On the jury of the XIV Digital Marketing Conclave of IAMAI, 2018, it was heartening to get a close-look at the `client’-side of things with a fresh perspective.
Any digital marketer, worth his salt especially one with 2-3 decades in sales or marketing, knows that digital can today totally change the game for his or her business, drive growth, reverse stagnation, input into product development, totally overhaul ROI, etc. But before we look at how you can drive digital in your company, let’s look at what are some of the stumbling blocks:
#1 Getting the right `digital’ partner. Digital agencies can execute but can fall short on strategy, or if they are in place, the young-talent there is not `expected’ to really understand the strategy piece, so businesses end-up sharing superficial briefs with their digital partner. As an independent digital agency ourselves, this is a piece we are really working on addressing constantly.
#2 Mature ad network strategize but limit in adopting digital as an integral practice of all they do and continue to treat digital as an add on. Even after acquiring top-rank digital agencies, the story remains the same, an adopted child being patronized or getting a step-motherly treatment, but not its share-of-voice in the big advertising piece internally.
#3 Digital itself is not just about creative communication and media planning and buying, but it has as a backbone an `alien’ territory that the marketer has to deal with, the rapidly-evolving technology piece.
#4 Digital leaderships within companies are not qualified enough. In-house marketing talent, typically brand or sales managers, and in worst-case scenarios – the Media head, is (often suddenly) entrusted with holding the digital mantle either as a new career opportunity / promotion, or simply as an add on to what they were already doing. Which only adds up to the challenges mentioned in the earlier 3 points.
#5 Top management buy-in to investing in digital marketing, moving away from the comfort zone, is a challenge.
Top brass is okay to spend 5 percent, thereabouts, of total budgets on the most familiar digital avenues like Facebook page, getting a website done, and 20-100 words in SEO.
#6 That smartphones are reaching where even TV does not is now being advocated by Bollywood, as they rapidly are adopting digital to market their films. Winning the Digital Celebrity title, cinestar Varun Dhawan, saw that the residents of a village where he shot knew him, thanks to Jio, access to the Internet with their smart phones, and the videos they saw of his on Youtube. This village does not have any television reach. Yet, feeding the Jio phenomenon as a reality to top bosses is mostly a humongous task, (if this applies to you, maybe the celebrity endorsement for digital reach with Dhawan’s video piece may just work). The mobile revolution is only superficially acknowledged.
#7 Digital is perceived to deliver greater ROI and is measurable, so more accountability on small digital spends is expected, which needs to surpass the ROI from traditional media! This despite the fact that TV is where the the brand is spending 500 per cent more than digital. What’s more even if achieved, the proof-of-concept continues to be a small pilot and all the hard work and slogging is just not able to help create an internal shift.
Read Part II of this blog to find out how you can bring the shift.