How has your organisation / team dealt with the challenge of the marketing industry and the wider digital world evolving at such a fast pace?
Every organization has limits in terms of resources (budget, manpower, timeline, skillset). We work closely with our partners who provide the technical expertise to help us navigate our campaigns. Leaving us to focus on our marketing strategies & brand communications. For example, one of our key strategies for some of our recent campaigns is using influencer marketing to reach the relevant audience. For this, we used an influencer marketing analytics software to help streamline the campaign from selecting the influencers to managing the day-to-day communications and finally monitoring and reporting insights in real-time throughout the campaign.
We also as a team need to be mobile and adaptive to the consumer savvy digital space.
Currently, what are you primarily looking for in your digital marketing efforts? Awareness or engagement? Why?
Even though G-Shock is an established brand, we continue to innovate & stay relevant to our audience through product innovation. We launch several new products every month with occasional collaboration models & limited editions. So, there is a huge need for awareness which we achieve through our online advertising, media partners, KOL marketing campaigns and offline channels. These has helped us with new customers acquisition as well as continue to market our products to returning customers.
We also understand the need for customer engagement both online & offline as we believe this helps us build customer loyalty.
We have regular activities on our social media channels such as quizzes, polls & giveaways through our social channel and also a community of raving fans & collectors who regularly posts about G-Shock which in turn helps in our awareness outreach.
In a nutshell, good marketing will require an understanding of communication from all channels to achieve a holistic marketing campaign.
What is your key takeaway piece of advice that you would give when speaking to others on how to evaluate and select a MarTech stack?
To quote Steve Jobs,
You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around
It is important to first understand what we are trying to achieve & the experience we want our customers to have with our brand before we embark on any technology investment.
Two key areas technology should help us in are Automation & Analytics.
So, for any technology stack, be very clear about the business objective, what are the results we want to see. Then look for the features that supports what we are trying to achieve.
For any online campaigns, having good analytics for us to make data-driven decisions & measurements are crucial. And with the technology we have today, there are many tasks that can be streamlined with automation.
Going back to the Influencer marketing platform that we use. A lot of agencies will push their network of KOL contacts based on metrics such as follower count & engagement on a few select social media posts.
With our software, we are able to see how many of their total followers fit our target audience demographics. Using AI, machine learning, the software we use can perform image recognition, keywords, hash tags etc to help us find a much larger group of potential KOLs with just a few clicks. With insights into the KOL’s followers, whether they fit our target audience demographics & interest.
How did your MarTech journey begin? Please let us know your top 3 findings and discoveries.
I’d say it started many years back when I was first exposed to CRM in one of my previous jobs. Using the data insights, we created a series of customer newsletter featuring styles, products & images supported by that data set. It was very well received with many of the customers writing in to express their delight at receiving them. This was before online reviews on google, Facebook etc came into trend.
Subsequently I was involved in more digital projects in THG and revamped the company website, creating a content strategy with the objective of having more people appreciate the finer details of a luxury watch. One small feature I included on our website back then, resulted in unexpectedly good results. That was just a simple, Schedule An Appointment with us button. It opened up the world of conversion optimisation for me, in how making simple changes to your digital assets that align with your business objectives & meets a customer’s need can result in good results.
The top learnings from my digital journey
- As mentioned above, was how analytics allows me to focus on making data-driven decisions in my campaigns. It offers me insights to my audience, campaign performances & forms one of the more important part of digital marketing as compared to offline marketing where we have no visibility.
- In digital, we have the ability to stay nimble. Supported by real-time data, A/B test etc, our creative team can change advertising assets quickly if we have to.
- And finally, that there’s so many day-to-day tasks that can be automated. Freeing up time & manpower for more creative & productive work.
For you and your team, which s currently recognised as the larger challenge – MarTech integration or MarTech strategy?
The strategy part is more a question of which solutions will fit our business objective and in a way, it is easier to decide.
I’d say the bigger challenge is in the integration, in terms of having our different vendors work with each other, legacy systems that can’t be supported & staff adoption of the new technology.
Have you mainly chosen to adopt established MarTech or have you also looked into the emerging opportunities? Which?
Most of the solutions we use are more or less established. However, we are also looking into emerging opportunities, especially on the creative front, things such as AR filter applications, chatbots which were trending over the last few years. The challenge, I think would be how these meets our business objectives and the incremental improvements to our current productivity & creative processes.
Which MarTech brands have you found have / are close to best meeting your expectations when it comes to customer experience? Let us know of any brands which have exceeded expectations.
All solutions have their pros & cons & it’s really how I choose to make what’s available to us work for us.
We use Socialbakers for the social media analytics, as we feel it has one of the best reporting features out there. However, there are better publishing tools which gives you options closer to the native platform.
I’ve personally used Mailchimp & HubSpot as well. The platforms are intuitive & easy to use, with integration available with many other tools.
My favourite would be Zapier, which I mainly used to automate my Facebook lead ads & integrated with our Mailchimp email campaigns.
What do you predict as being the top MarTech trends for MarTech in 2020?
There is a lot of buzz around Voice search, Videos, AR/VR, Bots & even AI.
Personally, I feel that video technologies that can help brands create engaging content in a faster and cheaper way such as Wistia are putting a lot of power in the hands of marketers and unlock their creativity.