Marketing Lessons From The World Cup
Posted on Jul 19 2010 at 10:21:10 AM in Marketing & Advertising
The month long spectacle of the quadrennial Football word cup culminated in South Africa after much fanfare and gaiety last week. The tournament as a whole was a great success thanks to the hosts who took to the event in such a huge manner that the festive atmosphere that prevailed truly reflected the rainbow nation in its true colors. Though there was much to crow about the successful event, the first in the African continent, a lot of things could’ve been done better. Let’s look at the some of the lessons that we can learn from this event from a marketing angle.
Ignore Technology at your own peril: I know that my English friends would still be sulking about Lampard’s disallowed goal. Whether that decision would’ve made a significant impact on the outcome of the match is indeed debatable. I have my doubts as I feel that Germany was a much better side on the day and they thoroughly deserved the win.
But what is beyond debate is the fact that the simple use of technology could’ve avoided the issue altogether and everyone would have been happy with the final result had it been the case. And the winner would’ve been pleased that their win did not get sullied in the controversy.
Marketing Takeaway - Don’t get overawed by technology as it’s a great enabler.
Don’t alter crucial factors close to the event: The tricks that the ball (Jabulani) played in adversely affecting the games as a spectacle as well for players could’ve been avoided had they not left the choice of balls to be used till the very last moment.
Marketing takeaway - Trust the tried and tested tools when the stakes are high.
Don’t go overboard with the scarcity card: Well before the first whistle blew or the sound of Vuvuzela was heard, FIFA had announced that the most of the tickets had been sold. But in hindsight, the claim that 97% of tickets were sold before the tournament began seemed hardly credible as made conspicuous by swathes of empty seats at the stadia. Did they put off the potential buyers by playing the scarcity card excessively? Well, the evidences seem to suggest so.
Marketing takeaway - Be moderate and credible with claims as it may put off prospective customers otherwise.
Know your market: One of the basics of marketing is to know your target audience and the organizers made a basic error in judgement in this aspect. There was a huge drop in the ticket sales over the internet, since majority of the football fans in Africa don’t have access to internet and the payment options online. Africa isn’t Europe and what worked in the previous world cup obviously didn’t work this time as the market has changed.
Marketing takeaway - Choose to go online or offline based on the audience
Greed isn’t a virtue: The exorbitant pricing of the packages – travel, accommodation and ticketing aimed to squeeze out the maximum from the ardent faithfuls was met with strong negative response from all around. And instead of making it an affordable proposition for the multitude of fans, the sheer greed on the part of the stage managers fended them off big time.
I’m sure that the cricket fans would nod their heads in agreement on how the West Indies bungled on the same in the world cup that they hosted in 2007 but did well to quickly learn from that mistake in time for World T20 two years later. Hope that Brazil can take a leaf out of their books in time for 2014.
Marketing takeaway - When you’re working with a massive market, the prices ought to be competitive
But for all the marketing slip ups and hiccups, what cannot be missed was the joi de vivre that was on display in ample measure. Let’s capture that spirit of joy and happiness in our marketing efforts as well.
Waka Waka folks..!!