Digital – You’re Doing It Wrong

Digital – You’re Doing It Wrong
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Written by Mike Barry, Creative Director, The White Agency

Recently, we (The White Agency) were excited to take part in The Live Pitch at the 2014 Mumbrella360 Conference.

We had a few weeks to tackle a joint brief from Screen Australia and Tourism Australia that challenged us to use Australian Film and TV to promote Australia as a tourism destination. On the day, with a Creative Agency, a Digital Agency (Go White!), A PR Agency and a Data Agency all in the mix, a controversial premise emerged in which the panel, and the audience, were challenged to choose not only the best idea, but also the best “channel”. Which was interesting. Because, as I pointed out during our Pitch, when used properly, digital is a lot more than simply a “channel”. Once you understand what digital really is, you’ll realise it’s not something you – as a brand, a client or an agency – get to choose. It’s been chosen for you, by consumers (also known as people) who use it to do what they want, when they want, wherever they want. So if you want to use digital properly, the question simply becomes “What do people want?” Banner ads? Hashtags? Snappy taglines? ‘Branded content’? Ads in their Facebook feed? High involvement immersive web experiences that are actually just trying to sell them something? Those things, if we’re really honest with ourselves, are often the answer to a different question: “What does the client want people to want?” or even “What does the agency want people to want?” In the end, what people actually want is something that makes their life better, or easier, or less of a hassle. Something of genuine value. That’s the kind of idea we presented at The Live Pitch, and it’s the kind of work we strive to do all the time at White. It takes a lot of work, a lot of thought, a lot of research, and it means we have to keep asking ourselves, and our clients, the same two questions:

  1. “What does the audience want?”
  2. “How can we use digital to give it to them?”

Because digital is not about what you want your audience to want, it’s about what they actually want. If your digital agency isn’t continually telling you that: iii.   “Why not?”

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