Sunday, December 2, 2012

where do we go from here?

Facebook has been the king of Philippine digital marketing for the past two-three years. I don't think this will change drastically next year, but I think we will have to start moving past this gated community.


The Philippine digital branding ecosystem skipped a stage when brands went straight into social media and skipped building the "Web 1.0" assets - websites with sound SEO, e-commerce portals, etc. Most "motherbrand" FMCGs (the Nestles, P&Gs or Unilevers, even the San Miguels or Universal Robina Corps) do have properties but it is not rare to come across a brand without a local and content-rich dot.com. Many marketers we were working with in 2009-2010 were hesitant to build websites. There was no social ad equivalent back then, and banner ads were expensive to produce, optimize and place. So, many brands skipped building these sites. Luckily Facebook came along, and saved marketers from having to pay for programming, CMS, database management. Even social ads are much more cost-effective than the usual banner ads.

But I think that next year will one to go back to digital basics that we might have skipped in the rush and excitement to build Facebook communities.
Because for brands looking to create a deeper layer of utility and engagement beyond the Wall, apps may not be enough. Many clients have started to ask us to start think about what comes after Facebook. What happens to our community when people stop signing up or frequenting the social network? I don't think there will be another Facebook after this (just like nobody really succeeded Google), but there could be a new trend after social networking. And while we have the Likes, brands don't necessarily own the database of their hundred thousand-to-million fans.

*Note: This is completely based on personal experience and observation.
Ultimately the issue is one of ownership. Many brands don't necessarily own their databases, unless they've secured additional contact information through an app. Most of all, brands are subject to each of Facebook's changes and re-designs. We once developed an app for a client to give fans a feature missing on Facebook, only to have that exact feature launched as we were programming. So brands looking to be more content-heavy may start going back to the dot.com. Content will probably always best-propagated on social network sites but this doesn't mean that wholly-owned properties cannot work complementary to communities.

This might be too old school for brands and agencies in more developed markets. But a lot of us might have room and occasion to build and/or improve on these foundational assets.


1 comment:

Maurice Pineda said...

This post makes people really inspired to know better more on digital networking. Thanks for sharing and keep on posting.

Maurice @ digital agency philippines

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