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Social Matters Day 2 - Notes from the Field

It’s Day 2. I’d rushed out of home by 7.30 a.m in the hope of getting my morning ‘fix’ at the conference. Darn it, there’s a traffic jam all the way down Orchard Road. I wait patiently while I listen to the taxi driver whining( I’m not having a better day either mate, and you’re not helping!). After 40 minutes I reach the Ritz. I strap on the delegate pass, sip some bold black syrup and  I’m ready to attack Day 2:

IAB Workshop: Content innovation and strategies matter

Led by Neal Moore (Founder and CEO, Click2View), the discussion panel for the IAB workshop included Ant Hearne (Regional Director, SEA & India, Outbrain), Keith Timimi (Chairman, VML Qais), Alan Soon (Managing Editor, Yahoo! Singapore) and James Miner (CEO, Miner Labs).

The panel focused on the futility of sticking to a rigid marketing plan in a rapidly evolving digital marketing landscape. Agencies and brands need to be adaptable to consumers, providing them with what they need. Quality and integrity of content should define your brand. Alan Soon shared that brands wants to get to the point where they can recognize your content and say, “Oh, that’s so Redbull!”

Community management also comes into play here as fans and consumers want to be acknowledged. Ignore them and they’ll ignore you.

#HamiltonIsland: Using user generated to tell a thousand words

Sophie Baker (Senior Communications Manager, Hamilton Island) shared her three step approach of using consumers to create an organic buzz around Hamilton Island, a resort destination in the Whitsunday Islands, Australia. The on-going process of co-creation, curation and syndication was used so effectively by the team that they managed to reach out to 8 million people in one weekend.

Social media was the primary marketing tool used to reach out to their audiences. InstaMeets were set up, content creators were active and images of the resort were shared all over the digital sphere. The team also built interest by inviting well-known lifestyle bloggers and photographers to their resort. These posts and pictures were in turn curated by them, creating an entire online community around Hamilton Island.

Baker believes in the power of social media because “traditional media will not be able to reach 1 million people with just one post.”

Let’s get emotional Southeast Asia! 

Maria Spinelli (Vice-President, SEA, BrainJuicer) shared how her company used emotions as a driving factor to reach out effectively to consumers in advertising. Spinelli focused on two Asian markets: Thailand and Indonesia, as core examples of using emotional advertising strategies.

Meta-analysis data showed that the Thai audience prefers a more surprising element in terms of content consumption while the Indonesians just want to feel happy and positive. With this difference in mind, she stated: “If you want surprise, be dramatic. If you want happiness, try a softer approach”. Different approaches to emotional advertising are still being tested out in various markets because what works in Australia may not work in Indonesia. While a stress was laid on emotional advertising, she also warned marketers not to completely neglect a rational angle to the content.

A teary-eyed break here..a moment of silence to absorb all that we’ve learnt… we go.

Emotion matters: Driving effective advertising

Content matters

The day kicked off with a debate between Emotional and Rational advertising strategies, with Maria Spinelli (Accounts & Operations SE Asia, BrainJuicer), Jamshed Wadia (Head of Social Media APAC, Intel), Sameer Desai  (Consumer Healthcare Marketing, Mundipharma) and Pete Mitchell (Global Media Innovations Director, Mondelēz) and Stephanie Bouvard (Marketing Director, Asia-Pacific, WFA) duking it out.

Bouvard argued (backed up by research) that emotional advertising garnered greater ROI than rational advertising messages. Wadia countered that rational advertising strategies are more effective for specific industries such as tech. The panel came to the conclusion of striking a 60/40 balance between emotional and rational advertising, leaving some flexibility depending on which industry their advertising efforts are aimed towards.

The panel also laid out some fundamental objectives for creating content in an advertising context: persuading your consumer to make an action, ensure the content is etched in their memory and to attain high traction rates whether socially or digitally.

Online audience engagement: What content do people want?

Lack of content quality was an issue tackled by the discussion panel led by Scott Dinsdale (Media & Entertainment Lead, Australia & Asia Pacific, Accenture) and a range of ideas around digital content shared by Guillaume Sachet (Head, Strategic Planning, CEO Office, MediaCorp), Sanchit Sanga (Head of Digital, South Asia & ASEAN and Head of Mobile & Search, Mindshare), Kelly Cooke (Director, Business Development & Digital Media, ESPN Asia Pacific) and Chris Reitermann (President, APAC, Ogilvy & Mather Advertising).

The disengagement with consumers is caused by a massive fracture between consumer choice and content created. Sanga claimed this as a key issue agencies need to solve by investing and educating themselves about the interests of the consumers. In terms of music and video content, the former faced a challenge of distribution rather than content production.

The panel also discussed how many companies are going digital while forgetting that information adapted across various technological platforms are not accessible to all of their target audiences. Location and affluence of countries are a consideration as well, which explains why digital content only prospers in selected areas.

Social Matters Content Marketing Workshop


Brand New Media’s Nick Fawbert and King Content’s Peter Bakker led an interactive and rewarding session centered around content marketing: taking questions, offering case studies and outlining strategies for marketers.

The presenters asserted that the ‘halo effect’ of brands and influencers has little effect on the modern consumer, who’d much rather listen to their colleagues and friends when it comes to making a buying decision. In order to convert your customers into your salespeople – you need to inspire them with your content.

And no, you cannot “make” something go viral, according to Bakker.

After devouring this first-hand lesson in content marketing strategy, the pack descended upon the fashionably-late buffet. It seems that knowledge is not the only thing this crowd was hungry for. Slurrp…


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