Lessons from a reactive campaign

Lessons from a reactive campaign

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By Sarah Warsaw

The British Grand Prix, Wimbledon, Golf, Rugby Sevens and not to mention the World Cup, the summer of 2018 has not only brought gorgeous sunshine, but with it an unprecedented amount of sport. With the “casual sports fan” keen to keep up with all of the action, sporting organisations have been vying for the attention of people across the world - how is it even possible to cut through the noise with a campaign about just one of these great sporting events? 

For our Wimbledon & IBM annual campaign, during which we showcase the innovative technology IBM delivers to our client, we wanted to maximise the buzz of the action by incorporating these other sports into the campaign, rather than trying to compete. From this, #FindTheAdvantage was born. 

We took advantage of both statistical and unstructured tennis data from our award winning 2017 campaign #WhatMakesGreat, plus other sporting insights from our media partner Sky Sports. From this we were able to produce a series of articles and videos which delved into the data, making comparisons across the sports, and recommendations from experts as to how athletes could perhaps even learn from each other - leading with the tennis angle (it was a Wimbledon campaign after all). 

With a content release every few days, and sport being unpredictable in the way that it is, we HAD to plan a reactive, on the ball (no pun intended) campaign with media and content optimisations along the way. 

Here’s a few lessons learned: 

Plan ahead 

We had all the content ready and raring to go. This year we wanted to release content at the right moment, rather than reacting and creating content on the fly, which is the approach we took in 2017. This made it easier to optimise media along the way as it was only this to review and act on. We were well prepared with cut down videos, social copy on hand and article links tagged up for our tracking. 

Be in the same room 

We worked at the Mindshare office in their “Loop Room” for five days, enabling us to access key data points on screens in the office, plan and take actions there and then, plus we had all the right expertise within the same building. A brilliant setting for a reactive campaign like this. 

Out of hours 

Having a WhatsApp group - all essential parties could communicate with each other, make decisions and take actions easily and effectively even when weren’t in the same room, especially when there’s late night England results to be considered. 

Get social 

For our paid social media we had a variety of formats including 15 second video, GIFs, statics images and 30 second videos, with different copy we could test and optimise with. Driving engagements was an important KPI, and the use of CTAs such as “comment below” helped to drive this. Ahead of the main three week campaign, we built intrigue with some “pre” campaign content, aligned with some key tech events, including Cog X and London Tech Week - giving our audience a sneak preview of the innovations we were set to announce in 2018. 

Copy on the go

We were fortunate to have digital out of home of part of our media strategy, so alongside our organic reactive social we were able to share reactive content on screens at Heathrow Airport with copy ready to go depending on results and knock outs. A robust process for this is important, as it’s not as easy to “delete” as it is for an organic tweet! 

Ongoing optimisation

Reviewing the data daily, testing new strategies and moving budget to maximise it was a huge part of this campaign. With the full agency/client team together we were able to make decisions, take actions and review every day. Processes like this rarely go 100% smoothly but just getting to grips with it can be a great lesson to learn for longer campaigns running during business as usual periods. Stuff can go wrong, but we continued to learn, make changes and updates to the campaign to really maximise its value. 

Every time-specific campaign is bound to come with highs and lows, but what’s important is that teams are dedicated to the those few weeks, the right people are on hand to make things happen and you make decisions fast. Compared to our usual three-month quarterly campaigns, every day is like a week, and every hour is like day - time is of the essence and that’s what makes campaigns like this really exciting! 

This piece was by IBM's Sarah Warsaw. Follow her @sarahwarsaw


Author: The Marketing Society
Posted: 20 Sep 2018
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