MarketingPulse Online, a two-day virtual conference organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), attracted an audience of more than 21,000 from over 50 countries and regions across the globe. Under the theme “Marketing for GOOD”, the conference hosted 27 seminars and workshops, bringing together more than 40 marketing and advertising experts to share creative strategies, examine COVID-19-era marketing trends and share digital transformation success stories.
Digital transformation impact
Focusing on digital transformation and the impact of new marketing technologies, speaker Mayur Gupta – who was Global Vice President for Growth & Marketing at Spotify and has been named on the Forbes list of the world’s most influential chief marketing officers – discussed how marketers can respond to behavioural shifts. Now working as Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at Gannett – USA Today Network, Mr Gupta said marketers can leverage technologies in the era of uncertainty and predict growth trends amid digital transformation.
“COVID-19 basically punched all of us in the face, and it has taken us back to the basics of what marketing always had to be, and what it ought to be – the three simple Ps, which are defining your purpose, the promise you make to the consumer that reflects that purpose and, ideally, the product you deliver matching that promise,” he said.
Jeny Yeung Mei-chun, Commercial Director of Hong Kong’s commuter rail service MTR Corporation Limited, shared her tips on how brands can connect with customers and the community at every digital touch point, with insights on digital acceleration.
“Like transportation companies in many other cities around the world, the MTR is going through a smart journey to upgrade its capabilities to help the community,” she said.
“So, a lot of the features in our new app revolve around how customers can use our services better, but the other major component is lifestyle information since passengers are now demanding more than the basic core services.”
Arjan Dijk, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at global accommodation reservation firm Booking.com, shared perspectives on how major brands responded to shifting consumer behaviour under the new normal, predicting marketing trends and tourism development as businesses begin to recover.
“All marketing activities have to be performance-driven during the pandemic. Going forward, I see huge opportunities for staycations as well as ‘workcations’. I think many of us are thinking about our summer and imagining going on a week’s vacation and staying a week longer to work,” he said.
teamLab shares artistic journey
Navigating the confluence of art, science, technology and the natural world, the globally renowned art collective teamLab unveiled its creative philosophies and immersive experiences to the audience at MarketingPulse Online.
“[Digital works] can free us from materials and we are no longer stuck in one room. Boundaries are just an illusion that humans make. New ideas both come from and affect old ideas,” a senior teamLab member said.
At the conference, Eray Li, General Manager of Southern China at Mainland Chinese short-video app Kuaishou (Magnetic Engine), who has also worked at digital giants Tencent, Cheetab Mobile and Alibaba, explained Kuaishou’s strategies and tricks of the trade to seize the significant opportunities presented by its platform.
“There was a user base of 818 million for short videos at the end of last year, accounting for 87% of netizens. The average daily time people spent on short videos exceeded the time spent on instant messaging, video calls, et cetera,” he said.
“In 2020, Kuaishou’s e-commerce sales were Rmb381.2 billion [US$58.2 billion], and 84% of its users prefer to follow the recommendations of livestreamers,” he added.
Cracking Gen Z code
Timothy Armoo, the founder and CEO of Fanbytes, a leading influencer marketing agency, shared some of the latest strategies to win the hearts of the young generation through video content, influencer engagement and algorithms on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and other social media.
“Gen Z have short interest spans, not attention spans,” he said. “In the past, you needed a big budget to advertise on TV, but the world of social has created a more level playing field where anybody can play – small brands as well as large. But this also means Gen Zs have a lot of influence; in fact, so much influence that any brand that does not take them into consideration is playing a losing game.”
The MarketingPulse Online platform will remain open until 30 April and industry members can continue to use platform features and review content from previous events.