This deck was pulled together
in late 2010. The purpose of the presentation was to introduce the audience to brand engagement in the digital landscape. The learning are intentionally rudimentary. I chose to share the information in the form of a story. For the next 30 slides or so, we’re going on a little adventure. My hope is that by the end of our adventure, you’ll have a better idea of brand engagement in the digital landscape. * This deck was modified for SlideShare to include the copy in the slides. You can download the presentation, remove the copy and stretch out the images (they fit).
This is a presentation rooted
in marketing. I’d like you to keep your marketing hat on for this story but think of it like a skull cap. Why? Because you’re also going to be putting on a space helmet since our adventure is a trip to Planet Digital.
Here’s the analogy we’ll be
using in our quest to understand brand engagement in the digital landscape. The earth has four layers: 1) The atmosphere 2) The crust 3) The mantle 4) The core. Planet Digital is not dissimilar.
Planet Digital also has four
layers: 1) Listening 2) Messaging 3) Owned media 4) Brand Utility. By the end of this presentation, you will see how the different levels work together. This presentation purposely segments levels of brand engagement in the digital space as a learning device. The reality is that all of these segments work together. Before we go any further, it’s important to make one thing clear.
Not the tools It’s important
to mention that this presentation is not about the different communication tools available online. We’re not talking about media channels or platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. Instead think of the digital space as a catalyst of change. Digital has fundamentally changed the marketer’s playbook and the ways they engage audiences. The tools and platforms available in the digital space can be used at all the levels of brand engagement we’re about to go through, and it’s important to realize they each all have their own rules and culture. So we’re almost ready for take off but before we go anywhere, let’s ground ourselves.
Let’s look at what we
know best: traditional marketing. Think of Earth as the traditional media landscape. It’s important to look at the culture of traditional marketing to understand the culture of digital marketing. How would you describe the culture of traditional marketing? This isn’t a trick question and I’ll get you started: broad and wide.
Now, what would you predict
about the culture on Planet Digital? Take 3 minutes and then we’ll share. Here’s are a few cultural characteristics answer: Participation, value creation, doing things for people, tangible value, behaviour. Again, thanks to Aki.
Now we’re in a good
place to take off - let’s review the battle plan. We’re taking off to Planet Digital to explore the four level of brand engagement on this evolving planet. We’re not taking about tools, although they will come up. Deeper levels of brand engagement do not imply more robust tools but rather the affinity consumers have towards certain brands.
Level 1 - Listening The
first step to engaging with Planet Digital is garnering intelligence and we do that with a trick called listening.
Listening allows brands to predict
shifts in sentiment, potential problems & opportunity. The point here is that we want an understanding of the playing field before we hit the pitch. This isn’t all that different from traditional marketing. The general rule of thumb is to set aside three months of listening before jumping into the second stage. This technique should be carried out on all levels of brand engagement. There are numerous tools to help us accomplish listening. You should be using them all the time.
When it comes to listening
tools, some are free and some not. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. Although the free tools are helpful, they pale in comparison to paid services. What’s not free is moderation. FREE TOOL - http://search.twitter.com/ NOT SO FREE TOOL - http://bit.ly/djWM9q
Gatorade has created an entire
“Command Center” to manage their brand online. You don’t need a room this fancy but you do need hands on deck to manage brand listening and tracking. The benefits of this investment include insight mining, research on campaigns, real time feedback. Not to mention the opportunity to address issues before they get out of control.
You will learn a lot
from listening and you will apply your learning to develop a well thought out plan based on insight. For the digital space, the marketing plan is not too dissimilar to what traditional marketers are used to developing however there are a few modifications to the process: 1). We’re working on longer time frames – 13 week cycles are dead. 2). It’s a highly fragmented space and you have the ability to hyper-target. 3). You need to do more than broadcast a message, more on that shortly. 4). You must be committed to ongoing moderation.
The Motrin Mom throw down
is a good example of why you never want to stop moderating - http://bit.ly/d9wlfE Level 1 & Listening are table stakes for any marketing investment. You want to spend time understanding your audience, the context of your presence and develop a strategy based on information.
So, you’ve listened from the
outer realms of Planet Digital and you’ve got an idea of the lay of the land. Time for the next step and being new to this planet, you’re going to take it slow & engage at Level 2 – Messaging. You are familiar with this territory because Level 2 focuses on tactics marketers have been doing since the dawn of their trade: communicating a message.
In Level 2 we are
applying traditional advertising techniques to digital media unit – filling a media void with a message. The difference in the digital space is that you need to be cognizant of a number of different formats, specs, and particularly interactivity. In addition to the formats, remember that there are static and rich media units. A lot of people reading this online should be shaking their heads yes yes but it’s important to note that most brands who venture to Planet Digital stop at this level of brand engagement.
Here’s an example of a
static media unit. It’s exactly what it sounds like – static images. We’re not going to dwell on this. What’s critical to note is that our efforts remain on delivering a message. We’re still playing by the old rules. Google also does a fantastic job of servicing up static messaging based on your online data trail. So, if you’re typing an email to a friend about a vacation to Iceland, Google will serve up ads that are contextually relevant to the contents of your email such as hotels in Iceland. The ability to leverage data in the online space is astronomical, meaning your message can be contextually relevant.
Next up is rich media
in the messaging category. These media units are a little different than traditional units because they allows marketers to create interactive experiences with our audience Again, we’re playing by the old rules here since our focus remains on broadcasting a message and interrupting people as they engage with content online. Say Media has some great examples of rich media ad units - http://saymedia.com/
Here’s an example of a
highly interactive rich media unit: http://www.sleepsuperbly.com/try-sleep-therapy/ This unit is providing a message via an interactive experience. This is significantly better than static messaging tactics because it’s entertaining in the process of marketing. The point you need to take away from Level 2 is that media space can be created anywhere, including online. The online space allows for an interactive and engaging delivery of a message, however you are paying for media and focusing on “pushing” messages. It’s not that this is wrong or bad, it’s just not the best way to get people to connect with your brand.
You’re warming up to Planet
Digital. You’ve listened to your audience and have a good understanding of the landscape. You built a plan to work towards your goals and you’ve applied some of your old tricks to this new planet. Next step is about fostering and maintaining a “community” around your brand. That sounds kinda cheesy and there’s a lot of discussion about what a “community” is actually worth. Another way to look at this notion of “community” is the group people who voluntarily decide to engage with your brand. Some refer to this group as owned media. These are the people who have built a bridge between themselves and your brand (follow on Twitter or a “like” on Facebook). Ideally, you haven’t paid them to make this connection (promo discount), they do it because they like you or your offering (good or service).
First step is to set
up a brand presence on Planet Digital. In the old days, it would have been a website and today it’s most likely a Facebook Page and/or a collection of other platforms. Level 3 is about creating an ongoing online presence, but more importantly, a purpose online. It’s less about what a brand says and more about what a brand does. It’s about making a connection with you audience beyond the “message” marketing and sales pitch from your brand. In building a community around your brand, you should ask yourself why would anybody choose to hear from you? What value are you bringing to the relationship?
Why should you care about
this community and building owned media? Because the group of people who make up your owned media base are most likely to advocate your brand and spread the word. The outcome being the coveted “earned media”. Earned media is the result of doing such a good job that people talk about your brand and in turn generates impressions you don’t pay for directly. It’s more than just “earned media”. A rich community around your brand allows you to hone your efforts and create the best possible outcomes. Owned media becomes a launch pad for future experiences, research, beta testing & feedback, advocacy, earned media, the list goes on.
How do you build an
owned media base? First, stop being selfish. This is about creating a mutually beneficial relationship between you and your audience. Secondly, forget campaign cycles, this is an ongoing commitment to your audience. You must find the value that you offer your audience beyond your marketing message and you must continue to deliver. We’ll look at examples of creating value for your audience in Level 4. For now, decide where in the online space it is most appropriate for you to build a brand presence. Maybe it’s a website, maybe it’s Facebook or Twitter, it all really depends on your goals and your ability to do a good job within that respective space.
Level 4 is all about
creating value for your audience while reinforcing your brand purpose. Beyond what your brand says, what is your brand doing that actually provides something of value to your audience? How are you making things better for everyone including yourself?
For a brand like Skittles
the value the brand delivers is manifested in the form of entertainment. Skittles delivers entertaining content and experiences. Sure it’s mostly just copy but it makes people laugh. Skittles also invites their audience to participate in brand experiences. Check out Mob The Rainbow as an example. Value: Entertainment Brand Connection: Skittles is bright and fun.
For Best Buy, the value
is utility. The Twelp Force is a glorified call center. This is an old example but a good one. Best Buy is committed to helping people who voice their tech troubles and questions in the digital space. That’s it. Simply but valuable. Value: Helpful information Brand Connection: Best Buy is the expert when it comes to technical technological matters.
For Starbucks it’s about improving
the status quo and making their audience partners in improvement. Check out MyStarbucksIdea for more info. In short, people submit their ideas to make the Starbucks experience better, others votes, great ideas happen. Value: Participating in a platform that makes things better. Brand Connection: The Starbucks experience is about making things the best they can be.
For Burton & Nokia, it’s
about upping the game by allowing people to quantify their skills. I love this collaboration because marketing is baked into the experience – it’s so awesome they don’t need to buy media to support it – this will just spread itself. It goes to show that if you invest in your audience, they will love you for it. Focus on end user value & participation Listen to consumer reaction and always live in beta. PUSH - http://blogs.nokia.com/pushburton/ Value: If you’re a snowboarder – endless Brand Connection – Burton: upping the game. Nokia: Your phone is more than a phone.
You might be thinking: what
does this have to do with me? I’m Phama? B2B? I sell screwdrivers? And that’s the challenge…what value do you offer your audience beyond your pitch?
If Pfizer can do it,
so can you. Pfizer developed Smidge, a service that helps people develop health habits. http://www.morethanmedication.ca/en/home/
Here’s a summary of the
cultural code marketers need to adopt with the emergence of the digital space. This information is stolen because I couldn’t have said it better. Thanks Aki. If there’s one thing to take away from this presentation, it’s that the rules of the game have changed. It’s time to evolve our marketing playbook and adopt new guidelines. Sure, traditional media and messaging stuff will still continue to play a role but the brands that are going to set themselves apart from others are able to offer value beyond their pitch.
The End. I hope you
found this presentation helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me @zach_ary or email@example.com Thanks for you time.