From MarTech to CommTech: What Communicators Can Learn from Digital Marketers

From an obsession with the customer journey and value chain, to the dynamic ways they gain insight from influencers, content, and audiences, to testing and tracking, Jorg revealed some surprising, concrete, and proven approaches to deploying CommTech in ways that can profoundly impact stakeholder engagement.

  • Daniel Jörg, Partner and Head of Digital, Farner Consulting

Session Photos



Communicators have a great deal to learn from the innovative ways digital marketers are using data and a wide range of technologies to engage customers. From an obsession with the customer journey and value chain, to the dynamic ways they gain insight from influencers, content, and audiences, to testing and tracking, Jorg is prepared to reveal some surprising, concrete, and proven approaches to deploying CommTech in ways that can profoundly impact stakeholder engagement. #PageSpring


Jörg opened the session with a poll, asking delegates to identify what capabilities they are investing in:

    • Digital content creation
    • Social media managers
    • Social/digital listening
    • Digital analytics
    • Behavioral science

Digital content creation was rated highest for investment by the audience, providing context for a key theme of the session:

“We are at a time in our profession where the economics around content are really bad. There is just too much stuff out there. We need to be smarter about distributing content to those who really care.”


Example: Buying a car

Car buyers search thousands of questions before they make a purchase decision.

“Millions of searches give you thousands of insights. You told Google, so you told me.”

“Search engine questions follow a pattern, a journey that can be aggregated into different patterns and phases. That’s where you get the insights.”

“Moments” may include:

    • Which car is best?
    • Is it right for me?
    • Can I afford it?
    • Where should I buy it?
    • Am I getting a deal?

Taking this approach, it is clear that every buying decision has a journey, and is full of questions.

“Communicators need to shape this journey to actually shape the outcome. It’s not just putting message out there, but helping these individuals move along their journey.”


10 rules the Farner team works by:  

  • Leveraging paid, earned, shared and owned media to shape the journey.
  • Aligning all strategic parameters accordingly: audience, objective, targeting, KPIs.
  • Using data to identify where people are in their journey: “We can’t just guess these journeys.”
  • Mixing data from various sources: including platform, client ecosystem, data brokers.
  • Pay to play with even more people data: “When doing so you get a lot of interesting targeting options, based on demography, interests, custom audiences, and behaviors.”
  • Using tools to optimize our content: SEO specialists, as well as companies like Searchmetrics Suite can help.
  • Using automation for smarter distribution: “If someone on your website is filling out this form, what happens next? Automate content distribution across this journey.”
  • Tracking, testing & optimizing along the journey: reacting to data in real-time to adjust messages.
  • Conversion writing, not message evangelizing: creating versions that convey different emphases for various audiences.
  • Strategically leverage cognitive biases: behavioral science principles can be applied to improve outcomes.


CommTech Campaign Examples


Goal #1: To increase registrations of blood stem donations & drive down the cost of recruitment.

Traffic to the blood stem donation website was strong, but the site had problems with conversions.


    • The team developed a new landing page using the journey model.
    • Messaging focused on an emotional angle, “Why you would do this?”
    • Target audiences defined.
    • Introduced webchat to intervene where people were having trouble with questions on the site.

“Once you get the first conversions, you can build a lookalike audience based on the ones who converted, and they will convert even faster.”


The campaign exceeded its targets, with a total of 1,082 blood stem donations in three weeks.


Goal #2: To win a public vote for a change of law on preimplantation diagnosis.

Creating empathy around this sensitive topic was key for the law change to take effect.


    • First, Agile PR and digital team looked at the current environment in the media, finding articles running daily that were full of misinformation and bias.
    • The team recruited real people using filters, including the campaign website, to find out how active users were on this topic.

“We needed real couples who were willing to speak up about their journey.”

    • What followed was a four-step advertising and message journey, ad testing, and social conversation driving around key media debates. There were certain landing pages only seen by people who had been brought there through a unique content journey. Some 200 couples were recruited as advocates.


The public voted in favor of the measure by a margin of 61.9%.


In his own words:

“We track, measure, and test. We’re not just putting out an ad with one message. Once we tested 2,500 different ad variations on a campaign for a bank.”

– Jörg

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