Soccer Search Marketing Holiday Shopping

How brands can score its goals as the road to Qatar merges with the holiday season



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December 13, 2022 | 5 min read

As 2022 ends, here’s how brands could bring home a critical finish

There have been two reasons to celebrate for both brands and consumers this December. One, the annual holiday shopping season at the end of the year, with 74% shoppers planning to spend more or the same on the holidays than last year.

Two, if advertising is about connecting with audiences, there’s little doubt that the most important event is happening now in Qatar, where a nation will be crowned the world’s soccer champion.

What this means is that a wave of shopping, streaming and travel is hitting the globe, presenting thrilling opportunities for brands and exciting experiences for consumers.

The result? Your brand gets to score more than ever before.

According to GlobalWebIndex Sports Data (Q4 2021), about 28% of soccer fans across the world are tuning in from the APAC region this year. These soccer enthusiasts are most likely to be multitasking on digital platforms. Over one in three of them use multiple media devices at the same time at least a couple of times per week, and your brand’s communication can truly reach them when they’re most engaged.

So, how do you score?

As mentioned in our previous article, shopper behavior on the Microsoft Network found that 27% of their audience is more likely to search for information or products related to the match they are watching – such as the jersey of their favorite team or some other merchandise. Driving purchases and audience engagement amid these major attention-catching forces will require creative thinking from media planners and buyers everywhere.

Here is how you can do just that – you’ll only need three goals to win over festive shoppers and match-watchers.

Goal #1 – The kick-off: Knowing what your audience wants to buy

Holiday shopping is a whole new ball game when it meets the soccer season. Shopper behavior on the Microsoft Advertising Network found that users will mostly purchase apparel and home décor for the holiday season, but the ones watching the soccer tournament will be most likely to buy home appliances, smartphones and other gadgets.

Goal #2 – The game strategy: Navigating a saturated media marketplace during the world’s largest soccer event

During economic uncertainty with associated pressure for results, many marketers turn to the reliability of search and other performance campaigns, but that may not be enough during a shopping season that’s competing for attention with the biggest sports event on Earth. Brands need to think full-funnel, and Microsoft’s audience intelligence, which is rich with strong search intent signals, can address brands’ need to stand out during the event and generate sales at the same time throughout the festive season shopping. Leverage high-impact image and Video Ads, which carry strong search intent and contribute to performance and synergies with search campaigns, across the Microsoft Audience Network. This is key to moving customers down the sales funnel quickly and earning conversions when and where they’re occurring. Microsoft Audience Network and Microsoft Search Network also have In-market Audiences available across multiple markets, which can help you reach people who are ready to buy your types of products, regardless of whether they’re watching the tournament, shopping for gifts, working, or doing all at once.

Goal #3 – The dream team: Choosing players who know exactly what to do

Microsoft has been expanding its efforts around Sports and eSports, and one way of doing this is integrating content between Windows and the news hub in Microsoft Start. The integration with the Microsoft ecosystem makes the millions of Edge browser users 283% more likely to visit MSN Sports than other sports publishers, according to Microsoft Advertising's internal data. This natural flow from the desktop experience to the content that people love also helps brands reach a broader and unique set of sports fans: 73% of people who visit MSN Sports and 75% of people who visit CBS Sports don’t visit

With such a valuable audience, Microsoft is doubling down on our experience investments in Windows and Microsoft Start to build the best experience for soccer fans of any league, and this experience will debut ahead of the tournament in Qatar! With strong entry points on desktop computers, Microsoft is uniquely positioned to help brands connect with fans across work and life throughout the long event.

All that’s left to do now is play the game

Your brand can make the most of this two-in-one season for soccer and the end-of-year holidays. Do you have your strategy ready for this major, unique marketing moment? Explore how InMobi can help you score big and come out as a winner after the final whistle.

Soccer Search Marketing Holiday Shopping


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