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A guide to digital activation campaigns

Author: Catherine Titherington, Brands Business Development Manager at  Eagle Eye Solutions

Social isolation and social distancing has created the opportunity to reflect. So, I thought I would take time to look back over the Eagle Eye’s last 12 months’ digital Brand activity.

Having implemented several Digital Activation Campaigns for drinks brands and agencies, we have been able to identify what it takes to makes an activation campaign “successful.”

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are obviously different for every campaign. But there are some variables that can increase the coupon issuance-to-redemption (ITR) rates substantially, to deliver increased footfall and subsequent brand sales.

The consumer that takes the time to not only respond to a promotional ad, but to actually physically walk into a venue to redeem its coupon, is invaluable.

Yet, we often take these individuals for granted and, if Covid-19 has shown us anything, it is that behind every number on a graph there is a person – a person we should value and reward for taking the time and trouble to visit our venue. Digital activation campaigns are great ways to do that.

Effectively targeting the customer

The digitising of marketing campaigns today has come a long way from the old days, where paper-based offers took weeks to book, implement and then manually count; and, once placed couldn’t be changed.

By contrast, every digital activation campaign Eagle Eye implemented with our Brand clients last year using our application programming interfaces (APIs) was geotargeted around participating venues. This is key when working with brick-and-mortar stores or venues to ensure maximum reach.

Digital activations can also be dialled up or down in different digital channels while the campaign is live; and, by measuring issuance rates and redemptions instore in real time, it’s possible to optimise the campaign accordingly to increase issuance to redemption rates by at least 10%.

Driving footfall into venue is key for Merchants. But finding those individuals to engage with in the first place is one of their biggest challenges.

Digital activation tracking benefits

Campaign creative and through-the-line delivery strategy can take a variety of formats. So, partnering with Brands and their creative agencies early allows digital activations to be considered and included in all channels and formats.

However, our post campaign analyses on all Brand campaigns have provided a clear indication that video/motion formats are typically 12% more effective in leading to a redemption than a still image.

We know this by A/B testing a range of different creative asset types and sizes on social media platforms and by attributing redemptions across all media formats right through to in-venue activation using Google/UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) tracking.

The use of a variety of creative assets allows for better optimisation within the Facebook platform. For example, you can't use videos in all ad placements, so some still require static images. Moreover, the end-to-end analysis not only allows us to track which creative works best, but also which channels perform better, allowing for in-flight campaign optimisation in real time.

Weather optimisation, personalisation and retargeting individual customers of unused coupons can also be used as effective methods of increasing engagement through to redemption.

Data-driven campaign optimisation

When we were engaged by a new IPA brand to launch a sampling digital activation campaign for example, we used weather optimisation and specific demographic targeting to focus in on potential customers, offering them a digital sampling coupon redeemable in venues of their choice.

We then identified those who had delayed redeeming their coupons longer than the average ITR period and retargeted them to prompt them to use the coupon. This retargeting increased redemption by an additional 5%.

Measuring the value of capturing that ”first drink“ is the final challenge to solve. This is especially important when considering anecdotal evidence indicates that consumers who use a coupon initially for a free drink, go on to purchase several more full-priced drinks, while dwell time also increases as a result.

Analysing this value is the next step in the evolution of the digital activation journey, and current campaigns in the shopper marketing off-trade world have captured loyalty well. Extending this across the Food and Beverage sector as a continuous, rather than fragmented journey for Brands will be a focus for development.

I hope you find these learnings interesting, as the key to success is to be able to measure every step of a campaign right the way through to activation.

To learn more about how Eagle Eye can help you with your activation campaigns, please get in touch.