"Stop interrupting what people are interested in and start being what people are interested in," said Archit Mardia at Digital Marketing and Strategy Innovation Summit in Beijing this morning.
Mardia, a former ASUS marketing manager and current senior manager of global consumer marketing at Lenovo, opened the conference by discussing the shift from advertising to content, and how ASUS reimagined its approach to digital marketing.
"Consumers now live online for on an average of 6.5 hours per day and marketing spend is all moving to digital channels. But are we really embracing the potential of digital?" Mardia asked.
At a time when only 9% of ad impression are even looked at, it is clear that advertising is failing its purpose and brands must move to content.
"Consumers only choose what matters," Mardia noted. "Tune out the rest if they're not relevant."
Mardia explained that it is key to find the "sweet spot" between what your brand does and what customers actually want, and to help them in the "micro moments" throughout the customer journey when they are looking for information.
In 2014, Mardia began a project to move ASUS marketing from product centric to consumer centric. Its marketing approach was to spend in peaks and troughs during campaigns around holiday seasons.
The problem was that the holiday time period was very crowded and its budget limited, making it hard to cut through. "A maximum share of voice 2.5% was all we could achieve over the holiday period. A new approach was needed."
Focus on one audience and find the sweet spot
ASUS marketing team was trying to appeal to seven audience segments, which was diluting its effectiveness. Instead, Mardia decided to focus on delivering an outstanding digital customer experience for just one audience segment – putting all of its energy into the highest converting audience segment.
While this reduced its potential target audience from 30 million to 3 million, it helped it to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond.
It needed a deep understanding of this target audience – their passions, drivers, the platforms they are on – and so turned to a combination of social listening + GWI + qualitative research.
From this emerged a picture of a consumer who is interested in music and socially connected on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. This audience cared about long battery life and spent a lot of time consuming music on mobile.
This insight led directly to the video "Low battery vs. Speed Rapper", a video produced by SuperHeroes New York. The humorous video features lightning fast lyricist and YouTube star Mac Lethal to demonstrate what happens when your phone wants to quit before you do.
The creative approach helped the company to communicate one simple message to one audience and led to outstanding results. The video became a top trending video in the US with more than 50 million accumulated views, 200,000 new fans acquired and leading to an estimated 20% increase in sales.
Always on throughout the customer journey
To smooth out the peaks and troughs, the newly formed team commissioned regular content, delivered consistently year-round and optimized for the different phases of the customer journey.
Working with partners such as Android Central, ASUS published content into one content hub – its Tech In Style resource hub. The regular publishing schedule let it get good at unbranded search terms to acquire new audiences.
"Most people focus on the left-hand side. We wanted to get really good at the post-purchase experience too – to help the onboarding of customers by providing tips and tricks to get more from your phone"
The results was that the content marketing was 62% less expensive than traditional advertising, leading to 3x more returning visitors and 150% more time spent on the product pages.
Key takeaways from the talk
Mardia summarized his key takeaways from ASUS as follows:
1. Think always-on for the always-on consumer.
2. Prioritize on audience segments and deep dive using tools.
3. Move from interruption to being aligned with consumer interest.
4. Find the sweet spot to enable consumer discovery.
5. Focus on unbranded search and use SEO data to inform content creation that capture micro moments.
6. Don't ignore the post-purchase journey.