Main takeaways

-> The difference between digital transformation and digital virtualisation
-> The sprouting of the data boom in an accelerated digital world
-> The marriage of data and creative. It is assumed that the best way is for
data to fuel creative campaigns but the other way round: creative campaigns
also fuel data gatherings.
-> An example of a creative campaign that enticed data gathering

Without wanting to play the same broken record, before delving into the topic, I cannot not mention the importance of how Covid-19 has accelerated the whole customer-decision journey. Throughout the last year and half, we have been seeing many brands completely shift their client journey experiences.

From the viewpoint of a person working within a digital experience agency, the shift has been magnificent to observe. Brands who have traditionally always been of the brick-and-mortar nature and therefore taken digital CX and UX for granted had no other option but to jump on the bandwagon or else expect a loss in market share. In our world, this period will always be remembered as the digital transformation movement as this has set the standard for customer experience going forward.

Ok, so as a business owner you’ve made the decision to digitally transform your existing brick-and-mortar and provide your products or services online. You do this and expect an imminent increase in sales. Wrong.

So what’s next?

Digital transformation is simply translating an experience into a virtual environment. It is only the start of the journey. Digital virtualisation means rebuilding your strategy and role from the ground up, refocusing efforts on how to best show up for consumers where, when and how they prefer.

Digital virtualisation

Once tapping into the digital world and truly understanding the palette it can offer, many business owners are being directed to the importance of data. Data is the key element in understanding your digital audiences and I cannot emphasise this enough. Not only does it immensely help with understanding the different cohorts who are interested in your brand and how to engage with them in the most effective way but by building a proper CRM system, the data gathered will aid you in retention and upselling strategies as you will start to understand the key trends surrounding these targeted audiences.

Once a proper database is built, the world is your oyster and there are absolutely no limitations as to what can be achieved through it.

Data and creative

It is of the understanding that in order to push out a creative campaign, then data must be gathered first in order to fully optimise the strategy behind the creative concept of the campaign. Primarily data and public sentiment is gathered through different forms of external and internal intelligence gatherings which will then fuel the creative concept.

Although this is an absolutely correct way of chronological planning, it is not necessarily the only way of how a brand can be pushed out whilst at the same time building a stakeholder database.

The question here is: What other way is there?

The flipside

Yes, there is a flipside. In no way am I saying that it is incorrect to think that it is very risky to push a campaign without having the necessary backing of data.

However, by being creative, you can push out a kick-ass creative campaign in order to creatively gather data. Both for the sake of convenience as well as visualisation, it is best for me to share an example.

In 2017, the NHS in the UK launched a heartfelt, powerful campaign across the country. Their intentions were to highlight the life saving power of blood donation. The concept was launched through the marriage of Digital and Out-Of-Home techniques.

Digitalised Posters and Billboards around the country were showcasing a person who suffers from a rare blood disease with a blood bag near their bodies. These people who start off by not looking very well (as they would when they have a red blood cell deficiency) will change in colour and look once they get injected with the blood from donors.

The general public, who would be passers-by around the posters would be encouraged to donate blood virtually. This is done by being given a stick and through the camera of your phone (augmented overlay), you would donate blood to the person on the poster. As soon as you do that, you immediately see the person on the poster getting a bit better with the blood bag near him/her filling up.

Like this, you are:
1) Creating an experience for your audiences
2) Building excellent brand awareness
3) Building a diverse database, as people who would participate would either
fill in a digital form or even, under consent, get analysed through trackers
within the sticks.


Like this you have created a powerful, engaging campaign with the sole intention of gathering as much data as you can. The data you would have gathered throughout this campaign would then be fuelled for more specific, niched campaigns that required deeper analysis and thought depending on the cohorts involved.

For the NHS campaign, please click here to view