Vandana Sandhir on fortifying digital strategy with connection, creativity, credibility
Authored by Vandana Sandhir, Chief Client Strategy Officer, BCW India Group and India Lead, Six Degrees BCW.
The 2020s is a decade marked by the rapid rise of digital communication. Accelerated by the pandemic and the worldwide lockdowns, this digital rise is only going to pick up further pace. With new social platforms emerging every few months and the increasing footprint of generative AI, where does that leave brands? How do they stand apart and create a distinct voice for themselves? The answer lies in using a digital strategy that focuses on 3Cs – connection, creativity, and credibility.
Connection: Targeted and real
One of the biggest reasons why brands are on digital platforms is for a direct connect with their stakeholders. Given that everyone is there for the same reason, what helps is to ensure a laser-sharp focus on what those audiences need using data-driven insights. From audience analytics to market trends, creating messaging narratives around these insights will help a build deeper connect with audiences. When you combine this with micro-targeting and personalisation, it builds a compelling bond between the brand and the audience.
Creativity: Driven by purpose
Once the insights and narrative have been developed, they need to be delivered in a way that is clutter-breaking and creative. This is not just about clever copy and aesthetic graphics. It is about a creative idea that aligns with the brand’s purpose. Purpose is the ‘why’ of a brand – the reason it exists. When creativity is aligned to purpose, the idea becomes even more impactful. Take the example of a campaign like Otrivin’s Pollution Capture Pencils campaign. As a nasal decongestant brand, Otrivin’s purpose is to drive Actions to Breath Cleaner. So, they placed air purifiers in a few schools in Bengaluru where underprivileged kids study. The residue collected was combined with graphite to create pencils and distributed to the kids. These pencils were also used by kids to write letters to parents urging them to take individual actions. The brilliance of the idea stemmed directly from Otrivin’s purpose and that is what moved people to engage with the campaign.
Credibility: Building trust
One of the most difficult things to do for a brand in the chaotic digital world is to demonstrate credibility. How do you persuade your stakeholders to trust your word? One way to do that is to use credible voices and opinion leaders to add to your credibility. However, this only works when there is transparency and authentic alignment of values in this relationship.
The other thing to keep in mind is that digital platforms are a two-way street. It’s not enough to just talk to your audience, it’s also important to listen to them. When you demonstrate that you listen to them and then act on it, the seeds of trust are sown.
With rise of AI and its use in spreading misinformation, credibility can become quite fragile. Thankfully, just as technology for AI is getting better, so is it for tools to counter this misinformation. BCW recently joined hands with Limbik, a top information defense technology company rooted in cognitive artificial intelligence (AI), to launch its offering BCW Decipher, to help clients anticipate and dismantle message threats in today’s post-factual environment.
In the digital decade, increased reliance on data analytics, AI-powered automation, and evolving social media platforms, communication is becoming more personalised and targeted. But whether digital or offline, at the heart of effective communication remain the three Cs of connection, creativity, and credibility. All with purpose at the core.