Content Marketing and Segmentation: Different Strokes for Different Folks

For several seasons, sports marketers had a feeling that not all fans were the same. But it was hard to do much about it. Until now.

Not only have teams, leagues, brands, and organizations embraced content marketing, but they’ve also dissected the data  behind all consumer activity. Terms like segmentation, conversion, CRM, and single customer view now permeate most marketers’ minds. There’s a greater importance than ever placed upon, and understanding of, the customer journey. I recently had a great conversation with British Tennis’ Head of Digital Tom Halls about the way he has brought such aforementioned digital disruption and innovation to the UK’s national tennis organization. “My biggest win so far was to get the organization seeing things from a customer perspective,” said Halls.

British Tennis website home page

brit-tenThey built up loads of research, mapping every customer touch point and recognizing “opportunities to increase engagement and frequency.” By analyzing the way users arrived at their website , and what they did before, during, and after, Halls described how British Tennis is on the way to getting a true 360-degree view of the customer. “Nirvana,” he calls it. A key insight underlying all of this disruption is the recognition of specific customer segments, who enjoy and desire different content, and for whom British Tennis has specific goals and ideas of conversion. Not everyone in the UK is going to become a daily tennis player or diehard fan and, therefore, it would be naïve and foolish for British Tennis to universally treat everyone the same when it comes to content, engagement, journeys, and goals.

“It comes down to smarter segmentation of your audience groups and understanding the needs of those audience groups,” says Halls. Some tennis fans are just casual players or fans, while others check  their ranking and play frequently in clubs or at tournaments, and still some may just stumble onto the sport. Halls discussed a recent major moment of awareness for British Tennis when super boy band One Direction posted on social media about British tennis. Without a key understanding of that particular customer journey, all of the reach and attention that post generated would be for naught. The idea flows as such:

Fan sees One Direction’s post → They go to Google to search about tennis → Arrive on the British Tennis website → Search for a court and book a session → British Tennis continues the relationship

The considerations for Halls, he explained, are how can they tailor content and a journey to help that consumer and how can they set the stage for continued engagement? Social media plays a vital role, too, as it “allows us to talk to our customers on a day-to-day basis,” Halls said. Through an ongoing relationship with all customer segments, effective collection and use of data, consideration of customer journeys, and the right content at the right touch points at the right time can lead to successful “conversions” for every segment. Whether that’s entering another tournament and booking a clinic session or watching a few more matches while playing a few times a month, it’s clear that custom content is the key for customer conversion. So are you heeding each of your an “segments,” “journeys,” and “conversions?” Not every fan is a potential season ticket holder. Every season ticket holder can be further engaged to participate more, too. Innovate, learn, and iterate and you’ll reach nirvana soon, too. Click here to listen to the full podcast with Tom Halls (@tghalls on Twitter). Posted by Neil Horowitz Follow me on Twitter @njh287   Connect on LinkedIn

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