A Typical Conversation between Digital Marketers and Brand Managers

DigitalWarsOn a popular marketing forum, a brand manager shared the above image and got some interesting responses

Digital Responds
Please just tell us the exact ROI on one print campaign of any brand in our market and we’ll agree with you. If mass media (read: TV) can be deemed success if the campaign gains GRPs and reach, why extra expectations from social media especially Facebook? We agree, ultimately all marketing activities are linked to sales so please share the ROI on one OOH placement or one radio campaign executed in the market. Its a funnel , sales are at the end but there are other stages. A million likes may not translate into sales and engagement is not sales but its is good for brand health and image and equity.

Brand Insists
A like isn’t a dollar. Furthermore, the ROI should be something beyond just likes/engagement. Looking at the same scenario on conventional media is valid enough, but not too relevant as you don’t really measure brand equity with people only liking the brand based out of the TVC/print or outdoor media. What the brand needs is a mix of awareness and sales oriented campaigns. Likes are like sperm, only the conversion rate shows the level of impregnation of the brand in the audience.

Digital Fires
Again for TV, print,radio -exposure or OTS is enough but for social media something at a higher level of interaction than exposure is deemed not sufficient. I’ve worked in media and know how a TV, print, radio campaign is judged. By exposure, by WOM, by visibility not by sales directly. If likes are like sperm, then what is mass media .. foreplay?

My Response
QMobile has a little over 300,000 likes, 
Nokia Pakistan has over 1.7 million likes and according to the research QMobile is on top. When I was a brand-side professional, a digital strategist from BCP once pointed out the following to me:

a. sales don’t come after marketing and they never have. There is a customer buying journey which we have all studied. Digital has unfortunately (in Pakistan) not considered being present throughout that journey. Digital has only been used to facilitate the Awareness part. It is not as present as it should be in the remaining 5. If food/fashion brands had an immediate “Call to Action” on their Facebook pages, then we could accurately relate the ROI to spend on that platform.

b. the QMobile/Nokia example is not enough proof. The local brand has done an explosive amount of ATL advertising as well that we do not account for. Nokia on the other hand has not been so free-handed on its media spend. Furthermore, being a local brand, QMobile has faster response times to customer preference changes. Nokia has to get lines of approval first (and we all know how fast those are).

I managed a USD 7 million in annual sales brand a few months ago, we had under 100,000 likes on our page when I resigned. Was online spend the primary driver? No. We did local BTL advertising & activities in the primary markets (Canada, Russia and Spain) as well as had dedicated communities. Online sales sucked and continue to do so. Offline sales accounted for roughly 85% of net sales.

It’s not all digital, its a bit of both or as Professor Sasha Strauss calls it – hybrid marketing.

2 comments

    • Babar Khan
      Babar Khan
      Author

      At this point of time, your objective should be lead generation. But first make sure the systems in place to facilitate and close the lead are fast and come full circle on the brand’s promise of customer care. If its B2B you can utilize various apps dedicated to one particular audience, making sure to have enough data on your target group on their touch-points. It matters too how developed the market is that you operate in. Reach me on babar.khan@ephluxinsights.com with your details for a broader answer.

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