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Home or Away? Social Media & Digital Measurement at #FoM

The second and third days at the Festival of Marketing took me away from my home turf of brand marketing strategy and into the realm of digital, social media and marketing measurement. I’m personally in awe of what digital technology can do, but I’m not someone who finds tech fascinating or intuitive (ask my partner what happens when I buy a new phone). But learning is about stepping outside our comfort zone, and I enjoyed hearing from people who know their stuff!

1. Bold brands start in the boardroom, not the front lines of social media – Dominique Elsey, Industry Marketing Strategist, Hootsuite

In this session on what types of content work best on social media, an important reminder that brand purpose only works if it’s true.  A ‘social purpose’ campaign on social media isn’t enough if all the internal conversations are just about sales. Understanding where you fit into consumers’ lives on social is what will lead to success.

Top Tip: Sit back and listen first, and then find creative ways of fitting into the conversation instead of trying to lead it.

2. Part of the reason we rely on numbers not human behaviour is laziness – Lynzie Riebling, VP Insights, Revolt TV

I do a fair amount of informal qualitative research for my clients, to understand external perceptions of their brands, so I was keen to hear Lynzie’s fresh thinking on qualitative methodologies.  Lynzie shared some great case studies on building communities directly using digital or social media tools (rather than recruiting incentivised people) and also shared creative ways to present the findings other than PPT, to ensure they’re referenced more than once, like magazines or documentaries.

Top Tip: Put something in your research/insight budget to allow for creativity of output. You’ll get more value back from the insights if you do.

3. Econometrics will help you join the dots beyond marketing – Dr. Grace Kite, Founder, Magic Numbers

One of the biggest challenges for marketers is proving their impact on the bottom line. And one of the simple reasons why it’s so hard is that marketing is not operating in a vacuum.  Was it the upturn in weather that most contributed to increased ice cream sales, or the ad campaign running at the same time?  Did the sales promotion the major supermarket ran, or the new flavour a competitor started advertising have more impact?  Econometrics will show you all the drivers of sales – not just marketing – and how they work together. 

Top Tip: If you speak with an Econometrics provider ask to look under the bonnet first – don’t buy a black box.

4. If you’re trying to build a brand, clicks are the slippery slope of KPIs – Jerry Daykin, EMEA Snr. Media Director, GSK

“Measurement is always a choice”.  You get what you measure and what you choose to measure will determine what you optimise for. Jerry showed how effectiveness has fallen since 2008 as short-term measures like clicks or social media engagement have risen.  Marketing is a balance of art and science (just like music!) and old-school metrics like brand-lift or attention measures like view time, will tell you more about which of your campaigns are doing their job.

Top Tips: Beware following the heaviest clickers and competition winners on social media and letting them lead your strategy.  They are probably not your buyers, you’re just entertaining a small number of super-fans.

5. It’s on us as advertisers or publishers to explain the value exchange of using cookies Catherine Woodward, Snr Digital Mktg Manager, DFS

From January 2021 open internet browsers will no longer enable third party cookies. For marketers this means no longer being able to track people across multiple sites. As the industry works to try and find a way to target with consent across all browsers, Catherine urges marketers to find ways of explaining the value of cookies to your own customers.

Top Tips: Get clear and transparent on what someone will get back by allowing cookies – like remembering that they were looking for last time they came, telling them when something is back in stock or on promotion.  Use it to build a better user experience.

And finally, food for thought for all brands out there….

6. Should you become a skeptic to become a better marketer? – Bob Hoffman, Ad Contrarian

Bob’s session was a great leveller that reminds us marketers that at best, people want to engage with us from time-to-time, but want to get back on with their own lives not love our brand or consume our content. Most of what we call brand-love is probably habit or convenience and the best marketers assume that our brand has to prove its value every single day.

Top Tip: Look at your own behaviour and see how that correlates (or not) with how much time you believe people will spend engaging with your brand.  

Thanks once again to the professionals sharing their tips and techniques at #FoM2021.

Jill Pringle is a brand marketing consultant and author of The Brand Symphony book. You can connect with Jill on LinkedIn here.

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