#MARKiesAwards 2021 spills: X10 Media's strategy to building a midas touch for influencer marketing

X10 Media was founded in 2016 focusing on influencer marketing and has since worked on over 700 social media campaigns to date. Among the list of brands it has worked with include CapitaLand, Owndays, Swatch, Pandora, OPPO and Ricola. The agency has also worked with vivo Smartphone for campaign launches, offering advice on the type of photography influencers needed for one of the brand's campaign. The partnership saw the agency clinch the bronze award for Most Effective Use – Specific Audience at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's MARKies Awards 2021

While influencer marketing might be popular these days, X10 Media's founder Sky Lim (pictured) told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that most companies are still mainly engaging influencers "at a very basic level" and overlook the importance of creativity and strong copywriting. He shares what makes for great marketing and advertising these days and the trends he looks forward to.

This interview is done as part of MARKETING-INTERACTIVE’s winners and finalists’ interview series for MARKies Awards 2021. To find out more about the awards, click here.

1. Tell us about the campaign you won and what was the most memorable aspect of the campaign for you? 

Lim: The relationship with vivo Smartphone’s team started back in 2019 as a one-off tactical campaign. Through our mutual synergy and demonstrated results, that relationship has expanded to date. In the initial client brief, influencers in the photography segment were requested which was pretty niche as opposed to a lifestyle segment which we were expecting. This decision was pivotal in highlighting the product’s USP with its amazing camera built and really demonstrated their clarity of vision and very wise choices.

One of the more memorable parts was getting the right photography influencers onboard. The professionalism they demonstrated made them highly selective of the projects they work on, which made our discussions more detailed and insightful and produced outstanding quality of work.

Another memorable aspect of the campaign was how our agency and vivo wanted a variety of the shots and the settings being shot. Most shortlisted images were set in Jewel, Gardens by the Bay and other Singapore iconic settings, - which reminds us of just how picturesque they are.

While going over the statistics, we were amazed to see the great campaign results which drove the highest share of buzz across all other platforms and channels for vivo Smartphone according to the Ipsos report. And the cherry on top was clinching the award!.

2. What do you think makes for great marketing/advertising these days? 

Lim: Consumers these days are more aware and have increased levels of ad blindness from saturation. Great marketing is in the deep understanding of a target audience and knowing how to engage them on the right channel, at the right time, with the right context.

Formulating a great campaign requires a clear strategy that cuts through the noise, gaining attention and addressing pertinent pain points of the customer. With the shorter attention spans in today’s digital environment, merely capturing interest is no longer enough to spur actions. Retargeting within marketing campaigns is essential to close the loop especially when customers tend to require more touchpoints for conversion.

Our opinion on influencer marketing is that most companies are primarily engaging influencers at a very basic level and sideline the importance of creativity and strong copywriting that really pulls together a great posting.

They tend to overlook the fact that influencers may not necessarily be marketers themselves and leave it to them to craft their own content.

Our agency emphasises the branding aspect, ensuring the consistency and translation of strategy are well executed through comprehensive communication of the brief to our influencers. The content is then thoroughly curated and judiciously vetted for quality. And that is how and why X10 Media has been able to keep our clients happy by consistently optimising campaigns and maximise results.

3. What is one specific marketing/advertising trend you are looking forward to exploring and experimenting with in 2021? 

Lim: TikTok and live commerce selling. Many brands are still in the mass adoption or laggard segments with the learn and observe phase. The early adopters are the ones working out how best to capitalise on it and it’s an area that we are enthusiastically exploring to commercialise with some of our more forward-thinking clients. Watch this space!

4. What was one lesson learnt during the pandemic that all marketers can take away? 

Lim: In every crisis lies an opportunity. Many organisations tend to hold back on budgets in the pandemic when it’s actually the best time to stand out with fewer competitors vying for market share.

With the pandemic, more people are staying in, with a tendency to spend a little more time on social media. With most companies shifting emphasis to digital to make up for the drop in footfall, influencer marketing has demonstrated its synergies to harmonise the overall digital marketing strategy. X10 Media has excelled in supporting our clients to stay ahead by optimising their marketing spend dollar for dollar and achieve maximum results.