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Arc Mobile takes off with bloggers

Arc Mobile, the country’s newest local mobile device brand, has enlisted the help of bloggers in its first major marketing push in the Philippine market.

The company exclusively introduced seven initial models, some of them prototypes, to 20 bloggers and Marketing last Friday – an event typically populated by tech editors of top broadsheets and magazines.

Over dinner, Jordan Bonnen Ng (pictured center left), product manager at Arc Mobile, described the technical details of every phone and answered every question the bloggers threw at him.

In a scene typically seen in agencies, he then opened the mic for the bloggers, some as young as 17, to share their recommendations on how to market the brand.

“It looked like a brainstorming session because they are, in fact, rapidly turning out to be digital marketers.”

Apart from publicity, Ng told Marketing that bloggers can give valuable insight on how to engage and reel in prospective customers. With a market now hooked online, he found that their opinion are now increasingly trusted by a growing number of Filipinos.

“Right now, we are starting withbloggers because we saw that people consult them whenever they buy something. It’s no longer just a hobby.”

The bloggers immediately recommended on beefing up its presence on social media – improving numbers on their Facebook fanpage (with just 78 followers as of writing since it began in April) and Twitter account and posting videos on YouTube, among others.

Arc Mobile currently has no official website online but said they will be launching one in the coming weeks.

The discussion even went as far as to the design of mobile device, asking if bigger batteries can be used or if future models can use faster processors and better touch screens, lest be trumped by local rivals Cherry Mobile and MyPhone.

While they are getting advice from the blogging community and have an in-house team, Ng shared that Arc Mobile is currently looking for an agency to help them craft hard-hitting campaigns.

He didn’t disclose the brand’s ad spend, but Ng confirmed that they have already allotted a budget if they were to hire an agency partner.

Arc Mobile is not crossing out traditional media from its marketing mix. Targeting mainly buyers belonging to socio-economic classes C, D and E, Ng is planning to launch radio spots when all seven mobile devices (1 bar phone, 3 Android smart phones and 3 android tablets) hit the stores next month.

The initial marketing push is supported by print ads on broadsheets. Ng said that TVCs are also on the pipeline but he has doubts if the medium can reach their target buyers as effectively as blogs.

“We think TV can’t reach the audience that we want. Since virtually anyone is online, we think bloggers a social media will be our best bets.”

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