Based on Michael Leander’s opening keynote presentation at digital marketing conference Adtech Asean in Singapore, Joy Tang on behalf of TechTrade Asia wrote a summary of the presentation. With her permission it is republished below.

This post is republished with permission. It first appeared at TechTrade Asia here 

Spend less time on the future unless we are ready for it

marketing speaker Michael Leander

Marketing speaker Michael Leander at Adtech Asean (Photo courtesy Adasia Online)

Michael Leander, the well-known marketing speaker, says that successful digital marketing depends on getting the marketing fundamentals right. “We have to spend less time on the future unless we’re ready for that future,” he said, quoting David Ogilvy who once said that consumers buy based on the content of the advertising, not its form.

“This is basic stuff but we have to take this seriously. We claim to care about our customers but we haven’t learnt to take our customers and prospective customers seriously,” he said.

In his keynote at ad:tech asean, Leander said that 80% of digital marketing activities do not deliver any returns on the marketing investment (ROMI), while 90% of social media marketing activities even have negative ROMI.

Earning trust is critical for digital marketers
marketing trust is part of the fundamentalsThe reality today is challenging, Leander acknowledged. He said that consumers are exposed to 6,000 advertising messages daily, and have many choices and channels at their fingertips. “Earning trust is critical,” he said. “Consumers are getting more and more nervous about making the right choice.”

An ‘in-your-face’ strategy is a lot less likely to work than a courtship process, he advised. “They want a dating process, to get to know you and trust you before they can even begin to think about purchasing what you have,” he said. “Brands are not putting enough emphasis into answering ‘Do I know you?’, ‘Do I need you?’ and ‘Can I trust you?’”

Digital marketing expectations: Be realistic
Leander also cautioned that management is expecting immediate results from digital, when things take time. “In our industry, (it is) often three to five times longer than expected,” he said. “It is important to be realistic.”

He added that reach and volume mean nothing if the right people are following the brand. “Start focusing more on the people that matter,” he said.

One customer at a time works in digital marketing and all other channels

marketing fundamentals one size fits one

A personalized approach works better

One area where social has worked very well is as a customer service play, he noted, sharing that he had made a positive review of a Mandarin Oriental Jakarta hotel on YouTube that the hotel thanked him for.

“It’s about one customer at a time. This is a conversation between this brand and I. Now I really want to stay there even more when I come back,” he said.

Too much execution not enough plan
In the final analysis, Leander said that most organisations are spending 95% of their time in execution and not enough time on purpose, strategy, and tactics. Leander said brands have to decide if they want to be unique or meaningful, and then think about how they will prove it. “You need to make these decisions and stick to them consistently,” he warned, advising brands to define their purpose and core messages, execute, then understand the numbers and how they can use the experience to improve the next time.

“Focus on your customers and anticipate their needs,” he said.

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