We are fast approaching summer 2012 and the Olympic Games; an event not hosted by the United Kingdom since 1948, the first Olympic Games after World War II. Billions around the globe will watch the world’s best athletes attempt to secure a legacy as a sporting legend and potentially rewrite history but this, for me, is just the tip of a data Iceberg.
Most of us will see statistics, medal tables, finishing times, distances, World Records and other accomplishments published by the media, but what about the other, perhaps more unnoticed side of what such an event brings; that which occurs within the online world?
Planet Earth is creating data at an alarming rate. The invention of E-Mail, the World Wide Web, instant messaging, social media, smartphones and tablets have all made the human race connected in a way that our ancestors would have found incomprehensible – imagine the number of carrier pigeons needed to service the 294 billion e-mails, 532 million Facebook status updates or 340 million tweets the world generates daily.
So, how do we make sense of this data? What will people be talking about? No doubt social networks will be key to the distribution of stories, photographs and, indeed, controversy.
Certainly, Social Media Monitoring will allow us to see what topics trend, what content is being shared and published and, indeed, who benefits or fails. Will it be brands, sporting pundits or athletes who gain the biggest following during the event? Monitoring is one way to review, collect and analyse data generated during the event but there are so many other areas to consider too.
In an online world, websites are bound to be affected; this may be in a positive or negative way depending on the type of website.
News and blog websites can probably expect to see an increase in traffic to Olympics related stories, but there is also the opportunity to see how quickly these stories take to be read, the longevity, whether particular types of article create interest or, indeed, bring new authors to prominence. All of this is possible through web analytics, with Custom Variables in Google Analytics.
Sites providing a service (a hotel or restaurant for example) or eCommerce sites are bound to be affected too. The impact is probably dependent on the service or product, but web analytics will be key to showing which products are selling, so perhaps a pre-Olympic eCommerce Tracking audit would be a good idea.
From a Digital Advertising and SEO standpoint, there is also the opportunity to use the sheer volume of newcontent and data being created to target new audiences. At the very least, understanding what data you already collect and having a strategy in place would be recommended.
At 4Ps Marketing, we are monitoring the impact of the Olympics and have a post-Olympics event scheduled to review the outcome. If you are interested in attending, e-mail me email@example.com
Chief Technology Officer
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