Applying The Principles Of The 2016 Election To Digital Marketing Campaigns
For both presidential and digital campaigns, the same message holds true, says columnist Soo Jin Oh. You need to deliver the right message to the end user.
The 2016 presidential campaign season officially kicked off last week when news broke that Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio were putting in their bids for America’s vote. A spirit of change is in the air — the candidates have already begun to address key issues and to sell their strategies for improvements to the economy, violence, human rights, international relations, education, energy sources, and so on.
In the same spirit, it’s time digital marketers get our heads out of the sand and address issues that we’ve been hiding behind for the past few decades. These issues directly impact a $600 billion industry, and it’s time we step up to the plate and campaign for change. Let’s take a look at some of these issues and how we can best address them.
The Elephant In The Room: Attribution (Or Lack Thereof)
For over two decades, we’ve been using the last-click model to validate and measure the entire efficacy of our industry. It’s about time we face reality and understand the blatant flaws of this strategy.
Let’s look at sandwich boards as an example — you know, those boards that sit outside storefronts and shops exhibiting the special or sale of the day? A brand can spend millions of dollars on marketing, TV spots, digital, mobile, and direct mail elements. But the last-click model is like giving all the credit of driving new customers to your store to just the sandwich boards.
The law of advertising economics says that money follows where there are eyeballs. With mobile usage now surpassing desktop, the ecosystem is making us adopt a new performance model.
We need a new attribution model, and with that, more analytic-focused professionals where marketing budgets are controlled.
Bring It Back To People
It’s time that we all go back to one of the basics of marketing: It’s about understanding consumers’ intent, not about the ad impressions.
Brands need to understand how their users are engaging with the brand across channels and how their behaviors are affecting sales. If you’re an auto brand, your customers will act very differently from customers looking for a new restaurant — from how quickly they’ll react to the brand message, to what channels they’re using, to what actions they’ll take once they engage with the brand.
Once you understand your users and their behaviors, you can then set an appropriate target for your omni-channel strategy.
Deliver Personalized Messages
Everyone loves Super Bowl commercials. Why? Because marketers spend loads of money and time to deliver the perfect and innovative brand message to the highest viewed slots on TV. When time (and sometimes money) is spent on delivering a message to an audience, the effects are huge.
We need to adopt the same principle and discipline for better creative delivery in digital and mobile. Marketers need to get better at personalization and innovation in their creative design.
I cringe anytime I see a static 320×50 ad on mobile, but get giddy when I see a well-done native mobile ad or Mraid (where I can swipe and shake features of the ad). This type of engagement with consumers will help marketers build a personal and emotional connection with the end user, and most likely lead to a bigger sales margin.
Use Data, Intelligence
Mobile and programmatic have been referred to as the “wild, wild West,” but more solutions are in place than ever before.
Even now, marketers aren’t taking full advantage of the data available to them. There’s now intelligible data that can help us determine a bot versus human, identify quality traffic sources, understand what people are searching for in real-time, locate customers based on GPS signals, and tell you where your ad was viewed.
We need to get comfortable with multiple sources of data and determine how to bring them together to make the best of use of it. In the end, using data for intelligence will lead to greater trust, transparency and performance.
The same principles behind a great presidential campaign stand true for great digital campaigns: To gain people’s votes (or interactions in our world), you must be able to deliver the right message to the end user before you’re too far down the campaign trail.