National Sales and Marketing Congress 2011 (NSMC) – Day 1 Field Report

  • Marco

At last, Day 1 of the 2011 National Sales and Marketing Congress has kicked off! The atmosphere here at Carlton Hotel is abuzz with excitement and anticipation. With a great mix of speakers, topics and people, the Digital Marketing Sessions of this year’s NSMC is definitely something worth following.

B2Bento brings you a summary of Day 1, covering hot-off-the-press updates (well, almost) straight from the sidelines.

Digital Marketing Sessions (Day 1)

[Recap from 4:25pm] “Crisis Management on Resolving Online Controversies”: RyanLim, Business Director, Blugrapes

Most brands only take social media crisis management when an actual problem hits them.

The Framework

Three Major Phases: Pre-Crisis, Crisis Management, Post-Crisis


  • Appoint a crisis management team
  • Develop plans and policies – promotions plan (helps a brand cuts through the noise so that consumers hear you first), social media policies (internal for employees and external for your communities), escalation plans, response system – you know what to say, when to say it and how to say it.
  • Listen and monitor – use listening tools that are relevant for you. You cannot be everywhere.
  • Prepare the infrastructure – prepare crisis management tools and conduct crisis drills
  • Establish and own key communications channels (advocates, platforms, etc.) – establish official social media channels and be very public about it. Foster brand communities and identify and empower brand advocates. Official channels help avoid “identity theft”.


  • Understand the cause – understand consumers and classify what actually happened.
    Issue – Crisis
    Source – Internal, External
    Type – Attacks, Outages, Complaints, Queries, Comments
  • Respond accordingly – funnel queries into a single destination, match the platform to where the actual issue originated, approach – please be humble, transparent and timely
  • Avoid – Don’t get defensive, your brand is much bigger than that. Don’t attack the consumer. Never ignore the issues.
  • Deploy plans – start deploying prepared crisis management tools


  • Analyze – root cause, learn from it, improve on all your plans
  • Recover – rebuild your relationship with customers, improve your system, prevent similar issues from happening

“Social Media is never the root cause of the problem, it is just an amplifier.”

“The best cases of social media crisis management are those that even consumers are not aware about.”

[Recap from 3:10pm] “Paid Search Advertising – Best Practices Moving Into 2012”: EuGeneAng, CEO, Clickmedia Pte. Ltd.

The Search Landscape

Search is still relevant even in the “Age of Social”. If nobody knows you, how can you engage anyone? With the rise of Social Media, how relevant is Search today?

The ubiquity of search – 86% of people still turn to search engines to find something on the internet. Search still figures very much in consumer path to purchase. Google is still the dominant force especially in SEA. Yahoo is trending down and Microsoft is actually going up.

How much more or less do you expect to spend on paid search in 2011 compared to 2010? Most organizations are going to spend more on paid search according to SEMPO.

What’s New?

Improved Google Paid Search – relevant deep site links, ad extensions like location components, instant call, etc.

SWOT Analysis of Paid Search

  • Strengths – fastest Ad channel, mature product and predictable, better understanding, measurable and accountable, growing investment in paid search
  • Weaknesses – too reliant on Google, misunderstanding of PPC, increase in PPC costs, fast changes by search engines
  • Opportunities – many businesses yet to use PPC, Ad platform is evolving, economic uncertainty in 2012, integration with display and social
  • Threats – clickfraud is still a problem, hyper-competition, service level in industry, shift to SEO and social

Best Practices for 2011 – Objective is to improve ROI from paid search

  • Clever use of Ad Extensions – greater CTR (about 2-5x more), more ad space, multiple landing pages, increased credibility
  • Split test your ads – take serious efforts to split test your ads to maximize CTR and ROI
  • Integrate social and search
  • Test your landing pages – The most important metric to gauge success? – Conversion rates
  • Use geo-targeting or geo-phrasing
  • Check your campaign objectives – ensure that they are correctly set.
  • Analyze your brand keyword separately – brand keyword is less volume but higher CTR
  • Build negative keyword list over time

Moving into 2012

Tap the rise of mobile internet and the rise of local search. “Think Mobile, Think Different.” In mobile, ad position is important (Google set it at a maximum or 3 top ads and 3 bottom ads regardless of device orientation). Optimize mobile landing page – task-oriented, simple site design, one-column layout. People search differently when searching on mobile devices compared to those who are using desktops. Think local search – use click-to-call and location ad extensions.


  • Paid Search still offers abundant opportunities for advertisers
  • Remember the fundamentals and integrate with social. Don’t treat search as just another isolated silo.

[Recap from 1:30pm] “Designing a Social Media Brand Strategy”: IanMcKee, CEO, Vocanic

As technology got smaller, cheaper and faster, the amount of information that we share with each other become more influential. Today, traditional media represents the minority in terms how content are reaching consumers. We as individuals rely on the stuff that our friends share in terms of what is interesting to people as consumers.

“If you talked to people the way advertising talked to people, they’d punch you in the face.”

Most of the traditional advertising content so often loses people’s trust because people do not necessarily connect with the messaging.

Media Time vs. As Spend – Companies are spending money in the wrong place. On average, most brands will overspend on traditional marketing as opposed to digital marketing. A Morgan Stanley research shows that there is $50B Global Opportunity in Digital.

Search is a hygiene factor and must be considered in any brand’s digital campaign. Social is also a must. But display advertising is not something that brands should be doing.

“We are going towards an era where traditional advertising is actually going to be bad for your brand.”

Be where the people are: people are spending more time on Facebook and Google. There is a 9% decline every year on traffic on brand pages. Websites need to evolve. The company page still has a role to play but it is just not what people are flocking to now.

Brand Social Engagement – Fortune 500 companies who have strong social media footprint also perform great across the board.

Developing a Brand Strategy for Social Media

  • Brand Advocacy – key driver for business growth. “All that matters is one person recommending your brand to his/her friend.” Advocacy drives growth. Advocacy a leading KPI. Measure advocacy with Net Promoter Score.
  • Don’t treat your Facebook fanpage like your company website. Provide valuable functionality and valuable content.
  • Listen! – pay attention to what people say about their customer experience before you can start to amplify the positives. Use listening tools or reach out pro-actively with easy-to-tackle surveys and crowd-sourcing tools.
  • Influencers – figure out the 10% of people who influence the 90% of the herd. Influencers tend to be more contagious. Figure out which among the influencers are your brand’s advocates. Amplify positive recommendation by arming your advocates with content. Create triggers for conversation.


What’s the ROI of social media? It depends on what you want to do. Figure out what you want to achieve.

  • Select your objectives – use social media as a traditional media replacement, to drive brand perception, to enhance customer care, etc.
  • Develop a Comprehensive Strategy for Social Media – what you need to do to get people to engage your brand. Think about how different platforms figure into your plans.
  • Involve and gain buy in from key stakeholders
  • Build communities within your audiences
  • Listen, Learn, Respond – social media is a conversation. Conversations build relationships and relationships build loyalty.
  • Indentify your influencers
  • Harness the power of personal recommendation

This is the future

Facebook Open Graph – Facebook knows a ton of information about your customers. Social CRM. Social Commerce. Location – represents another data point. “Appification” – Apps on not just phones but other devices like TVs. Businesses need to transform. The consumer has changed. The landscape has changed. Advocacy is the new “marketing gold.”

[Recap from 11:00am] “How will your business be better in a connected world?” – Keynote Speaker: Nick Gibbons, Director Sales, Facebook

Facebook focuses on how people are connected to each other and to brands and advertisers. “We’re here to reinvent how brands and consumers relate to each other.” Facebook has always veered away from traditional “mad men”-era advertising (interruption broadcast methods).

“Social marketing is a relationship platform … building long lasting relationships.”

Nike Football Facebook video – build a relationship with the consumer through the Facebook community.

Extensive and Authentic Targeting – Never before in the history of the world has there been a platform like Facebook. A massive amount of data is available in Facebook which marketers can use to target consumers.

Social Media drives discovery and advocacy

  • Strengthens loyalty
  • Influences others
  • Builds credibility
  • Increase relevance

The role of advocacy is to overcome ‘Path to Purchase’ barriers

Facebook is the brand that gets the most criticism from Facebook users.

Connections are happening on a massive scale – there are 840M people on Facebook. Every day: 2B posts are liked and commented on, 500M users log in, 250M photos are uploaded.

Facebook Timeline video – the Timeline will be available SOON!

We build social products – Pages, Ads, Technology

  • Pages to connect with people – 100M Page “likes” happen every day. You can get granular on your consumer insight (what they share, like, etc.).
  • Evolution of ads – sponsored ads are building essential connections. Facebook Ads enjoy the virality of the platform. Page Post Ads – ads to reach people and their friends – post on your page, post become ads on the home pages, ads will expand for friends and friends and fans. Reach people more: post on your page and reach a percentage number of your fans, make 1 post/day into and ad to reach more
  • Technology – Killer apps like birthday reminders, etc. Consider building apps to engage with people in new ways on their Timeline.

Facebook Huggies Ad – increase exposure of Huggies (in HK). Phenomenal response (100,000 initial likes – multiplied to 7M through the personal networks).

Product Ideation: Social by delivery. Facebook Connect. Social by design – Think about people first then work on the campaign and not the other way around.


  • The click-through rate (CTR) as a measure of success (ROI) has been driven by Google. In Facebook case it’s different. The engagement rate is more important (how many people shared, etc.)
  • The standard of metrics within Facebook is different because the platform has its own built-in tools.
  • A lot of times, people complain about changes. But eventually people calm down and adopt the implemented changes. (e.g. the News Feed, etc.)
  • Facebook allows traffic out of their platform but they are focusing on driving traffic back.
  • China is still a big part of Facebook’s roadmap but there are a lot of complications for that particular market. The priority to tap China has gone down.
  • Indonesia is the second-biggest market next to the US.
  • Facebook also focuses on sentiment analysis.
  • Facebook is seen generally as a B2C platform. But for Facebook it doesn’t matter so much. Facebook has a set of guidelines for B2B pages but they are still a bit similar to their B2C counterparts. New applications in the upcoming Timeline will cater to B2B actually.

[Recap from 9:15am] “The Acceleration of Everything” – Keynote Speaker: JulianPersaud, Managing Director, Google South East Asia

7 years and running at Google. Interesting lessons working in SEA. “45-50 markets but we really focus on 6-7 key markets in SEA”. SEA is an incredibly vibrant area for Google and the company is expanding into the region. Google has 300 people based in Singapore now.

Digital Revolution in Context

The growth is not going to plateau in the next couple of years. Internet users worldwide: 2010 – 1.9B, 2020 – 5B. Mobile subscribers: 2010 – 5B, 2020 – 10B. Digital Information in the world (videos, photos, etc.): 2010 – 800 exabytes, 2020 – 35 zettabytes.

Consumer Transformation

eBay, Farmville, Amazon, YouTube views, iPhone app store – exponential growth. Consumer behavior is changing rapidly.

The Four Be’s

  • Be Relevant – address the continued rise of mobile platforms. Mobile will be bigger than desktop in 3 years. 500 increase in mobile search volume.
  • Be Found – tap all channels especially social media. Search still the web’s killer app.
  • Be Engaging – Content! Ex. YouTube – a new level of user engagement (country specific searchable content). It’s great that advertisers are given the chance to engage through YouTube content.
  • Be Accountable – metrics and ROI. Ex. YouTube monetizing 2B video views every week (up 50% from 2009). Measurement: the dawn of real-time marketing and continuous improvement. Google “power tools” even more useful (Insights for Search, Analytics, Ad Rotation). Measurement is key.

Accelerating into the Future: Four Predictions

  • New Big Screen: 80% of all screen time will be digital
  • Mass Mobile: devices will enable 2/3 of purchases and pay for ½
  • Consumer Coup: from 80% “push” to 80% opt-in, and two-way
  • Real-time Rule: dominates social search rank, pricing, optimization

Questions we ask ourselves

  • Priorities: Are we adhering to 70/20/10?
  • Scale: How do we preserve culture in 56 countries?
  • Responsibility: How do we ensure that we can sustain our values?
  • Speed: What is holding us back and how do we move faster?

Google in 2011

  • 31,000 Googlers in more than 60 offices in over 30 countries
  • Google is more than search

“Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one.” – Google Founder’s Letter

“Think big, but start small.” “Continual Innovation.” “Share everything.” “Data drives decisions.” “Be a platform.”

10 Things Google has found to be true

  • Focus on the user and all else will follow – “Believe in the user. Balance revenue and user experience.”
  • Fast is better than slow – The speed of search results have an effect on how users behave.
  • Great isn’t good enough – Do better than great.
  • Open is better than closed – Open platform is better. Ex. Android platform.
  • Democracy on the web works – Being open has short-term costs but long-term gains.
  • You don’t need to be at your desk to get an answer – Mobile is still rising and Google has a solid strategy for it.
  • You can make money without doing evil – It’s possible to generate a large scale of business revenue without sacrificing user experience, etc. Be careful with the tradeoffs that you make.
  • There’s always more information out there – Some of the best information are actually not on the web. There’s great stuff that are not being captured by Google’s search.
  • The need for information crosses all borders – Web access is critical now more than ever. The internet is now a utility rather than a luxury.
  • You can be serious without a suit – The younger generation is an important aspect of the organization.

“There are some questions that can’t be answered by Google.”


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