Increasing connectivity in the form of social networks and other new media can help companies stay in touch with their consumers and reduce marketing costs, a renowned public relations executive said.
According to Kent Wertime, President of the Asia Pacific branch of international public relations and marketing firm OgilvyOne, companies have started focusing their marketing efforts toward digital and online media to reach a wider audience for their brand building and customer relations efforts.
“Marketing in the digital age is markedly different compared to traditional efforts in the past, and is now easier to measure, depending on the focus of the campaign. Also, with the prevalence of mobile devices and social networking, you can now reach consumers and have a better one-on-one relationship with them,” he said.
There is currently a big stash of data waiting to be mined by companies. These data, according do Wertime, may include customer tendencies, personalities, and other data.
“Before laying down a digital marketing plan, you must first zero in on the kind of data you want to capture, and structure your campaign according to this. Because there is so much data out on the internet, you must concentrate only on the data your company really needs,” he said.
An emerging trend among new marketing campaigns is the increased focus on delivering ‘branded utility’ to draw the desired audience to a new or existing product. By creating something that consumers are willing to use without doing a ‘hard sell’, the message is more readily accepted by end-users.
“Traditionally, companies posted questionnaires, asking viewers to answer questions. The data you get here is a mixed bag, because some people may not answer these questions truthfully, or skip some. With branded utility, you give them something they want to use, and at the same time, you achieve your brand objectives and gather the data you need,” he said.
As an example, he cited a fitness questionnaire by a company that wanted to know more about their customers through a traditional questionnaire, which some customers may see as a chore. Instead of going with a straightforward tool such as the above, he suggests a different line of attack.
“Make the content useful, enough for the viewer to want to answer the questions truthfully. In this example, you can ask them ‘Are you working out too much?’, or things that will help them know themselves better. Now, a user will have less incentive to skip or dodge some questions, because you have reinforced the message that they will only cheat themselves if they do so,” he said.
Another example Wertime used is the marketing drive a shoe company did to launch a new line of performance measuring tools that came with their merchandise. By branding the gadget as a must-have for serious runners, the company hit it big with a ‘branded utility’ platform.