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How to Expand into New Digital Media Channels

The digital media landscape is constantly changing.  Organisations need to be able to test new platforms and strategies in a structured but fluid manner - here are a few tips we have found to help to make expansion happen in a way where stakeholders are aligned around objectives, and process.

Sonar Group
March 3, 2022

One of the lessons learned over the past 12 months is to not over invest and depend on a single digital media platform to drive growth.

We have seen that an ‘omni-channel’ strategy is more effective, fueled by the importance of gathering and leveraging first party data.

Part of being ‘omni-channel’ involves testing the waters in new channels, provided the audience is present.  We find this can be challenging for clients in terms of getting senior level buy-in, and organising themselves and their partners to make it happen. New things are always scary, but it is an essential part of growth – whether or not that new thing works, at least it has been tested.

Here are a few tips we have found to help to make expansion happen in a way where stakeholders are aligned around objectives, and process:

 

The 3 month Pilot.

We have found that new ideas/initiatives are much more digestible by organisations when they are positioned as a pilot, with a set timeframe, agreed budgets, and metrics for success.  We suggest that an initiative on a new platform be given at least a three month trial.  We advocate for 3 months because you often need activity to build the audience, new systems and platform will need the time to establish themselves, as well as to help teams (internal or external) optimise for the audience.

 

Define Success Metrics.

Another important component is defining the success metrics for the initiative.  This should be a combination of hard and soft metrics.  The hard metrics should contribute specifically to the marketing plan metrics for the year.  The soft metrics can include trying new ways of working or collaboration, efforts to upskill ‘on the tools’ in the development of new assets, or trialing a new tool.  The pilot can be a great opportunity to help lift the performance of the marketing function as a whole. 

 

Establish test & learn budget & team resources

Test & learn is exactly that, to test new things. Allocate the team resources to ensure the test doesn’t get slipped off the to-do list. Consider splitting out budget from the always on, detached from the usual performance metrics, to really understand the role of the new platform/strategy in the marketing ecosystem. 

 

Senior Stakeholder Buy in.

While typically the sign off of the pilot has involved the relevant stakeholders, sometimes this isn’t the case.  It is worth considering senior stakeholders that are not in the day-to-day but are still in the mix – consider those who might need to be informed or consulted, and do it in advance but keep them in the loop throughout.

 

Share Results

Not all things will be successful, but it’s an important part of growth. Be sure to share the wins and learnings with the team, including senior stakeholders. The learnings from these are as valuable as the outcomes – and the learnings can be relevant for other marketing efforts and future initiatives.  For example, if a company is able to nail development of video within 24 hours with necessary approvals as part of a TikTok pilot, that way of working will be relevant across many other platforms.

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