Best practices around rebuilding a digital media strategy
Over 600 attendees graced the third installment of this year’s IMMAP Web Wednesdays
FREE Season 3 last July 14, 2021. Diving into the topic “Where Do I Start? A Guide to
Digital Media Strategy,” the webinar succeeded in presenting a how-to guide on planning and marketing digital campaigns focusing on what to adapt and avoid in rebuilding a digital marketing strategy for brands. Brought to you by the Internet and Mobile Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) and Certified Digital Marketer (CDM), in partnership with ABS-CBN, this session moderated by Bea Lim, Managing Director of TeamAsia, facilitated a timely discussion with industry experts from Facebook, Google, MediaDonuts, and Globe.
Each shared their expertise, experiences, and best practices around digital media strategies in the face of major disruptions and innovations. First speaker Cams Sta. Ana, Facebook Philippines Client Partner, zeroed in on the forces shaping the future of marketing and today’s media. She called the period that we are in right now as the big leap when we see a lot of drastic changes and trends. She cited that Facebook sees that this big leap is driven by three big forces: 1) acceleration of digital commerce; 2) participation paradigm; and 3) digital gathering. According to Cams, e-commerce was initially seen as experimental, thus, its progress is quite a slow burn. Obviously, the lockdown has accelerated the shift of everything exponentially to online. From being experimental, e-commerce became the lifeline of many businesses. She also stressed how people wanted to participate more. “We are entering this era wherein people are building a deeper relationship with their brands beyond something that is just transactional,” she shared. Among people surveyed in the Philippines, 87% say social media has allowed them to interact more and deepen their relationship with their brands. She discussed how the online community is booming and that among people surveyed, 82% of them are members of an online community. In Facebook alone, 1.8 billion people globally use FB groups every month and half of those are a part of at least five active groups.
“This makes sense because that is what Facebook is all about, bringing people closer to
each other.” She adds that it’s interesting to note that these communities are very welcome to brands participating and contributing to groups. She closed her talk by challenging the participants to embrace, experiment, and connect. She said that marketers need to embrace the fact that digital commerce is here to stay so they need to make sure that their businesses are allowing people to find them at that moment of discovery and allow them to seamlessly buy or take advantage of their services.
“You need to connect and look for ways on how you can collaborate with the growing
communities on Facebook to really unlock that humanity in your business,” she ends.
Industry manager Kate Li from Google, tackled today’s challenges and how we can be
ready for tomorrow’s opportunities. She said that Covid-19 has caused established
habits and routines to break, and, in that place, new consumer behaviors have sprung
up. This profound and prolonged uncertainty has also made the jobs of marketers and
business owners difficult.
Kate, borrowing a segment from her colleague Gea Lopez’ presentation on the
Philippines’ state of digital nation discussed in the first IMMAP Virtual Member Meetup(VMM), pointed out the considerations brands and businesses should make to move forward with their strategy. She specified that rethinking the consumer journey as a result of massive digital adoption is no longer linear, in fact, it is messy, and the decisions are made in that messy middle, between the triggers and purchases. She added that simply being present in this digital journey helps influence preferences, that a look into the heightened and diversified passion spaces of consumers can help uncover themes as the situation evolves. “And as you identify what territories you want to be present in, you move from transitional presence to something that is meaningful,” Kate reiterates. Kate continued that every day, hundreds of millions of people turn to Google for ideas, inspiration, and help with their shopping. Over the last year, Google has seen phenomenal increases in mobile searches globally for things like local electricians, the best yoga mat, puppy training treats and pots for orchids. Searches for “sale online” have increased globally by over 100%, “best affordable” by 60%, and “available near me” by 100%. YouTube viewers, 70% of them, say they bought a brand after seeing it on YouTube. Rethinking business boundaries is also important according to Kate. “People will expect an even more helpful, relevant shopping experience. With limited consumer mobility and free time, consumers expect brands to adjust to them, and not the other way around.”
Kate ended her talk with a list of Google sites which can beneficially help budding online
marketers and businesses in building their strategies: 1) Skillshop (g.co/skill shop), an online training platform with e-learning courses; 2) Grow with Google (g.co/GrowPhilippines), a platform to leverage business tools (ex. Google My Business); 3) Google Primer app (www.yourprimer.com), a mobile app that offers bite-sized lessons on business and marketing; and 4) Think with Google (www.thinkwithgoogle.com), a platform that offers marketing insights, ideas, and inspiration to help you navigate through these uncertain times. Pieter Jan De Kroon, the Co-Founder, and CEO of MediaDonuts, focused on how to navigate the ever “faster-evolving” digital media landscape. He began with the evolution of the digital marketing landscape, sharing data of key trends that are seen in terms of online user behavior and digital media consumption. He highlighted the main challenges that marketers will face in the coming months and years, the cookieless era, and the post iOS 14.5 World that Google and Apple announced to give more control to internet users on their data and their privacy that will have certain consequences for marketers and advertisers. He also gave points on how to take key trends into consideration and face challenges in order to build effective digital media strategies. Pieter believes that it is important to diversify your digital media experience. He says, “If you are doing what everyone else is doing already, you will be competing with so many others for the same eyeballs and the same impressions. Try to explore the road less traveled.”
His three key points in creating a digital media strategy are first, identifying why users
go to a particular platform (e.g. Twitter, Tiktok); second, change your tone of voice or
narrative in line with the minds of all users; and lastly, consider when to use which platform.
Pieter synthesized his points in the end by identifying the steps of digital media implementation. Pieter said that it is important to identify key trends in digital media consumption and user behavior. After which, set your key media and business objectives and review which platform and ad solutions will fit. “Adjust your narrative and tone of voice, depending on user behavior on each platform. Test, learn and explore the road less traveled,” Pieter enthuses.
Last speaker, RG Orense, Digital and Special Channel Strategy Head Corporate
Communications of Globe Telecommunications addressed questions most MSMEs
(Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) ask when planning a digital campaign. He discussed why we should use digital media and the advantages it entails for brands
and businesses. He points out that digital marketing increases the target customer base
while spending less compared to traditional marketing. RG also focused on how to get
the target audience to listen to their message. “Stay relevant by joining micro-communities. Presence in micro-communities helps in getting your brand to the right audience,” he shares. He encourages people to use pop culture references and leverage hot topics to drive conversations in social media.
RG also mentioned that there is no need to be on all digital platforms. “Choose only the
channels that are relevant to you and your target audience. There is no absolute need
to choose to work with the influencers who are popular and with a great following for
high engagement. What is more important is to make sure that they are authentic and
are relevant to your category, brand, and audience,” he said. Lastly, RG stresses the importance of creating conversation around your brand. “Word-of-mouth tops any digital advertisement. By building online reviews and showing testimonials, you create a very big “hero effect” prompting others to be curious to try out your products and services.” Closing his talk, RG quoted author and scholar Lee Bolman. “A vision without a strategy remains an illusion.” He adds that, if you have things you want to achieve, you always need to come up with a strategy.