Communications is becoming increasingly integrated and uses every possible tool or medium, new and old, to transmit information so people can make more informed decisions.
So it's not enough to just drop some digital strategies into an existing communications plan. All elements need to be leveraged across multiple channels to ensure every target audience is hit as precisely as possible with the information it wants in readily-accessible formats they really use.
The strategy, message, and concept have to be powerful and compelling and support the client's business goals. Getting the message out is an updated variation on what communications pros have been doing for decades when reaching people at club and group meetings or in church basements or shopping malls.
1. To design an optimal digital campaign, we need to listen and learn from our target audiences, provide valuable and relevant information they really need and want, and give them tools to help pass it on and inform others. And now we can measure what we are doing all along the way, using an increasingly sophisticated array of listening and analytics tools and approaches to track progress and change course in real time to maximize impact and action.
2. Employ a comprehensive mixed media plan. Knowing the answer to the top five questions people are asking about your brand via search and applying them to the media plan can mean the difference between a winning campaign and just spinning your wheels. At the same time, targeting, educating, and partnering with the most passionate and vested advocates that align with your brand or cause will add further depth and value.
3. Drop the “social” from social media and just work with it. Today, more than half a billion people log onto Facebook. Millions more will share information via Twitter, YouTube, or a dozen other social networks. Ignoring or minimizing these platforms limits the ability to meet and interact with consumers where they spend most of their time.
4. Understanding how target audiences act online allows us to build better websites and apps from the start for people who are using everything from desktop computers to iPads to smartphones.
5. Make it work on mobile. Because nearly everyone has the Internet in their pocket, campaigns must be designed and implemented to work on this central platform.
Jim Weiss is chairman and CEO of WCG.