How marketers can score a touchdown this Super Bowl

Jake Lazarus, CEO and co-founder of OpenMessage, offers advice to traditional advertisers on creating meaningful brand engagement around this weekend’s Super Bowl.

Let’s face it – traditional TV advertising as we know it is dead. With Super Bowl LIII approaching, the pressure is on not only for the Rams and Patriots, but also for brands that need to wow fans with the best Super Bowl commercials. We’re living in a new era where marketers must start looking for fresh ways to drive memorable, meaningful consumer engagement.

The Super Bowl allows brands to get in front of millions of people, but at the expense of one of the most important things in modern communication – a personal, one-to-one relationship. As a founder and CEO in the messaging space, I know just how powerful messaging conversations are, and right now, many brands are completely missing out. Messaging has not evolved like every other digital platform, but that’s all about to change. The industry as a whole is about to get a complete facelift, and marketers that act now will gain dividends long term.

There are over 2bn messaging users worldwide, and that number continues to rise. Here are three ways that brands should use messaging to score an ROI touchdown this Super Bowl:

Move traditional text out of the dark ages
To transform consumers’ Super Bowl experience, marketers must first understand where consumers are spending the majority of their time – in messaging. By adding design, multimedia, and interactivity to messaging, brands can connect with targeted audiences in unprecedented ways that are personal, seamless and engaging. Just think: would you be more inclined to interact with a text message with branded images, colour and even an option for one-click purchasing over a grey bubble with traditional black text that feels impersonal and promotional?

Brands must think beyond the limits of traditional ads by providing a creative branded communication experience via messaging. This gives marketers the power to extend a brand’s message, call to action and customer relationship far beyond a 30-second TV slot, and provide the engagement and interactivity that television simply does not offer.

Use interactive content to drive long-lasting brand engagement and loyalty
Whats the one thing that the 100 million Super Bowl fans have in common? The use of mobile messaging as the number one form of communication.

Brands large and small struggle to enter Super Bowl conversations, and finding the sweet spot that converts engagement directly to ROI. With 90 per cent of all text messages read within three minutes of being delivered, messaging is the ultimate way for brands to develop a meaningful, in the moment relationship with their core audiences. A strong messaging strategy allows brands to interact with consumers in a way that’s not only natural, but also highly personal, entertaining and interactive.

The first step in doing this is to understand your audience and why they are watching the Super Bowl in the first place. According to NRF’s survey, 41 per cent of people feel that the game itself is most important, 24 per cent say it is viewing the commercials, and 14 per cent look forward to the half-time show. These insights allow marketers to cater towards each type of viewer with a specific advertising campaign and message. Think polls, quizzes, prizes, and games. For example, conducting a ‘text to vote’ poll or ‘text to win’ campaign allows brands to join in the conversation in real time and gather responses from consumers in an enticing manner.

With these interactive tactics, brands can ensure they are connecting with consumers and avoid having them remain uninterested.

Use surprise and delight tactics in messaging to deepen brand affinity
The most-watched televised event is bound to have some creative, out of the ordinary moments, especially during the highly anticipated commercials. With titans such as Toyota, Pepsi, and Doritos preparing ads for this year’s big game, marketers can creatively prioritize messaging content based on the types that will delight the most. For instance, marketers can react in real-time to advertisements with mobile coupons to entice consumers based on demographics, interest, and time of day. This approach encourages consumers to delightfully engage back with the brand – and in turn, deepens overall brand relationships.

The future of messaging is here, and it is ready to revolutionize consumers’ level of engagement, interest, and more importantly, conversion. In comparison to television, messaging remains as the most effective channel for engagement, but the big questions remains: are today’s marketers ready?