Want to know what's happening in the red-hot world of Asian digital marketing?

Well this summary of Econsultancy's Digital Cream event in Singapore will help you to find out.

Below is a summary of what was discussed at the roundtable event on November 20 2014 - but first have a quick look at this tweet.

I think this captures the essence of Digital Cream. We all know and agree on what we should be doing  - but what we are all actually doing with our digital marketing is quite different.

And this event, where people can speak freely without anything being attributed to them, lets us share our past successes and failures - and our future hopes and fears.

Only when we get together and exchange such experiences and views can we truly grow as digital marketers - so hopefully you will get some of what we all experienced on the day from the notes below.

These bulletpoints give an overview of what was discussed on the day:

Social Media

  • Most are moving away from vanity metrics - 'likes', shares, and comments.
  • We're now looking for the real ROI of social.
  • It could even just be referrals.
  • There's a desire to see how it generates revenue.

For example, a fashion company: 

  • Has no choice but to be on social.
  • Young females are only on Instagram.
  • Cannot reach them any other way.
  • Even though we cannot measure it, we have to keep at it.

ASOS on Sina Weibo

LinkedIn 

  • LinkedIn is becoming more powerful - even in China.
  • Most agree that advertising on LinkedIn doesn't work.
  • Facebook seems to work, but LinkedIn people are very negative.
  • Not just about ROI and results, but how inflexible LinkedIn is with its advertising packages.
  • What does work on LinkedIn is content marketing.
  • Not just white papers, but using C-suite as brand ambassadors.
  • Thought-leadership on LinkedIn is a great opportunity in B2B.

Social media - Do you outsource it?

  • Difficult to outsource.
  • Lack of resources was one reason to outsource.
  • And lack of social media expertise in-house.
  • Also access to analytics.

Best practitioners 

  • Kept hearing Coca-Cola over and over again.
    • Share A Coke
    • Personalized bottles, hug a vending machine for a Coke
    • We should all have a look at what Coke is doing
    • It's not just about budget, it's about the ideas

  • Burberry: Kisses campaign
  • Asos: fashion portal
  • Oreo: with real-time social media also in China
  • SAP: B2B recommended that people download a white paper from a competitor. Very brave and build up credibility
  • Gorilla glass: see what they are doing
  • SGAG: Community on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
    • Silly content, but engaging, timely and relevant.
    • Beat Facebook algorithm - organic reach is what it was. 
    • Only trick SGAG is using is the engagement - the SGAG army and quality of production.

Mobile

1) Put a lot more focus on multichannel analytics

  • Mobile is too silo'd today.
  • Find out how a web user interacted with mobile.
  • One company found engagement started on web, then WeChat, then an app.

2) Attribution - offline/online very difficult

  • Tough to attribute 100%, but certain tools will help.
  • IT will have to help.

3) Should we even have a mobile strategy? 

  • Do we need to have a mobile site / ad?
  • Relates back to the core value of the product.
  • Does it make sense to develop a mobile app to help with the customer experience?
    • If yes, then do it.
    • If no, then don't use the tactic for the sake of doing it.

Summary: Mobile should not exist in a silo. It's not an additional channel that you try to bring on board, it has to be part of the customer experience.

Content marketing

There are still a lot of challenges regarding what content to create.

  • What kind of content?
  • How long to produce it?
  • What content should be delivered at each part of the sales cycle?

Econsultancy themselves are a great example of a typical strategy:

  • Host events to get leads, then convert them into users of the site.
  • If moving along, becoming warm - might do demonstration or trials.
  • Hot prospect - content bits, comparison charts, compare with competitors, what value we give.

Suggestions

  • Produce evergreen content - content that works months and even years after it's published.
  • Create your own audience and community.
  • For B2B - write for the individual not the company.
  • Target it to the person you are trying to sell to.

Behavioural marketing

From social, mobile, we try to attract people with retargeting and email marketing. 

And strategies are fairly well-known, but it takes a lot of resources to run a program. Everyone agreed that people, budget, and time are common constraints.

Suggestions

  • You don't need to do massive things.
  • Start small, build a case, and then sell it to the management.
  • It takes the whole company for it to be successful.
  • To get the resources
    • Assemble all of your insights
    • Give management profiles of their brand fans
    • And get their buy-in with things that matter to them

Marketing automation 

  • Almost everyone is in the infancy stage, or have used it a bit and are now building it out.
  • As people are getting more into it, the expectations are getting higher.
  • Suggestions for getting started with marketing automation:
    • Don't build a silo, make sure that you have a top-level buy-in.
    • IT, tech, sales - this it the only way you will be able to use it.
    • Make sure that everyone is looped in the conversations and the results.

Digital Transformation 

  • Those that have gone through digital transformation typically have a multichannel strategy.
  • They have made digital a platform for the whole company not just the marketing team.

So to get started:

  • Address the current business pain points
    • Better customer satisfaction
    • Higher lifetime value
    • Use digital to talk to staff who may be distant
  • Make the approach sustainable.
  • Deliver a certain amount of digital results as part of the KPI.
  • Staff have to be trained.
  • Set up digital center of excellence.
  • Have internal users on all of your systems.
  • Realize its a journey not a process.
  • Get buy-in at the top level.
  • And look for the right tools for you, not just he big and expensive ones.

Predictive marketing 

  • This is an aspirational channel that's not used a lot in practice.
  • All the challenges centre around data and integration.
  • Data sits around different systems.
  • Data scientst are hard to find, hard to keep.
  • PDPA came into force and it poses challenges in the way we collect and use data in the APAC region.

What are the data attribute variables in predicting behavior?

  • Geographic, demographic, social graphic, and circumstantial.
  • Temporal variables - real-time marketing based on the recency of the action.
  • Doing things in the night or weekend when away from work.
  • Also season and weather.

Future and trends:

  • Messy data thrown in to cloud.
  • Learning systems, AI, NLP tells us when to market.
  • Computers would probably fire us as marketers.
  • Machines will have taken over our jobs.
Jeff Rajeck

Published 22 December, 2014 by Jeff Rajeck

Jeff Rajeck is the APAC Research Analyst for Econsultancy . You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.  

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