Why Global Brands Opt For Social Media Marketing?

By Azleen Abdul Rahim

Can you still recall the other day when you want to buy that awesome performance car you’ve been dreaming of? You asked a couple of your close friends for their opinions over Instagram about the car, didn’t you? You purposely asked them because they happened to be the proud owners of the same type of ride you’re after. In their Instagram, you can sense from the way they shared with everyone about how excited they are with their new toys, its sexiness and performance stories, the pictures and video of their weekend getaway trips and a few other stuffs. You quietly monitor those jokers’ posts and updates until you can’t hold yourself together anymore. “This is it’” you said. You got to take action. You, then right away pointed your browser to Youtube, to get for some verifications. Video after video watched, you felt satisfied with your choice this time. It seems, majority of the videos about the car do have excellent pieces of positive reviews.

You’re already influenced. The financial part is ready and so does the choice of ride. Hey, its a performance car for God sake. That night, your heart and brain quietly whispered, now is a good time to act on it. The next day, you head to the showroom for a test drive. You’re so pumped during the test driving session. Hmm.. it seems that those guys’ stories are making sense after all, well matched with your expectation of the car. The experience was remarkable. A couple of days later, you were there again at the showroom. This time, to pay for the booking and down payment. Now, it has been more than a month that you are the proud owner of that dreamed performance car. By making you the proud owner of that ride, eventually the brand wins.

The world has changed, as far as the global marketing is concerned. Today, global brands are focusing on digital way of enticing, specifically via social media. Seems this is the most effective channel to disburse content. It is more effective, efficient, fast, easy and cheap that will supplement their efforts within the traditional media channels. Why? To answer this question, I did conduct a market research back in June 2014 for the Malaysian market. The data I managed to gather with my team back then was very interesting. We found out that adults nowadays:

  1. Are doing networking online, view and read contents for at least 8 hours a day or more.
  2. Own at least 2 or more social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google+ dan Path.
  3. Installed at least 2 or more instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp, WeChat, Telegram, Blackberry Messenger, Facebook Messenger, Line, Viber dan Kik.
  4. Interacting with friends via social media and instant messaging for at least 10 hours or more daily.
  5. Shared at least 1 content within their social networks for every 87 contents or less that they’ve read.
  6. Have approximately at least 893 online friends and followers or more in each of their social media account.
  7. Offer 1 opinion and comment regardless positive or negative in every 18 contents they read, especially if the content belongs to their close friends.
  8. Among them, 78 percent will make purchases based on their friends’ opinion, suggestions and influences.
  9. Will react to contents that they think are very creative, rare, special, unique and emotional as well as contents that may impact them and their circle of friends in the future. They are prone to create virality of 783 percent more than the traditional advertisements rate can offer.
  10. Believe that networking via social media is more important than food and a place to stay. Some even say that it is like air to breath which they will get extremely cranky if they aren’t able to connect themselves with social media.

The world has changed, as far as the global marketing is concerned.

I believe that similar studies were also done by other international media agencies with similar results gained. The only difference is the market type and culture, as these would vary between each countries, regions and continents. In theory, we are considered as late adopters as far as the social media marketing is concerned compared to our Western counterparts, which maybe true in a way. Having said that, we also believe that we aren’t far off either. If we can prepare our plan from now, it is not too late to do a bit of a catch-up game to be at par with them.

For enterprises in Malaysia, to establish a great digital marketing blueprint of yours, you need to carefully understand the way people consume the content as per the statistics shared earlier. You need to work on this now, while those global brands are still doing their market research to understand the underlying complex and multicultural local market. Yes, their global social media marketing plan may have been ‘matured’ for awhile now but they still couldn’t fully sync it with the local culture yet. But once they’re able to understand and mobilise their global marketing ammo locally before you can execute yours, by that time you might not be able to compete with them anymore.