August 7, 2018

4.3 : Risk management

4.3 : Risk management

In digital marketing, every campaign that you have will have risks of things that could potentially go wrong. So, therefore, a way of managing those risks is to actually document them and think about them as the project progresses or review them as the things develop.

Risk management is about identifying and assessing risks by thinking about:

  • Name of the risk
  • Impact of the risk (score 1-5)
  • Probability of the risk occurring (score 1-5)
  • Risk assessment (Impact * Probability)
  • Risk monitoring and mitigation

So there are usually five columns in a risk management table. The first is called the name of the risk, the second is the impact that that risk would have, the third would be the probability of that risk to occur, and the fourth column would be the assessment of the risk so you could quantify multiplying the severity of the risk by the probability of that risk to occur, so for example 5×5=25 so it’s a very high-risk activity, and then see how you as an organization would potentially manage that particular risk.

By allocation those risk assessment with your own color schemes – red, yellow, and green – you are able to see how those particular risks could also visually impact on your organization or the activity that you have. So for example, if you have a risk table that is full of red color and you don’t want to have too many risks in your project, you might consider a project not worth doing. On the other hand, low-risk projects, something that has just green aspects, you would be able to carry on with and obviously reuse in the future.

The beauty of a risk management table is that you would undertake it at the beginning of the project, during the project whenever you are having the regular meetings, and as the last point of the project completion. And you would reuse those lists of risks for any future campaigns that you would have and therefore you are continuously learning from your activities because digital marketing is a continuous learning process.

Colin Telford, Managing Partner, The Candidate Ltd, UK

In terms of how we use risk management for our campaigns, I think it’s fair to say that throughout the production of content and the uploading of activity onto social media and the use of ‘’likes’’ on Twitter. It is all prequalified. There is a lot of trust in the people who are producing the content and even more trust in people who are making these different pieces of content live across your strategy, and that is absolutely essential to get that right. There are famous examples of how campaigns and clients have got it really wrong in terms of content that they’ve put out, and therefore the risk management process hasn’t been adhered to properly.


Learning from past risks

Review the campaign report for the JEMSS project focusing on the risk assessment section – see page 34 for an example of a risk table in use (it is available to you in the Additional Material section of this unit).

Think of one reason of how a list of these risks may be useful for you if you were to create a similar campaign. Share your thoughts here with others.

Before posting your comments below, see if the same point has been made by others and if so reply to their comment. Once you have posted your contribution, comment on at least three contributions of your peers.

Additional materials

Risk management table

Please download a sample risk management table in MS Excel from here:

MS Excel – only possible to open in Microsoft Excel

Google sheets – this version allows you to download the file in different formats

See page 34 for an example of a risk table in use

See JEMSS-campaign-example

For other sections of chapter 4 follow these links:

4. 0 How campaigns fit into a wider implementation of the overall organisation strategy
4.1 Example company campaign plan
4.2 Key elements of campaign management – Gantt chart
4.4 Digital project management tools and techniques
4.5 Project plan monitoring and review
4.6 Marketing automation
4.7 PPC campaign planning