Speaking at IACT on The Future Of Marketing & Communications

Speaking at IACT 20151202

The great bunch of students I had the pleasure of hanging out with. 2 Dec 2015.

I was invited to give this presentation to a student class at IACT College, which was founded by the advertising industry to become Malaysia’s premier college specialising in creative communication.

I enjoyed my time with the students as well as the insightful questions they asked.

I spoke on “The Future of Marketing & Communications”, exploring the disruptions impacting marketing and communications today as well as what capabilities practitioners need to develop for the future. In a world where the scarcest resources are attention and engagement, marketers and communicators need to:

  1. Have a conversation – Marketing and communications today is essentially a dialogue with the marketplace. We need to design organisations and capabilities that set us on a virtuous circle where we sense/listen, integrate, and communicate again and again to remain relevant and engaged with our audiences.
  2. Embrace and co-create with your community – From the conversations we have with the marketplace, we are able to take in input and perspectives that result in truly engaging initiatives that already have buy-in from our audiences and customers.
  3. Tell authentic stories – In a world saturated with banal noise, authentic storytelling helps cut through the clutter; engaging both the heart and the mind.
  4. Integrate across media – Marketing and communication channels can no longer operate in silos. The sum of parts are often stronger than the individual parts.
  5. Build your own media platforms – As the media and channel landscape becomes even more fragmented, a brand’s own media platforms often become an authoritative source of information.

My slides are available here:

I also shared some case study/examples from both Microsoft and Shell. The videos I refer to in my slides are as follows:

Shell – Destination Home

  • Link to video on Youku
  • More context to this campaign available here and here

Shell #MakeTheFuture – Morro de Mineira Project

Microsoft – Decode Jay-z with Bing

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Speaking at Comms Malaysia 2015 on The Future of Communications

CommsMalaysia_2015-40Photo credit: Advertising + Marketing

I was very honored to be invited to join a great panel of speakers at the recent Comms Malaysia 2015 event, organized by Advertising + Marketing, a publication of Lighthouse Independent Media.

Comms Malaysia Speakers

I spoke on the topic, “Looking to what’s next: The Future Of Communications.” In my presentation, I made the case that the marketing and communications landscape is being completely disrupted by many forces, including: the globalized & hyper-connected world we live in today; Big Data and the Internet of Everything; Social media; an ever-changing and ever-fragmenting media landscape; ubiquitous connectivity, and changing interfaces.

Drawing on case studies and examples from both Microsoft and Shell, I then outlined four capabilies marketers and communicators could build on to prepare themselves for the future of communications:

  1. Embracing & co-creating with your community
  2. Telling authentic stories
  3. Integrating across media
  4. Building on our owned media platforms

Here are the slides from my presentation. I hope you enjoy them and look forward to engaging with you on it.

There were two videos embedded in my presentation, which can be viewed via YouTube here:

  • #makethefuture Morro da Mineira Project:

  • Microsoft Bing – Decode Jay-Z Case Study:

2nd Annual Digital Marketing & Advertising Asia (DIGMA) 2014 – What’s Next: 5 Capabilities For Marketing & Communications In The Next Digital Decade

DIGMA 2014

I was invited to speak at the 2nd Annual Digital Marketing & Advertising Asia (DIGMA) 2014 today. DIGMA 2014 is a trade show that recognizes the huge potential of digital marketing and advertising opportunities in the Asian region. Digitally based initiatives are expected to make up 20 percent of the global advertising market by 2014, with the Asia Pacific region, in particular, already reaching $27.3 billion in digital advertising spend in 2012 alone. The trade show was officially launched by the Malaysian Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives & Consumerism Malaysia, YB Senator Dato’ Seri Ahmad Bashah Bin Md Hanipah.

DIGMA 2014

I spoke on “What’s Next: 5 Capabilities For Marketing & Communications In The Next Digital Decade“, touching on what skill sets marketing and communications practitioners need have in a digital future:

  1. Be agile, nimble, 24×7, global
  2. Embrace your community
  3. Be authentic and transparent
  4. Integrate across media
  5. Build owned media platforms

 

I’ve uploaded my slides and embedded them below. Do let me know what you think – I’d love to have a conversation with you.

 

Sometimes It’s Not Just What You Say, But How You Say It – And That Takes Balls To Do It Right!

Communications is a funny thing. It’s not always what you say, but how you say it. Not only that, how you say something  is further influenced by the context in which you find yourself communicating.

I’ve been thinking about this as I review the financial year that has been at work (it’s performance review season, heh!). I realize just how much of my work this year has been influenced by this maxim as I remember just how many times I’ve had to make this “case” to my internal stakeholders as well as agencies. Sometimes, it’s less about the speeds and feeds, bullet points and such – at the end of the day, it’s how you “romance” the product or brand’s truth to the audience.

As I was giving this some thought, I was reminded of an old (well, 2005 does seem old in light of today’s rapidly changing times) TVC: Sony’s “Balls” ad, to launch its Bravia line of high-definition televisions.

It was hailed as one of the most memorable commercials in the last decade because of its simple proposition: thousands upon thousands of balls cascading down a hill in San Francisco, resulting in a video that radiates joy, playfulness and a love of color (I mean, check out the tag at the end, “Color like no other”!).

And that’s the beautiful thing about this ad – the product is nowhere to be seen – the audience is, instead, offered a feeling. They are invited to connect an emotion with Sony’s brand, rather than be wowed by the product’s technical capabilities.

Kudos, to the agency and the client, Sony, for having the… uh, balls, to sign off on this.

The making of Sony Balls:

LG World’s Slimmest TV Viral Video

This has been making its rounds via social networking sites… The video is purportedly security camera footage taken from a consumer electronics store. In the footage, we see one particular individual behaving oddly, fully facing the camera at all times.

It is only when the individual exits the building do we realize the “punchline” of the video – with the brand and advertising message sitting quietly in full view of the viewer.

What’s pretty amazing is the concept and execution of the video – it certainly had a lot of people fooled into thinking that this was actual security camera footage and not a commercial of any sort. Not only that, the way it was uploaded to YouTube – from the title of the video (text in low caps – “smart thief caught on cam”) to the description of the video (“Take a look what this guy did in broad daylight!”)… everything was done to make it look as authentic as possible without a hint of marketing messaging. Even the brand placement and advertising message was something a lot of people missed… which, to me, makes this even more powerful.

Sometimes, less is more… and “quiet” can be pretty “loud”. If you check out the video on YouTube, it has already garnered more than 2.4 million views since it was posted (under what appears to be a pseudonymous account) on 28 Dec 2011 (as of this posting today – less than a month since the original posting date).