Tag Archives: strategy

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.

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?

The Importance of Purpose

17th July 2011

I have a love for QR codes, if you have ever read my previous posts, that much is clear. But like any great love story, it has to have meaning, a reason behind the glitz and glamour. QR codes are a great way to bridge the gap that still exists between our physical worlds and the technology that we carry around in our pockets that can bring it to life. QR codes take the flashy, in little barcode and suddenly give it meaning when scanned and revealing value to a user’s digital life. However, scanning a QR code that doesn’t have meaning, that adds no value or that delivers a clunky experience is more than an individual disappointment, but one that can halt a first time users exploration of a great use of technology.

I recently scanned a code in a grocery store hoping to learn more about an interesting blue flower, an experience I was hoping would add value, education and a potential purchase. However, I was directed to a full website where reading the material in-store was less than ideal. Clearly the code was used as glitz and glamour over purpose. When planning to direct any type of new technology to consumers, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • What am I asking my end user to do? And what am I providing them in return? If it’s to give information, should this be in the form of a video? Or perhaps a quick way to scroll through facts?
  • Where will the action take place? Do you expect users to take a code home or to influence purchase decision? These two answers as vastly different and should define the experience you deliver. For example, if in-store, why not deliver an exclusive offer or compelling fact, recipe or information that may dictate a purchase decision.
  • How do you plan on tracking these actions? Be sure to choose a platform that will allow you to track every action. Where have people scanned? What time of day did the action take place? Was this as you had expected? These insights can help you to uncover deep information about your target consumer and will help you to analyze where to send consumers next.

Technology should be simple and it should offer users value in their lives. Take purpose into account when planning and these actions will provide your brand value in return.