Ready to launch? This is how you can add velocity to your campaigns

Guest Column: Kanika Mittal, Business Head, Twitter India, shared that brands today want to be disruptive and break through the clutter in order to attract their target audiences quickly & effectively

e4m by Kanika Mittal
Updated: Mar 4, 2021 4:29 PM
Knika Mittal

Any big launch in marketing is preceded by what I like to call a launch war room. Whether it is an exciting product launch, a fresh campaign, or a new message – creatively charged marketers spend days in a conference room (or a virtual one), debating, strategizing and collating the best way to launch. From a concoction of infectious energy, high adrenaline, shared worksheets and coffee refills, emerges a carefully crafted strategy. It won’t be an exaggeration to say it feels like giving birth to a baby (take it from a mother). Amidst the excitement, there is also anticipation. Brands today want to be disruptive and break through the clutter in order to attract their target audiences quickly and effectively – with speed, intention and agility. Doing something new or kuch naya karna hai to launch something new is the top-of-mind ask for any marketer operating in the post-pandemic paradigm. And since we’re talking post-pandemic, we’re talking Digital. 

The digital space has become indispensable for marketers when it comes to reaching the right audience and putting together a memorable experience. I’d go as far to say that digital events on platforms like Twitter can trump on-ground launches thanks to being able to target the right audiences at the right time. This is what provides a unique opportunity for brands to add the much needed velocity (speed x direction) to their launches for accelerated results - a critical ingredient for a successful launch. 

Here are the top four ways how brands can create velocity with their launches:

  1. The Audience: For a brand to create impact, it is important for it to identify its target customers, and reach out to them where they’re most receptive. People on the Internet have a language of their own - they float memes, inspire a billion laughs and also get the conversation going in a matter of minutes. The volume of conversation generated in this language has made it imperative for brands to adapt to this culture, and adopt a tone that audiences understand. An audience that is quick to react, shares content that has the ability to go viral, has created movements leading to impact, while staying true to themselves, is the kind of audience that is critical to your launch. Twitter’s conversational nature offers exactly this - an audience that is leaned-in and always ready for participation. #Pawri and #Rasodemein are some recent examples that made us smile and inspired us to participate. This receptive behaviour extends to brands as well and people are more likely to discover, purchase, and share new products with friends and family when they’re active participants in a conversation. By gauging the consumer’s pulse, brands can pivot their strategy quickly (if needed) and thus deliver a more impactful launch.

A great example of this would be Nissan who used the media poll to get consumers to guess the price of the car. With this neat little trick, they got consumers to engage with the most important aspect of car purchase in India - the price! 

  1. Tools to enhance experience: Using the right formats and digital channels when reaching out to one’s audience is instrumental in successfully delivering the intended message. When considering social media channels to increase velocity, it’s important to consider the visibility that tools on those channels provide. Especially when it comes to launching new products, the seamlessness of the experience can make a massive impact on its success. Digital tools that make your event discoverable and easy to join attract a lot more conversation. Moreover, microsites, interactive digital forums to host your event, chatbots etc. that offer immersive experiences can significantly scale the impact of your launch. 

The Hyundai Tucson Launch would be a noteworthy case here. Hyundai created its own virtual world - #TheNextDimension - to host the launch of the Tucson. The Live Stream for the launch event received over 1 million views within the first 12 hours itself and thus giving Hyundai the much needed momentum for their biggest virtual launch. 

  • The Campaign Flight Plan: A Campaign Flight Plan is designed to give you the breakthrough that is necessary for launch. Research by Bain & Company shows that only 15% of brands are launching effectively and meeting their desired KPIs. A whopping 85% are dis-satisfied. Therefore, it is critical for brands to devise a strategic flight plan that allows for participation and creates an impact at the beginning itself - before the conversation peaks. The roadmap to this is easy to remember. It lies in the 3 steps - the 3S. The first step would be to Spark interest, get audiences excited and build anticipation. The second, to create a Surge, garner a high share of voice and get people talking about your campaign in those crucial hours. The third step is to Sustain: making sure your consumer continues to engage with you thus enabling you to drive lift on key metrics like message association, ad recall and brand awareness. 

A fantastic example of this would be how Google leveraged Twitter for their Google for India Event. Google executed a multi-phased campaign to drive up impact using innovative custom solutions, delivered in the 3 phases as described above. Spark- Used the Heart to Remind functionality to acquire an audience for the #G4I event day, with teaser videos of the event. Surge - Used Twitter’s effective takeover property, the First View and Promoted Trend and paired it with Twitter Live to ensure high discoverability of the event. Sustain Phase - The highlight reels of the event was promoted on the platform in the days succeeding the launch event. The viewers who tuned in received the full force of the power-packed presentations from the front row and the highlights reels helped reach users who could not tune in, thus raking up millions of views.

  1. Measuring impact and success: As crucial as it is to craft an impactful digital launch strategy, it is also critical to amplify the noise that your launch campaign makes across channels. How quickly your campaign becomes the talk of the town - and moves across towns to different channels, whether that's virtual or offline - is a crucial element of measuring success and planning better for the future.

A recent case in point of a launch campaign that delivered measurable impact was Flipkart’s #BigBillionDays 2020. Flipkart launched a multi-phased Twitter campaign to give Big Billion Days rapid visibility and drive purchase behaviour for its flagship sale by leveraging conversations, designing for participation through innovative tech-solutions, leading up to the sale becoming their biggest sale ever done virtually, selling goods worth $2.5 Billion.

The thrill of launching something new never gets old. But it does get challenging. A competitive landscape, changing patterns in the media consumption behaviour of consumers in a world grappling with a pandemic as well as the sheer plethora of media vehicles available makes a marketer’s job a lot more difficult than before. But with a clear audience strategy, a flight plan that is designed for participation, creativity-driven by technology and measurable impact metrics can make a marketer’s job easier. In the Launch War Room, the brand that isn’t afraid to #DoSomethingNew will always emerge victorious.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com

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