John Lennon once said “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” His shrewd observation on the human condition is applicable to today’s advertising industry, with many clients and agencies seeming to take their eyes off their live campaigns as soon as they’ve launched because they’re so busy planning the next one. Given the pressures of today’s fast moving, “now” industry, this is understandable, but not necessarily forgivable. In reality, much of the hard work on a campaign should start when it launches.
The careful monitoring of live campaigns to generate learning for the planning of the next one is vital in advertising and this is particularly true in the digital medium where tracking and optimisation can take place extremely quickly. Not only can traditional “hard” quantitative digital measures be assessed (eg clicks and impressions), but clients are starting to realise that “softer” qualitative measures can also be tracked and can be just as important. Blog posts and comments on a brand’s social networking page can provide golden nuggets of “micro” qualitative research that can be fed into overall campaign learnings and can prove just as valuable as quantitative metrics. If users voice an opinion during a campaign about a piece of content or creative then clients and agencies should be listening, and where possible, acting. If actions can’t be taken immediately then these opinions should at least be fed back into the planning process.
Such fluid digital campaign planning and assessment can be confusing for some clients, particularly those new to digital. But it is essential that any uncertainty is overcome in order to exploit the medium to its full, flexible potential. At Skive, we ask our clients to take a step-by-step approach to digital advertising by tracking, testing and learning as a campaign develops. We’re encouraging more of them to join us in making use of the different touchpoints of the digital medium to keep their eyes and ears open during their live campaigns so we can collectively gather as much information as possible. Assessing how consumers are receiving a live campaign is extremely important to us and we regularly check blogs, brand social network groups and other areas for user opinion.
Given the flexibility of digital, it’s also always wise to keep aside a tactical budget that can be used should an appropriate opportunity arise. As part of Skive’s digital planning on the Nestlé Kit Kat account, we incorporated some experiential activity that we found out about at late notice on their social networking page.
This added more value to the campaign and was extremely well received by users. If different parties are actively seeking information around the campaign it’s much more likely that such opportunities will be identified and then successfully actioned.
Paul Guerrieria is a Digital Planner at Skive
Skive is a member of the MCCA
www.mcca.org.uk 020 7535 3550