The Nation



Brands must tap digital media to reach customers

Brands need to co-create social value with target customers via multiscreen communications amid the surge in data consumption, according to McCann Truth Central.

"In 2014, content is still king but data is queen. Big data holds a profound potential for brands, reflecting the real future demand of consumers and engaging them in meaningful ways," Varrida Varaakom, chief innovation officer, said yesterday.

Among the other core mega trends in the year to come identified by McCann's market intelligence centre were insightful technology, social wisdom, urban pride, radical honesty and purposeful movement.

With the penetration of smartphones and the popularity of social media, people are connected to media through various platforms such as TVs, personal computers, tablets, mobile phones and game consoles.

Advertisers in this multiscreen culture require insightful understanding of the screen ecosystem and reciprocating psychology on brand content in the hope of competing for what consumers seem to have less and less of - attention.

Big data has become a key strategy for retailers, restaurants, financial businesses and telecommunications businesses to get closer to customers.

Marketers should also learn the new dimension of social value to make consumers rethink the way they live and raise the bar of expectation.

Amid a volatile economy, brands could offer an alternative digital currency to consumers to attract them to interact and engage with social activities in exchange for value, earning something so unique that money cannot buy.

A brand could create a game application that entertains and encourages customers to play the game for rewards, e-vouchers or unique stickers for chat apps.

Marketers should underline social listening to seek different implications about the brand that are still untold but have value for customers.

Another consumer behaviour trend is that people living in urban areas want to improve poor living conditions and make urban surroundings a beautiful place to live in.

Brands should play a role in providing public services to make customers feel good in being a part of social support, she added.

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