A Good Opportunity for Direct Marketers?

With the 2012 London Olympics around the corner businesses from all over are incorporating the games in their marketing.  While 1964 Tokyo Olympics introduced live satellite television broadcasts and the 1996 saw the first dedicated webpages, the 2012 London Olympics promises to be the Olympics of social media with the ability of fans and athletes to interact with each other.

If you are thinking of tying into the Olympics there are some very harsh rules to protect sponsors who have paid a minimum of $7.8 million (5 million pounds).  The use of words like “games” or “2012” combined with “London”, “summer”, “medals” or “gold” could open you up to some hefty fines.

For direct marketers seeking a short-term promotional connection to the Olympics consider social media. Use blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest to start a dialogue on events, key match-ups, athlete interviews, TV coverage or anything you can use to eventually link to your business and engage more potential customers.

However for most direct marketers, the advice is to not invest in Olympics-related marketing, or any short-term event that is not frequently repeated.  In direct marketing we like to test new offers and creative approaches that if successful, can be promptly expanded and rolled-out to a larger universe of customers or prospects.  And, keep using the new approach until we find some other combination of offer, audience or creative that performs better.

If you try a marketing tie-in to the Olympics and it is successful, it’s not something that can be repeated.  Once the Olympics are over so is your marketing campaign and results cannot be repeated.

Enjoy the Olympics, but as enticing as it might be for to use Olympic-related marketing, think twice if it makes sense for the long term.