Social media is no longer a reminder or subsidiary medium. To understand and invest in this medium, marketer need to have a strategy in place, risk appetite in case of failure and a measurement system which is in sync with the brand objective.
Dos and don’ts of social media have been chalked out quite a lot of times. However, experts express that to make the medium a permanent part of the media mix without risking RoI, there are a few business rules that they can keep in mind.
Marketers cannot afford to treat digital as a different medium. It has to be treated like a traditional marketing channel, applying the same business logic to it. Valerie Wagoner, Founder and CEO, ZipDial explained that like tradition media, in digital also marketers should learn from others’ mistakes. “Try and learn quickly. If it is not working, do not keep doing it because it is the new flashy thing.”
Once invested in digital, marketers need to know how much their investment is generating returns. Number of ‘likes’ or ‘shares’ cannot determine RoI. “Brands usually measure in three ways,” said Rajiv Dingra, Founder and CEO, WATConsult. “First is the progressive method wherein marketers decide to achieve a target ‘x’ in a particular period of time, and then increase in to ‘x+2’ and so on. Second is comparing their performance with the competition and the third one is setting an objective and achieving it.”
Dingra explained that setting an objective and measuring success in terms of its achievements is the best metrics.
Shrikant Menon, Partner, Mindshare remarked that along with setting an objective, marketers need to analyse it. They (marketers) need to determine what the objective is, how they want to achieve it and what kind of engagement they plan to create through it?
Measuring the performance of digital and social, to be precise, can be very tricky. To give the marketers a simpler approach to the topic, Aditya Save, Head Media, Marico India explained that there are three major elements that matter in a measurement metrics. “Responsibility, repeatability and building skill sets according to the brand is important,” said Save. He further explained that marketers need to understand responsibility in terms of what they want to handle. Once they venture in social, they need to understand what is right and can be repeated hence, repeatability. They also need to create skill set according to the nature of the brand.
Social media is not rocket science. Marketers just need to move on from the shackles of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’. Sentiments of the ‘likes’ and quality of engagement are as important. Experts also emphasised that brands need to stop obsessing with numbers because there will always be almost 20 per cent of audience who will take their initiative negatively.
With adaptability according to the needs and tastes of the consumers, a rich and sharp brief and the willingness to experiment, marketers can achieve wonders through digital.
The aforementioned experts expressed their views at the Indian Digital Conclave organised by the Cosmos Forums.