Reaching a diverse Australia.

SBS attracts and retains viewers during a major global event by activating real-time profiles across channels with Adobe.



Artarmon, Australia


More cost-effective advertising using first-party data


Adobe Experience Cloud

Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform

Adobe Analytics

Adobe Audience Manager

Adobe Target

Adobe Campaign

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Attract On Demand viewers during the World Cup based on known behaviour and interests

Measure the effectiveness of using first-party data to target potential viewers

Identify approaches to acquiring active watchers that can be applied across verticals

Raise awareness of multicultural and multilingual news, information, and entertainment content

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Reached more than 119,000 dormant On Demand viewers using unified profiles

Achieved 93% more cost-effective advertising with first-party data

Saw click through rate of 3.82% and highest unique reach with campaign focused on converting SBS readers to streamers

Established a foundation to engage with multilingual Australians with information and content in their language of choice

Diversity is built into the very fabric of the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS). This Australian broadcaster was founded with the goal of reaching all Australians, including recent migrants and Australians from diverse cultural, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds. Today, SBS is known as a major multicultural and multilingual media platform that spans six TV channels, an extensive radio network, news websites, and the SBS On Demand video streaming service.

“We’re a free-to-air service, so our audience potentially includes all 26 million Australian residents,” says Richard Marshall, Head of Enterprise Information Systems at SBS. “While we were once a traditional linear broadcaster, we’re now a multimedia digital platform facing competition from other digital and streaming services. It’s important for us to build loyalty and market our programming to the right audiences.”

As a broadcaster that targets multicultural Australian audiences, having the exclusive rights to broadcast the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ was a prime opportunity for SBS. People across Australia would tune in to watch Australia’s Socceroos play, but many would also want to watch teams with ties to their family or culture. By promoting the World Cup on SBS On Demand, the broadcaster could introduce audiences to programming across SBS, potentially reactivating dormant viewers and growing long-term viewership.

SBS was already using Adobe Experience Cloud apps — including Adobe Analytics, Audience Manager, Target, and Campaign — to gain insights into viewers, create audiences, and deliver personalised experiences across web and email. With the addition of Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform, SBS took advantage of reliable first-party insights and executed real-time personalisation that drove eager World Cup audiences to SBS On Demand.

“The World Cup is a big event for SBS,” says Brice Vaxelaire, Audience Data Engineering Lead at SBS. “Using Real-Time CDP, we discovered that we could target audiences more effectively using first-party data and better engage audiences with World Cup content — engagement that we hope will continue across all SBS offerings.”

“Loyalty is key in the streaming space. We’re excited to start to use the Real-Time CDP to stitch together consistent journeys across channels that keep viewers coming back to SBS.”

Uma Oldham

Head of Audience Marketing, SBS

Targeting audiences to drive viewership

The CDP combines consumer identities across devices and systems — from known information about the broadcaster’s 11 million registered users to behavioural data from Analytics — to create unified profiles. This combined information opens the door for instant activation and personalisation.

SBS implemented the CDP just ahead of the tournament, giving digital teams an opportunity to use the new real-time profiles to implement several ad campaigns aimed at engaging audiences with the latest World Cup excitement. Using Real-Time CDP, SBS focused on a few key use cases, including activating dormant streamers, converting readers to streamers, and keeping active watchers engaged.

People who read about the World Cup but hadn’t streamed a game received prompts to download the On Demand app. Active watchers then received prompts during key tournament moments, capitalising on the real-time capabilities of the CDP. “How to Watch” ads targeted streamers of On Demand sports content who hadn’t watched any matches, while ads highlighting underdog storylines and important finals prompted dormant and casual viewers to tune back in. To retain World Cup viewers long term, SBS encouraged frequent watchers to sign up for the SBS newsletter.

By targeting audiences with more personalised messages, SBS reached more than 119,000 dormant viewers, including 42,000 sports viewers who hadn’t watched a single match. The campaign drove more than 6,000 views for the On Demand landing page — impressive results for a previously unengaged audience.

Readers of SBS Sports FIFA content who hadn’t yet watched a game also demonstrated high ad engagement, with click-through rates of 3.82%. Achieving the highest percentage of audience engagement, this approach revealed a strong opportunity to convert readers into active streamers across all SBS verticals.

“Loyalty is key in the streaming space,” says Uma Oldham, Head of Audience Marketing at SBS. “Real-Time CDP allows us to stitch together consistent journeys across channels that keep viewers coming back to SBS.”

Engaging Australia’s multicultural audiences

SBS also executed CDP and data management platform (DMP) use cases during the tournament on its On Demand platform. Using customer lifetime value segmentation, the broadcaster targeted viewers with house promos focused on retention and driving sampling of other On Demand content.

Game-specific targeting and language-specific targeting provided contextually relevant content suggestions to key language segments for key country games. By prioritising countries with significant content on the platform, SBS made viewers aware of the breadth of multicultural and multilingual content available On Demand.

In addition to CDP campaigns, SBS also set up 16 cross-product recommendation experiences with Target to enable an onward journey strategy towards the On Demand platform. For example, someone reading content about the German team might see a banner with a link to the German language site, where they can read about the team in their native language.

“Real-Time CDP allows us to better communicate the diversity of content that we offer and support our goals of delivering news and entertainment to all Australians.”

Brice Vaxelaire

Audience Data Engineering Lead, SBS

Real-time personalisation from first-party data

SBS expects to see more regulations around personal information in upcoming years to address growing privacy concerns from consumers. The CDP helps SBS manage consumer data and consent all in one location to easily demonstrate compliance with any regulations. The CDP maximises use of first-party information to retarget users for advertising and marketing, based on their stated preferences, without needing to rely on third-party data.

The World Cup also gave SBS the opportunity to compare campaigns that relied on first-party data to those that relied on third-party data. “It was 93% more cost-effective to drive video chapter views with first-party data and the percentage of first-party data audiences reached through ads was as high as 32%,” says Oldham. “This drove home the value of Real-Time CDP to attract and activate watchers across SBS.”

The lessons learned from the World Cup campaigns will be used to drive accelerated growth of SBS On Demand, and targeting key indigenous and multicultural audiences, and opens up opportunities for cross-pollination of content consumption across the SBS digital ecosystem.

“Real-Time CDP allows us to better communicate the diversity of content that we offer and support our goals of delivering news and entertainment to all Australians,” says Oldham.

Content as a Service - Monday, July 10, 2023 at 15:19 (no-lazy)

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