Heraclitus (535 – c. 475 BCE):
“The only thing that is constant is change” — If you’ve ever felt like you’re living in the most chaotic time in history, you’re not alone. It even has name, “change fatigue.”
The pace of change has been accelerating since the days when the first marketers advertised their tribe’s hunting skills with paint on cave walls. And, just as early humans who learned to fashion stone tools to out-compete slower learning humans for scarce resources, today’s marketer must constantly innovate and remain attuned to what’s coming next.
Right now, we’re seeing the biggest brands on the web, attempt to temper growing consumer concerns. For example, in Europe they’re debating the “right to be forgotten” where you can request that Google drops your name from all search results. Amazon is unveiling privacy controls on Alexa, its world-changing A.I., by auto-deleting recordings and implementing “Home Mode” for home surveillance cameras. And virtual reality promises to rewire our whole concept of social networking and digital relationships. When a digital avatar that only exists in a server can seem as real as your spouse in the next room, the very idea of sharing is redefined. As I point out in my book Adapt or Die: How to Survive in the New Era of Digital Marketing, soon AI will not be something we engage consciously, but rather a distributed force that surrounds us at all times, directing our consciousness in unpredictable ways. And just as every new technology becomes part of consumers’ lives, they should also become part of the modern marketer’s toolkit. How you integrate new technologies, and how you choose the tools and strategies that best suit your objectives, will be the measure of your success.
Digital Brand Engagement Principles
To stay on the forefront of technological change, there are a few core principles you should know that will stay relevant throughout any technological evolution next year and beyond. Incorporate these seven principles into your marketing playbook and sleep well at night knowing your plan will stay relevant and in tact.
Get to know your brand loyalists, audience and customers intimately. Listen to them closely before speaking to them. Then create brand standards guide that defines how to speak to them in their unique language.
Give your audience a reason to engage with your brand. No one owes you their time, especially today’s busy consumer. Make it worth their while and offer them something that will truly bring value to their lives.
Make your brand stand for something. Brands and organizations that express an opinion and are willing to make a stand for their beliefs have always stood out from the noise. Think Nike – a truly great brand that knows its audience and is not afraid to both attract and repel.
Develop discipline and consistency. It’s not enough to invent a great brand story. To build trust, you must ensure it’s articulated in everything your brand touches and across all channels.
Work collaboratively across disciplines, technology and channels. Digital brand engagement takes a variety of specialists — strategy, creative UI/UX, technology, content development, analytics and more. Make sure your specialists and the channels they manage communicate and support each other.
Set goals, and measure the right things. Apply the many amazing technologies available today. Then work toward clearly defined objectives, and seek to make those measurements both qualitative and quantitative analytics.
Periodically calibrate and reset. Every great expedition has required some course corrections to reach its objective and your brand journey is no different. Adjusting your plan should not be feared, but embraced — as long as it keeps your goal in sight and moves you closer to it.
“As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.” — Harrington Emerson, “The Typography of Advertisements that Pay.” 1917
L7 Creative encourages you to learn the principles outlined above and use them to create a foundation that supports your marketing efforts even in the most chaotic of business environments. More important, become a teacher of these ideas. Marketing no longer ends at the door of the marketing department. In the best organizations, it’s a part of every activity, from product design to customer service. By integrating the principles of digital brand engagement into every facet of your organization, you’ll have the potential to create truly ground-breaking results for your organization.
By: Tom Gallego