Honest content serves to convert sceptics
As companies across sectors wrestle with the right ‘content’ strategies for their brands, they are facing up to some difficult questions: do they really have a value proposition that consumers will care about, and what truly differentiates their products and services from competitors in the market?
The answers aren’t always there for brands caught up in content’s ‘gold rush’ mentality and seemingly endless opportunities. Interestingly, it’s brands in the financial services sector — with its minefields of regulations and compliance issues and where marketers are typically thought of as risk-averse — that are leading the charge.
This issue’s cover story is ‘Finance’s human face’ on page 38. It finds that BlackRock and AIA are two clients that have been active and successful in content marketing. Like many in the finance industry, they face challenges: consumers often lack trust, there is little understanding of their products and services, and the advertising can end up lacking a human voice. These companies have taken to content marketing partly because they know how to create quality content that is brand safe and enhancing. They also intuitively grasp the importance of visibility and engagement.
Call it branded content, custom publishing, entertainment, content marketing. The industry’s seeing a rising trend of businesses becoming media companies as they recognise that through content creation they can engage directly with an audience. On page 48, our writer discovers how branded content is diversifying, driven by the realisation that consumers are willing to interact with experiences that are engaging, entertaining and worthwhile. The key for marketers is to make sure brands have the right data and metrics to bring it all together.
This issue’s interview is with Matt Biespiel, senior director for global brand development at McDonald’s Corporation. He notes that consumers (especially those hard to reach, fickle Millenials) want brands that share their values. This, he explains, is forcing marketers to spend more time thinking about ‘why’, versus the ‘what’. Read the full interview on page 44.
Atifa Silk is brand director, Campaign Asia-Pacific
Letters, blogs, campaignasia.com’s top 10
6 The Month
Latest news round-up
10 The Rankings
Business performance update
12 The Big Picture
Marketing and IT still at odds
The jury is still out on outsourcing versus in-house production
AKQA’s Hideki Watanabe helps brands make friends and influence consumers
Craig Davis on ideas
Brands should tread carefully when entering new territory
Asian whisky drinkers turn to single malt
Vodafone waits for customers to pick up
Marketers tell us what they think about paying pitch fees
Adam Morgan on insight
Thai adspend goes digital
Nick Waters aims to keep Zenith unique
Is 3D printing just another gimmick?
Agencies should be more sharing
Marcel Fenez on media
Agencies should not be too quick to abandon PR
Cindy Gallop on influence
36 The face behind the brand
IBM’s Jojo Cheung on learning to nurture customer relationships
38 Financial marketing
Banks take a more humble approach to building customer relations
44 The Atifa Silk interview
McDonald’s Matt Biespiel talks brand strategy for the global fast food giant
48 Branded entertainment
Using relevant content to compete for attention in a media-saturated world
54 The Work
Latest ads reviewed
56 Improve your career
Jeremy Bullmore, plus latest industry jobs
Gossip, party pics and Google types
Technological evolution means companies have to decide whether to produce their own work or outsource to specialists.
As agencies reposition their corporate identities, what is the thinking behind the strategy? And do clients see the difference?
SECTOR STUDY: Changing consumer habits have slowed whisky sales in some markets but prestige brands are gaining ground on single malt and higher-end blended whiskies.
Branded content is diversifying, driven by the realisation that consumers are willing to interact in return for a worthwhile experience.
MEDIA DEBATE: Tempting as it is to hold new innovations close to the chest, experts agree media agencies should work harder to share insights with their creative counterparts
Don't fall for the idea that only creative-agency types can be creative.
ASIA-PACIFIC - ZenithOptimedia and Ogilvy stay on top of media and creative agency rankings, respectively.
After decades of television monopoly, Thailand’s advertisers go to digital to reach the countries young consumers.
BRAND HEALTH CHECK: Australian telco hopes rebranding campaign will stem the tide of fleeing customers.