Event Targeting Lessons from the World Series


The Perfect Home Run for Marketers

Did you maximize the advertising opportunity related to this year’s World Series? And we’re not talking about spending millions on a TV ad or a sponsorship but rather the highly-profitable opportunity to reach a dynamic audience of users who are actively expressing interest in baseball as indicated by their online behavior or the locations they visit.

If you missed out on the World Series, don’t sweat it. The coming months are full of opportunities. As we wrote about in this recent blog, the holiday shopping season is here and retailers can take advantage of new and exciting ways to bring holiday shoppers into their store.

Looking past the holidays, for many advertisers, February’s big football game is the crème de le crème of national sporting events. And just like the World Series, it’s a highly competitive and crowded advertising opportunity. Rather than shell out huge budgets to get in front of fans on TV, companies of all sizes are partnering with Simpli.fi to leverage mobile location data in order to effectively target fans across devices and locations.

So, without further ado, here are the lessons advertisers can learn from the World Series and apply to their own advertising campaigns going forward.

Leverage Mobile Location Data

An event like the World Series or football’s Big Game has a high concentration of attendees – all of whom have a smartphone in their pocket or their hand. We’re talking huge numbers. For the World Series, for example, The Houston Astro’s Minute Maid Park hit capacity of over 41,000 people and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ stadium capped out at 56,000 people. As with any large event, this results in an abundance of mobile location data that marketers can tap into.

The World Series was a perfect use case to put our own Event Targeting technology to work. We drew custom geo-fences around both the Dodger and Astro stadiums in order to capture an audience and track mobile behavior during the games.

Our analysis of the data found that mobile activity and number of users were high and consistent over the course of the World Series, which was to be expected given each game was all but sold-out.

Interestingly however, between Games 3, 4 and 5 of the World Series, we saw mobile activity increase substantially among the fans in Houston. From Game 3 (Oct 27) and Game 4 (Oct 28), mobile activity increased 39% and then again by an additional 13% between Game 4 and 5 (Oct 29).

This spike can likely be attributed to increased activity on mobile devices during the games – snapping pictures, posting/sharing on favorite apps – many of which capture and share location data in order to provide the user with a more relevant experience.

Simpli.fi’s precise and scalable Event Targeting solution is available for marketers of all sizes to build a dynamic mobile audience based on a specific location and time frame and reach them with targeted ads instantly or up to 30 days after the event. Hungry for another example of Event Targeting? Check out our recent analysis of foot traffic to Apple stores after the iPhone 8 release.

Reach Your Customers Cross-Device

Yes, mobile owns the lion’s share of the time we spend with technology and is the device of choice for people on-the-go. But remember, people watching events like the World Series or the football’s Big Game are also at home, a friend’s house or their neighborhood bar. This means that second-screens should not be forgotten and advertisers need a programmatic platform that can reach users across devices and channels.

In the case of nationally televised events like the World Series or football’s Big Game, it’s estimated that two-thirds of all Internet users browse the web or use an Internet-connected app on their phone while watching TV. By 2018, its forecasted that 91% of people will use the web and TV at the same time.

This clear trend of using multiple devices per person means that advertising efforts should never be executed in silo’s or focused only on offline or online activity. A concerted holistic effort is required to connect the dots between all those points of engagement and deliver targeted advertising. Simpli.fi offers a blend of targeting tactics to reach users at every level of user engagement and across devices and media types. Read more about the role of programmatic across the customer journey.

eMarketer senior analyst Paul Verna said it best, “The good news for advertisers and content owners is that as addressable, programmatic and cross-device advertising continue to evolve, they’ll provide marketers with better ways to reach desired audiences irrespective of device.”

Mobile: It’s Here and Growing

Due to the pervasive adoption of smartphones in our culture, a focused effort on mobile marketing is becoming the clear choice for advertisers. Across all of Simpli.fi’s client base, mobile spend has grown 57% year-over-year. This trend reflects the migration of inventory and eyeballs to mobile. It’s also a sign of the increased opportunity for advertisers to reach their clients through localized programmatic on mobile.

The World Series may have come and gone but the opportunity to put Event Targeting to work for your business is happening right now. Let’s talk! Reach out to us at hi@simpli.fi.