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Strategy

The World Cup is Here: Score with These Marketing Tips

Take a page out of sports bettors’ playbooks this World Cup to improve conversion rates and improve your retention efforts

Lauren Dowdle
June 12 2018

As we get ready to cheer on the best football teams during the World Cup, people around the globe are also placing wagers on which teams will win each match and the final trophy. The last World Cup reached 3.2 billion viewers, and more than $1 billion is expected in sports betting for the event worldwide. But betting isn’t confined to just the World Cup. About half of all adults in the United States have placed a sports bet sometime in their life, according to a Statista survey, with “American” football being the top sport bet on and “European” football coming in at No. 5. And with a recent Supreme Court ruling now allowing states to legalize sports betting — striking down a 1992 federal law against the practice — that number is sure to be on the rise.

This billion-dollar industry attracts people from a variety of demographics and locations. Let’s take a look at the lessons businesses can learn from sports bettors to succeed and improve customer retention.

Provide entertainment

One of the top reasons people bet on sports is for the entertainment value. For as little as a few dollars, they can feel invested in a game that lasts for hours. Having money on the line really amps up the level of excitement — especially if they’re watching with others who also made bets. It’s really no different when it comes to retaining your customers, they also expect a certain level of entertainment and engagement. One way you can do that is through your social media interactions. Create image-heavy posts that make them smile, laugh or think deeper — all while staying true to your brand.

Another social tool that can entertain in real time is Facebook Live, and the ASPCA put it to good use with their live video in honor of National Puppy Day. Their video featured some adorable pups playing in a ball pit, a fairly simple idea that resulted in high engagement. The video earned them 14 donations, 151 comments, 487 shares, 2,000 likes and 35,000 views. Not too bad for watching a video of dogs playing.

Use your customer persona data to figure out what type of live video will target your ideal audience. Some examples of video angles include giving your followers a behind-the-scenes look at your company, a behind the scenes look into an event you’re hosting/attending, answering their live questions or showing them how to do something. As for the best time of day to go live, around lunchtime or in the evening after work are good options.

Create a sense of winning

Who doesn’t want to make some extra money? Bettors are drawn to the adrenaline rush of possibly hitting it big, which is something we can all relate to. You’re probably not giving away money to retain your customers — although I’m sure consumers would love that. But, you can offer discounts, deals and other money-saving incentives that are nearly as good. Make your customers feel like they are winning by shopping with you. Beyond your typical deals, you can also show them how much they are saving when they check out on your website or on their printed receipt. People want to feel like they are getting a deal, so prove just how much of a discount they are actually receiving.

Offering deals isn’t just beneficial for the initial purchase, though. You can also improve your cart abandonment rate by lowering the prices of the items left behind: 54 percent of shoppers said they would purchase their abandoned items when they are offered at a discount. Send an automated follow-up email when they leave their carts and let them know there’s now a discount or you’ve reduced/deleted the shipping cost.

Form a connection

We all crave social interactions and want to feel like we’re part of a larger group. That’s one draw of being a sports fan, tailgating or betting on sporting events. When they make a bet, they feel connected to others who are also invested in the outcome and can see how their bet compares to the overall spread. That desire to interact with others is something that easily translates over to customer retention efforts, particularly with the younger generation.

Millennials are especially drawn to social shopping experiences: 25 percent say they enjoy shopping with friends and family, according to Euclid’s report. That’s higher than any other generation, with baby boomers at 20 percent and generation X at 19 percent. The report also shows that 26 percent of millennials like hearing input from sales associates. They’re more than twice as likely as those other two generations to say an interaction with knowledgeable sales staff influences their purchasing decisions.

To engage customers with a truly social experience, Ulta Beauty blurs the line between shopping and interacting. The beauty retailer enjoyed a 22.6 percent increase in net sales in Q4 last year, making it one of the fastest growing in its industry. One factor that sets them apart is that they offer in-store services like hair and skin treatment. That gives customers the personal interactions they’re after, while also allowing employees to share their product and service insights to increase sales and keep customers happy.

Score the winning goal

You want your customers to bet on your company and be a part of the experience your brand creates for years to come. Craft a winning combination that gives them the entertainment, winning deals and a sense of community that will boost your retention rates.

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Lauren Dowdle

Lauren Dowdle is an award-winning writer and magazine editor based in Nashville, Tenn. Her nearly decade-long writing career has covered everything from landscaping to marketing — plus being interviewed by Jay Leno and winning a backhoe-operating contest. When she’s not behind the keyboard, you’ll find her spoiling her four furry babies and exploring the city with her husband.

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