Lessons From SingPost’s Social Marketing Strategy

Clement Teo

In Asia Pacific, there is growing recognition that the old way of marketing — driving awareness through push advertising — has sputtered and slowed in the wake of media fragmentation and the disruptive power of digital. Marketers need a new framework to align their marketing decisions to the customer’s experiences with the brand to define customer engagement, budget allocation, and organizational skills.

However, many companies are still in the adolescent phase of social marketing; they have crested the initial wave of social likes and followers, but are now stuck on the next steps. Few have managed to crack the social marketing conundrum — that of showing meaningful return on their social marketing investments. Marketers need to understand and map the customer journey — from enabling discovery to supporting exploration, purchase, and engagement. Astute ones will map each stage of the customer life cycle to an objective from Forrester’s marketing RaDaR model. To create discovery, the objective should be reach. To support exploration, depth is the objective. To nurture engagement, focus on relationships.

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Join Forrester's 2015 China Digital Marketing Online Survey

Xiaofeng Wang

Forrester’s 2015 online survey for digital marketing executives in China is now open. If you’re a marketing leader who is involved in digital marketing in China, please take this opportunity to provide your perspective.

Why is your input important? Through this survey, we will:

  • Understand your key challenges in digital marketing. Marketing leaders in China have larger digital marketing budgets — but they also bear more responsibility and face a more complicated digital marketing environment.
  • Outline your pain points in working with digital agencies. Marketing leaders in China have more digital agency options than ever before, but their expectations of digital agencies have changed along with their shifted responsibilities.

We will use the results to help marketing leaders in China:

  • Understand key trends to prioritize your digital marketing efforts. This data will help you benchmark your key focus for digital marketing in 2015.
  • Select the right digital agency to meet your most important needs. We will soon publish our first Forrester Wave™ evaluation of digital agencies in China, which will help marketers assess and select digital agency services. This data will help you customize the Wave to select the right digital agency to help you overcome your top digital challenges.
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My Favorite Forrester Groundswell Award Winner: Analog Devices

We’re now accepting entries for the 2015 Forrester Groundswell Awards. This is our chance to recognize the very best social marketing programs from the past year — and we’d love to give an award to you for your best work. You can enter here
 
To get your creative juices flowing, I wanted to highlight one of my all-time favorite Forrester Groundswell Award winners: Analog Devices, our 2013 B2B Social Relationship Marketing award winner. Analog manufactures integrated circuits, and its EngineerZone community allows members to resolve challenges and questions by tapping into the collective “wisdom of the crowds.” The company’s technical community has a global membership that empowers each member to help or be helped from any part of the globe, making it an invaluable resource.
 
When they submitted their entry, Analog Devices shared the following results from a member feedback survey:
Over 90% of respondents said the information was helpful to their design. 
76% were more likely to purchase ADI products knowing EngineerZone was available as a resource.  
 
A true social relationship marketing strategy ensures that customers continue to have their needs met and receive tangible benefits even after the point of purchase. In doing so, customers are primed and ready to accept new information about products and services which can provide even more value.
 
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Use WeChat Now, But Use It Wisely

Xiaofeng Wang

Over the past two years, WeChat has been a very important part of my research. And it should be on your radar as well. I’ve been particularly focused on gauging its innovations and exploring potential monetization possibilities. Most importantly, I’ve been evaluating how marketers can leverage WeChat from the time when it wasn’t ready to be a scalable marketing tool through to today, when all marketers need to understand how to use WeChat wisely.

With a whopping 468 million monthly active users, WeChat has been the focus of marketers for a while; as of July 2014, WeChat had 5.8 million public accounts. However, marketing leaders face challenges in using WeChat for marketing:

  • WeChat is a private social platform. The tactics that work on open social platforms like Weibo do not necessarily work on private social platforms like WeChat. Many marketers still wrongly attempt to use WeChat as a platform for news announcements.
  • WeChat provides limited ad formats and APIs. Although we do see Tencent considering the possibilities of introducing display ads in Moments (WeChat’s timeline) and laying the groundwork for search advertising by partnering with the local search engine Sogou, so far the only available advertising opportunity for marketers is purchasing display ads in public account articles. Many marketers also complain about the limited APIs that WeChat provides to them.
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The Sales Enablement Forum Is ALSO For B2B Marketing Leaders - Check it out!

Peter O'Neill

I would like to take the opportunity to remind you of our upcoming Sales Enablement Forum on March 2-3 in Scottsdale, Arizona,where the overall theme this year is about the different approaches required to optimize your B2B sales channels. Our research shows that more transactional buyers now prefer more automation and self-service (eBusiness); whereas executives who are involved in buying prefer (no, insist on) having conversations and engagement that match their problem-solving needs. So we have designed an agenda that covers direct selling, selling through channel partners, as well as selling through eBusiness interactions. And, as this is a strategic topic, over and perhaps above the discipline of selling itself, most of the presentations will be made by marketing leaders in the B2B companies we have invited.

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Focus Social Marketing On Clear Business Outcomes

Clement Teo

Asia Pacific marketers have moved from experimenting with social media in the recent past to integrating it into their marketing mix. However, a large number are guilty of setting and measuring metrics, such as vanity metrics, that do not inform the next course of action.

To increase your chances of social marketing success, you must:

  • Build an understanding of your audience. Brands all too often mistake social media platforms as a broadcast channel and rave about their own products and services without first understanding the conversations going around them. Astute marketers will first deploy listening platforms by studying the social behaviors of their target audiences and the context of their conversations. Forrester’s Social Technographics® will tell you both how social your audience is and the types of social behaviors in which they engage.
  • Invest in social marketing based on clear business outcomes. Many Asia Pacific marketers are still allocating media budgets based on user consumption of media — or worse, on how budgets were allocated in previous years. But this model is obsolete, thanks to new methods of accessing data and harnessing technology. Marketers must be able to answer which specific social activities drive specific business outcomes and boldly reallocate marketing investments based on these. For instance, marketers must show how their Facebook strategy has driven fans to their eCommerce site and helped stimulate them to complete a sale.
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The Pinterest Conundrum

Nate Elliott

I’ve been thinking a lot about Pinterest for the past year. I first planned to write a report about the social upstart last summer. When that deadline passed, I was certain I’d produce something in the autumn. Now here we are in the dead of winter, and at long last today we published our report on how marketing leaders should use Pinterest.

The reason it took so long? Pinterest is confusing. It’s a bundle of contradictions: at once it offers marketers huge potential and huge frustration.

On the one hand, there’s so much opportunity:

  • Pinterest boasts a fantastic audience. In fact, 21% of US online adults visit Pinterest at least monthly — nearly as many as use Twitter and more than use Instagram and Google+. Those users spend freely online, they’re willing to engage with brands in social media, and when they talk about products on Pinterest they drive vast amounts of traffic to brand sites.
  • Pinterest’s data has the potential to drive more sales than Facebook’s data. After all, Facebook users generate mostly affinity data: information about their tastes and preferences, based on their past experience with brands and products, that’s better suited to targeting brand advertising than direct marketing. But Pinterest users don’t only share historical affinities; they share the kind of purchase intent data that’s more commonly seen on search engines like Google. And just as ads targeted with Google’s data generate outstanding direct response, so will ads targeted with Pinterest’s data.
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Has Technology Changed How We Think?

Shar VanBoskirk
I've just started work on a report tentatively titled "How People Choose." I'm interested in studying how technology is influencing user decision processes. My hypothesis is that technology is fundamentally rewiring us so we actually rely more heavily on gut-based decisions than on well-rationalized ones. If you buy Daniel Kahneman's notions of fast and slow thinking (others have called it irrational and reasonable, or emotional vs rational thought), then my theory is that people are outsourcing more and more of their rational decisions to technology. This means, that what is left for most of us is a heavier reliance on our fast thinking, our impulses, and our gut-based response, when making decisions.
 
If this hypothesis is true, then marketers should actually focus on influencing impulse, rather than all of the linear, direct-response types of marketing sequences they prioritize today.
 
I'm just kicking off my research, so my overall hypothesis may evolve as I get some research under my belt. But my end goal is to write a report for marketing execs that would help them think through HOW to influence user decisions in a future where the fundamentals of how we make decisions have changed.
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What Will You Do Differently In 2015?

The start of a new year provides an opportunity to take stock of our environment and do things a bit differently. This year, I am addressing the role microvideo can play within a marketing strategy. 
 
Though we all enjoy receiving information about items that are of personal interest, we may find we have a few “go-to” sites.  This may be due to the presentation of the content, the ease with which we can interact with it, or a host of other reasons. Microvideo is versatile and provides numerous opportunities for marketers. Let’s use color as an analogy for this type of content. I have certain colors in my wardrobe because they work across a multitude of other colors. Marsala, Pantone’s 2015 color of the year, is described as an “elegant, grounded statement color when used on its own or as a strong accent to many other colors.” 
 
 Twitter profile for Pantone highlighting 2015 color of the year Marsala
 
Microvideo is similar. It can stand on its own or supplement targeted interactions with your customers. Just take a look at what Lowe's has done to keep us inspired. 
 
Vine profile for Lowe's
 
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How To Win A Forrester Groundswell Award For Your Social Depth Marketing Program

Kim Celestre

It's that time of year again. We have officially opened the submission process for our 2015 Forrester Groundswell Awards. You can find more details about this year's awards here. As in the past, we will have three categories: social reach, social depth, and social relationship. Show us your most innovative and successful program(s) and we may see you at the podium in April when we present the awards at the Forrester Marketing Leadership Forum in New York!

I'm frequently asked, "What makes a winning Forrester Groundswell Awards program?" To help you prepare your submissions, here's an example of a winning social depth entry from PGA TOUR Superstore last year and why it stood out:

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