25th Oct2009

Edelman partnered with Brandtology Digital Brand Index (APAC) finally launched!

by Dorothy

Apologies for the radio silence here the past period, it has been absolutely insane the last few weeks but I have a good excuse. 🙂

So one of the projects I’ve been working on….the APAC Digital Brand Index!
Edelman, together with Brandtology (where I work) have just released a APAC Digital Brand Index spanning across the major markets in the region. To quote John, “8 markets, 800,000 posts, 233 tech brands…” and then some <!>

Please show the team some love if you can because while this may come under the umbrella project of the DBI, multi-market projects really could be mini projects on their own (as is often the case). A full story can be found on the Edelman & Brandtology main sites. (This is where you get the media goodies like fact sheets & media releases, so I suggest you check it out!) and more on John’s site here.

There’s been some nice coverage so far, from online sites in Malaysia, India, China (post in chinese), more India, Australia, to publications like Marketing-interactive.com. I’ve heard the team from China had some great respones from the media session too!
And of course, there are scribd documents, youtube videos all over ( you don’t have to look too hard.)

It is pretty interesting to watch how the news grows. The Google bots are clearly doing their job. Early Friday morning, a Google search returned some 3-4 relevant hits top of page, but that has changed significantly now for any of the major search terms one might use to hunt this down. Search also turns up hits from Facebook pages pretty well too.

Across other spaces, the word is alive on Twitter…. it’s nice to see the multi lingual comments coming in.



I think some of the main findings are already nicely summarized in the various fact sheets on the Edelman site, but of course there are a whole lot more that the data set could provide. Off the top of my head:

  • Online behavioural patterns of APAC netizens… ( 8 countries so far, 2 more coming out). This is for the psychology buff inside me somewhere. I’d really like to see if there are patterns of posting. Weekends are generally less buzzy (people apparently don’t post when they’re not at work?), with conversations happening mostly during weekdays. I can see all those questions about productivity popping up already!
  • Behavioural patterns in different channels – Twitter, unsurprisingly ranks pretty highly in terms of activity and mentions of Brands in the DBI. Part of me thinks that this is largely due to the ease and low effort needed to do an update (aka people are lazy. Easier to post on Twitter than write a full blog post).
    If you’re holding a smartphone, armed with the great Twitter applications and a mobile data plan, it’s easy to make a habit out of Twitter. Instead of calling up our best friend to rant about the lousy brand experience you’d just had, the whole world is now your audience. Clearly, we are seeing signs of that happening, given the number of rants that seem to originate from Twitter.
  • Virality of a Brand – is a certain brand name confined within a select few channels? and why? What’s the difference between a brand that enjoys a lot of buzz within a limited number of channels, as compared to one that is widely disscussed across multiple platforms, but in less depth.
    As a brand, which would you rather be and why? Is this what people call “reach”?
    Does mere reach ( my brand is discussed by 100000 people but each of them only talks about me once ) mean more than longevity in conversation ( my brand is discussed continually by 100 people, across a period of months )?
  • Between a brand and an iconic product – The Singapore data shows Singtel topping the list of mentions. This is probably correlated somewhat with the fact that they still (at this moment in time anyway) have a monopoly on the iphone market. It’s interesting that probably Apple is not mentioned as a brand itself much, but it’s hugely successful line of products – the iPhone, iMac, Macbook, MBPs, MacOS etc would probably generate a huge amount of conversations. Maybe Apple is an aspirational brand, but i personally hate the iPhone because I can’t type on it (yes, seriously). How does brand loyalty feature then, and does it even matter anymore? Would you place product function over the brand, or do you like to convince yourself that this is so?
  • Influencers – What is the difference between an online influencer who owns a blog, and say, someone who’s really active on Twitter? In a forum? In which forum? And how would you qualify this? Microblogging and forums clearly win hands down in terms of activity, as compared to blogs (Again, back to the fact that blogging is hard work!).

Endless questions of why, how, etc and I could really go on and on…

But really, if you’re a slice and dice data wizard, it would be cool to find out what else I could have missed! Any major angles?

If you’re a practioner in Communications/PR/Marketing, it would be great to hear what matters in your daily projects, what are the kinds of metrics and measurements that are important to you and why? How would any of these feature in your social media/digital strategies?
PM me or drop a comment here! I’m decidedly curious. 🙂

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09th Aug2009

Banking and Social Media #2 : Silence is not (quite) a strategy

by Dorothy


As a continuation of my last post, I’m looking into how financial institutions are communicating with their Web 2.0 stakeholders and managing the responding procedure, if any.

The previous mentioned Financial Times article mentions how research with the London School of Economics had uncovered two banks now using blogs to communicate in a much “softer” way than traditional marketing.

In fact, there are not just two, but a whole lot more.

Just to name a few from the Fortune 500 list, we have on Twitter

  • UBank (linked to the National Australian Bank,
  • Westpac Banking Group (not quite a big fan of the “Westpac help” username though)
  • ANZ Bankings CEO used to be on Twitter, but apparently he isn’t anymore (Why?)

And on blogs, we have Wells Fargo’s Join the Conversation. AOL Finance has a pretty nifty blog aggregator that pulls in blog posts around the web on the various institutions, like Bank of America, for example.

Over at this article,”Know Your Customers Means Knowing Your Social Media” some overseas examples of how consumer banking can approach the issue of delving in to the brave new world of social media are mentioned. As quoted,

Peter Aceto, CEO of ING Direct Canada who is personally active on Twitter, puts it, “Banking is our business, and we think our business needs to be wherever people are talking about banking.”

Silence as a Strategy

The questions: when do you respond, how do you respond, and should you even respond at all?

It’s true. Not every single thread, blog post, tweet or discussion online needs responding to. It would also be a near impossible task to respond to everyone. But that is no excuse for not trying. Silence is Not a Strategy, Even If You’re a Pirate.

By remaining silent while netizens raise their voices online, a few of the following situations could occur.

  • You appear unresponsive, worse, unware that anything is amiss.
  • You give competitors a chance to jump in and pacifiy upset customers, and lose the opportunity to engage.
  • You allow the situation to possibly spiral out of control.


Demanding Transparency and Truth, now.

We live in an age where the public demands transparency. The web allows for by-the-minute updates of day to day happenings, from the mundane (what you ate this morning) to the serious (breaking news of attacks in a certain city). If I can receive updates that a friend just had an amazing bacon and eggs breakfast, why can’t I receive a genuine response to a query or complaint online, on platforms like Twitter? Again, if your competitors are already doing so, won’t your customers be expecting that you follow suit? Jumping on the bandwagon isn’t the best way to do it, but shows some proactivness, at the very least.

With regards to banking, two areas immediately jump out- that of risk management/brand reputation and customer service. These are of course, generalizable to any other service orientated organization out there. With openess, comes trust. No industry needs to focus more on rebuilding trust right now. We need to trust our banks, as this article postulates.


Inertia, eradicated

And yet, the uptake of social media hasn’t quite taken this industry by storm, despite the powerful competitive advantages that could be derived from using the tools wisely. Inertia is a curious phenomenon that I can’t quite understand, in an industry that basically is commercially driven, and fueled by competition.

“Currently many traditional bankers tend to reject the concept of
social banking as a fad while others refuse to recognize or accept any
degree of threat posed by such new phenomena,” said Alistair Newton,
research vice president at Gartner. “Although bankers may see current
low usage by consumers as a permanent source of safety, this disregard
for changing consumer behavior with social networking generally may
mean that they miss the possibility of fast, viral uptake of social
banking.
” – Gartner Says Banks Need to Be Ready to Take Advantage of the New Age of Social Banking



I’ll end off by sharing some links, one which touches on a bit of Social Banking goodness and another nice link about managing your online reputation- enjoy!

Community Banker’s Guide to Social Network Marketing

In the Community Banker’s Guide to Social Network Marketing addresses social networks, user demographics and the role of social networks within the greater sphere of social media. Also addressed at length is the development of viral marketing programs, consumer advocacy, conversational marketing, metrics and common pitfalls.

NYT – Managing an Online Reputation

Your customers are talking about you — and the whole world is listening. How do you manage your reputation when everybody is a critic? Monitor – Manage – Promote.

“Social media for business now is life or death,” said Dan Simons, a restaurateur in the Washington area who closely monitors these forums. “You could open a business and do everything right, but if you’re unaware of these social media you will perish. Social media can take a business and put a bullet in it.”


As always, thanks for reading & would love to hear your comments or feedback if any!

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01st Jul2009

September – Looking forward to Social Networking World Forum – Asia

by Dorothy

A blog post to share that DorothyPoon.com will be one of the media partners for the above mentioned event. I am psyched that Social Media finally gets a forum of it’s own, in our part of the world, rather than being a subset of other marketing, advertising, etc conferences.

Digital has definitely come of age… I’m not entirely sure offline will be wiped out so thoroughly in so short a time as Steve Ballmer so radically postulated, but we are definitely seeing the start of this ‘fundamental economic reset‘.

Readers of this blog get a 15% discount, so make full use of it.  If you’re planning to head down, drop a note or give me a shoutout on Twitter and it would be great to catch up in real life!

Details, details!

______________________________________________________________________________

Social Networking World Forum – Asia – Grand Hyatt Singapore, Singapore, 22nd and 23rd Sept 2009

• Two day conference dedicated to social networking

• Featuring key speakers from social networking publishers, advertising agencies, industry analysts, software developers and equipment manufacturers, pay-TV and network service providers, mobile operators, plus many more

• Evening Networking Reception

• Joint exhibition combining social networking and mobile social networking formats

• Free to attend exhibition only pass available

Key Speakers included:

  • Bennett Porter, Head of Marketing – South East Asia, Yahoo
  • Deep Malhotra, Senior Director, MySpace India and South East Asia.
  • Desmond Tan, Brand Manager, Loreal
  • Bambos Kaisharis, Head of Marketing, Singapore & Malaysia Nokia
  • Lai Kok Fung , CEO , BuzzCity
  • Jeffrey Seah, CEO – South East Asia, Starcom MediaVest Group
  • Olivier Legrand, General Manager – Asia, The Wall Street Journal Digital Network
  • Paras Sharma, Senior Director, Marketing & Corporate Communications, ESPN Star Sports
  • Plus many more

Early Booking Discount Ends 21st Aug 09 + 15% discount for blog readers

125x125-asia-snf

www.socialnetworking-asia.com

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14th Jun2009

The (Facebook) Name Game

by Dorothy

Picture 7Picture 6Picture 8Picture 9Picture 10

Tadah!Picture 12

For a brief moment, the world was divided into the happy ( I got my Facebook Vanity URL!) and the not-so-happy ( Someone got there before me!). At least, it was for those who were concerned over this issue.

For some sense of reality, there were people out there who had to wait for their lunch because I -had- to be online at noon. I say -had to- because most in the know had already been forewarned that if I did not get my name, grumpiness would ensue.

For the uninitiated, the reason why some people were parked in front of their computers geeking out and getting an adrenaline rush for “no apparent reason”, FB was finally giving people the chance to get www.facebook.com/yournamehere, instead of the very clinical www.facebook.com/id=1230974952365, which is only great for those who qualify for the Guiness World Records for ability to remember strings of numbers, not so great for the other mere mortals like us.

What’s in a name?

Quite a bit, it seems. Judging from the groups of people around the world stalking their Facebook profile for the name grab. It was a moment that defined the importance of this particular social networking site that emerged in 2004 and has since taken different parts of the world by storm, especially in the more advanced markets.

For those who are into numbers, here are the official FB usage statistics. e.g impressive numbers like

  • More than 200 million active users
  • More than 100 million users log on to Facebook at least once each day
  • More than two-thirds of Facebook users are outside of college
  • The fastest growing demographic is those 35 years old and older

I would have liked it better if they could have shown some comparisons, but I am not entirely sure that would be allowed. Numbers on their own never ever really help. Great, FB have 200 million active users, but what makes it more significant is the fact that Comscore reports MySpace users total at around 125 million for some contrast.

What’s the BEST name?

A higher level of geekdom came from the bloggers and Tweeters who were discussing SEO issues and the likes:

  • your-name-here or yournamehere?  ( p.s only “.” are allowed, so this needn’t be debated at this time)
  • your.name.here or yournamehere?  (FB doesn’t seem to recognise the “.”, so both options are actually the same!)
  • your.name.here or your.online.nickname.here ( A valid question, since this is the name you’re going to be stuck with, at least while FB reigns). Maybe THE.KING0101 semed like a cool idea when you were 21, not so when you’re nearing 45.

You know you’re a social media junkie if you were on the various platforms discussing with  your friends which was the best name you ought to take. For some reason, Chris Brogan has refused to do a facebook.com/chrisbrogan.  Someone (the other Chris Brogan) out there must be relieved. I bet he is also going to get a whole lot of uninvited hits because of his more famous counterpart.

You have our private geographic time zone details, use it.

I was glad that Facebook eventually gave instructions in our time zone. It’s ironic if they couldn’t, given that being able to figure out where a user is surfing in from and pointing them to appropriate front pages, is not even rocket science right now. Also, telling me that something is going to happen at 13th June, 12 am (EST), leads to a lot of uncertainty and googling for global clocks to do the necessary calculations.

Props to them also for making everything easily accessible and not buried within the account settings because there was no word on how we would eventually be able to choose our name.

All in all, I was impressed that Facebook (unlike Twitter might have) did not go down as feared. It was quick, painless, and clear (unlike their privacy filter settings or any other control feature for that matter), and as you can see, the outcome extremely satisfactory.

An interesting episode altogether!

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13th Jun2009

Ad:Tech Singapore Thoughts: #2 Engage the Youth Keynote session

by Dorothy

Just got back from a pretty cool experience speaking at this year’s Ad:tech… the keynote panel on Engage the Youth – a direct dialogue…Starting off with some snapshots of the session!

 

keynote1
It was a pretty lively session, from the responses on Twitter and conversations. Here’s the gang panel in discussion with Graham.

IMAGE_527

Amidst the blinding lights, waiting for the delegates to come back from coffee….

 

So a couple of highlights from the discussion:

Q: What do you like about digital marketing? What do you not like?

I remember saying that the one thing that I really felt didn’t quite “work” was corporate accounts following me on Twitter. I’d probably follow back if I like the brand, but if not…it just feels like going back to the old days of intrusive advertising. If I like the brand, I’d hunt them out.  This point apparently resonated with Jeremy Snyder, in his great summary of what transpired on Day 1.

 

The concept of Friends

… To me, it’s really not about the numbers game. The people who are in the numbers game are SEO/digital marketers on Twitter who follow 10000 random people who vaguely mention a keyword once, and have about 100 followers back (maybe other spammers“digital marketers”  who can help you “get rich quick”).

Someone asked if Gen Y measures success by how many friends you have. I sure don’t. The only people who do are the said people above…and probably the likes of Ashton Kutcher when he was in the CNN Twitter challenge.

 

Digital Identity

The question was whether or not digital identities were an accurate portrayal of ourselves, since marketers were probably using social profiles to try and get a sense of who you are as a person.

My answer : I (and partial mountains of psychology research that I had to trawl through for a past paper) believe that digital identities are not accurate on their own, but they could either be an extension of who we are or an aspect that may not be seen in our offline selves. True, social profiles are completely malleable online, so that people can choose to “create” their own digital identities, but the same can be said of how we pick how we speak, what we wear, how we behave, and where we choose to hang out. Impression management works the same way in real life and the digital channel.

I wish I had a photo taken with Devin and his hot pink glasses. Cool stuff. 😉

 

Advertising

I think that advertising will move towards being invisible in the future, it will become content. Ideally content that people are searching for. If I’m looking online for the best hotel to stay while in a particular country, it says a lot if your brand is mentioned in the top post that search engines return. And no, I’m not talking about the text based ads (which I never really pay attention to anyway because they are not what I’m looking for).

 

Media consumption from different perspectives

Great to have fellow panelist, Devin, from Uni of Texas on the panel, with his statement that no one really reads the newspapers in the States anymore (“You’re throwing your money down the drain advertising there”, to quote him) . He also mentioned how magazines were probably 85% of advertising ( I reiterate the importance of my point about advertising as content in future). TV – no one’s watching. Malik watches TV ..but online. Did that count? he pondered aloud, to the chuckles amongst the audience.


keynote2

 

The very tired argument about traditional v.s new/social media

Daryl & I have recorded some live Ad:tech thoughts on our newest installment of the GennY Podcast. , where we address:

  • the traditional v.s new media issue as mentioned (must there really be a distinction? I’d vote for a wholistic campaign. Just because everyone is increasingly on digital doesn’t mean you stop talking in all other channels altogether.
  • Influencers – do they need to be friends/family? (not really)
  • Reaching out to youth…
  • and finally questioning if youth are really that different?

Thoughts
All in all, it was a fun session. Always too short – its hard to really gleam insights when you’re pressed for time, so I do wish there had been more responses to Graham’s call for questions, both on radio and on the official Ad:tech blog. We’ve got forever now online to really respond. 🙂 Would love to hear in the comments if you have any opinions!

True, we’re mostly alpha users of the tools online and exploring the social media space, but a panel session is not much different from a focus group. Qualitative research has never been about the numbers, but more on insights and trying to find out the reasons why, how people do what they do. We all fall somewhere along the technology adoption curve anyhow, so once you have a clearer picture of that path, you can pretty much predict some possible trends for the population at large.

More Link Love:

Graham’s Pre Ad:tech interview : 28th May : on 93.8 Live on ‘How to Market to Youths’

Some good insights here! Loving the research insight on how the folks at Apple visited a sweet factory before successfully deciding to name their products in yummilicious flavours.

Part 1: Play here: [audio:http://www.dorothypoon.com/audio/938Live%20The%20Living%20Room-1010am%20to11am-28May-How%20To%20Market%20To%20Youth-p1.MP3]
Download Part 1

Part 2:

Play here: [audio:http://www.dorothypoon.com/audio/938Live%20The%20Living%20Room-1010am%20to11am-28May-How%20To%20Market%20To%20Youth-p2.MP3]
Download Part 2

Ritsa’s post has a pretty detailed commentary about the main gist of what transpired, so do check it out. She seems to have a great sense of humour and I am digging the BYT (bright young things) description. But I’ll have to say that Graham is anything but a dinosaur!

Speaker page

My other Ad:tech posts:

Pre Ad:tech thoughts: Web 2.0 & Gen Y: The Other Side of the Story
Ad:Tech Singapore Thoughts: #1 Live event Tweeting…

Next up…a post on Scott Goodstein. You can stay tuned through this blog’s RSS here!

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11th Jun2009

Ad:Tech Singapore Thoughts: #1 Live event Tweeting…

by Dorothy

…is a brain intensive process.

This was the first time I’ve tried to live tweet an entire 2 day conference, and I’ve found it was no easy feat…

Brain Intensive

A couple of the guys were remarking that it was pretty trying to Tweet, listen, synthesize and breathe all at once. Tiring yes, but I shall credit the factors that supposedly make females more adept at multitasking, and maybe the live blogging practice from Social Media Breakfast sessions.  🙂 Still, end of Day 1, we were Zapped with a capital Z, reflected in the more modest number of Tweets on Day 2, if you were following the live Twitter feed.

Self PWNed.

I love Tweetdeck. really I do. I’d never tried out the Twitter/FB syncing on Tweetdeck so something in me asked why not? I’ll show you why (not). See this, and multiply it a few times in length.

annoying-fb-spam

Basically, I spammed my FB profile with my Tweets. Horrendous. I’m sure I spammed the FB News feed of all my friends as well, giving them sure reasons to filter me out .. haha ( just kidding).

Anyway, by lunchtime of the first day, I decided this was not working (not as fun as I thought it would be, visually or mentally), so I stopped the simultaneous posting to both Twitter and FB, so my profile could breathe. Left a status msg linked to my twitter feed instead.  The really un-fun part was having to go in and delete the posts on my wall..one by one. Didn’t quite erase them all… No more experimenting on this!

Lets try not to parrot

I also didn’t want to repeat every single thing that was being Tweeted, so the plan I had really was to watch the live feed and pretty much figure out on the spot the angles that each of the other people Tweeting were taking, and avoid posting similar thoughts. Not entirely avoidable, of course, since most good points are usually the ones that get picked up and Tweeted, but worth the effort and still manageable due to the number of Tweeters. Which brings me to my next point…

It’s a digital conference

…but where is the tech? went a Tweet that I saw. Should we hope to see more people actually getting their feet wet and using the tools that would help them understand the different aspects of how it could help them in their jobs better? Only a handful of people were live Tweeting, with the rest of the comments coming from interested parties not present at the conference.

Live event broadcasting

I can see why there is the debate over whether or not a portion of the presentation screen should be devoted to the live Tweets while presentations are going on. Possible issues I can think of are:

  • It’s distracting : some people can’t listen and focus on the Tweets at the same time
  • hijacking: some people mistaking the Tweet screen as a stage to send SMS-type msgs like on TV/ or saying something inappropriate.

The Tools are more powerful than you know…if used right

Some thoughts on the conference as a whole – It really would have helped if the folks organizing the conference could have confirmed the #hashtag, rather than the Tweeters finalizing it themselves. I saw Claudia taking the inititaive to try and standardiz the tag, but there was still some confusion and all conversation got divided mostly between @adtechasia (the official one) and @adtechsg, with a huge majority not even using them… so just adtech ought to return those results in Twitter search. The problem with the last option is that it returns all global adtech sessions – Twitter is now “mainstream”…hopefully digital marketers will make more effort to really utilize the power of the tools offered to them.

I found another Tweet about how Ad:tech singapore might end up as the conference with the most number of abandoned conference Twitter accounts ever amusing.

Having said that, it was very encouraging to see progress, however small, in terms of the ad:tech blog, using Twitter to get live audience questions during sessions ( although there was the query about why Wifii appeared to be cut off during sessions without a Twitter Q&A feature. Feedback off the Adtech Twitter stream should show lots of griping comments about a technology centric conference with no internet from both visiting and local delegates… ). Baby steps, but it can only get better!

Are you on Twitter? Drop a note to say hi if you were at Ad:tech too! If not, it would be cool to connect on Twitter anyway, or you can leave a comment here. 🙂

More up next on the Keynote Youth Panel session… and meeting Scott Goodstein (man behind Obama’s digital campaign)! I shall try not to fangirl too much.

My other posts on Ad:tech this year:

Pre Ad:tech thoughts: Web 2.0 & Gen Y: The Other Side of the Story
Ad:Tech Singapore Thoughts: #2 Engage the Youth Keynote session

You can stay tuned through this blog’s RSS here!

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