7 Things I Learned In Digital
With the dwindling average human attention span; eight seconds to say the least, my mentor, Donald Lim would always argue, “Digital is about making things simpler; not more complex.” True enough, everything has been simpler; as easy as a swipe to any direction. And, specifically for Digital, bridging the gap between our fellow Kapamilyas and bringing them closer to ABS-CBN through our network of different online properties is the least we can do to be truly in the service of the Filipino.
Today marks my first month outside the walls of ABS-CBN. And if there is anything I learned from my 4-year stay is the genuine understanding for the Filipino. Indeed, to be of service isn’t only a one-time dole-out, but a continuous effort to be part of the lives of who we service for.
With that, here are a few things I learned from being part of its strategic digital think-tank.
Encourage (and discourage trolls and fake news)
The lowest hanging fruit that is pretty evident are the political factions that encumber our country; never has it been more present especially online. With the advent of internet trolls, online mud-slinging has never been so destructive (and strategic) at the same time. Truth of the matter is, in the war between sides, no one really wins. By indulging ourselves -not only do we gain enemies but theoretically, we open ourselves to more of these content, as the algorithms of our social networks read it as if we prefer to receive that same kind of information since we engage it. And in doing so, the more we make our feed an ugly place and at the end we just make ourselves feel worse; letting whatever anger and irritation we feel from the situation continue even with our offline life. We are not helping the situation nor are we making our country a better place. So, if you must indulge yourself, control your urge, you are just fueling the flame; instead, properly report it to online authorities and take advantage of the procedures set by Google and Facebook on reporting “Fake News” and other obscenities online. Most of all, agree-to-disagree, speak life, and ride over the trend. Making enemies out of your friends is not how it is supposed to be.
Mean Median and Mode (Please know the difference)
Data drives the current marketing landscape. Gone are the days where precision is key, accuracy is the new norm. In that case, the more you are comfortable with data, the better. Generalizations are not enough to make a conclusion, hence we should know what we are looking for. And to begin your appreciation of it know at least the difference between the three -mean, median and mode. Averages won’t simply do, else, you might end up with a wrong conclusion.
Prepare (Proper planning, know the online channels to use)
Never undermine the power of Digital. If harnessed properly, it could be a very powerful tool. Don’t get too caught up with cool tech-driven executions. Have a process to begin with.
My 6-Step Process:
- Always start with the top-line objectives
- Audit and review the current landscape
- Address the challenge, or pain-point
- Provide an overall solution through a strategy
- Identify the key-points of action
- Provide a road-map to follow with carefully-laden KPIs each phase to asses and iterate for better results.
Or use this canvas as a guide (click the link to go to the site)
Also, don’t be discouraged, in digital, no project gets completely launched on time. Digital is always to agility as with technology.
Attribute (To a bigger cause)
Frankly the world doesn’t revolve around your brand nor your award-winning over-the-top campaign executions. Please detach yourselves from the glory and look at the bigger picture. On the flip-side attach yourselves to real-life problems, addressing real-life issues and answering real-life pain points. Adhering to such causes and helping in any way you possibly can is a gift that keeps-on-giving. If done correctly, your brand winning the next “Cannes” is only secondary to the treasure chest of insight realized from the experience.
Testify to your Cause (And experience)
Digital should be a vehicle to create conversations and community. Don’t let anyone “gang-bang” you into silence, stifling your own beliefs. There are people out there who share the same experiences and more importantly, are looking at you to stand-up for the same rights and advocacies. Give them the opportunity to do the same thing by doing it first. Digital is an equalizer, though at times it could favor the bold.
Human (Mind your tone)
The irony with technology is that it makes us more human simply because it creates conversation and community. Hence, it has empowered everyone to the point where collectively they could actually dictate reality through their shared experiences. So, as a brand, do yourself a favor and talk to people, sound like one and address their experiences. I understand that you have your own brand mandatories and community guidelines but put a character or a persona to your brand, it doesn’t hurt to put a heart into it.
Yell (Take a stand and be your own brand ambassador)
Practice what you preach and be consistent! Nothing is worse than a person who cannot walk his talk. In the same vein, whatever you do online should transition into offline experiences too. As my mentor would alway say, Digital succeeds when the word digital is not used or felt.
Now, what I am really driving at is E.M.P.A.T.H.Y. Advancing your cause needs a more of a human touch. Nothing is more human than relating and understanding who you are doing it for. We are relational beings and that’s what makes us human.