HOW TO BANISH DIGITAL FATIGUE
Of the various types of fatigue that can drag us down at work, digital fatigue is the newest and it often proves the trickiest to solve. I have both experienced and observed the havoc that digital fatigue can wreak in creative settings when the work is high-volume and repetitive. Put yourself in the shoes of a marketer being asked to green-light another run of a digital promo you’ve seen hundreds of times. There’s no question that your own digital fatigue will sway your response.
But brand marketers are not necessarily the brand’s customers. And maybe the content is driving huge sales. See the problem?
We’ve all sighed in despair at personal inboxes overflowing with unread newsletters and discount codes. It should be no surprise, then, that glazed-eye fatigue sometimes follows us to work and disrupts our thinking. But that disruption does not have to be inevitable. With the right approach, you can curb digital fatigue before the glazed-eye syndrome takes over.
We must start by looking at one of the central concerns of any creative agency: workflow and feedback loops. At in-house shops, as at larger creative agencies, a strategically designed workflow is essential to guarantee work that is on-brand, on-strategy, and informed by data. To deliver such output, in-house agency leaders must control the inputs: requests, pitches, feedback, add-ons, etc.
Marketing team members approaching creatives with random requests and subjective ideas is fine once in a blue moon, but not on a regular basis. Analytics team feedback on the work that you're producing? Yes, that’s a good input. Creative informed by data is the key to pushing results, improving on what you’ve already achieved, or quickly switching tactics if the messaging isn’t working. It’s the data feedback loop that prevents inhouse digital fatigue. By giving the creative team the results and data you prevent creative based on a whim rather than creative informed by data.
The secret is ensuring the data is usable to the creative team and is truly indicative of the results you want. Let’s tackle the latter first.
CTR has become a standard KPI but what does that really mean? Does every CTR guarantee a sale, a subscription, or the action you want? Not necessarily. Yes there is an associated percentage of the CTR that is indicative of the number of sales but why not rather use the first months payment for a subscription as the KPI? This brings up A/B testing. A/B testing is another part of the equation that needs to be SOP. Without a control, and A/B tests it’s not known what’s working and what isn’t and if the goal is removing guesswork then testing is a must do.
Now let’s talk friendly usable data.. It’s key the data is presented in an easy to read fashion and it’s to the point. The creative team does not have time to wade through Excel spreadsheets and even if they had the time they wouldn’t want to. Therefore a dashboard with three-five top KPIs should be the goal. Quick to read and digest and understand what’s working and what’s not.
Bottom line: in-house agency leaders must be aware of and talk to the relevant teams—creative, marketing, analytics—about digital fatigue which dilutes the efficacy of the brands messaging and overall strategy. Education and discussion is required to bring everyone up-to-speed on digital fatigue and developing the best feedback loop.
As always, I encourage in-house shops to experiment with workflows to see what works best for your team. An optimal feedback loop is the one that gets read and acted upon. This is the only way you can move the needle for your company and guarantee results.