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Digital marketing should strike an emotional chord

The use of technology has culminated in dramatic changes in every sector and marketing is no different. While it is easy to get lost in new technology, it is important to get back to the basics of marketing, said Simon Kahn, chief marketing officer, Asia Pacific at Google.

“What I would argue is that we are in a Back to the Future mode where there is a lot of talk about the great scientific things that are already happening with the transformative effects of the digital and in the internet,” Kahn said. But fundamentally, he added, we go back to the core of being effective marketers.

Marketers are realising now that there are techniques to making digital marketing effective and cut through the clutter. Also, content development in the digital space today has fast become a vital ingredient in the marketing recipe. “But none of this is actually possible if brands aren’t able to engage the audience and bring emotion into their work,” Kahn added.

He then proceeded to give the example of the Penguin Navi campaign done by the Sunshine aquarium in Japan.

Because Japan’s Sunshine Aquarium was a significant hike away from the train station, the marketing team at the aquarium wanted to make sure people could find it. Hence they created an augmented reality app where penguins could guide tourists along the right path.

Hence, the “Penguin Navi” app was born.When aquarium goers loaded the app, on their phone’s screen, actual penguins were seen guiding them in the direction of the aquarium doors.

Watch how the app works here:

This alone resulted in over 150% more visits to the aquarium in just a month.

“The aquarium created emotion and people are having fun with it and it generated results,” said Kahn. “This is a perfect example of how you can take something that is quite boring on the web (such as a map) and make it to something more interesting and break through with it,” he added.

This also shows that advertisers and brands today understand that it is important to create content that works for digital. “This presents an opportunity for agencies to break through the standard thinking that many have been trained to do and do some more interesting work,” he said.

While the task of creating completely new content might be daunting to many marketing teams and company CEOs because this may result in a need for more hires, there is a very simple and cost effective way around it, said Kahn.

He then gave the example of Sainsbury’s. The British supermarket chain asked folks to send videos from last holiday season, and received numerous videos from consumers as part of the project. They then decided to create the 50 minute long film with these clips and snippets. This was set to be released last month.This not only engaged the audience but also involved them to co-create for the brand, said Khan.

Watch the video here:

(Read: Getting consumers to participate in your brand)

“Think of how you can create content or absorb content or pull content from you customers or other places and make something that much more compelling,” said Kahn.

And finally, stick to something basic which ties back to the core elements of marketing, he concluded.

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