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This cricket season, programmatic advertising goes to bat for brands

By getting in front of the right set of audience, advertisers can improve their brand recall

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With the ICC Cricket World Cup just around the corner and IPL kicking off, the cricket fever is upon us. For many cricket-crazy Indians, cricket World Cup triggers memories of sitting around with family and friends enjoying the match on TV, with munchies stacked up. However, these days, this scenario has one modification - the audience’s viewing habits. Instead of watching the matches on traditional mediums like TV or catching the commentary on Radio, viewers prefer digital platforms such as OTT platforms, video streaming platforms, cricket portals, and connected TVs to watch the game. As audiences gravitate toward this sport, it has opened the floodgates of advertising options for brands wishing to leverage this opportunity. Now, advertisers certainly cannot miss out on this opportunity of reaching out to their viewers through platforms the viewers are present on. What’s more? Cricket, being an internationally popular sport, presents an opportunity to reach the audience from across the globe.

This has been made possible by an increase in the internet and mobile penetration in India. The number of internet users in India is expected to reach 627 million in 2019, as per a report by market research agency Kantar IMRB. The report also says that this growth is driven by rapid internet growth in rural areas. The reducing costs of handset prices and high-speed internet have further fueled this trend. Users from tier II and III regions also view the matches on digital platforms.

Thus, there is a steady increase in traffic and viewing times of sports inventories. The fact that 50 million cricket enthusiasts viewed team India’s recent Australian tour for a total viewing time of more than 7 billion minutes on SonyLIV, speaks volumes about the rising usage of digital platforms for viewing cricket matches.

However, the challenge for brands is to reach the right audience from the deluge of viewers flocking these digital platforms. Further, it is even more challenging to get the combination of the right audience, at the right time and under the right context. Programmatic advertising, with its precise targeting capabilities, provides the perfect answer for this conundrum. By getting in front of the right set of audience, advertisers can improve their brand recall and get greater brand visibility than what they would get through traditional advertising means. Methods like programmatic direct and PMP (private marketplace) deals even provide advertisers the ability to directly target the audiences on specific cricket platforms preferred by their brand.

Now, as the usage of mobile devices is constantly on the rise among the viewers, advertisers can leverage the efficiency of programmatic mobile advertising. It can be used to acquire a greater reach and scale among the most valued mobile audience, by targeting millions of cricket fans globally across their mobile screens. Brands can target passionate cricket fans through programmatic targeting techniques like device or platform targeting, app publisher targeting and so on. As audiences from different countries watch the World Cup, programmatic techniques like geo-targeting become quite essential.

In order to form the right targeting strategies, brands can utilise the data-crunching capabilities of Data Management Platforms (DMPs) to process and analyse the viewers' data. DMPs can help with viewers’ likes and dislikes, along with their preferences, past browsing history, viewing patterns, and so on. This helps brands in making informed decisions on selecting the right channels and enables them to deliver brand communication in a highly relevant and personalised manner.

Dynamic Creative Optimisation (DCO) can be used to deliver highly personalised ad copies. DCO dynamically changes the ad creative at run-time based on the viewers' run-time preferences. Creative Management Platforms (CMP) can be utilised to improve workflows, streamline the design and create personalised & optimised ad copies at scale.

As advertisers can target only the relevant audience through programmatic advertising, it eliminates the inefficiencies in ad spends, frees up the budgets consumed on unyielding impressions, reduces costs and increases the overall efficiency. Advertisers can also get granular campaign reports. They can analyse these reports to derive insights on the campaign performance and evaluate the performance to further optimise the campaigns and strategies. Thus, they can further optimise to get maximum results.

Moreover, as users use multiple devices like smartphones, tablets, laptops and connected TVs to view the matches or scores cross-device targeting assumes great importance. Through its omnichannel approach, programmatic advertising helps brands deliver a consistent brand experience across all their devices.

Every brand desires to leverage the highly coveted advertising avenues presented by cricket events like the ICC World Cup and IPL. However, the sponsorship opportunities for these events are quite limited. Thus, it is practically impossible for every brand to advertise during or sponsor for these events. Programmatic advertising provides the way ahead for such brands.

 (Ashish Shah is founder & CEO, Vertoz. The views expressed here are his own and Indiantelevision.com may not subscribe to them)

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