Have you read how Mark made the fight against deadly infections a serious game? Now, as I promised, I want to tell you about my other friend Carol.
Imagine an ice cream van dropping by while everyone is sitting at home, afraid that the virus would pounce on them if they dared to get out. A waste of good ice cream, right? Not even the best time to bring a new flavor to market.
I didn’t tell Carol this when she announced her plan to bring her company’s medical device to market in late February 2020. With the name she is responsible for new products. In practice, she always generates new ideas. When doors close around the world, trust them to create a window. With Carol it’s never “Can we?” It’s always “How are we?”
I am sure several wise souls must have told her to follow the example of dozens of other companies and quit. Carol had her reasons and a clear roadmap. It didn’t matter if nobody was using roads or maps.
Why now? Why not!
From Carol’s point of view, the lockdown was the best opportunity to get started. Precisely because conferences, exhibitions and independent starts have been canceled.
“We’re going digital, Rahul,” beamed Carol over Zoom. “And we will achieve the maximum return on our investment. I chose you and your team because I want a digital partner that doesn’t start and end with digital. Together we will strategize, plan, design and execute. And we’re doing it now. Not after God knows how many months. “
Carol’s enthusiasm has always been very contagious.
The original plan, when the world was more normal, was a gradual start, one country at a time. Now it suddenly became global. “Digital knows no borders, Rahul! Aren’t you the one who keeps saying that over and over again? ” Guilty!
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With each physical start, Carol and her team would have had a few hundred visitors. Now she was preparing for thousands around the clock.
So she gave everything: the right speakers, suitable testimonials, views from product experts, promotions in various digital forms and the important portal for visitors to register so that her team can follow up and convert them later.
Go anywhere, stay seated
I don’t want to brag that my team did a fantastic job. Suffice it to say that we kept up with Carol and carried out her vision.
There was the microsite, the web banners, the online events and the social media campaign. The big component was the VR experience. This gave every major customer the opportunity to try out the device virtually. Unsurprisingly, conversions started to keep up with the booming interest from all over Asia, Europe and the US.
For Carol this was the most successful start of her career so far. Of course, the backslapping had to be completely virtual. She paused to email me that her regional teams were excited about the VR solution. “It’s a hit! Great experience for the customer! Great sales for us! “
Get the basics right, take advantage of every opportunity
The solutions we provided Mark and Carol were poles apart. But they had something in common with every other successful marketer we work with.
Both opted for the digital route. Both went ahead when many others preferred to wait and watch. Neither skipped nor watered down the basics.
What’s your strategy What makes your product different or better? How well do you know your customer? What pain point will the new solution remove? How will it delight the customer? What digital tools do you need to use? Why? How do they deliver what you need?
Both Mark and Carol were thorough in their homework. They came to their answers after much thought. Yes, they could have failed. However, the intensity of their preparation made success very likely.
Neither a wand nor a ghost
Digital does what you do. It can dazzle and collect a million likes without converting a single prospect. Or it can quietly make a difference to those who matter most to you.
A cynic who worked with one of our clients once questioned the usefulness of a game we were developing for them. Drawing duck. Shoot duck. Get points. Where was the creativity involved?
If the death of the duck can give the player new insight into fighting infection, the game has worked. When the sound effects, funny expressions, and color scheme are attracting more and more audiences to play the game, the creativity has worked. It is our responsibility to make the whole quacker hunt business a great gaming experience. As a customer, you have to be clear beforehand why people should chase the duck. If we end up saving and improving more lives it will be a win-win for all of us (sorry, duck, not you!).
New road ahead
Carol is already planning her next start. It can get physical this time, at least in the major markets. Or it can become hybrid – partly physical, partly digital. She doesn’t do either.
“Take a look at the cost-benefit ratio of our last launch and give me a good reason why we should ever get physical again!” Carol is excited but knows there will be occasions when her team will need to get physical. But digital would have already done the hard work ensuring that the physical encounter is productive and only lasts as long as it takes.
She put us in contact with her colleagues. She believes communication is critical to any role and digital is the best way to communicate. The conversations must start with the what and why of communication before we get into the how of digitization. As we like it!
Carol and Mark taught us that. Don’t wait for an opportunity. Do not dilute the preparation.
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Written by Rahul Deshpande, Chief Solution Provider and Lead Storyteller at Ethosh.