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Design has been at the forefront of advertising for as long as the latter has been in existence. Whether it is a strong logo, striking headline, or eye-popping colours, design is one of the most important aspects of ads. It is no wonder that in today’s advertising climate, where the competition is getting fiercer and tougher, Creative Agencies continue to thrive.

A lot of times, Creative Agencies get overlooked by its other more popular counterparts. One good example of this is the Digital Agency. The rise of online advertising has made Digital Agencies one of the most sought after service by advertisers. This creates a lot of confusion amongst advertisers on what type of agency they should use for their campaigns.

So what are the key differences between a Creative Agency and a Digital Agency? Before we answer this question, let us define the two agencies first.

What is the definition of a Creative Agency?

According to Playground Inc, Creative Agencies focus on design and often use outside partners like ad marketing consultants to fully deploy their work.

Most of the time, Creative Agencies offer print design services. Good Creative Agencies are typically “branding experts” who are great at marketing and product design which is meant to be visually exciting, enticing and persuasive.

Creative agencies are also known for designing great logos, letterheads, business cards, and achieving a cohesive overall branding feel.

Here’s a very interesting video on what truly makes an amazing logo:

Toronto agency Smith Roberts wanted to rebrand their company in 2013. What they envisioned in the rebirth of the agency is a name and feel that will touch upon the traditional values of Toronto’s Distillery District where the company is situated. But they also wanted a name that will embody the company’s commitment to helping their client’s grow. In the end, they settled for Corktown Seed Co. A quick look at their branding already tells you that the company nailed what they wanted with a minimalist and modern retro vibe to their collaterals. Check out the photo below.

Image by Lovely Stationery

Company structure wise, Creative Agencies focus more on the creative team instead of marketing strategy. Large Creative Agencies are often filled with Creative Directors and graphic designers. Firms like Bruce Mau Design is a very good example of a big Creative Agency, just by checking out their personnel page, you will see how much they emphasize on creative talent.

What is the definition of a Digital Agency?

According to Upanup, a Digital Agency is defined as a company that gives the creative, strategic, and technical development of screen-based products and services. A full digital agency can offer clients search engine marketing, online advertising, web design and development, and e-commerce consulting.

Importance of a Full Digital Agency

Why is it important to know what a full digital agency is? Because digital agencies that do not provide full-service functions as consultants and outsources the production part. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing as some good agencies use this model. However, it would highly depend if you want to work with an agency that focuses on consultancy and outsources the rest or a company that does everything in-house.

A lot of advertisers and companies are slowly putting more focus on online advertising nowadays. And they have very good reason to do so. Just look at these statistics taken from Smart Insights.

  • Instagram’s community has over 600 million users
  • Snapchat has over 150 million daily users since December 2016
  • Over 500 million tweets are sent each day

While those social media stats are definitely eye-popping, keep in mind that those sites do not even have the largest database of users. That honour belongs to Facebook, which has over 1.86 Billion users online. Thinking twice about email marketing? Well, according to Email is not Dead, you will be missing out on over 2.586 billion email users worldwide. And what about those silly videos? According to Banner Snack, 76% of businesses who use video believe that it provides a good ROI.

To drive the point even further, an annual survey by ComScore has stated that in 2016, a whopping 51% of shoppers prefer to do their shopping online. From the looks of the trend, this number will just keep going up.

This is why advertisers are turning to Digital Agencies for help when it comes to their marketing strategies. Not only does digital advertising give you the biggest audience, it is also cost effective, statistics-based, and audience targeted. If you are looking for an example of a full-service Digital Agency, look no further and visit our list of services.

So why do you still need a Creative Agency? Well, there are still some compelling reasons to do so. The next part of this article will tackle just that.

Benefits of Creative Agency

Creative Agencies are still king when it comes to design. These companies focus on creating the best designs for your brand and they will still do wonders for your campaign. Creating visual content is still a huge priority for business to consumer companies.

Image by Hubspot

According to Adobe, design-driven companies are still leading the way for over ten years now. The companies that focus on creativity enjoy 1.5 times market share than those that do not. There is a good reason why the CEO of Nike is a designer – despite other forms of advertising popping out, people still value design and creativity.

Which is better?

It is true that using a Digital Agency makes the most sense for your money. The sheer volume of users as well as it’s cost effectiveness makes it really a tough choice to beat. However, design is very important too when it comes to your campaigns. A good design will boost your promotion’s effectivity as well as polish your branding further. If you can spare some cash, having a great Creative Agency work with an amazing Digital Agency may just be the best combination for your company.

Any thoughts regarding Digital and Creative Agency? Please share them with us in the space below.

No matter how companies do it, advertising remains one of the most important aspects of a business. However, advertising has evolved so much over the past decades that it has become nearly impossible for businesses to keep up. From simple flyers to giant billboards to taking your ads into the online realm, advertising continues to grow at a rapid pace.

Advertising boomed during the 19th century and the most common mediums used were newspapers ads. However, it was in the mid-1800s where the idea of the billboard was born. Billboards and other out of home advertising (OOH) became the go-to choice when it came to advertising. It helped people pick out which soda they wanted and even convinced men to sign up for wars.

However, the success of the Internet opened new frontiers for advertising. The sheer online audience was too juicy for companies to ignore. Google and Social Media like Facebook, Linked In, and Instagram made sure that people would devote a huge chunk of their time online. As a result, the Internet also became a place of commerce and along with it came advertising. Today, companies spend over $191.85 Billion in digital advertising.

While the Internet is fast becoming the choice of companies for advertising their wares, OOH advertising still remains a popular and effective medium. As these two types of advertising medium fight for supremacy, companies are left with the gargantuan task of finding out which is better between digital advertising and OOH advertising.

Before going any further, let us first define the two terms in a much detailed manner.

What is Digital Advertising?

Digital advertising is when companies use the internet to showcase promotional materials to consumers. Common tools used in digital advertising are e-mail, social media sites, search engine ads, and online banner ads.

However, since the Internet is a relatively young invention, digital advertising is a continuously evolving product. Today, companies are already dabbling on the use of chatbots and virtual reality for their advertising needs.

See:  Digital Trends To Disrupt The Consumer Goods Landscape In Asia

What is Out of Home Advertising (OOH)

OOH is defined as any advertising material shown outdoors that promotes a business. Common tools and spots used for OOH are billboards, benches, vehicles, and walls. OOH also includes newer advertising tactics like flash mobs and digital billboards.

Now that we have a clearer view regarding this two types of advertising, it is now time to learn more about when you should use OOH and Digital advertising. Which one should you use?

Is OOH right for me?

While most companies are quickly transitioning from traditional to digital advertising, it might be wise to step on the brakes and reassess your strategy. According to Ad Age, OOH advertising is the only form of traditional media to get a bump in terms of sales. In 2015, outdoor advertising grew from $7 Billion to $7.3 Billion.

And there is good reason for companies to still patronise OOH. While it is true that this type of advertising has been overshadowed by the digital kind, there is still some merit that OOH can give to businesses. Outdoor advertising still has a huge audience – Bus bench advertising in cities like Los Angeles, for instance, can still command an audience of 35000 to 50000 people per day.

The reason for this is because OOH has evolved with newer technologies. The spike of digital billboards, as well as creative advertisements still makes OOH relevant to this day. A good example of the evolution of OOH is an ad campaign created by online video streaming giant, Netflix. When the company launched in France, they placed digital screens on outdoor boards that showcased GIFs of their original shows. The clever bit is that these GIFs reacted to the current events of France. So when France was eliminated in the World Cup, the billboards showed a Martin Freeman looking upset with an accompanying headline that tells the viewer to take their mind off the bad news by watching Netflix shows. Check out the video below:

Outfront media has created case studies regarding the effectivity of outdoor ads. One of their campaigns was to help their client, BAI, a sparkling beverage brand, reach more audiences. With attractive billboards, they were able to increase awareness by 19% across three markets and the people who tried their product increased by 8%.

However, there are certain rules to be followed when it comes to making an effective OOH campaigns. According to Hangline, here are the 10 commandments of outdoor advertising.

Why you should join the Digital Advertising wave

While you should not completely whitewash the worth of OOH, you also cannot deny that digital advertising is the way of the future. While a lot of companies still invest in OOH advertising, that segment of the industry is losing ground. According to E-marketer, OOH will account for over 4% of total media spending in 2015. That percentage will continue to drop by 0.1 points each year. Here’s a graph on where marketers in China are spending their budget on:

According to a study conducted by Ad Age, in 2015, 80% of companies will increase their digital advertising in the next 12 to 18 months. This is because most companies nowadays are already reaping the benefits of promoting themselves online. Digital advertising is highly effective when it comes to driving sales, according to a report from Nielsen, Consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands who utilized online campaigns experienced three times in incremental sales for every dollar that they spent inondvertising. The study also solidifies that there is a healthy relationship between online advertising and offline sales.

More than just Advertising

Digital advertisements are also the best form of media to drive “word of mouth” marketing (besides actual conversation with people). A lot of personal engagement happens online and the various Internet tools speed this up to another level. Social sharing has been at the forefront of this phenomena and advertisers have utilized this to their advantage. According to Upward Labs, a highly recommended share can increase a value of a product by an average  8.8%.

Digital Advertising is also more efficient when it comes to targeting the right audience. According to Marketing Land, digital advertising is seen as five times more effective than direct mail in terms of cost-per-conversion.

Digital is also becoming the media of choice among people. In 2013, digital media has already surpassed TV in terms of time spent usage. The lead is expected to be even wider now and will continue to become even bigger as the years go on. In terms of wider audience, nothing beats digital advertising at the rate it is going. The graph below shows that digital media has overtaken TV in China.

See: How Much Of The Company’s Revenue Should Be Invested In Marketing?

Parting Words

Digital advertising is the safe bet when it comes to where you should start investing your promotional budget. The average adult spends about an hour a day surfing the internet. The same group also spends nearly the same amount on their mobile phones. Advertising’s biggest audience have surely gone online.

However, it would be a big mistake to ignore OOH advertising completely. If done well, OOH advertising could still be effective depending on the needs of your business. People still spend 70% of their times outdoors and there are still some advertising opportunities that you should not miss there. So it would highly depend on the needs of your business. OOH advertising is still effective to those seeking long-term brand awareness and targeted results (i.e. car owners for billboards). If you have any stories or experiences regarding our topic today, please feel free to write them down in the space below.

The ever evolving digital age has created new ways for consumers to purchase from various businesses. Before this, when customers learned of a product or service, they would have to go to a physical store to buy what they wanted. The old way of doing it was a potential customer stepping into a big retailer to choose from the various competing products on the shelves, often relying on salespeople who were hovering about for the information that they needed to make their purchase.

Over the years, technology has rapidly evolved the purchasing process of consumers. Today, most people tend to use the Internet to make informed decisions about their purchases. Not only that, but the Internet has also allowed them to make their purchases online.

This has led many marketers to start thinking differently about their marketing and sales strategies. These companies are now starting to dabble into something called Omnichannel Marketing. This is a strategy wherein businesses want to provide a seamless selling experience to their customers across multiple channels.

Omnichannel Marketing should not be confused with Multichannel Marketing as they have some differences. The next part will tackle what the difference is between the two.

Omnichannel Vs. Multichannel Marketing

Multichannel Marketing is the company’s ability to engage with their audience across different platforms. For example, if a company has a physical store, retailers, trade show booths, and a website, it can be said that it is engaging in Multichannel Marketing.

Omnichannel Marketing, on the other hand, wants to marry all of these marketing and sales channels into one seamless and integrated shopping experience for their consumers. This means that a customer can shop online using various devices like mobile, tablet, laptop, shop at a physical store or call a sales representative and the whole experience will still be cohesive and seamless.

Omnichannel Marketing also allows businesses to listen and respond on preferred channels and devices. Most marketers think that just because mobile is the hottest thing right now, they should focus all their marketing efforts in that channel. However, this is dangerous thinking, and the next part will tell you exactly why.

Image by On The Mark

Omnichannel Allows You To Listen And Respond To Consumer Preferences

A friend of mine was looking at the latest console from Nintendo at Lazada. He clicked on the “add to cart” button and decided to leave it there while he mulled things over. After a while, he noticed that the same item was still left in his online shopping cart on his phone with the Lazada app. He still did not budge and remained firm on not buying yet.

A few days later, he opened an email from the company telling him that there were only two items left in stock. Needless to say, he was the proud owner of the console after that. A few clicks directed him back to the purchase page and voila! Another transaction for the company.

Lazada, a popular online retailer in Southeast Asia, knows the value of Omnichannel Marketing. By offering a seamless and integrated shopping experience to the customer across desktop, mobile and email, they finally got the purchase. While Lazada obviously invests a lot in mobile, they also make sure to put some money in email retargeting. According to Baymard, 78 percent of items in people’s online shopping carts are abandoned. Retargeting those customers via email is proven to be an effective method of getting them to buy.

Nowadays, consumers use two or more devices when making a purchase. According to Forbes, Google’s vice president of display advertising, Neil Mohan, once stated that over 90 percent of consumers start a task on one device and finish it off with another. For the marketer to practice a successful Omnichannel marketing, one just needs to listen and respond to consumer’s preferences.

The Omnichannel Buying Journey

Mobile is still king when it comes to the starting point of multi-device shopping journeys. According to Marketing Charts, 65 percent of buyers started their shopping experience on a mobile phone, and 61 percent continue their shopping on a laptop or PC (4 percent on a tablet). On the other hand, 25 percent of people started their shopping journey on a PC/laptop and 19 percent of those finished their shopping on a mobile phone (5 percent on a tablet).

Image by Marketo

To better illustrate how a well-oiled omnichannel marketing machine works, Disney is one of the best examples. First, Disney starts you off with a grand website that is both desktop and mobile responsive. Their booking page for their Disneyland packages made it easy to make a  purchase. If that is not enough, they also have the My Disney Experience tool which lets you easily plan your entire trip to their resort. Things like attraction schedule, fast pass purchases, and even lunch/dinner preparations can are done on this tool. And once you are enjoying your time inside the park, they have a mobile app that lets you find the rides/attractions that you would like to experience as well as the estimated waiting time for each.

See: Future Proof Your Business By Using These 6 Data-Driven Marketing Strategies

The Growth Of Omnichannel Marketing In Asia

The continuous growth of omnichannel marketing is evident in Asia. In Singapore, where mobile shopping is huge, omnichannel marketing is going to be something that companies are striving to perfect. According to Go-Globe, more and more Singapore shoppers are using their mobile devices to make online purchases with the average consumer spending $1,861 annually on consumer goods. To make it clearer, over half of the shopping population in Singapore prefer to go online to do their shopping.

Major companies in the region have already noticed this trend and started fortifying their sales and marketing channels. One good example is the online grocery retailer, Red Mart, a company with a website that lets you purchase groceries. It now has a mobile app that lets consumers place orders anytime and choose a two-hour timeslot for home deliveries.

Redmart

With more and more customers using various devices when making their purchases, Omnichannel marketing is the future of consumer buying journey.  Big brands all across the world have already begun using this marketing system and the results have been quite positive. Don’t get left behind and make sure that you apply Omnichannel Marketing to your company or business. If you have any experiences of questions about Omnichannel Marketing, then feel free to share them with us in the comments section below.

Ever since man began selling his wares, the art of persuasion was never far behind. Marketing has always been at the heart of commerce, but it was in the Industrial Revolution where things really took off. The introduction of mass production heralded the need for more sophisticated methods to inform consumers about the new products being created. Thus the birth of the modern marketing tactics.

In the 1940s, competition amongst businesses started to intensify. Marketing suddenly became more sophisticated in a sense that various brands started dabbling with the idea of building customer relationships. To some extent, the bigger brands managed to foster some bond with their consumer, while the others that didn’t, typically failed and died. The race to build customer relationships was on.

Image by Azqoutes

The majority of marketing techniques used back then were based on pure instinct. This does not always yield the best results, because of this, businesses who could afford to buy and analyse data began using it. Suddenly, companies started targeting their customers with better precision and accuracy. Bigger brands were using these data not just to improve their overall marketing strategies but to strengthen their logistic operations as well.

Data quickly became a valuable commodity with multinational companies and companies solely offering data services were born. These companies help marketers see the complete process of events that leads a customer to purchase what you are selling and why they love your brand.

Data-driven Marketing By The Numbers

If you haven’t been implementing data into your marketing, then you are coming in a bit late to the party. According to CMO, over 78 percent of today’s marketers are using data when it comes to executing their marketing strategies. Furthermore, Media Math reported that 63 percent of marketers are spending more on data-driven marketing over the last year, with an additional 10 percent expecting to increase it even more.

But if you have started employing data-driven marketing tactics for your company, then good for you. In a recent survey by Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and Winterberry Group, 40.9 percent of marketing professionals have reported a growth in revenue from data-driven marketing related efforts.

 

However, in the graph above, you will see that there is still a huge chunk of marketers that experiences no change in revenues. That means as a marketer, you should never be complacent with your marketing efforts to avoid being in a revenue slump.

6 Ways To Drive Your Company Using Data

Let’s take a look on how you can push your data-driven marketing efforts even further and finally hit the revenue you want.

1. Rethink Your Customer’s Journey

As marketing channels become bigger and mixed, data suddenly plays a significant role in making sure that the customer experience is as seamless as possible. A lot of times, someone goes into a department store and looks at their mobile device to learn more about a product on the shelf. The customer will then have the option to buy it right there or go home and purchase it online.

According to Marketo, 65 percent of consumers start on a mobile phone and out of those, 61 percent then continue their journey on a laptop. But that is not the entire picture when it comes to customer journey.

Algorithmic attribution is a model marketers can use to excellently measure the success of each point of the customer’s journey when purchasing a product. This is becoming increasingly important, especially in today’s world where customers jump from one device to another before buying something.

This attribution provides the marketer with a better insight on which stage in a customer’s journey is the most critical and which channel and content work best. This data can then serve as a basis for the company’s investment decisions

2. Use Data To Connect To All Your Customers

With the fierce competition, most companies experience today, relying on the general demographics to create your buyer persona is no longer sufficient. Creating content that will appeal to your customer and give you that coveted ROI is much more challenging.

Your customers are different individuals and have varying likes and dislikes. Marketers of today need to cast a wider net in creating content that is more personalised and fit their customers’ needs and wants.

Take Arby’s for example; they succeeded in using data to figure out what type of message and channel works well for their customers. They knew (with data, of course) that their customers use TV and Twitter connectively to watch the Grammy’s.

Arby’s social media director tuned in to watch the show too and waited for opportunities to engage himself in the conversation real-time. Check out the tweet below:

The Twitter world loved it and re-tweeted it 77,000 times. This an exquisite example of how you can use data to create content that will connect with your audience.

 

3. Email Provides Great ROIs

By 2020, there will be 3 billion email users worldwide, which is significantly more than the 2.6 billion users in 2016. Given that data, it is not such a bad idea to push this powerful marketing channel even further.

According to WordStream, email marketing is the most-used digital channel and Facebook, with its almost 2 billion monthly active users, can make email marketing even better. And here is where we’ll talk about Facebook Custom Audiences.

Posting something on Facebook alone is not enough and might not give you the results you want. Facebook Custom Audiences is where you can use email addresses and create a custom audience for your company. Facebook will then use the emails you’ve listed and match it with actual Facebook users. Just define your audience, and you now have the power to reach the people that matter to you.

See: Mailing List 101: Your Guide To Building A Mailing List

 

4. Measure, Test And Adjust Your Marketing Efforts Using Data

Think about this; you may have a great video paid ad running on one of those popular news sites. Your sales are up so without looking at your data you figure that the ad may have something to do with it. But after a while, you decide to check the data, and you find out that you are not hitting your target market with the ad.  Your sales increase was due to something else, and in this case, it was not the video ad.

By measuring your marketing efforts, not only will you know which one works, but you will also eliminate any need for guesswork. This is the beauty when your marketing relies on data, the need for any “gut-feel” type of marketing approach is considerably lessened, and everything can be backed up by data.

Once you know what works, you can allocate more resources to that channel, test it out, and gather more data. Through constant measuring and testing, you can continuously mould a personalised and highly immersive customer experience that cultivates a long term and profitable relationship with your target audience.

 

5. Integrate Your Online Platforms With Google Analytics

Google Analytics is one of those must-haves if you want to acquire some useful data in your online marketing. If you have a WordPress site, you can easily add Google Analytics via this plugin. This will enable you to find out how visitors search for and use your website and it also uses universal tracking, which lets you track users across devices and platforms. Another nifty feature is page analytics, which helps you figure out which pages and sections of your website are getting more attention. All this information is in real time, so you can react and adapt quickly to different trends.

However, before going into any of that, you need to set up your account through Google Analytics. It will only take about three steps, and you are ready to go. You can also create multiple accounts if you have more than one website. A good tip would be to use services like Cyfe to efficiently manage your website.  This service allows you to monitor multiple websites and best of all – you can integrate it with Google Analytics for a more convenient way to track multiple data from various websites.

Once you have Google Analytics integrated with your website, you will be able to track or collect useful information like audience demographics, interests, location, language, and site visits.

As mentioned above, Google Analytics can also help you learn about the behaviour of your visitors. Lastly, Google Analytics can give you data regarding how many conversions your website has received and the path your visitor undertook to finish that conversion (i.e. how many landed on your website via your Facebook page.

 

6. Learn How To Automate

Marketing automation is one of the hottest buzzwords in the industry today. This is a software that helps put your marketing and sales engagements on autopilot. By doing the heavy lifting of sending out bulks of email and helping you prioritise your leads, marketing automation helps you generate more leads, close more deals, and effectively measure your marketing success.

A marketing automation software can send out thousands of emails automatically to your clients on a regular basis using a time that is set by you. The software can also determine which of your leads are ready to be engaged and which of them need a bit more time. This is done by the software recognising which of those possible leads are engaging your marketing efforts more.

Data is at the heart of this software – Marketing automation can also give you information on how successful your marketing campaigns are and where the leads are coming from. Without the need to do the heavy lifting of sending out emails and guessing which leads to pursue, the sales team could focus on closing deals with the hottest leads.

How efficient is marketing automation when it comes to determining the hottest leads? Simply put, the software can tell you when your lead is browsing your website in real time and will inform you through email that this will be the perfect time to call.

Marketing Automation software helps maximise the efficiency of your marketing and sales team. If you really want to have a data-driven company, getting a marketing automation software might just be your best bet.

Data Is The Future Of Marketing

There is very little doubt that cultivating a data-driven company is the future and the battle for the hearts of the consumer is bound to intensify in the years to come. It will still be up to the marketer to interpret information and turn it into a sound and effective strategy.

Data-driven marketing, however, is going to make marketers’ lives so much easier. It helps them focus on what really matters and create stronger bonds with customers that continuously evolves in the future.

Do you have any experiences regarding data-driven marketing? Let us discuss it in the comments section below – we would really love to hear your thoughts!

No matter what type of business you are in it is always a must to ask yourself one question – how much of the overall revenue should we put in marketing? And while there is not one definite answer to that question, there are a dozen blueprints from successful companies that you can use as a guideline to this question. Truth be told, even in the same industries, companies tend to have different budgets to their marketing efforts.

According to Chron, The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending 7 to 8 percent of your gross revenue for marketing if you’re company is doing less than $5 million a year in annual sales and your net profit margin is in the 10 percent to 12 percent range. However, this is just a guideline and there a lot of big businesses that do not even follow this number.

For these bigger companies (those falling in the $25 million and $11 million range) the magic number is about 9 to 10 percent according to Vital. As stated above, this stat does not refer to all companies. As a matter of fact, a lot of those big brands that we know and love are way off when it comes to marketing budget.

To prove this point, you don’t have to look any further than the giant tech company, Microsoft. Microsoft puts a huge 18 percent of its revenue in sales and marketing. That is about double what the recommended budget is. Shockingly, some companies are even taking it further than this figure.

The rise of digital marketing has a lot to do with this. As we go along, we shall learn more about this facet of marketing. First, let us first know more about marketing budgets of various companies and industries.

What’s In the Marketing Budget?

Marketing budget often varies per company and marketers are always playing the guessing game on how much their competitor is spending. The Wall Street Journal reported that marketing budgets actually vary by industry with consumer packaged goods leading the trail with 24% of their overall budget being spent on marketing.

marketing budget by industry

So, what does a marketing budget comprise of? It actually varies per company. According to the report, most companies put the expenses of their marketing employees in the general administrative expenses. But almost half of the companies that were surveyed include it in their marketing budget.

Another interesting thing to note is that majority of companies include direct marketing expenses such as trade promotions, direct marketing, and advertising in their marketing budget. This, again, varies from industry. Here’s a graph showing what’s in the marketing budget by industry.

marketing expenses by industry

Marketing Spending On The Rise

This year, the marketing budget average is expected to be at 12%, which is an increase from the 10% average budget most marketers had back in 2014. This is definitely good news to marketers who want to expand their reach and efforts. But why is the marketing budget climbing up each year?

According to Resonate, the largest factor affecting the increase in marketing budget is an increased need for technology. Particulary one that can expand influence by using precise, target, and people-based marketing. Companies are now aware that marketing in the digital age is more than just brand awareness. Marketing is the driving force in getting more revenue.

Most companies are realizing the important value marketing brings in. Buyers are now smarter when it comes to choosing products and have been interacting more with the marketing efforts from the company. Therefore, more effort is put it on customer experience and digital experience.

Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey found out that in 2017, website, digital commerce, and digital advertising will be the top 3 areas most companies will be spending their budget on.  The data shows 52% of marketers will increase the budget they spend on their websites. 61% agrees that digital commerce is a high priority in meeting their annual goals. And lastly, 65% of marketers will increase their spending on digital advertising.

How to allocate Budgets Across Channels

Given now the knowledge on what usually is included in a marketing budget and how it has recently been on the rise, the question about how to allocate your marketing budget must have come to mind.

Marketing budget allocation often factors in the nature of the business, competition, and customer behavior. However, here is an average on Marketing Spending in 2016.

marketing spend

According to Web Strategies, there is a decrease in budget allocation for traditional channels. This might be the case since in a separate study in 2014, it has been found out that the most effective marketing activities in generating ROI are email marketing, organic search, and content marketing. These activities together with marketing technologies and automation have proven to achieve remarkable results in the past years.  This year, marketers from around the world are predicting that content marketing, big data, along with marketing automation will continue to rise as the most important factor in boosting sales and leads. The graph below will show you an idea on where to allocate your digital marketing budget for 2017.

digital marketing techniques

Chart by: Business2Community

Rapid Digitalization in Singapore and SE Asia

As of January 2017, there are 320 million Internet users in Southeast Asia according to a report by ASEAN Up. In Singapore alone, a whopping 82% of its population are Internet users. 77% of them are active in social media. Here’s a quick glance on the digital population of Southeast Asia.

Asean Digital Population

In 2014, only an average of 7% from the total marketing budget has been spent on digital channels in Singapore. However, given the rapid increase of digitalization in the country, it is estimated that by this year, 34% of the total marketing budget is going to be spent on digital channels. According to SPH Magazines, the Internet is a vital part of the decision making process of a customer since 55% of Singaporeans conducted both online and offline product research prior to purchasing.

total advertising spend

Marketing to consumers has evolved over the decades and that has also changed how companies budget themselves. Consumers are a lot smarter. With plenty of options and competitors around, marketers have focused on other avenues for their efforts. With the continuous rise of internet users in Asia, companies have begun allocating much of their budgets into digital marketing.

This trend will continue to go up for the foreseeable future. With all of this information about marketing budget, now is the best time for you to create yours. Feel free to share with us how you tackled your marketing budget plan in the comments section.

 

The continued growth of the digital world has changed the way that companies are marketing their products to consumers in Asia. Strategies have rapidly progressed throughout time and can be categorized to four distinct styles.

The Evolving Marketing Landscape in Asia

The first one is traditional marketing, which tackles marketing strategies that existed before the boom of the Internet. Marketing efforts utilize traditional media like mail, radio, television, newspapers, and outdoor marketing like billboards and events.

traditional marketing

Pre-1995

The next one is mixed marketing where companies try to implement web based marketing, usually a static website, to the traditional ones.

mixed marketing

1995-2004

Then we have web centric marketing. This is where web based marketing has greater priority than traditional marketing. Search engine optimization and pay-per-click (PPC) and email are more greatly utilized – with the website a central focus. Traditional marketing remains a strong presence as these companies understand the need for online marketing but aren’t ready to let go of the traditional formats.

 

2005-2009

Finally, we have what is called modern marketing. In this type of marketing, the use of social media outlets like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc., are heavily prevalent and online marketing forms the bulk of the budget, with little reliance on traditional marketing. On the other hand, traditional advertising relied on diversionary tactics to get you to buy a company’s product, modern marketing aims to form a bond with their customers and companies engaging in modern marketing have already realised this shift in their thinking.

modern marketing

 

2010-onwards

As the digital space keeps evolving rapidly, marketing trends have emerged that could rapidly shift modern marketing in Asia even further in 2017, especially when it comes to consumer goods. Here are some of the big ones to keep an eye on:

Mobile Commerce

Large companies like Apple and Samsung have already launched their mobile payment services and for good reason. This is because 2016 has seen a huge spike in shoppers using their mobile devices to purchase goods.

Mobile-first apps like Instagram for example, is fast becoming the social media outlet of choice for businesses. According to Search Engine Land, this past year, Google has already announced that there are more searches done on mobile devices than on traditional desktop PCs. Mobile devices account for more than 60% of google searches.

Photo by Smart Insight

Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and PayPal are continuously growing because of this recent boom. More businesses are going to implement “mobile-wallets” in their payment models this year.

Social Shopping

Social Media is fast becoming one of the best ways for businesses to reach out to their audiences. Various social media outlets like Instagram and Facebook are already gearing their sites to make it more optimized for businesses and consumers to connect easily.

In 2017, these platforms will most likely bridge the gap between online commerce and physical stores closer.

Chatbots

Chatbot technology is getting better and better and the results could be big for businesses. A lot of big companies like Facebook and Microsoft have already invested huge amounts in the Chatbot technology because of the impact it could have in the future.

Chatbots offer a more genuine and personalized approach with regards to the transaction process with customers. Chatbots can give that human responsive feel that customers really love.

According to Daze Info, around 80% of all companies want to integrate Chatbots by 2020. In the US, 37% of the population are already saying that they are willing to buy from a ChatBot. A good chunk of the population has also experienced interacting with a Chatbot. This is definitely a sure sign that Chatbots are here to stay.

Photo by Daze Info

Personalised retargeting

The boom of mobile commerce has also given online retailers a problem. A lot of customers are abandoning their online shopping carts because mobile shopping also decreases the user’s attention span.

Did you notice how many emails you get from Amazon reminding you of items that you looked at or added to your cart? According to Baymard, e-commerce cart abandonment has risen to alarming levels from 60% in 2006 to 78% in 2017.

Because of this, more retailers are using a tool called Personalised Retargeting which gives customers more follow-up emails regarding their abandoned online shopping cart items. This gained a lot of success in 2016 and will most certainly be used more in 2017.

Virtual Retail

Virtual retail is going to be huge in 2017. This technology will allow customers to merge offline and online environment for a unique shopping experience. For example, virtual dressing rooms will allow you to try on clothes and see how it will fit without leaving the comfort of your home.

According to Digi-capital, virtual reality will become a $30 billion industry by the year 2020. Virtual Retail will continue to grow with applications ranging from health and beauty to the medical space. The car company, Audi has already announced that they are going to use VR to create virtual showrooms for their customers. Feel free to watch the video below:

Augmented Reality

Just like Virtual Reality, one of the biggest hits of 2016 was Augmented Reality. The biggest reason for Augmented Reality’s success is the mobile-app game, Pokemon Go, where users can catch their favorite virtual monsters in the real world. Augmented Reality application is really young, but because of the massive success of Pokemon Go, 2017 will be the year that Augmented Reality will really boom.

According to Expanded Ramblings, Pokemon Go has over a whopping 500 million downloads to date and has generated over a billion dollars in revenue. Expect a lot of other tech companies to follow this massive fad.

According to Digi-capital, the Augmented Reality revenue share will dwarf virtual reality in 2020 by a whopping $60 Billion.

 

Photo by Digi-Capital

Live Videos and 360-degree video

More people, and customers for this matter, crave interactivity in this digital age of ours. That is why one of the most popular social media experiences of 2016 was live videos and 360 degree-video.

Customers who feel that they are part of the whole experience are most likely to form a bond with the company. Live Videos make customers feel as if they are really taking part with the event while 360-degree video allow them to feel that they are manipulating and holding the product themselves.

Dunkin Donuts is a good example of a company who took advantage of Live Videos. They recently did a live video for the Valentine’s season where they  showed their “test kitchen.” They ended the video with a sweet surprise – a giant donut-themed wedding cake. You can watch the Facebook live video here:

A lot of businesses in the tourism and sports industry have already fully utilized these tools to their advantage. 2017 is going to be no different when it comes to Live Videos and 360-degree video.

Consumer Goods Company going direct to consumers and cutting down on their retail channels

Fast Moving Consumer Goods typically have a gap with its customers when it comes to communication. Normally these type of products rely on their distributors and retail stores to talk and form relationships with their customers.

However, the advances in digital marketing has allowed these FMCG companies to directly communicate with their customers through social media. This will help companies of that nature to better understand their customers and gain new insights.

Dollar Shave Club used this tactic to compete with giants like Gillette and Schick. Men who wanted an alternative to this pricier razors wanted a much closer bond with their razor company. Dollar Shave Club used social media and viral videos. The company skyrocketed. Today they sold to Unilever for $1 Billion, which is five times more than they were actually worth. Check out their video below which currently has over 24 million views:

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Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation is one of the best tools available for companies today. It is a type of software that enables business to put their marketing and sales efforts on autopilot by nurturing potential leads with highly personalized, useful content.

Marketing Automation has a huge amount of benefits as it can help a small sales team get invaluable insights into a business’ customer base to help them make data driven decisions. It also helps a sales team get focused on closing the deal by allowing the software to do the heavy lifting of sending up to thousands of emails per day.

When people hear of Marketing Automation, many actually believe that it is just a more complex Email Marketing. However, once your knowledge becomes deeper, you will realize that Marketing Automation has a huge advantage over an email service provider. Below is a chart that can show you the difference between the two:

 

Marketing Automation software like Infusionsoft can help businesses capture more leads and improve their conversion rates. These tools can easily manage the sales and marketing processes for business.

A good example of a business that will benefit greatly from Marketing Automation is Events Management. Imagine being able to send thousands of emails per day to clients. Especially if the company has a huge client database, Marketing Automation will greatly aid in getting those leads and keeping clients in the loop.

Marketing Automation can also have desirable effects like word of mouth marketing. By being constantly reminded of a company’s offerings, there is a great chance that he/she will refer that company to others. Keep in mind that 84 percent of people trust recommendations from people that they know.

Marketing Automation will also fortify a company’s repeat business because of efficient marketing. Selling to an existing customer requires less effort and results in a larger success rate than dealing with new customers.

By streamlining the sales and marketing process efficiently, Marketing Automation is going to be one of the hottest digital trends of 2017. Still think Marketing Automation won’t help businesses? According to Salesforce, Businesses using marketing automation experience a 451% increase in qualified leads.

Mobile Commerce, Social Shopping, Chatbots, Personalised Retargeting, Virtual Retail, Augmented Reality, Live Videos, Direct to Consumer, and Marketing Automation are going to be at the forefront of the consumer goods landscape in Asia. If you are in the marketing field or own a business, keep an eye on these trends.

With all these digital trends booming in 2017 and beyond, which one are you planning to use for your company? Let us know in the comments below which digital trend excites you the most.[/fusion_text]

In the last quarter of 2016, my business partner said to me, “Do you like to read business books?”

I told him, “I don’t mind, but I’m more of an article and video guy.”

He then replied, “That’s fine, but you have to read this book written by an American professor at Wharton.”

I replied, “You have thousands of American books that talk about how to become a millionaire, how successful people think, the 8-hour working week etc. etc.”

He said, “I will buy it for you, if you don’t like it then I will pass it to somebody else.” That’s fair enough since I had a long holiday planned in Thailand & Malaysia, I would definitely have time to read the book.

When you think of give and take, you may think of it in terms of business language – I scratch your back and you scratch mine. This is not only very common in business but also in personal life. If I help you with something, you can repay the favour sometime down the road.

While reading the book by Adam M. Grant titled “Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success,” I started reflecting on myself, my family & friends, career path, my business, and how I have been leading my life. For a lot of people including myself, looking back on what happened the previous year is something that we should do more often. It really helps to stop and think about what you have been doing, where you stand now, and where you would like to go.

All of a sudden, it hit me, I have been a Matcher. When people give me something or if I give something to someone, I kind of expect something in return. However, there are also many people in my life that have shaped me into who I am today. Those people are whom I was unable to give something in return. It was then that I decided, I will change things and become a Giver.

What are Givers, Takers, and Matchers?

According to the book my business partner gave me, plus a lot of international research, here are the differences between the Givers, the Matchers, and the Takers:

“A Giver culture is helping others, sharing knowledge, offering mentorship, and making connections without expecting anything in return. Meanwhile, in Taker cultures, the norm is to get as much as possible from others while contributing less in return. They expect the personal benefits to exceed the costs, as opposed to when the organisational benefits outweigh the personal costs. The Matcher culture is to help those who help you, maintaining an equal balance of give and take.”

When you start looking into organisations and how people behave, Takers most of the time, take it all. It may sound surprising but it is scientifically proven that companies with a Giver culture are more successful.

If that is the case, then why don’t more organisations develop a Giver culture? Frankly, many organisations essentially have a winner-takes-all market which is dominated by zero-sum competition for rewards and promotions. Most of the time, it is what the top management decides. Most Givers in the organisation discover quickly that Takers exploit them. Some realize that they need to become Matchers to survive the company culture.

How can your employees become givers?

Before talking more about how you can make sure that your company can implement a Giver culture, start thinking about your own employees.

When employees can freely contribute their knowledge and skills to others, the organisation’s effectiveness will increase significantly, these are some examples:

  • enabling employees to solve problems and get work done faster together
  • enhancing team cohesion and coordination
  • ensuring that expertise is transferred from experienced employees to new employees
  • reducing variability in performance when some members are overloaded or distracted

How can leaders make sure that they don’t hire Takers into their organisation?

Firstly, Takers tend to claim personal credit for successes (“I” versus “We” mentality). Secondly, “kissing up, kicking down.” is a pattern Takers tend to follow. This was originally derived from “naar boven likken en naar beneden trappen,” which was used in Netherlands. Thirdly, Takers tend to behave at the expense of others, e.g. badmouthing a peer who could potentially get a promotion, or by overcharging customers. Fourthly, recommendations and references from colleagues and direct reports are likely to be more revealing than those from bosses.

By making sure that those Takers are not selected for the position, it increases the odds of selecting the right candidate who is a Giver and who embraces the Giver culture.

What can be implemented in your organisation?

When employees witness unique or time-consuming acts of helping, they can nominate the Givers for small bonuses or recognition. One common model is to grant employees an equal number of tokens they can freely award to colleagues. By supporting such programs, leaders empower employees to recognise and reinforce giving while sending a clear signal that it matters.

The peer-bonus and recognition programs that have become increasingly popular at companies such as Google, Shopify, Southwest Airlines and Zappos reduce such “taker takes it all” behaviour.

Leaders play a big role in the development of the Giver culture within the organisation. I have learned through reading the book my business partner gave me, that as an employer, I need to be a role model in promoting generosity while at the same time remaining productive and fair.

I am grateful that I gave the book a chance. It has changed me both as a leader and as a person for the better.

For the April to June 2016 issue of The Singapore Marketer, I was interviewed by the Marketing Institute of Singapore. Here, I talked about how I started in digital marketing and gave vital information on how to be better at it. Check out the full interview below:

Daniel Heerkens is a Dutch Entrepreneur who has worked & studied in more than seven countries. Working previously for FMCG multinationals in The Netherlands, Malaysia & Singapore, he is now the Digital Marketing Strategy Expert at 2Stallions. TSM had a chat with Daniel to get his valuable insights on the digital marketing landscape and its correlation with public relations.

Daniel Heerkens Interview

What does your job entail at 2Stallions?

I am in charge of developing, planning and monitoring the digital strategy for MNC and SME business in South East Asia. I manage and monitor the digital marketing of the business, which means managing all facets of interaction with the client, including Web Development & Design, Content Marketing, SEO, SEM, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, Display Advertising and Display Retargeting. I am a bit of a digital nerd and love analysing web analytics data and interpreting reports for my clients. I have a great team supporting me.

They always keep the client at the fronts of their mind to ensure conversion rates are continually tested and optimised. My goal is to expand upon our testing culture for the whole business. Besides that, I’m involved in several committees at different Chambers of Commerce as well as Business Associations, where I advise MNCs and SMEs about their digital strategy. I can clearly see that while most businesses seem to understand the power of digital innovation, many have failed to apply it to transform their own business.

We do our best to educate businesses. For example, we ran a Content Marketing workshop based on demand from clients and the tech community. These are small steps to get more awareness for digital innovation, while keeping a low barrier to entry for all business, large or small, to learn and hopefully, implement it in their own business. We also run events to help the spread of digital innovation. Our recent event #SpeakEasySG, which attracted over a 100 attendees, explored how businesses at different stages of growth approach their digital strategy.

How did you get your start as a digital marketer?

I have always had a passion for marketing – or should I say understanding people’s behaviour and how to help them solve their challenges. My first experience was with FrieslandCampina (also known as Dutch Lady & Friso in S.E.A), researching why mothers are up trading from mainstream to premium infant formula and what were the underlying reasons for that behaviour. Part of the research indicated that these mothers would surf the web and find relevant information to justify their purchase of more expensive milk for their babies. Their unique behaviour fuelled me to pursue a career in Marketing with an emphasis on Digital.

What has been your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge and frustration is the lack of action taken by many businesses despite seeing the changing digital landscape. For example, in the Netherlands, where I’m from, I can clearly see that eCommerce has made a significant impact on our shopping streets. Outside of the top 4 cities in the country, the shopping space is clearly shifting to Digital, with shopping streets becoming emptier and emptier. This change happened within the last five years. This shows that Digital is rapidly transforming the entire business landscape and if businesses continue to ignore it, they may not be around for very long.

Share with us one campaign you did for 2Stallions with a remarkable result.

While we run many campaigns, our most recent one sticks out in my mind due to the remarkable result we achieved. We had a client approach us to drive online ticket sales to his event with TWO major challenges:

• We had only one week to promote the event.

• With eight other similar events happening in the month, there was tough competition for the same demographic.

We took on the challenge and ran the campaign for five days. Our team ran a three-pronged advertising campaign on Facebook and also ran online advertising on search engines to drive traffic to the ticket sales page AND convert these visitors. In five days, we were able to drive a staggering 2,772 in online ticket purchases. The client was over the moon as he saved on offline marketing channels, sales and printing costs AND he made an 18X return on investment. Needless to say, we’ve cemented a long-term partnership with this client moving forward.

Please list three things one/a company should be aware of when embarking on a new digital marketing campaign.

When hiring a digital marketing agency for your digital marketing campaign, you should do a check on the following:

1. Practice what you preach There is a very low barrier to entry in the digital space, which means there are many digital companies out in the field. You will find a very large spectrum in the quality of the work on offer. I honestly believe in walking the talk. When a company claims to be an expert in SEO/Content Marketing, don’t just ask them for their portfolio of clients but also for work they do for themselves. It’s like dealing with an interior designer. Would you trust one who doesn’t have a good looking showroom to create a great space for you? For digital agencies, have a look at their SEO or traffic before they start on an SEO/SEM campaign for your business. Alexa. com, owned by Amazon, is a simple and effective way to check their site traffic and ranking.

2. Price shouldn’t always be a reference point Good quality comes with a reasonable price tag, especially when you expect proper development and design to be done. Don’t expect the world if you are not willing to pay for it. Shortcuts also happen a lot in the Digital Space under the hood, so be smart about it and ask for clear explanations. A digital agency should be able to answer sufficiently to your questions as to HOW the campaign they are running is effective for your business.

3. Change is the only constant in Digital Digital is changing so fast that even digital companies are continually playing catch up to the latest trends in SEO or Content Marketing. Always make sure you work with an Agency who knows the latest digital innovations that can implement it for your business. See if they have their own blog, how much traffic their website gets (see trafficestimate.com for reference) and whether they have good references.

Digital has quickly become a crucial component of every marketer’s brand strategy, what are the important elements of synergising public relations and digital efforts?

Synergising public relations and digital efforts is the key to every marketers brand strategy. I have done quite a fair bit of Digital International PR and based on my experience the most important elements are:

1. Be featured on websites with a high thought leadership authority that is ranked well in Google. These website are seen as the leader in their particular industry and other websites will take their news and put it on their own websites.

2. When these websites feature you, it is crucial to receive a link back to your website. This will drive immediate traffic to your website and it may also improve your website’s ranking on Google for SEO. 3. Analyse your closest competitor in your industry field and see how they are doing in the digital space. Also study the industry leader in the Digital Space and try to find a substitute product or service you can leverage on.

3. Analyse your closest competitor in your industry field and see how they are doing in the digital space. Also study the industry leader in the Digital Space and try to find a substitute product or service you can leverage on.

What is digital one-big-thing that one should be looking forward in the year 2016?

The Digital One-Big-Thing in 2016 is clearly Content Marketing combined with Marketing Automation. Those two elements are crucial in attracting potential leads and converting them into customers. Content Marketing & Marketing Automation are not simply buzzwords but important drivers of businesses online.

What kind of digital marketer would you call yourself?

I think of myself as a ‘roll-up-my-sleeve-and-get-dirty’ type of Digital marketer. I am hands-on with clients and strongly believe in explaining concepts to businesses to ensure they understand their investment fully. Our diverse team has excellent technical and design capabilities that synergise to help clients achieve their business objectives online.

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