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Social media plays key role in strategy development for brands: TNS Study

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Social media plays key role in strategy development for brands: TNS Study

 Brands in India are placing social media at the heart of their strategy as they strive towards 360 degree customer engagement, according to a study released by global insights consultancy, TNS. The results from TNS’s annual Marketing Monitor study across Asia Pacific highlight the centrality of social media for marketers - it ranked as the top element guiding the planning process, as well as the top metric used to measure the performance of campaigns.

 According to the study, businesses are using a variety of sources to inform their marketing strategy; however insights gathered through social media monitoring have finally overtaken more traditional metrics such as market share data and brand tracking to become the most popular component used by marketers.                                             

Top five metrics informing planning:                                       

1.    Social media monitoring

2.    Brand tracking

3.    Market share data

4.    What the competition is doing

5.    Information from ad agencies

These findings echo the changes happening in consumer behaviour across the region. As people become more connected via digital channels, brands are focusing on how they can communicate with their customers in the online spaces where they are already spending time – social. What’s more, for many mobile-first internet users across the country, social is the primary reason for going online, and so it is a valuable environment for marketers to both connect with their audiences and build a better understanding of them.

 Zoë Lawrence, Digital Director, APAC for TNS said, “It’s no secret that social has become an intrinsic part of our daily lives – 94% of connected consumers in India use social networks, switching between Facebook, Google + and Twitter as the top three channels. This mass adoption of social provides marketers with an array of sources when it comes to developing strategies and evaluating the effectiveness of their marketing activity. As the digital ecosystem evolves, we will continue to identify new ways to build insights. However, whatever the metric used, it’s important to ensure marketers are monitoring the indicators that contribute to sales.”

 The study also highlighted the top priority for marketing departments this year – customer relationship management. The Marketing Monitor findings revealed that marketers’ sphere of activity has now broadened, as they concentrate on how to deliver the best overall customer experience, ahead of the traditional aim of increasing brand awareness.

 To achieve this, businesses are using social media across a range of disciplines. For example, half (50%) of marketers are using social media for brand communications, but in addition, (43%) are using it for to provide customer service. Social media appeared to be a big part of ecommerce strategy, with 51% using social media advertising and one in three (32%) using social media buy buttons. 

 Despite this approach to using social to support a variety of marketing goals, the results showed that businesses are not working as collaboratively as they could be, with only 37% of marketers partnering with customer service teams, 38% working with the digital team and a mere 11% working with the insights department.

 According to S. Visvanathan, Managing Director, South India & Sri Lanka and Head of Brand & Communications practice, TNS India, businesses are typically overwhelmed by the sheer volume of data generated. He said, “India’s online environment is developing very fast. As more consumers and customers start connecting to the internet through mobile and start accessing different digital platforms, the amount of data available will explode! It is important that marketers devise effective ways of extracting insight from this data before it is too late.”

Lawrence added, “With marketers using social for a range of marketing objectives, it is important that they are offering a consistent, coherent experience to the customer. Brands need to strive to break down the siloes in their organisations to ensure that they are realising the potential positive impact that an aligned, well-executed social strategy can deliver.”


APAC India
Top five metrics informing planning
1.    Social media monitoring 1.    Social media monitoring
2.    Market share data 2.    Brand tracking
3.    Brand tracking 3.    Market share data
4.    What the competition is doing 4.    What the competition is doing
5.    Information from media agencies 5.    Information from ad agencies
Top priority for marketing departments this year
1.    Customer relationship management 1.    Customer relationship management
2.    Increasing brand awareness 2.    Increasing brand awareness
3.    Transforming the marketing organisation in the digital world 3.    Transforming the marketing organisation in the digital world
4.    Deriving value from data to inform decisions 4.    Identifying and converting new sales opportunities
5.    Identifying and converting new sales opportunities 5.    Marketing automation and programmatic
How marketers are using social media
46%: Brand communications 50%: Brand communications
43%: Customer service 43%: Customer service
38%: Sales channel 36%: Sales channel
37%: Amplifying other marketing activity 31%: Providing insights to inform product development
36%: Providing insights to inform product development 28%: Amplifying other marketing activity
27%: Mining for customer intelligence 22%: Mining for customer intelligence
Social media and ecommerce
47%: using social media advertising 51%: using social media advertising
30%: using social media buy buttons 32%: using social media buy buttons
What departments are marketers collaborating with?
46%: customer service teams 43%: business development teams
39%: business development teams 38%: digital team
33%: wider sales team 37%: customer service teams
30%: digital team 16%: wider sales team
16%: insights team 11%: insights team
% using social networks
92% 94%
Top three platforms used daily
1.   WeChat Moments 1.   Facebook
2.   Facebook 2.   Google+
3.   QQ Space 3.   Twitter


Tags Marketing TNS

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