‘Chronicles of a Head of Digital’ – 13

Leadership with thoughts wrapped around current happenings this time, so less show and tell, more views and placement. The catalyst being some client planning and forecasting, with research based on analytics, traffic, and patterns in tandem with trends and behaviours.

Proactive client work borne out of tactics, planning and strategy.

Came out of a B2B tech new biz meeting yesterday and I do tend to forget how hard it can be sometimes to get these global players to adopt or accept some of the tech we do, despite them being, on paper, tech giants. Whilst they will much of the time be spearheading their particular niche in terms of leading-edge technology, when it comes to advertising this, marketing what they do, they do always tend to err on the cautious side.

We do tend to get locked into this B2B mind-set, and no matter the prodding, persuading and pushing, some B2B channels will remain within the comfort blanket. And with the investment made internally and externally it always astonishes me to see this. How content these people can be with the traffic levels they get, and the interest they stimulate. Just one lead, they say, provides the ROI we need. Fair enough, but why not push for a far stronger percentage return through stronger tactics?

Five years ago, I used to hit the wall with this sector with social media, its usage, its worth and deployment of. Our sector and customers do not use these channels. It was uphill against the wind, and this still exists, but thankfully to a lesser extent. The blinkers are loose if not completely off. These days, it is a narrow view on any outbound that doesn’t look at multi, or dare I say, omni channel approaches. Offline and online. And when online, multiple channels therein.

From the outbound eDMs, pushing to the landing page, supported with placed media, search and PPC, and social channel link ups, be that LinkedIn and Twitter or, dare I suggest, a consumer-focused channel such as Instagram or Snapchat. Then, possibly, the wherewithal of a WebEx broadcast or live Twitter debate. Next week, I will ditch WebEx and do a live FedEx. Maybe even a Google Hangout. And let’s see if I float and am declared a witch with the suggestion of a live Periscope cast.

All this leads me to my point of the Chronicle this time around.

Is the campaign, as a standalone action, dead?

Well, dead is too strong a term. Dead it is not, and potentially will never be, but its influence in the marketing calendar is, or will be, loving prominence. The campaign as a tactic will always be there to an extent, but in our multi-channel world, multi-tactic deployment model, in and outbound mechanics, ROI and success measurements, the campaign as a model is evolving into a never-ending cycle. The campaign, as such, is an ongoing tactic. And an ever-evolving story.

This is largely driven by digital, this world I chose to make a living in. As digital evolves as an ever-growing momentum across all sectors, services, markets and customer types, the always-on, never-away, in your pocket, constant-access world is demanding a new recognition, response, ambient and invasive tactic to develop.

And right here and now, for me at least, it’s that model that excites, it’s the link between people and advert that pushes it. It’s the placement of media in whatever form it takes from the pocket and places that in the real world that really creates opportunity. Perhaps it is the Pokémon Go influence invading us all, but this is heralding a renewed interest in augmented reality. I would also suggest the new awareness and acceptance of VR (mainly in my view thanks to Google Cardboard) is letting people see the other reality tech, and AR is potentially there. We have seen soft emergence in terms of ‘interactive’ billboards, personalised digital media, geocaching, geo-targeted ads – all this is the tip.

It’s that interaction of ‘customer’ in the real world via their personal device in that pocket of theirs, now in their hand as they browse your aisles, walk past your stand/storefront, and enter your gardens…

From speccing up the buildouts of live interactive, reward-giving POS, to living walls within historic or NOW environments via a treasure hunt with Twitter linking to AR, it’s all good stuff and stuff to excite us as an industry and sector to then excite and pull in those punters. And yes, B2B punters as well as B2C. The FMCG channels may well spearhead many new waves, but I have done it both sides of the fence.

From hiding robots and leaking through rich media in situ to rewarding on Instagram, which in turn broadcasts live to a theatre, or live voting via app to a PPT to build in participation, to a geo cache reward and gamification in a stately home or shopping aisle.

Bring back the QR code!

Next week I promise, I will use fax in a promo. Fax is the next wave.