By Sally Monem, Product Marketing Manager & Maha Nizam, Product Marketing Manager at Google MENA

Link to Think with Google 

The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is just around the corner, with the opening match kicking off on November 20. To help marketers understand in-person visitors better, Euromonitor and Google conducted a study featuring 1,500 respondents from 13 countries, including the U.K., the U.S., Brazil, China, and more. Insights include: 


  • Visiting travelers want to shop on the sidelines

This year’s FIFA World Cup takes place over November and December for the first time, coinciding with a number of end-of-year shopping moments. Think Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. 

The research shows that 83% of respondents would be interested in taking advantage of shopping sales during the Black Friday season. Around 86% of them are researching before shopping, and 59% are turning to search engines to do so.

On shopping, 55% of respondents said they plan to shop online, or online and in-store. And as for what they’ll be buying, 77% are interested in fashion products, 64% in beauty and health, and 54% in small consumer electronics.

With global consumers researching future purchases well before they arrive, marketers have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect with this large audience as they search online.

  • They’re budget-flexible, with different buying styles

The research suggests that the average global traveler budget is USD3,500, but they are willing to shell out a little extra. Once budgets are set, visitors scope out the bigger picture. 37% of European and 31% of Latin American travelers prefer to stay seven or more nights in a foreign country, while 49% of Asia Pacific and 37% of North Americans choose a shorter stay of around three to four nights.

When it comes to buying tickets for their stay, 55% of respondents say they always buy flight, transport, and entry tickets separately from other trip arrangements. 36% are less sure, saying they sometimes buy separate tickets, and sometimes purchase packages. What this suggests is that consumers want to be able to choose how to buy as they go. Marketers can meet this need by offering shoppers flexible purchase options. 

  • They’re open to exploration, from cultures to countries

While researching a destination, 66% of respondents are interested in tourist attractions. We see this carrying through in searches, with a 1.3X increase in search interest for “places to visit in Qatar”. When they finally arrive, 65% usually visit one to two tourist attractions per day.

Nearby countries are also on travelers’ radars, with the study showing that 38% of respondents are willing to explore neighboring countries, with geographic proximity and affordability being key deciding factors. A 50% rise in search interest for “distance from UAE to Qatarconfirms nearby travel is a possible consideration for World Cup fans.

  • As the tournament unfolds, FOMO kicks in

Search interest for “World Cup tickets” grew by 40% as the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals unfolded at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia . “Last minute flights” search interest grew by 35% as the tournament ramped up, with “last minute hotel” increasing by 90% as the event’s end neared. Interestingly, that figure peaked on July 15, the date of the final match. 

Excited last-minute consumers offer marketers an unexpected extra layer in which to showcase offerings. To ensure success with these FOMO fans, it’s important that communication is simple, easily accessible, and action-driven, as well as being visible on a variety of platforms. 

How to connect with the Qatar World Cup’s unique in-person visitors

  • Find your perfect audience

As World Cup excitement hits overdrive, it’s time to find your ideal audience. YouTube’s Football and Sports audiences can help you tap into users specifically related to the moment. Custom Audiences, meanwhile, chooses users that best fit the needs of your campaign to capture people outside of your usual audience. Think visitors searching for hotels, restaurants, or even SIM cards in Qatar.

  • Activate automation to communicate better 

Harness the power of machine learning and Search to drive scale and efficiency. Broad Match paired with conversion-based bidding can help you reach relevant and emerging queries during the World Cup season. This not only helps you meet your performance objectives, but also saves you time to focus on planning.

  • Personalize ads to appeal to one-of-a-kind audiences

Discovery and video action campaigns are simple and cost-effective, driving more conversions in your automated campaigns. They add a layer of personalisation to creatives, ensuring they appeal to every traveler.

  • Get your message out on as many platforms as possible

Performance Max uses automation to help you meet interested World Cup customers across all Google channels from a single campaign. It delivers conversions and value by optimizing in real-time, based on specified goals.