Monday, July 27, 2009

The Malaysian

Recently Nielsen released survey findings which revealed recommendations by personal acquaintances as the most trusted forms of advertising globally – the same can be said for Malaysia as well.

The twice-yearly Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey had over 25,000 Internet consumers from 50 countries as respondents and found that 93% of Malaysians said recommendations from people they know were a source they trust.

Followed by editorial content (83%), brand websites (75%), and brand sponsorships (75%). Newspapers and television ads scored 74% trust. While ads served in search engine results (39%), online video ads, online banner ads and text ads on mobile phones all scored the lowest on Nielsen’s chart showing consumer trust in different sources.

Looking at Grey Group’s Eye on Asia study - it sheds some light into the psyche of Malaysian consumers. The agency says the study has identified unique segmentation of Asians based on how they think, feel and react to brands rather than traditional geo-political boundaries.

It says the five Asian brand tribes are:

Malaysia (28%) predominantly sits in the red portion of the pie called “Perceived Value Seekers” which means they look beyond functions and look for added value and emotional connections. While more developed markets like Singapore and Japan tended to favour the green “Individualistic Believers” tribe. This, according to Grey, means they are not looking for trendy or fashionable but are looking for brands which can imprint individual taste.

Basically, I gather that these individuals prefer to find out about products on their own – perhaps even through the internet. Malaysia also registered a score of 21% in this category.

And also registered 20% in the “New Brand Enjoyers” tribe who are said to treat shopping as a treasure hunt and give importance to variety and experience.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Domains with personality

My Domain Registry, the government agency which handles .my domains is looking for a speaker to fill a slot specifically on online brand management at its upcoming forum titled "Contemporary Developments in Electronic Addressing".

Topics that they want to address during the talk include ".my" internet address as a brand personality, brand strategies and marketing campaigns, and product & service management under a ".my" website.

The talk is slated for 30 minutes but i reckon it would be useful to open up the topics further to give brand managers help with their online branding management. Like how can you use .my domains to monitor and protect your brand online, or in social media strategies, and in search engine optimization, are all possible examples maybe?

In conjunction with National ICT Month 2009, .my Domain Registry has been pretty active of late. When they announced its promotional campaign offering 50% reduction for all new registration and renewal fees, Shariya Haniz Zulkifli, who is the director, said: "In this day and age of the internet, having a unique online identity is just as important as any conventional identity. This is true for both businesses and individuals and in Malaysia, this means having a domain name, or web address, that ends with a .my."

Anyone got thoughts on this?

Anyways Hill & Knowlton are helping them communicate this campaign and are also looking for speakers for the conference which is how I found out about it. The closing date for responses is 29 July.

Over to you guys

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The truth is out there

The viral campaign about a mysterious figure roaming the streets in KL continues to make the newspapers today following yesterdays front page advertorial in The Star.

Today, the advertorial appeared in NST as well and continues the tale of a guy called Ahmad Shazali who made a report about a figure he saw in his neighbourhood at Sri Cempaka. He said it was about 12 feet tall with many heads and stood on two legs.

A quick call to The Star today revealed little, they refused to say who the client was which makes it even more likely that it is a teaser or viral marketing ploy for something. 

“Look out for another ad by the end of this week” is all I got before they hung up. 

The consensus among the bloggers seems to be that it’s for a new extraterrestrial movie called District 9.

The Mysterious Figure Seen in KL news is also being aired on Hitz.FM and My.FM.  

Someone out there has got to know so feel free to drop us an anonymous comment below!

UPDATED: DiGi is behind the mystery ad.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fan or Fad? Scoring social media

Buzzmedia’s David Wang recently blogged that social media is the world’s biggest fad for marketers and said that there seems to be “an almost unhealthy fascination with social media among marketers at the moment.”

In the end, he said, “we’ll all realise that social media will become just regular ol’ media.

It’s a fairly detailed post – you can check it out here – and one that makes a really strong case for his argument. And addresses points which marketers definitely need to consider when using social media in the marketing mix.

One of the points which stood out for me (I just had a conversation with someone else about it before I read David’s post) was how social media was rife with experts but starved of authorities.

Untapped marketing tool?

Sure, there is a need for consultants and agencies to show marketers how to get started but I think when there are too many “experts” pitching advice and services to marketers it can have a negative effect. And I am not just talking about the obvious examples like if they hurt the brand through a less than relevant campaign.

On a basic level, I think when there are below-par experts pitching to marketers to spend on social media yet can’t convincingly address all of the marketer’s concerns or argue convincingly about why they should be using Twitter for example – it reduces client confidence in the medium. Makes it even more difficult for them to consider social media as a viable marketing tool, and in turn, also doesn’t help stimulate the growth of online ad spend either.

I know I’ve simplified the argument down a fair bit (1+1 doesn’t always = 2) but I wanted to raise another issue which I think is important which is about whether we need a digital agency scorecard. Are there any credible ones out there in the industry at the moment? Something which is able to tell marketer whether an agency is strong with social media but weak in other aspects.

Going back to David’s post, he said “agencies specialising in social media should be familiar with technologies like Open Social, Facebook Connect, community platforms like KickApps or social widgets and be able to build engaging applications that fit into a brand’s overall marketing strategy.”

That’s one good way to check – any other ideas?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

MJ's midas touch

The King of Pop may be dead but it seems not everyone was crying too hard for Michael Jackson when he was laid to rest on Tuesday night.

The Staples Center played host to the memorial / tribute service aired all around the world to millions and talked about, reported about, and social media-ed about for days afterwards. And if that wasn't enough, Forbes points out that the service got underway half an hour late leaving millions watching as cameras lingered on the oversized sign which read 'Staples'.

The company paid $116 million in 1999 for the 20-year naming rights to the arena and according to Forbes it "got a raging bargain for the naming rights there."

Let's put this to the test shall we? Go around the office and ask a handful of colleagues to, without thinking for too long, name where the MJ memorial service was held. We scored two out four correct answers on our end.

Reports out of the US say some 31.1 million people in the United States watched the Michael Jackson memorial on television, with millions more catching video streams on their computers.

How did it compare to other events? President Barack Obama's inauguration in January was seen by 38 million people on TV, and the American Idol finale in May had 28.9 million viewers.

Jackson's family wont be too happy about the Staples Centre cashing in on MJ's star power -- then again they might be too busy figthing each other for the rights to the Memorial DVDs to even notice.