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How to get your digital planning right

How to get your digital planning right

By Rick Corteville, Head of Digital, EMEA for Universal McCann.

One of the great benefits of taking part in new business pitches is that I get to find out what the competition are up to.Their Powerpoint decks are full of the latest jargon and it’s like a computerized version of buzzword bingo –   that’s bullshit bingo for any Brits.

Words such as ‘proprietary solutions’ and ‘econometric modelling’ are inserted into decks like shiny objects designed attract potential clients’ attention and interest.

The problem is that the day to day insanity of work and lack of resources and or budget mean that these words rarely see the light of day once the client signs up.That however is changing.

The future holds out the prospect of more sophisticated tools that do provide the analysis we need to make these buzz words a reality

The problem is that while we may be about to acquire our own shiny objects, if we don’t do the basics right then all the analysis in the world won’t help us.

Every campaign schedule needs to take into account the following five principles for 21st century digital planning.

1. Cap frequency

It scares me how few campaigns limit the delivery of ads to the same cookie. Even if the goal is brand awareness, I would argue that it would be better not to show the same banner to a consumer 30 times.

You wouldn’t run the same TV spot back to back to back during a program so look to avoid it in the digital realm as well.

2. Know where your traffic is coming from

All clients should have some form of analytics tool to examine user behaviour. We need to link back performance to the traffic-driving medium. It’s not the whole story but it’s an important piece of the jigsaw.

3. Discover where the traffic is going

There are still clients (and that includes some with big budgets too) that don’t allow post click tracking for ‘privacy’ reasons or due to a backlog in the queue of the IT staff. No campaign should be implemented without the pages of interest on the clients’ site being tagged.

4. Define your terms

Please stop talking about engagement as a broad campaign objective. Recommend what this should mean and gain agreement from the client.

This will help ensure you are reporting back the right information once the campaign has started. Also, make sure that these aims apply to all media, engagement is not an exclusively digital metric.

5. Centralise your data

I know that this is tough but if you are only looking at a slice of the data, you might be generating the wrong solutions. Excel is not the right tool to collate data from different tools, so get everyone using the same kit.

The traditional adage of ‘garbage in, garbage out’ remains very relevant today, so please consider this checklist when implementing your campaigns.

The new data handling solutions on the horizon could potentially make us more efficient and deliver more effective solutions for our clients.

However, if we aren’t doing the basics, then we won’t be able to take advantage.

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