To implement a successful customer acquisition strategy, it is important to build a picture of the types of audiences and customers that our Partner is seeking to engage.
We always take a holistic approach to Growth Marketing, looking at audiences, data and consumer behaviours, to build a segmentation plan we can begin to act upon.
When it came to the UFC and their OTT platform, UFC Fight Pass, our approach to audience segmentation covered ingestion of data from the following sources:
site traffic for retargeting
lookalike profiles based on CRM data
people following the UFC page, who hadn’t converted
fans following fighters and rival MMA organisations
Our goal when reviewing the data, was to develop a network of fans who were displaying a higher propensity to convert at the point of purchase.
We analysed a variety of search data, from fighter names to event names and broader MMA terms. This allowed us to understand what users searched for online so media could be targeted more effectively with the right messages at the right time to the right person.
With these insights in hand, we implemented an effective customer acquisition strategy that would deliver paid subscriptions and reduce high levels of churn.
Using first-party data, our ‘connected audiences’ and a prospecting set of engaged combat sports fans, we activated global media campaigns that were both personalised and tailored to individual local markets.
Campaigns were optimised and developed through local language, which included markets such as Russia and Japan, whereby localised assets and creative were developed and deployed.
We also identified new strategic opportunities in countries with a large MMA fanbase and enough disposable income to afford the product, namely Mexico, Poland and Kazakhstan.
With pandemic restrictions preventing supporters from attending matches, AC Milan needed to find new ways to grow.
Our solution was a best-in-class D2C strategy to convert interest into action and build loyal audiences.
We unearthed insights revealing the club enjoyed a 170% increase in return on ad spend (ROAS) for social followers compared to general audiences. Social followers also spent twice as much online at the AC Milan store.
We also discovered purchase likelihood was increased by fan engagement. Those who downloaded the AC Milan app, for example, showed a 2.5x higher conversion rate than social followers.
Our commercial growth efforts aimed to convert new audiences into social followers, and social followers into loyal fans:
Ticketing strategy to bring fans back to the San Siro, using CRM, first-party data, search and social engagement, and creative visuals with strong CTAs
Merchandising with full-funnel audiences to drive engagement, traffic and sales through the online store via paid social campaigns on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok
Social growth efforts on the club’s Facebook, Instagram and TikTok channels to increase the size of commercially valuable engager segments
Amplifying club content – MilanTV on Amazon and the Racconti Rossoneri podcast – utilising paid media to drive traffic to official landing pages.
With a full-service approach that combines strategy, creative and paid media to deliver success, we are proud to have been able to drive scaled growth for the club, attracting more fans to the glorious San Siro, increasing average revenue per user and growing the overall AC Milan fanbase.
Ticketing – Return on ad spend
Retail and official merchandise
"Our relationship with WePlay has helped us to welcome new fans into the AC Milan community, which is an important part of our ambitious plans to drive revenue for the club."
WePlay is a Growth Marketing Partner for the global leader in sports and entertainment, ESPN. Our main remit is the ESPN Player, where our brief is to drive subscription sales for the SVOD product.
This remit covers four areas:
Our campaigns promote the full catalogue of ESPN Player’s content, to grow revenues and generate year-on-year subscriber growth, aligned with monthly targets determined by the live rights and on-demand content release schedule.
As ESPN Player broadcasts a variety of live sports, audiences tend to behave in a seasonal pattern. Many fans subscribe before their preferred sports season begins – but unsubscribe once it ends.
This is a consistent trend across the subscriptions, live rights and OTT landscape, given that major sports leagues have a fixed start and end date. That means there is a short window when the platform is most valuable for specific fans.
Our search and programmatic campaigns therefore need to be highly targeted to each sports season and fan depending on the time of year.
To solve this, we employed advanced planning and strategy development, alongside our own proprietary data, to create the perfect platform for campaign expansion and growth for ESPN Player.
We used a data-led approach to pivot and plan campaigns based on current sports seasons, promoting content that would actively drive engagement for our target audience. This strategy ensured that ESPN Player would capitalise on relevance and demonstrate immediate value to prospects.
Our Creative Studio developed customised assets for each sports season, which helped ensure campaigns were optimised. The work included assets for individual high-profile games, which were promoted alongside key search terms immediately before the events took place.
During periods without premium live rights, we implemented a strategy to promote the depth of archive content on the platform – attracting new subscribers and mitigating churn.
Our strategy has enabled us to deploy learnings throughout the partnership, which has led to incredibly successful performance, including significant reductions to the CPA for a new subscriber as well an increase in year-on-year subscribers.
We unearthed insights that helped inform, fine-tune and maximise the effectiveness of PSG’s digital campaigns.
Due to the disruption of the pandemic in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons it became clear that commercial revenue would be the most important source of income for top-tier European clubs such as PSG.
Our insights show that clubs need to innovate commercial revenue streams so growth can continue; particularly by investing in sponsorship activation, online retail, SVOD, membership and monetisation.
At the awareness stage, we sought to grow audiences via Facebook page likes, content boosting, and social engagement.
We adopted a variety of tactics, including data-led geo-targeting to PSG’s connected fanbase, elevating brand identity among tourists and leveraging international superstar players from the first team in media targeting.
We focused on lead generation activities and app downloads to drive audiences through the funnel. We created custom audiences of engagers to retarget and drive to the app; this was key given a 2.5x higher conversion rate from app users vs. social engagers, plus a 1.7x higher ROAS from app users vs. social engagers.
Paid media campaigns – including users directed to the MyParis subscription page offering PSG Store discounts – converted interest into action and boosted revenue.
Rights owner, Abu Dhabi Media, and OTT platform provider, Endeavor Streaming together appointed WePlay as their MENA digital marketing agency to develop and execute an ambitious Growth Marketing strategy.
As part of our campaign delivery, we developed and executed a multi-channel product launch and acquisition campaign to drive app downloads, lead generation, and subscriptions to the new UFC Arabia product.
Our approach comprised four stages: Awareness, Consideration, Download, and Conversion (paid-for subscriptions).
The strategy was formed on the basis of our extensive experience and research within the streaming landscape.
This strategic approach was powered by the production of a bespoke audience segmentation strategy for the 14 selected MENA markets that the UFC Arabia product was being marketed to.
With the primary objective of delivering paid-for subscriptions, it is essential with any campaign forecasting that we build our commercial models in accordance with budgets, expected performance metrics and of course our revenue goals in mind.
With this campaign, there were several stages to consider. The unique selling point of the product was the exclusivity of the rights available. UFC Arabia is the only place you can officially watch the UFC fights within the MENA region, thus, telling this story was critical to the campaign.
We devised a multi-channel digital strategy, including paid social (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube), paid search (Google & Bing) and programmatic (display, video and audio).
Our creative-led strategy utilised a suite of powerful UFC assets, localised fighters from the region, with copy and content designed in multiple languages – all to capture the right person, with the right message at the right time.
Performance metrics were modeled in accordance with the aforementioned four stages – impressions and reach for Awareness, engagements, and click-throughs for Consideration, downloads and CPI (Cost Per Install) for App Downloads and CPA (cost per acquisition), and revenue for Conversions.
The campaign was a remarkable success, serving over 280m impressions to audiences across the 14 key target markets, which in turn delivered paid-for subscriptions at almost 3x the forecasted target, at importantly, an efficiency of 33% under budget.