Conducting a Global Digital Review

As part of a Global or International company, can you say that you know everything you need to know about your digital activity in each region? What’s working well? What is failing? Are the methods of measurement consistent across each region so that you can make decent comparisons? How are your SEM and SEO doing? How does digital fit in with your global branding – is it consistent?

It’s true that the larger the organisation, the harder it is to keep tabs on what is going on, and there are often more issues with communication and consistency, but getting a handle on this – no matter what your size – is a must before you embark on creating a global digital strategy.

The latest article within the Digital Marketing Strategy section continues to look at how to take a strategic approach to Global Digital Marketing. Following on from 1. Understanding your Global Customers, 2. What have you done so far?: Conducting a Global Digital Review will look at the following areas:

  1. Global website and digital inventory
  2. Regional Campaign activity
  3. Mobile activity
  4. Regional Social Media Activity
  5. Regional Digital Marketing Plans
  6. Regional SEM
  7. Measurement tools
  8. Regional content
  9. Global digital agencies and suppliers
  10. Regional team structure and skills audit
  11. Communication and information sharing

So, check it out! As always, I am happy to chat if you want to get in-touch about any of these topics to discuss further.


Is your brand living up to expectations online?

A recent study conducted by Lightspeed Research on behalf of IAB’s UK Social Media Council has brought out some interesting results. We all know how important customer engagement is now, and having a strong content and communication strategy in place really is key to being successful, but the expectations of consumers with regards speed of response to a complaint or question (for example) highlights how much brands need to invest in dedicated teams to deal with this area.

Some key facts which came out of the research (conducted with 1000 people):

  • Most people log in to social networks throughout the day, although 43% check social networks before bed, and one in five check them when they wake up.
  • Most respondents make complaints via a website (44%) or by phone (26%)
  • Those who lodged a complaint online were asked how quickly they would expect a brand to get back to them. For all options, within a day was the most common answer.
  • Being professional and friendly are the two characteristics respondents most want in a brand to have in their advertising and communications

The results concerning the brand characteristics consumers would prefer to see in their online advertising and communication, confirm the need to have real people with an in-depth understanding of your business, brands and strategic goals, managing your accounts.

In my experience, either a dedicated in-house team or a smaller outsourced team who work very closely with your business and have worked with you to develop the communication plan and content strategy, work best at this for obvious reasons. You can’t just outsource and ‘forget about it’. You need to invest time and resource into making it a success, the end result being strong consumer engagement and a more positive brand image.

For a more in-depth look, you can download the full report here (linked from their homepage).

Are you happy?

The 2gether NHS Trust –  or to be precise, the Gloucestershire branch of it – has just launched a new smartphone app which enables you to monitor your mood and gives you tips and advice on how to make yourself feel ‘happier’. Great to see that the NHS are finally being proactive when it comes to embracing more ‘current’ communication methods!

The interface is really simple – select an emoticon that reflects your mood. From this point you are given tips on how to maintain your good feeling, or how to feel better if you have been low. There is also a map  which shows you how happy people are around you. However, as this app was obviously created for a different part of the country than the one I live in, and therefore (hopefully) is promoted regionally as opposed to nationwide, it seems that I am the only person in Yorkshire so far using it!

The users can see a graph of their moods over a period of time, and are prompted to seek advice if they are consistently ‘unhappy’. They are either linked into a supporting website which is rich in information on mental well-being, or are given contact details of places within the area where they can go to seek help. Really simple but a great way to get advice out to the people who need it (depending on if they have the app and have heard of it in the first place, of course!)

There is a supporting YouTube channel which has the makings of a great advice centre, however, with only 4 subscibers and 11 uploads over the last year, there is still some way to go with making this happen. Nice to see them linking to it from the app though. The Twitter account and Facebook page seem a little more active, but are yet to attract many followers.

All of this ties in with the current Governments focus on measuring how ‘happy’ the country is and trying to do something about the high rates of depression and stress we are facing. Nice idea. I also like the way that they have ‘layered’ the information. You see short but relevant tips from the start, but are prompted to dig into the supporting material on the website when required. I think it’s really important not to overface people with too much content and complexity, but rather to allow them to either discover it as they become more confident, or to lead them to it gently when the need occurs.

Despite the obvious teething problems with the app, I look forward to the NHS Trust building on the concept and perhaps investing in a nationwide roll-out which offers the regionally specific information which at the moment is only available for Gloucestershire. It would also be great to see them invest some time and money in their online presence, and make sure that all the effort of developing the app does not go to waste by not promoting it either on their website or on other relevant sites which are going to attract the right people.


There is a lot of talk in Digital Marketing ‘land’ at the moment about the recent campaign by US Shaving Gel ‘Edge’ where, similar to KLM’s Social Surprise Experiment, they offer random acts of kindness to users of Twitter in order to create a buzz around their brand.

Edge, owned by Energizer Holdings, have created an ‘Anti-Irritation Zone’ campaign (obvious brand tie-in to their product benefits) aimed at helping people with the everyday irritations of life.

In the beginning a small team literally read through thousands of tweets to find any where people mentioned being ticked off about something, and then selected ones which they could help with – such as sending the guy who had run out of cereal enough cereal to last him a very long time, and sending the woman who complained about having Spanish voices in her head a Spanish-English dictionary.

Since September they have sent out over 200 ‘anti-irritation’ gifts and the #soirritating hashtag has now grown into thousands of tweets by people desperate to be chosen (I am #soirritated that my car is not an Aston Martin, and #soirritated that I don’t own a private Caribbean Island).

“One of the top things is really resource commitment, and really understanding that in order to have the frequency and the level of engagement required to talk with people in a meaningful way, it takes time,”

explains Andrew Foote, senior vice president of Edelman Digital.

However, one thing that I find really ‘irritating’ about this whole campaign is their failure to focus on the basics. Their website is TERRIBLE! There is no mention at all of the campaign, and the flash interface is just really….well…irritating! Just goes to show that no matter how great the idea, you’ve got to sort out some basic housekeeping before doing anything else.

What they have done, however, is focus on key websites and blogs to advertise the campaign, and to create a sponsored area on the Funnyordie website where people can upload their own videos allowing them to publicly vent their frustrations. Nothing I could find on YouTube though, which is a little odd?

No denying that they have got a lot of people talking about them – I wonder how well it’s working in the US to sell more of their product and strengthen their brand?

Life is a lottery – Save the Children

It’s not often that I come across a campaign which blows me away, but The Lottery of Life by Save the Children has done just that! Perhaps it’s as much to do with the subject matter as well as the execution – but then surely that’s the point? They need to make people aware of what is going on in the World and tug at those heartstrings in order to get some donations!

The idea is to emphasise what life is like for children who are not lucky enough to be born in developed and relatively wealthy countries. By spinning the virtual wheel, you get the chance to be ‘born again’ in another part of the world, with lovely animation and video work including nice touches like your name on the baby’s name tag. You can then see an overview of what it would be like to be a child in that country. Your new birth place is posted on your Facebook page so that your friends can offer to ‘support’ you, which of course all links back to not only awareness of the issues, but also donations.

The campaign is also tied in offline with some wonderful poignant poster ads:

Even with the technical issues I came across (I got the Swedish link to the Facebook app instead of an English one) and the fact that it could be more promoted on their main website, I still love this campaign!

Keeping it viral. Making it useful.

I’ve just read a great post by Richard Lees (dbg) on Econsultancy about keeping viral campaigns going, and how important it is to make sure that you get something from them. He’s been working with Beatbullying’s ‘The Big March’ campaign – the worlds first virtual online protest – in order to make sure that they follow-up on the initial hype and capitalise on their success.

Some key bits of advice from him on thinking ‘long term’:

  • Create something which is relevant and wonderful (goes without saying!)
  • Excite people
  • Think about the channels which are best for communicating with your target audience
  • Include clever data capture where possible (getting the right data to ensure ongoing communication is relevent and in the right format)
  • Just because someone has engaged with your campaign does not mean that they have an affinity with your brand – Follow up communication should work on creating this
  • Follow up should always have a reason, and must absolutely NOT be merged with in-house marketing lists without good reason
  • Plan the campaign in full – not just the initial elements, but the 12 months or so following and the materials which will need to be developed in order to keep it alive

Wise words! You can see how these have been put into action if you sign up to the Beatbullying campaign. The website is by far the best charity website I have ever seen, with the design and functionality clearly well thought-out and appealing to both kids and adults alike. You can explore it. It’s fun. It’s full of relevent content in lots of different formats, and it gives you lots of opportunity to ‘spread the word’. Most importantly, it captures data from you the minute you sign up. The supporting Facebook page and Twitter accounts are still very active even though the main online protest event has already happened, and you can see how they are working hard to maintain the momentum which the campaign would have created initially.

I think a lot of valuable lessons can be learnt from this. It would be interesting to see just how many of the most talked about recent viral campaigns have thought this long-term and planned so well for longer term relationships with their supporters!