We all use best in class cases to help show clients (and ourselves) strategies that have been successful. And most digital people know the top examples off by heart:
- Looking for a great integrated example? How about Nike Run?
- Co-creation idea? myStarbucks idea.
- Wicked example of a series of videos going viral across a series of social spaces? Old Spice.
- Global promotion with a content series and big promotion? Bud House.
- Sweet look at how Google and brands can use HTML5? Arcade Fire experience.
- Alternate Reality Game? Remember Dark Knight?
- Charitable tie in with a brand that choose social media over the Super Bowl (for a year, at least) - Pepsi Refresh
- Customer service program that uses social? Twelpforce
- Smart example of a simple banner? Pringles
As a planner, I obsess over examples. In fact, reading the trades and seeing what other people are doing (and learning from their successes and failures) is something that, believe it or not, a lot of people fail to do.
But digital strategy, although easily explained via examples, goes beyond case studies of other (mostly global, large scale) examples.
Evaluating the cases in your own arsenal, based on the work that you've directed, can be humbling. For every Old Spice video there are 1,000 others with less than a couple hundred views. For every crowdsourcing success, there are hundreds of other (well-built, well-planned) experiences that nobody knows about.
Examples help us learn and plan. But until you've launched and failed (or, in the lucky event, succeeded), their just that - examples.
This mentality, I think, helps to explain why many social 'experts' focus on their own numbers.
'I have 80,000 followers, therefore, I know a thing or two about Twitter. Trust me.'
That's fair enough. But I don't think many clients have asked Kim to help them with their social strategies or turned to Brooke and asked her about how to optimise their content streams. (beyond the product placement here and there).
I joke - but do concede that large followings do show something. That you have a large number of followers. And that something about your stream has attracted them. Nice work.
But when you throw away external examples and personal ones and look at the ones that you've helped real brands / clients / agencies with, how do things shape up? It's OK to fail (it's really the only way to learn) but don't repeat the same mistake(s) over...especially with the same people.
Want to show someone that you can help others succeed in digital? Prove it.