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YOUR DIGITAL EFFORTS ARE FAILING. HERE ARE 5 REASONS WHY.

August 25th, 2016

Digital yada yada. Mobile this and that. Stats coming out of your ears for days. Yet your efforts are just not delivering. Here are some things to think about…

 

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The inability to develop original strategy and thought manifests in the lazy process of looking over the fence at what the neighbors are up to. I believe it valuable to have an orientation, but it is detrimental to “over-focus” on what your competitors are doing. They have an app, we need an app. They have influencers, we need them too. Rubbish. You need what is best for your consumer and in the slim chance that you have similar consumers, your brand essence should be the differentiator. Focus within to differentiate yourselves and obsess externally (macro environment primarily, but minimize your competitor focus) to capture the hearts of your customers.

 

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The good old Key Performance Irritator. I think this “digital thing” has been a problematic medium. Due to the fact digital is so measureable, we end up measuring the wrong things. I often sit in meetings where there is confusion about what to measure as value. Marketing as a discipline is about 2 things – (1) acquiring new customers and (2) Getting existing customers to buy more. Both are quantitative measures that start at the top of the marketing funnel. The equalizing metric that is directly proportional to what eventually comes out of the funnel, will always be – what goes into it. Ask yourself, are you reaching the right volume of people at an optimal frequency to drive business results for your business? If you have a smart answer for that, then call me when you can tell me the click through rate on a TV Ad.

 

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So we have the “big idea” and this idea must manifest itself in all channels and formats. In theory I agree, but in reality the “big idea” is likely created by an agency that understands traditional media more intimately than digital media. That already introduces integration bias before you even start. Then when ideas are trully integrated, but didn’t stem from the big idea, they get dissed. Not cool. Brand leaders need to play a more central role as orchestra conductors to manage against integration bias and surface the ideas that do the job. The opposite also applies in that “the new” and “the flashy” things take limelight and try to over shadow “tried and tested”. It should not be a competition, but a complimentary relationship.

 

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It’s also funny to observe the relationship between most agencies and their masters – I mean clients. For a partnership to be fully functional, the tenets of any relationship have to prevail. Trust, transparency and communication. The agency can no longer be slaves to the retainer. They must re-evaluate their relationships and emotional contracts with the clients. Agencies, you also have a lot to answer for with your chronic under-investing in your people tendencies. Agencies! Get the correct resources and do what is right for your clients. Clients! trust and believe in your agency and do what is right for your customer. 

 

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The previous point leads me to my final point, sometimes the “digital peeps” in the organization are the ones that “look” like they should be leading the digital charge, I mean they must be. They are young (age & experience) and relevant – right? Wrong. Age and inexperience sometimes make it difficult to lead complex discussions with various teams and make impactful decisions with full appreciation of consequence. So, no – It is not entirely true that just because I have 500k followers on twitter and every Sunday I can get anything to trend (including #couchpotato #sillysundays et al) I should be leading or even creating strategies. It also doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t but because of using this as a default position.

 

I am Musa – A mildy irritated, but excited African.