What does a successful digital campaign look like?
Changes in consumer behavior are leading to changes in how brands market and sell online. For example, consumers have grown weary of conventional interruptive advertising. Thanks to social media and user‑generated content (UGC), consumers now discover brands from friends and peers online, not from banner or display ads. At the same time, instead of buying from physical locations, consumers are gravitating toward online retail and direct‑to‑consumerbrand.com sites, shortening the distance between discovery, intent and purchase.
Because of these changes, brands can no longer rely on traditional advertising and marketing techniques to build purchase intent and loyalty. In their place, brands must craft digital experiences that cultivate deeper, more authentic relationships with consumers — experiences that result in meaningful consumer engagement and virality. These mid‑funnel outcomes can now be measured, benchmarked and optimized using the The Digital Campaign Index (DCI), enabling brands to boost top‑of‑funnel return on advertising and marketing spend and improve bottom‑of‑funnel conversions.
The DCI Benchmark Report is a quarterly review of DCI benchmarks by industry and campaign format, along with related insights. This report provides brands and agencies with objective, independent reference points for assessing the performance of their digital campaigns, plus current and actionable insights to help maximize the success of their next campaign.
We hope you enjoy this quarter’s report.
Digital campaigns — from promotions to sampling to shopper marketing programs — are critical to building and nurturing audiences with purchase intent. They exist as landing pages, microsites, website and mobile app embeds, and media formats like Snapchat Ads with WebView. While campaign reports on most platforms often include a dozen or more mid‑funnel metrics (time spent, submissions, shares, earned reach, etc.), that approach fails in two ways: assessing performance on those detailed metrics doesn’t speak to the higher level goals of running a digital campaign — engagement and virality — nor does it facilitate comparison between the performance of disparate campaigns. In other words, it doesn’t help marketers develop a broad and comprehensive digital gameplan.
The DCI is a new campaign scoring model and benchmarking framework that addresses these shortcomings. As shown in Exhibit A, the DCI is the average of two independent performance indicators — Engagement Score (ES) and Virality Score (VS) — which are calculated using those underlying mid‑funnel metrics, each normalized for visitors. ES, VS and DCI Scores are discussed in detail in The Digital Campaign Index Whitepaper.
Campaign performance depends on several factors. First, industries tend to have natural differences in their Engagement and Virality Scores. The same goes for different campaign formats — for example, contests and sampling programs. Finally, the creative concept, user experience, and offer media strategy also influence outcomes. This report focuses upon campaign performance results across two of the factors: industries and formats.
Use the benchmark data in this report as a reference point for assessing your campaign performance and informing action. For example, if your campaign has a high score relative to the benchmarks, then it may be a good candidate for additional media spend and promotional budget. If your campaign has a relatively low score, consider making changes to the campaign to improve performance — for example, by adjusting the user experience and optimizing media targeting — or winding it down and possibly spinning up a new campaign. The campaign format benchmarks are also a useful reference point for future campaign ideas.
In addition to being a reference point for assessing the performance of individual campaigns, industry benchmarks are also useful for evaluating your brand’s overall campaign strategy — for example, by comparing industry benchmarks with the aggregate score across all of your brand’s campaigns over the last twelve months.
Industry benchmarks are calculated based on all campaigns run on the Wyng platform, regardless of format, and broken down by campaigns run by brands. Average DCI Scores for each industry are summarized in Exhibit B.
Remember: The following averages come from a large number of disparate campaigns and formats. As you’ll see in the section on Campaign Examples, every campaign has its own strategy and desired outcomes.
For campaigns across all industries, the average DCI Score was 110, the average Engagement Score (ES) was 134, and the average Virality Score (VS) was 86.
Commerce and Sweepstakes
Commerce campaigns had the highest average ES (180), followed closely by Sweepstakes (173). Campaigns of this type focused on engagement (often exclusively), as illustrated by the relatively low VS.
Refer a Friend Functionality
Campaigns of this type focused on engagement (often exclusively), as illustrated by the relatively low VS. Campaigns with “refer‑a‑friend” functionality, which can be added to many campaign formats, had the highest average VS (312). This is because “refer‑a‑friend” functionality is specifically designed to drive sharing.
It can often be helpful to look at successful campaigns across industries and formats to get inspiration and learn from other approaches to campaign concepts, creative, offer presentation, and methods to build engagement and satisfaction among participating consumers. Below are several illustrative campaigns2.
Gymboree’s Shoppable Instagram Campaign
Gymboree, a retailer that sells children’s apparel and accessories, ran a shoppable Instagram campaign featuring curated content from both the brand and consumers. As consumers scrolled through the gallery, they could click directly on photos that linked to Gymboree’s e‑commerce site. The primary goal of the campaign was to keep viewers engaged and lead them to product purchase pages. In that regard, the campaign was a huge success.
Gymboree kept their consumers engaged by curating compelling, relevant content. Each piece of content clicked through to their ecommerce site, driving click‑throughs and ultimately, purchases. Even if your brand can’t highlight adorable babies to help increase engagement, keeping your audience’s interests in mind is an easy way to ensure a campaign resonates with your brand’s consumers.
Despite a Virality Score of 0, its Engagement Score of 239 was well above the average for its industry and campaign format (see Exhibit F).
2 For more examples, sign up for the Wyng Campaign of the Week email.
Fazoli’s “Win a Trip to Italy!” Campaign
Fazoli’s, a fast casual restaurant chain with over two hundred locations, ran a sweepstakes campaign offering the chance to win either a trip to Italy or a year’s worth of free Fazoli’s Family Meals. Though the campaign was slightly below the Engagement Score average for its industry and campaign format, it was hundreds of points above the average for Virality (see Exhibit G), demonstrating that a successful campaign doesn’t have to have record‑breaking scores for both metrics.
Part of the reason for Fazoli’s success is that the campaign included a refer‑a‑friend component, so consumers who recruited friends to enter earned an extra chance to win. This functionality can be added to several campaign formats, and campaigns that include refer‑a‑friend had an average VS of 312 in Q2, well above the average VS of 86 across all campaign formats.
Along with including a refer‑a‑friend component, Fazoli’s gave consumers a personalized experience by including links for consumers to share the campaign with their networks on Facebook, Twitter or Email. To keep consumers coming back to their campaign, Fazoli incorporated a counter that kept track of how many consumers entered the contest using the personal link someone shared. These best practices that Fazoli incorporated into their campaign can be leveraged by any brand in any industry.
Click here to learn more about the Fazoli’s campaign.
Daiya’s “Make Yourself Cheezier” Campaign
“Make Yourself Cheezier” demonstrates that the goal of some campaigns is to be both engaging and viral. Daiya, a dairy alternative food company based in Vancouver, ran a co‑created content campaign asking consumers to make themselves “cheezier” using a digital photo booth. In exchange, consumers earned the chance to win a year’s worth of dairy‑free cheese. The result was a campaign whose ES and VS were well above the industry and campaign format averages (see Exhibit H).
By using cheesy customized photo frames, complete with all‑denim outfits, spectacular mullets, and fantastic 80s athletic attire, Daiya ensured that consumers would create content that they’d then share on social media, which accounts for the impressive VS. At the same time, the site’s photo gallery kept visitors coming back to the main page to submit more photos and click to view others’ submissions, boosting the ES. This combination of creative elements ensured a campaign with a dynamite DCI score.
Click here to learn more about the campaign.
Following is a short description of the types of digital campaigns included in this report.
Co‑Created Content: Campaigns that involve a consumer and brand coming together to create shareable content that combines consumer and brand‑contributed creative elements. Examples include user‑generated photos with branded‑contributed elements overlaid, and brand‑contributed photos or videos with user‑generated elements overlaid.
Media Wall: Visual galleries or carousels of content displayed on a landing page, microsite, website, or physical display. Media walls typically include user‑generated content and may also include brand‑submitted content. Media walls may include any combination of media types — photos, videos, text, GIFs, co‑created content, etc.
Commerce: Merchandising and shopping experiences such as shoppable instagram, look books and deals.
Commerce: Merchandising and shopping experiences such as shoppable instagram, look books and deals.
Sweepstakes: Promotions and various games of chance whereby consumers enter for a chance to win a prize or reward, and winners are determined by luck rather than skill.
Sampling: Campaigns that involve a product given to a consumer for free, so that the consumer may try the product before committing to a purchase.
Contests: Photo, video and other campaign types where participants enter to win a prize or reward. Winners are chosen based on defined criteria. Winners may be chosen on the basis of consumers voting and/or the discretion of judges.
Games: Fun or entertaining interactive experiences, including brackets, faceoffs and quizzes.