The Anchor: Yutaka Kamoshita’s 5 must-have digital strategies to improve brand ROI

22 Aug,2012

By Yutaka Kamoshita


#1 Set clear agreement amongst stakeholders on what is ‘Return on Investment’

This is where everything begins.


Digital is not a magic wand. Users don’t close their browsers and run to the nearest store just because they saw a brand’s digital marketing campaign. But if a user comes across a brand hoarding and remembers that brand’s digital campaign which ran say, three months ago, then perhaps one can say that digital has worked to some extent. In case of this example, the brand stakeholders’ perspective would be “At this phase, our ROI should be evaluated by users’ content consumption behaviour and not yet by sales.”


Unlike this example, ROI is clearer for web-service brands such as eCommerce. But still, is volume of sales the only critical KPI? Or is someone on the brand team looking at number of new user registrations as well? It is a marketer’s responsibility to define what the KPI really are. They need to identify the KPI and develop clear, concise agreement with stakeholders. These are time intensive and not easy, but inevitably, the best way forward.


#2 Let users decide – not ‘gut-feel’

Decision-making is a subjective action. If you are stumped between short-listing one main copy line from two other options, create three different versions and roll-out a quick test run on the web. It’s the user feedback and opinion and not gut-feel that is the best measure to prove what works. This works well after Step 1 as it helps brands identify what to evaluate from the result.


#3 Let your content travel by itself

Brand websites are just another set of html files on the world wide web. They are not a ‘physical property’ of a brand. Remember where Hotmail succeeded in their marketing in ’90s? Sometimes, it helps for marketers to loosen their emotional attachment with their own website just a little and try looking at it objectively. Content can travel anywhere in the internet. Content should be designed to make it as much accessible as possible. Users would love to spread brand messages to others for free. Copying, in other words ‘WOM’ or brand advocacy is the beauty of both digital and advertising. This works best after Step 2 so marketers get a sense on the potential of their message.


#4 Think about the 99 percent

Usually CTR of display ads is below 1 percent. Where does the other 99 percent go? Users don’t click display ads, because it is too much for brands to ask.


What do TV commercials require viewers to do? Nothing but that they stay seated and wait for a few minutes till the commercial break is over. How about display ads? They compel users to stop what they are doing, move the cursor on a banner, click and go to another website which is a totally unknown environment for the user.


Ninety nine percentile of human beings are very passive who don’t like taking risks. How can brands convert this 99 percent? Like you do for the 1 percent, solutions need to be implemented for the 99 percent! Services such as third party ad serving platforms or attribution tracking tools are available for evaluating the behaviour and usage/ consumption patterns of this 99 percentile.


#5 Get out from your comfort zone

Market saturation is inevitable. No demand means no business. If a marketer senses that something is stuck, then it may be the right time for him to extend his areas of consideration/ activity.


SEM not performing as well as it used to? Before changing bidding price for keywords, isn’t there anything that can be done to create such demand? We don’t need search engines if we don’t have a specific demand in our minds. In general, activities to create demand end up with worse ROI, compared to activities to collect existing demand like SEM. But why compare two activities that have different purposes?


Get out from what you have been doing before. Step out of your comfort zone and try something that had been avoided because of wrong expected ROI. This something could be viral video activities, advertorials with publishers, FB applications among several other options! It is advised to close Step 1 before this, so that all stakeholders are aware that CPA from a viral video is not being compared with CPA from SEM campaigns.


Yutaka Kamoshita is Digital Strategist, Dentsu Digital


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