Wednesday

In digital, you can do almost anything. Don't.


There are limitless opportunities in the digital world. From creating a new Facebook experience to improving organic search rankings, developing an Android application to testing out the latest social game theories, for many brands - anything is possible.

In the 'old days' (i.e. 2 years ago), organisations with separate teams would create, test and trial new tactics across the digital space. If you think about the rise of the web in the late 90's, this started with experimenting with websites (which were mostly recreations of corporate brochures) and rapidly grew into microsites, bespoke email marketing programs and display banners for little campaigns. Then came Search, the social web and now a plethora of new options - location-based services, payment solutions, gaming partnerships, the works.

For marketers, the digital world isn't getting better with time - it's becoming more confusing. Right when you start to understand microsites (and why not to create them), the next 'hot' trend emerges. Once you do a well-thought out test, another smarter, faster, cheaper and better technology has emerged.

Part of this confusion is because of the pace of innovation. Things improve, fast. Brands like Google and Facebook evolve and give us better opportunities to engage a select group of people. Formats change. Pages get updated. And we have to adapt.

But the other part of the confusion is because of us. Every agency, specialist and consultant can talk about a 'forgotten' area of the digital space. Doing a great job with campaign creative but not thinking about search strategy? Implemented conversation monitoring but not game theory? Created a Facebook page but not a YouTube channel? And on.

There is always something more. Always a new trend to chase. But the basics are what matter first. And, most often, they are overlooked. More and more, I think we need to focus on the fundamentals of digital. The building blocks of a user experience along the journey we are hoping to take them on.

How to people find your experience? Why would they spend more than 2 seconds there and not hit the back button or close the tab? What content would they want to share? Why would they opt-in?

Digital planning is like being an architect. Someone who knows the basics of all the tools required to create something great. Someone who puts together a strong foundation, based on a blueprint, that specific experts can build from over time.

Materials change. Techniques come and go. Technology evolves.

But before you get caught up with the most recent Mashable post, make sure the fundamentals are in place.

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