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Exploring Cricket Advertising- The Programmatic Way While digitization is a wonderful thing for the advertising world, here's the challenging part

By Ashish Shah

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For many of us, the cricket season brings back the old memories of sitting around with friends and family in front of a TV, munching on popcorn and chips while cheering for Team India while they hooked us on to an enthralling game of Cricket. Indians' love for cricket is quite well-known. It's more than just a sport. It drives emotions and creates a common bond among all Indians. This bond cuts across all casts, creeds, borders, religions, and languages, uniting India's highly fragmented demographic. This has been true for many decades, is still true today and will remain so for many more years to come.

But there is something that has, indeed, changed - the mediums to watch the sport. As India walks ahead on its path of digitization, Indians are now moving towards digital platforms like video streaming platforms, OTTs, cricket portals, and Connected TVs to watch the game. This has turned into a boon for advertisers, as has opened many digital advertising opportunities for brands. It brings the opportunity to digitally reach millions of cricket fans on these platforms. As cricket is an internationally popular sport, advertisers can reach the viewers not just in India but across the globe. This has made many cricket inventories, an advertising paradise.

How Did This Digital Transformation Occur?

One of the major factors is the increase in the internet and mobile penetration in India, which has brought millions of Indians onto these digital platforms. As per a report by market research agency Kantar IMRB, the number of internet users in India is expected to reach 627 million this year. This growth is driven by factors like rapid internet growth in rural areas, plummeting handset prices and affordability of high-speed internet. Today, even the users from tier II & III regions prefer to view the matches on digital platforms. Thus, sports inventories are experiencing a gradual increase in traffic and viewing times.

While this is a wonderful thing for the advertising world, here's the challenging part. These digital platforms attract scores of viewers from all types of segments, which may or may not be relevant to the brands' target. It is indeed a challenge to spot the right ones from this deluge of viewers and reach them at the right time. But the good news is, we do have a solution that perfectly solves this problem. That solution is programmatic advertising. It allows brands to get in front of the right set of audience, at the right time and under the right context. By reaching the relevant audience, advertisers can better achieve their advertising KPIs like brand recall and brand visibility than what they would get from traditional mediums like TV and Radio. Through methods like PMP (Private Marketplace) deals and programmatic direct, it is even possible to directly target the desired set of audiences on cricket platforms specifically preferred by brands.

The Role of Mobiles

Mobile programmatic advertising provides an amazing opportunity for advertisers to reach the ever-increasing audience reach and scale of mobile devices. Mobile programmatic advertising is an efficient way to leverage this platform and target the millions of cricket fans from across the globe that flock these platforms. Mobile programmatic targeting techniques like device or platform targeting, app publisher targeting and so on can enable brands to target the right users. Also, the programmatic techniques like location targeting or geo-targeting become quite essential as audiences across the globe watch the cricket events like IPL and World Cup.

Data Mangement Platforms

Further, advertisers can utilize the data-crunching capabilities of Data Management Platforms (DMPs) to analyze and process the viewers' data like their past browsing history, viewing patterns, past browsing history, viewing patterns, likes, dislikes and so on. With the help of this data, brands can make better-informed decisions by choosing the right channels and mediums to reach the right audience. Brands can achieve a high level of personalization with Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO). This technique dynamically creates ad copies based on the viewers' run-time preferences. Creative Management Platforms (CMPs) can be used to streamline the design, improve workflows, and create personalized & optimized ad copies at scale.

The Filtration

Programmatic advertising lets advertisers filter through and reach only the relevant viewers. In doing so, it eliminates all the inefficient and spends, thereby freeing up the budgets consumed by unyielding ad impressions. This budget can then be better channelized for showing high-quality ad impressions. Thus, the overall efficiency increases and the ad costs go down. What's more? Advertisers can get granular campaign reports through programmatic advertising. These reports can then be analyzed to derive further insights on the campaign's performance, evaluate it and optimize it further to form better strategies and get better output.

Programmatic advertising helps brands deliver a consistent brand experience through its omnichannel approach and cross-device targeting. This is especially important as viewers use multiple devices like tablets, smartphones, laptops and Connected TVs to view the matches or scores.

Brands are always looking out for sponsorship opportunities to advertise during cricket events like the ICC World Cup and IPL. However, as the sponsorship space is quite limited, not every brand can get the opportunity to advertise during these events, but with programmatic advertising, any brand can!

Ashish Shah

Founder and CEO, Vertoz

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