We are doing our mid-year planning and I was asked to show some trends for the second half of the year and for next year. I was thinking of sharing some of the best in class examples of digital marketing here in the Philippines. Any ideas? – Justin of Makati City
The same question was asked last year by a workshop participant, and it was hard then to think of competitive, best in class examples. Today, I am happy to say that with the various industry seminars, conferences, and courses in digital marketing, coupled with most brands experimenting with digital marketing, there has been a reasonable amount of success in this area. In fact, most agencies today have started submitting their entries to various award-giving bodies around Asia.

For starters, the Adobo Ad of the year for 2011 was actually the Coke OFW video that showcased Coca-Cola bringing home three OFWs and reuniting them with their families. This video gained worldwide recognition after it reached one million views in a week’s time, warming the hearts of a global audience and making them understand the plight of our overseas workers.

Another excellent video execution was the touching Energizer video about the toy robot and a doll, which also received a lot of recognition as it brought to life the robot and the doll, and how the robot eventually sacrificed his life (by giving his batteries) to the doll. Both are on YouTube; just search “Coca-Cola: The OFW Project” or “A Toy Love Story That Will Make You Cry.” From the Facebook side, the largest branded page is still Nescafe Philippines. It is a local fan page, but what has made it very successful is its fan base, which is higher than that of the global fan page. It currently has 1.6 million fans versus the global base’s 1.5 million fans. At the same time, it is ranked among the most engaged brands on Facebook in the world. The reason for this is actually the use of Nescafe Points, which incentivizes people when they interact with any existing and upcoming app. The Nescafe page is also very up-to-date with its postings, which is why every picture or comment they post automatically gains high engagement as people “like,” comment or share that post. From the innovative side, two retail establishments went head-on and showcased to their customers their entry into digital marketing. SM launched the iButterfly, the first in the Philippines, where people can use their mobile phones to catch virtual butterflies. Eventually, the butterflies (which are wing-branded, meaning they have logos on their wings like BDO, Ace hardware, Pet Express, etc.) lead to special prizes for their mall goers. Ayala Malls, on the other hand, launched their Ayala 360 Degrees mobile app, which is a very functional platform that provides mall information such as event updates, directions, locations, and contact details.

The most recent one I am sure everyone has seen is the successful case of the launch of Magnum. Using celebrity influences, Magnum was launched in social media, making everyone want to get their hands on it. At the same time, they launched the first augmented reality execution of Solenn Heusaff in Rogue Magazine. I am sure the brand has hit its sales targets since the ice cream was always out of stock during the time of launch.

So as you can see, compared to last year, I can now ramble on because these cases have already gone through a certain stage of success. While I think these projects have not reached the status of “Cannes Lions” material, the highest award in marketing, we are definitely not behind, and we are definitely taking the first steps to getting there. What we expect the second half will look like would be more executions on tablets and mobile platforms, more uses for Twitter, higher e-commerce market, fewer FB apps, and higher community management to drive engagement.

While I have shown you some ideas, what I think is more commendable are your company’s efforts in keeping abreast with digital marketing trends. Eventually, you will definitely see how you can use it to reach your marketing and business goals. The first question is always the hardest to ask, and I look forward to showcasing your digital marketing campaign soon.
Mr. Lim is the chief e-Marketing strategist of Mansmith and Fielders, Inc. (www.mansmith.net). Please e-mail info@mansmith.net, call (+63-2) 584-5858 / 412-0034 or text 0918-81-168-88. Please also send your marketing, sales and strategy questions to mentors@mansmith.net.