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Increasing Global Digital Population

It’s hard to imagine a world without the Internet.

Billions of people are going digital to search for information, shopping for groceries or do their banking. That’s why businesses should follow the suit and master the digital marketing basics.

However, you can’t expect to become a digital marketing expert overnight. The field is vast and involves several concepts necessary for establishing a solid online presence and meeting consumers in the digital realm.

In this introduction to digital marketing, we’ll help you understand all the modern marketing techniques it constitutes, why they’re essential for your business, and how to use them to your advantage.

Billions of people are connected worldwide via the internet. From searching for information to shopping for groceries or banking, the internet has become an essential part of our day-to-day lives.

In fact, as of April 2022, there are over 5 billion active Internet users. That is 63% of the global population

What is Digital Marketing?

Very simply put, ‘digital marketing’ refers to all marketing efforts that take place on the Internet.

It involves promoting your products or services on digital channels such as via a website, social media, or email.

Digital marketing is also about leveraging consumer insights. It uses data to formulate marketing approaches targeted at specific market segments.

For example, checking the number of impressions of your blog posts lets you determine how many times visitors view the content. It also gives an idea of what type of topic appeals the most to viewers and tailors your content according to user behaviours.

The advantage of using data to sell online is that it allows companies to make calculated marketing decisions. Knowing who to target and where to sell online gives digital marketers the ability to estimate budget spending for a certain set of Return Of Investment (ROI) goals.

Whether it’s inbound marketing or digital marketing for clients, common KPIs for digital marketers include increasing brand awareness, lead generation and conversions across different digital marketing channels.

Digital Marketing Introduction: The Fundamentals

The role of digital marketing is to help brands gain online visibility, acquire leads, and turn leads into paying customers.


There are several digital marketing concepts that enable business to connect with prospects and attract a steady stream of customers.


Let’s dive in and explore each concept so you can start building an effective strategy!

What does a digital marketer do?

Digital marketers have different specializations, but they often work together as a team to make a campaign succeed with their ROIs. Some of the different departments include:

  • A design team to make the creative assets
  • A copywriting team to write the ads
  • A performance marketing team to create and manage paid ads

To give you a better understanding, you may refer to the diagram down. The chart shows you the various aspects influencing a website and or mobile app, plus the array of digital solutions a digital marketing agency could offer to improve those aspects.

For example, a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Manager is responsible for overseeing the performance of websites and web pages. The manager optimizes websites by conducting regular website audits to identify technical issues to be fixed. He or she will also do regular keyword research to rank the site for certain keywords, so as to boost the position of a website (ranking) on Google’s search results page.

On the other hand, a content marketer is in charge of content marketing. He or she focuses on content development and content distribution. Examples of content creation include writing articles and electronic direct mails (EDMs) that represent a brand’s story to connect and engage with the target audience.

The content marketer often tracks web traffic using Google Analytics and also conducts keyword research in order to know the kind of content readers are looking for.

Performance marketers or advertisement specialists are also critical to many marketing campaigns.  These are the people responsible for social media marketing (social media ads) and also search engine marketing (Google’s display ads).

Here are some examples of digital marketing elements that people specialise in:

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a low-cost marketing channel that can be used by any business, from small startups to large corporations. It has been proven effective in driving conversions, generating revenue and building a loyal customer base.

In a nutshell, email marketing is a type of direct mail marketing that provides information about products and services to potential customers. Its goal is to get people interested in your business’s product/service offerings so they will purchase them.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a digital marketing strategy that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined audience.  

The key objective of content marketing is to create both evergreen and timely assets that will serve as a foundation for your business’s growth.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing helps companies to reach customers by connecting with them on the platform through content and other promotional methods. It can also be used to develop brand awareness, increase customer engagement, and improve sales and lead generation.

The value of social media marketing can be seen in the fact that as of July 2022 there are now 4.7 billion global social media users.

Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing is the process of promoting your business or website by paying for advertising on search engines like Google and Bing. It’s a digital marketing technique that helps businesses rank higher in organic search results. 

Search Engine Optimisation

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing a website or web page to improve its ranking in search engine results and thus increase traffic.

The first step in SEO is to create content that will attract users. The second step is to ensure that the content on your website or blog is accessible, easy to read, and relevant for users.

SEO can be used for a variety of purposes including increasing online visibility, driving traffic, making money from advertising on your site, boosting brand awareness, building authority and credibility with key influencers, and attracting new customers.

Digital Marketing Is A Crucial Part Of Any Business Strategy Now

Digital marketing is more in demand than ever.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses and individuals were forced online, triggering a digital transformation. As a result, the Internet is now being used at a rate never experienced before. 

Companies with digital solutions can easily answer customers’ queries online and are better able to grow in this post-pandemic normal. Due to their digital transformation experiences, companies are now better equipped to move forward in a digital world.

Digital marketing is likely to be a critical part of any company’s business strategy in the future. It is also evident that digital marketing is crucial for any company to remain adaptable to any market situation. The firms that cannot adapt digitally are likely to be left behind.

Wrapping Up

Now that you have a better understanding of digital marketing, it is time for you to consider how your business can transform digitally too. If you’re interested in making a digital marketing campaign for yourself or need advice on digital marketing, contact us.

To stay updated about all things digital marketing, subscribe to our newsletter!

 

Orignal publication date: 11 May, 2020
Updated: 25 November, 2022

If there was ever any doubt that it took brains, courage and creativity to lead a team through the COVID-19 pandemic, then this interview puts those doubts to bed.

In Malaysia, as in many countries, there’s a clear difference between the big, bustling cities like Kuala Lumpur and Johor, and the smaller, calmer places like Ipoh. Outsiders might mistake Ipoh for a sleepy retirement village, but beneath the surface, there is a busy, dynamic community thriving in sectors like education.

Joining us for this issue is Keh Eng Tschong, Head of Marketing at Tenby Schools Ipoh. He’ll take us through his career and how he found himself at the helm of the team in Ipoh. We follow his in-depth narrative on how he, his team and the Tenby Schools group navigated and survived the pandemic and Eng Tschong’s analysis of how we will be affected from now on.


Hi, Eng Tschong, thank you for joining us in our Marketing Expert Series. Let’s kick off with a little background, can you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you get to where you are now?

After graduating from Monash University with majors in Marketing and Management, my career kicked off in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

My roles were mainly marketing-related and, being adventurous at the time, I hopped industries from building materials, home décor and IT before deciding to relocate back to my hometown in Ipoh.

It was in the tertiary education sector that my career truly took off. I was very gratefully mentored by the then-Group-COO of Impiana Group, which owns the local college.

Other than honing my strategic planning skills, I strove to become more well-rounded and at one point I had 3 departments under my wing – Recruitment, Branding & Promotions and Student Affairs & Alumni.

When it was time to move on, I joined Tenby Schools Ipoh under the International Schools Partnership. Still attached to them, I’ve served for over 3 years in Tenby so far.

 

You’re the Head of Marketing at Tenby Schools Ipoh. Please tell us about the work you do.

Naturally, the title comes with the ownership of the School’s Strategic Marketing and Admissions Plan and Annual Budget. Essentially, I make sure that everything is aligned, especially for areas such as key priorities progress, consistencies in key messages, observing and anticipating listed threats, improvement tactics and budget management.

A huge chunk of time is invested in content creation, as we have a commitment to a bi-weekly content calendar submission for review. Ipoh is one of the only two schools in the SEA group to come out with in-house campaign videos from scratch. We went from storyboarding, photography, videography, design, content writing, and copywriting up until editing towards the final product. This is then pushed out digitally through social media and reinforced through offline or out-of-home media.

Usually, there are two main content categories – acquisition and retention.

The department also works internally on designs such as sales, academic and non-academic events collaterals such as posters, landing pages and digital ads. As brand guardians of the school, we try our best to ensure the school as a whole sticks to brand guidelines.

Personally, I’ve also helped in training new admissions staff (sales) in the areas of marketing basics relevant to their daily routines (the 7Ps in our landscape, understanding buyer roles, importance of delivering consistent key messages, buying decision-making process and factors) and personal selling techniques. I’m also the gatekeeper for the school’s social media and admissions e-mail enquiries, mainly filtering and forwarding them to our Admissions Team.

 

What’s it like to work in an international school in Ipoh versus other cities in Malaysia? Is it very different somehow?

I’ve personally not worked in any other international school. Under the International Schools Partnership, we have nine schools in Malaysia – 6 Tenby, 2 Straits and Asia Pacific – and as a group, we have weekly virtual meetings and quarterly physical meetings or team-building get-togethers.

We constantly share best practices and challenges and try to support each other the best we can.

Ipoh is a unique market, especially in demographics, consumer & social behavioural patterns, customer service level expectations, price sensitivity and marketing channels’ efficiencies and effectiveness.

To elaborate, the average age of Ipoh citizens is constantly rising as the salary gap is widening each year compared to other areas such as Klang Valley, Penang, and Johor. This results in the younger generation often opting to work outside of Ipoh and Perak in general.

In turn, this impacts buyer roles. While other schools are almost always dealing with parents (initiator & buyer), Ipoh sometimes deals with grandparents or guardians (initiator & influencer but not the buyer) as many parents are working in other states leaving their child(ren) in the care of grandparents. Naturally, this can complicate marketing initiatives like ad placement and deployment strategy, admissions communication and buying decision processes.

The salary gap also influences consumers in Ipoh to be more price sensitive. The perceived value of “amount of money paid versus products or services acquired” differs greatly compared to states which have higher average salaries and disposable income.

Consequently, the role of customer service frontliners is more challenging and if not managed properly, will result in a higher number of withdrawals.

Ipohians are a very down-to-earth bunch, more resistant to change coupled with a more slow-paced working environment. So implementing branding practices is more challenging as the education process will take longer and the steps in change management tactics must be further broken into smaller steps.

As mentioned on the average age combined with the resistance to change factor, Ipohian’s tech savviness is much lower compared to other major cities in the country and therefore some traditional media such as street buntings and LED billboards are still adopted to have decent coverage on targeted segments.

 

You’ve worked in a variety of industries throughout your career. Is there a moment or campaign you’re most proud of?

There are a few, but the one that will forever be imprinted in my memory would be my time in tertiary education – Perak College of Technology (PCoT).

As managers or heads of departments, in reality, what we plan to execute for the year, almost always doesn’t pan out as the year runs down. Not even 75% close to the initial plan becomes reality most of the time due to the many factors and different expectations from various stakeholders.

During my second year in PCoT, I would say the execution was nearly 90% of what is planned at the beginning of the year all thanks to the trust from senior management, my peers, and my team.

The Recruitment Team numbered ten at the time, and we were able to pull off a cost-effective Guerrilla Marketing type of public engagement activity in between the seeding and harvesting period. Combining 2 years of consistent messaging and digital content schedule with some third-party SEM, we closed the year with 680 recruitments as compared to the previous year of 430.

It was really a remarkable year!

 

What sort of impact did the COVID-19 pandemic have on Tenby Schools Ipoh?

Tenby Schools Ipoh was the first school in the state (both private and government) to go online since day 1 of Malaysia’s lockdown, thanks to a proactive central office, 1.5 months prior the whole school was instructed to have a detailed plan on “what if a lockdown occurs and how can we prepare to go online?”.

Some hiccups in the first month didn’t stop us, and like many other industries, our community endured the good struggles and is now more tech-savvy and resilient. As safeguarding is an integral part of what we do, we get essential guidelines and through sharing of best practices, we were told by the Ministry of Education during a “spot-check” that we were the golden standard for Covid SOPs at the time for other schools to follow. Unknown to many, the community really pulled through together as non-facilities staff volunteered to put up signs and tape for social distancing measures.

Beyond Tenby Schools Ipoh and applying to general as well, companies could have done more to blanket the transition from working from home towards back in the office. From my viewpoint and observation, the pandemic really took a toll on the mental and physical health of the public even without us consciously realizing it.

This is unsurprising as this was an unprecedented event, at least in Malaysia. For example, some of our physical stamina might have deteriorated, and it’s easy to slip our minds to just expect our bodies to switch from staying at home with minimal exercise to going back to our normal routines pre-Covid.

Numbers-wise the school was hit by expats’ children leaving due to parents returning to their home country, but we managed to retain the same number of children in the first year of Covid and had a small growth in the second and upcoming years.

The pandemic will likely have a lasting effect on our daily lives, although government SOPs have softened, the school majority still stuck to wearing masks, social distancing, and being more attentive towards personal hygiene.

 

How did the developments of the COVID-19 Pandemic affected your strategies as Head of Marketing?

During the first lockdown, we deployed almost 85% of our budget on digital channels. We anticipated that the digital environment would be very cluttered, as every business from sole proprietary owners to SMEs to MNCs would be left with no choice but to promote online. Our response to it was that artwork needed to be cleaner and crisper to optimize impression, engagement and call to action.

Throughout the whole ordeal, there were on and off lockdowns in Malaysia, the priority during those lift-off periods would be getting as many raw materials for content creation so that we keep the momentum going with decent content. My advice to the photographer was in a single photoshoot, try to have more variance so that the photos can be applied to different collaterals and artwork that serve different purposes. During liftoffs, we also deployed some street buntings and were among the first to do so in Ipoh during the second lockdown lift-off.

Content balancing was also a vital component of how we keep our followers intact, we tried to balance retention and ads as best we could while also giving breathers to our targeted audience.

From 80% being spent on digital during the 1.5 years of the pandemic, we are now shifting towards 55% offline and 45% digital in this running financial year budget.

I’ve adopted SWOT in my strategic plans since 2016, often using the 7P model to run a company’s SW and PESTEL for OT. A strategic plan for me should always be a live document, and the pandemic further reinforced my motion. A month plus prior to the actual lockdown, I’ve prepared the usual MarComm plan for the year and a what-if-lockdown MarComm plan for the year. We swam into it right from the start and were able to stay ahead of our competitors.

 

Do you think smaller towns like Ipoh were impacted differently by the Pandemic compared to larger places like Kuala Lumpur? In what way?

I think what hits Ipoh most was and still is, the economy. By observing peers, friends and families working in other states and countries, Ipoh’s recovery was vastly slower. The main factors would be the naturally slower pace working environment mentioned earlier, the difference in SOPs between the different states (many other industries reopened in Klang Valley while Ipoh remained mandatorily closed) and the struggles to hire or rehire staff (laid off during the pandemic) due to its naturally tiny talent pool which was much smaller after the pandemic as much more people are able to find means and ways to generate income online and were contented in working in their own pace at the comfort of their homes.

What sort of lasting impact do you believe the pandemic’s forced acceleration of digital transformation has had on the education industry in Ipoh?

Based on conversations with our existing parents (especially those who transferred from government public schools), potential parents, friends and family, the impact on public schools is not significant. The main reason could be limited funding to put the required technology in place for online or hybrid learning. The mainstream feedback was that what happened in public school was mostly children were assigned homework, given a deadline, submitted, and repeat.

The fact is hybrid or online learning consumes much more time compared to traditional physical learning whereby teachers work around the clock attending to any questions students might have beyond the usual working hours, as some parents can only assist in their child(ren)’s learning after working hours.

On a positive note, around the last quarter of 2021 and early 2022, there was feedback that government public schools offered better employment packages to teachers, with guaranteed minimum yearly increments. Hopefully, this will help improve the education sector here in general, as children are always key to a brighter future.

Do you think that this impact has permanently changed how you and your team go about your work? Where do you see your strategies going in the next few years?

Regardless of Covid, I think the world is constantly evolving and change is imminent, that’s why we run SWOT periodically to predict and anticipate these macroenvironmental changes.

As marketers, we should always keep our ear close to the ground and be as versatile as we could in grabbing opportunities and mitigating threats, or better still turn threats into opportunities.

 

Any advice you’d give to aspiring marketers?

No job is easy and being a marketeer comes with a unique set of benefits and challenges. Marketing and branding practices are very subjective, there could be 99 ways to reach a similar goal so have your own flare, master your 7Ps, have faith and respond based on your data analytics. Most importantly, be happy with what you are striving towards. ‘Okay’ is not good enough if it can be ‘better’, consistency is key in brand-building and opt for progress over perfection.

 

It’s been great to learn more about you and your work, Eng Tschong, thank you for sharing. How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more about you or Tenby Schools Ipoh?

Anyone interested to know more can contact me via WhatsApp at +60125166621 or drop us an email or fill out an enquiry form. For those who simply want to learn more about what we do, you can always go to our YouTube channel to get a feel for who we are.

We are proud to announce that 2Stallions Digital Marketing Agency has been awarded gold for Excellence in Pivot Marketing at Marketing Excellence Awards 2022.

The Marketing Excellence Awards are designed to celebrate, recognise and reward Singapore’s outstanding marketing campaigns. It is the premier platform for marketers to showcase their creative excellence, successful strategies and effective delivery.

“I’ve always been in awe of the agencies that win at what Cheryl Lim has termed it as the “mother-of-marketing-awards,” Razy Shah wrote on LinkedIn after receiving the award on behalf of the agency, “…I’m grateful to the panel of judges for recognizing our efforts and of course to my teammates for delivering a successful campaign for our client.”

The champions for 2022 were chosen by an independent judging panel comprised of high-calibre, senior industry experts from reputable brands. You can find the full list of winners here.

This year marks 2Stallions’ 10th anniversary, and we are grateful that our work is making such an impact. We work together with our clients and our teams to ensure high-quality campaigns and digital marketing initiatives, and it’s great to see that the efforts of all sides are recognised.

Furthering on his comments, Razy called it a “…beautiful way to cap off our 10 years in the digital agency business…” and we couldn’t agree more.

If you’re out there, wondering how you can drive sales and increase your lead generation, perhaps it’s time to look at improving your own performance marketing. If so, get in touch today, we’re happy – and eager – to help.

For more information about the latest edition of the Marketing Excellence Awards, click here.

 

Welcome to another whirling issue of the Marketing Expert Series!

In this issue is a digital marketer whose attention to detail and passion has carried her through multiple industries and career paths. Brenda Hobin is the Marketing Director at Shiok Meats, and she knows what it means to adapt to challenges and grow your marketing funnel. Join us as Brenda takes us through not only her own story but the story of Shiok Meats, the challenges and obstacles faced and overcome, and what it takes to be a great marketer in a trying age.


Hi, Brenda, thank you for joining us in our Marketing Expert Series. Let’s kick off with a little background, can you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you get to where you are now?

Thank you, Olwen! I’ve had an exciting career and portfolio journey.

From the airline industry, non-government organizations, fast-moving consumer goods, luxury brands, hotels, real estate, master planning, HoReCa, and sailing to the marketing of golf courses. I have also been involved in pro-bono activities such as fundraising to procure necessities to feed the poor or empower children of humble backgrounds to pursue an education, my way of giving back to society. I studied psychology, criminology, sustainable economics, and innovation. The diversity of the industries, combined with my educational qualifications, gave me an edge in deciphering human behaviours and actions. Different backgrounds, nationalities, and cultures dictate how a similar product or message is perceived.

These insights are crucial, as they are the key to understanding human desires and pain points. By understanding these behaviours, we can create products, campaigns, and messages that are relatable and solve a problem or need. My husband, family, and the people I met and worked with play an essential role in my life; because of them, I am where I am today, and probably because of them, I will be where I will be tomorrow or in the future.

You’re the Marketing Director at Shiok Meats. Can you tell us a bit about Shiok Meats and the product philosophy you have?

Shiok Meats was launched in August 2018 in Singapore by Dr. Sandhya Sriram and Dr. Ka Yi Ling. They both have PhDs in stem cell biology and come from scientific backgrounds. Sandhya is also a seasoned entrepreneur. They firmly believe a sustainable solution was required to feed the ever-increasing population without creating additional pressure on the otherwise declining ocean health. They started in a lab with two founders, and today the company has an agile team of 35+ scientists, researchers, food technologists, and business professionals working on a path-breaking technology and building a manufacturing plant of its own.

If you take a shrimp, deshell, devein it, and remove the organs, you are left with muscle and fat cells. This is the part Shiok Meats cultivate, and the same goes for crab, lobster, and red meat. From a taste point of view, the taste is the same with seafood and crustaceans. The flavour comes from the cells themselves and also the liquid nutrients that we feed the cells for them to grow. It is a combination of the two, exactly what happens in nature. The stem cell comes from the animal initially, and we trick these cells into believing they are still inside the animal’s body. We feed them what the animal would give them. These stem cells are grown in large stainless steel tanks, known as bioreactors. Think of a big tank, where trillions of cells are floating around in a liquid medium (liquid nutrients), much like a brewery. By the end of four to six weeks, the cells have increased so much that we perform a step called differentiation, which triggers these stem cells to form the organ they are supposed to form – muscle and fat – the final product. Our final product looks, tastes, and cooks like meat. Our products are all minced, and we are working on a structure (whole shrimp, for example) for the near future.

We are building a system wherein we work with many different animal-free growth factors, food-grade media, and plant-based alternatives that have the potential to yield at scale and lower price points. Some of these are being developed in-house, while we are leveraging strategic partnerships with media development companies for some others. We are also looking at the apparent by-products and upcycling cell media for flavouring mixes and essences. Overall, we are ramping up the construction of our pilot production facility in Singapore to speed up large-scale manufacturing and launch in at least one premium restaurant in 2023.
We want Shiok Meats to be the world leader in cultivated seafood and meat technology. If that means expanding the suite of product offerings to other kinds of meat, poultry, seafood, and other by-products, we are going for it.

What role do you play as Marketing Director? Is there a part of your role you enjoy most?

Currently, I am focusing on the higher marketing funnels, from branding and creating awareness to building a community of mindful consumers. We aim to encourage and influence a mindset shift toward consuming sustainably-grown crustaceans and meats. I am incredibly psyched about building a team of marketers who shares our passion for sustainable living.

How have the developments of the COVID-19 Pandemic affected your own strategies? What challenges and/or developments have you had to adapt to since the start of 2020? How have you overcome them?

Shiok Meats was founded to mitigate the challenges of feeding a growing population ethically and sustainably. COVID-19 only reiterated the fact that we are on the right track. The food supply chain has faced severe disruption. Our patent-pending food technology will only create a favourable condition for self-sufficiency at a national level benefitting the people. If anything, COVID-19 has accelerated and brought attention to what we are doing locally, regionally, and globally.

What sort of lasting impact do you believe the pandemic’s forced acceleration of digital transformation has had on your industry?

There was a greater reliance on digital news and platforms during the lockdown period. We are part of the growing and evolving digital ecosystem. There is no turning back, given the history of how people have accepted digital as the new norm. What is new today will be antiquated tomorrow. The start of lasting impact began a long time ago if we look at the adoption rate of the internet or the proliferation of the use of the new social media channels.

Do you think that this impact has permanently changed how you and your team go about your work? Where do you see your strategies going in the next few years?

As marketers, we must stay tuned and sync with the changes and evolution of communication channels, including digital transformation. The brand strategies, story-telling, and content must align with changing human developments, needs, and desires. Marketing messaging must be relatable. Marketers’ ability to accurately nail down all the touchpoints affects go-to-market strategies.

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

Stay humble, stay curious. Make “Being an Expert Marketer” a lifelong aspiration.

It’s been great to learn more about you and your work, Brenda, thank you for sharing. How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more about you or Shiok Meats?

It is an honour to share what we do with you and your readers. Please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn!

Marketing in 360° may sound like the obvious choice, but it’s not always the simplest strategy. With the variety and diversity of digital and traditional channels that we now have access to, it’s a small wonder that digital marketers don’t go mad. Quite the contrary, we seem to thrive on the ability to understand, learn and track different platforms and channels to the benefit of our brands and our target audiences.

Joining us for this issue of the Marketing Expert Series is Veronica Sin, a woman who embraces the challenges of brand marketing a fintech company with a 360° approach to reaching audiences in the wake of the pandemic. Sharing her insights into the combining of brand marketing and public relations, Veronica paints a clear picture of what it takes to be dedicated and successful 360° marketing strategies.


Hi, Veronica, welcome to the Marketing Expert Series! Thank you for joining us. Let’s kick off with some history: tell us a bit about yourself? How did you get to where you are now?

Hi Olwen! Thanks for having me. I never thought I would end up in Branding or Marketing. In fact, I started my career with a heart to engineer social good through public relations (PR).

My fascination with PR began during college break when I chanced upon WWII documentaries on Hitler. I remember being awed by how the Nazi high command could influence Germany to believe in outrageous propaganda simply through strategic PR campaigns, such that I thought to myself, “If Hitler could use PR to inspire a nation towards hostility, I could use the same (PR) to inspire equally powerful good and change a nation.”

It was an idyllic idea, but I had a concrete plan:

  1. Spend 2-3 years in a PR agency
  2. Take the skills learned to a nonprofit or cause-driven organization and influence social good from there

Sticking to this plan, I started my career with 2 award-winning PR agencies, helping clients like BMW Group and Facebook build their brands through press engagements. Although I enjoyed managing crisis communications and pitching strategic stories to the media, work-life balance was a concern in the agency world.

After 3 years, I joined Projek57 – a social enterprise devoted to building unity in Malaysia through racial harmony projects and unity-themed retail. This was my first brush with marketing: As it was a small team of 5, my role evolved constantly. Although they hired me to manage the Press Launch for the Unity Ribbon, I was soon managing social media, influencer campaigns, retail marketing and even corporate sponsorship marketing. 6 months in, Projek57 gave me a choice: Stay as Inventory Manager or move on, because they do not need a Marketing Communications Lead at that time.

Changes in HR needs like these are quite common in social enterprises and startups where funding and resources may be limited, but I didn’t know that back then. I left with a bitter thought, “I am done with this non-profit or cause-driven plan”.

I began applying to anything but non-profit organizations and landed a role as Senior Brand Communications Executive in iMoney. They were looking for someone with social media marketing experience, and my time with Projek57 – though short – gave me a foot in the door.

3 years and a lot of learning on the job later, here I am in iMoney – still learning the ropes of branding and marketing, but blessed with a team which empowers me to validate campaign ideas and concepts.

You’re the outgoing Group Brand & Marketing Manager at iMoney. Please tell us what iMoney is all about and the role you play there.

iMoney is a personal finance platform which helps people get more out of their money by:

  1. Comparing and applying for the right financial products through our Aggregator
  2. Learning money management via jargon-free articles and initiatives
  3. Planning your finances with insightful tools like our income tax calculator

As Group Brand & Marketing Manager, I manage 3 portfolios: Brand Communications, PR and Social Media. The role also entails proposing and executing strategic marketing campaigns which encompass the 3 portfolios whenever opportunities arise.

To execute these campaigns, I will usually come up with a campaign plan and set up a briefing session with experts from the various teams – ranging from SEO to Performance Marketing and Email Marketing, to get their feedback on how to maximize results and meet campaign objectives by leveraging on everyone’s capabilities.

Marketing financial technology isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. What sort of strategies do you find most useful for marketing iMoney? How do you stand out from your competition?

The difference between sales and marketing is that while the former focuses on selling, the latter focuses on building relationships. Once a relationship between a brand and a target audience is strong enough, the sale will automatically follow.

Of course, building a relationship between a brand and a target audience is not as simple as dating in real life, simply because a brand is not a person and hence needs to be personified through effective marketing strategies – before you can even push the brand or product to be “loved” or “preferred” over its competitors.

While iMoney earns through the application of financial products, content marketing, and partnerships, the brand is ultimately about personal finance – a highly personal topic, as money is central to every life goal. If you can address your audience’s pain and passion points, your marketing initiatives will likely positively impact your brand and ultimately, your business.

This is my usual game plan when building a marketing campaign:

  1. I usually start with our brand purpose: Why did iMoney exist in the first place? What sort of impact does iMoney want to make in our target audience’s life?
  2. Next, identify opportunities within our brand purpose: What’s happening within the personal finance space? What’s bothering our target audience (e.g. single young working adults earning below RM5,000/month)? For example, is price inflation on many people’s minds? Or is it income tax season where everyone is figuring out how to maximize their tax returns?
  3. Key message: Based on the brand purpose and market opportunities, Build a topic which matters to your target audience, be it educating people about scams or discussing investment strategies for newlyweds.
  4. Channels and tactics: Where does your target audience usually hang out? How do they prefer to engage in a conversation? Is it through Facebook Live or email subscription? Do they prefer listening to a certified financial advisor or learning from success stories?

Have the developments of the COVID-19 Pandemic affected your own strategies as Head of Marketing? What challenges and/or developments have you had to adapt to since the start of 2020? How have you overcome them?

Definitely. The 2 biggest marketing lessons I learned from the pandemic are:

  1. Learn from other brands
  2. Be flexible and dare to test out new ideas
  3. You are as good as your team

One of the biggest challenges is content creation during the start of the pandemic, specifically video productions since physical shooting is no longer allowed. Take our 2020 Raya campaign video for example: Instead of the usual physical film production, we’ve had to produce a video by weaving together clips of iMoney staff at home and fitting it into a script.

Funnily, the idea came when my colleague shared videos by Apple and Google who were making these DIY videos, basically just a collage of stock footage fitted to a script and a soundtrack – since the whole world was on lockdown. I remember discussing with my colleague if we could also pull this off, and achieve the same impact that these giant brands achieved.

Themed “i Bersama u” (or “I am with you”), we built a script which heavily relies on the script and soundtrack to tell the story. Next, we assigned several iMoney staff to shoot video clips of themselves at home. These clips will then be woven together to form a video.

While this sounds easy, it took a lot of briefing and coordination with colleagues who were assigned to be featured in the video. To amplify the sombre sentiment of MCO and at the same time instil optimism, our Design Team also had to get creative with the right soundtrack and video treatment, given the limitations to shooting footage and directing on set.

At the end of the day, our #iBersamaU Raya campaign helped us overtake our competitors in the share of voice (SOV), a key metric in brand performance, at a small budget. Our social media pages also saw higher-than-average growth immediately after the campaign. Taking from this success, we have since produced a few more similar DIY videos with decent results.

At the end of the day, I learnt that perhaps the most important thing to succeed, in spite of the pandemic, is having a team who sits down and works towards the objectives outlined – and the graciousness of your superiors to let you test new ideas.

What sort of lasting impact do you believe the pandemic’s forced acceleration of digital transformation has had on iMoney and the industry in general?

  1. Social media is likely to remain a primary touchpoint:
    Although we are slowly easing back to pre-pandemic life, the past 2 years have globally cultivated a collective social-media-first consciousness where social media is not just seen as a space for business updates but concurrently a customer service front, community space, and experiential relationship between brand and consumer. For example, followers of Burger King’s Facebook page are not just expecting updates of the latest promo but also the brand’s responses to trending topics. The more relevant and personal you can be with your followers, the more likely you can build brand trust and top-of-mind (TOM) recall. Consequently, the more likely you are to convert a follower into a potential customer.I think the pandemic has also made brands realize the potential of social media to amplify any marketing initiative – be it a digital campaign or a physical one.
  2. Collaborations not just to survive, but thrive:
    Digital-led efforts are about maximizing the dollar spent. If you execute a campaign by yourself, how many people can you reach as compared to collaborating with a strategic partner with a different sphere of influence? One thing iMoney – and I am sure many other brands – learnt is that “together we are stronger”. Be it through affiliate partnerships, webinar collaborations, or sponsorship campaigns, you achieve more when you leverage each other’s reach, brand associations, and engagements – provided that the collaboration is a strategic one.
  3. 360° digital-first campaign.
    One thing the iMoney marketing team learned during the pandemic was the necessity of working together across different teams. Before the pandemic, many of our marketing initiatives were planned by a single team – only involving other teams to support.But once the pandemic hit, we realized the importance of involving every team in the planning stage itself to leverage each other’s expertise in order to amplify the impact. Perhaps it’s also that added realization that “all we’ve got is one another to achieve this” – the pandemic does have that effect on our team at least. For example, our recent #TaxTalk campaign – a Facebook Live discussion on how to maximize your income tax returns – encompasses Email marketing, Learning Centre articles from our Editorial Team, engagement posts from the Social Media Team, and even the Affiliate Marketing Team and SEO Team who advised us on the forms of content to prioritize during this season.The stellar results of such a cross-team campaign are a testament to the importance of such holistic campaigns, and definitely, a motivator for us to continue such collaborative efforts in the future.

Do you think that this impact has permanently changed how you and your team go about your work? Where do you see your strategies going in the next few years?

Definitely. Personally, I see our marketing strategy going more towards a 360° approach – where any initiative will be conceived with a view of maximizing the impact by involving all relevant teams from the planning phase itself. Naturally, the primary objectives and key message will be set by one person – who will then consult experts from every team on how we can collectively amplify the campaign results.

Again, this is based on the discovery that no marketing channel exists in a silo – especially in the digital world where the effective touchpoint is two devices at most per person – a laptop and a mobile phone. The more coordinated your campaign efforts, the more amplified your impact will be.

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

Marketing may seem all glitz and glam from the outside – with the flashy film productions, influencer campaigns, and Facebook Live giveaways – but what translates the glitz and glam into meaningful impact are:

  1. Excellence: If you are planning a Facebook Live webinar, it goes beyond engaging the right speaker and promoting your event. Do you keep a timeline and event checklist? Do you brief your guest speakers and provide them with scripts? Do your research and prepare for all anticipated questions that may arise during your Live event? Have you assigned people to manage the comment section? In short, have you given your best to ensure that the event is airtight? It will make a difference to the outcome of your initiative. Having said that, it is ok to make mistakes as that is where you will be learning many of your lessons.
  2. Critical and strategic thinking: Marketers are essentially strategic communicators. We need to anticipate how our target audience can interpret a piece of content. It is never just ” simple or fun ” even for something that seems simple or fun like preparing a meme or social media series, it is never just “simple or fun”. What is the key message you are trying to convey? What is the marketing outcome you want to achieve? Are there possibilities this could be misinterpreted, and if so, what is your rough contingency plan?
  3. Attention to detail: The brand is built in the details. One of the hardest things to enforce among junior marketers – myself included when I first started my career – is keeping the format. If your Facebook banners all have different alignment and font sizes, how unprofessional will that reflect on your brand? If your campaign report has different font colours, what does that say about you as a communicator? Can I trust you with 14 Facebook ad banners in the next credit card giveaway campaign if you can’t handle font sizes for an internal report?
  4. Being organized: Marketers are underrated master organizers who often need to work with people from vastly diverse backgrounds to make “marketing magic” happen. To execute a holistic campaign that spans 5 different channels and at times even stakeholders from different teams and organizations, you need to be chronically organized – equipped with a timeline and campaign checklist whilst keeping an eye on the budget and deliverables. At the same time, you must ensure that people from different backgrounds understand your marketing campaign brief.

If you want to excel as a marketer, start honing your organizational and people skills. At times, you may even need to describe the same thing in 3 different ways – one for the tech people, another for the non-profit partner, and yet another one for the SEO team.


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 the 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.

When chasing audience engagement and building customer satisfaction and loyalty, content marketing plays a key role. Content marketing is the act of using content to attract and retain customers. It’s any media that can be used to create awareness about a product, service, or event.

The goal of content marketing is to create valuable and compelling information so that people will keep coming back for more. The easiest way for marketers to do this is by creating blog posts, infographics, videos, podcasts, etc. Content marketers want their content to be informative and interesting or entertaining enough that people will want more of it.

Why Content Marketing is the Most Important Skill for Marketers

In the age of digital marketing, content marketing has become a significant factor in many marketing strategies. The long-term success of a company hinges on its ability to produce and distribute high-quality content that resonates with customers. In recent years, marketers have started to recognise the importance of content. They have begun embracing content marketing as a means of targeting their customers and driving sales.

Key Content Marketing Skills:

  1. Understand customer behaviour: Marketers should have a good understanding of what customers want and how they behave in order to create effective content that will resonate with their target audience.
  2. Storytelling: Good storytelling is what makes a marketing message memorable. It’s the art of telling a brand’s story in an interesting way that will resonate with the audience.

Developing a Successful and Sustainable Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing works hand-in-hand with integrated marketing – a marketing approach that takes into account the customer’s journey and touchpoints.

Integrated marketing is more than advertising across multiple channels; it integrates all aspects of communication (i.e., advertising, public relations, events, web design and social media) to create a cohesive customer experience. 

When developing a content marketing strategy, take the integrated approach.   Convey a clear, unified branded message to drive higher customer engagement on your company’s products or services. Also, keep in mind that your four P’s of content marketing – Purpose, People, Placement, and Promotion – should work together in an integrated marketing campaign.

Marketing’s Four P’s and Their Role in Your Content Marketing Strategy

The four P’s provide a solid foundation for your content marketing strategy. They serve as the building blocks for creating content that’s relevant, valuable, and engaging. 

Purpose

What’s the purpose of this piece of content? What goals are you trying to achieve? The purpose of content is to provide value to your audience. When you’re creating content, ask yourself “what am I trying to accomplish with this piece?” If you’re trying to make your audience laugh, for example, then you’ll want to create humour. If you want your audience to get more engaged with the brand, then focus on a call-to-action or build awareness about your brand.

People

People are the most important part of content marketing. Without people, there would be no need for content. So, it’s crucial to know who your target audience is and what you’re trying to reach with your content.

There are many different types of people in our world today and each type of person has their own interests and needs. Suppose your business sells vegan products. Your target audience will be individuals who want to eat healthier or people who have dietary restrictions. If you run a business that sells athletic equipment, then your target audience will be those who want to improve their health or those who are athletes themselves.

Placement

The placement of your content is another critical aspect to look at. If it’s being used for a social media campaign, it needs to be distributed on the appropriate channels. For example, if the content is about how to make an omelette, post it on social media channels that are popular with foodies and those interested in cooking.

Promotion

How are you going to promote your content? Promotion is essential to make sure your content gets the attention it deserves. In general, there are two main types of content promotion: organic and paid. Organic promotion includes submitting your content to directories like Hacker News, Reddit, Quora or Facebook Groups while paid promotion includes services like sponsored tweets on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

Key Elements of a Successful Content Marketing Strategy

A good content marketing strategy is a mix of various content types, such as blog posts, videos, infographics, and webinars. Remember that content marketing isn’t only about writing content, but also about distributing the content across your website and social media profiles.

  1. The strategy should be tailored and varied.

    For example, if the content is for a company website then it should be geared towards attracting potential customers. If it’s for an email marketing campaign, it should seek to build relationships with current customers. Content should be tailored to the purpose it serves and varied so that it does not bore consumers.
     
  2. The strategy should be executable and achievable.

    Every content marketing strategy needs to be achievable – setting objectives that are too far out of reach will only cause stress and frustration in the long run. It’s important to set targets that are doable and achievable will boost productivity and morale.
  3. The strategy should be continuous and never stop.

    Your content marketing strategy should not be time-limited like regular marketing campaigns. Aim for ongoing engagement, instead, it should be ongoing and sustainable, so that your potential clients feel that they can trust your company at all times.

 

Best Practices for a Successful Content Marketing Strategy

1. Know your audience and their need for information.

The more you know about your audience, the better able you will be to provide them with what they want. This means that you must do some research on who’s reading your blog or website. 

You should also understand what types of articles they like and don’t like. Your content needs to be useful and applicable to your readers. If you write something that doesn’t interest anyone, no one will read it.

2. Create a plan and think about the message you want to deliver

Before you start writing, come up with a clear idea of what you want to say. Think about why you’re writing and what you hope to achieve from your content.

You’ll never get anywhere if you don’t start somewhere. Start by brainstorming ideas for your first draft. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling at this point; just focus on getting your thoughts down on paper. A good way to start is to write down ideas that come to you in an ‘Idea Bank’. 

3. Focus on quality content and not quantity

Quality content is the key to success online. While blogs with low-quality content can get quickly shared and become popular on social media, these posts are rarely read for long periods of time. 

Focus on publishing quality content that appeals to your target audience. Write content pieces that educate people, engage or entertain readers, or provide a point of view that’s difficult to find elsewhere.

4. Find your voice and start creating content that is uniquely yours

“Finding your voice” is often the first step people take when starting to blog. There are many different styles of writing and finding the one that suits you best can be difficult. One way to find your voice is to start by asking yourself what it is that you want to say. Once you know this, it becomes much easier to determine how to say it, what tone of voice would be best on a personal or professional level.

5. Make sure that you have enough time to write content every day

It’s important to make sure that you have enough time to write content every day. Anyone who wants to be successful with copywriting or just writing, in general, knows that it can be hard to find time to write. 

Content development can take a lot of time, especially when you’re first starting out. So, be sure to set aside enough time to work on your content every day. Just like with any new skill, it will improve with more practice.

6. Have a clear goal or target audience in mind before writing any content

Writing for the Internet and the search engines shouldn’t be a guessing game. By focusing your writing on your specific goal and target audience, you can create content that will resonate with your site visitors. The more focused you are on these areas, the more likely your visitors will find what they’re looking for.

7. Be consistent with the frequency of publishing new pieces of content

The frequency with which you publish new content is dependent on the goals of your company, the needs of your customers and what your competition is doing. Posting content at least once a week will help to maintain high levels of traffic to your site, but this may not be possible for all companies.

8. Know what type of content works best for your product/service

The content you create for your product or service is one of the most important factors to its success. Knowing how to create content that works for your target demographic will help you gain followers, generate engagement, and drive conversions.

Creating the right content is the first step to helping your target demographic find you. However, people are bombarded with content all day long on social media, through email, and on other platforms; which makes it difficult for people to notice your post or message. If you want them to take notice of what you’re posting, make sure you put in enough time and effort into creating it.

9. Make sure that you know the different types of social media channels where you should publish your posts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, etc.).

Social media has been a major influence on the way people interact with each other. In addition to being a place to share news and connect with friends, social media is also where people find jobs, make business deals, gather news, and access entertainment. However, it can be difficult to keep up with all of these different channels and make sure your posts are seen by the right audience. 

Be mindful of what kind of content your target audience wants to see when they visit different social media platforms as opposed to your blog – your content should be tailored to match the channel it’s being published on or delivered to. The best way to do this is by understanding the audience that will be viewing your content.

 

Building Dynamic Buyer Personas for Content Marketing

You have a list of 10,000 possible customers. What do you do? You can’t target all of them, but you need to decide which ones to focus on.

Buyer personas are a tool for narrowing that list down to a few key groups, based on the roles they play in their lives and the problems they’re trying to solve. When you’re developing your buyer personas, remember that they should never be static – that is, your buyer personas should be constantly evolving and be adapting to changes in the market and their lives.

People don’t stay the same after all, so why would your buyer personas stay the same? Their needs and pain points change as they grow older, move, have families, start and leave school, etc. It’s important that your buyer personas reflect the developments in your buyer personas’ lives, that way you can adapt your content to match their interests and needs.

For example, if you have a buyer persona named ‘Homemaker Hannah’, a homemaker in charge of housekeeping, looking after the family and taking care of the home. Let’s say she was only recently married and you were targeting her as a young woman.

After a few years, however, your ‘Homemaker Hannah’ may have started a family, started a job to earn extra cash, or maybe she got divorced… Either way, her life no longer fits the label ‘Homemaker Hannah’. Time to change it up and update ‘Homemaker Hannah’ to match whatever your new research dictates.

 

Creating Successful Content

People want to find new information on their own, but they also want to be told what to do. If you’re an expert in your field, share your thoughts on trends and new developments in your field. Be careful to avoid “sales pitches” and instead offer value-added content that provides new insights. Remember, one of the principal purposes of content marketing is to earn your audiences’ trust and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your content:

  1. Make your content relevant
    The content you make should address your target audience’s needs. When you’re setting your goals for your content creation, make sure you’re thinking about what questions it’s answering or the problems it’s solving for your audience. 

  2. Make your content Interesting
    When was the last time you actually read an article or watched a video that was boring? Probably never. Why would you? Boring content is boring, after all, why would you read something that you did not find interesting? This is a key point when you go about creating your content: if it’s not interesting, your audience isn’t going to read it.

  3. Make sure your content is understandable
    Having the best content in the world isn’t going to do you any good if no one can understand a word of it. Nothing turns audiences off faster than a technical, jargon-filled piece of content, whether it’s an article, video, or podcast. 

    Your audience is only human, and not all of them will be experts in your field so make sure you’re using lay terms and not overloading them with jargon.

 

 

A Note about ‘Going Viral’

In the world of content, people often talk about ‘going viral’. Social media trends are defined by the number of people who view them. Virality means that something spreads quickly throughout social networks. 

A video goes viral when many people watch it online. An article goes viral if many people read it online. A petition goes viral when many people sign it. A website goes viral when many people visit it online. Viral content goes viral when it reaches a large audience. When someone shares something online, that person gets at least one other person who visits the page.

For example, if you write a blog post about how to make a doughnut-shaped cake, then three people read the blog post, and two of them share it with their friends. Their friends may also read the article and share it with their friends, and so on. Each person sharing your content is called a ‘viral’ user. In this case, the number of visitors to your site could be as high as 1 million people.

Virality ratios are calculated by dividing the number of new visitors from a given period by the number of existing visitors from the same period. A site may go viral if the virality ratio is above 1. For example, if you have 10,000 visitors per day and 2,000 of them come from the previous month, then your virality ratio is 20% (2,000 divided by 10,000). This means that you need to increase the number of new visitors by 20% to reach viral status.

Pros and Cons of Viral Content

As with most things in life, trying – or succeeding – at going viral is a double-edged sword. There are many benefits of viral content that you shouldn’t ignore, including:

  1. Good source of traffic: Viral content by its definition reaches a lot of people, and so has the potential to provide you with a lot of traffic.
     
  2. An efficient way to get your message out: Due to its wide reach and massive sharing, viral content allows you to get your message out more efficiently than non-viral content.
  3. Great way to build your brand’s reputation: Do you want to spread the word about your brand? Going viral has the power to spread your reputation far and wide.
     
  4. A refreshing way to market your business: Viral content has the potential to reach potential customers who may not otherwise see your content or hear about your brand.
     
  5. Save a lot of money on advertising: Viral sharing is a positive experience and allows your customers to keep the message going by continually sharing and resharing it, thus saving you money down the road that you might spend on advertising.
     
  6. Adds creativity to your marketing: Digital content doesn’t always go viral. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – you have to put in the effort and focus to hit your virality targets. This means adding creativity and really speaking to your audience.
     
  7. Let’s you stand out: Viral content is interesting and makes a lot of noise, allowing you to cut through the chaos of social media channels.  

On the other hand, there are also disadvantages to going viral that should be taken into consideration if viral marketing is the strategy you’re going for:

  1. People might not take your content seriously because they think it’s just a joke: Viral content tends towards the amusing or entertaining, and if you’re not careful your original message can get lost in the ensuing sharing-frenzy.
     
  2. Less control once you’ve put it out there: Once it’s live, it’s out there forever and you have little control over where it goes or what people do with it. While this is true of almost everything that gets published online, viral content draws a special kind of attention to itself so it bears warning you of the loss of control.
     
  3. Needs more hands-on messaging to keep reinforcing your brand messages: Viral marketing is more engaging than other kinds of content marketing, and requires marketers to stay plugged in to limit the negative content that may be generated as a result.
     
  4. Can be a waste of time if it doesn’t hit your actual target audience: Your viral content may go viral with the wrong audience, and there’s not really much you can do about it.
     
  5. Can be hard to achieve virality: Generating viral content isn’t something that you ‘just do’. It requires a solid understanding of your audience and their psychology. It can be very easy to get it wrong and never go viral at all.  

Measuring Content Marketing Success

Measuring your content marketing success is a two-pronged approach: metrics and return on investment (ROI). Most marketers, especially when first starting out, are more familiar with metrics than with ROI, so let’s start there first.

Which Content Marketing Metrics Should You Measure?

Many first-time marketers start off with vanity metrics – page followers, likes, etc. – rather than look at engagement metrics, which is where the truth of success or failure truly lies. There are six key content marketing metrics that you should be measuring:

  1. Lead Quality
    How good are the leads that your content is generating? How valuable are they? How long do they stay with the company? It’s a good idea at this stage to know how to calculate lifetime customer values (CLTVs) which is done simply with this formula: “Customer Lifetime Value = (Customer Value * Average Customer Lifespan)”. 
  2. Conversions (Sales)
    What percentage of your leads generated are converted to real customers? It’s easy to talk about leads brought in, but their true value lies in whether they become customers or not.
  3. Web Traffic
    How many visitors does your content pull to your website? Calculating the unique visitor count and understanding the demographic that visits your site will help you ensure that your content is hitting its mark. 
  4. Onsite Engagement
    What is your website traffic doing once it’s on your site? Is it exciting at certain points or lingering at others? Knowing how your website’s visitors are moving through your website can help you optimise their touchpoints and improve your content at each level.
  5. Social Media Engagement
    Only now do we get to dive into all those shiny metrics that many of us are familiar with: likes, shares, comments, followers, etc. These metrics are all great ways to track just how engaging your content is and whether it is having the effect that you were aiming for.
  6. SEO Success
    Content marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO) go hand in hand and should always aim to work together. Making sure that your content is helping drive SEO and vice versa will provide a solid foundation for your content marketing success. For more information on SEO and how to make it work for you, check out our SEO Ultimate Guide.
Happy Content Marketing Team

What is Content Marketing ROI?

Content marketing ROI is the percentage showcasing the revenue gained from your content marketing initiatives versus what you spent on it. For content marketing to be successful, the ROI must be positive. 

The success of your content marketing strategy goes beyond just the money you make. If you don’t get any pageviews, shares, or visitors, then no one will find your business to buy your products or services. To get an accurate idea of your content marketing ROI, you have to identify what metrics will provide the clearest picture of its performance.

4 Steps to Measure Content Marketing ROI

You can calculate your content marketing ROI in four simple steps:

Step 1. Calculate your Expenditure

How much did it cost to create the content? If you’re working with an in-house team you’ll need to take into account the salaries of the team members involved in the content creation – copywriters, designers, etc. Also, be sure to include any expenses you incurred for content assets; for example if you needed to purchase images, video or audio stock.

Step 2. Calculate your Distribution Cost

What did it cost to get your content out there? Again, don’t forget to include in-house costs that may fall under this category. This will also include your paid promotions like PPC, social or SEM advertising. Be sure to include any costs for special tools or software for your content distribution or creation. 

For example, if you pay for and use a social media management tool like Hootsuite, Buffer, or SproutSocial, or you use content creation tools like premium Canva, then these costs need to be added to your calculation.

Step 3. Calculate Sales Value

When your content strategy is working, it will generate leads that convert. In other words, you’ll be adding to company revenue. 

In some cases, this is incredibly obvious and easy to track – a basic call-to-action on a content piece that someone clicks to buy a product. 

Other times this relationship is less clear and indirect, in which case you’ll need to get a little creative with how you calculate the influence your content piece had on generating that specific lead. Most marketers do this by claiming a certain percentage of the lead revenue rather than the whole hog.

Step 4. Apply Formula

Steps 1 and 2 provide the total cost of your content development, and with step 3 you now have the value. 

To get your ROI percentage,  simply apply the formula below:”.

Everything Keeps Changing

“Omnia mutantir, nihil interit.” – Ovid

We live in a dynamic world, where things are constantly changing. Digital transformation has been spurred along by the pandemic of the 2020s, and content marketing strategies have had to swivel, pivot and overcome a whole host of challenges.

What was once a simpler game has now become a complex warren of strategies and goals. Content marketing leads the way in the development and showing of new ideas, innovations, technology and communication with target audiences. There’s little doubt that the impact of the global pandemic will leave its mark on digital marketing as a whole, and force content marketers to keep up with changing trends. 

Everything is constantly changing and we are constantly learning how to adapt to the changes and use them to our advantage. As a content marketer, it is your responsibility to accept change and build on what came before you.

Ready to supercharge your content marketing initiatives? 2Stallions has an award-winning Content Marketing Team ready to help you achieve your objectives and grow your business.

Key Takeaways

  1. Messaging: Understand how to tell a good story and communicate your brand message to your audience.
  2. Target Audience: Know who they are, what they do and who to reach them by crafting dynamic buyer personas.
  3. Strategy: Build a content marketing strategy that is tailored, executable and continuous.
  4. Create Quality: Focus on creating quality content over a lot of content.
  5. Objectives: Set goals, understand them and know how you’re going to achieve them.
  6. Channels: Understand which channels you are going to be using and how best to use them to reach your target audience.
  7. Successful content: Know how to build content that is relevant, interesting and understandable.
  8. Innovate: Consider how to disrupt the market with your content.
  9. Metrics: Know what metrics you should be tracking and how to measure their success for your content marketing strategy.
  10. Value: Know how to measure and calculate your ROI.
Content Marketing Strategy Key Takeaways

Social media has turned into the most prominent platform used for connecting with friends, forming communities, networking, engaging with customers, and promoting a business. 

Through this tool, marketers and business owners can reach new audiences and engage with prospects. It also enables them to attract a wider, targeted audience by placing ad campaigns.

First, What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing, a.k.a. SMM, is the process of interacting with your target audience through social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and more.

SMM is a powerful way to build brand awareness, draw in potential customers, stay on top of engagements, and promote your products or services, among other things. This practice also includes creating and sharing compelling content pieces, including articles, images, and videos.

Social Media Marketing Glossary

Check out the list of commonly used social media terms to keep yourself in the know.

A-H

  • Algorithms – is a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.
  • Advertisement – short for ad, it is the promotion of a product, brand, or service to a specific audience. 
  • Brand awareness – is the level of familiarity consumers have with your brand. It’s often considered one of the main goals of social media marketing. 
  • Content marketing – is the practice of attracting and retaining customers through the creation and distribution of original, valuable content such as videos, whitepapers, guides, and infographics. 
  • Direct message(DM) – refers to a private message sent directly to a user’s social media inbox. 
  • Digital marketing – is a concept that uses the Internet and digital technologies such as desktop computers, mobile phones, and other d online platforms to promote products and services. 
  • Engagement rate – is a social media metric that tells you much about a post that motivates people to interact with it. It’s defined as (number of people who engaged with your post/number of people who saw your post) 
  • Follower – refers to a social media user who has subscribed to see your posts in their feed. Both personal and business accounts can have followers. 
  • Frequency – is a Facebook/Instagram advertising term that refers to how many times your ad was shown to the average user in your target audience. 
  • Hashtag (#) – is a way of connecting your posts on social media to other posts on the same subject or trending topic.

I-N

  • Influencer – is a social media user with a significant audience who can drive awareness about a trend, topic, company, or product. 
  • Influencer marketing – a strategy involving collaboration with an ‘influencer’ to promote a product, service, or campaign.
  • Insights – refers to the analytics and performance statistics you can see on your Instagram profile in the Instagram app. 
  • Mention – is the act of tagging a user in a social media message. Sometimes called @ mentions, these usually trigger a notification for that user and allow your audience to click through to their bio or profile.
  • Newsfeed – is the Facebook term for the screen that shows all the latest updates posted by people the user follows. 
  • Notification- is a message or alert indicating new social media activity. For example, if somebody likes one of your Instagram photos, you can receive a notification on your phone that lets you know.

O-Z

  • Objectives – are the results you want to achieve through your ad campaign. These objectives are used to determine which key performance indicators to follow and optimise ad spend.
  • Platform –  means the same thing as “social media network” or “social media channel”. However, a social media platform is technically the software behind a social network, including its API, backend, and markup language. 
  • Reach – is a social media metric that tells you how many people have seen your post. It differs from impressions in that even if a user sees your post multiple times, they still only count as one person reached.
  • ROI – short return on investment, is a measurement of how much revenue your activities on social media are generating for your company versus how much you are spending on them. 
  • Social media analytics – is an umbrella term used to describe both social analysis tools and the information those tools provide. 
  • Targeting – is a social media advertising term that refers to how you select the potential audience for your ads.
  • Traffic – is the number of users who visit a given website or page. 
  • Trending – is a subject or event that had a sudden surge in popularity on social media. 
  • Viral – is a term describing content that spreads exponentially on social media. This typically occurs when people share the content with their followers, then their followers share the same content to their followers, and so on, creating a snowball effect.

Benefits of Social Media Marketing

Iphone, notification, laptop, office, man

1. Build Brand Awareness and Recognition

Social media marketing helps build better brand awareness and recognition. Unlike conventional media, like TV or print, social media brings your business in front of customers more rapidly. The reason? It’s because half of the world now uses social media.

On average, people spend 145 minutes on social platforms. The fact that the average daily time spent on social media continuously grows means more exposure for your business.

Prospects might come across your social media post–and they might share it when they find the content handy and relatable. The shared post could attract more eyeballs and encourage engagement (i.e., likes, comments, shares), helping spread the word about your brand faster

Building online communities are one of the most effective ways to get your name out there. Here’s the good news: forming a community has now been made easier, thanks to social media.

Facebook, in particular, lets you bring as many people as possible together through Facebook Groups. Members can invite their friends, family members, or colleagues to join the community and share their stories, posts, and opinions.

Apart from creating a Facebook Group, you can also create a community by sharing meaningful content. Getting your social followers to tell their stories sparks conversation. It encourages others to participate in the thread, allowing your social media posts to appear in the News Feed.

When your posts show up in the people’s News Feed, you’re likely to prompt more discussion–and promote positive word-of-mouth. For instance, existing customers may recommend your products and encourage prospects to give them a try.

2.  Form Online Communities

Social media marketing helps build better brand awareness and recognition. Unlike conventional media, like TV or print, social media brings your business in front of customers more rapidly. The reason? It’s because half of the world now uses social media.

On average, people spend 145 minutes on social platforms. The fact that the average daily time spent on social media continuously grows means more exposure for your business.

Prospects might come across your social media post–and they might share it when they find the content handy and relatable. The shared post could attract more eyeballs and encourage engagement (i.e., likes, comments, shares), helping spread the word about your brand faster.

3. Increase Website Traffic

While social media marketing and search engine optimisation are two different concepts, the former plays a pivotal role in the latter. Social media allows you to scale up your SEO efforts in different ways, including:

  • Social media profile optimisation. Adding branded keywords to your social media profiles lets your business become searchable. It also helps to include links to your company website, products, or services.
  • Content distribution. Social media gives you access to a much wider audience than your website alone. Publishing and sharing content across your social networks helps attract more traffic to your site.
  • Link building. Building links is one of the many SEO techniques. You can incorporate links in the call-to-actions (CTAs) of your social media posts or link the product you’re promoting to a specific landing

4. Improve Customer Satisfaction

Social media allows you to establish direct contact with your target audience. You can engage with your audience consistently and respond quickly to their questions or concerns via the platform.

Since social networks provide you with opportunities to connect with fans and followers, building healthy customer relationships becomes easier. Here are a few ways to use social media in enhancing the overall customer experience:

  • Connect with customers who have questions, complaints, or feedback 
  • Keep followers updated on the new services and product offerings 
  • Involve prospects and followers in campaigns (i.e., polls, giveaways, share to win, etc)

Social Media Marketing Strategies

Like in other digital marketing concepts, you’ll need a solid strategy to succeed in social media marketing. Thankfully, there’s not just one but a handful of techniques you can implement to leverage the power of social media. Here’s how you can use the tool to its full potential: 

1. Personalise Social Media Content

According to a study, 81% of customers want brands to know them deeper and find the best way to approach them. Users crave personalised experience and respond better to content tailored to their needs and interests.

This is where crafting personalised content comes in handy. Personalisation can give your business a boost in social media engagement, not to mention customer loyalty and brand affinity.

Below are some tips to get your content personalisation right:

  • Segment your audience. Start by creating buyer personas, a profile of your ideal customer. Then, compare them against your existing customers’ data, such as age, location, language, interests, goals, and more.
  • Create content for each segment. Once you have your personas in place, produce content that’s most relevant to them. While blog posts and videos are the most comment content forms, you can also explore other types including:
    • case studies
    • product demos
    • product comparison guides
    • Keep personalisation offline and online. Investing in AI-powered chatbots is one way to facilitate personalised, real-time conservation. 

2. Partner with Influencers

  • Influencer marketing is another tried-and-tested social media marketing strategy.  Collaborating with ‘influencers’ (thought leaders, celebrities, other individuals with a large following) lets you expand your customer base and drive purchase decisions. 
  • A post by an influencer can have a much bigger effect than a post by an everyday user on the same platform. The reason behind this is either because consumers find influencers credible or they look up to them.

3. Run Social Media Campaigns

Social media marketing works hand in hand with social media advertising. Advertising on social networks is a sure-fire way to reach your target audience fast. So if you have more funds to support your SMM initiatives, consider placing ads on different platforms.

Types of social media ads include Facebook ads, video ads, stories ads, slideshow ads, playable ads, ads in Explore, and more. Whichever ad you plan to run on whatever platform, make sure to set marketing goals. A few objectives you can include are:

  • Obtain user input 
  • Create email marketing lists
  • Increase website traffic 
  • Increase overall brand engagement
  • Generate more sales

How to Measure Social Media Marketing Performance

The best thing about social media marketing is that it allows you to measure the performance of your SMM efforts. In short, it helps you determine whether your strategy is hitting the mark or not.

Here are four of the most important social media metrics:

  • Engagement. The engagement metric measures how users actively interact with your content. Engaged audiences interact with a post through likes, comments, shares, retweets, and brand mentions, to name a few.
  • Reach. This metric is influenced by two factors–timing and content. It indicates the number of unique users who have seen your post.
  • Impressions. This social media reporting metric tells you the number of times your content appears on someone’s feed.
  • Conversion. The conversion metric lies at the end of the funnel–it measures the number of leads converted to sales.

Evaluate & Adjust Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

By this point, you should have a clear grasp of your social media strategy.

You’ll never know how one campaign performed until you evaluate and compare it against your goals. 

The ability to take a bird’s eye view of your social media interactions can help you put things into perspective. Take a look at your best-performing content and modify your campaigns when your material isn’t working as expected.

Befriend social media analytics. Use data to track your social presence. React to your social media ads to keep the momentum and most importantly, maintain a laser focus on your goals. 

When things become overwhelming, go back to basics. Revisit this guide to start anew and come up with an even better strategy.

Do You Have Your Social Media Marketing Plan for 2022 Figured Out?

A well-thought-out strategy is insufficient if not carried out in the same manner as planned. You must design visual content so that the user is fascinated by the post even before they read information. 

It might be as simple as a designed social media post, a video, or even a picture of your product that has been professionally or artistically photographed. The goal is to catch people’s attention before they get interested in your product or service.

The goal of social media marketing is to connect with your target audience. So, put a strong emphasis on this to keep your business ahead of your competitors.

This article emphasised the fact that there are several parts to having a current social presence. Making your own doesn’t have to be time-consuming or a drag. If you create measurable objectives and follow each of the processes above, you’ll be well ahead of the game when developing a social media marketing plan for your company. 

Need help boosting your brand awareness, audience engagement, and online visibility on social media? 2Stallions got you covered! We provide social media marketing services that can help you grow your audience and business.

Learn more about our social media marketing services and process here. Wishing you the best in 2022!

Two years after he stepped away from the role, Dhawal Shah, co-founder of 2Stallions Digital Marketing Agency, has resumed the role of Regional Managing Director. He takes over from Daniël Heerkens, who leaves to pursue opportunities outside the Agency.

“Daniël has been with us the last six years,” says co-founder Dhawal, “and has been a big part of our growth and expansion into a regional agency. Over the last two years, Daniël’s leadership held 2Stallions steady as the world came to terms with the pandemic. We wish him the best in his next adventure.”

During his time away from the MD role, Dhawal joined a startup accelerator as Limited Partner – investing in, mentoring, and advising startups in the technology sector across APAC, and additionally, he has trained thousands of marketers in data-driven digital marketing focused on analytics.

“The digital acceleration happening globally is unbelievable,” says Dhawal, “and it is important that our clients should be able to trust in us to introduce them to newer approaches to marketing that drive growth.”

Dhawal is establishing a stronger ‘growth culture’ within the Agency, aimed at building better and longer-lasting relationships with clients, partners and agency team members. With him at the helm, the Agency and its clients will benefit from his advanced experience and expertise in technology and digital marketing.

Coding and building websites since childhood, Dhawal started his career in Silicon Valley. He founded 2Stallions in 2012 after Razy Shah (no relation) approached him with the concept of a digital agency. Since then, 2Stallions has always been on the forefront of digital services. The Agency offers its clients bespoke, highly-tailored digital marketing, creative, and development solutions based on their needs.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has irrevocably changed the way in which the world navigates and uses digital technologies, its impact on the environment and communities has affected the 2Stallions team on a more profound level. As a result, the Agency is looking to support projects that help alleviate this impact throughout Southeast Asia.

“We’re entering a new chapter,” Dhawal explains, “one where we need to think bigger and broader, but also sharper and more efficiently. A lot has changed in the last two years, and it’s important that those of us in the digital space change with it, especially when we are charged with helping other companies do the same.”

2Stallions has worked with multinational clients throughout APAC, as well as from the US and Europe, over the years. They have a physical presence in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and India.

With its headquarters in Singapore, and now, with its MSC Status and continued expansion into Malaysia as an operational hub, 2Stallions is off to a strong start for 2022 and will continue to serve its clients and partners in the digital space.

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

 

 

 

 

Account-based marketing (ABM) strategies, allow for marketers to increase their focus, prioritizing quality over quantity and thus improving ROI and the conversion of leads into higher valued customers.

Traditional B2B sales and marketing have been around for a long time – changing and developing with the growth of the digital landscape. It allows marketers to use a broad approach to lead generation, to capture a higher quantity of leads without necessarily focusing on their quality. As a result, the sales and marketing funnel tends to get more and more narrow the further in – true to its ‘funnel’ shape, as it were. However, as a result of this approach, the majority of B2B leads collected never convert to customers. Enter ABM.

What is Account-Based Marketing?

Account-based marketing is a focused approach to B2B marketing that brings marketing and sales teams together. This teamwork – often nicknamed ‘smarketing’ – allows for sales and marketing teams to align their strategies and work together to target best-fit prospects and convert them into customers. The age of information and the Internet has raised the stakes, driving competition between digital marketers, who are always fighting for the attention of their potential customers.

This competition tends to drive return of investments (ROI) up, and companies want to focus on the highest ROI need and thus place their attention on high-value accounts while considering account penetration, marketing penetration, and logos. Reaching business goals means that marketing teams need to use strategies that combine sales and marketing tactics so they can focus on high-value accounts that deliver the highest level of ROI.

Why should you adopt Account-Based Marketing?

Capturing the attention of potential customers is a lot trickier today than it was even a few years ago. With the rise of digitalization, everyone is vying for attention left, right, and centre. Engagement is a valuable digital currency, and in an era where everyone and everything is connected, it’s what marketers are vying for. Using ABM, sales and marketing teams can direct their energies towards potential and existing accounts that deliver the best ROI.

ABM is not a new idea, but it has seen a new boost because of the latest developments of technologies and the evolution of the digital landscape. ABM is a proven strategy that helps boost marketing ROI, drive attributed revenue, generate more conversions and qualified leads, and align sales and marketing. Generally, B2B marketers target their leads using broad tactics, casting a net, to appeal to as many different prospects as possible. This tactic may generate more leads in the long run but doesn’t deliver the best ROI.

The implementation of a strong ABM strategy can help improve ROI, drive attribution revenue, improve conversions and generate qualified leads. In the past, it was more difficult to scale ABM initiatives because of the level of personalization it required. However, with the development in technology, it’s now fairly straightforward and more affordable than ever before, making it easy for marketers to adopt an ABM strategy in their team to drive higher ROI and customer value outcomes.

7 Steps to Implementing Account-Based Marketing

1. Gather your Sales & Marketing Teams

ABM aligns your marketing and sales teams, so it’s only right that you start it off by bringing both departments together. Too often we see pillarization between sales and marketing, and one of the key strengths of ABM is that it gets rid of that pillarization and aligns the two. Both departments can strengthen each other by sharing information.

2. Define & Set your Goals and Strategy

Once you’ve got your teams together, you must work together to establish joint goals and tactics. Sales and marketing need to work together for ABM to deliver on its promises, and the best way to get them aligned is for them to discuss and agree upon KPIs and target goals. While tactics need to be adapted to each department’s strengths, of course, they do need to be aligned to reach their joint goals.

3. Select your ABM Technology

Thanks to the development of technology, ABM has seen such a resurgence in recent years.  Without the growth the ABM software development, we’d have no chance to scale our strategies. As a result, getting a good handle on the available ABM technology and learning how to best use it is an important step to scaling your ABM strategies.

4. Choose the Right Targets

ABM strategy relies on research, and there’s no getting around it. Once your team has established its goals, setting targets and prioritizing them is next. If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to develop and optimize your buyer personas. Remember, it’s a good idea to have your sales team involved in this optimization since they speak to customers and prospects one-on-one probably more often than your marketing team does.

5. Select your Channels & Craft your Messages

Know your target audience? Great. Next up is making sure that you reach them the right way at the right time, in the place where they’re most easily reached. This means choosing your channels and crafting your messaging. Again, the sales team can be of use during this process, so be sure to include them.

6. Execute your Campaigns

Once you’re happy with your messaging, it’s time to get your campaigns out in the world.

7. Evaluate & Optimize

Of course, once your campaigns are live it’s important to stay on top of them. Campaigns, like any other piece of marketing, should never be ‘set and forget’. Evaluating their progress and impact and making live tweaks to optimize them is part and parcel of any strong marketing initiative, especially one backed by ABM strategies.

 

Wrapping Up

Account-based marketing is a powerful tool that not only aligns marketing and sales more effectively, but also boosts lead generation efficiency. At its core, account-based marketing is all about converting more leads by improving the quality of the leads gathered from the start of a marketing campaign. ABM has seen a resurgence, and it’s not difficult to see why, in this age of digital transformation it is a more efficient way of capturing high value leads and convert a higher number of them into higher valued customers.

If you’re interested in learning more about account-based marketing or B2B strategies, check out some of our relevant other articles or reach out to us directly.

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