Knowing The Rules Is Different To Playing The Game

Following on from Adam Singer's (Future Buzz) Failure Is Always An Option, I have to say I'm glad that particular mantra is becoming accepted in the market place. For me the beauty of digital has always been its measurability and 'tweakability' based on sound analytics and well informed decisions.

For us it forms the very basis for most of our client meetings: "here's where you were, here's where you are now, this is what's working, this is what isn't, this is how we plan to improve performance". The 'this is what isn't (working)' is actually the more exciting part (weirdly). Well, not strictly true because we love it when a plan comes together as much as the next agency. But through failure comes not only the chance to improve, but also a lesson learnt.

We recently seeded this infographic for one of our leisure industry clients; a ski school. The objective for this piece of content marketing was to provoke conversation among seasonaires (chalet girls/boys, and general ski resort representatives), and to have votes around what should/ shouldn't be included on the poster.

Results - if we're honest have been mixed (though it's fairly early days), and we know why (we tested the concept among a number of ski aficionados and it went down well, so we're guessing the idea was quite good). The graphic needs to be viewed at full size to be legible - something that Facebook won't permit. Therefore we should have worked some Facebook API trickery or simply reduced the graphic to feature just a couple of characters, and drip fed new characters over the following days. Alternatively we could have animated the piece, which equally would have given us scope for users to see everything inside of Facebook/ on You Tube. Either way we have learnt, and are willing to accept, improve and move.

Luckily we have gained the client's confidence by generating a 300% upturn in web enquiries over the past two months. And the image in question here has been viewed around 500 times, favourited by a few, and has generated a number of comments and enquiries across our client's Facebook page and directly through their site. Hardly viral, but OK so far, and we're taking a new approach that we expect to boost performance.

If that doesn't work, we'll need to accept that the idea was not as good as we thought. But we'll move on because as they say, 'Failure is always an option'.

Paul Shepherd

I've worked in digital communications for around 15 years, and specialised in social media for the past three. Passionate about new technologies, media, and the impact it has on businesses bottom line, I try to bring that passion to every campaign for every brand we work with.