Marketing Insights: A new social agenda

Could social media help to solve 60 years of marketing problems? Joe Webb, head of digital at TNS thinks so.

During this week’s Marketing Insights: A New Social Media Agenda event, Webb’s optimistic manifesto was delivered by colleague Piotr JJ Szymanski to a packed room of marketers from some of Hong Kong best known brands.

Covering topics as diverse as poorly handled customer complaints, the evolution of social media, social targeting, app addiction and the delight in data.

Setting the scene for this half day conference, Szymanski said the biggest question of the digital age ‘what do you deploy and when do you deploy?’ which he described as a ‘huge challenge’ if you don’t know the answer and a ‘huge opportunity’ if you do.

Advocating an integrated approach, Szymanski delivered a case study of a French cosmetic brand which demonstrates how paid, owned and earned media all work together across online and offline, but play different roles.

He added, ‘Digital has had its fun but it’s time we took a more robust approach to marcomms.’

Leonie Valentine, executive vice president, Customer Service & Operations of CSL Limited HK, told a personal customer experience horror story to illustrate how critical customer relationships are and how social can help manage these.

Valentine said customer service is now 24/7, a company has to be reachable anywhere, anytime. However this requires considerable investment.

‘New customer service social channel requires careful planning, it will mean how to monitor the system and to employ a new support force.‘ she said.

The successful implementation of a social strategy for customer service means the ‘whole enterprise has to effectively use social and execute it in different aspects of the company’.

A number of speakers highlighted the importance of social media monitoring to gain valuable insights into customer interactions including Pixo Punch’s Ben Woo and Performance Media Group’s Frankie Ho.

Woo said ‘Social media channels can give new insights to customer service management. By tracing the consumer pattern, you can retarget the audience and market your message based on their social behaviors.’

Social Media Broadcast’s Christopher Wong agreed, and urged marketers to ‘Use data in social media to identify new perspectives and monitor behaviors of influencers and key demographics.’

He said this even ‘allows marketers to keep track of competitors’ activity across digital platforms.’

Performance Media Group’s Ho also highlighted the use of data as important to the social media strategy. He said data retrieved from social media related to the target audience allows the marketing team to come up with ‘a better marketing strategy and a better budget allocation’.

Chester Lo, business director of Asia Pacific of Sun Mobile Communications Limited, addressed the key role mobile plays in effective social marketing strategies.

Lo encourages the use of all tools in the mobile spectrum from advanced MMS executions through to location based strategies and says integration is king.

He says ‘it is all about the strategic integration of offline and online marketing’.

The Marketing Insights: A Social Media Agenda was attended by 100 marketing experts at the Mira, Tsim Sha Tsui.

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