22 August 2012 10 Comments

How to run an effective campaign and advocacy in the digital era

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

Digital advocacy, digital campaign, elements of campaigns, Elements of marketing campaigns and advocacyChanging times demand a different perspective to the way organizations must drive their system. In the digital era, organizations are trying hard to become the darling spouse of their customers. Unfortunately many become overly infatuated with technology and forget the benefits of real conversation. The shortcoming of others is traceable to lack or real consumer insight, while many lack a very clean and clear objectives. In certain instances, the scope of the objective may be so ambiguous they cannot achieve anything worthwhile.

In the digital era, many believe conversation must prevail over campaigns. While another school of thoughts believe there is nothing wrong with a campaign when rightly executed. But it is obvious, the results of many haphazard campaigns are all over. A twitter account without a clear cut definition of who the real and valued followers should be or a Facebook account with thousands of ‘likes’ that add no direct benefit to the organization. In a bid to proffer solution, I had a chat with a colleague and we shared experiences couple with some studies of what make an effective campaign/advocacy in the digital world we now find ourselves. It will be good if we save our community members from the rhetoric of what campaign or advocacy means so we can focus on the real issue.

The following may help if campaign must be effective.

Vision and objective must be jointly understood: Many campaigns today often hired an external agent who is presumed to know it all. In most cases, the briefing are done at the top management level. Majority of the employees only get to hear or see anything about the campaign when the campaign is launched or already running. In every campaign objective, there is a need for a proper understanding of the objective by majority of the brand stakeholders. Never forget almost every one of these stakeholders has a digital presence. If a digital campaign objective, implications and responsibilities are not properly understood, the probability of some acting in variance is always there. Do not forget vision drives content, connection and strategy.

Co-creation benefits: today, many industry leaders are forecasting a strong connection among the brand custodians, brands, marketers and corporate communication.  A good depth of consumer understanding and communication mechanics are highly essential. If in today fast changing world, a brand still holds the belief of wanting to do it yourself towards effective campaign/advocacy, there may be an error of omission. Stakeholders’ collaboration will in no small way drive a positive change in your campaign reputation and success. When campaign/advocacy vision is jointly understood, it can speedily enjoy some of the principles and benefits of co-creation. The reason is obvious, they are part of it will want to see its success.

Organization readiness and ability to act fast to changes: the digital era may seem to be unpredictable. There may be changes to technology or digital platform rules. For instance, Linkedin used to allow twitter stream, but we woke up one day to find out that benefit was gone. Effective campaign and advocacy in digital era must have inbuilt capacity and shock absorber to act fast. The brand custodians must also be briefed to prepare for these changes.

CEO communication and full awareness: any campaign or advocacy process in the digital era must adequately inform and equip the CEO with dynamics of digital economic. Some of these dynamics may relate to digital landscape and costing. Many CEOs are still in the dark and cannot see reason why there must be adequate investment in what they think ‘any dummy’ can do.

Creativity and adaptability: One other factor we will consider is the creative of the campaign.  Efforts must be made in ensuring the creative is customized and adaptable to the environment. Copy and paste will not work.

May be it is safe to conclude then that effective campaign needs to bring together the new digital convergence and not just run in a silo. The digital era is more than commerce; it includes positive user-experience management among others. Hence campaign and advocacy must consider these.

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