Saturday, May 31, 2014
Digital Marketers! Stop it! This is not America or Europe
In this industry, everyone is an expert and they are not wrong in claiming that as most have previous work to show for it or experience as they put it. Some are somewhat mavericks as they are constantly being praised by industry peers and clients alike. Is it because of the size of agencies they work for or award-winning work they have produced in the past?
With the industry so saturated, it’s not surprising that clients are investing so much in campaigns they hope will live up to ROI elements presented in meetings sometimes hosted at the famous coffee shops in the city centre. Sure, the agencies have the clients’ best interest at heart, in fact, let’s just say they will deliver so we are politically correct. But seriously, can we just stop with the American way of doing things and one size fits all digital solutions. We know you have won awards, but that was last week, you have the know-how resources, however, you need to approach every campaign differently.
A brief is there to guide the creative process as it clearly states the objectives of the campaign at hand and other details I won’t waste time discussing (maybe next time). The point I want to highlight though is this: most digital strategies for campaigns even digital agencies for that matter, are literally based on Americans and Europeans market. If you closely inspect them, the thread is so visible you will see it. And clients please stop saying “I want that similar campaign A did last week”: what A did may not work for you, in fact, you are not A.
South Africa is slowly embracing the digital world, in the same breath with most brands, but this doesn’t mean as a creative you have to go read a blog post written by an American as part of your research to WOW the client. Those bloggers write based on the behaviours or their understanding of their own countries, not necessarily South Africa. Their “how to” strategies may not work for you, even worse they may push that client out the door. It requires you to be honest with your client, I know you need the business but trust me you won’t have business without effective and practical digital strategies/solutions.
If you have just secured a new client or an old client one just gave you another brief, good for you. Before you brief your team, this might help you in making sure you retain that client. Especially if you client/s require a solid social media presence. Gurus will advise you to firstly draft a solid strategy which you can forward to your client with great graphics with images from iStock and graphs. However, they don’t tell you that in this country we have diversity and this has affected our interaction with social media.
I can’t tell you exactly what to do as it might not work either, however, I feel you need to know this. There are different twitters in South Africa: one being black the other being white amongst the other ones etc. What this means is, you have to decide which twitter you would like to focus on or grow the brand’s awareness on. In a case where you are not sure where the brands will most likely fit, go back to marketing school, you may have missed the “target market” module. Determining the brand’s target market is very important, not only that, but your online plan won’t materialise if that is not done. Some brands, however, appeal to a quite number of groups that consists of both black and white twitters even spreading across other twitter groups.
Facebook on the hand is still an active social space; it’s slowly becoming a regional phenomenon than national though. What I mean is that, some groups in society are not active as compared to the next group. Its shine was stolen when cool kids like Twitter and Instagram arrived. Their changes aren’t helping either in reviving the once preferred visual social site.
Digital marketing is a beast; I just touched on one or two aspects amongst other million things. Stop with the world mindset, understand you are in South Africa and unfortunately things are different online.