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The Doxee Marketing Team works to provide customers with the best possible Digital Customer Experience. Innovative and focused. Motivated and dreamy. Creative, yet practical. This is the Doxee Marketing Team.

sports marketing and communications

How marketing and communications are changing for the sports and fitness industry

The sports and fitness industry is a healthy sector that is also experiencing some major changes. There are new playing fields and new challenges that require new marketing and communications strategies. But how marketing and communications are changing for the sports and fitness industry? Here are the 10 hottest topics that professionals need to know about.  

The interest in sport and fitness has been on the rise for several years, with no hint at stopping, in all areas of the world. Cities are filled with crowded gyms and swimming pools, with people jogging, cycling, or participating in some form of exercise or as an audience to an increasingly wide and diverse range of sporting events. In this sector, the digital world is also rapidly expanding with dedicated apps, wearable networked devices, and a growing space on social networks, forums, influencers, and then the first experiments in virtual or augmented reality. Moreover, sports today has a more diversified audience—by gender, interests, and age groups—than ever before.

But let’s go beyond pure impressions and look at some data. 

  • Let’s start with a significant indicator, sportswear. In 2018, the world market for sportswear was estimated to be worth around $167.7 billion. In 2026 this value is expected to reach around $248 billion, with annual growth estimated at around 5% (source).
  • Also in 2018, 1.76 million European workers were employed in the sports sector. This growth, compared to only five years before, was 3.2% (well above 1.4%, which is the growth figure for general employment).
  • Let’s move on to China. In 2013, the market value of sportswear was 134.7 billion Yuan (about $20 billion); in 2020 it more than doubled to 310.4 billion Yuan (about $45 billion) (data).
  • The number of gym members in Europe, according to the latest 2019 figures, was 62.2 million, up 3.5% compared to the previous year.

The majority of indicators in this sector will confirm this trend. That’s not all: this growth is associated with a great turmoil, a period of dramatic change in the sector, which started a few years ago and will continue to bear fruit for a very long time. It is a “permanent revolution” that has been triggered, above all, by the advent of digital.

 

10 hot topics about sports marketing and communications

In short: those who deal with marketing and communications in the sector must start from this awareness, to turn these challenges into opportunities. In this post, we will identify 10 hot topics influencing the sports sector, points of reference that every good marketer should keep in mind.

 

1. Marketing that is increasingly digital

Let’s start our overview from this awareness: the advent of digital, with Digital Transformation, has revolutionized the marketing of all sectors. The sports sector is no exception.

This points to the growing importance of AdSense, indexing and SEO, data collection and analysis, online shops, fitness apps, but also wearable devices, social networks, influencers, and eSports.

This is not a complete list, and some of these topics will be discussed in the following points. However, let’s focus on this point: marketing in the sports sector today means digital marketing. And it will be more and more so.

    

2. An increasingly globalized audience

Another consequence of digital is the loss of meaning of many traditional “boundaries.” For example, Italian soccer is no longer seen only in Italy (but increasingly in Asia, for example). The American NFL championship has more and more fans in Europe, the NBA is gaining an increasing number of fans in India… and so on.

There are many examples; what’s important is to learn how to deal with this varied and globalized target. Knowing how to intercept it, with actions as tailor-made as possible, means being able to seize huge opportunities.

 

3. The new importance of the feminine

As we mentioned above, in sports, the audience is increasingly diverse. In this sense, the most conspicuous novelty is the growth of female fans.  

For decades, the sports industry revolved almost entirely around a male target, but this is no longer the case. All of the brands in the sector have noticed this (check out the “She Moves Mountains” campaign by North Face, for example).

 

4. More and more social

There is no digital marketing and communication without social media marketing, and this is all the more so for sports brands. 

In fact, social media is often the first point of contact between brand and customer; it is one of the most important places where the voice, identity, recognition, and reputation of companies in the sector are formed. This is where most of the engagement is played out. But they are also channels in which a “slip” can be amplified in an uncontrolled and dangerous way.

Furthermore, social is the ecosystem where large and small influencers move, which have become central to the world of sport and fitness.

In short, the field of social networks in the Sport Industry, alone, could deserve an in-depth post of its own. Stay tuned. 

 

5. Data, data, data… and personalization

If we take an in-depth look at the digital revolution, we can see that it translates above all into a huge and unprecedented availability of data, which has become the real treasure of companies and marketers alike.

But why is data so fundamental? For a very simple reason: data allows you to get to know your audience, in its varied composition: characteristics, recurring behaviors, the customer journey, habits, preferences, potential desires. 

We have seen above how the target of the Sport Industry is increasingly diversified: that’s why data analysis, in this sector, is even more valuable than for others. However, it’s not enough to collect a huge amount of data; you need to know how to interpret the data in the most profound, intelligent and functional way.

The real point of arrival, in this sense, is personalized marketing, with its perspective of one-to-one dialog.

 

6. Mobile first!

Let’s get more specific. Smartphone owners across the world number about 3.5 billion (source). In 2018, mobile traffic was 52.2% of the total. Daily mobile internet usage has increased by 504% since 2011 (source). 

For marketers, this means only one thing: digital marketing strategies must be as omnichannel as possible, and must be “designed” from mobile.

Here’s a significant figure, coming directly from Google: the average smartphone user spends 50 minutes on apps dedicated to the world of sport and fitness (source).

 

7. Wearable technology

According to a recent survey, sales of wearable products will reach $95 million by 2021. We are talking about wearable digital devices, such as smartwatches, “smart clothing,” pedometers, and other devices designed specifically for the sports sector, for training, or more generally, for health.

Needless to say, here too there are interesting (and innovative) marketing opportunities, as well as data collection, in an increasingly personalized perspective.

The big brands in the sector are moving decisively in this direction. One example is Nike, with its “smart shoes” (see here for more details).

 

8. eSport

eSports are the “electronic sports,” such as competitive video games. This is a sector that is in powerful growth, a market segment of one and a half billion dollars, with a number of fans that, by 2021, will exceed 250 million (source). Even more importantly, these are mainly young people.

This is a trend to keep in mind, with enormous marketing potential.

 

9. Virtual reality and augmented reality

No, let’s not talk science fiction. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are gaining more and more space in sports marketing and communication, also because of the reduction of their costs.

A concrete example of application? The possibility to “virtually try on” basketball shoes, before purchasing them, with the help of smart glasses, or even a simple smartphone.

Needless to say, the potential in this field has yet to be explored.

 

10. The old “responsibility”

In the previous point, we addressed the frontiers of marketing in the sector. But there is a word that is becoming increasingly important. We are talking about the “responsibility” that a company must show that it has on a social, environmental, and ethical level.

It is customers themselves who are asking for it. According to a study conducted by Nielsen, as many as 66% of consumers are ready to pay even more to “reward” those brands that are committed to having a positive social and environmental impact. Clearly, this responsibility must also be communicated in the right way!

So: more and more digital, an increasingly diverse audience, ever more accurate personalization. These are the areas where companies in the Sports industry will face their biggest challenges and opportunities.

 

Smart Working and people

#stayhome – Smart Working and people: Guido Spagnoli, CFO & HR at Doxee

As many companies are discovering, Smart Working has many advantages. Flexible working is not only strategic leverage for companies, it can also be seen as an ally for employees, as it promotes concentration and helps maintain high levels of productivity. We discuss this topic with Guido Spagnoli, Chief Financial Officer and Head of Human Resources at Doxee, who has been at the forefront of the recent COVID-19 emergency in Doxee. Let’s see what advice he can give us to navigate the challenges ahead!

 

 1.You have a dual role in Doxee. In addition to being CFO, you are also responsible for the company’s Human Resources. There have been some very exciting times during this period of emergency. How did you deal with the situation and what measures did you request to be taken at Doxee?  

I wouldn’t exactly call them exciting moments. No doubt there were some surprises at first because of how some drastic measures were communicated by the government. However, we adapted quickly, as it is in our DNA as a technology company to always be ready for change. We immediately set up a Crisis Committee and this allowed us to issue, within a few hours, the guidelines to deal with this moment of emergency.

The intent was to give clear, precise and thorough direction to our people, without generating unnecessary panic; basically transmitting a sense of closeness and support that would inspire calm as we communicated the new plan. I am proud to say that it looks like we succeeded, as we’ve had zero requests for clarification. 

 

2. How did people react to the request to work remotely?  

Smart Working is an initiative that Doxee has been carrying out for some months now, and we’ve received very positive feedback from employees. It was therefore only a question of extending the policy to a degree that had not been initially planned for.

The fact that we already understood the advantages of Smart Working and had already decided to adopt it, helped ensure that all of our business units had no problems from the very beginning. We rolled it out within one day, and it was implemented smoothly and without any issues on the part of the employees. All of our units hold a “stand-up meeting” in the morning to organize activities remotely and to resolve any problems.

During this period, we haven’t had any operational interruptions. It’s a tremendous show of responsibility on both sides, and the opportunity was welcomed by employees. This strikes the right balance between trust in our people, proactivity, and the great sense of responsibility that our teams share.  

 

3. How did technology support you in this moment?

While I am not a technical expert, I believe that the investments that Doxee makes every year in our tools and in efficiency, as well as in process innovation, have made it possible to respond almost immediately to an emergency situation such as the one we find ourselves in today. These investments in the area of personnel development had already been implemented, since the company had already started this new approach of agile and remote work. We can say that the COVID-19 emergency has acted as a de facto accelerator.

In addition to this, thanks to the widespread use of laptops and the knowledge of our workforce who are familiar with how to log into the network from any location, our teams were able to be fully operational from 9 a.m. the next day. For this, we are grateful to the entire Doxee team. 

 

4. Are there any advantages to Smart Working? Do you believe that there are positive aspects in the long term as well? 

Certainly, this has been a test, or rather a stress test, of procedures, coordination, and governance. The fact that the activities have not been affected by this unforeseen situation suggests that in the future, the use of Smart Working will be extended over long periods of time and that it will be an agile way of working, also thanks to the sense of responsibility shown by our people. 

We notice how conference calls that allow us to carry out routine meetings are almost an educational tool: they accustom us to keep to schedules, to be more focused and to make decisions much faster. In short, we become smarter.  

I think one thing will not change completely at the end of this experience. Whether it’s the young average age of our employees or the welcoming working environment at Doxee, we know that each of us feels part of a cohesive and highly motivated team. Our office is a pleasant working environment, and I’m sure that our people will look forward to returning to the office after this stress test.

 

content marketing food industry

Content marketing in the Food Industry: The turning point of personalization

The Food and Beverage Industry—a large and complex sector—is all about tastes, choices, and habits. Therefore, we’re talking about factors that are extremely variable and, above all, intimate and personal. These are decisive factors. 

Now let’s introduce another element: digital

Photos of restaurants, dishes, tables of friends or colleagues, advice from big or “micro” influencers, opinions and reviews, video tutorials and recipes, portals dedicated to reservations and home delivery… While these are just a few examples, one thing is clear: food and drink are everywhere, online. Digital Transformation has had an extraordinary impact on the entire industry. But, beware, it’s not just about marketing and communication. There is also an impact of digital that is less “visible” but no less decisive: the impact on production and distribution. 

We would like to underline, from the outset, that all of these aspects are intimately connected within this diverse industry. To read more about Digital Transformation in the Food and Beverage sector, see this post on our blog. Instead, we want to look at the connection between “digital” and “personal.” Here, a fundamental link can be summed up in one word: “data.”

 

From Big Data, to segmentation, to personalization

What do we mean when we talk about Big Data? Let’s start with a very precise and technical definition provided by Gartner: “Big data is high-volume, high-velocity and/or high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing that enable enhanced insight, decision making, and process automation.”

Operationally, Big Data refers to the digital traces that we all leave online, whether we are using a search engine, navigating via GPS, posting a photo or video on Instagram, “liking” something, reviewing a restaurant, using an app that monitors our workout program or our diet, and so on. It’s called “Big” for a reason.

For companies in every sector, learning to analyze this huge amount of information is vital, especially because it allows you to do something important using very modern tools: to know the customer in front of you, your audience, your target. Such tools can help you get to know your audience of hundreds, even thousands. Here it is, the first strong link between “digital” and “personal.”

At this level, however, more than people, we are still talking about segments, or “clusters.” The analysis of Big Data allows us to divide our audience into smaller and smaller groups, based on their characteristics andon different metrics.  Once these “micro-targets” have been identified, they can be hit with tailor-made communications, aiming at maximum effectiveness. These are the dynamics of data-driven marketing, which we discussed in this post.

Here, instead, we would like to pose the question: Can we go beyond segmentation? In short, can we put in place marketing and customer service actions that are addressed to the individual person, in a dialog that is completely and truly one-to-one? The answer is yes, thanks to personalization. According to Just-food, personalization will be one of the most disruptive trends for the food industry.

 

3 examples of personalized marketing applied to the Food and Beverage Industry

Now, we’ll take a look at three examples of personalized marketing applied to the Food and Beverage Industry. We will begin with a classic and well-known case, and conclude with a case that points to the future of personalization.

 

1. Coca-Cola: Personalization in a pioneering campaign

Remember the “Share-a-Coke” campaign? This is the campaign where names of individuals were printed on Coke cans with the invitation to share their “personalized Coca-Cola” on social media.

It was 2011 (which was fairly early in the digital age), and the campaign was first launched in Australia; given its enormous success, it was eventually exported to over 70 countries. The initial target who inspired the idea, was Australian millennials: 50% of them had never tasted a Coca-Cola. The goal, therefore, was to try to connect this huge audience to the historic brand, in a way that was emotional and essentially “personal.”

It was a very basic level of personalization. And, it was a huge success, transforming individuals into true “ambassadors” of the brand. This must give us pause for thought. Here are some data, collected only three months after the launch of the campaign in Australia; they are really impressive:

  • Coca-Cola consumption among young Australian adults grew by 7%.
  • More than 76,000 “digital cans” of Coca-Cola were shared online.
  • Traffic on the brand’s Facebook channels saw an 870% increase.
  • The views of photos and videos related to the campaign, only on Facebook (and always in 3 months), were over 121 million.

You can read more about the campaign and results at this link.

 

2. Combining the power of video with the power of personalization: The case of Cadbury

Video is certainly the most effective means of communication in the digital world. It’s something we may sense, but here is some significant data to support it:

  • Over a billion hours of video are watched every day on Youtube.
  • 78% of online users watch at least one video every week. 55% watch one every day (source: HubSpot).
  • On Facebook, about 100 million hours of video are watched every day, and on Twitter, 82% of subscribers view videos constantly (source: TechCrunch). Instagram, finally, has based much of its overwhelming success in recent years on this type of media.
  • 55% of people pay more attention to videos than any other type of content (source: OmniKick). When watching a video, the average user retains 95% of the message contained in it; if we talk about text, this percentage stops at 10% (source: Wirebuzz).

After all these premises, let’s look at the case of British chocolate company Cadbury. The company has already been engaging in personalized marketing for several years now; in 2015, it launched a campaign aimed at India, where the custom of giving chocolate as a gift was still not very widespread.

Each user, by connecting to their social accounts, had the opportunity to create a gift in the form of a personalized video that recipients could view via QR code or through the website when they opened the box of chocolate.  

Let’s take a look at the results: the click-through rate increased by 65%, and the conversion rate was 33%. This is important data, which prompted the company to expand the operation to Australia in the following year (For more information, see here).

 

3. Vinome: a look at the future of personalization

There are some players in the industry who are taking personalization a step further.

Vinome, for example, is a Californian start-up that offers an extremely “tailor-made” service: it analyzes your tastes, your preferences, and even your DNA. Based on this information, it recommends the perfect bottle of wine for you, and delivers it to your home.

In short, this is certainly a niche case… for now, at least. But it also illustrates how important personalization is for the Food and Beverage Industry, and even more so in the future.

real time data marketing

How to use live data, real time data marketing and automation to improve Customer Experience

For a long time, the sales process was looked at in fairly simple terms. You set out an offer, make it sufficiently tempting that the target buyer feels sufficiently compelled to convert, then complete the exchange. That’s it, the end of the process. The next step? Lather, rinse, and repeat. Find a fresh stranger to tempt with your wares. Keep your eyes on the future.

This was still true when e-commerce first achieved mainstream recognition, but not for very long. Companies were already getting to grips with the remarkable potential of big data (most notably Amazon, that was way ahead of the game with its early use of dynamic recommendations), and the prospect of perpetually bringing in new customers lost its luster.

Why is this, when operating in the digital sphere meant gaining easy access to a vast market? Because everyone else also gained access to that market, and there was no longer any great reason (such as locational convenience) to buy from a small business instead of a large one. This allowed select brands to utterly dominate and squeeze others out of contention.

The result was widespread acceptance that always chasing new customers isn’t a viable strategy. Instead, modern companies must seek to build up bases of loyal customers who won’t be swayed by attractive offers or interesting product alternatives elsewhere — and improving customer experience is key to this. The better the CX, the more likely the customer is to stay.

 

Segment your marketing materials

I mentioned how Amazon was ahead of the game with its dynamic recommendations, and this is evidenced by every e-commerce system now having that option (whether natively or through extensions). It’s superb for cross-selling and upselling, raising order values and resulting in happier customers — after all, we all want to feel that we’re getting unique experiences.

You can do more, though. In addition to product recommendations, you can provide distinct marketing content for each customer (or customer group). Marketing isn’t only for prospective customers: marketing to those who’ve bought from you before is a much more reliable option since loyal customers spend more and show more consistent interest. There are so many ways to approach content marketing, and every single one can be extensively personalized.

While you ultimately need to compose your content (that part can’t realistically be automated), the composition and distribution can be automated. For instance, you can create various templates for customer types and have your email marketing tool use shared copy to populate the appropriate template before sending it out. You can even automate the creation of personalized video using unique customer data to show exceptional awareness.

 

Offer real-time chatbot query results

The smart deployment of well-designed chatbots is extremely powerful for improving CX. It ensures a level of 24/7 accessibility (vital in a time of flexible working hours and international retail sourcing customers in distant time zones), and it offers both exceptional consistency and near-instantaneous response times. Real people are slow and fallible: chatbots aren’t.

And beyond simply equipping chatbots with sets of answers to frequently asked questions, you can bolster them with convenient functions that can draw from live data in useful ways. For example, a chatbot can check an order’s status in real time, letting a customer know how things are proceeding and reassuring them in the process — or it can tell them when the next stock for a particular item is expected, keeping them invested in returning to the store.

 

Schedule follow-ups and reminders

How you communicate with your customers can hugely impact how they view you, but it isn’t always about open conversation: sometimes it’s about reaching out to them to simply offer some kind of value (and potentially get it returned). Traditionally, this would be done manually — but you’d have to find a moment in your busy schedule to contact a particular customer.

Take follow-ups, for instance. When someone has purchased something from you, you want to nurture that interest in your store in the hope that they’ll come back, so you have good reason to offer additional assistance. Do they have any questions you could answer? Alternatively, think about cart abandonment. If someone almost converts but leaves with several items in their cart, there’s value in getting in touch with them to encourage their return.

These things can easily be scheduled and automated. Several days after an order has been completed, an email can go out to thank the buyer for their purchase and offer them some support should they need any. A few hours after someone abandons their cart, an automated message can go to them with a discount code they can use if they come back. Implement these automations across the board and your customers will have more ways to proceed.

 

Automate customer feedback collection

Knowing what your customers think of you and your business is necessary for making your business better, but the process of gathering feedback can be tedious — so you should automate it to ensure consistency and yield a lot more relevant information. If you don’t know where your customer experience is falling short, you can’t address the problems.

While there are various solutions on the market, the most well-known is SurveyMonkey: you can achieve a wide selection of survey configurations using native options, and the strong Zapier integration ensures that your choices don’t stop there. Remember, though, that your surveys are only as good as the questions you elect to ask: if you’re vague with your wording or simply neglect to ask about certain things, you won’t get the results you’re looking for.

Customer experience isn’t just about offering the right products and/or services with minimal turnaround times and affordable prices. It’s also about providing customized interfaces, options and materials — not to mention paying close attention to everything your customers like (and dislike) about your business.

Follow the suggestions we’ve looked at here and you’ll place your business in a much stronger position to earn meaningful customer loyalty: the kind of loyalty that serves as the bedrock of all companies with lasting success.

 

Author: Kayleigh Alexandra
Kayleigh Alexandra is a writer and campaign designer for MicroStartups, a website focused on helping charities and microbusinesses. After years working in the sustainability, marketing and creative industries, Kayleigh now loves to devote her time to supporting other businesses to grow and thrive