When Digital Goes Haywire
It happens. No matter how much testing, prep, legwork, or research you do, digital initiatives can break down. Whether it is a consumer who can’t print a coupon on your client’s Brand.com page, or an application that a portion of Facebook ‘fans’ can’t access… these problems will always arise.
Why do they break down? There is not enough room on this page to list the reasons. Common issues arise from the multitude of operating systems, updates, drivers, and printer configurations that will throw the proverbial monkey wrench into execution and the user experience.
The inherent problem is that what is working on your (or a programmer’s) computer may not work for a consumer halfway across the country. Consider that you are more than likely on a well-tuned and updated system that is under the care of an IT professional.
You can test the heck out of a project but you just won’t know about problems until you actually go live. At that point it turns into a game of ‘whack a mole’. There are a few steps to consider (and probably more that I am not thinking of right now) before hitting the ‘Live’ button:
1. Make sure your clients’ customer service team knows the ins and outs of the promotion. A simple and concise email make it easier to answer the inevitable consumer complaint.
2. Socially – be ready to confront the problem. The nature of Social Media states that anyone can say anything at any time (and anywhere). Stay on top of the chatter, engage and assure the consumer that the Brand is doing their best to remedy the situation.
3. If you decide work with a trusted 3rd party resource (example: Wildfire) be sure to consider security and pedigree. See what other clients the 3rd party software vendor has worked with. Also be sure to have some contact with their IT team or a sales person before going live. Even in a turnkey situation, they usually have real time resources available.
4. When the promotion is complete do a deep dive and figure out why the ‘hiccup’ happened. Be sure not to place a band-aid on the situation. Pin point the issue, take note and learn from it.
Unlike print promotions, the digital space offers you the opportunity to fix things on the go. In the end, if and when things go ‘haywire’… remember to take a step back and breathe.