The Critical Question You Can’t Afford to Miss when Planning a Digital Campaign

Lori Goldberg, CEO of Silverlight Digital writes for EconsultancyCEO Lori Goldberg writes for Econsultancy. 

When it comes to kicking off a digital campaign, most advertisers know the importance of setting strategic and well-thought-out goals. However, in practice, it is extremely common for agencies and advertisers to want to hit the ground running, and rush right into planning.

We start all of our campaign kickoffs with one question that has become the single most important thing we do:

“The Critical Question” to Ask

“At the end of this campaign (or month, quarter, year) we are all going to be sitting around this same table, giving each other high-fives. What exactly are we celebrating? What metrics or goals have we hit to make this campaign a huge success?” 

This question is critical for three reasons:

1) the answer to the question will inform every single decision you’ll make across the rest of the campaign together (for both your team and extended teams)

2) this allows a moment to assess whether or not expectations for this campaign are in line with the brand’s goals

3) you can uncover any places where the client’s goals are conflicting, unclear, vague or competing (which happens more often than not)

This may sound basic, but we find that our agencies, media partners, and brands are often eager to get into the meat of the campaign, and it is extremely easy to skip this step and move forward without defining success or ensuring cross-team consensus.

Weeding Out Conflicting Goals

For example, we’ll often get clients saying things like this: We want to reach moms with kids because we don’t have enough brand awareness with this group, but we need to make sure we are efficiently driving sales.”

How often have we heard that? “We want it all!” This is a conflict. Do you want to increase your brand awareness or do you want to drive sales efficiently? Or diving in deeper, which goal is more important to you?

Knowing conflicting goals in the beginning gives an opportunity to address them and find a path forward. This is the moment that you can offer alternative solutions, educate the client on best practices, or allocate a primary and secondary importance to goals. For example, with our “moms with kids,” we might offer the idea of splitting their budget, with one variation focusing on brand awareness (say 40% of budget) and the other 60% aligned to a sales goal, focused on driving consumers through the funnel.


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