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Digital Strategy: The Vital Ingredients

Published: Jun 15th, 2019 12:42 amBy Kiran Varri

[Beware, these pointers could evolve under 6 months or earlier]

02 Jun 2019: Less than one year into this space, felt it was time to put on record what I noticed as early pointers that can help make sure the “Digital Journey” for a brand is: Positive, Profitable!!

Commitment: The brand has to first make a clear decision to “excel” on their Digital journey. It’s a space where mostly the winner takes it all (at least 80%+ of the Target Opportunity/Sale). The also ran campaigns and brand awareness exercises fade away very fast. Why? More & more Campaigns are going to jostle for the customer attention. ONLY the brands that make a Qualitative effort will get possible return. Your success is a lot dependent on what your competitors are doing as well. So, being the Best in not an option!!


Be True to your Brand Promise: In the rush to excel at Digital Marketing and achieve the maximum ROI, brands tend to deviate from the Brand Promise and make promises that are not practical or cannot be delivered or are just ShortTerm. With Digital Marketing Agencies handling the Campaigns even more so, brands succumb to this pressure to achieve Bigger & Better statistics in near term. Eg : I recall a Zomato Campaign where the moon was promised(in the form of BIG Discounts and extremely attractive offers). The Result: The fulfillment system collapsed as the surge in orders was “Impossible” to handle. This also happened long time ago with Big Bazaar(HyperMarket) on an Independence SALE !! The Mantra: Stick to your Brand Promise & Values. Deliver like no other Brand can.

The KPIs : The key advantage that Digital Marketing brings to the table vs the Old Fashion Marketing is “Measurable ROI” with a higher degree of accuracy. The Print Media & Bill Boards in the past were seen to be unquantifiable. At Best, the ROI was “Near Best Estimate”. How can one say, the Omega Constellation sale today was the result of a Billboard at the Mall Corner. However, brands also need to be aware that not every dollar spent on Digital Marketing should be expected to give visible ROI. The Purchase(more so in case of aspirational brands) is a function of several factors including : Brand Awareness, occasional touchpoints/encounters with the brand(in a mall, at an Airport display etc). So, arrive at a fair estimate of ROI in terms of Brand Awaress, Click to the Landing Page, Time spent viewing the communication and eventually the SALE. SALE alone is not the GOAL. In fact, even if one wants, it cannot be the ONLY Goal !!

The Team: Being discussed as the nth point does not make this less important. In fact, it is the key “Differentiator” that can make or break the “Campaign”/”Ad Blitz”. Would you not recall the Happydent AD(made in 2006) where the guy runs through the 100s of co-participants to initiate the lighting Act and eventually activates the “Evening Lighting” in the palace. Who could imagine such a slick AD would resonates even after 10 years of its conception. That’s the Benchmark in “Forming Right Teams”. Your team is your KEY to success. Make sure you get the right team (in-house/ agency) so the delivery lives long after the objective is met. Ensure you have a fabulous Creative Team (The Concept Visualizer/ The Creative Developer/ The Campaign Execution expert). Rest will be History !!

The Medium: Should it be Facebook? Instagram? Linkedin? Youtube? Google Ads? There is no correct answer. Majority choose to go with the convention. Spend & Push more where the most of the customer are there. However, every once in a while you will see a contrarian strategy that works wonders. So, I suggest one in 10 of your campaigns, try go contrarian. But, make sure you put “everything” your team has in the talent bank into it to make it not just work, but work wonders!! This exercise at minimum prepares the team to experience what it would be like, to compete in the same battle: As an underdog  or from an unfamiliar front [Practicals make the difference. Theory at best is Theory]!!

Caution: These Pointers can act as a guideline. They emerged from “my” experiences. Use them if they seem to be helpful. It would make me Happy. Not sure? Please put the thinking Hat and dig in!! The Ground is OPEN, Come Play!!

  Kiran Varri

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