For the 17 days of the Olympics and 12 days of the Paralympics, London will be the focus of the world’s gaze. With millions of sports fans expected to descend on the capital, social networks can expect record traffic as Olympic followers share their experiences online.
According to the latest findings from Kantar Media’s TGI study, more than 2 million adults in GB claim to be “very likely” to attend a live event during the Olympics, making it all the more important for telecommunications networks to prepare for the sharp increase in mobile internet use in the Olympic park and other venues scattered around London. Recent estimates expect some 60GB, the equivalent of 3,000 photographs, to travel across the Olympic Park every second while insights from Kantar Media’s TGI Clickstream survey reveal how this data is most likely to be used by spectators.
Olympic ticket holders are some of the most connected consumers around – more than 90% use the web every day, spending an average of 2 hours 50 minutes online per day (20 minutes longer than the average internet user).
Marketers, however, can make a significant impact with these consumers by reaching them through mobile platforms during the Games. Half of all Olympic ticket holders claim that “they cannot do without mobile communication” and they are 50% more likely than the average internet user to access the web through a smart phone.
Purchasing Olympic tickets can itself be seen as an indicator of a high disposable income, particularly given the expense of attending some of the headline events of the Games (£2012 top-price tickets for the Opening Ceremony, for instance). TGI data bears this out as these consumers are four times more likely than the average adult to earn over £75,000 per year, making them a lucrative target audience for many premium brands.
As well as a significant personal income, compared to the population as a whole, Olympic spectators are also early adopters of technology. Almost a fifth of all Olympic ticket holders access the web through a tablet or iPad, a statistic all the more impressive when we consider that tablets were in their infancy during the previous Olympics in Beijing and the iPad only reached these shores in 2010.
TGI Clickstream insight also reveals the online behaviours of these consumers. For example, they are 40% more likely than the average web user to visit photo sharing websites and visits to these sites are set to grow as spectators capture and share their favourite moments of the Games. The bandwidth of the Olympic Park will also be severely tested by spectators as almost a fifth regularly upload video clips.
Social media will be a crucial tool for marketers to reach Olympic spectators during the Games. TGI Clickstream reveals that while more than 90% of these consumers visited Facebook in the past month, they spend four and a half hours less on the site that than the average internet user. Alternative social networks, therefore, may reach a more engaged audience.
For example, although Facebook attracts Olympic fans in greater numbers than Twitter, they are a third more likely to feature among the heaviest 20% of Twitter users. Elsewhere, they spend 20% longer than the average internet user on Flickr, providing further proof of their fondness for photo sharing.
Digital advertisers will also be heartened to hear that Olympic followers are particularly engaged with online ads: they are 60% more likely than the average internet user to agree that “advertising on the internet is more relevant to me than other advertising”.
There is no doubt that the Games of the thirtieth Olympiad will be the most digital to date, but quantifiable insight is crucial to ensure that marketers efficiently use these channels to engage their target audiences.
By Gary Brown
Source: Kantar Media TGI Clickstream 2012