A new brand manager takes on the herculean effort to “revamp” their current digital campaign. Why? Digital budgets have been steadily increasing but senior management is failing to see a return. A major campaign redesign is in order. No stone is left unturned. Months of requirements gathering culminates in an ambitious plan to create an engaging, multi-audience, multi-channel online experience fed by a sophisticated digital media campaign that represents best-in-class digital marketing for the category. In 10 to 12 months, the campaign is launched to great fanfare. Sound familiar?
I’m an agency guy, so you probably are wondering why on earth I would have concerns with this story. Besides, words like “ambitious,” “best-in-class” and “sophisticated” probably translate into high budgets, right? While that may be the case, I would challenge the thinking that the best course of action from an external digital perspective is to “do nothing” for 10 to 12 months. Why do I say “do nothing?” While you’re building the next great thing, your current materials are still in-market so you look stagnant to your patients, HCPs and payers.
Alternatively, ask yourself, “What steps could I take in the next four to six weeks to optimize my current digital campaign and drive business results?” After all, the pharma business is all about maximizing business return in a finite period of time before patent expiration. Smaller, more frequent updates allow you to maximize the area under the curve.
To that end, I challenge my team to think about our clients’ digital campaigns as continuous quality improvement (CQI) exercises. More importantly, I challenge them to be nimble, using any available data sources to make recommendations that can help drive results. While there is no doubt that campaigns may benefit from major updates, very often existing campaigns can continue to contribute to the business with small tweaks until a major update is ready for prime time. A tweak could be, but is not limited to:
- Changes/small additions to optimize the digital media campaign.
- Minor design changes to better highlight a campaign’s call-to-action.
- Removal of content from the website to simplify the experience.
- An addition of an exit survey to gather more data to inform future changes to the campaign.
Five considerations will help you to start thinking about your digital campaign as a CQI exercise rather than a monolithic campaign with fixed and infrequent milestones.