Tips to be followed in Digital Marketing

Koichiro Shima – Co-Chief Executive Officer, Creative Director, Editor Hakuhodo Kettle, Japan & Yasuharu Sasaki – Executive Creative Director – Dentsu New York

In this new era Japanese agencies have created many successful digital advertising campaigns along with some campaigns which should not have been launched as they followed the policy of copy & paste from the successful campaigns. These unsuccessful campaigns were myopic and only focused on results and damaged the digital advertising field. So, here are some of our tips for a successful digital marketing campaign.

Digital is not a medium to express but it is the tool that we should use to integrate the diverse marketing media of business.

Here are two examples:

  • We launched a successful digital campaign on internet where we asked people to join this campaign on internet and we shot a TVC for same featuring actual people.
  • Just after tsunami in Japan we launched a campaign in collaboration with Honda where we provided information about road condition of areas affected by tsunami to people free of charge to make rescue and reconstruction much quicker.
  • We opened a bookshop called B & B which means books & beer. Some people thought that opening a physical bookshop in this digital age is a bad idea but we believed in doing something different. This book shop helps readers to meet people with similar interests and we organize events which are attended by authors, designers & businessmen. Our customers can communicate with them and share their views.  We encouraged communication between readers and authors of the books. This is what we need to do in digital advertising.

Here are some of our tips for digital advertising:

  1. Design the experience


With traditional advertising we create a message for our target audience.  But it is one way communication and now we have to design campaigns to engage people. Contact points are everywhere on digital medium whether it’s PC, mobile phone, social media or websites.  We have to focus on these contact points to design our campaigns. Experience provides deep brand attention but at the same time we have risks. Through digital medium we ask people to invest more time & effort & if the content is boring brand image can be easily damaged. So digital advertising can be really good for your brand if you can make good and interesting content for your brand online. Digitally we are engaged in high-risk & high-returns activities.  The content must be extremely useful or extremely emotional


Here are some examples:

  • Color Tokyo project of Sony:

This campaign focused to create brand awareness about Sony’s new LCD Bravia TV . Sony building in Tokyo was turned into the color you want.  It presented a new way to communicate messages in the internet era. This project allowed users to “color” Sony building located in Ginza, the cultural centre of Japan, from wherever they are. The same was followed by a Japanese mobile phone company to launch its smart phone where it offered people to control the color of the building from their mobile which was followed by launching their phone through a live event.

  • Uniqlo lucky line:

Uniqlo is a casual wear designer, manufacturer and retailer. When they opened a new store in Japan they created a digital marketing campaign where customers virtually lines up online and every 26th customer worth of coupons. People who didn’t win can try again. It offered a unique experience and it trended worldwide on twitter. Uniqlo set a single-day sales record of more than 10 billion yen in Japan. It was very simple but totally new idea on web.

  • Google memory of the future

To help the tsumani victims of Japan in 2011, Google created this project  to recover memories that the victims had lost.  Victims were asked to tell online the memory that they wanted to recover and the memory request was shared through banner ads, newspapers & TV commercials. Google created a service to upload and share memories on youtube & picasa. People got to experience the city before & after. Result was that people from all over Japan answered to the voices and requests of the Tsunami victims. It proved that power of cyber can change the world and it helped to recover the memories of victims & to restore their hope for future.

All of these four projects had unique experience that people had never imagined.

  1. 2.       Be a facilitator

In traditional advertising the brands want to deliver the message directly to the customers. Today things have changed, now we want that the message should be discovered by the audience on their own. As a facilitator we need to give hints & clues so that the target customers can do it on their own. In this way people feel a sense of accomplishment without giving any instructions to them.

Here is an example:

  • Nissin decided to revive some of their old discontinued flavors. So they decided to ask people about it through their website. People were asked to vote for the flavors that they wanted to revive. People even invited their friends to take part in the voting and people instinctively became self promoters of Nissin Noodles.

  1. 3.        Be flexible

Digital strategies have completely changed the way we advertize now. In traditional media we used to go with the plan. But with digital media we need to be flexible according to the live feedback of our customer on social media. The content is quasi beta edition. So, we have to fine-tune the content and change the budget allocation too even after the campaign is launched. We need to budget the contingency plan. We need to keep in our mind that new innovative ideas always receive negative reactions.

Here is an example:

  • In 2012 French – based fashion e-retailer La Redoute turned the bad buzz of publishing a photo of naked man on their website into good publicity.  They apologized for the mistake and launched a facebook game as a counter buzz strategy in which participants were asked to detect errors on internet and it helped in generating traffic to their website.

  1. 4.         Forget Digital

Recently advertising has become boring as we are focusing too much on digital. The brief from client always states: use social media or mobile app or get a lot of fans. Digital is all about numbers. Digital sometimes makes us myopic. So, forget digital & forget numbers and always remember that it is not the technology but the idea that attracts people. Take care of the emotional factor too and not just number for any digital campaign.

Here is an example:

  • One of Japanese publishing house connected digital world with their real book store. It transferred their digital & social bookmark into physical bookmark. The mission was to increase readers using a revolutionary in store promotion. Idea: Key item is an analog bookmark.  In collaboration with social review they came up with social bookmark POP system. Comments left online by reviewers will become a social bookmark POP for that book which was used in store to promote that book all over Japan. When readers find a memorable page on a book, they can go to the website and submit comment on their favorite page & leave it as a social bookmark. That book mark is then placed in books in store and people can read that page. Submitted bookmarks then become a bookmark POP one by one and it is set up all over Japan. This resulted in readers coming to the book store and read through their favorite pages. And this resulted in 250% increase in number of people picking books from the book store.

It’s people who drive digital. Not numbers. We have to design human touch behind the technologies. Also, the client and the agencies have to trust each other to make a marketing campaign successful.

The above article is an excerpt from the speech delivered by Koichiro Shima –  Co-Chief Executive Officer, Creative Director, Editor Hakuhodo Kettle, Japan & Yasuharu Sasaki – Executive Creative Director – Dentsu New York at AIMA’s World Marketing Congress which was held in February 2013.

Watch the video here:

Share Button

One thought on “Tips to be followed in Digital Marketing

Leave a Reply