By Ben Millar, digital director, Faulkner Media Management
Marketers need to engage with digital in order to create amazing integrated campaigns. But for many with a track record in mainstream media, digital is full of risk, confusion and complexity.
Listen carefully to the frustrations of a large number of marketers and most will fall into five key areas where there are gaps in knowledge.
Many have other issues, of course, but solving the big five goes a long way to raising comfort levels. It’s not a silver bullet but it is the beginning of a journey to greater understanding and hopefully more effective digital marketing.
1. Speaking the same language
Marketers with mainstream experience are generally familiar with the language of broadcast. Goals are set in the context of the number of people reached, how often and over what time period. This is particularly true for FMCG marketers.
Agencies selling digital have focused on its unique abilities to measure and track engagement, pigeon-holing it as an engagement or direct response medium. The latter is unfamiliar territory for most FMCG marketers.
The solution is to separate the language of display firstly into a broadcast context and then secondly into a context of engagement and direct response. Familiarity with broadcast makes mainstream marketers feel more confident that their existing knowledge still has relevance and makes them open to learning new things.
2. Getting scale
For many marketers delivering mass awareness is paramount. Many have concerns that digital activity may not deliver the scale required.
A lot of online engagement based activity is a one-off brand experience, for example, a two-minute piece of branded video content. It’s likely that this experience will happen once for each user at a time of their choosing. This could be great for changing perceptions of the brand.
For advertisers in low-interest categories that need to be top of mind on a weekly basis, a one-off, deep engagement may not be the right approach, as it does not deliver frequency or continuity.
Marketers need to understand the scale a campaign will achieve and have an understanding of the impact on sales. Applying simple Reach and Frequency-based principles can help to understand the scale and the trade-off between reach, frequency and continuity for the activity.
3. Calculating budgets
For too long digital budget allocation has happened by default. It’s the amount left over after all other channels have received the money they need.
Marketers need to start with an objective and a scale that will translate into the desired business outcomes. Adequate budgets for digital are more likely to be set in this way. Again this is easy for direct response campaigns but more difficult for brand campaigns.
The motto should be: “if you are going to do something, do it properly”.
4. What to measure
The array of digital metrics is daunting. To compound this problem, most digital media plans do not contain any measurable goals. The only track-able metrics will be impressions (CPM), clicks (CPC) or acquisitions.
However, impressions and clicks are not goals; it’s what the impressions and clicks do that is important. The right metric depends on what the campaign is trying to achieve.
For acquisition campaigns, goals are pretty easy to establish. Set a cost-per-acquisition and then track and optimise the different variables that influence the outcome.
For brand campaigns it’s more difficult. Marketers need to start by establishing what the primary goal of the activity is. If it’s awareness then reach and frequency goals for impression delivery are key. If it’s engagement then goals that look at “how many and how much” are important. Ask yourself: How many engagements are required to deliver success and what price am I prepared to pay?
Don’t confuse the campaign by allocating too many goals.
5. Fostering collaboration
Brand managers have to manage a host of agency contractors who must work together to deliver a fully integrated and seamless outcome. They find themselves adjudicating on disputes, making decisions based on conflicting advice and managing complex and rigid timelines.
It’s important that marketers foster a collaborative environment by taking some simple steps. Make sure all agencies are briefed together. Make sure they are all present at key presentations.
And perhaps once in a while buy them all a drink. Put your card behind the bar and relax in a social environment together. Informal contact breaks down barriers and helps resolve conflict, naturally.
Above all, marketers need to remember that developing amazing integrated campaigns should be a joyful challenge.
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