Campaign India Team
May 09, 2013

FAME 2013 Day 1: Don't lose sight of the brand amid all the data

The message came through loud and clear on day one of speaker sessions at the Festival of Asian Marketing Effectiveness

FAME 2013 Day 1: Don't lose sight of the brand amid all the data

“Meaningful brands are 5 per cent more likely to capture volume, 13 per cent more likely to command a price premium and four times more likely to grow value share,” said Jason Spencer, managing director of Millward Brown Shanghai, who kicked off day one of the Festival of Asian Marketing Effectiveness with 'The secrets of making brands more meaningfully different'. 

Some ways brands can make themselves more meaningful are to be different, to resonate with consumers, to have clarity of purpose and to be saliant, among other key traits, he added.

Saatchi & Saatchi Asia-Pacific's chairman and regional CEO, Chris Foster, urged marketers not to get data-obsessed and to never forget that they are people marketing to people. “We are not collectively the sum of mathematics, but we keep getting mired in data,” he said.

View all Festival of Asian Marketing Effectiveness coverage >>

Call it 'Lovemarks' or the X-Factor, said Josy Paul, chairman and national creative director of BBDO India, who shared how his agency helped P&G start a 'shaving movement' in India for Gillette. “Don't start with the brand, start with the conversation,” Paul said. “For example, Nielsen insight showed that more than 70 per cent of women preferred their men clean shaven, so we formed Woman Against Lazy Stubble and got the men of India shaving daily.”

When swept up by a movement, marketers have to be prepared to take calculated risks, but be agile and always have an ear to the ground, advised Massimiliano Menozzi, P&G's general manager for shave care in Asia. “But for a movement to work, you have to know what you can brand and what you should keep unbranded," he said. "If you brand everything you'll kill it."

Presenters did not argue that marketers should discount the importance of data; they should rather guard against letting numbers replace their instincts and plain common sense. Jia Tan, head of marketing for retail banking and wealth management at HSBC China, pointed out during a panel discussion that data need to be put in context and aligned with marketing objectives.

When Gatorade decided to transform not only its marketing process but its product proposition, the sports drink brand's parent company, Pepsico, formed a 'Mission Control Centre' to centralise all the software it used to listen on social media for conversations about Gatorade. The result of having all its agencies and its in-house team in one place was a shift to a more refined and targeted digital strategy, said Cook. “From an ecosystem that was all over the place, we now funnel everything we do towards either socialisation, activation or amplification.”

Understanding data is also key to not optimising for a non-profitable goal, said Matt Harty, GM with Accuen Asia-Pacific. Marketers, he said, persist in crafting campaigns aimed at driving clickthrough rates, even though data prove that CTRs are irrelevant to conversion rates.

And ultimately, that's what it all comes down to—selling, said Paolo Mercado, head of marketing communications for Nestle Greater China. Agencies, he said, should be remunerated for the demand they generate, not for making a famous ad.

“Make it easy for consumers to buy from you,” urged Mercado's fellow panelist Lucy McCabe, vice-president of consulting services for Ogilvy Asia-Pacific, who noted that the tiniest details, like the colour of a button or the phrasing of an offer, can sway consumers into buying or abandoning their shopping carts.

The article first appeared on Campaign Asia