A few years ago, the number of Tigers in the Sunderbans was somewhere around 400. Today, their numbers have decreased to 100. These are alarming trends, particularly because Royal Bengal Tiger is not just an animal species going extinct; it’s part of our Bangladeshi heritage. Recently, I had the chance to attend a workshop on how brands and companies can engage in helping tiger conservation in Bangladesh. It was organized by Bangladesh Brand Forum and Bagh Activity – A project of USAID which is being implemented by WildTeam. As digital marketers, because we work with both brands and non-profits, we were positioned to get a completely different perspective in the way a cause like this can be approached in Bangladesh. Here’s how:
1. Rethinking: what are brands?
A strong brand is something you recognize within a split second because of it’s name and it’s symbols like logo, colour or it’s brand ambassador, to name few. Brands are not limited to for-profit companies, entities like WildTeam, the USAID and BBF are brands as well, and many people showed up at the workshop because they recognized and respected the USAID brand, or the BBF brand. To us, a successful campaign is a campaign that ends up becoming a brand as well: the key is creating a brand out of your campaign.
2. Rethinking what emotions are?
What are the emotional truths behind your campaign? You need to identify one very basic emotional truth that will help you build foundation of your campaign. All other issues like number of tigers decreasing, tigers being killed by locals, tigers being poached, the biodiversity of the Sundarbans being affected, etc will be linked to this one primary emotional truth. In the end, these emotional truths drive campaigns. As digital marketers, this is what we deal with everyday.
3. Seamless integration
A national awareness campaign definitely means you’re talking large scale! This means outdoor branding in forms of billboards, vehicle branding, print media ads, media coverage, TVCs and radio stations, events, documentaries, merchandise — you name it! Because there are so many mediums, the message needs to be clear, simple and easy to communicate. Most importantly though, they all need to be in line in communicating a key message which leads to the call to action.
A campaign is successful when it helps build a brand; it is recognized, it is respected. A campaign builds a strong legacy when it’s message continues to be communicated even after the campaign period has ended. Again, as digital marketers, we tell stories, we create videos that are in line with people’s emotions, we communicate with people who care about a cause and we bring them to take an action.
Bottom line: In the age we live in today, the digital era, millennials respond to cause driven campaigns-and brands which support such campaigns are more likely to get leads. No matter in what scale you build your campaign, it will be deemed successful as long as you reach the targeted number of people and as long as the target audience takes action; getting your basics right will help you build a campaign with a lasting legacy.
Rizwan Shamim is a Digital Account Executive at Webable where he manages a number of top local and multinational brands. He is also passionate about startups & entrepreneurship. Prior to Webable, he worked at Startup Dhaka, HSBC and the University of Lugano, Switzerland. Follow him on Twitter: @MDRIZS or check out his LinkedIn profile.