SES Hong Kong – A Late Recap (Day 1)

  • Anol


SES Hong Kong, held over 21-22 September, is easily one of the best digital marketing conferences I have been at. Between many formal and informal meetings I managed to catch just three parallel tracks. So I’ve have missed out on some great presentations. Check out speaker line-up and pictures from the event.


Extending your brand on the digital canvas by Patrizio Spagnoletto, VP, B2B Marketing, Americas, Yahoo! Inc

spagnoletto-patrizioPatrizio kicked things off on Day 1 and presented a case for creating premium content. He also spoke about how Yahoo! is focusing on creating premium content and positioning themselves as a media company. He spoke about the general flaw of treating all online activity the same as task oriented users. For instance, someone engaging in online banking, does not pay attention to advertisements. Good advertising being all about content was another point driven home, with the digital advertising landscape changing and new possibilities ushered in vis-a-vis TV. Patrizio also announced the upcoming LiveStand App for the iPad.

A Practical Guide To Marketing And Making Money Through Social Media – A Dell Case Study
by Damien Cummings, Online & Social Media Director, Dell

cummings-damienDamien presented Dell’s own case-study of sales revenue generated from social media: the Dell Swarm corporate group buying platform, which underscores Dell’s success in social media commercialisation and marketing. A key factor in this has been Dell’s efforts in developing and operationalizing actions from Dell’s “social media listening command centre”. In addition Dell is working toward turning all of it’s 100,000 employees into social media advocates with 9,000 already trained through it’s social media training and certification program.

Damien cautioned against ignoring detractors as one negative review in a social space costs 30 potential customers. To combat this Dell has set-up a social media listening command center in Austin. Dell also has a listening and content strategy as part of it’s social commerce strategy which revolves around its 5 social media pillars.

Some other interesting points raised included:

  1. 20% of total search results are now pointed towards user generated content (UGC) reinforcing the position of social media and an individual blogs and forums. User generated content (e.g., the unboxing of the Alienware gaming laptop) also beats agency-produced shiny content (Alienware adverts).
  2. Including social media in their corporate social responsibility has worked well for them.
  3. Agnostic contextual communities work better than brand-centric ones at drawing in followers. For example, the Gaming, Powered by Alienware Facebook group is more inviting than the Dell-centric Facebook page.
  4. The number of fans/followers matters – especially after you reach a critical mass. Paid advertisements work to help brands gain their initial momentum. Incentives do work as well and the average cost per fan/fan acquisition is $1.10 per fan.
  5. Facebook links work but not to an outside link. Inbound links to Facebook pages work better.

SEO Integration: Improving your Site’s Ranking
Moderated by Adaline Lau, Asia Editor ClickZ and speakers George Godula, Co-Founder of Web2Asia, and T R Harrington, CEO & Co-Founder of Darwin Marketing

Google Instant and Bing’s intent-based results are creating a need for a new generation of keyword research, expansion and modeling techniques. This session guided attendees through ways to integrate data from search, social and traditional media to identify new opportunities and revenue streams.

harrington-trExcerpts from T R Harrington’s presentation

TR spoke on SEO strategy and pointed out that it should start with observing and analyzing the user behaviour and measuring the media consumption and media spend gap of your target users.

On the design side TR had a few tips and pointers to make sites more SEO friendly:

  1. Its important to remember not to clutter your Web page contents for SEO – Less is more.
  2. We need to keep in mind to optimize for what search engine crawlers see and what is visible in mobile devices.
  3. The golden rule is the “Power of one” – one keyword per page.
  4. Offline marketing is not irrelevant – it triggers searches though as yet we have no means of measuring and quantifying this.
Excerpts from George Godula

George emphasized the importance of keyword research for SEO. Apart from the usual tools he advised brands to perform a social analysis to see what keywords are getting associated with your product categories by using a tool like Social Mention. For George the must have ingredients for a good SEO ranking are good content, back-links, and social signals.

Social Analytics: Measuring What Matters
by Anol Bhattacharya (that’s me)

The hype around social media marketing is unremitting and pervasive. Yet metrics and measurement of media in general, and specifically social media, remains at a nascent stage. My session discussed the setting-up of a goal-based metric system, using real case studies from Cisco systems, dimension data and the like. Using basic metrics parameters as a springboard, my presentation went into not-so-conventional but greatly useful parameters such as competitive buzz metrics benchmarking, and brand position vs perception gap measurement.

[My slide-set]

Building Brands in a Social World
by Pushkar Sane, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Convergination Ventures

sane-pushkarCurrent brand-building models and approaches were developed in an era when consumers were disconnected and information was difficult to get. Marketers needed repeat exposures and constant push to build brands. Social connectivity, conversations and content distribution have changed the way people consider and consume brands. So it is imperative that marketers change their approaches to brand building or run the risk of becoming irrelevant.

Key focus of the session was:

  1. Insights on digital & social behaviour of consumers
  2.  Evaluation of current brand building models
  3.  Explain new approach to brand building

Excerpts From @B2Bento (Twitter)

  1. To marketers users are only numbers. Consumer is a target to be hunted #SESHK
  2. Marketers get rewarded by creating noise. However, consumers don’t like it and it won’t work anymore.
  3. Brand building is no longer linear – there are multiple entry an exit points.
  4. Listen and act on, don’t just listen.
  5. Allow people to reshape your brand
  6. Think of your brand as a host in a party. Everybody is invited and the brand is not the only one talking
  7. Increase your fans rapidly – IFR bug – avoid it

Pushkar also spoke on the excessive focus on tried and tested formulas and KPIs by marketers which is not the best approach in this social landscape. Instead brand marketeers should listen first and then act on what is being said by the consumers. They also need to be mindful that marketing in the social media space eliminates geographical boundaries and it is vital to be genuine and authentic in their interactions. Pushkar’s advice is to ” Think of your brand as a host in a party in your social assets” and not to panic when something goes wrong but to listen first to the consumers and then address the issues.

As mentioned, there were many other great presentations that I missed out on due to lack of time.


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