Tag Archives: digital

Making a list and checking it twice: 2012 planning

22nd November 2011

As 2011 draws to a close, I’m finding my calendar filled with meetings on wrapping up and wish lists…but they don’t involve Santa. 2012 planning is in full swing.

Putting a year on paper is a daunting task for any marketer, especially so in the digital space, where the landscape can change over night. So how do you ensure a plan that not only makes sense in plain English, but also sets clients up for success in the space for an eternity of 365 days?

Hint: head back to the basics. Below are the three “must haves” on my digital planning wish list for 2012.

Vow to not work in silos

With more companies moving away from the idea of one single AOR to multiple players in their business depending on area of expertise, working across agencies is more important than ever. Gone are the days of “we own this.” Your consumer could care less who runs the company Facebook page vs. their TV commercials. We must learn to better communicate and see the experience through the eyes of a consumer.

Back away from digital

Take a step away from the channels you own and go back to square one. Remember that brand research deck you were passed along when you first won the business? Dig it back up. Consumers are no longer on-line and off-line, only the devices and mediums of consumption change.

Take the time to learn who your target consumer really is. What are the interested in? What content outside of your brand’s do they choose to consume? Where are they using their devices? The answers to these questions and so many more will ultimately drive your plans back on-line with insight rather than the sparkly allure.

Think outside the box

The world of “we have to be in social because everyone else is already there” is changing. Companies know having a digital presence isn’t enough – it’s having the right presences and the right experiences across all of your channels. Consider setting aside time to test and learn in 2012. Talk to start-ups or do a pilot program with a less mainstream community; find the passionate people who can help to push your client’s brand forward.

Planning a year in advance is never easy, in fact, we find ways to dread it or present to sparkly object syndrome. Get out of your comfort zone, try something new and you’ll find the year falls into place.

Be your customer’s #1 fan

24th October 2011

With Facebook’s recent changes emphasizing engagement vs fan count, it leaves me wondering, isn’t this the way it was designed  all along? For social media to be inherently social, 1:1 dialog and communication should absolutely be the cornerstone.

Here at Engauge, we are constantly looking for ways to propel our brands to become champions for their consumers, connect the dots and be, well, social. Moving beyond Facebook and into the larger picture of digital, we know Facebook is merely a network, a powerful network, but a piece of the puzzle none the less.

If communication is the cornerstone of building relationships with consumers, loyalty is the foundation. Not loyalty in the sense that we often see it today, but the world of loyalty our digitally connected consumers are coming to expect.

Merriam-Webster defines loyal as “a strong feeling of support of allegiance.” When I use a coupon or offer card  to make a purchase vs. visiting a competitor retailer, am I being loyal?  Yes, I am loyal to that offer. No, I am not always loyal to the retailer. So how can we as marketers build loyalty to a brand in a world of coupon craziness? The answer is in the balance of experience and advocacy.

In order for a consumer to become loyal to your brand, they must first experience it. We all know the saying about first impressions, make that impression with something they can’t turn down: an offer. Welcome emails, Facebook Like-gated tabs and SMS welcome messages are all great mediums to welcome a consumer into your brand.

However, this is where many marketers end the conversation, when it’s just beginning. In order to drive advocacy and allegiance the consumer must build a relationship with a brand. This is where in today’s digital landscape we are perfectly primed to connect the dots.

What is the personal connection you want a consumer to have with your brand? What utility are you going to provide to them that the competitor won’t? What is exclusive to this channel that they can’t find anywhere else? This may be great customer service, a mobile app to scan items and specials in-store, intriguing information on Facebook and Twitter that sustain a conversation or behind the scenes photos on Instagram or Tumblr. Don’t let the conversation stop in one place.

The key: it must be a combination. If you want to have a relationship with your consumers, don’t end it when you open the door. Give them something to talk about, prime them to tell their friends about you, and when they do, be listening and ready to reward them for that behavior. Be your customer’s number one fan and you just might find they will become your’s too, and in the process, indispensably loyal to your brand.

The Power of Connections

22nd September 2011

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend and speak on a panel at Exact Target’s annual Connections conference in Indianapolis. Going into three days hosted by a company traditionally seen as a leader in strictly the email space, I was honestly a bit hesitant to what I would learn from a social, mobile and broader digital lens. Connections 2011 blew me away.

The frame of “Connection” has been a hot topic here at Engauge as of late. We have reached a point where social is no longer a new silo tool, but rather a series of channels that can build relationships with consumers and every facet of a brand.

No longer can we as marketers piece together each aspect of a campaign to form a brand identity, we must first ask ourselves, “Are you creating a digital marketing strategy or a digital business strategy?”

We all know that in the digital world news, campaigns and actions travel fast. We must react on a moment’s notice to avoid being left behind, however, sparkly object syndrome is not a viable business plan your CEO is going to buy into.

In order to make social, email, and every other facet of digital marketing a success, we must first challenge ourselves to determine what we wish to accomplish. From there the channels and the tactics fall into place.

Best Buy’s CTO drove this idea home when he said, “if someone says a technology is going to die…get out your checkbook. Technology just evolves.” Taking a step back from the Facebooks, the Foursqaures and the Instagrams of the world is tough, but rewriting an individual plan for the next big thing, I can assure you is tougher.

Across each and every session, speakers had the commonality that connection is key. As we look to 2012, I know we will be looking towards connections: making a connection with consumers, with our brands and most of all through the channels and plans to get there.

Where are you looking to make connections in 2012? What are your keys to success to get there?