BBDO Greater China's COO, Hans Lopez-Vito on creating content-to-commerce solutions
Across the marketing community, building brands and generating demand in ecommerce seem like two separate worlds – characterised by different skillsets, priorities, and organisational reporting lines. But ultimately, we only have one consumer to think about, so wouldn’t it be amazing if we could find a way to integrate these two critical yet different marketing activities.
But can we really integrate long-term brand building with short-term demand generation? I believe we can, and the answer lies in the merger of entertainment and commerce. Here are some tips on how to create seamless content-to-commerce solutions:
Align brand marketing calendars with ecommerce sales windows. As local ecommerce platforms across the region increasingly import Chinese-style ecommerce sales windows or invent similar ones (like 10.10), marketers will increasingly need to adjust their plans correspondingly. These sales festivals should not be seen as merely promotional opportunities. They are also critical opportunities to seize on that extra consumer attention and build distinctive brand building campaigns.
Create branded properties that connect the campaign idea with the sales hooks. Dove Chocolates’ Reborn campaign received 200 million views in two days and was ranked #1 Tmall Super Brand Day campaign in its category. It featured a film (starring Chinese star Zhou Dongyu) based on the Ferris Wheel of an amusement park. This Ferris Wheel became the inspiration for the limited-edition Dove product featured in the brand’s Tmall flagship store. In another campaign we did for Master Kong Noodles, the visual elements of their special Chinese New Year ecommerce package were what drove its “Four Immortals” brand campaign concept during the holiday period.
Be relentless about brand consistency. The amount of in-platform and out-platform content from brands has increased dramatically, which has led to an increase in the number of agency partners who are handling the brand. Brand stewardship is more important than ever: multiple touchpoints need to reflect one consistent brand. It is vital to identify your brand’s memory structures and ensure they are prominently and consistently displayed throughout the consumer journey.
Consumers are not your only target audience. The ecommerce platforms are too. They are the new version of brick and mortar key accounts (think Walmart or Carrefour), with all-important media power. It is crucial to understand how they segment consumers, their beliefs about what works and doesn’t, and be familiar with their vocabulary. When we worked on the Super Brand Day for Chicecream (an ecommerce-based ice cream brand), aligning our thinking with our counterparts at Tmall every step of the way helped to ensure their support - and the campaign’s eventual success.
Building brands on ecommerce demands big ideas, not just clever tactics. Because of the power, the ecommerce platforms are often more creatively demanding than some of the toughest clients. They hold gatekeeping power over so many brands, you can be sure they’ve seen it all. They know what it takes to succeed, and that is ideas that are bold and well supported. Money talks… but getting the platforms excited about your ideas can make a huge difference to the final outcome.
The online shopping habit is here to stay, and will provide the primary opportunities for brands to get noticed, loved and bought.