Mondelēz, Peugeot and Dixons Carphone’s tips to maximise digital effectiveness

Top marketers share their insight on maximising effectiveness and debate whether the industry needs a new toolbox for the digital age.

What does success look like in the digital age and how can marketers make sure they deliver on a daily basis? Top marketers from Peugeot, Dixons Carphone, Mondelez, Aviva, The Economist and the IPA share their thoughts.

How do you drive marketing effectiveness and why is it so crucial?

Janet Hull, IPA director of marketing strategy

“Getting the measurement strategy right is very important. You can look at data day in and day out, and make decisions every second, but you have to keep a clear head in terms of what you are trying to achieve. You need to make sure you’re making the spot decisions with the right context.

“Marketers also need to think about how to manage the process so all members of the team – agency and client side – are heading towards the same vision. You’ve got to give individuals a lot more responsibility these days to take decisions, so you have to make sure you’ve got a common view.

“Also marketing is continually having to demonstrate the value it adds to the business. So it’s that idea of how you articulate what you do to stakeholders who don’t work in marketing and make sure they appreciate where you create value.

“If you’re not careful effectiveness goes downstream into people who are technical, whereas we think effectiveness is a topic that everybody involved in marketing needs to address.”

How big is digital in your overall marketing mix?

Pete Markey, Aviva brand communication and marketing director

“We have a mantra within the business digital first. When the last Paul Whitehouse ad aired 90% of our spend was in traditional channels and the rest was in social and digital content. Now it’s 50/50.

“Digital is something that we do now, but measurement and effectiveness is key as we’re an accountable business and every penny we spend has to be paid back. The ultimate aim of any bit of activity in any business has to be a commercial result.

“You can have 20 million Facebook followers and likes, but no customers, so you’ve got to get this balance right. For me there should always be a commercial return. It doesn’t mean you always have to sell something, but there should be an understanding of what journey you are taking customers on and what the output should look like. I think of it as engagement and interaction leading to some kind of commercial benefit.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxtRdDDHpY8

What is the priority when it comes to your digital strategy – reach or targeting?

Mark Pickles, Peugeot marketing director

“This very much depends on the overall campaign strategy. In general, when I’m building a campaign to build reach, digital usually takes two roles – to over-target priority customer groups, and then to develop the interaction and drive action.

“By definition, a properly constructed digital campaign is generally more targeted, however that’s not to say that reach can’t be achieved efficiently with a digital campaign. Indeed, the very term ‘digital’ is too much of a ‘catch-all’ description. There are so many different types of digital activity in our toolkit now, each with a different set of abilities. Think of digital as a box of tools rather than a multi-tool.”

Are we moving away from segmentation to personalisation?

Jonathan Earle, Dixons Carphone commercial marketing director

“Online there’s an increasing consumer trend towards wanting things served up ‘just for me’. So personalisation is essential, but segmentation is still very important and I wouldn’t rule it out. It’s a bit like saying TV advertising is dead. It’s still very important if you’re looking to promote not just products, but individual categories.”

Are disruptors driving the pace of change?

Jonathan Earle, Dixons Carphone commercial marketing director

“The barriers to entry are at an all time low and a disruptor can disrupt a marketer overnightI could be out marketing to like-minded individuals in an online marketplace within a week if I were slow, because it is so easy now as an entrepreneur to get into the market. That means how you’re perceived by customers and potential customers has never been more important.”

Should brands use influencers to boost their digital effectiveness?

Pollyanna Ward, Mondelez digital and social media manager

“On Instagram it makes sense to tap into a slightly more targeted audience and what’s fantastic about micro-influencers is they’re these tight knit communities that all talk to each other. So if you work with those kinds of influencers, content appears native in their feeds.

“Instagram has just updated its platform to allow users to upload multiple posts into one photo. As a brand we’ve been able to do that for ages with the carousel ads, but it says ‘sponsored post’. Whereas if you can get that from a micro influencer and you’re getting them to tell your story, that’s an added layer to what you are trying to deliver and a different way of communicating your message.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TrhOkB5Zrk

How important is it to understand how your consumers act on different channels?

Pollyanna Ward, Mondelez digital and social media manager

“Whatever channel you decide to go on you need to appreciate what that channel is doing for you and how your users are on there.

“If your users are coming on there to interact with friends and family, and you’re trying to push out an ad that’s got a hardcore message it’s just going to be missed. But if it’s fun, colourful and fits in, that makes more sense. If the message doesn’t resonate you’ll see the dwell time is significantly lower.”

Do marketers need to find a balance between long and short-term metrics?

Mark Pickles, Peugeot marketing director

“For me, short-term strategy is often a reflection of failure or inefficiency in the long-term strategy. Every campaign, every piece of work, should contribute to the long-term strategy, however subtly.

“A short-term campaign that jars with the overall brand strategy, whilst often capable of ‘flicking the needle’, is unlikely to yield medium term efficiency.

“Equally, I have to acknowledge that reactivity is often required and sometimes a long-term strategy can’t second-guess those more immediate needs. The important thing to assess is that the short-term benefit of a ‘quick-fix’ campaign isn’t cancelled out by creating confusion or dissonance with the long-term strategy.”

Is it important to have a clear grasp of your KPIs in a world of real-time optimisation?

Mark Beard, The Economist’s senior vice president of digital media and content strategy

“Academically the job of a marketer hasn’t changed. As a marketer it is your job to find ways to solve a business problem and use the right channels and activity against the right KPIs.

“What has changed is there are now a hell of a lot more ways you can monitor your activity and you can set machines up to monitor and optimise a range of different KPIs.

“So as a marketer you’ve got to be incredibly clear about what it is you want your campaign to achieve and then set every element of that activity up so that your campaign is optimised to the end goal.”

Should marketers try to measure every interaction between their brand and consumers?

Mark Pickles, Peugeot marketing director

“Historically, we’ve thought of the sales and marketing process as a vertical funnel, with marketing actions designed to either close leaks in that pipeline, or increase the flow – very focused on hard conversion.

“Today, with prospects likely to consume multiple messages and pieces of communication over a protracted period, identifying the last action before a sale can be dangerous. Of course, I want to know which piece of marketing prompted action – but if I don’t consider all the other actions that brought the prospect to this point, the results can be very misleading.

“This means we need the ability to track consumption of our campaigns longitudinally, so that when we convert a sale we can identify all the actions which moved the customer a little closer to converting. This is one of the key challenges in the era of big data – working out what is the most efficient sequence of actions, rather than just identifying the last action.”

Do you think marketing effectiveness needs to be redefined in a digital age?

Jonathan Earle, Dixons Carphone commercial marketing director

“Ultimately when we talk about digital, it sounds like this very grand term. It’s just the way we behave. Media is getting more fragmented and with more competition people are fighting for a greater share of disposal income.

“It is much harder to be a marketer than it was ten years ago, because of the number of channels available and the amount of personalisation. Customers are doing things a lot differently and we need to be able to show we’re driving return on investment because we know the customers better than anyone else.

“So does marketing effectiveness need redefining? Well probably not, we just need to evolve with how consumers are behaving.”

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