David Ledstrup is the Strategy Director at the social media agency Kubbco and former Creative Strategy Director at MARVELOUS Nordic.
He has a hybrid background in the social media, digital, creative, and media distribution landscape. He connects brands with the world around them by helping to merge strategy, creativity, and content.
D.L.: First of all, it’s almost always a fantastic time to be a marketeer! This doesn’t mean that we aren’t challenged now and then – but that’s how it’s supposed to be. For me, marketing is a discipline where we are constantly adapting to how our content resonates with our audience, and this keeps pushing the boundaries of how we create strategies, produce content and optimize distribution. There is no ‘traditional’ marketing in my opinion… or maybe that’s just it? Perhaps everything is traditional marketing. We are just constantly adapting to audience behavior, society, and technology – but the essence; the importance of creativity in marketing is still essential in producing results.
D.L.: Marketing at scale is about clever distribution, which directly impacts how all marketeers should create and produce content. This doesn’t mean that there is a formula or ‘one size fits all’ for everyone. Different products and categories, demand different production and distribution strategies – but to be able to reach the potential for most campaigns, it’s difficult to look beyond the impact of social media at the moment. Many of the most successful campaigns out there, are created ‘social first’… both in online and offline efforts.
D.L.: The popular thing to say at the moment, might be GDPR and the respect for privacy – but I truly still believe, that knowing exactly what data to collect (+ why and how to use it going forward), is the most challenging aspect of working with data management at the moment.
It is very easy to get caught up in the ‘we should collect as much data as possible’ trap. This is usually unnecessary, and both time and money-consuming for most companies. However, knowing exactly what our desired outcome with every data collection point is, is the true challenge. It’s all about strategy – both short and long-term.
D.L.: When we have the correct data collection strategies in place – and the right distribution strategy to execute on this data – it is all about optimization. Learning from content performance, mapping out audience behavior, using ongoing data collections to create new hypotheses, to create new content, testing… and back to full circle beginnings.
D.L.: We have touched on the importance of (correct) use of data, so let that be the first tactic on the list.
The second, must be the correct use of formats and cultural language on each platform. It is honestly disappointing to see how many companies think they can still tell the exact same story in the exact same way, on both Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and so on.
The third, but probably most important tactic, is to remember how much the creative impacts performance. Over the last couple of years, sources from Google to Forbes, have underlined the importance of creativity in marketing – and across roughly all business areas, over 50% of a campaign's success, can be associated with the creative level and creative execution.
D.L.: Sure! But not as much as one might think. Don’t get me wrong; I think we have seen some fantastic displays of creative content, produced with the purpose of optimizing reach, engagement and/or conversions in the last few years – but great content… the underlining idea and how well it resonates with the audience, will always be key to success.
D.L.: Be careful, when diving into the influencer marketing sphere on social media. Most marketeers say, that they will be investing more on influencers in 2020, but we are at a tipping point at the moment. If and when influencers are used correctly, the results can be fantastic – but if the majority of marketeers continue to either place their brand in the hands of the influencers own interpretation of a campaign message, or simply just use influencers as poster boys/girls, we risk that an entire category will fall.
Brands need to find the sweet spot where they only use influencers that resonate extremely well with the messaging, letting the influencers be part of the creative process, but still controlling how the brand is portrayed in the long run… all whilst creating measurable results.
D.L.: Social media will continue to be the voice of few – impacting many. I have never truly believed that social media platforms have created an outlet for the masses. It is the voice of brands, politicians, celebrities, etc. that spark conversations and movements. I believe that brands will continue to explore how they can positively impact society. Not just one-off purpose marketing campaigns supporting societal causes, but full out brand positions, that dare to take a stand. This will also be how/why smaller brands and companies can continue to compete against the big mastodons on social media.