Guest post – Digital strategies and galactic warfare

We’re extremely proud to introduce our next guest blogger, Mark McGee @Mark_McGee. Vice-President of Communications for a not-for-profit trade association, and a freelance digital marketing consultant, with a 21-year career in the creative and communications industries (16 of which involved digital), he has worked on nearly every aspect of digital, from strategic planning through design, coding and on-site optimisation, to analysis. He is currently completing his dissertation for Econsultancy’s MSc in digital marketing.

The Cylons had a plan. So should you.

In 2003, sci-fi fans were treated to a re-imagining of a classic series: Battlestar Galactica. At the start of every episode we were told that the Cylons “had a plan” but what this plan actually involved was shrouded in mystery for much of the four seasons that the show ran for. It wasn’t until the 2010 release of a special mini-feature, aptly named The Plan, that we had an insight into what was going on in the brains of these (bio)mechanical antagonists.

After watching this feature a few times (alright, more than a few times) I began to see a correlation between what the Cylons were doing and one of my favourite digital marketing planning models: SOSTAC®. So, I decided to see if it really did match. And, by the Lords of Kobol, it did!

This shows that the Cylons understood the need for a robust plan of action and the ability to adapt it to events that occur during its implementation. There is no excuse for you not to have one for your digital marketing activities.

Of course, the Cylons’ plan involved genocide, nuclear destruction, killer robots, sleeper agents, seduction and betrayal, but I probably wouldn’t recommend these for your next email campaign strategy.

CLICK TO ENLARGE INFOGRAPHIC

Situation analysis

THE CYLONS

  • Exiled from the Colonies since Cylon War 40 years ago
  • No contact with Colonials since end of Cylon war
  • Still seen as ‘enemy’ by humanity
  • Perfected ‘Significant Seven’ human/cylon models with assistance of ‘Final Five’
  • Basestars, Raiders and Centurions upgraded in large numbers
  • Resurrection technology achieved

SOSTAC®

  • Where are we now?

DIGITAL MARKETING

  • Goal Performance
  • Customer Insight
  • E-marketing SWOT
  • Brand Perception
  • Internal capability and resources

Objectives

THE CYLONS

  • To be favoured above humanity by ‘Final Five’
  • To be in total control of the Twelve Colonies
  • To live in peace without fear of human reprisal

SOSTAC®

  • Where do we want to be?

DIGITAL MARKETING

  • Sell: customer acquisition and retention targets
  • Serve: customer satisfaction targets
  • Sizzle: site stickiness, visit duration
  • Speak: trialogue; number of engaged customers
  • Save: quantified efficiency gains

Strategy

THE CYLONS

  • Disable Colonial defence mainframe
  • Destroy Colonial fleet’s ability to respond
  • Annihilate human race throughout the Twelve Colonies
  • Teach ‘Final Five’ a lesson for their “foolish appreciation of humanity”

SOSTAC®

  • How do we get there

DIGITAL MARKETING

  • Segmentation, targeting and positioning
  • OVP (online value proposition)
  • Sequence (credibility before visibility)
  • Integration (consistent OVP) and database
  • Tools (web functionality, email, IPTV, etc.)

Tactics

THE CYLONS

  • Insert ‘Final Five’ into Colonial life with false memories
  • Insert sleeper agents and ‘Significant Seven’ models into Colonial fleet and other positions of value
  • Obtain backdoor codes to Colonial defence mainframe
  • Simultaneous attack on all Colonies

SOSTAC®

  • How exactly do we get there?

DIGITAL MARKETING

  • E-marketing mix, including: the communications mix, social networking, what happens when?
  • Details of contact strategy
  • E-campaign initiative schedule

Actions

THE CYLONS

  • ‘Ones’ to oversee implementation
  • ‘Twos’ to act as infiltrators and monitor military installations
  • ‘Threes’ to act as infiltrators
  • ‘Fours’ to infiltrate as medical specialists
  • ‘Fives’ to infiltrate and sow seeds of discontent or confusion
  • ‘Sixes’ are to infiltrate and use seduction to obtain backdoor codes to Colonial defence mainframe
  • ‘Eights’ only one model is to be inserted into Colonial fleet as a sleeper agent
  • ‘Hybrids’ to control and coordinate Basestars
  • Basestars to simultaneously attack all Colonies, defence outposts and Colonial fleet
  • Raiders to mop up remaining defences
  • Centurions to hunt down and destroy remaining Colonials

SOSTAC®

  • Who does what and when?

DIGITAL MARKETING

  • Responsibilities and structures
  • Internal resources and skills
  • External agencies

Control

THE CYLONS

  • Determine number of Colonial casualties
  • Colonial fleet destroyed
  • Monitor for survivors
  • Gauge reaction from ‘Final Five’
  • Revise plan if necessary to achieve objectives

SOSTAC®

  • How do we monitor performance?

DIGITAL MARKETING

  • 5Ss + web analytics – KPIs
  • Usability testing/mystery shopper
  • Customer satisfaction surveys
  • Site visitor profiling
  • Frequency of reporting
  • Process of reporting and actions

Disclaimer & credits

SOSTAC® is a planning model, originally developed in the 1990s to help with marketing planning by PR Smith, who is Dave Chaffey’s co-author on Emarketing Excellence.

Battlestar Galactica and related content is © 2011, Syfy (a division of NBCUniversal). All rights reserved. No copyright infringement intended, used for illustration purposes only. Reference information from Battlestarwiki.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *