Great Concise Global Digital Strategy

I’m going to blog this just so I don’t forget it.

 

Commentary

Developing a global digital strategy

How does a global company take advantage of digital technology? Johnson & Johnson’s vice president of digital strategy, Gail Horwood, explains.

October 2014 | byGail Horwood

I joined J&J Consumer Companies about four years ago to start its Digital Center of Excellence. Our role initially was to build capabilities and develop strategy that served multiple brands in multiple regions, so I did a landscape overview to help develop the approach. What I saw was that we had hundreds of different websites and digital platforms that we were operating upon globally. If you want to get a message across globally on your owned assets, you need to do that in the same way across the world.

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GailHorwood

Addressing the talent challenge

Johnson & Johnson’s vice president of digital strategy, Gail Horwood, discusses the importance of talent development and the role of the specialist.

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So we made a strategic decision to agree to build certain types of things, with a website on a shared platform at the center. We work both internally and with external vendors globally to build that and we love the open-source model. As we develop modules that suit our businesses, they can be shared, and it’s very exciting for our internal developers because it’s a new way of working.

In the past, the model might have been that our biggest brands had the most budget and developed the most robust platforms. And smaller brands had less robust digital footprints because they had to build that on their own power. Yet when you share a platform, any brand small or large can benefit from improvements. What this has enabled us to do is to bring the same power that one of our biggest, most iconic brands has to one small brand in a very particular region or market. And that, of course, enables us to innovate very quickly and iterate.

J&J has historically been very decentralized. One of the things I was able to do in the consumer sector was bring all that work together. The more we bring our cross-functional partners and projects together, the more we’ll make true impact for the business. It’s great to execute on a regional and local basis—and it’s really at the heart of our business strategy—but I believe digital brings opportunities to streamline and leverage certain capabilities that are really common across the businesses.

Real-time marketing

Social media is an example of something that truly requires a global and local strategy, because social makes any communication global. Setting a global communication strategy requires some pretty foundational things: content management, digital asset management, new production models that help us create and then leverage and syndicate content globally.

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The digital business model 

The digital business model

Horwood explains how to embed strategy into a business.

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For example, we recently participated in a real-time social-media campaign for the 2014 FIFA World Cup for our Listerine consumer brand. For the first time ever, J&J built two newsrooms, and we responded to action in the matches in real-time with brand messaging. We had to set up the appropriate processes, governance, a risk matrix, channels, and work very closely with our cross-functional team, as well as with regulatory compliance, legal, and marketing.

And you see the results of your work immediately and how consumers respond to it. We’ve had some great success with that. But the real lesson is that real-time marketing is as much about the preplanning and the preparation as it is about enabling people to act in real time.

In big companies like ours, creating a TV spot or a few pieces of copy a year would be quite typical. When you’re developing real-time social-media campaigns, you might have 200 pieces of copy in a month. Taking advantage of that required a new business model, a new way of thinking about it. It also required thinking about tolerance and risk. Tolerance is about asking, “What is a reasonable threshold for when we need to take action?” when something unexpected happens. It gave us the confidence to say, “You know what? We knew something like that could happen. It did, and we’ve already decided how we’re going to manage against that.”

I think it’s very important that social media be managed, at least in part, internally in an organization. As strong as our agency partners are, and they’ve been terrific creative partners, nobody knows our business and our business requirements as well as we do.

Serving consumers better

Evolving our model has been a learning journey. The challenge for us is not that the model is wrong; it’s that the landscape has changed. The model doesn’t fit the new landscape, so we’ve had a lot of success through these active learning projects.

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Driving results 

Driving results

Horwood answers the question she hears the most: “What is the ROI of digital?”

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Understanding the consumer journey and what we’re building for whom and when is very important. So I’ve set up a group that has product-development expertise. They translate business requirements into technical specifications. They maintain the responsibility for not just building and overseeing the build of digital products, but also ensuring that they’re measured and optimized. We treat them as platforms rather than projects.

A big shift in our organization has been to manage those over time and to iterate and build upon them as opposed to consider them a discrete project that had a beginning, a middle, and an end. When you put an app into the app store, you’re potentially finished with it, but the consumer is expecting updates, improvements, messaging. And that’s something that we’ve built into our organization that didn’t necessarily exist in our former model.

The other thing we’ve done is develop benchmarks. The number one question I’m asked by our business leaders is, “What is the ROI of digital?” If you’re developing across multiple platforms and multiple regions, the way you’re looking at the world and consumer behavior is very different. So what digital analytics and a standardized approach—rather than a custom and bespoke approach market by market—has brought us is true consumer insights. And we’re able to watch trends develop in consumer behaviors, see them change and develop.

We started very much as a strategy organization and we built common platforms that serve multiple brands in multiple regions. That didn’t mean anyone used them. So a lot of what we’ve been doing is around training, talent development, identifying talent that can staff these organizations, so we can really take what we’ve built and truly embed it in the business and in business practice. We’re trying to teach our businesses to leverage these new insights in ways that they hadn’t thought of.

About the authors

Gail Horwood has been the vice president of worldwide digital strategy at Johnson & Johnson since September 2010. This essay is an edited transcript of an interview conducted by McKinsey Publishing’s Simon London.

Product Extension – Muppet Band-aid AR App

With digital technology there are lots of times when an idea is strong enough that it can be a real product extension, not just a piece of marketing. 

At JWT New York, the team has worked with Band-aid for years, and has a team that is focused on mobile technololgy.  Put the two together — and a few calls to Disney — and you get a new way to build on an existing partnership.

Now the question is can we take this to be an “enterprise solution” with all of the extensions in advertising, retail and the full digital eco-system?

 

Advertising

Band-Aids and Muppets Aim to Soothe Child’s Scrapes

 

 

SOME leading brands of wound treatments were themselves bloodied by the economic slump, as consumers switched to cheaper store brands.

The Band-Aid Magic Vision app makes Kermit appear to emerge from a Muppets Band-Aid to serenade and console an injured child.

Store brands accounted for 39.4 percent share of the domestic market in adhesive bandages, gauze and first-aid tape in the 52 weeks that ended April 15, a gain of 2.2 percent from the year before, according to the SymphonyIRI Group, a market research firm.

Over the same period, the market share of Johnson & Johnson, with its Band-Aid brand adhesive strips and Johnson & Johnson brand gauze and tape, slipped 2.2 points, to 45 percent. (Band-Aid has about a 33 percent share, and the J.& J. brand has the remaining 12 percent.)

Because adhesive bandages are more popular in households with accident-prone children, Band-Aid has long licensed such characters as Barbie and Spider-Man to appeal to youngsters. Now the brand is introducing a marketing effort tied to Muppets characters and centered on that most charged of moments: when children have just skinned knees or elbows.

Band-Aid Magic Vision, a free app for iPhones and iPads, is linked to Muppets Band-Aids that already are widely available.

– More at NYTimes.com –

Healthcare Marketing: Xerelto Launch

Coming back to the US one of the biggest advertising things you notice is healthcare advertising — whether it is on TV, in print or online.

At JWT we have a big Healthcare practice and have just launched a first release set of websites for a new pharmaceutical for our Johnson & Johnson client.   It has been amazing seeing the work it takes to get basic product information online in this sector — managing regulatory and legal definitely add a level of complexity to the usual job!

At anyrate congratulations to the team — great to see the initial communications coming out after having worked on the pitch and strategy.