December 12, 2014

A Grown up Approach to Digital

By Vineet Gupta

Over the last few years, one thing is certain — there has been a significant rise in the level of conversation around all things digital. Clients seem to be more committed than ever to get digital right. How much of this commitment has translated into real meaningful work, however, differs from client to client, industry to industry. For a lot of them, digital continues to be just another media metric, while there are others who have moved beyond looking at digital as just an advertising medium and are looking at ways to integrate digital with every aspect of their business.

Keeping the obvious dotcoms and new age startups aside, for whom digital is the way of life, I’m afraid there aren’t too many traditional clients that I can think of who seem to have moved beyond the basics. While, most clients want to do things that have not been done before, use digital to make things go viral and get the whole world talking about things that honestly don’t matter to consumers at probably one-tenth the cost that they have been spending so far, the sad truth is that digital briefs from clients are getting dangerously similar to one another.

‘Social’ and ‘engagement’ seem to be the most abused words in these briefs and more often than not competition seems to be defining the metrics. A lot of these clients are moving to digital not because they have figured out what it can do for their business, but because its either a mandate that is being delivered top-down OR because competition seems to be doing it. Whichever the reason, it clearly shows in the work they seem to be doing.

But it’s not all bad. There are an increasing number of clients who are embracing digital the way I believe they should be. These are clients who are digital by culture and are committed to adding value to their consumers using digital marketing. These are brands that think and act with a consumer-first approach. They invest time and resources in not just understanding their consumers online but also in creating experiences that are authentic, unique and meaningful to the consumer, as well as the brand. For them social media is a part of a larger digital strategy and not restricted to managing likes and followers. They take risks and are willing to course-correct in real time. Here are a few factors that sets apart these clients from the others:

Understanding of Digital

Most of the clients that are digitally savvy and are willing to give their digital partners the leeway required, are the ones that have invested significant time and resources in understanding the medium, the way it works and what it can and must deliver for their brand / business. Its important that clients invest their time understanding various aspects of the medium and how things work, just as they would in the case of a television commercial production or a print shoot. This will also allow them to figure out what is it that the medium can and cannot deliver and therefore be realistic in their expectations. Without a clear understanding of how digital works, it’s difficult for clients to achieve results and course-correct where need be.

Commitment to the Medium

A lot of brands that seem to be getting it wrong are the ones which look at this medium on a campaign-to-campaign basis. Their commitment to the medium is dependent on the launch of a campaign. They are the ones who still look at digital as communication / broadcast medium and the effectiveness is defined as a media metric. In comparison, the clients that seem to be getting it right are the ones who are committed to the medium not from a marketing 360 approach but from a marketing 365 approach. They understand the importance of remaining committed 365 days a year and define objectives accordingly. These initiatives are not dependent on campaigns and could range from CRM, customer service, engagement with branded content, search query growth, etc etc.

Ownership of Digital

Digital requires a lot of focus and its importance in the overall organisation goals cannot and must not be measured only in terms of % of overall spends. There is a lot that digital delivers even outside of pure media spends. Clients that seem to be getting it right are the ones that have well-defined teams and structures with clear ownership of the digital mandate beyond media / advertising goals. They are the ones who drive the agenda of earned media by creating experiences that reduce dependencies on paid media. It is this level of ownership that ensures there is sufficient focus in ensuring that digital remains in focus throughout the year and works with multiple business functions to deliver results. A well-defined ownership also ensures accountability and results from various digital initiatives.

Integration

This is one of the most misunderstood terms. I see a lot of clients spending a lot of time in trying to integrate digital with everything, to the extent that many a times it comes across as a force fit. The clients that seem to be getting it right are the ones that believe in treating digital independently and integrating only wherever necessary, usually at an objective level and not necessarily at an execution level. The clients that give their partners the leeway to do more are the ones that do not believe in integrating for the heck of it but believe in using each medium for what is in the best interest of the larger business / brand objective.

To sum things up, given the increasing number of clients who are looking at digital in a strategic way, the focus on digital across all organisation levels, the availability of talent, and the enthusiasm across young marketers to make things happen on digital, I am sure we will see a lot of work that goes beyond just managing pages and followers.

It’s a good time be in digital…

Vineet Gupta is Managing Director at 22feet Tribal Worldwide. A version of this article was published in Kyoorius 22.japanese escortsсмс карту займ на банковскуюкак прочитать чужую переписку в аське бесплатноскачать программу для взлома вай файпрограмма для накрутки лайков в инстаграме бесплатноместонахождение телефона по номерувзломать скайп по логину

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