Planning a Digital Campaign 101

Recently, I was invited by Small Enterprise Magazine to contribute my thoughts for the Digital Marketing Special edition. Click here to view the PDF of the May 2014 edition.

Here is a full text excerpt of the same article:

Planning an effective digital campaign is a vital cog in any marketer’s wheel. Every year we see innovative digital campaigns that steal the limelight & make it to the list of top campaigns. These campaigns boost the brand value and deliver unique experiences that create a long-term stakeholder impact.

As brand marketers we often ask ourselves the million-dollar question – What is it that we need to do to create these campaigns and make them big & successful?

In the hindsight, these campaigns require weeks and sometime months of meticulous planning from multidisciplinary teams. The key is to understand that the planning components for a digital campaign are largely similar to an ATL/BTL marketing campaign. The only difference is the platform and the roles of the team-members involved.

While planning your campaigns, look around, do some research and see what your competition is doing. This medium is so open that you might get a digital campaign idea from looking at something completely unrelated.

I strongly believe that while planning a digital campaign, you should not restrict yourself by bracketing within the boundaries of the digital medium only. Sometimes the idea might go beyond the digital medium and take mainstream route. Instead of thinking about a Facebook app, a contest or a video you should focus on the core-idea or the brand message that needs to be propagated. Then you should think of what’s the best way to take this idea forward. Video is great to convey your message, portray emotions with a unique storytelling approach. Google India’s Reunion commercial video hit the emotional chord and garnered over 1million views by showing how a granddaughter in India uses Google to find her grandpa’s long lost friend who now lives far away in Pakistan.

Wrangler for instance has beautifully positioned itself as biker friendly denim by nurturing biking communities in India through its nation wide campaign ‘True Wanderers’. While the interaction between bikers and the brand takes through a portal the campaign has broken the shackles with a holistic retail, print & BTL presence.

The 7 Point Checklist for Crafting a Digital Campaign – Key Questions to Ponder Over

  1. What is our top-level campaign budget? (Everything else will come to a standstill if we don’t define our budget. We might have a great viral video idea, but if we don’t have the budget to shoot it then the idea is better kept in a bag.)
  2. What’s our core idea? (E.g. – Our idea is to depict usage of our product through an emotional story and generate buzz for our brand).
  3. Why is it different & what we’ll achieve? (How does our idea cut through the clutter? This is where we have to clearly set out our campaign objectives i.e. generating buzz or we want to improve conversions, build awareness).
  4. To what degree is it resonating with the brand image? (How will this campaign amplify our brand reach/drive footfalls etc.)
  5. Who are our audience for this campaign? (Segmentation and Profiling)
  6. How & why will they engage? (Will they be using a portal or an application? Are they being rewarded with gratification or is the message so compelling that they would like to see/visit it. Videos that keep branding to a minimum and create high level of emotional content generally do well).
  7. How will we measure the success of this campaign (While everyone knows that we can measure Views for Video, Impressions/Traffic for a website, Entries for a campaign, Transactions/Sales for an e-commerce site, quite often we don’t benchmark the success. Are 1mn views, good for my YouTube video? What’s the industry average? How many views do my competitors usually get on their campaign videos.)

Sometimes campaign managers feel that their job is done once they’ve launched a digital campaign. Launching a campaign is just one end of the spectrum as not everything that you create goes viral on its own. You need to use tactics to push it ahead be it through ads or through word of mouth and make your Digital campaign successful.


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