I had the opportunity to fly to Bangkok on a Thursday afternoon to participate in a panel discussion on Digital Trends vs. Social Media. The event, Digital Thai | Digital Asia (DTDA), was an initiative organised by Adcamie to bring together industry partners to talk about digital happenings in Thailand & the region. It was a humbling experience, sharing a stage with some of the industry's best and brightest.
Here are some key takeaways from the sharing sessions:
Marketers today are becoming smarter. They have access to unlimited information on the World Wide Web and hence, they are constantly learning about new trends, new ad formats etc. This allows them to experiment with multiple campaigns to achieve different objectives. CMO of iTopSpark Co., Dew, rightly mentioned that this is also the part where many marketers falter - They hop on the social bandwagon because everyone else is on it. Posting 5 posts a day on Facebook doesn’t mean your engagement will skyrocket. The relevance of your content & the depth of your targeting are the factors which count towards your engagement.
Staying up to date on the latest digital trends is important, but before you hop on yet another bandwagon, ask yourself if you are truly adding value to your customers?
Understanding Your Audience
This point was strongly emphasized during the discussion about brands who are looking to venture into the up and rising Chinese market. Great points were raised, such as how Facebook is probably not the platform you should use to reach Chinese consumers because a VPN is required for them to access it in China. A quick solution to this is reach them where they are present - set up a presence in apps such as WeChat.
Once we’ve identified how we can reach these people, how can we reach them effectively? The China market is huge - understanding the different regions and the people there is crucial. If you’re a high-end luxury brand, you want to be targeting people in the East rather than the West. Working with an external/media partner can help you understand your target audience better and go a step further to reach and engage with them on the right platforms.
Vice President of Madhouse Inc., Wendy, shared that building a bond with a customer is equivalent to building a relationship with someone. Creating an ad and expecting them to fall in love with your brand is unrealistic. You have to reach them at multiple points, nurture these leads, and eventually get them to convert.
Managing Expectations & Being Realistic
I think most agencies will agree that being realistic is crucial. As a brand, while it is fair to establish KPIs for your agency to ensure that progress is being made, it is important to note that meeting these KPIs require a realistic budget. Rather than spreading your budgets too thin across countless digital platforms, instead aim for fewer, bigger channels which can give you the most bang for your buck.
A great example - For brands who are looking to venture into the China market, you must be ready to line your pockets with money. Advertising is costly in the market, but the returns are significant as well.
As Rawit Hanutsaha (Managing Director at Srichand) rightly mentioned during his keynote session:
Delight Your Customers, Enable Your Workforce