Sportradar’s Florian Geheeb: evolving marketing to better engage the user

Sportradar’s Florian Geheeb: evolving marketing to better engage the user

In the first of a series of Sportradar blogs, Global Director of Advertising Sales Florian Geheeb shares his views on how the emergence of technologies like AI and automation can deliver newfound levels of marketing efficiency.  

As the behaviour of sports fans and bettors evolves, so too must the marketing methods used to engage them. In an industry as technologically progressive as sports betting, a digital marketing approach that effectively leverages data, artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and personalisation can make an operator more appealing to bettors than the competition.

In recent years, sports betting has developed into a mobile-first, data-driven industry, presenting both challenges and huge opportunities for operators. Whilst digital transformation has multiplied content, devices, and distractions, and made consumers’ attention levels shorter, greater data collection and the emergence of technologies like AI and automation can deliver newfound levels of marketing efficiency.

The future of sports advertising will rely on highly-targeted campaigns, leveraging data to understand customers’ preferences and behaviours to personalise and deliver the messages that are most relevant to them, on their preferred channel and at the right time. 

Powered by the collection and interpretation of millions of data touchpoints, the deployment of AI, machine learning and automation will cut through the marketing noise, drive deeper engagement with fans and produce greater levels of efficiency. 

In fact, with much of this technology already at our disposal, the ability to deliver this kind of experience is already here. Sportradar ad:s marketing platform and services relies on the most sophisticated AI, machine learning and automation to provide deep customer understanding and enable betting operators to serve their customers with personalised and highly targeted messages across multiple platforms.

And these capabilities benefit sports fans and operators alike. For operators, the increased targeting capabilities produced by AI and programmatic advertising are delivering higher conversion rates and lower costs-per-acquisition. For customers, they aren’t spammed with hundreds of irrelevant messages but rather served with personalised adverts they are most likely to be interested in, where and when it suits them, which makes purchase and engagement far more likely.

Gone are the days of scattergun advertising campaigns, as data-driven marketing platforms, like ad:s, use multi-touch attribution models to understand the full acquisition funnel, from first impression to conversion. 

Research from Salesforce showed that 67% of customers need multiple channels to complete a single transaction and multi-touch attribution tracks a series of data points to provide complete transparency of a user’s digital journey. With this data at hand, companies can build an accurate picture of what drives their customers to make a purchase and adapt their marketing strategies accordingly.

Furthermore, technological developments in digital marketing can also increase engagement and revenue within sports sponsorships. Sportradar’s Publisher Products, for example, utilises deep data understanding to deliver a more efficient advertising experience for rightsholders, sponsors and fans alike.

Powered by live data, Publisher Products match website content with contextually relevant, dynamic advertisements. Based on factors like a fan’s digital footprint, URL structures, metadata, and Sportradar’s own data log, this technology serves the most contextually relevant adverts to benefit all parties involved. 

Rights holders can display the most applicable adverts to their website users, sponsors can pinpoint their target audience with the most relevant odds and bets, and fans are served with the content they care the most about. At last season’s Stanley Cup Finals, this data-driven strategy delivered a 225% increase in click-through-rate from the NHL’s website and the league’s regional sportsbook sponsor, OlyBet.

Equally, automation technology is easing the burden for the industry’s marketers by lessening the need for manual configuration and resource-intensive processes, saving time and money, and allowing them to scale their operations. 

With the sporting world facing unique challenges of global scale and real-time speed, the automation of marketing processes can be a real differentiator. If adverts can be generated more quickly and on a greater scale, this can really elevate an operator above their competitors.

This is evident within the production of creative adverts. Dynamic Creative Optimisation (DCO) technology can process data from millions of weekly ad impressions to generate an unlimited number of creative adverts in real-time for the hundreds of fixtures taking place daily. 

The combination of being able to generate engaging and highly relevant adverts for sports fans, at a speed and scale necessary for international sport, supercharges campaign performance and massively upgrades customer experience.

Whilst the growth of the digital space has transformed consumer habits and consequently how companies can reach their customers, significant developments in marketing technology are nonetheless helping ambitious and growth-minded operators to keep up. 

By exploring and adopting the growing range of new and increasingly innovative advertising technologies, sportsbooks can continually deliver efficient campaigns that meet the demands of their customers.

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