Social Media

National Congress of Marketing in Mexico: Day 2

Congreso Nacional Mercadotecnia Mexico

The second (and final) day of the 6th National Marketing Congress in Mexico City was nothing short of an insightful and notable experience revolving around the world of Marketing, Advertising and Media. 

The day kicked-off with a conference by Fabian González, Marketing & Corporate Communications Manager of Comex, who dealt with the issue of Street Art: the urban art of selling and how this is linked to the company’s marketing strategy. He shared some great insights on how to take advantage of this wonderful communication tool: 

  • Creative strength + independence = inspiration
  • Color + art = transforming power
  • Communication + awareness = action
  • Empowerment + entitlement = movement
  • Individual expression + content = unique and unrepeatable
  • Urban art + brands = disruption

We amidst the era of democratization of content, where art is reachable to all of us. Brands should take advantage of this to emotionally connect with consumers and inspire them.

Meanwhile, Adrián Peregrino, CEO of Spotify Mexico spoke about the digital music industry and shared some interesting facts with the audience:

  • Technology has radically changed the way we listen to music. When Napster was launched, the record labels lost 50% of their business.
  • 59% of the music industry income in Mexico is coming from digital platforms. For the first time digital data is more relevant than the physical one.  
  • There is a 79% annual increase of music apps in the world, while video streaming is increasing by 114%.

There is no doubt Nike is one of the most renowned brands when it comes to innovation. And this was confirmed when its E-commerce Marketing Leader, Ana Lizz Pardo took the stand and spoke about social videos, highlighting some stimulating points, such as:

  • Digitally savvy kids grow up and change everything
  • It’s a she-conomy
  • Social networks fuel the participatory economy
  • Consumers control the relationship
  • Localism creates a new way of life
  • Internet has an emotional side
  • Context is king
  • Facebook video is the new YouTube
  • Real-time storytelling
  • Viral is the only currency

“In social media, you are not competing with other brands, you are competing against the user’s family and friends.” - Ana Lizz Pardo.

José Alberto Terán, CEO & Founder of Terán TBWA gave some valuable advice based on his extensive experience working on several pitches for new accounts. He suggests to:

  • Choose your battles, don't go for everything
  • Work with your best-in-class team
  • Pay attention to the brief
  • Be organized to win and be prepared to invest
  • Act as a brand
  • Adopt a posture, choose a topic
  • Do you want to be right or do you want to win?
  • Make it smart, make it beautiful, have fun
  • Rehearse
  • Use your best presenters
  • Never give up - fight until the end
  • If you win, quickly celebrate and then start working. If you loose, have a postmortem.
  • Winning a pitch is just the beginning

When it comes to positioning, Corona is without a doubt an expert. Acting as the brand's representative, we had the pleasure of listening to Jorge Inda, Brand Director of Corona and Bud Light about the 4 key elements to develop a successful branding: superior product, a distinctive positioning, consistency and the establishment of consumer loyalty programs.

Jorge also suggested we go out of the traditional, and sometime subjective scheme, and instead ask ourselves the following questions:

  • What is the brand's vision?
  • What is my play field?
  • Which elements will allow us to win?
  • How can we create physical and mental availability?
  • How can we improve the world?

To continue with a superb lecture, we received Mike Arciniega and Arturo Diaz, Creative VPs and Founding Partners of Archer Troy, one of the top independent agencies, recognized for their campaigns for the film industry. They took us through their vision of the creative process to achieve a brand positioning.

Mike and Arturo raised a series of valuable points for all brands that seek to develop effective creativity that leaves a mark in consumers' heart and mind:

  • The foundations of our business are the ideas. Ideas move the world
  • Explore your surroundings and generate reference frames all the time
  • Come up with ideas instead of occurrences.
  • Generate simple but powerful ideas.
  • Never get stuck with the same idea. Go beyond.
  • Don’t use the same style in your ideas; versatility will be your strongest tool.
  • Exercise your thinking daily
  • Love your ideas or abandon them
  • Creativity always give you revenge
  • There are no manuals in creativity

“To find that great idea, muses should find you working.” - Mike Arciniega and Arturo Díaz

On key topic in marketing these days is Big Data. Mario Nissan, Performance Director of Flock, offered some great observations on this matter:

  • It’s important to have a data strategy. Big data is about quality of information, not quantity.
  • Big data should be: Smart and clean data.
  • We all leave a digital footprint when we go online. Brands should take advantage of this.
  • We should always ask: What issue is it solving? Is it useful for people?
  • Focus on the consumer is key.
  • We should seriously consider always the privacy and security of the information.
  • Don’t forget to study this concept and test it. Data Marketing is more reachable than we think.

Just a few hours before wrapping up the event, Alejandra Rueda, Shopper Marketing VP of Primer Nivel Group explained the trends that will set the consumer shopping habits for the next years:

  • Security: Consumers are feeling vulnerable and brands should make them feel safe.
  • Authenticity and innovative: Individualization is essential.
  • Hybrid consumers: Consumption is segmented and experiential
  • Diverse Society: Traditional roles are evolving.
  • Constant social movement: Connectivity allows shopping access 24/7.
  • Time management: Products should make consumer’s life easier.
  • Connectivity: Consumption guide is set by the virtual world.
  • Health conscious: There is an increasingly cultural consumption of healthier products.
  • New social classes.

Iliana Pérez, Marketing and Business Development VP of Hill-Knowlton Strategies discussed the concepto of Innovative Influence and highlighted these key points a brand should consider:

  • Today the most demanding critic is the consumer. They have access to all the information.
  • Consumers area looking for unique experiences, but most important, they want it now! Timing is critical nowadays.
  • Brands must not only worried about being present, they should be useful. This is key.
  • We need to constantly innovate. Brands should have 365 days of disruption, WOW is not enough, we must maintain. 
  • Find insights. An insight is that thin line between what consumers say they want and what they really want.

The final lecture was held by Álvaro Rattinger, CEO of Merca 2.0 who explained the concept of Asymmetric Marketing - a result of small actions that produce exponential results. These are the small details that can bring big results and where the focus should be when a brand is looking to innovate.  Álvaro explained the following:

The concept that consumers want everything for free is false. When you make an effort for them your consumers are willing to pay for it, when you don’t, then they want it for free.

  • Innovative daily. The more you practice, the less chances you will have of failing.
  • Innovation is not about budget, is about making things happen. Is about willingness.
  • Creativity is not innovation
  • Be platform agnostic
  • Be metric centric
  • Use Big Data as an ally for the customization of products
  • Be consumer-centric

We can certainly say that this year’s congress has far exceeded the audience expectations.  Personally listening to the experiences and best practices of the marketing and advertising industry leaders of Mexico is not only an enriching benchmarking exercise but also an inspirational experience for us marketers.

Congreso Nacional Mercadotecnica Mexico

Photo credits: Martha Debayle

Translation by: Edgar Estévez

Nominated for the Journalist of the Year Award

I am extremely honored to have been nominated for the Journalist of the Year Award by the folks of Cannes Lions Dominicana. It's very flattering to be considered for the first edition of an award that values the efforts of all those whole love the industry and enjoy writing about it. 

One can't help feeling tremendously grateful and motivated!

Journalist of the Year Cannes Lions

How Brands are Using Snapchat and Other Messaging Apps

The new revolution of mobile messaging apps began in a very innocuous manner. The basic idea was to bypass the charges involved in texting by creating an app that does essentially the same thing, but between smartphones over wireless networks. Although text messages are unlikely to go away anytime soon, for those who send hundreds of texts every day and are limited by a restrictive plan, messaging apps are a suitable alternative.

Messaging applications like Whatsapp, LINE and WeChat as well as more recent innovations like Snapchat, Jelly and Whisper have understood this requirement and taken these charges completely out of the equation.  WhatsApp has around 450 million users. WeChat has around 350 million and dominates the Chinese market, where American giants are not allowed to operate. Snapchat, which is only a couple of years old, is closing in on 100 million users. Newer ones are also quickly expanding their footprints and getting millions of new users every week, tailored to the new, clean mobile look of the Internet.

So, the question here for the businesses is how to capitalize on this new social development. Surely something that has hundreds of millions of subscribers needs to be at least explored and experimented with, especially when traditional social networks like Facebook and Twitter are getting a bit overcrowded and reaching a point of saturation. The good news is that despite their newness, they are no longer a mystery to clever marketers. While they are likely to change and evolve in the near future, many brands have found out ways to use these apps to engage with their potential customers

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

One-On-One Interaction

The main benefit of these apps is that they are capable of ensuring privacy and allow people to interact with each other without the entire world witnessing these interactions. Instead of craving for mass operations, businesses can use this opportunity to have more intimate conversations with their customers. At Coachella festival, Henineken sent cropped images as clues to its followers on Snapchat. Whoever identified the artists from these clues correctly got entry to events at the Heineken House, the branded stage of the beer giant.  Essentially they used the unique characteristics of Snapchat to promote their branding event.

Offering exclusive and interesting content

Taco Bell made an exclusive film for Snapchat that combined footage from an MTV award function and tied it with a new product line. Due to the exclusive nature of the video people rushed to see it and made it a success. Similarly, HBO promoted its series Girls by making its stars post their images and letting the followers get them directly. They were posted regularly till the season lasted and was perfect for the younger followers who are obsessed with celebrity culture.

Direct Sales

Chinese mobile brand Xiaomi created a stir by organizing flash sale of its handsets through WeChat last year. It was a huge success as it managed to sell 150,000 units in little time. Promoting or branding keeping long terms benefits is one thing. But why bother about all that when we can directly sell it anyways? These apps are yet to fine-tune themselves completely for such purposes but they will surely do it in the near future. Some effort may still be required in order to sell physical goods, but they can be extremely useful for easily selling items that can be consumed digitally. For instance, selling a song or a small piece of graphic art can be easily done through such apps.

Customer Service

The private as well as ephemeral nature of networks such as Snapchat may be ideal for customer service. People often have genuine queries and grievances and they do not like to discuss such things in public. Such apps are ideal for these purposes. General Electric is using Jelly to answer scientific queries while Travelocity is considering the same for helping travellers.

All these messaging apps are not necessarily replacements but compliments for the existing social networks. They are offering features that the traditional networks cannot provide due to their very nature. These apps are still very new but it can be said that they will grow very fast in the next few years, just like Facebook and Twitter grew five years ago. Business would do well if they would spend some time considering how to use them and secure that early bird advantage before others realize the same thing.

Brand Experience: The Modern Narrative

Nike

Nike's strategy is cemented on determination: the story of a hero's journey, emerging triumphant against the odds.

When it comes to human connection, what good is your brand if it doesn’t evoke an experience? Campaigns may come and go, but in today’s world, brands should strive to focus on creating memories. Experiences are part of the things people carry for the rest of their lives. Brands such as Nike, for instance, base their vision on elevating the experience of the athlete. Authenticity is a key aspect when it comes to creating a brand experience. Ask yourself,  “Is there a real reason why the client is using the product at that particular moment?” Brands that will succeed in the future will harness this power and add the extra value to people’s life.

Media companies and brands are the same business: the business of telling stories that influence behavior and change minds. Understanding a consumer’s journey is key in order to leverage opportunities of having a voice during each step of the way. One way to approach brand stories is through the premise of having something interesting and creative to say. The news needs to be interesting enough to want to be shared.

It all starts with the user experience. After studying the consumer, think of what the person will take away from your brand and what this experience is translating into. What do you want people to think, to feel? Do people understand the story and what we’re conveying? Does the story adapt to the medium? And last, but not least, would people be compelled enough to want to share that information?

Digital platforms such as social media are excellent opportunities to ignite conversations revolving a product that often lead to one of the most powerful assets a brand could have: a community. Creating an environment suitable for user-generated content is the ideal scenario that not only provides a snapshot, but an ongoing story with people.

GoPro's Youtube channel features user-generated footage shot with their own cameras.

GoPro's Youtube channel features user-generated footage shot with their products, which has seduced viewers everywhere.

As a brand who creates stories worth sharing, what does it take for a person to want to share branded content? If you’re a brand and if you’re going to create content, you need a consumer centric approach that considers: the channels in which they consume content, the information they want to consume, a content that inspires credibility and that people might think their friends are going to like, and last, but not least, content that must add value.

We live in an age that demands constant reinvention. We can’t just do something and go “Phew, I’m glad that’s over.”

Brazilian brands get ready to hit the field for this year’s World Cup

Brazil World Cup

The year 2014 represents one thing for the sports world: the FIFA World Cup. Whether you like or not, it's here, and in less than a few weeks it becomes real in Brazil. How does this worldwide phenomenon affect Brazilian products? How are advertisers supposed to behave and compete with international brands in this very crowded marketplace?

The FIFA World Cup moves extraordinary - as well as dubious - sums of money that range from infrastructure to ad campaigns. "Brazil expects to receive 500,000 foreign tourists and move tens of millions of Brazilians for the host cities." (Source: Ministry of Tourism)

Within this scenario, Brazilian brands are offered a unique opportunity of competing on the same arena with other major international brands. As a country, Brazil should export a comprehensive picture of modern, developed and creative nation. An image that relies heavily on a good performance of its national products, since the brand identity created for the 2014 World Cup had proven to be a colossal failure. A poorly structured logo, foolish typography and a mascot that became a joke, all seemed a random combination of elements without any previous planning.

World Cup logo

The branding of the 2014 World Cup consists in a random junction of elements without much planning.

Despite the not-so-great image of Brazilian marketing and branding, national products may still have a chance to change this paradigm. Here are some ideas as to how to make that happen.

1. Brazilian pride

The country's essence and fervor for the World Cup dictates a distinct set of factors within its global marketing: energy, passion and happiness, which are perhaps more important than leadership and quality. National brands should encourage  patriotism by creating motivational campaigns that take advantage of their market and extensive consumer knowledge. A Brazilian-to-Brazilian approach and message within campaigns will generate an inherent marketing advantage.

2. Keeping an eye on FIFA Partners

Something that is definitely worth watching out for are the actions executed by the six major international brands involved in the World Cup - Adidas, Coca-Cola, Hyundai, Kia, Emirates, Sony and Visa - who have paid sums as large as £230 million to FIFA for a four-year partnership. These brands will bring a lot of creativity and branding quality and will be present in all matters of the tournament. These advertisers will have access to more than 50% of the world population. 

 3. Joining in

Brands should improve and promote the consumer experience and become a part of the worldwide event through local and spontaneous activations. Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Youtube ...) are ideal platforms for Brazilians and foreigners to share their own experiences and interact with each other.

Brands could also integrate their efforts onto social and mobile platforms, paving the way for a more immediate and  tight-knit contact with the audience. 

Coca-Cola World Cup FIFA

 4. Adding value

Brands must find a way to incorporate themselves in the middle of the experience between fans and the sport without being invasive. Through this connection, they should strive to add value and continue a longterm relationship with consumers, not only during 2014, but until the next World Cup in 2018.

The tournament is ready and guaranteed to the public and the consumers; now the question that remains is whether it will get a taste of Brazil's victory.

 Brazil World Cup

Follow Giovanna Lettieri at EsttudioG.