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Strategic marketing and branding is one of the leading sectors in marketing today. Gone are the days of ‘set and forget’ marketing tactics or ‘hope for the best’ strategies; nowadays, it’s all about strategic insights and taking action on collated data. One of the affects of this shift is that marketers must now have at the very least a good awareness of the impact of their work – and, hopefully, an ability to understand that impact.

As we’ve seen before throughout the Marketing Expert Series, marketers come from all sorts of backgrounds and paths. For some, jumping into the world of marketing is no surprise: a logical step from their background or education that just makes sense. One such individual is our Expert for this issue, Bernard Yong, the Head of Strategic Marketing and Brand Experience at Mah Sing Group, one of Malaysia’s leading property developers. With an affinity for data and analytics, and with a Bachelor’s in Software Engineering, it’s no surprise really that Bernard found his way into marketing, bypassing the IT industry altogether.

Join us for this issue of the Marketing Expert Series to gain a deeper insight into the world of property development marketing and strategic marketing and branding.


Welcome, Bernard! Thanks for joining us in this issue of the Marketing Expert Series! Let’s start with the basics. Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get to where you are now? 

My background actually is in Computer Science, more specifically in software engineering – I have a Bachelors. However, I haven’t touched a single line of code ever since I graduated back in 2002. I guess at that time, a career in programming just didn’t strike my fancy. After graduating, I did a stint of corporate advisory (with an international accounting firm), where we advised clients on fund-raising and listings.

I first got into property in 2006. Although I had no background nor experience whatsoever in property at that time, I’ve always had a personal interest in property as a product, as an investment vehicle, and as an embodiment of someone’s dreams and aspirations. My role was as Marketing Manager, handling high-end strata projects in Kuala Lumpur.

From there, I moved from strength to strength, and have been in property – in one form or another – ever since. My initial years were focused on sales & marketing, and I made the switch to specialize in Branding and Strategic Marketing when I made the move to TRX City Sdn Bhd back in 2012. Moving away from the core of sales and marketing, into branding and B2B initiatives, was a great learning experience.

I joined my current company in 2017, and my portfolio – besides handling branding & strategic marketing – expanded in 2020 to include the nascent Experience Management division – which I basically kickstarted. The purpose of this new division is to drive increased customer satisfaction amongst our buyers.

Were you always interested in marketing? How did you find your way into this career?

I’ve always had an interest in marketing. During my 20s, I embarked on quite a number of start-ups and business ventures (part-time), ranging from an online clothing retailer to an aggregator of property news. As with any start-up, a robust understanding of marketing was a must, and all these learnings complemented and added value to what I was doing in my day job.

Currently, you’re the Head of Strategic Marketing and Brand Experience at Mah Sing Group. What sort of work does Mah Sing do and what role do you play there?

Mah Sing is one of Malaysia’s largest property developers, and my role is multifold as I head two departments within the organization.

One of my departments – Branding & Strategic Marketing (BSM for short), is the steward of the brand, focusing on driving positive brand perception, awareness and recall. This department also handles all group-related marketing initiatives, ranging from group sales campaigns to partnerships and sponsorships. We’re also tasked with improving overall marketing efficiency for the group, in terms of increased conversions, reduced CPAs, and improving overall marketing ROI.

My second department, which is Experience Management (XM), serves to improve customer experience and satisfaction with regards to our business. We kickstarted a ‘Voice of Customer’ program, where we obtain real-time feedback from customers, and use it to measure out NPS and CSAT scores. With this in place, we’ve then had to work to develop the right KPIs, set up the right organizational structures, obtain the buy-in from key stakeholders, in order to drive change and improvements.

Property development is an interesting industry. What sort of challenges do you face and how do you overcome them?

Yes, it’s an interesting industry. The main challenges now are, and I’ll keep it brief:

  1. The awareness and discovery phases of marketing are increasingly taking place online. This may not seem like a big deal for most industries, but property is still a very bricks-and-mortar physical product. Customers mostly still want to see the physical product (in our case, it’ll be the show unit), before they sign on the dotted line. So, it is this straddling off online and offline, or online-to-offline (O2O as they call it), and striking the right balance, which poses an interesting challenge. We overcome this by building up our online offerings and channels, as we’ve always been strong offline. By building up, I mean ensuring that the sales process is digitized so that it can be monitored and tracked, focusing on increasing the effectiveness of our web assets, shifting more spend to digital marketing, and training and upskilling our team to sell across different modes of communication.
  2. In Malaysia, the property market is going through a soft patch. Structural issues mostly – oversupply caused by many years of rampant development, economic slowdown caused by COVID-19, stagnation in wages and compressed affordability, etc. We’ve responded by shifting our product offerings over the years, to focus more on mass affordable properties. 91% of our recent products are priced below RM700K. The days of selling million-ringgit properties are for now at least, put on hold in view of buyer preference and sentiment.

Let’s talk about you personally, you’re a successful marketer with a lot of experience in branding and creating strong customer experiences. How have your career experiences shaped you as a marketer?

I think all our experiences, be it career or personal, help shape who we are as a professional. There were many lessons learned, and yes mistakes made. I think given my background in IT, and my fondness for data and analytics, I’ve evolved into a marketer who is very much focused on performance.

No matter what we roll out, my question to my team is always “Well, how did it do? Did it meet our objectives?”. The days of execution for execution’s sake, or as the famous saying goes “Half of our marketing budget is going to waste, the problem is I don’t know which half”, are long gone. Marketing is becoming increasingly data-centric, and attributable, and that has greatly informed the way I approach marketing, and even branding in general.

Looking back at your career, is there any experience that you feel had a bigger impact on your life as a whole? Or do you feel like they all add up?

They definitely all add up. I can name one experience which really made me pause and evaluate myself and my approach to leadership. There was one incident where my department suffered a flurry of resignations. Needless to say, this was highly discouraging – to me personally, and disruptive to our operations.

Looking back, I believe I could have perhaps been more attuned to the sentiment of the team, and been that stronger leader they needed at that time. A bitter pill to swallow, yes, but a necessary one. That has definitely impacted the way I lead now, hopefully for the better. I’m still learning.

Now, COVID-19 – the topic none of us can ignore. How have the lockdowns and movement control orders impacted the property market and your work at Mah Sing?

It definitely has impacted the property market. While interest is still high, people are still registering their interest and making bookings (online), there is still a lot of waiting and seeing before they finalize their sale (sign on the sales and purchase agreement). We hope that with the NRP announced recently, the opening up of the economy will happen sooner rather than later.

Do you think there will be a lasting impact from the pandemic that will affect how property developers and indeed marketers go about their business?

Yes, it will. This has been a global, market shifting experience. One that will leave a lasting impact. For one, the way property developers design properties will change. From the previous focus on increasingly fancy common areas and a focus on ‘placemaking’, we have shifted to a strategy of ‘homemaking’, whereby the home is now the core of your personal life. A home is now to be more flexible, cosy, intimate, secure.

In terms of marketing, the massive shift to online and virtual channels will definitely affect how we plan and execute our marketing campaigns. We’re still experimenting with a lot of different formats and mediums, and it’ll be an interesting journey of learning for sure.

What’s next for you, personally? Is there anything you’re looking forward to most when this pandemic is over and done with at last?

I most look forward to hitting the skies and travelling with my family again! I think 99% of people out there would echo this sentiment.

Any advice you’d give to young and aspiring marketers specialists? 

To achieve success for all your plans and initiatives, you need to know what success looks like. What is the outcome (measurable) that you want to achieve? Plan that out, measure it, and work your butt off to achieve it. In today’s world, there is no longer a divide between traditional and digital marketing. Marketing = Digital. So, get comfortable with metrics and analytics, it’ll serve you well.

Thanks for spending some time with us, Bernard! How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more about you?

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bernardyong/

Mobile/WhatsApp: +6012-5266551

 

 

 

 

Digital marketing has taken a turn since 2020, expanding and growing into industries it hadn’t really touched before. Demand for digital tools like cloud computing and enterprise management software has increased. Marketing cloud software has never been more important. Growth and development in the cloud software industry have flown to the top of the list, with brands and companies clamouring for it to support their remote staff and clients.

In this issue of our Marketing Expert Series, we get to meet Elena Sanchez, Marketing Director for ASEAN at Infor. Join us as Elena shares her experiences and her passion for marketing in this truly motivating and inspirational issue of the Series!


Welcome to the Marketing Expert Series, Elena! It’s great to have you with us! Let’s start with the basics, tell us a bit about yourself! How did you get to where you are now? 

Thanks for inviting me!

About me in a couple of words: originally, I’m from Spain, I always have a big smile, and have strong values. I am a mother of two young kids so I run double or triple shifts!

When I was younger, I wanted to create “new things” so I became an Industrial Design Engineer. When I realized that engineers are normally stuck with plans and 3Ds I did a Masters in Marketing Management and started my marketing career in the lovely city of Valencia, Spain.

Then, Singapore…just happened! I was on a fun trip with friends through Asia and I felt in loved with the city so, a month later, I found myself a job… and it’s been almost 11 years!

Now I lead the ASEAN field marketing at Infor.

Cloud Marketing

What was it that attracted you to this line of work?

I am one of those people that really love what they do. I love marketing strategies, understanding the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ behind customer decisions and the beauty of tracking the intent through the sales cycle.

I love the art of testing and bringing the right content that will attract and convert through the right channels. I also love seeing how our customers improve their processes with our software and become brand advocates, that’s the best possible marketing you can do!

To me, in brief, marketing is the art of making the right impression on our customers’ minds so we can find, influence and win their trust to choose our products and stay with us.

The biggest reward for a marketeer like me is seeing our customers become more efficient and bringing that value to their own clients. That’s always the cherry that tops my cake every day.

Looking back at your career, it’s clear you have a lot of experience throughout the region across a variety of industries. Are there any specific experiences that believe helped shape your career?

Dozens of experiences shaped me into the person I am today.

Starting humble and grounded is a key one. My first job in Singapore was in a small local SI/Cloud Computing company. In this role, I learnt to be hands-on to the max and wear many hats, be versatile and work with a tiny budget. I was doing the end-to-end of the campaigns, from the strategy to the graphic design of digital campaigns – thank God, I had a design background! – to the managing of the platforms (google ads etc.) and data analysis.

I couldn’t afford fancy agencies, so I had to think “cheap” and creative and find partners with a budget! I even re-launched the company website and ended up coding meta-keywords, editing content and changing URL titles etc. myself. This truly paid off as most of our leads started coming inbound.

Later I joined the multinational world where I had more resources, proper marketing automation software, multiple stakeholders and teams that would support you and helpful agencies like 2Stallions that could help outsource and scale the campaign management.

In this environment I learnt to adapt and collaborate widely, it is a different ball game where communication is king to avoid siloed work.

Elena Sanchez - Marketing Cloud SoftwareCurrently, you are the Marketing Director for ASEAN at Infor. Can you tell us about Infor and what it is that the company does?

Infor is a multi-billion-dollar Cloud Software company. Our biggest value proposition is around the deep industry-specific design of our software as our Industry Cloud Suites are designed for the industry needs, so the majority of the functionality is there out of the box.

This fact, plus the ability to be truly on a multi-tenant AWS cloud – to save cost, upgrades, maintenance etc. – and combined with our elite customer support makes us a powerful software option in those industries we play in.

Infor is a massive, multinational company with offices all over the world and thousands of employees and customers. What is it like to be a Marketing Director at Infor?

Even if the company is big, you tend to work with the same 50+ regular people. It is a matter of good communication horizontally and vertically while orchestrating the show.

The culture is one of the big pillars for Infor, people here are nice and friendly and my team is just SIMPLY AMAZING! Super-efficient, pro-active and with a big sense of accountancy. I have a lot of love for each of them.

Only one thing to confess, I am a very social person so one of the skills I had to develop through the years in the multi-national environment was to control my long chit-chatting, sometimes you can’t possibly get the job done if you don’t focus and cut to the point.

Does the company’s size impact the way you develop your strategies?

Yes, it certainly does.

Bigger companies usually mean bigger budgets, bigger policies, more tools, stricter brand guidelines and messaging, bigger targets, more reporting, and a longer approval process.

All this impacts the campaign strategy and the timelines to put a campaign to market.

Now, COVID-19 – I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask how it has affected Infor? Has there been a change in demand for your services?

Every problem comes with an opportunity! For example, Supply chain software is in high demand, COVID has caused disruption in logistics globally. Companies had to deal with peaks on demand for certain products, source other materials and products etc. and certainly not all companies were able to cope with changes in demand patterns, track and trace their products through the chain or forecast as needed.

On the other hand, this tiny virus has caused quite a lot of damage in many of our targeted sectors and hence, many of our customers put their IT budgets for software on hold.

However, Infor is still growing despite the pandemic and we are seeing a big shift to “cloud” software. Many companies struggled to provide remote work-from-home work as they were not on the cloud before, or had no way to access it if not in their offices.

How has the pandemic impacted your marketing strategies?

We shifted to 100% digital, what else could we do? We had no other choice than to think digital and think creatively.

All those beautiful fun events in Thailand and elsewhere were converted to sitting in front of laptops at home. No packing and flight needed but also no afterparty with wine mingling with the customers. I never thought of running a large event 100% online, but it is possible! Even virtual wine tasting is possible too!

Where do you see the region as a whole going due to the impact of COVID-19, any lasting B2B trends you think the industry will show as a result of the pandemic?

In my view, 2022 will be a “more normal” year and some trends will continue:

  • Hybrid events with virtual and in person options.
  • Hybrid work arrangements to allow people to work partially or even totally from home as a default.
  • Also, more trust on employees working from home. Previous miss-conception of “work from home” is not efficient.
  • More cloud-based applications, less on-premises software.
  • Possibly some companies will reconsider the amount of travel they used to do and reduce it.

 

Elena Sanchez - Marketing Cloud Software

What about you, when this pandemic is over, what’s next?

  1. Party!!!!! big hugs and large catch ups.
  2. First stop: Spain to see the family.
  3. Make a bucket list of trips to do, get rid of my mask and continue smiling

Any advice you’d give to young and aspiring marketers? 

Recipe for success: listen to your audience, research your key competitors, dare to be different and add a pinch of creativity and lots of love. Test it out and make sure you know how to measure success, run pilot campaigns and scale up what works, analyze results and try again.

Most importantly: enjoy what you are doing and never stop learning!

Thank you for sharing your experiences and insights with us, Elena! How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more about you or Infor?

People are welcome to email me at elena.sanchez@infor.com

 


The Marketing Expert Series features marketing and communications experts from across every industry. Every month, 2Stallions will showcase the stories and expertise of marketing experts from around the world, join us as we explore how marketers navigate the challenges of the regions and industries they work in. If you’d like to be featured in a next issue of the Marketing Expert Series. Please reach out to us via email.

If you are interested in building your own company’s digital advertising, get in touch with us today, and find out how you can optimize your digital marketing strategies.

 

 

Quality website traffic is the lifeblood of every business with an online presence. Driving more traffic to your website is one of the key functions of most digital marketing initiatives, the argument being that once you’ve got them on your site they are exposed to what you’re selling and will, hopefully, make a purchase.

One of the most vital tools to help drive traffic in the right direction is Google Analytics, which comes packed with data! For the uninitiated, leveraging Google Analytics’ insights to boost traffic and search engine ranking can be tricky, but with the right understand and the right approach it can be done. Just remember that like most things in life, results aren’t going to be instantaneous – but they will be sustainable!

A Quick Note about Traffic

Website traffic can be divided into two basic types: organic and paid. 

Organic traffic is what happens ‘naturally’; this is where your search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing strategies can really make a difference. Both these strategies can help lift your visibility online, making you easier to search for and findable.

Paid traffic, on the other hand, is the traffic generated from when you pop some funding into advertising to make sure that your links and posts appear in front of the people most likely to click through to your website site or landing page. 

7 Ways to Use Google Analytics to Increase Website Traffic

1. Understand your Audience

Knowing your audience is the first and perhaps the easiest step to take to increase your website traffic. Luckily, Google Analytics has always been a big provider of information to help you form a solid picture of what your existing audience is interested in. 

One of the best and most sustainable ways to build organic traffic is to make sure you know what they are searching for and generating relevant keywords from that information. The trick with keywords is to imagine what your target audience might be searching for when they go looking for your product or service. For example, if you sell hairdryers, your target audience would probably be searching for terms like ‘hairdryer’ or ‘best hairdryer’, they may also be searching for product-adjacent items like ‘curling irons’ or ‘heat protection hairspray’. The key is to understand what your audience is typing and working with the data. Google Analytics provides insights into how your audience finds you – their sources, if you will – and this includes information like keywords and search terms.

2. Identify Your Best Content & Optimize

One of the best things about Google Analytics is its ability to tell you what’s working on your website and what’s not. Using page and content reports, you can see exactly where your traffic is spending the most time on your website and where you’re losing their interest. Using this information you can identify your strongest content and pages and improve on areas where you’re weaker.

Another great aspect of Google Analytics is being able to see just how your website visitors are traversing through your site – you can see entry points and exits – and this should add another layer to your optimization strategy. If you’re seeing a lot of traffic come in on a handful of blog posts, then you know they’re catching people’s attention, but maybe you’re losing them on your ‘sign up’ or ‘contact us’ page and you’re not sure why. It might be something as simple as a broken ‘submit’ button, but it could also be that navigation is too difficult or your contact forms too complicated. Remember that most of us like to keep things simple.

3. Identify Potential New Markets

Google Analytics can show you where people are accessing your website from – what countries and cities. If you’re a small company with a local presence and you want to keep it that way, you can use this information to make sure you’re reaching your local audience by changing up your targeting strategy. On the other hand, you might be able to use this opportunity to expand to new markets in different cities or countries outside of your normal target zone. If you find a high demand from outside your zone, why not explore it?

4. Stay on top of Incoming Data

One of the great things about Google Analytics is that you can set it up to email reports to you to provide you with key highlights or detailed insights, depending on what you’re after. Getting this information delivered straight into your inbox can help you act more quickly on incoming data. If you’re getting highlights you’ll see drops and spikes and these will help give you an idea about how your site has done and whether you need to make any adjustments or tweaks. 

5. Discover your Best Traffic Sources & Referrers

Website traffic sources can show you where your getting your website traffic from. As we mentioned, it helps you identify the keywords that people are using to find your site, but Google Analytics can also help you figure out where your traffic is originating – are your organic tactics working? Are your paid campaigns doing their work? What are your best referrer sites? Referrers are sites through which your audience is finding their way to your website – this could include social media, affiliate links, or SEO backlinks. It’s important to know where your audience is coming from you so you can nurture those sources to make sure you maintain that traffic stream.

6. Be Mobile-First

Google Analytics can show you what devices are being used to access your site. Mobile-centric is on the rise, and all websites and online platforms need to put their best foot forward to allow people to visit them on their mobile devices. In fact, mobile-friendliness is one of the main factors in increasing SEO ranking. Using Google Analytics will let you keep an eye on just how mobile-friendly people are finding your site and whether visitor behaviour changes depending on their activity on mobile.

7. Don’t Focus on a Single Metric

This is a key point. Google Analytics offers a whole host of different kinds of data and it can be easy to get lost or to focus on just one data point, but it’s important to use context to get the most out of your data. Don’t fall into the trap of the single metric, make sure you take a look at the bigger picture as well to work up a proper data profile to give you the strongest ability to drive traffic to your website.

Final Thoughts 

Getting quality website traffic can be tricky if you don’t know where to start. Using Google Analytics can definitely help you identify your site’s strengths and weaknesses and help you find out where your current traffic is coming from. Making the most of the data you’re getting is important to any good digital marketing strategy.

If you’re not sure where to start, or you’d like to step up your data-driven digital marketing, we’re here to help! Get in touch and we’ll talk!

Consumer electronics, communications, marketing – elements that combine very easily if you are familiar with the market you work in. Electronic industry giants have a unique approach to market to the tech-savvy citizens of Asia. With the pandemic turning 2020 upside down, how has the industry been impacted? More importantly for us, how have its marketers adapted to the changes we are all facing this year?  

Straight out of university and into the whirlwind of experiences and growth, comes Matthew Hui. The Regional Consumer Marketing Manager for Sony Asia Pacific, Matthew started his career journey on a different path, one that took him on a roundabout journey through the industry and the region, until it brought him to Singapore and the role he is now in. Join us now with the kick-off of our Marketing Expert Series, and learn more about how Matthew has adapted and learned from the many experiences and perspectives he has encountered throughout his professional and personal life.


Welcome to the Marketing Expert Series, Matthew, thank you for joining us as its inaugural interviewee! Let’s kick off with a bit of your history. Tell us a bit about your journey so far. How did you end up in your current role? 

I joined Sony right after graduating from university as a management trainee in Hong Kong. I went through quite a few rotations during the first two years of my career, working in multiple functions to understand the whole operation flow. During these years I learned how a consumer electronic firm operated, from backend operations like customer service and logistics, sales and marketing initiatives such as online marketing, product marketing, marketing communication, and  even front end direct store sales. 

In the end, I landed in the position of Sony’s product marketing manager in Hong Kong. This role oversees decision making for product marketing – so every day I am making decisions across different units from logistics to retail, from ATL/BTL marketing to after sales services – and my experience and understanding of Sony’s operations helps me with this.

After a few more years working locally, gaining more experience, I challenged myself and took on a new regional role in B2B product marketing for Asia Pacific. 

After a couple more years, the new role of Line Up Manager gave me the opportunity to travel between Singapore and Hong Kong. 

Most recently, in 2018, I took a permanent station in Singapore and moved back to my main focus, marketing consumer electronics in South East Asia, and this is where I’m still at right now.

So, what first drew you to marketing? Was it something you always wanted to do?

I studied business, with finance as a major because I thought that becoming a fund manager would be cool.  After a few years of studying, and actually working in the finance industry, I discovered that  sometimes, in the finance industry, your efforts and contributions to society aren’t very tangible or direct. This was not for me. I wanted a job where I could work on something direct, where your effort can be visualized, seen, and really make an impact on society. Apparently, what I was looking for was marketing, and just like that, I found my career path.

Right now you work with Sony APAC, what do you enjoy most about your role with such a giant in the industry?

Working at a tech consumer electronic giant is cool, every month you are launching something new into the market. There is never an end to new experiences, new things to try, and new things to learn in a company with such a diverse product portfolio targeting such a large and variable market segment. 

And what’s it like working in the electronics industry as a marketer? 

Well, marketing in the  electronics industry may not be as advanced as in the SAAS/ App industry, where  marketers rely on real time augmented marketing driven by data collected from  customers at every touch point. 

Being a marketer in the electronics industry is very hands-on. You need to have a good sense and understanding of all the latest marketing trends, skills, and technologies as well as a well-honed  sensitivity to data. At the same time you also need to have a feel for the human touch because you have many opportunities to communicate face-to-face with dealers, customers, and/or business partners. I’d say it would be good to be an ‘all-rounder’ as an electronics industry marketer. 

Are there any professional or personal experiences that influence your marketing style?

My extensive marketing experience with both local and  regional, crossing both B2B and B2C electronic marketing allow me to be flexible to understand different perspectives. This helps with bringing new insight into current marketing decisions I have to make. 

Many industries have been impacted one way or the other by the pandemic, I imagine it’s the same for consumer electronics, has it impacted your marketing strategies in any way? 

Yes, of course. Due to the pandemic, customers are staying at home more and more and the chance that they visit brick-and-mortar shops is very low. As a result, as marketers, we have to shift our marketing strategies to be more online driven. We also have to be sympathetic to different customer situations and tailor our targeted approaches accordingly. However, I also see it as an opportunity for marketing as customer time spent online will increase which means that we can have more engagement with the customer online. 

Have you had any positive or negative surprises due to pandemic that have impacted your tactics or methods?

This situation has never happened before,  and I’ve seen a big change in human behavior because of it. I am constantly relearning how to market to our audiences these days. Recently, I’ve seen customers engage a lot more with online advertisement. They’re more influenced by the ads they see, and the influencers they follow. I am seeing a general shift throughout the industry from storefront conversion rates to online conversion rates during the lockdown. Recently, however, I’ve also seen a recovery in offline sales as well. I believe this is due to the customers now being more eager to purchase when they are able to visit a shop front than they maybe were in the past, because the chance of visiting a physical store now is more valuable. As a result, while they’re out at the shopfront they are more determined and more ready to purchase. 

On top of that, the ability to test or try out a product before purchase is harder, at the moment, so people are more likely to buy sight unseen, so to speak.  All these are things that I am still  adapting to, trying to create the most effective way to market our products. I  believe that’s not not a bad thing in marketing, to adapt to changing situations,  because we must always take customer behavior changes into account.

Do you see any lasting marketing changes that you and the industry are going to have to embrace after COVID-19?

I definitely believe customers will be driven online, and I think that the online portion of above-the-line (ATL)  marketing is going to increase because of it. I also think there will be more and more  e-commerce. For offline marketing, I think brick-and-mortar stores will be increasingly focussed on customer experience building instead of converting sales, largely because of this shift to e-commerce. 

What about for you, personally, when this pandemic is over, what’s the next big thing on your horizon?

I can’t wait to travel. Being a marketer, I like to stay sharp on things that are happening in the world, and  travelling allows me to gain more insight into different perspectives and customer behaviors. I can’t wait to travel again, for business to get first hand experience in local markets and, of course, also for pleasure, to reconnect to the world. 

What is some advice you’d give to young and aspiring marketers? 

Keep exploring. Keep learning and adopting new ideas. Something that’s definitely right today won’t necessarily be right tomorrow. Being a marketer means staying close to what is happening in the world,  so don’t let narrow-mindedness or your own fixed experiences defeat you.  The more experienced you are, the more you have to jump out of your comfort zone and listen to others. Challenge yourself and dare to learn from  a wrong decision. 

Thank you for sharing these insights and experiences, Matthew! How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more?

In my free time, I love vlogging and photography to record my life. You can connect with me via my Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Can’t wait to connect with everyone!


The Marketing Expert Series features marketing and communications experts from across every industry. Every month, 2Stallions will showcase the stories and expertise of marketing experts from around the world, join us as we explore how marketers navigate the challenges of the regions and industries they work in. If you’d like to be featured in a next issue of the Marketing Expert Series. Please reach out to us via email.

If you are interested in building your own company’s marketing presence, get in touch with us today, and find out how you can optimize your digital marketing strategies.

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!

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