Sunday, 19 February 2012

ArabNet Case Study Challenge for Digital Marketing Campaigns

I believe one of the greatest digital marketing campaigns of all time is the Bing Decode Jay-Z campaign.  It was done last year, but I am yet to see something even close to its brilliance. Inspirational. 

Now the scope and scale of this campaign was huge. So not every single idea you come up with needs to be that big. But even really simple ideas can be taken to a whole new level if thought-through and executed so flawlessly, with a clear objective in mind. 

The ArabNet Digital Summit 2012 is seeking entries from the Arab world for the most innovative use of technology and new media for a marketing goal. The ArabNet Case Study Challenge  is open for applications until March 8th. With the surge of new media companies and digital campaigns in this region over the past year, I expect a tonne of entries. 

The interesting part will be whether the entries prove to be focused and objective-driven campaigns, rather than just a series of Facebook and Twitter posts / status updates that generated a really big number of "Likes" or Followers. Trouble is, many of these will have been responses to client requests of "I want a Facebook page...oh and some tweets."

Agencies react in one of two ways to this request. Either a) see $$$ at the prospect of selling more digital services or b) ask the client "Why"? The latter reaction will usually be met with either a) blank stares from the client or b) (in an ideal world) the client will say “well, because we know that 70% of our target audience is on Facebook and we’ve seen brands similar to ours have huge success as a result of engaging with their fans. We want to use Facebook to drive our marketing strategy, and we’re putting all our focus online this year.”

Think of your traditional PR channels. Do you blindly recommend using certain channels to the client without first evaluating if they reach the right audience? Do you ever just say “let’s pitch this to CNN” just because CNN is big? No. You evaluate the audience, the story, the pitch, the angle and then you choose your channel.

Social media platforms are exactly the same. You can’t just decide to add Facebook to the list of channels you communicate through. It’s got to be the right channel for the right message. And more importantly going 'digital' is a change in corporate culture.  Not just a marketing function. It needs to be integrated in the business direction as a whole. 

ArabNet is looking for the best campaigns from the Arab world that have truly captured the power of digital media. The case study entries have got to demonstrate clear objectives, strategies, implementation plan, results and the lessons learned. Six finalists will be chosen by ArabNet and its panel of judges, based on originality, effectiveness, impact and engagement. 

So to all the creative digital marketers out there, you have two weeks to put together your competition entry. Think long and hard about it, and let's get those outstanding digital campaigns from the Arab world out under the spotlight. 


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