Five sure fire ways to screw up your next digital campaign

In this guest post, Daniel Monheit has some tips for what digital advertisers should always do if they like to fail.

Stop the guesswork. These tips will ensure you screw up your clients next digital campaign so badly that social media, mobile and the internet at large don’t find their way into another brief for at least a decade. Thankfully, this will let us all get back to REAL work like making interruptive (but potentially award winning) TV commercials and running auditions for flash mobs.

1. Ignore the golden ratio

The golden ratio refers to how much we ask a user to do in relation to the size of the outcome they get for doing it. The more difficult, obscure or ridiculous the better.

For example, as a treat for pulling out their phone, downloading a QR code app and looking like a dick by scanning a poster at a bus stop, reward users with a visit to the homepage of your website, preferably scaled for desktop.

Other top suggestions include getting users to switch on their webcams, make and upload their own videos and instal software to ‘experience the awesomeness of your augmented reality app’.

2. Don’t involve developers until the very last second

Keeping developers away from the project until they’re absolutely, totally required is imperative. After all, they’re there for production, not ideas. This technique also stops the guys who build the stuff getting in the way of any important promises your account manager makes about things like performance, time frames and possibilities.

If you can, outsource all of the ‘low value grunt work’ to Bangalore or Manila. Everyone’s doing it. Besides, how hard could it be to build the thing once someone else has already cracked ‘the big idea’?

3. Desktop. Desktop. Desktop!

Start here. Finish here. People don’t use their phones for browsing anyway. That’s why only 40% of web traffic comes from mobile devices.

If you’re running outdoor, tv, radio or print ads, I’m sure people will remember them and check your site just as soon as they’re back at the office anyway.

4. Be careful not to promote it

The Internet has pretty much got your back here. As long as you include enough ‘Facebook share’, ‘tweet this’ and ’email a friend’ calls to action, awareness should take care of itself.

Let’s take this baby viral!

5. Make sure you really crunch the timeline

Don’t worry about the 12 weeks you’ve got to get the print ads looking just right. If you’ve see an opportunity to slice a few days off the digital stuff then hop to it.

How long could it really take anyway? It only needs to work perfectly on 3,000 different device/operating system/browser combinations (some stretching back a decade), while integrating seamlessly with a stable, predictable platform like Facebook.

Testing is a great place to start for this one. A week is completely ridiculous. I have a 14 year old cousin who could build a whole website in less than that.

So there you have it. Five simple steps to digital disaster. Happy briefing!

Dan Monheit is director of strategy and an owner at HardHat Digital



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