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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Content Updates & Scheduling on Social Networks

I'm often asked how I maintain my social media updates throughout the day (while still doing a full-time job!). Well, I cheat. I pre-read a lot of sales and marketing content and schedule it to be published at a later time/date. I usually do around 6 -8 updates per day on Twitter and LinkedIn, and 4 on Saturday and Sunday. It only takes an hour or so per week (plus reading) but gives you a robust social media presence. Here are the 4 key steps:

1. Find the right content.

The most important step is finding the right content to share. It takes a lot of time to read through it all but it gives you the dual benefit of getting you up-to-speed on what's happening in the industry but also identifying what content to share. As a kick start, here are 50 blogs that are worth reading: http://bit.ly/1hiV5nC
I also regularly read www.marketing-interactive.com, www.campaignasia.com, www.marketingmag.com.au, www.adweek.com, www.adage.com and www.econsultancy.com. Twitter is also incredibly useful in finding relevant and useful content.

2. Aggregate content in one place.

The best content comes from those you follow or respect. To help identify this, I’ve subscribed to Newsle (www.newsle.com) and Nuzzel (www.nuzzel.com), which are free tools for news about my friends/network.  I also use Feedly (www.feedly.com) to aggregate news/blogs together in once place.

3. Schedule your content.

I really love and use a tool called Buffer (www.bufferapp.com). There’s a free version that allows you to schedule up to 10 updates at a time. There's a paid version (which I use) that allows for unlimited updates. Buffer is simple to use, and has a Chrome extension, meaning if you download it for the Chrome browser, when you’re reading a website or article you simply click on the Buffer icon in the top left corner to schedule it into Buffer. Other tools you might consider are Hootsuite (www.hootsuite.com) and here are 6 more: http://empowerlounge.com/6-great-social-media-scheduling-tools/

4. Publish them to your social networks.

I’ve connected my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to Buffer, but you can also connect your Facebook account if you like. If you’re advanced, you can scheduled different content for different social networks (for different audiences).


I hope this helps - and happy content publishing!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

My new adventure – I’m joining Philips!


I’ve been blessed with a great career at some of the most amazing brands in the world. In 2012, I joined the biggest brand in Asia and the world’s largest technology company, Samsung. It was a great ride. I had the great pleasure of working with some of the best and brightest minds in marketing on some of the best products ever created. My role matched my passions – leading marketing transformation in Asia, doing great work in digital, changing the game in social business, introducing e-commerce to the region (for Samsung) and building a great brand. Unfortunately, at the end of 2013, I was retrenched by the (at the time) new regional leadership at Samsung as part of a management restructure. The move was widely reported in the media including Campaign Asia, Mumbrella and Marketing Magazine.

It’s tough going through such a sudden change, both professionally and personally. For the last couple of months I’ve taken time out to reassess and focus on what’s important in life – friends, family, being healthy, giving back to the community and sharing my knowledge. It also gave me a unique opportunity to focus on finding a new role at a company that was more closely aligned to my values – a company that focuses on helping people and improving people’s lives.  I was fortunate to be approached by Philips. I’ve always been a huge fan of the Philips brand, which I believe is one of the most innovative and caring companies in the world. It’s a brand that is helping the world, as you can see from their company profile:

“Royal Philips of the Netherlands is a diversified technology company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of HealthcareConsumer Lifestyle and Lighting. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare.”

I’ve accepted the role of Regional Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer for Philips ASEAN & Pacific. I'll be part of the regional management team, reporting to the well respected CEO of Philips ASEAN & Pacific, Harjit Gill. It’s a big role, focused on three key areas – building the Philips brand in the region (it’s already number 40 in Interbrand’s top 100 global brands), implementing best-in-class communications and social media practices, and making Philips a digital marketing leader. I’m very excited as I strongly believe three key things:

  • Brands are not built by a 30-second TVC or by advertising. Brands are built by engaging customers and driving advocacy. I’ve had a lot of experience in brand storytelling and engaging influencers and advocates – a discipline that I’m surprised that more brands aren’t embracing.
  • Social media has fundamentally changed how brands engage customers, shareholders, media and other stakeholders. Brave brands, like Philips, are embracing this tectonic shift in communications and are investing into social media. This is an area I will dedicate myself and my team to becoming a best practice leader in.
  • Digital marketing is the future. I’ve worked in digital my entire career and I’m very honoured to be one of the few digital marketers to breakthrough into a senior level marketing/CMO role. While I appreciate and support specialists, I personally don’t understand the need to have separate digital teams as part of the wider marketing organisation – I want Philips to become the best digital marketing organisation in the world. I plan to bring my extensive experience in this area to my new role.

I start my new, very exciting role in February 2014. If you're interested in working with Philips and joining me on this adventure, please check out the Philips Career website here: http://www.careers.philips.com.sg/

I’m only one person but I believe in the power of networking and value the ideas of others. If you have any thoughts on Philips, specifically on what I can do to help grow the brand, improve communications or drive digital transformation across the region, I’d love to hear from you. Please let me know what you think in the comments section below or feel free to email me directly (damiencummings@gmail.com).

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Moderating "Web Analytics & Actionable Insights" at Econsultancy's Digital Cream 2013.


Recently I had the pleasure of moderating the Web Analytics & Actionable Insights panel at Econsultancy's Digital Cream 2013 event in Singapore. In my opinion the Digital Cream event is one most prestigious and valuable events because it brings the top 150 digital marketing leaders across Asia together in one room to debate and share insights.



The Web Analytics and Actionable Insights panel featured lively debate around three key themes: 

Measurement is useless without strategy.

First, that there tends to be a focus on measuring digital metrics but this is usually quite disconnected from a marketing or business strategy. The key theme of that discussion thread is that if you don't have a strategy in place, you don't need analytics to measure your success. It's critical to understand your end goal, and what metrics are important for your brand before embarking on developing a digital dashboard and key metrics. 

Be mobile first.

Second, there was a discussion around evolving platform usage. In 2013 mobile web traffic is already at 28%, with a predication of over 50% of web traffic from 2014. This means that a web analytics plan needs to think broader than PC, and focus more strongly on measuring content and interactions on mobile devices and tablets.

Resourcing for Analytics into the future.

Third discussion point was about how to get started and what resources are needed. It was agreed that if you're new to Web Analytics, it makes sense to outsource this to an agency in the early days. However, as all businesses become fundamentally digital it's important to have Analytics as an internal function. The challenge though, is that right now this responsibility is given to an already overworked marketing team or marketing manager. So the big question is whether organisations will grow specific Web Analytics teams, or whether it needs to be decentralised and made a responsibility of all marketers? The consensus was everyone needs to understand Web Analytics but for Actionable Insights, this requires a higher level of skill and knowledge. These "strategic analysts" will be the "Chief Data Officers" of the future.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

4 reasons why CEOs still don’t invest in digital marketing

This post originally appeared on the Firebrand Talent Blog.

There are thousands of research documents, millions of opinions, and the experience of almost everyone on the planet that digital is the new normal. Smartphone penetration is ridiculously high, with the passionate debate about Android vs. iOS and Samsung vs. Apple making headline news. There are over a billion people using Facebook, with hundreds of millions of people using Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Vine, and other social networks. Google, Baidu, and Bing searches are a daily part of everyone’s every day lives, as well as critical to finding any information nowadays.

So, why are marketing managers struggling to spend even a small percentage of their media in digital? It’s big news when companies like P&G announce that they’re moving their digital spend to 35%. For me, the big question is whether this is enough? Consumers don’t spend 10%, 20%, or 35% of their time using digital devices and media, so what’s the bottleneck?

I believe there are four major reasons why CEOs and CMOs are struggling to invest in digital:

  1. CEOs don’t trust CMOs. This is the biggest contributor to why marketing budgets get cut and new initiatives don’t get off the ground. Marketing is not as clear cut as Sales. Sales have easy to understand metrics like sales, profit and market share. Marketing and Advertising deals in intangibles like brand, customer satisfaction, reach/awareness, and purchase intent. Too often, Marketing leaders don’t take the time to truly connect and engage with the CEO and other executive leaders. This has lead to the erosion of trust.
  2. Marketers rely too much on their media agency partners to spend their money. Media agencies are fantastic at optimising a media budget, but they have inherent bias towards certain media. TV is still top of mind for most media agency leaders due to its reach and ability to quickly launch a new product.Online video (the nearest digital equivalent) is far too fragmented and requires a deeper level of understanding of less understood elements like content marketing, YouTube (and YouTube celebrities), and Mobile marketing. Similarly, it’s easy to understand that print and OOH are going to get a brand a wide audience and boost awareness. What’s missing is the understanding thatconsumer behaviour has changed and people are expecting a different, deeper relationship with brands. A print ad will never change behaviour in the way a conversation with friends on social media can – digital is the only way to interactively engage consumers and build brand preference and true loyalty.
  3. True consumer digital usage is on platforms and devices, not in media. The focus has to be moving marketing budgets from media to production. Building a website is not a media spend. Creating an engaging mobile experience via an App is not a media spend. Engaging social media influencers and advocates is not a media spend. e-CRM is not media. For true digital engagement the focus needs to shift to capability building activities and “creating” things, not simply buying an empty space and filling it with an ad.
  4. CMOs don’t understand the value and ROI of social mediaMarketers understand that consumers are deeply engaged in platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but most haven’t figured out the right way to engage these consumers. Instead of listening to customers, understanding their passions and needs, then engaging in a open, honest and relevant discussion with them, it seems most brands simply want to relentlessly spam their fans/followers/connections with product info or useless trivia. In fact, in my experience, up to 45% of activity on a brand’s Facebook page is customer service-related (complaints, questions, etc.), so pumping out spammy product content in that kind of environment completely misses the mark. This all leads to the confusion around ROI. If CMOs don’t understand the best way to use social media, it’s going to be very unclear on how to measure its success.