Alright we get it; the World Cup was a notorious opportunity for brands to get their name out to an international audience of millions. It is a production that every brand wants the lead role in and they’re willing to pay big money to participate.

But, take a closer look and you’ll see that the brands that truly made the most of the opportunity are those that went mobile – using real-time data about location/ weather/ events, to instigate personalised communications with their audience and win big on the returns.

Real-time data in mobile advertising is proven to be highly successful, with Geolocation provider Digital Element reporting that consumers are 30-300% more likely to click a geo-targeted ad compared to an untargeted one. Marketers no longer have to solely base their advertising on one big campaign- so why aren’t more brands using this data to produce more effective and strategic advertising?

Why brands should target events:

Events are a significant opportunity for brands to drive engagement with their consumer audiences. Whether it’s a sporting occasion or a seasonal holiday, they bring together people from all walks of life across cultural/ age/ geographical boundaries. But, most importantly for brands they provide a fantastic platform to hijack and directly engage with active individuals that are open and interested in what you have to say.

World Cup: Budweiser

As the official beer sponsor of this year’s World Cup, Budweiser ensured that their name was at the centre of the international stage. However, what made them stand out further was the launch of ‘Budlocator’, an app that allowed users to geo-target their location to find the nearest pub selling Budweiser.

By tapping into a relevant audience of World Cup supporters, Budweiser were giving football fans a useful tool with a purpose. Not only could consumers locate their nearest Budweiser vendor, but they could also enhance the search to find out if the facility had a beer garden, TV screens or even live music. Through this app Budweiser effectively used the opportunity of the World Cup to initially target an audience of interest, but they also branched out to ensure the app could be of interest to those who may not have engaged with the event.

Valentine’s Day: Pandora

Pandora, a leading women’s jewellery brand, had great success when they focused their advertising on Valentine’s Day in 2013. The brand ran a targeted mobile campaign to engage with men that were browsing weather, entertainment and gambling channels on their mobile devices.

Valentine’s Day is a prime opportunity for a brand like Pandora to engage with male consumers that are not their typical target audience. The advertising creative featured the theme ‘Create a Valentine’s Gift in Minutes’ and by positioning their advertising around the occasion, Pandora had a relevant motive to be communicating with them. As a result they achieved a great outcome with more than 50,000 visits to a microsite that showed men how to select charm bracelets for the women in their lives.

The importance of real-time data tactics:

There is no doubt about it, real- time data in advertising strategies works and although some brands have started to integrate it there are still huge opportunities out there for them to take advantage of. By tapping into this data brands have the ability to target an audience with a need for their product.

Weather: Costa Coffee

The weather plays a huge role in consumer behaviour, particularly in the UK where it’s all we talk about; especially now we’re in the summer months. Cider brand Stella Artois recently researched the behaviour of their consumers and found that if temperatures reached two degrees above the national average there was a large boost in their sales figures.

Brands need to be taking advantage of this real-time data and start integrating it with relevancy into their advertising strategy in order to boost their profile.

Costa Coffee used weather data to run a 2 month advertising campaign on the London Underground. Digital adverts that promoted their Ice Cold Costa range were only shown if the temperature rose above 22 degrees. The adverts were also location specific with the panels at each station exit directing users to the nearest Costa outlet.

By tapping into real-time data, Costa not only targeted an audience that could utilise their product, but they also avoided wasting money on irrelevant advertising in weather conditions that just didn’t  suit the appeal of their product.

Why geolocation will soon be a necessity:

With 74% of smartphones users utilising their mobile device to obtain information in real-time about their location, brands are given a live opportunity to engage them with direct and selective advertising. Apple’s iBeacon app, recently launched in the UK, provides consumers with location based information. It allows retailers to target shoppers that are near their store entrance with offers to encourage them to enter and purchase products.

Waitrose is exploring the use of iBeacon to alert shoppers to price promotions when in the relevant aisle of the store. The iBeacon app, which is currently being trialled in their new Swindon branch, also allows consumers to scan barcodes and access customer reviews of products. It is all in the early stages with the branch only opening in May, but it has been reported that the branch has already exceeded expectations with sales 50% higher than anticipated.

So what does the future hold for brands?

It is evident that we are living in a generation in which consumers are constantly connected to their devices and brands need to play catch up and take advantage of this. Real-time data enables advertisers to identify consumers while they are on the move and utilise this opportunity to persuade them to make spontaneous purchase decisions based on information and offers that are relevant to them.

Real-time bidding (RTB), the latest innovation in advertising, allows marketers to reach their specific audience base through buying advertising space that will allow them to deliver an optimal message to the right individuals at the right time. RTB enables brands to make use of these tactics by being adaptable to events, geolocation and real-time data.

Whether they are watching the football, sat in the sunshine or preparing for Christmas, there is always something happening that brands should be using to initiate a conversation with their consumers. Real-time bidding effectively incorporates this real-time data to move advertising from an educated guess into the realm of a programmatic science.

Charlie Faulkner

Charlie Faulkner


Charlie Faulkner, Head of EMEA and APAC