Stand out in the digital evolution

By Stuart Pike, Executive Director, Digital Audience Measurement, Southeast Asia, North Asia and Pacific





When it comes to getting your brand messaging across to the typical smartphone user, you’ve got about 90 minutes of their day to make an impact. How many of those minutes are penetrated by your brand?

While the share of smartphone screen-time minutes available for potential brand marketing purposes varies around the world (75 minutes in Japan, 60 minutes in the U.S., etc.), smartphone penetration is rapidly growing, and your brand could realistically become part of the consumer experience with the right engaging content.

There are many ways to stand out in the digital revolution, you just have to know how to harness its power. Digital has already proven itself as a profitable medium when it comes to return on investment, but to be successful in this space, you must recognize that the smartphone is a personal device and you need to tread carefully. Rather than rely on disruptive advertising, think about creating apps that add value to consumers’ lives. Done right, it can enhance long-term engagement with your brands.

Aside from making a phone call or sending a text, most smartphone time is spent using apps. Apps for “me time,” apps for communicating and social networking, apps for shopping, discovery, self-expression—the list goes on. A March 2013 Harvard Business Review article, “For Mobile Devices Think Apps, Not Ads,” contends that the typical user downloads about 40 apps to their phones, but regularly uses about 15. How can we, as marketers, reach and engage these consumers? The answer is emotion.



Start connecting with how people feel as much as how they shop. There are growing numbers of good examples to prove this concept works. In South Korea, for example, the U.K.-based retailer Tesco has a grocery delivery business called Home Plus. By leveraging the walls of subway stations with life-size, high-resolution photos of products on store shelves, complete with QR codes that can be scanned with a smartphone, consumers can shop and arrange for delivery while waiting for their trains. Within the first three months of rollout, the number of registered users of Home Plus increased by 76 percent, and revenues increased by 130 percent.

To stand out with a digital app, think about your consumer along five important value propositions and answer these questions: Is it convenient? What makes it unique? Does it have a social component? What incentive does it provide? Is it fun? Decide which of these can be embraced by your brand and develop a creative execution that fits the medium. Digital provides great opportunities for brand owners to reach and influence, but recognize that it requires different thinking than traditional media campaigns, and each device requires its own strategy.




Device proliferation has become the norm. From computers to smartphones to tablets, different screens dictate different behaviors. Just like you can’t re-hash your TV ad campaign for smartphones, you’ll need a different strategy for tablets too. And while wearable devices aren’t mainstream yet, wearable computing is already here. Digital is changing so rapidly that if you haven’t re-thought and/or updated your digital strategy in the past 12 months, you should.