Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Email Marketing Basics

Hello! I am Clifton, a newbie at Moonlight Marketing working as a digital analyst. This is my first time to write a blog post and I have decided to focus on “Email Marketing Basics”. The reason I choose this topic is that I was responsible for email direct marketing (EDM) in my previous company and I am interested to learn more about it. I am especially interested in the metrics and what insights they can provide.

Before you send the email and the templates, we should be very clear of goal(s).  The metrics will typically vary according to your industry, business size and overall maturity of your marketing activities.  A few common examples of goals are: customer acquisition, lead generation or sales.  Though I am not yet an expert, I am going to introduce some basic EDM metrics for you to effectively evaluate your email campaign.

First of all, I would like to introduce the basic delivery rate, which is the messages sent minus bounces, divided by messages sent. Or, in case you prefer to see things in formula:


This metric gives you the basic idea of how your emails have delivered.

This is probably also a good time to introduce the concept of “bounce”. No, I’m not talking about basketballs, I’m referring to when an email fails to make it to the intended recipient for any reason. This is an important metric BECAUSE it is your first milestone to have your emails delivered to your targeted customers. If you don’t even successfully deliver your message to your direct customers in the first hand, talking of open rate and clickthrough rate are in vain. Agree?

….To be Continued

Friday, November 2, 2012

Digital Public Relations: What’s the big deal?

It's a digital world, get with it

Social media has arrived in the world over a decade ago, and the world seems like a much smaller place. Companies have now realized the power of social media and the potential in reaching out to target audiences to engage in online branding.  However, how does Public Relations tie into all of this?

The trend has now started to shift with traditional Public Relations companies to take the avenue of social media seriously. PR companies have set up branches that handle the presence of social media and the digital segments.

The practices of Digital PR is the method of using the internet for promotional campaign and spreading strategic branding information through digital publications, such as blogs, online newsletters, digital magazines and digital newspapers.

The concept of Digital PR is still new, and the techniques are ever evolving due to the ability in trying to keep up with the fast pace of technology. 

The new-generation public, resort to reading blog sites, posting reviews, scan the news items on websites, and create traffic to social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and the list can go on. Newspapers are no longer read on paper, but rather on a device. Magazines have gone digital, books are on Kindle, news is viewed on Yahoo!. It’s now a digital world.

Xenith Public Relations – one of the oldest PR companies operating in Pakistan – has recently established Xenith Digital as a separate division of the company. 

                   “It is the digital extension, or natural succession, of traditional PR,” a rep from Xenith said;adding that she expected clients to work with her digital subsidiary as well.

Xenith Digital currently boasts a portfolio which includes major brands such as Pantene, Safeguard, Gillette, Always, Head and Shoulders, and Pampers.

So what’s the big deal? If companies don’t transform into an outlet for news- in a few years they will be left behind. 

The merge between public relations, digital media and the traditional outlets of messaging now create a powerful mix for clients to which public relations has thrived into a new future filled with new mediums and vehicles to communicate with current consumers and potential customers. 

Social Media and Fame

What can you learn about Social Media from Celebs?

A celebrity can get millions of likes on Instagram in a matter of seconds without much effort. But, even though their fame has a lot to do with hooking fans, business entrepreneurs can pick up some valuable tips when it comes to managing social media platforms.

Celebs humanize themselves to the public by publishing information and images that they want rather than being tarnished by the media without any control over information. The chance of having the ability to be retweeted or a reply over Facebook from a celebrity can also make a fan’s day.

One of the biggest reasons fans follow celebs is the curiosity on what their day-to-day life is all about. The same can apply to a brand, people who follow a brand or a person on social media are interested in information about the company or brand. 

Keep current, keep posting with interesting facts and information. Be relevant, keep in touch with your followers and post eye-catching subjects and images.

Acknowledging your followers is a key factor on how celebs keep their fans on their tail. People want to be acknowledged, if someone posts about your company, brand or product, engage with them with a dash of praise.

Keep publicity, good publicity. Sometimes emotions get the best of celeb posts, and hate messages get posted. No brand can win that battle, even if you try and do damage control. Before you post, think!
Give your fans and followers a reason to love you and your brand, whether it’s posting a discount for your exclusive social media fans. Or engaging with them, posting polls and interesting facts, you will grow a fan base.

Utilize social media the way celebrities do, and manage social media in a smart way. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Balancing work and life…

The digital world never stops, it changes every minute, every second, so if you’re not careful it could take over your life.

When Jon asked me to write a blog article about work-life balance, my first thought was, maybe he’s trying to tell me I go on holiday too much or maybe it’s because I’m half French and we have this in our genes…
Actually, I’m not going to start bragging about France, but the French seem to have nailed the whole work-life balance thing. The entire world goes on about the fact that the French never work, take two-hour lunch breaks, have far too many holidays, well they’re also the most productive people in the world (I didn’t make this up, I promise!). I’ll stop right now with the patriotism because French economy is not something to be proud about.

I do feel that I am more productive if I define specific hours or days for work and leisure than if I drag my day to late in the evening or the weekend and think about my next trip or weekend and take tripadvisor breaks throughout the day. I believe that if I set myself deadlines (I need to leave at 6.30pm as I have restaurant reservations at 7.30pm tonight – for some reason this usually work better than a Bodypump class…) I will be more productive than if I think “I’ll stay at work for as long as I need to”. Of course there are days like these but usually it works.
My latest trip - Chiang Mai

When I’m working, I’m really working and concentrating, but when I’m off I’m definitely not working, and I think this clear border helps me stay sane while working hard and enjoying my life.  I completely agree with the saying “work to live, don’t live to work”, but, unlike most French (here I go again with the French…) I wouldn’t go to the extent that work is just a means to an end, I think you will find your work-life balance much easier to achieve if you enjoy your job and are not counting your hours.

When I'm not working... I train elephants...
...and tigers...
Work and personal life go hand in hand and you won’t be totally satisfied in either of them without some sort of fulfillment in each of them. It’s difficult to manage the pressure of a job without a solid support structure behind you. Every day, however bad or good it has been, I know I will go home and see my other half and everything will be ok. But I also think that you are not happy in your job, this will also affect your personal life, and vice versa.

It’s a very precarious balance…

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Working Remotely - Thoughts and Scenes

One of my goals in Moonlight is to build a career and life that allows me to work from wherever I choose to work from, whenever I choose to work.  Because so much of the work we do takes place in the cloud, our industry is one of those for which working remotely truly is possible and it's something that I've certainly gained experience with since starting the company more than two years ago, mostly while on vacations abroad - most recently in Phuket in Thailand as well as in Northern Italy.

My girlfriend is less than impressed with the notion of my working from our base of Hong Kong, I believe primarily because the "experience" I'm gaining seems to be earned while on vacation time.  For those like her, the fundamental challenge with this goal is whether or not the same quality of work can be done remotely as compared to when you're physically in an office.  That and the noise made by the hum of my laptop and pinging on my Skype in contrast with the lapping of ocean waves just meters away from our hotel room in Phuket or the peace of the countryside at her family's home in Brugine, Italy.

My interest in working remotely really matured into a commitment after reading The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris.  While I didn't agree with or adopt all the recommendations the author put forth, the book was a turning point for me in how I looked at entrepreneurship and achieving work-life balance and I highly recommend it for anyone thinking about starting their own venture.  

The biggest take-away for me was that this traditional notion of slaving away at a career until you're of a certain age to retire and enjoy your golden years isn't necessary the most efficient, productive or, most importantly, rewarding way to live one's life.  Once you start to question this notion, all other concepts of when, where and how you should work also require scrutiny.  The "A-HA" moment for me was realizing that   for me, the concept of "truly living" wasn't necessarily sitting on a beach with a coconut in your hand or scaling mountains in the Alps or going on safari in Africa.  It was simply doing something rewarding which I felt passionate about in that moment with dedication and commitment, regardless of what that "something" happened to be.

The past two years that passion for me has been being involved with digital marketing for clients in Asia and improving the way I operate as a marketer.  That's truly what I want to do in this moment for as much as possible.  And fortunately for me, this passion doesn't go away when travel to other places.  And like others, getting out of Hong Kong helps me to reassess and reconfirm whether I'm still committed to what I'm doing.  If and when the day comes when I really don't want to work while on vacation or return back to the city, I believe it will be a sign that I need to find new work or at least change something about it.  When you love what you do and enjoy the process of growing while doing, you still want to do this while traveling but of course on a different pace and manner.  I

If a future post, I promise to share some tips on how I work remotely.  Until then, here are some more scenes from recent travels where I've combined work and play. To give you an idea of my schedule during these travels, for both trips to Thailand and Italy, I managed to clock in at least 4 hours online every weekday while on travel; the rest of the time was spent doing vacation-y things!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Scenes from the Virtual Office in Northern Italy

For the past five days and through the end of this week, I'm working, eating, traveling, enjoying life from Northern Italy.

I think it's absolutely essential for everyone to find their zen and recharge as needed.  For me this is it: a few days in the home of my partner, the same farmhouse that she grew up in located in the heart of the Italian countryside.  Early morning rises courtesy of the birds and dogs that signal the start of a day, retiring to bed around ten because there's really just not that much more to do (honestly) and a manageable and slow enough pace throughout the day that you can notice things which typically you don't when you're in the hustle/bustle of your regular life.

Here are some scenes (just for you Jennifer) of things I'm noticing.  There's a lot more but until I get me a pair of those Google glasses and can snap images as soon as my eyeballs see them, it's the old iPhone which can only capture so much.

That's all for now but I will definitely add more later but that's all for now.  What do you do and where do you go to recharge?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

YouTube in Indonesia: Localization Brings More Opportunities to Content Providers

After Singapore and Malaysia launched their own local YouTube sites, video sharing site YouTube launched its Indonesian version in June, making Southeast Asia’s biggest economy the 46th country to receive an official localized version of YouTube.

Indonesian YouTube users can access the site at youtube.co.id where they can expect to find local videos. The site will also give local content producers a channel to market their work online and reach out to a target audience. 

YouTube uses a similar approach as in other countries that are smaller and not as densely populated as Indonesia, where the focus is making localized videos and content to improve their reach so audience from other markets like North America or Europe can view them. 

In addition to the shift from English to Bahasa Indonesia, YouTube now has tie-ups with leading Indonesian media firms like Kompas Cybermedia, MyTrans.com, and Viva Media Group Kompas TV to help enrich content in the localized site. 

YouTube also inked with Wahana Musik Indonesia (WAMI) a licensing agreement which opened the door for Indonesian composers and musicians that belong to the WAMI stable to monetize the site through ads that are displayed on the uploaded videos .

The site is not just focused in attracting local music labels as they are also looking elsewhere in Asia to shore up the Indonesian division. YouTube Indonesia has also opened its doors to foreign copyright holders to earn some revenue through its site; among them are Authors Society of Hong Kong and the Taiwanese Music Copyright Society. 

The main objective, however, is to provide an opportunity for musicians, video creators, filmmakers and other artists from Indonesia to share their works to other audiences around the world via YouTube. 

Indonesian media players can also significantly benefit from the deal as their content can enjoy a more prominent position on the local YouTube platform because their very own specialized content will get more attention and not get buried on the world’s biggest online video-sharing site.

YouTube has launched a number of local versions in Asia including Singapore, India, and the Philippines. In fact, localization is a worldwide strategy by YouTube as there are similar services in Europe, South America, and Africa.

Thinking of launching a social media campaign in Indonesia? Contact us today or visit the Moonlight Marketing website to discuss the most effective approach.

If you liked this article, you will also enjoy Facebook in China: The Challenges of Cracking the Chinese Market and E-Commerce in Singapore: TackThis Helping Small Businesses through Social Media.