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View From The Boardroom – Social Networks Around The World Challenges and Opportunities

Aug 18, 2015

This is a blog post series by Robbie Vann-Adibé, Traackr investor and Chairman.

For a while there - circa 2010 - it looked like CMOs would be having an easier time of things, as the marketing world moved towards embracing social networks. There seemed to be only a few networks that mattered. They looked hard to build. They looked sticky. Maybe the 80/20 rule would apply here, and marketers would be able to focus on a few global networks to manage their marketing activities.

No such luck.

If the movie The Social Network was made today, it would probably be called - Yet Another Social Network.

Today, B2C as well as B2B companies must pay attention to interactions across endless social channels - Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram...And more seem to appear every year:

  • Viber has over 200 million users
  • There are 639 million users on Qzone (China)
  • 600 million users on Whatsapp
  • Facebook messenger has 500 million users
  • Wechat is close behind with 468 million users (China)
  • Snapchat has 100 million monthly users
  • Russia’s “VKontake” has 100 million users

(Source: Jeff Bullas)

The rise of non English speaking social networks in China and Russia, such as Qzone, are producing large social networks that exceed Twitter, Instagram and Google+. Growing global connectivity added a layer of marketing complexity. Marketers can’t be everywhere at once or know how, when, and through what channels their audience likes to communicate and receive information.

Something no one expected is that the folks marketers need to focus on, the influencers, vary their activity across multiple channels simultaneously and for different purposes.

While it’s true that influencer programs can help brands reach the right people, how can the marketers reach the influencers in this complex environment? Today, when working with influencers, it’s becoming increasingly important to monitor activity and metrics across all relevant social channels, as well as from blogs and all major online publications.

The Global-Local (Global) Influencer Challenge

The social networks used, the way people use them, and who they communicate with on them are drastically different by geography, creating the need for locally-managed influencer programs. In fact, 45% of influencer programs are managed locally, as pointed out in our recent study.

Global organizations today are faced with many challenges, including:

  • Too many social channels to keep up with
  • Balancing global consistency of local campaigns...
  • ...with multi-language translation/relevancy (i.e. does the US campaign translate to Japanese audiences?)
  • Technology integration across the global organization

Global Influencer Marketing Technology

Despite the challenges, successful global influencer marketing campaigns are flourishing, largely due to the development of global marketing technologies. Global influencer marketing platforms can help marketers scale programs to discover the right people, on the right channels, and manage relationships and campaigns around the world.

Global influencer discovery and engagement capabilities are helping Philips ASEAN build their innovative digital marketing model in Singapore. The Philips Asia Digital Command Centre (PADCC) is a facility created to monitor and participate in social dialog about the company, its products, and the categories its product are relevant to.

Philips manages the PADCC through strategic staffing and a marketing technology stack capable of scaling and managing conversations across borders. By 2016, Philips plans to move all marketing strategy in southeast Asia to a purely digital model, and subsequently transition the rest of the global organization.How does your global organization solve global-local challenges?


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