For quite some time our local marketing and advertising industries have been talking about ‘digital’, the importance of brands becoming more digitally-oriented and having experts in all interactive technical areas in order to conquer the digital spectrum.
Although this is a reality brands face every day there’s a lot of opportunities missing in the planning to implementation process.
This is a suitable moment to analyze if during this first quarter of 2017 we’re on the right track towards becoming the agency, company and/or brand that changes its paradigm and launches a forceful journey into the digital world and doesn’t remain as yet another New Year’s resolution.

I stop and ask myself, if we are aware of the importance of Social Media in communication planning, the viral value of a publication and the capabilities of segmentation, why do we continue basing our strategies solely on Facebook and keep investing less than a 20% of our media budgets on digital? The only logical explanation that comes to mind is lack of information, previous ineffective experiences or staying in the comfort zone we’re accustomed to.

It’s because of this that I want to base this entry on challenging the “everyday thinking”, presenting opportunities that you may be letting pass through and rethinking executions that we actually carry out and as a result, have a truly digital year.
At the end of the day, the opportunities have always been there, it’s up to you deciding whether to do it this year or wait for the next one. It’s your call.

If we think about segmentation, let’s leave behind the P25+ or the undervalued millennials.  Baby boomers and millennials are the targets with the greatest media investment as of now. But this being an entry about innovation, I want to tell you about how we’ve recently worked on strategies focused on the Generation Z, better known as the post-millennials and centennials.
This generation is extremely connected and seeks to participate in the co-creation of content for brands. This is why those strategies focused only on Facebook will cease to work as these new generations know and manage the digital spectrum to perfection.
Snapchat, Spotify, Hulu, Mobile amongst many other diverse platforms are unexplored areas by brands to reach younger demographics. We’ve seen that during the execution of campaigns targeted to Gen-Z, the results were above benchmark figures because they were conceived thinking about how each individual platform is used by the target. Using the business intelligence available we can better comprehend the needs, aspirations and behaviors of these generations. Mobile approach, eye-catching visual imagery and music are just some of the pillars that we must excel in if we wish to reach these emerging demographics that in some moment will become the main ones.  Gen – Z  represents approximately 27% of the world’s population; let’s start planning, today.

The efficient use of data allows us to obtain results at the lowest cost possible for clients. Now, does your brand have a strategy focused on business intelligence? What should we do with the data and results generated by the efforts we execute? Or do you just receive a report and continue with the established plan without in-depth analysis of the results of each project? As part of the campaigns we currently manage, we’ve seen an increase on the usage of specific technologies to obtain performance analytics and respond on real time to current events. For example, this year we’ll see how not only our brands but also the competition will shift from gathering data for report purposes to visualizing, analyzing and shifting direction when needed. As marketing gets more focused on proving ROI, we as digital professionals have to bring to the table new ways of tracking campaign performance. Evaluate the number of business opportunities gained as a result of a specific marketing campaign. Measure the monetary value of those opportunities and understand how many of those were closed/won because of the campaign and use success rates to guide the decision-making.

Next time you hear your competitors enter the business intelligence trend and you're unable to answer these questions, it's time to change your strategy so that you don’t stay behind.

Since we’re talking about data, the most important part of each media plan this year, if we really want to be different, is stop being so intrusive and begin to be more precise. A study presented by Millward Brown talks about how the tendency shifts towards programmatic buying. “Today’s complex online media ecosystem will force advertisers and their media agencies to adopt more sophisticated, blended targeting approaches in 2017. The focus will be on driving brand effectiveness with critical behavioral and demographic components.” MB, 2016. Programmatic buying, explained in a generic manner, is the approaching of specific audiences through the development of profiles at the lowest cost per action possible in an automated form. But in reality, the true value of programmatic lies in the capability of integrating brand affinity data to find audiences that are receptive to our message. In other words, it’s moving from a segmentation based on behavior to actual intake of content and how these are liked or not by users. The possibilities with programmatic are endless as each action generated on web produces data which is then used to identify, follow and close a sales cycle through the internet.

This year, base your media plans on scalable data that really allows to find clients of your competitors and leave behind online campaigns that do not provide any type of data for re-marketing nor for measuring against our sales.

We'll conquer digital this year - Repeat until you convince yourself –

In order to accomplish this goal, we must work in a different way and identify media synergies that can be created. We must stop working just on analytics and blend traditional and digital mediums, experiential and marketing to really maximize windows of opportunities.

When we talk about media synergies as a global tendency, we talk about assigning specific roles to each piece in our media mix. A video banner can have a different goal on YouTube than your traditional 30 second tv spot. Your radio spot must be thought for different platforms such as Pandora and Spotify if we really want to see the synergies in our plan. The “big ideas” can be molded into each different medium but each one must have its unique role in the equation. Please, in order to be different this year, do not (by any means) use your tv spot for YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or even Google. Develop specific content that perfectly fits each platform and assign measurable objectives to each one of them. That’s how the synergies are created.

Let’s finish by discussing the wrongfully used term of “Content Marketing”. There exists a very thin line between brand content that inspires and brand content that’s just for advertising. This year, we’ll see how the creation of useful, accessible and entertaining content will take on a bigger presence. As we mentioned before, do not use your tv creative for digital platforms. We must invest in the creation and innovation of content that creates a daily impact on users. Every brand can easily promote a commercial but only few are able to tell a story throughout the whole campaign. Using storytelling as a base of content marketing will be pivotal if we really want to be more digitally oriented.

Along these lines, we go over the chant that we vow to be different this year. That we’ll finally launch our brands into the digital stardom they deserve. But, why must we do this?
Living in a country where its population decreases by the minute with a general recession economy across all sectors, a market with fewer consumers to aim and an aggressive competitive landscape, it makes you think that it’s time. It’s the right moment to follow these trends on how to connect with different demographics. We must use business intelligence platforms that leverage programmatic tools in order to achieve media synergies that develop outstanding creative content.

In order to become digitally relevant this year, you must continually carry out in-depth reviews of your current path and ask yourselves, are we really on track?  These are just a few thoughts and ideas on how to differentiate your brand on 2017. Are you ready? We think you should. 

We are SGA, an idea company.

This blog post was written by Tomás Núñez-López, Digital Director for SGA. It is intended to present a point of view that can help you improve your brand’s performance. If you want to start a dialogue, please share, comment or email me at tomas@sajogarcia.com.

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