Blog Top the podium with these winning Olympi...

Top the podium with these winning Olympics marketing strategies

Quickly approaching, the Olympics offers app marketers a golden opportunity to leverage international attention for scaled user acquisition. During the last Olympics, we saw streaming app installs increase globally a week before the games started, climbing 84% over the year’s average, with a further jump of 58% a few days into the event. Gambling and sports betting app installs also rose by 26% in the U.S. and by 39% in Australia and New Zealand.

This surge in engagement is just one of many examples demonstrating that the marketing potential during the Olympics extends to a number of app verticals, even those not directly related to sports. Let's explore how to build on this momentum, captivate audiences, and drive engagement through three marketing strategies bound to carry the torch.

Strategy one: Harnessing AI and ML for smarter campaigns

By now, we all know that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are revolutionizing mobile marketing. For example, the scale at which these technologies can analyze data allows for more efficient and precise targeting and optimized campaign performance.

Here are just a few of the ways these algorithms can be leveraged across verticals for next-level Olympics campaigns and in-app features:

  • Inclusivity: Real-time captioning promotes inclusivity for those with auditory impairments. Likewise, programs such as SPICA use audio-visual machine learning to assist users who are visually impaired by adding interactivity, spatial sound effects, and descriptions to videos.
  • Audio relevancy: Voice-to-text AI can also be used alongside geotargeting to cater ads to users in high-traffic areas like bars or Stade de France. These users are likely to experience a lot of noise interference and will therefore watch video ads with the sound off.
  • Visual search: Similar to when you’re watching a movie and can’t place an actor to search by their name, images offer another search or filter option for users to learn more about an event or athlete.
Examples of visual search with AI using the Bing app during the Paris Olympics.
  • Augmented reality: Much like Pokémon GO allows users to explore a mixed reality, this tech could be used, for example, to allow shopping app users to try on outfits of their favorite athlete.
  • Creative variation: Easily swap out variables in your ad to relate to users. For example, you could implement a retargeting ad for your health app encouraging users to ‘train like an Olympian’ or ‘go for gold this week’ with ads targeted toward goals they’ve tracked in-app.
Example of how to use ChatGPT to automate ad creative variation using a health app as an example.

Strategy two: Leveraging geotargeting for high relevance

Geotargeting helps to create personalized, location-specific campaigns that resonate with your audience. It can be used to target spectators physically in Paris to view the Olympics in person. Alternatively, geotargeting can be used to reach those who did not travel but are interested in watching the events or have an interest in sports in general—think athletic shopping apps, fitness apps, streaming apps, and so on.

Here are a few examples to give an idea of what this could look like:

  • Travel app ad (Geo: Airport): "Heading to Paris for the Olympics? Explore our all-star itinerary to make the most of your trip!"
  • Finance app push notification (Geo: Airport): "Welcome to [Airport Name]! Activate your travel settings to unlock exclusive, limited-time discounts with our Olympics partners.
  • Shopping app ad/push notification (Geo: Brick and mortar store): "You’re only [Distance] away from [Store Name]! Stop by to shop exclusive Olympics merch!"
  • Gaming app push notification (Geo: Paris landmark): "Discover hidden Olympic treasures at [Paris Landmark]. Collect them all to win exclusive in-game prizes."
  • Fitness app ad (Geo: Gym): “Maximize your gym session with our 'Train like an Olympian' workout package. Push your limits and train like a champion!"

Although these techniques can help attract a lot of attention and new users, consider how you will retain these users, and what their lifetime value (LTV) might be. After all, the ideal result of efficient marketing is a good long-term investment.

If you’re looking into metrics around sustainable value, you will find that iOS users have higher LTV than Android users. Despite difficulties with iOS campaign measurement and working with SKAN (and AdAttributionKit!), as well as data privacy restrictions making geotargeting complex, leveraging this high-engagement time period to find iOS users–and investing in their retention–will pay off. SKAN 4’s conversion windows two and three, and their corresponding postbacks, now make measurement of LTV up to day 35 possible—provided you’ve got your conversion values mapped accordingly.

To put all of this into context, let's look at a snapshot of iOS user LTV. This year’s Olympics will run from July 26 through August 11, so we’ll use Adjust’s global data from these months last year as a reference point.

July ‘23 ARPMAU LTV month 0
iOS $1.30 $1.93
Android $0.40 $0.66
Aug ‘23 ARPMAU LTV month 0
iOS $3.32 $1.88
Android $0.38 $0.64

In sum, target iOS users! More importantly, although App Tracking Transparency (ATT) opt-in rates are climbing, opt-ins should not be put on the back burner. The key to nailing your geotargeting strategy for the Olympics is to begin optimizing your opt-in approach now.

Strategy three: Mastering cross-device marketing to capture Olympic viewers on CTV

95% of French people polled in May 2024 claimed to want to watch the Olympics live on their TV, compared to just 19% on mobile. During the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, 37% tuned in via a smart TV or CTV, while 27% watched from their smartphone. With the rise of connected TV (CTV), cross-device marketing will play an important role in successful campaigns during the Olympics.

Statistics on CTV viewership of the Olympics in 2021 and 2024.

CTV has proven itself as a performance channel time and time again. So think bigger than brand campaigns alone. Explore the next-gen marketing tactics available to CTV like shoppable pause screen ads, contextual advertising, and even shoppable livestreams. Imagine targeting the local users of Olympic winners with a CTV ad for free food delivery after their hometown athlete brings home the gold. Or, purchasing the Olympics cap you’re seeing on a livestream to wear in your own home.

Going beyond UA with predictive analytics

Remember to think past the point of user acquisition. Incorporate a plan into your Olympics strategy to leverage predictive analytics for categorizing newly acquired users. Segment these users for your retention or re-engagement campaigns based on those who are likely to have longer-tail LTV, or those who are more likely to purchase and churn. Target accordingly.

Adjust is your partner in next-generation measurement technologies that will facilitate efficient campaign measurement from UA through retention. By using media mix modeling (MMM) and incrementality testing in addition to traditional attribution and audience segmentation you can gain deeper insights into user behavior and predict future trends.

The Summer Games present a unique opportunity for mobile app marketers to engage with a global audience. By leveraging geotargeting, AI/machine learning, and CTV marketing, you can create a dynamic and effective campaign that captures the spirit of the games. Drawing on these winning strategies, your campaign will be well-positioned to achieve gold-medal success.

**To learn more about how to maximize your campaigns with next-gen measurement technologies, **request a demo.

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