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At Econsultancy Singapore, we recently had a good old discussion about the change necessitated by new digital technologies.

I thought I’d allow you to stick your finger into the prevailing winds of this discussion, by listing some of the take-homes.

To keep you interested, at the close I’ve added a couple of brands that seem to be agile and are moving with the marketing times, embodying many of the 12 pillars of the Modern Marketing Manifesto.

Sentiment is good, knowledge is limited

The market understanding of digital media is still nascent, however aspirations are high.

Some companies want to do something, feel they should do something, but don't really know what or how to do it, or even if there is sufficient budget in place to start it.

Precedents are sorely needed

Some companies remain unconvinced by the ROI of certain aspects of digital marketing. As such, it’s not surprising that the ROI of a digital transformation project needs careful consideration.

This comes not from reticence about the potential of new digital technologies, but from a lack of real case studies and examples of digital media strategy executed well. There is confusion as to what digital transformation is and what it entails. For some it might be the implementation of one new platform e.g. CMS, for others it may be far more wide-reaching, depending on the current culture and people within the organisation.

“Me, too” is very much an Asian region trait, and more of this is needed in digital. Not necessarily innovation and project pioneering, but looking at specific best practice in other businesses and trying to achieve the same thing.

Digital marketing is on the radar

Digital marketing and strategy is on the radar in Singapore. It's creeping into corporate objectives and there are proof-of-concept style budgets appearing. Yet, there is still hesitance in taking the plunge, because of the afore-mentioned lack of precedence.

The region is yet to see the emergence of C-suite marketers

As with other technologies in the past, Asian adoption of digital technologies should accelerate rapidly.

Established process and strategy will follow that of Europe and the US. But, for now, Asian companies are a lot less likely to employ a CDO, CMO or CIO. These roles and their emergence are both an indicator of, and a stimulator of, adoption of digital technologies.

The reality of constant iteration

Five years is seen as the length of time needed to transform an organisation through digital change. Companies are aware that the last piece of the jigsaw should never be found. Much like business as usual, iteration is constant, online.

Brands that are ahead of the Asian curve

Uni-President

Recently worked with Grey Group to launch a new herbal tea drink, Zhi Jue. You can check out the video below, which encourages viewers to visit an event page. They’re also able to watch to choose an alternative ending to the video. The fact that the video focuses on overworked and unsatisfied staff is a good hint as to the changes happening at Uni-President, where digital is chaning the way the company works.

Citi Group

See this CNBC video giving an update on digital strategy in banking in Asia

In India, Citibank last year ran the OMG! Sale via Facebook, pushing shopping deals to consumers, with great success.

This year, Citi has run Restaurant Week from Facebook, too.

If you've got other examples, add them below! If you’re interested in talking to Econsultancy about how we help organisations to transform, get in touch.

Ben Davis

Published 2 August, 2013 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is a senior writer at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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