Sink or Swim – Spotting Digital Rips
It’s slowly getting colder and there aren’t many beach days left for me before winter is in full swing. I was dreading this on Sunday when I was unseasonably baking on the sand at the beach. I was snapped out of my contemplation as I saw a surf life saver tearing out on his surfski to help someone, hand in the air, who had gotten themselves in a rip.
It’s scary being caught in a rip. A lot of us in Australia have grown up less than an hour from the beach – so we should know what to do. But if you haven’t spotted it until you’re in it, the fear can cloud your judgement and as Marcellus Wallace will tell you, pride can get in the way of raising your arm and asking for the help of the boys and girls in red and yellow.
On my way into work today, I was taking stock of my weekend and getting into work mode. I started seeing a direct correlation between the swimmer and a client that had recently engaged us.
The swimmer hadn’t spotted the rip before he went in, but he had the presence of mind to stick up his hand and ask for help. By the time he got into shore, you could tell he was still buggered so perhaps he fought the rip a bit longer than he needed to, before raising the alarm.
Similarly, the aforementioned client had jumped into a marketing campaign without proper caution and quickly found themselves in trouble. They realised that the outcome they had promised their stakeholders was not looking probable and asked around for help, not before getting a little deeper in trouble by trying to do the same thing, but with more money. The client was recommended to us by someone who had previously worked with us and we have put them on our surfski, and the early signs look good.
I don’t think the sunk cost fallacy directly relates to sinking swimmers (and digital campaigns) but it might as well. We need to constantly appraise our situation – to see if we are wasting time and energy in waters that don’t suit us, and if so, look for the calm blue ocean.
We can all get stuck in a digital rip and a thorough strategy can help, but it’s always wise to be able to spot the warning signs as early as possible. Whether it’s a low click through rate on an EDM, no conversions on your landing page, or limited brand awareness among your targets, make sure you examine what the next steps are. It might be to call for reinforcements, or pivot a little to more peaceful waters.
So, if you’re in trouble, ask for help!
If you are going to the beach – read this first.
If you are struggling with your current digital comms, or need help trying to spot a digital rip before you jump into the water, or you are just digging this thinly veiled metaphor, drop us a line – firstname.lastname@example.org.