Speaking at Mad//Fest London 2021, where NDA was the official media sponsor, Incubeta’s Global Director of Product Strategy & Growth, Damien Bennett, shared some digital strategies that marketers can adopt to cut through the BS.
With the pandemic, many businesses have had to increase their reliance on digital, and it’s something we can only expect to continue. That’s why it’s so important to get the strategy right to provide value for both your business and the consumer.
The first thing businesses should address is the way they view creativity on digital channels, according to Bennett.
“Start thinking about your creative through a digital lens. We’ve all been in meetings with creative teams – whether they’re internal or external creative teams – where the creative output, the creative concept, is built with a traditional asset in mind,” he said.
“The challenge of that is, firstly, most businesses now spend more than 50% of their marketing budget on digital channels. Secondly, there’s a whole lot more that you can do through digital than just with a static asset. And, by thinking about the final output in traditional senses, you miss all of these opportunities around interactivity.”
An example of this is when Incubeta worked with Mercedes during the pandemic to bring the car showroom experience to consumers via augmented reality. Consumers were unable to see cars in-person, so the ad enabled them move their phone around and interact with the car virtually.
Incubeta also worked with Disney on their Disney+ launch campaign. To address common questions about OTT platforms, such as ‘what shows are on the platform?’ or ‘how much does it cost?’, Incubeta built a chatbot within an ad unit to answer those questions. The responses were also made using the tone of voice from characters featuring on the platform, such as C-3PO from Star Wars.
“These things can often be dismissed as being gimmicky, but here’s the truth: when you add interactivity to your ad units, it makes a massive difference to engagement levels. When we compare interactive units with static units, from a digital perspective, it’s like night and day. 10 times higher engagement from interactive units,” said Bennett.
“There’s a real business reason behind this as well because, if you can drive higher engagement, it means you can receive the same results with less media investment, or much higher engagement with the same level of investment. In marketing, we are sometimes guilty of forgetting about that link between great creative and the required media investment. There’s a very direct link between the two.”
The second strategy Bennett suggested businesses should adopt is to bring their business data into their marketing.
For example, retailers can use their data to predict which products will sell out without marketing, enabling them to manage their marketing spend more effectively. Airlines can make sure they’re not spending marketing budget on routes that are going to be fully-booked anyway. And businesses can use price competitiveness data to push the areas of their business which are price competitive.
“When we talk about data in our industry, we’re almost always talking about customer data,” said Bennett. “Don’t get me wrong, there’s a huge number of exciting things that you can do from a customer data perspective. But, if you’re integrating your business data into your marketing, there are really exciting things you can do to ensure alignment.
“In marketing, we make investment decisions every day. And, by aligning with business data, we can make sure that we’re making those investment decisions the right way.”
The final strategy worth looking into, according to Incubeta, is for businesses to put more pressure on their reporting, so that they have richer insights.
“If you put pressure on your reporting, you’d find it’s probably not telling you everything you would want to know. For example, is it telling you who the customer was? For most businesses, there’s a really big difference in the value of acquiring a customer for the first time versus driving sales for a repeat customer. How did they purchase? It makes a difference if they purchased in-store, online, or through your app. What product did they buy? Many businesses sell products which have wildly different margins, so that’s something that’s important to understand,” said Bennett.
“It’s about putting pressure on your reporting to understand those things. It’s not good enough to only understand, at the top level, what the sales number is. There’s so much more context behind that sales number. Better reporting equals better decisions. Your reporting drives the decision-making within your business. So, the better your reporting, the better your decision, and the better value you get overall.”
Taking all of this into account, Bennett’s key takeaway was that businesses shouldn’t look to change everything, because “it’s better to do fewer things really well than to try to change everything”.
*Incubeta is a client of Bluestripe Communications, owned by Bluestripe Group, the owner for NDA.