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2012 Digital checklist....

by Gregory Birge on Jan 4, 2012
Happy New Year!!!... :=) Ok, I am not the first one and definitely will not be the last one spamming everyone with best wishes.....Let's have a look at how many times we have received those wishes ...

Blogger profile: Gregory Birge

CEO, F5DIGITAL Consulting.
15 years of client experience.
Fanatical creator of innovative multi-channel consumer engagement programmes.

Happy New Year!!!... :=) Ok, I am not the first one and definitely will not be the last one spamming everyone with best wishes.....

Let's have a look at how many times we have received those wishes and through how many tools: snail mail, edM, email, sms, mms, WhatsApp, Viber, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter.... our message boxes are flooded with digital wishes... :=)

Does it make us feel more loved?  Does it mean we feel more connected to those we wish and are wished by?  No, it just means that Digital and Technology today allows us to spam faster and wider.  Therefore, I would like to share with you my dream wish list for us yo use properly Digital in 2012.

1) Use Digital

If you are not yet convinced, then 2012 IS the year.  Digital is no longer a question mark - it is a ‘must-do’, a ‘must-use’ for every brand, product and marketeer.  It is not that Digital has to replace your current marketing plan or activity but every company must incorporate a Digital component in its marketing plan.

2) Use Digital production effectively

Using Digital does not mean replacing your marketing activity with a website, a mobile site or a Facebook page.  It is about understanding the role of the dedicated activity in the entire marketing mix and allocating a specific objective to the Digital component.  After defining the mapping of the marketing activity, it is critical to realize where the loopholes are and identify the role of Digital in the creation of a connection to your consumers.

3) Do not reinvent the Digital wheel

Most brands have a good base when it comes to Digital assets.  Frequently, we realize that the current effectiveness of the marketing activities is well increased by tweaking the current workflow, engagement process, setting up proper response mechanics, metrics, dashboards and mapping properly all assets.  Therefore, instead of reinventing the wheel by creating a new website, social media page or CRM program, the priority should be on defining the low hanging fruits from the current activity and solving them before spending a big budget in creative directions.

4) Elevate the Digital discussion beyond production: Digital roadmap

While it is essential to have some Digital assets in the marketing plan, most of the time, it is more important to have a digital strategy discussion before deciding on those assets.  In order to properly embrace a digital roadmap, it is crucial to define the digital readiness of the company and evaluate what the internal company priorities are.  This is especially so since Digital impacts how every department in the company engages customers, and changes the customers’ expectations.

5) Allocate a decent Digital budget

Every company decides its own budget allocation and the split between digital and traditional marketing will vary based on the industry and the market needs.  However, a digital marketing budget below 5% of your entire A&P will put the company in a very difficult position for the future.  We recommend a budget allocation of between 10%-15% with a target of 20%.

6) Define the proper Digital metrics

Bear in mind, Digital give you access to a vast quantity of data and numbers.  These numbers should not be used directly as a measurement element.  They must be properly and accurately analyzed, compared and defined versus a pre-defined target.  This entire process must be ascertained before the start of the campaign to ensure that there is a factual discussion on the results at the end.

7) Collect the right data

After the activity is in place, all the touch points would be used to collect data.  However, the collection mechanics, the type of data to collect, the storage and application of the data must be specified beforehand.  As consumers are increasingly bombarded with information, it is imperative to make their life easier and only ask for relevant data.  Such data should then only be used in a controlled environment.

8) Maintain your Digital assets

Once your platform, Facebook page, website or mobile site is live, the next important step is to maintain it.  There must be a clear definition of roles, content, process, roadmap and frequencies to update the content.  A dedicated team should take the lead to engage discussion, while another team defines a content calendar and a discussion manager engages clients with proposals of topics.

9) Create a Consumer Engagement Plan

Aim to move away from the push marketing syndrome towards creating a real 2-way communication with consumers.  Be it social media, website, offline or online, marketing activities are no longer about push but about pull and feedbacks.  While it is vital of course to maintain some brand elements in the "push marketing", there should be a systematic feedback loop to address and engage consumers beyond the one-off promotional element.

10) Hyper Segment instead of Mass Segment

Finally, resist the temptation to add or create hundreds of microsites, Facebook pages, websites, and mobile apps to push the same content.  Be selective, and harness only the relevant channel or medium to accurately address your target audience with a relevant message.  While this might require a bit more planning by the agency (the good news for you as the client is that you not have to do it...)  :=) , it definitely ensures better results!  Technology today allows you to send a real 1:1 message to your audience, from edM to QR codes to emails to print.  From the nominative content, the offer can be linked to a database while respecting a generic framework and template. Every customer would receive a dedicated personalized offer that addresses him and him only.

Digital is great, it allows more things, more connections, more engagement than we could have dreamt of in the past.  However, Digital must be applied differently, not as a ‘copy and paste’ of our ATL or promotional mechanics on Twitter, Facebook or mobile apps.  Integrate Digital in your marketing plan, introduce a Digital mindset in your company, teach Digital properly, show Digital opportunities to your management, engage your audience and be real and open.

These are my Digital wishes for 2012.

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