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Come on you England… and come on you retailers!

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Tomorrow the European football championships kick off in France and once again the ever-hopeful band of loyal St George’s Cross bothers will, somewhat ironically in this instance, be keen that England stays in Europe.

But for many a retailer, the European championships offer at best a mixed blessing. On the one hand it offers a great hook around which to hang your marketing messaging. But on the other, many people will be staying away from the shops as they will be full of larger, badly barbecued sausages and a sense of what might have been. Many more will be sick of football already and will show you the red card if you mention it at all.

But it needn’t be like this. The festival of football that starts tomorrow – and the summer of sport that follows – is a golden opportunity to start trying all sorts of live marketing through mobile that can tap into both the fans and the haters different mindsets and can be a great test bed for how to make your marketing and sales work with live events.

So here, to salve the worried retailers out there (and to help offer a silver lining to the cloud of any that are also England supporters) are some key reasons to be football mad:

  • It’s a marketing opportunity of two halves, Brian

The football will be all over the TV, radio and most other digital media channels (more of which before the final whistle of this article) and with football fever looming large, you have the ideal opportunity to market to fans and non-fans alike. You can use the championships to sell anything so long as you give it a “come on England” stamp. Alternatively, for all those out there that can’t bear the beautiful game on a continuous daily loop, you can market what you do as the ideal escape from the football. It’s a win-win.

  • Boots on the ground

Capitalising on the wealth of people who can’t bear the football – plus all the casual England supporters who will lose interest when we go out in the group stages – retailers have an ideal opportunity to drive key ‘demographics’ into their stores to escape the ‘beer and banter’ around whether Portuguese right-back Cedric Soares is better than England’s own Ross Barkley. Think here how you could use mobile to find all those bored ladies in pubs near your store and send them a push message offering them respite in the cool of your store and 10% off?

  • Scoring on digital channels

This European championship will be the first that will be truly multiplatform. While people will still congregate in each other’s homes and in pubs and bars to watch the ‘big’ games – especially England matches – there will also be a host of people tuning in on their mobiles and tablets and even watching asynchronously. These again present a huge opportunity to tap into not only their football fervour, but also to try out how well digital marketing can work. This year’s football championship offers a great way to start testing out how well event-based and location based mobile marketing can work for you. And you can then refine it later in the summer when the Olympics are on. You will then be ready for the 2018 World Cup which will be the first truly mobile/omni-media world sporting event.

  • Second screening scores big

With potentially millions of people glued to their TVs over the next four weeks (and beyond when Wimbledon starts and the Olympics kick in), there is going to be a massive increase in second screening. Major sponsors of the Euros will of course be looking for every Shazamable opportunity going around their TV advertising, but these second screeners are going to be on the look out for all sorts of other things. Again, you have an ideal opportunity to tap into this audience while they are watching.

  • Team with social

This second screening audience is also going to be on Twitter, Facebook and even Instagram while watching the football. You can use this to tap into what they are talking about, what key things are emerging and tailor your mobile marketing accordingly. See someone in the crowd with an excellent hat? If you are a seller of excellent hats, get on it and get the second screeners involved.

  • And what if we get to the finals… and win?

If we dare to dream for a moment and England make it all the way to the finals and even win (33:1 are the odds at the time of writing) then there will be a flurry of opportunities to tap into the happy feelings that will sweep the nation (even if we by then have destroyed our chances of long term success at anything by voting Brexit) and sell more. This could well then wrap up a summer of mobile marketing success for all. Come on you England… and come on you retailers!

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