Think Small : Create Impact, Not Visibility
Advertising on the internet is challenging. Advertising space is everywhere. People switch between sites and apps fast, a few snatched minutes on Facebook in the middle of a meeting, WhatsApp chats while commuting or quick snapchat photos at a dinner. Unless you’re everywhere, chances are, you’ll get missed altogether. Right?
Wrong. Being everywhere on the internet isn’t always the best strategy. Yes, the audience is on multiple platforms and switches between these hundreds of times in the day, but to get them to act needs impact not visibility. With users being so much in control of the content they view and the content they veto, it is crucial for business to start with thinking small.
What is the smallest number of people who need to buy into your proposition?
Sharply define your core target audience. A company that sells customised holidays can define its core target audience as families who want to go abroad for a vacation in the next one year or as mothers with kids between 2-10yo, who have been on an international holiday before and are planning their new year family trip.
This early definition helps you choose where to be present - in the first case - which is almost everyone, the advertising will have to be everywhere; in the second case, they can choose more sharply to be present in places where moms of 2-10 yo kids might be on the internet. It helps you craft a more personalised message. A mom looking for a kid friendly holiday is far more likely to click on an ad that shows child friendly rooms in Hong Kong, than on cheapest flights to Las Vegas.
What is the smallest action you need your audience to take?
Sharply define the first step of starting a relationship with the consumer. The online purchase journey is a complex mix of social, generic searches, organic searches, brand paid search, display click, e mail click, referrals and the like. Direct to buy are few and far between. So it is important to know which micro moment do you want to be your first interaction with the consumer. It will be the start of the relationship that eventually leads to a purchase. The decision on whether the smallest action you want the audience to take is ‘search for me’ or 'click on my ad’ or 'hear of me on social’, will decide how you add value to them.
In a world of ad blockers and skip ad features, one needs the consumer’s permission to talk to them. Adding genuine value to a person is the best way to start a conversation. So if a make-up brand wants the consumer to come to the website to check the variety of new shades of red lipstick, they need to first build value for the consumer - say by using the phone camera to take a picture and then suggest a shade of red matching the skin tone.
The advantage of thinking small is to get the conversation right. If the digital strategy is good to catch your core audience and get them to act, it can easily be scaled up. But getting the conversation right needs one to think of individuals not masses. So think small.