Long-term IMC Strategies with Strong Social Media Elements are Increasingly Important

Social media will lead brands in the pursuit of effective brand engagement in this digitally driven world

Online PR News – 29-June-2011 – – Singapore, 28 Jun 2011 – In the progressively digitalised environment, brands are eager to jump onto the social media bandwagon to add and synchronise multiple touch points with their existing plate of marketing communications tools.

Brands leveraging on social media tools have been able to utilise the opportunities to stay engaged with their target audience. Yet, most brands are unable to move beyond the use of social media for short-term Integrated Marketing Campaigns (IMC), unprepared to further incorporate of social media elements with marketing communications programmes, business processes and corporate structures.

As Charlie Pownall, Lead Digital Strategist for Burson-Marsteller says, “Social media is about commitment, not campaigns. Marketers must approach social media as a strategic investment in the long-term reputation of their brand, rather than as a short-term promotional fix. They must also ensure that social media is not treated as an add-on but as a core component of brand planning and management from the outset."

To stay ahead of the rapidly shifting marketing and communications landscape, brands need to integrate social media into organic strategies to reach out to B2B and B2C audiences. That said, coming up with a fully integrated strategy for ongoing brand engagement efforts is not as easy as it sounds.

Hélène Blanchette, Go-to-Market Strategic Director, 1to1 Direct Marketing and TransPromo for Fuji Xerox shares, “There are several issues facing corporations wanting IMC as a main strategy. In my opinion, the top three would be the silo approach of service providers who help select the media mix and shape the strategy, lack of existing integration in the backbone infrastructure to support and build an intelligent interaction with the clients [and] a tendency to do a product-focus approach rather than a customer-centric approach for most campaigns.”

As consumers get increasingly sophisticated and digitally-savvy, they evolve as well, demanding more from brands. Edith Bagda, Marketing Director of John Hardy, says, “The increased transparency through digital media forces brands to a seamless integrated marketing strategy. But they are met by a consumer that is more and more able to conceive a brand as a multifaceted persona: the personality of the designer of its products, its virtual blogger – and tweet character – and the corporate expression on the website. The challenge today is to create a sound character represented appropriately at each touch point with relevant brand and non-brand content.”

Pownall, Blanchette, Bagda and other experts in the industry will be addressing these issues at the 2-day conference on “Integrated Marcoms & Social Media” held in Hong Kong, 25 – 26 July 2011 and in Singapore, 28 – 29 July 2011. Key conference highlights include understanding how to capitalise on the power of online socialisation and how changing dynamics in consumer behaviour, interactive channels and cultures shape brand communications in the region.

The conference, chaired by Gaurav Mishra, Director of Digital and Social Media of MSLGroup Asia, will also showcase how leading brands including Prudential Corporation Asia, John Hardy, Burson-Marsteller, TBWA, Mindshare and Fuji Xerox reach social media maturity, build an integrated brand solution with partnership marketing, harness technology for integrated interactions and develop social media objectives, organisations strategies and plan for global and local implementations.

Delegates can also expect to learn crucial points to create personal brand experiences on integrated digital channels to enhance brand engagement and drive brand and commercial success. Above all, they will understand how to prepare a roadmap plan with integrated joint touch points and how to evaluate the ROMI.