In an ever-expanding digital world, brands can feel the pressure to be all things to all people. But it doesn’t need to be so complicated, writes uberbrand managing director Dan Ratner (Pictured below).
As consumers demonstrate a seemingly insatiable appetite for digital content, it’s no wonder more brands are shifting more of their marketing spend to digital platforms. In the modern world, marketing plans focus on the entire user journey – creating a connected system from awareness, to interaction (or consideration) and eventually purchase, and this pathway inevitably leads to a digital sphere of display ads, websites, or hubs of content from which the consumer can fully experience a marketing campaign.
However, the problem with this is that it runs the risk of creating a homogenised brand marketing experience that fails to articulate the brand’s purpose. Brands want to be visible at every digital touch point in a bid to increase reach and frequency across different audiences. But in the rush to be visible everywhere, brands can lose sight of their reason for being there in the first place – to connect with their audience.
Doing it right
Dutch airline KLM is a great example of when brand objectives and digital marketing align. KLM’s vision is “to become the most customer centric, innovative and efficient European network carrier,” focusing its brand attributes on personalised service, high-quality connections and unique travel experiences, to name a few. Last Christmas, the airline launched an activation that ticked all the boxes – the ‘Bonding Buffet’.
The premise was that the holidays are about spending time with family – but what if you’re alone in an airport? To make lonely travellers feel connected, KLM introduced the Bonding Buffet – a table for 20 fellow travellers filled with a delicious Christmas meal. The only catch was that all 20 seats had to be filled before the table dropped low enough for everyone to access it.
As with many real-life activations, the true goal of KLM’s buffet was to create a digital ripple effect. By making a heart-warming video of 20 strangers bonding in an airport, viewers were so moved they felt compelled to share it across their own digital platforms.
With over 1.5 million views and counting, there’s no denying the success of this campaign from a digital marketing point of view. But most importantly, the entire campaign stayed true to the KLM brand, evoking feelings of personalised service, high quality connections and unique travel experiences.
Don’t lose sight of your brand objectives
Not every digital campaign will achieve viral success, but every campaign must stay true to the brand objectives and provide value to the target audience. When planning a digital marketing strategy, the brand, its products and services, and the way it wants to resonate with audiences, must be considered.
There are four key points to remember when planning a digital marketing strategy:
- Connect with your audience: define the user needs for the journey and then overlay the brand objectives.
- Surprise and delight: aim to create signature points that articulate the brand, while also adding the element of surprise and delight.
- Don’t ask too much: ask very little of consumers and focus on providing value.
- Encourage engagement: provide tangible rewards for engagement, such as exclusives, discounts, etc.
In an ever-expanding digital world, brands can feel the pressure to be omni-present – to be all things to all people. But it doesn’t need to be so complicated. If you know your audience, if you know where to find them, what they like and how they like to interact with brands, then you can still create meaningful, relevant digital content that aligns with your brand objectives.
Dan Ratner is the managing director of branding and communications agency uberbrand. He has more than 15 years’ experience in marketing, communications and branding, and is passionate about branding as an enabler to fulfil organisational objectives. Working closely with uberbrand’s clients, Dan works to understanding the current customer perception in the context of business goals and aspirations. Dan works with well-known Australian brands across a variety of sectors, including financial services, travel and education.