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Royal babies and Rugby World Cups – How to cater for two of 2015’s key marketing opportunities

Planning is everything in marketing. Being well prepared and sufficiently organised is often the decisive factor in whether a campaign is successful or not. Consequently most marketers have a calendar for the year based around annual events such as Christmas, Easter or Mother’s Day (if you don’t I’d go and create one right now).

In addition to the run-of-the-mill ‘standard’ dates every year there are always a couple of special one-off events which marketers should be prepared for. Below we highlight two of them and provide a little guidance as to how you can ensure your brand is in the best possible position when opportunities arise.

Remember though – your marketing has to be suited to the customer and what’s best (most interesting/useful) to them. Piggy backing on key events which have little or no relevance to your brand or product simply won’t cut it.

The two dates we have pulled out are the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s second child, due in April, and the Rugby World Cup, which runs from mid-September through to November.

The Royal Baby – April(ish)

We all know that the birth of Prince George in 2013 was a huge event that generated a lot of coverage.  It is estimated that the birth of Prince William and Kate’s first child stimulated over £247 million worth of sales and there no reason why the birth of their second child, due in April, won’t have a similar effect.

While there is plenty of potential for brands to tap into this interest it is important that anyone attempting to do so is careful and sensitive with their approach, as a badly thought out campaign could potentially be damaging. Many people will feel protective of the young Prince/Princess and may not take kindly to clumsy attempts to piggyback.

However, Prince George is big business – retailers are already noticing ‘the George effect’, with items worn by him proving extremely popular. For example, the bird decorated blanket he was wrapped in upon leaving the Lindo Wing sold out in two days, and there’s no reason why his sibling won’t be a trendsetter too.  So it’s worth putting the effort in to get your angle right.

A pre-prepared ‘it’s a boy’ or ‘it’s a girl’ email campaign would be a good start – assuming you can create the right sort of messaging that suits your product and matches the relationship you have with customers.

Another tactic could be offering deals or discounts on products related to boys and girls (depending on the sex of the baby). This could be anything from clearly baby-related products such as toys or children’s clothes, to blue or pink versions of products (apologies, clichéd I know). Although again, be practical. You’re going to struggle to find an angle for selling screwdrivers – so don’t even bother.

The 2015 Rugby World Cup – September

The 2015 Rugby World Cup, which is being hosted in Britain in September, is predicted to boost the national economy by £1 billion.

We know from previous global sporting events that it’s not just retail that benefits. Hospitality, entertainment, tourism and transport sectors will see a spike in income too. During the tournament, South African visitors are predicted to spend up to £200 per day and stay for up to 22 days and Australasian visitors will stay for up to 24 nights and spend £173 per day on average.

Sportswear, food and alcohol brands can expect a boost in sales – especially if they have outlets near the allotted venues. But how can online brands benefit? Again, like the royal baby example, brands need to be realistic. If there is no feasible tie to a topic don’t force it. The customer comes first and throwing something confusing, pushy or irrelevant at them isn’t going to benefit anybody (you or them).

While it’s tricky to run marketing campaigns specific to the Rugby World Cup (there are some serious trademark issues you need to be aware of) try thinking slightly outside the box. Nationality based campaigns (think the rugby-mad nations) or rugby-themed competitions are extremely doable.

If you have a thorough understanding of your customers and have the ability to communicate directly with specific profiles it’s worth pulling out groups that have an interest in rugby and live sports and offering them deals on relevant products in the run up to the competition (think alcohol deals, barbecues, sports kit). This would be extremely useful for those customers as it will be an offer on something they are actually quite likely to want.

Get the message right and approach it logically

While the above events are clearly set to be two of the key occasions of 2015 and will be accompanied by a swathe of marketing (from official sponsors and unofficial campaigns attempting to piggyback) it is crucial that marketers think sensibly about whether they should get involved.

If your brand has nothing whatsoever to do with rugby and most of your customer base are unlikely to be rugby fans (based on your consumer insights) then drop the idea – it’s not worth it and some ham-fisted attempt is only going to make you look a little foolish.

The best way to decide is to put yourself in the consumer’s shoes and decide if you would find what you’re proposing relevant. Ask yourself, would you find it helpful and interesting and does it add to my experience of your brand?

If the answer is yes than make sure you plan early and wisely.

Experian Marketing Services helps marketers identify their best customers, find more of them and engage with them across channels. We do this through market-leading consumer insights, data quality and cross-channel marketing technology.

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This article is about: calendar, cross-channel marketing, insights, Marketing