A marketing guru crossing from analogue and digital helped enlighten our class.

Mr. Chee Yue, the director of XYZ Wave Private Limited, shared in-depth industry insights with COMM 346.
Mr. Chee Yue is the trusted partner of agencies, brands and MNCs in Asia, charting and navigating the digital transformation of their business, marketing and customer engagement since 2000 with the last five years focusing on technological innovation and the adoption of emerging technologies.
He shared how marketing and PR has transformed messages and formats in the digital era, with the focus on interactivity and value propositions of the brand, based on his more than 20 years of experience as a marketing expert.
Thank you, Mr. Chee Yue!

Please introduce yourself to your classmates! Show the real you!

Hi Guys,

I am impressed by the effort you put into our opening essay overall.

I could read your hearts and minds, and your passion about this course.

I just want to share some thoughts for your better engagement with readers, for instance, you might have to write this kind of essay to demonstrate your interests to concerned parties in a real-life business or academic project.

I have seen a lot of overlap in your essays—that is some boilerplate quotes and conventional stances regarding social media.

These are some examples below,

  • Social media can empower us in many ways…
  • I will like to be able to gain more in-depth knowledge on social media to help individuals and organizations to achieve their goals….
  • We need to embrace social media revolution….

Other than just stating about the change in the WORLD, please say something more on yourself and go straight to the points as your reader/audience would be able to pay only limited time to read your content as they’re bound to have been bombarded with content.

 

 

Another issue I saw in a lot of essays across the board is that your personal connection to or investment in the issue was not explained.

For example, many students seemed to pick F&B as their choice of organization as this business category appears to be most affected by the social media engagement and digital marketing.

But F&B is a hard sell, and you need to invest more time and effort as to questions—why F&B? and in what ways do you think you are relevant to this issue and capable of the problem solving, if any? Other than just stating a dry fact that F&B need social media, please expand on why YOU are interested in and why it is important to YOU.

 

Capture
Be personal and unique! Just be yourself and be real. In that way you will be the most creative and interesting person you can be.

 

One way to show more of your personal investment and unique critical thinking is to raise questions about things you find confusing or troubling regarding the issue.

Or you can state your personal history and experiences where you’ve realized the importance or value of your social media.

Or you could simply confess that you don’t fully understand or agree with a general consensus, such as “social media is increasingly important in our lives!”

If you want to confront conventional beliefs, you’ll have to think through your reasoning to convince yourself and others, right? That can be a great way to show personal engagement with the issue and find concerns worth exploring.

This courses might provide you some insights and rationale why or why NOT social media is important or might NOT be that effective way to your business and personal goals thus things should be turned around.

To me, social media is an effective communication tool to understand the “change” in society, “changes” in the way people think and behave. I have seen social media empower us as it provides a personal broadcasting channel, so people now tend to think in a more “self-centric” way than ever.

Also as we are more connected. We are responding to social issues more timely manner. However, issues can be volatile, and thus it is very hard to create sustainable relationship with one another.

So I continue to update this course with more diverse real-life cases, and more in-class activities and assignments will be given to create engagement and connect your personal interests with the class content. The readings are more of a classic framework or baseline, as fundamental and critical questions remained unsolved, but my in-class lecture materials are updated with more diverse and current real-life issues and cases.

Also, I updated my lecture slides with more text than previous ones to help your easy understanding about the content. Yet, visual aids also will be provided to draw quick attentions and intuitions to the content. And this approach is aligned with how infographics serve these days.

 

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Infographics make complex information eye catching, shareable and easily digestible.

 

My aim for this class is to help students to be more STRATEGIC on social media, to be both “fascinating content makers” as well as “strategic relationship managers” simultaneously.

I believe we could be and should be both attractive and wise with our social media strategies… and we can learn through examining a diverse range of previous cases and principles and frameworks.

What were the initial questions that opened social media era, what were the issues and concerns society had to face with the advent of social media, and what are still ongoing and unsolved issues?

Please introduce yourself with regards to your “interest” and personal “history” regarding this class’ main topics encompassing MNC’s global marketing, political comm, crisis comm. and small and medium-sized enterprises and so forth.

There is no right or wrong way to express yourself on social media, but we all know there always attractive things and boring things in the eyes of social media audience. Similarly, keep your audience in mind as you introduce yourself.

Don’t waste your space and words just to portray really obvious and general things about social media. Don’t be too unnecessarily lengthy. Keep it simple and to the points in accordance to your audiences’ attention span.

Do be genuine and sincere, which will help your audience connect with you.

Kyu

 

Pop music industry, fandom and social media

Hi Guys!
Who do you think is the most popular boy band or girl band in Singapore?
Take a minute and pick one, then we can explore and converse about how their social media strategies are implemented well and help them to be successful in the Singapore pop music scene.
Please leave a comment about a group that you think is popular and why in the conversation thread to this posting.
Thanks and see you in class.

Kyu

How did Facebook beat Google Plus?

Gavin Bellson, CEO of Hooli, the Google-like fictional company in HBO’s hit show Silicon Valley, indulging in invigorating intellectual curiosity and a competitive mind, hasn’t a care about what it takes to buy whatever seems attractive and stock-it-on promising start-ups. Likewise, major turn-ons that motivate most Silicon Valley tech tycoons might not merely be ROI number-crunching like any merely mediocre traders. More exactly, their self-indulgent causes are humane commitment “To make the world a better place” and/or self-righteousness based on an “It-has-to-be-me” mindset.

hooli
Their playing with giga-investment decisions on cutting-edge, maybe even game-changing technologies, flying cars, free-internet-distribution balloons, drones and the like, might essentially be the same as that of the show’s Erlich Bachman, self-claiming he did something superspecial and creative with a hell of exorbitant silly parties that represents Hawaii in Alcatraz decorating with real dinosaur bones that cost a fortune for merely a short term rent. They’re all carefree egotripping with all the $$$-tsunami from scalable IPO and corporate shares given to founders and investors, enabling them to wallow in party time atop of insatiable demands for Brain entertainment.

Similarly, our perspective on Google’s recent blunder on Google Plus and its ignominious retreat in the war against Facebook … Actually, it began at the wrong end, clashing with Facebook simply in revengeful reaction to i) some of its skilled workforce defecting in that direction, and ii)  Facebook’s phenomenal growth, a la the slur of “short-lived college-town fever …” Remember? Google believed it had the upper-hand  and that it could leverage on what Facebook does not have, namely search, solid user-base, ultimately-better tech platform, a more-integrated mail-service platform, YouTube, maps, the list goes on … Google carried out the plan to prove its belief they actually perform better than Facebook. Yes, definitely technological determinism, Valley boys’ typical projection of the world around themselves.

But, as we all already know, for Google Plus it didn’t go as planned. Facebook responded vigorously and, to put it mildly, Facebook has a whole lot of vigour, (a whole lot of capital-C Clout). So, no surprise, it routed its contender (as I write this, Russia’s 1812 rout of Napoleon keeps coming to mind). This is a story of a win by the Facebook people despite their technological shortcomings compared to Google Plus. Thing is, the winning team has more Moxie.  That word says it all: They eagerly committed themselves, were determined to win, confident that sheer force of character can achieve the intended outcome.  In contrast, Googlers seemed more relaxed, perhaps intoxicated with their well-established empire, resting on their laurels (so to speak).

 

Does this view hold true? Does it take into account all factors behind Facebook’s success?

Recently with my husband I for the first time came to an interesting bar: it used drones to serve tables! He deliberately picked it to cover a story on that very topic. Then a surprise: I learned that the bar not only is well known, but also close to my school, literally small-ball-throw close. So it sank in that although I’ve been here two years I never had explored the neighborhood close to campus, never registered its coffee shops, restaurants, bars, museums, bookstores … in a word, its character! Nor had I felt genuine curiosity toward what this city has to offer. I wonder why. Imagine a similar lapse in, for example, Paris, Barcelona, Zurich … in the last two of which, actually, I have been (also in the last two years) and where I did explore. Probably here I simply haven’t been in the mood because this city is for me my workplace where my necessary focus is my career performance. Bottom line: One’s workplace city is hardly where one’s leisure time is given over to relaxing and chilling out. Nor does it necessarily intrigue one’s curiosity.

Invoking the example of my usual look-away from what surrounds my workplace might explain why people have little notion of what Google Plus is all about, or don’t even know it exists. Odd, this, considering that by a simple glance around, a single click on their existing Gmail account, they’d have a sense of it. No doubt Google Plus is a technically well-designed and efficient platform. And, across the board, the Google platform works well for us, especially when we pursue max efficiency in our online behaviors, whether work or leisure, and especially when we Google business websites to prepare a client meeting, check emails needing our utmost immediate attention and reply, share docs with co-workers, need doc-edit tools, navigate fastest travel paths, etc. That said, Google might not be the most convenient or emotionally feel-right option when we want to simply kick-back, chill with friends and colleagues, giggle at selfies, share comments, or just sneak-peep into celeb lives. Those are exactly what we do on Facebook. This might address some part of my previous question as to why people turn away from the feature-laden, fascinating, new, social network platform.

In looking closely at what Silicon Valley tech tycoons such as Google, Facebook, and MS are doing in pursuit of future long-term business, I claim it is exactly what Gavin Belson does in the show: his driving impetus is insatiable appetite for personal visions and daydreaming. To elaborate, he, Belson, doesn’t, and they, hi-tech giants, don’t, care about what customers want to do on their platform. More indulgent for them than their customers’ wants is technological utopianism dabbling in the anything-everything technically possible. Scents of narcissism and self-indulgence linger in the immediate air of Must-be-I-none-else. In such an ethos are embodied the take-no-prisoners, and the burnt-earth slashes of disrupting competitors by picking fights over issues, or brutal and ruthless buy-outs. Incited by Facebook’s unprecedented success  in social networking, Google launched Google Plus, and MS merged LinkedIn, rather than focusing on what they do really well and in which they have real expertise.

On top of that, the further conjecture that many Silicon Valley tech gurus phase out a good number of unrealized business projects and secret missions being propelled by quiet ambition.A major corporate entity, SamSung, for instance, based in the small-scale thus financially-infertile Korean market (i.e., in comparison to the US), has much at stake when it goes for a new business category. Example: invading the auto industry purely on the CEO’s personal whim and vision. In contrast, Silicon Valley is a flood of money, so once one maintains one’s foothold in the major sector of one’s business, one will be safe in poking around and angling at anything infatuating even beyond one’s core business domain.  Right?

Well, the problem caused at the users’ end is that their core identities, mostly, inhibit their expansion to other domains. When Google wants to act like Facebook, its very being Google tends to disrupt the plan. Likewise for Facebook … Example: Facebook, once endeavoring to go beyond mere photo-sharing and communication, put visionary effort into creating its own economic ecosystem …  But it didn’t work out.

When one wants to share selfies taken by Instagram and manage one’s social identity and relationships, Facebook is the go-to place. But it’s surely not the place where many would go for their commercial transactions with virtual currency like Bitcoin.

Absolutely no denigrations of tech people’s pure intellectual devotion and visionary efforts are intended here.  Nor I am saying all their money games turned out flops or deserved scorn. But the question remains: What did we learn and what should we learn from past incidents? Some other questions as well: What is the true meaning of innovation and vision, and in what ways does technology really help us better the world?. In many cases, clearly observing going somewhere we previously didn’t locate should not be enough to prove we are progressing. Instead, in many cases, those moves turned out to be nothing but self-obsession, a like-we-got-to-do-something-anyways moment.

Thus we move to another angle to answer my initial question; How come did Facebook end up beating Google, the Silicon Valley moguls’ big bro? Maybe we might say Facebook was into furthering its own zone to stay abreast of what it is, while Google tried to be what it isn’t. And the major or minor interface and service improvement Facebook achieved during the rock down period might be the consequence of what we could label truly-practiced innovation, i.e., getting to one’s core competency, enriching what already is inside one, gauging the scope and amount of what one’s box can contain practically.

So, to innovate and grow further, both practically and theoretically, surely our primary ethos should be to master the underlying mechanisms already in our box, rather than lurk at street corners, then sneak into others’ boxes?

Reference: http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/06/how-mark-zuckerberg-led-facebooks-war-to-crush-google-plus

https://backchannel.com/who-are-the-real-life-models-of-silicon-valley-characters-we-have-them-3507bc890d9a

 

Discovery project winners

We have seven discovery project winners.

From G1, four students, Marcos, Samantha, Seraphyn and Xue Ling won the prize.

From G2, Khee, Regina, and Myra demonstrated good performance in tracking the organization of interest. Cheryl and Jonas’s project delivery, who are the top opening essay winners, were also outstanding.

All the groups effectively have used the Delivery project  for the investigation of the competitors or role model leader of the industry.

Kudos to you all!

 

Digital Marketing Specialist, Will Carnwath visited COMM346

Will Carnwath lectured for COMM346, illustrating new pressures and extended responsibilities of corporations with regards to digital innovations and changing trends in marketing communications.

In the lecture he shared new trends, specifically, perishable content, visual content dominance, changing editorial algorithms, the demise of the traditional human bylines, and social business initiatives in the B-to-B sector.

In addition to touching on digital trends and its implications for corporate communication, the guest lecture session covered real-world case studies to provide practical insights and lessons learned.

In the follow-up Q and A session Will shared with students regarding the projection of future trends and possible organic reach of the corporate content and some other interesting topics for further discussion.

Will’s expertise focuses on corporate reputation, investor relations, and crisis—with a particular focus on the use of digital strategies to engage with a broad range of stakeholders—and he co-leads Brunswick’s Business and Society practice for Asia. He is a former senior investment banker, with over 10 years in corporate finance at Nomura and Piper Jaffray, where he focused on healthcare and industrials in the investment banking group. Before moving to Singapore to establish a new office, he spent three years as Chief of Staff to the Chairman of Brunswick in London, working with him on the largest and highest profile international client accounts and deals. Will graduated from St. Andrews University with a degree in physiology.

Thank you so much, Will, for sharing your valuable insights with COMM 346!

Are influencers a dying medium?

I came across this interesting opinion piece on influencers, which was inspired by the controversial wedding of influencer Melissa Koh. I found it to be quite thought provoking and relevant to what we recently discussed in class, and it’s definitely worth a read.

It’s quite a long piece, so for those of you who are time poor, here’s the TL;DR:

  • Many brands believe that the use of influencers are equivalent to word-of-mouth, and that consumers will blindly believe what is said
  • Authenticity and transparency are two factors which should be highly prized by brands and consumers alike, however, sometimes brands fail to see this
  • There are guidelines by the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore, in aims to increase transparency, and in turn, authenticity; However, these are not being adhered to
  • Engagement in the long-run is built on trust and transparency
  • Brands should evaluate which influencers they work with carefully

All that being said, in the end it’s up for consumers to ultimately decide – after all we have the power.

giphy

What do you think? Is it time to say goodbye to influencers?

Group 1 – The Coastal Settlement

Hi everyone!

We’re Group 1 from G1 and our organisation of choice is The Coastal Settlement.

What is The Coastal Settlement?

It is a vintage-themed restaurant/cafe/bar located near the coast of Changi. It was established in 2011 under the Urban Group Company and was the first cafe to be set up along Netheravon Road.

What is the Target Group For The Coastal Settlement?

From our interviews, we’ve gathered that the cafe aims to target:

  1. Students and adults who wish to find a comfortable place to work out of office.
  2. Families with children
  3. People looking for a place to host events of any nature.
  4. Workshop enthusiasts.
  5. The local community in Changi

Why Did We Choose The Coastal Settlement?

We chose it because our group believes that the restaurant has the potential to grow into something more than just an eatery. It has a great story behind it, very attractive decor, amazing location, and a unique menu.

Its weak point is that it lacks a strong online and social media presence. It only has a Facebook page which isn’t updated regularly. It also does not have an Instagram page. Furthermore, its management does not believe in paid advertising either through online or offline channels.

Our goal was to come up with a strong proposal containing well-defined social media strategies, in order to convince our client of the value of engaging in social media to market the brand.

How Can Social Media Help The Coastal Settlement?

We believe that it can help:

  1. Create greater awareness of the brand, especially beyond the local community of Changi.
  2. Attract customers from nearby sailing and golfing clubs, or families exercising in the area with their children
  3. Receive and respond to online feedback.
  4. Turn loyal customers into advocates.
  5. Increase Zero Moment of Truth for the brand.

What Are Our Main Objectives of this Project?

As mentioned above, we hope to come up with a proposal that contains sound social media strategies which will help the brand better market itself and connect with its customers. We also want to help the management realise the effectiveness of marketing through social media.

Specifically,  we can help the management respond to social media comments and reviews professionally, attract more followers on its Facebook page, the creation of an Instagram account with unique content, and the monitoring of sentiment about the brand.

What Are Our Main Messages We Want to Deliver?

That The Coastal Settlement is a cosy, retro-themed restaurant which will whisk you away from the hustle and bustle of city life to the seaside.

That it is a perfect place to hold weddings, parties, and corporate events. It is also a place that allows people to relax, especially those who are hanging out nearby after a day of activities

Finally, it is a place for anyone who wishes to study, conduct meetings, or work away from home.

Analysing Our Target Groups

We hope to find out more about our target groups through interviews, observational studies, online surveys, and focus groups.

Feasibility of Media Platforms and Analysis of Data Received

We plan to use the usual social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and also food review platforms such as HungryGoWhere and Burpple.

We have seen the value of online journalism platforms like TheSmartLocal, Sethlui.com, and LadyIronChef. Hence we will be looking at these platforms to push out content.

We hope to use platforms such as Social Bakers, Synthesio, and Facebook Insights to analyse the effectiveness of our social media platforms of choice.

We will keep you updated on the progress of our project in due time, Thank you!

 

– Group 1: Bryan Low, Christel Tan, Roy Chionh, Seraphyn See, and Zenavia Quek

 

Top opening essay award

We have four top opening essay award winners for COMM346, AY2017-18 Term 1.

From G1, the winners are Jun Kai and Melanie. Jun Kai’s opening essay was impressive as he brought up an interesting issue regarding the law industry and its digital adoption. Melanie’s essay created a strong impression of her keen interest in the digital world and her passion and curiosity within it.

From G2, Cheryl and Jonas won the award. They commonly shared their internship history in relevance to real struggles in the business process to make a fresh idea actually happen. Their stories were real and down-to-earth.

G2-winners
Jonas and Charyl

Please give congrats to the award winners, and don’t forget that there are still a lot of chances to get an award, as many surprises are still awaiting for this term.

Synthesio workshop at COMM346

Steven Zheng, the Regional Account Manager of Synthesio, APAC, along with his colleagues, Henry Chow and Kimly Anaissa, spoke about social listening (13, 14 September).  The workshop session was very informative and enlightening for the students as the presenters walked through all the demos and helped students get practical strategies for effective social media listening for their group project.

 

Everyone had fun and gained a better understanding of this global-scale social media tool.

Synthesio kindly offers two weeks of access to the account for each and every group in COMM 346.

If students want an extension of the access, they can ask Prof. Kyu for extra account for their own research.

Thank you so much Synthesio! And we hope this collaboration will continue for the mutual benefit of both academics and industries through sharing insights and knowledge in this digital world.

PS. Please share your feedback or queries regarding building dashboard etc., if any, via the comment thread attached to this posting. Thanks!

#DeleteUber, Why?

A former Uber employee’s disturbing claims of workplace sexism reignite calls to #deleteUber

https://www.recode.net/2017/2/20/14666572/uber-sexism-susan-fowler-delete-uber

One of our group projects looks at UBER as their choice of organization. So this news regarding their gender discrimination issue grabs my attention.

This issue came as moral issues regarding UBER, and its impact is getting increasingly bigger. And the criticism  seems to spread like a wildfire.
Uber is IT technology that looks smart and innovative. This kind of image and human values are are heavily related to “silicon valley liberal mainstream,” yet this sexism issue appears to clearly hurt their image and ignite a massive boycott,  which has disrupted their business.

Uber is not the only IT tech company who has faced this kind of criticism and boycotting. In its early days, Google also faced a similar sexism issue with the revelation of an internal document by an anonymous staff member .

A Google employee inflames a debate about sexism and free speech

https://www.economist.com/news/business/21726078-sacked-james-damore-has-become-hero-alt-right-google-employee-inflames-debate-about

How do you think this ethical consumerism, especially regarding gender sensitivity, could be managed on social media and through effective engagement with the public?

What kind of follow-up messages should be heard by the consumers?

What makes this kind of issue one of moral inequity and social injustice beyond mere gender politics?

Hope to see your thoughts and comments! Any thoughts would be welcomed.

Kyu

deleteuber.PNG