It’s not as if this was our first foray into digital marketing for one of our clients, but the magnitude of what was required, and incentives to drive sales, not just sentiment, meant we needed to conceptualise a campaign that would make magic.

But it was in those early pre-campaign days, that some of our biggest lessons were learnt.idea-633315_1280 2

  1. The planning cycles are more critical than the implementation

Despite digital having an ‘immediacy’, the planning required to launch and run a fully integrated campaign, meant weeks of discussion, brainstorming, creative executions, and even, PR preparations.

The Fat Pipe 100GB promo was prompted by news that Vox Telecom had been recognised as one of the top ISPs in the country, in terms of line quality and speed. We could not have orchestrated additional recognition a month later, both times by MyBroadband.

2. We should be talking about orchestrated marketing, not really integrated

We needed to launch everything at the same time – from banners, to a short; snappy press announcement, to Facebook advertising and a website go-live. It was an orchestrated effort – and one that we did not anticipate yielding the kind of interest and response that we got.

An essential element that we missed in our first campaign, was communication to internal audiences, and the Vox Telecom call centre. And while it was a quick process to rectify, we learned about the importance of ensuring that the employees, as ambassadors of the brand, are informed and excited about campaigns that are being deployed.

The result is that we now have a checklist for each campaign that we craft – we need to ensure that stakeholders are engaged and (hopefully) excited about campaigns, promotions and competitions.

3. Can we track it, measure it, make it count?

The beauty of digital, if done correctly, is that it can unlock so much data that campaigns can be changed, updated and where successful, replicated.

Tracking links for both banners, and press releases proved to be a useful metric for our board level discussions.

Insights and analytics are powerful – we have been able to identify good days for sales; news sites and portals that are able to actively drive leads, and sales and even, how and where people are accessing their Facebook profiles, and clicking on ads or promos.

Nearly 90% of the target audience for a Facebook advertising campaign that we initiated, accessed the website via their mobile phone. The lesson? Don’t underestimate the collateral that you are creating, for mobile handsets, versus desktop.

As marketers, our frame of reference is the desktop view that we are working on, rather than the end user perspective, which is increasingly mobile.

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4. Digital is not always definitive

So much of what we’ve learnt in the last two months, points to good analytics and the ability to track engagement and conversion; orchestrating marketing and PR elements for maximum reach and in honesty, luck.

There is no way of guaranteeing interest prior to a campaign going live. We cautiously estimated 800 sales – we exceeded this in the first seven days of the campaign going live, and by the end of the month, more than 3 200 sales were made via the Vox Telecom website.

It represented an extraordinary kickstart to an online marketing drive, that until then, had been nurtured in the background with adwords, a revamped website and analysis aimed at getting more insights about the browsing and buying behaviours of end users.

It also represented good timing, and a fair amount of good luck.

5. It’s not just about the sale, we need to consider sentiment

There is no doubt that access to social media platforms, has made us all more vocal about what we like and what we don’t. You just have to look at HelloPeter, at the Facebook pages of service providers the world over.

Vox Telecom was no different. Yes, there were folks that were not entirely satisfied with the services provided, but interestingly, they were far outnumbered by the happy customer. The one that migrated, the one that felt his/ her voice had been heard.

It was a combination of consistent responses from Vox Telecom across platforms, as well as a general feeling of goodwill to the brand that has been perceived as ‘listening to the consumer’ and delivering good value for money bundles.

Having the ability to monitor, and manage sentiment towards a brand, is as important, if not more so, than just selling goods and services for great prices.

6. A personal lesson

As I look back on the first two campaigns that we have launched, I am excited about what is possible, with budgets of all sizes.

More importantly, it is clear to me that digital experience cannot be taught in a textbook, but is best learnt when you feel the real-time adrenaline rush of watching something work, or heartbreaking realisation that a campaign isn’t doing well.

The beauty of digital, is that with speed, agility and a client that is willing to take a leap of faith alongside you, there is measurable magic to be made.

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