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Dale Justice, Chief Operations Officer
March 05 2018

The Communications Olympics

It all started in 2010, a new competition in the Winter Olympics. That was the year Google, Microsoft and Yahoo each unveiled separate renditions on search, blogs and mobile for fans to follow the 2010 games in Vancouver.  Flash forward to the 2018 Winter games in Pyeong Chang and the competition is still fierce among these three competitors. But another competition is being fought behind the scenes. It is the marketers battle to place their content and gain the attention of the viewing audience. And the winners are…we’re not sure.

The web and social media has brought Olympics fans closer to the action at home, the office or on the go. People have access to news, event schedules, stats and pictures, and can watch competitions live on any of their devices. How the world has changed in a few short years. Not only are athletes’ event performance viewed with a microscope by tens of millions, so too is their performance when not actually competing.

Audiences seem to be as interested in who placed in which event as they are in a female skater’s wardrobe malfunction, or a French athlete being sent home for lack of team spirit, to an analyst’s inappropriate comments on domestic violence. A new element has been introduced marketers need to factor into the equation: audience distraction.

As marketers we are vigilant in seeking out new platforms from which we can communicate to specific audiences. Social media has transformed our ability to communicate meaningful content to segmented audiences most likely to respond. Instead of simply seeking a wider audience, we are able to drill down with analytic tools to reach specific audiences. What are the ramifications when a chosen channel with a specific audience becomes fractured by a distraction. Will the tracking, monitoring and analytics software measurements we use to evaluate campaigns hold up?

Distracted audiences aren’t a new phenomenon, but for the first time, marketers are gaining the ability to measure the impact on their campaign. This is going to be interesting.

How about those North Korean robo-cheerleaders?

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