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Content and data synchronisation: Do you have the knowledge to get it right?

Given the rise of importance in content marketing, good writers and well written pieces of content, are high in demand. But even the most well written articles sometimes get lost in the myriad of news and information out there. So how do you make sure your content hits the sweet spot with your customers? Well, the answer lies in data.

Marketing spoke to Benjamin Gajkowski, head of Brand Studio, Mediacorp, who gave his point of view on how to be synchronised to the consumers.

According to Gajkowski, there’s a sea of ideas out there but there is no certainty that the ideas will actually result in an effective campaign. This is were data comes in – to help a smart marketer understand better what exactly will create an impact with their customers.

How important is using data when creating content?

Gajkowski: Data is absolutely crucial. Everyone can have an idea. But how can you forecast that your idea will actually result in an effective campaign that meets all of your client’s objectives?

The answer is: you can’t unless you use data.

There is a concept, which psychologists call the “other minds“-problem, brilliantly explained by Malcolm Gladwell in his book “What the dog saw”. Basically means, that if a one year old likes a certain kind of crackers, he or she automatically assumes that his or her mother or father will like this cracker as well. At that age the human brain hasn’t grasped the idea yet, that other people might not have the same taste.

I see similar assumptions being made in the creative industry to a certain extent as well, when people are arguing why their idea will work for a certain brand or product. But the truth is, unless agencies use data in the creativity process, every idea or concept carries a massive risk of not meeting the client’s campaign objectives. Data alone will not give you the idea; you will always need a creative mind to come up with a concept.

However, data helps you to verify certain assumptions you are making in the creative process.

How can marketers make sense of the data retrieved on consumers for a more effective campaign/branding strategy? 

Gajkowski: That’s a great question. I would say, two things are important. Number one, having a precise customer decision making journey with a very clear understanding on how to measure each phase is fundamental.

Number two, be more agile when executing the actual campaign. I know, this term is heavily overused, but I mean it. Constant A/B testing throughout the entire campaign can give useful and sometimes surprising insights on how and by whom the campaign is being consumed and what works and what doesn’t.

A more agile approach gives any brand the liberty to react to this insights and adapt the campaign accordingly for a higher impact.

What is more important timing or context?

Gajkowski: I would argue that timing is more important, because the media usage behaviour has changed dramatically in the past 15 to 20 years. A brand’s target audience can now literally access any kind of content whenever and wherever they are.They don’t have to wait for the mailman to have their newspaper delivered or for a TV show to be aired at a certain time.

Now that brings a new challenge to any brand as the media industry is now much more fragmented. Brands need to figure out, which platform works for them and if there is any overlap in the usage behaviour of their target audience as they would otherwise overspend their marketing dollars.

How important is mobile as a medium. Can brands afford to be “mobile-only”?

Gajkowski: Looking at the numbers, it is almost impossible to not have a mobile strategy for branded content campaigns.

In Singapore, 94.8% of all internet user are smartphone users. In the Philippines, it’s 52.8%, in Indonesia, 66.6% and in Malaysia, 90.9%. That trend is impossible to ignore. However, it is also crucial for brands to know the exact internet usage behaviour of their target audience and how that correlates with the shopping behaviour of their clients and potential clients.

Let me give you an example: Many news websites tend to have four peak periods for mobile traffic: in morning, when people are getting ready for the day and commute to work, during lunchtime, on their way back from home and right before they go to bed. Now, this usage behaviour might not necessarily match the online shopping pattern of a brands client. How likely is it to buy a car or anything, which is not a commodity, at 8am on a Monday morning? Quite unlike I would argue.

So tactical mobile banner with a call to action might not be the right choice. However, driving awareness and consideration through a mobile branded content campaign during these times combined with formats specially designed for the times of the day, when the client’s target audience is in a more lean back-situation and browses the internet from his desktop or tablet, could certainly be an option.

What are some of the trends you see when it comes to content?

Gajkowski: We see three main trends right now. Number one, customers tend to consume more content, which adds value to their life. That can be very practical advice about where to save on parking fees in downtown, restaurant recommendations for a romantic dinner with their partner or insights on how to choose the right accounting software for their business. By solving a problem for your target audience or improving their life in one way or the other, a brand is actually able to build a relationship with their clients.

The second trend is video. With an overall smartphone penetration of over 50% in Asia Pacific and an expanding 3G and 4G coverage, video consumption is now booming throughout the entire region as consumers can basically view videos wherever they are.

And the third trend we see is virtual reality, which doesn’t limit branded content to pure storytelling, but allows brands to create completely new experiences for consumers.

Mediacorp is the gold sponsor of the upcoming Content360 conference, happening on 19 and 20 April 2018 at Shangri-La Hotel. Join us for this two-day event of active knowledge exchange and discussing in depth on issues regarding content.

If you would like to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Joven Barcenas at jovenb@marketing-interactive.com or reach him at +65 6423 0329