“This paper isn’t about digital; it is about opportunity – the opportunity that the mass migration of consumers to social media presents brands: to reallocate their marketing budget to reflect this shift and thus driving deeper engagement with their consumers.”
- Brian Dargan, head of digital strategy at XM-Asia, “Asian firms in ‘digital denial’” from Warc.
Judging by the omnipresence of Facebook and Twitter call-outs on everything from bus stops to radio ads to phone calls with relatives, the adoption phase of social media’s penetration is mostly complete. Social is a part of everyday life for most people. This isn’t only the case in the United States, but all over the world.
The evidence is everywhere. Thais are flocking to social media despite an absence of 3G services. Latin American searches increased by over 20% this March over last year and Facebook was the region’s second most used search engine after Google. Most of the developing world is going to bypass computer ownership entirely as it opts to use mobile devices for internet activity.
A recent whitepaper, ‘“Paid to Made Media” produced by a Singapore-based digital agency XM-Asia, emphasized this international social adoption trend and offered insight into how all brands (global and local) should be allocating their marketing budgets. What type of media should a brand be focusing on online?
When weighing the amount of consumers on these social channels, the value of one type of media emerges above others: earned media.
Now that social participation is happening on a mass level, the value of consumer advocates has never been more important. While it doesn’t mean abandoning a paid media budget entirely or not owning a quality branded presence, the size of the marketing pie should reflect the tendencies of the customer. It is the job of the marketer to nurture this advocacy and enable customers to easily and seamlessly share their experiences with the brand.
“The recession has redefined the consumer’s relationship with retailers, and social and mobile applications have accelerated this change. Consumers are challenging retailers to be creative and deliver a multi-channel experience that stands out.”
- Alison Paul, U.S. retail sector leader at Deloitte via “US Shoppers Get Digital” on Warc.
Online marketing is experiencing a huge demand for multi-channel experiences. Developing a healthy Digital Ecosystem is the foundation for delivering this experience. For marketing purposes a Digital Ecosystem aligns strategy, creative, user experience and organizational components of a campaign or brand’s online properties. This disciplined approach to all digital touch points, there is an emphasis on engagement, collaboration, sharing, transparency and trust-building that can be an unmatched advantage for organizations looking to build true digital engagement.
With mobile rapidly replacing the stationary model of the desktop or the tethered laptop computer, a brand’s ability to cater to a specific mobile experience is becoming a priority. “Among the 32% of people owning a web-enabled smartphone, 43% had used it while in bricks and mortar outlets ‘to assist in their shopping’, and 37% would like to have done so, but faced connectivity issues,” sites a Deloitte survey of 1,050 American consumers.
How does a brand become mobile sensitive within their Digital Ecosystem? It is important to remember that mobile is no longer just about check-ins and badges.Can non brick-and-mortar brands offer a strong mobile component to a campaign? In what ways should a mobile optimized website differ from a traditional home page? How much of a role does location play?
There are campaign specific answers to all of these kinds of questions. A degree of creativity may be required to meet the challenge of mobile. One thing is certain—it’s even trickier to have a true multi-channel experience without a mobile component.