A starting point for social media usage in your branding strategy

If you intend to create a social media strategy in house then this infographic is a useful tool that will help you determine how to use the most popular social media tools and where to focus resources. It’s not perfect and it is US centric but local research has shown consumers in South East Asia are not that different in the way they engage with social media.

Thanks to Buffer social for the excellent infographic


You need to track the reputation of your brand online: Infographic

Recently I was asked to map out a plan to develop some substance around the CEO of a major organization in Malaysia. The belief was that although he heads a hugely successful company, his personal brand lacks gravitas and this may count against the firm in the long run.

And they were right because the reputation of a CEO is inextricably linked to the reputation of a company. Just look at the fortunes of any CEO who had a good reputation then lost it.

Or the fortunes of a business whose reputation was painstakingly built over years, only to fall in a heartbeat because of C level indiscretions or dodgy practices.

Here in Malaysia errant CEOs generally leave quietly so we don’t often hear about such reputational issues but there are plenty of examples of the above. Because of the increasingly litigious nature of society, I’m not going to name names but think of the automotive, aviation, banking, steel and telecommunications industries amongst others and you should be able to work out who I am talking about.

Even in the consumer trenches, a company with a poorly respected CEO or dodgy reputation is going to struggle to find enough customers to build a brand. After all, would you buy from a company with a poor reputation? If a company with a questionable reputation submits a tender to your company, would you consider them? With so many alternatives in the market, there is no need to do so.

Even if the CEO has a solid reputation, he is often the difference between the company and a competitor. If he lacks charisma he may struggle to compete effectively. Tracking his reputation online will enable firms to identify what issues to address, in which channels and where and when. The effectiveness of solutions can be tracked and improved almost immediately.

In today’s social economy, where consumers not companies define brands it is imperative that every organization tracks its reputation online. This is even more important here in Asia where consumers are more likely to take to social media to complain and raise issues rather than connect directly with a company.

Unfortunately many companies still don’t see the benefit of tracking their reputation. Hopefully that will change with this handy infographic from Digital Firefly which shows why companies need to make reputation management a top priority – NOW!

Tracking your reputation online has never been more important
Tracking your reputation online has never been more important

Travel related brands, especially luxury brands need to be doing social

Any brand in the destination branding space should look at this infographic to see how much effort the big travel related US brands are pouring into social media.

It is reported that there are 199 airlines active on Twitter which is an impressive total. This infographic looks at the top six which is dominated by US carriers.

Travel brands are investing in social because that's where their prospects and customers are spending their time
Travel brands are investing in social because that’s where their prospects and customers are spending their time

US hotels have jumped on the social bandwagon as well. Followers on Twitter for the top 6 hotels range from 4,000 (Radisson) to 231,000 for the Marriott. According to hotel marketing Internet users in the US generate 66.3% of global searches for luxury hotel brands which means that anyone in the luxury destination business needs to be online and doing social.

But it’s not just luxury brands that need to be doing social. 65% of leisure travelers begin researching online before they have decided where or how to travel. And a typical traveller visits 22 sites before making a destination decision. Arabs are big users of the online space for travel. Online bookings will nearly double in Arabia between 2011 and 2014, and the online leisure and business travel market is expected to cross the US$16 billion mark.

So if you are looking to attract visitors, especially from Western countries, you need to be doing social.

Thanks to media mosaic for the infographic.

How to develop a measurable content marketing plan

As the corporate driven creative message is assigned to the advertising graveyard, and content becomes the key tool to engage consumers the ability to use content to build a story around your brand is more important than ever before.

If you know and understand your customers and are able to create content that resonates with each segment (and I’m not talking traditional age related segments) you are well on your way to building a profitable brand.

That’s because so much research is carried out online. Need to find something out, what do you do? You ask Google. It is estimated that Google answers more than a billion questions from people around the world every day.

So where do you start? Well this superb infographic from BrandPoint in the US provides a robust overview of what you must do to build awareness, generate interest and create customers. These are of course key steps to building a profitable brand.


Infographic: The history of marketing

HubSpot, the inbound marketing gurus have come up with an impressive infographic that outlines the history of marketing from the first one dimensional ads of 1450 to the digital, more interactive model of today.

The history of marketing
The history of marketing

It’s a massive infographic that features all the key moments in the evolution of marketing such as the print era that lasted 300 or so years to the introduction of new channels including TV and radio advertising and then onto the digital era of video, search marketing, inbound marketing, email and more before coming to the present era of social media and mobile.

Proton must fast track core branding activities

Proton Edar CEO Hisham Othman stated recently that the company “Would pay greater attention to product quality and customer service”.

That’s a suitably vague statement that can be open to multiple interpretations and I’ll be commenting on it in greater detail soon. In the meantime, here is a useful graphic from Teletech that should help Proton accelerate the project.

Proton must accelerate its customer service programme
Proton must accelerate its customer service programme

Storytelling must be part of your brand strategy

Telling a story has always been an important element of brand building but sadly too many CEOs have left it to advertising agencies and creative campaigns to try and tell their story.

This model is flawed because it nearly always focuses more on creativity than content. It is also flawed because few brands have the deep pockets required to sustain such a creative campaign. And the limitations of traditional media mean that it is extremely expensive to try and build a brand this way. And, if the truth be told, too many advertising agencies are often more interested in the next design award than they are on delivering good quality content.

Social Media gives brands the platform and reach they have always wanted, without the costs. Moreover, the increasing importance and influence of social media means that the ability to tell a story and share that story and encourage the sharing of that story further across the ecosystem is now so critically important to an organisation that it no longer needs to be left in the hands of advertising agencies.

This infographic from NCM Fathom maps out nicely what you need to include, what channels to use, why you need to develop stories and the benefits of doing so.

Build stories into your branding