February 5, 2018 Amjad Desai

Muddy waters of Digital Marketing

muddy-water-dm

Recently, I saw an activation campaign video created for Water.org. The purpose was to spread awareness about the organisation and get donations for their cause.

I’d suggest you watch the video before reading further

The #givethemtimeback campaign was promoted on social networks such as FB, Instagram. Youtube  & Linkedin. The last I checked the video had clocked almost half a million views and is still counting. Watching the video was like a jolt that made me realise how fortunate we are to live such a comfortable life. The message affected me so much that I actually ended up making a donation.

Of course, this post is not about giving the campaign a #plug or boasting about my generosity. As a marketer, I am always dissecting campaigns, trying to figure out what makes them work. In this case, I had the perfect research candidate – myself.

In this customer journey analysis, I wanted to answer two questions

  • First, why this campaign worked on me?
  • Second, how did water.org engage with me at various touchpoints in my customer journey

So let’s have a look at my journey from the point I saw the video till I made the decision to donate

Step 01: Saw the water.org campaign video attached to a post on Linkedin

(Note – The post had the campaign video attached)

Influencer Gary Vaynerchuck posted this on LinkedIn newsfeed along with a compliment to his team. The guy is a Marketing guru so when he appreciates a campaign > I am curious.

Another thing that moved me forward on the customer journey was the fact that the video was natively posted on Linkedin making it easily accessible.  

“Native content works”

Step 02: Played the video and got blown away by the message

For most of us it’s very difficult to trust something, we don’t know. In this case, I wasn’t aware of water.org or the work they are doing before watching this video. Still, by the time I finished watching the video I was a believer in their cause, So how did that happen? What made me build up trust in this organisation so quick.

I think a couple of things worked here

  • Referral source – I trust Gary V and take his recommendation seriously so it didn’t take a lot of convincing for me to play that video.
  • Platform – The video was natively posted on Linkedin making it easily accessible. I didn’t have to go where content is, the content came where I am”.
  • High-quality production – The video was produced in a very professional way with proper attention paid to details. This made the whole thing look authentic and important.
  • Celebrity endorsement – Seeing the friendly and known face of Matt Damon ( he is a co-founder ) made me comfortable & connect with the brand. The weird question is why do I trust Matt Damon? I think its got to do something with our tendency to find connections for decision justification. I like his movies and his work so obviously, i think he is a good person? At least in my head, Duh!! Matts endorsement gave the campaign that credibility I needed.

Step 03: Shared the video on my network

By the time the video ended I was so emotionally charged that I could have added them to my will. All they asked instead was to make a small donation or share the video. So I shared the video but Why? The answer is simply because they asked me to. That’s the beauty of crystal clear CTA’s. “If you got your audience’s attention then ask and you will get them to act”.

In my head sharing their content was mutually beneficial. The marketers got more eyeballs on the campaign & I felt gratified that I could help them grab some more attention.

Of course, this is where my journey could have ended but something was nagging me.

Step 04: I visited the Water.org, landed on the donation page and ended up donating some money

My journey like many others could have ended with the content sharing but the message had a profound impact on me which I couldn’t let go. I wanted to do something more for them. So I visited their site and donated some money. Why did I do that?

I can think of two reasons.

  • The video caught me at a very interesting time. I have been thinking about supporting a cause for the last couple of week so when I saw the video it didn’t take a lot of convincing.
  • The other thing I would say is the stability and flow of the whole campaign. The team made sure there was no friction in the whole donation process making the whole thing looked super legit. Even if there was a minor glitch in the transaction I might have pulled back but they made sure the tech was Solid. A lot of transactions drop off at the payment stage just for this reason but the team made sure that if someone reaches here they flow through the process.  “When you asking people for their money you got to make sure their experience is top class.”

So, my customer journey ended with water.org achieving their campaign goal (get donation).

In this day and age, as a marketer you have to make sure you cover as many touchpoints as you can to take advantage of the audience diversity. Click to Tweet 

The whole thing seems like a simple organic funnel that worked. However, on second thought it made me realise how muddy the digital marketing waters have become. To explain my point I’d like you to think of an alternative situation i.e What if Gary V’s post was planted to get maximum reach. Would I ever know if Gary was paid by water.org to grab his audience’s attention? I don’t think so and neither does it matter. What matters is the fact that with the power of Digital marketing, companies like Water.org can get the support they need to make a real difference that matter.

Amjad Desai

I’m a friendly digital marketing consultant from India, living in UAE. You’ll usually find me talking about productivity, marketing, social media, technology, automation, and life in general.
I run Synclarity along with a friend. We’re a inbound digital marketing agency that help businesses deliver measurable results