating lifelong supporters
Fan engagement has become a hot topic in recent years. More than ever, fans want to feel part of a club and have their voices heard – and it’s much easier for them to do that than ever before thanks to social media and group messaging channels. Feeling affinity and loyalty to a club is also important for the club itself. Without an army of loyal and engaged supporters; ticket sales, sponsorship opportunities and merchandise revenue can be hit, impacting the bottom line and putting the club’s future at risk.
That’s why it’s essential to turn casual spectators into lifelong fans. The sorts of supporters that travel weekly for games and dig into their pockets to show their support for the team.
The sports marketing industry is waking up to the vast potential that data holds to engage with fans. And things are moving fast. Sports fans are subjected to a daily armada of alerts and messages from other brands, eager to unlock their wallets.
Make it personal
The upshot of all of this is that cutting through the noise requires a personalised message. The data that can be gathered from merchandise and ticket sales, season ticket information, messaging and social channels and more is a treasure trove for marketing personalisation. In addition, discovering the ways in which they like to communicate with you and engaging with them on the platforms they use the most is a vital part of the puzzle.
“Probably more than any other type of brand, sports clubs enjoy a deep-seated affinity with their fans. Rewarding that emotional and financial support is so important to keep your supporters engaged. That doesn’t mean targeting them with blanket, faceless marketing messages. That means creating personalised experiences that strengthen the emotional connection they have with your brand, and mastering your data is the key to delivering on that.” – Sam Windridge, Head of Commercial Development, CM.com
Get your data in order
So how do you make it all work? How do you sift through the masses of data you have on your fans to make sure you’re reaching them in the right way, with the right message, on the right platform.
A Customer Data Platform, or CDP, is the key to organising your data from multiple sources and getting a 360 view of the ways your fans are engaging with you. From there you can segment it in a meaningful way and use it to create personalised campaigns that really engage your supporters and target them with the things they care about the most.
Making sure you’re available on your fans’ favourite channels is also a must, but managing multiple channels can be time-consuming. That’s why you need to work with a provider that can bring all your channels together in one easy-to-use dashboard. Our Mobile Marketing Cloud features a host of tools that help you communicate with your fans more effectively. We can talk you through the ways in which our platform can make a significant impact on your fan engagement and help to increase revenue.