It’s the dawn of a new year, and digital marketing has been around for a while. And lately, it is seemingly becoming an integral part of our lives. Here, we analyse the role of digital in marketing life of a brand, and what are the pitfalls that needs to be overcome to make it successful. Considering it is the start of a New Year, and a time famous for making resolutions, brands and brand managers should make it their resolution to properly understand digital and use it accordingly, something we hope this article will help in.
By most brands till date, digital marketing has been considered a response led medium, measuring the short-term impacts such as leads/sales/clicks to the website. Digital Marketers and Digital Creators are working on different innovative ad formats to engage with the customers in which primary element is the click which can lead the consumer to take an action (like convert to a lead/sale, etc).
By focusing on these kind of short-term objectives, most brands sacrificed their brand awareness /brand value. Nielsen Brand Effect meta-analysis survey conducted between 2014 -15 showed that there is no correlation between clicks and any of the useful metrics (Brand Strength, TOMA etc.) that a brand looks for. This clearly shows that the brands which are looking at the short-term by focusing on clicks/immediate sales from their digital campaigns are doing the wrong thing with their digital campaigns.
This brings up one larger question – can digital work as a brand building channel? Will it help brands create brand recall among their audiences? These questions are common, mainly when there are a lot of doubts regarding channel effectiveness, viewability issues, brand safety issues, transparency issues and quality issues (where ads are shown).
But in recent days, with many tools available to measure brand safety and viewability, brands can proactively take necessary action, both before and after campaigns go live. Brands have started responding to the challenges faced by digital as a medium, by trying to experiment with how digital media can be made to really contribute to the brand in a positive manner for not only the short-term, but also the long-term perspective.
Marketing needs to be properly understood in this Digital world to successfully plan a Digital Marketing Activity to facilitate brand building (as opposed to short-term goals.) It must come from a thorough understanding of the opportunities that Digital as a channel has, weaknesses of the channel (yes, every channel will have its own weaknesses) and the strengths of the medium for building the brand. There are 5 key elements to build a brand using digital marketing –
- Tailor content for digital: In the early days of Digital, brands started replicating their mass media creatives to digital platforms (such as the TVC and Print Ads) to be used as digital assets for video and display creatives.
Considering that the Digital Content consumption happens mostly on mobile devices which are smaller screens compared to TV (and a mobile providing ample means of distraction), brands need to ..
A. Put the message brand and the narrative as early as possible, without force fitting.
B. Keep an ideal video duration. Video shouldn’t be limited, nor should it drag on and on.
C. Try telling the story seamlessly which makes the user to continue watching the digital video till the end.
D. Create content that speaks and connects to many, not just a few. It is important to remember that is not being done for a short-term benefit. Create content that is sharable and scalable to create an impact on brand.
2. One channel can’t Build the Brand Digitally: Once brands come up with good digital content which will work for all digital environments, it is very critical to take it to the relevant audience to whom it is created for.
Though Organic Growth is very good for any brand and gives virality factor for the brand, along with being a proven method for ages, depending on organic growth is a risky factor – mainly considering the limitations of organic growth by different platforms like FB. Building a brand through digital marketing requires a good mix of paid media, native content promotion, Digital PR and Influencer Marketing along with Organic Growth.
3. Measure on the Go: Once the message and channel mix is ready, it is critical to measure the campaign performance on the brand to see if it is impacting the brand positively. In case it isn’t, changes need to be made to the message accordingly.Most brands which are built mainly on digital platforms are flexible to change their narrative as per the response, for both positive and negative.
4. Budget Allocation: It is often heard that anything is possible with digital marketing. However, in most instances, brands don’t have enough budget or give the required time for the completion of the objective; hence, while most brands have started their digital marketing campaigns, the fact is that they are not allocating the budget to test the medium to test its potential.
Budget allocation is critical for any channel to show impact on the brand. Hence, proper research needs to be done on the potential audience (for the brand) and ways to reach those audience needs to be figured out. This helps in using a better channel mix for the campaign for any brand to get success with their digital marketing efforts.
5. Set up Goals in Stages: Lastly, it must be understood that every channel will have its own pros and cons and have a minimum time requires to create an impact on the brand; the same principle is applicable even for digital media. Once must understand what digital can drive in what time, and play with it for the brand to see the results. Setting up short, mid and long term goals are critical, as this will help measure the campaign performance in difference stages, allowing brands to take action accordingly.
To get the success of a digital campaign with respect to building the brand, it is recommended to add a few tracking metrics to campaigns such as brand lift studies, keeping an eye on brand searches in Google Trends over a period of time, deploying social listening tools and making changes to the narrative based on the performance (compared with the short and long term objectives defined) will play a critical role.