10 things we teach at the Ogilvy Digital Marketing Academy

A lot has changed the 5 years since we started the Ogilvy Digital Marketing Academy. When we started, words like blog, smartphone, tablet, apps, realtime, selfie, and hashtag needed time to explain as abstract concepts - now they are part of our every-day language. 

Amidst all this change, it has been interesting to see the principles that don’t change. Here are some of our core principles: 

1. There are many best-practices in digital but very few rules. At the Ogilvy Digital Marketing Academy we show students what is possible, and what we’ve learned from prior experience, but encourage them to be experimental in discovering new approaches. 

2. Relevance is the key to success in digital:  The ability to respond quickly to opportunities and threats online is the difference between success and failure in the digital context. Agility, however, requires a new way of collaborating that cuts through traditional hierarchies. This requires a lot of buy-in and trust.

3. Use Truths, Trends, and Tools for Significance and Relevance:  Base your work on human Truths; align with Trends; and use the latest Tools.

4. Success in digital isn’t just about Technology, it is about Culture. At the OgilvyDMA we focus on People, Awards, Rituals, Tools, and Skills that make Ogilvy’s culture more digitally savvy.

5. Big picture, small brush-strokes: online interactions stay online for years and can tell a bigger story than any individual post or ad on its own. In the fragmented world of digital communications we crave consistency in purpose and experience from the brands we love. 

6. There is no mass market online, only a mass of niches. The surest path to obscurity online is to try and appeal to everyone with the same ads and content. 

7. Artists and Technologists unite: the digital campaigns that achieve relevant reach and results are those that use technology creatively to move people emotionally to act.  

8. You aren’t just running a campaign, you are building a virtual world. We’re recreating the world digitally Online interactions stay online, and can be explored by your customers in weeks, months, and years to come. It’s important to keep this bigger picture in mind. the digital land grab is only just beginning. Digital technologies make our world easier to navigate - whether it’s what shows to watch, clothes to buy, or places to visit, our choices are increasingly being informed by digital networks and algorithms. Your business will want to be on the right side of that progress.

9. Embrace Testing and Optimisation: Ultimate success in digital is the result of many small advantages. The companies that win are those that have a user experience that makes it easier for customers to do what they want in a way that benefits the brand. 

10. Momentum is key to success: digital success doesn’t happen overnight, but as the cumulative result of ongoing learning, testing, and wins over time. The most successful brands and people in digital are there because they started sooner and invested more.

Digital Marketing is a rapidly changing field, but the principles remain the same. Companies that remain relentlessly innovating to serve their customer will win. We believe that the secret to success is in being able to out-learn the competition.