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GetIT Comms for the New World

Wang Daqiang | July 26, 2011
Businesses today may well need help from a brave new kind of strategic marketing house that’s focused on ROI and leveraging sophisticated analytics.

Singapore-based specialised firm in the interactive digital media content development and digital marketing consulting business, GetIT Comms was first established in the late 1990s. Since then it has racked up more than a few big names among its happy clients, including technology vendors such as HP, IBM, Arbor Systems and Cisco Systems, analyst house IDC, infocommunication powerhouse SingTel, systems integrator Datacraft (now Dimension Data), and media properties CMP Asia and CNET Asia.

Anol Bhattacharya, Director and CEO of the comprehensive digital media and communications company, gave an interview recently. Below is the expurgated transcript.

Talk about your business model today and how you expect to change in order to meet the demands of your client community.
GetIT provides marketing solutions to high-tech and telecommunication companies in three service categories–consultancy, content development and delivery/engagement platforms–to fulfil three basic purposes of brand/product awareness, lead generation and lead nurturing. This business model is more than 10 years old and will remain the same for next 10 years. But the tools of the trade will continue to evolve and may even mutate over time. For instance, bringing social media or detailed ROI analytics for content marketing into the mix. All those have been added to GetIT’s arsenal for the last 3-4 years. Also, the type of interactive content has changed with time. We started with CD-ROM-based interactive digital content in 1998. Now we work with Flash/Flex, HTML5 and video to develop richer web and mobile-based user experience.

Social media as it is deployed and as it is developing in Singapore, Malaysia, Southeast Asia, Asia and the rest of the world—please elaborate on differences and what they have in common.
According to Forrester’s Social Technographics, only 24 percent of the world’s social demography can be classified as ‘creators’. A vast majority of social media/network population are mainly there to consume and observe. In Asia, the percentage of people who create content or engage at a deeper level is much less than the world’s average. Another big difference in the social media scene in Asia is the multilingual variance and diversity of usage patterns. For example, Indonesia is the third most active user of Twitter (after the US and UK), but the majority of the conversation is in Bahasa Indonesia, and in many cases used as a group messaging tool or classified advertisement channel. Social media presence is one facet of the story, and intent is another. To use social media for marketing in Asia, a marketer needs to have a deep understanding of both, along with the knowledge of domain-specific ‘watering holes’. For example, in Singapore currently, the most vibrant conversations around consumer technology happen in Hardware Zone, an ‘old school’ forum, rather than in Facebook or LinkedIn.

Please tell us more about the forces changing the new generation of networks and media channels and how you intend to ride the trends they force into the next 6 to 24 months.
We have yet to hit the peak of the hype cycle of using digital and social media as marketing channels. The workflow for a marketer, instead of focusing on dabbling with every shiny new thing, should be certain of the goals and use the appropriate channels to achieve that goal. Technographic profiling of the buyers personae, especially the changing dynamics of the Internet-centric Gen Y, and analytics of ROI are going to take centre stage in the next era of marketing science. This phenomenon is also going to create a huge demand for a new type of job role—marketing technologists.

Is there a particular trend or technology that you see should be addressed or leveraged right now, but somehow is being missed out on by your clients or the entire business world at large?
Despite all the ‘signs’, mobile marketing is still one of the most neglected sectors. Mobile penetration (including smartphone usage) is much higher than PC usage in Asia, but still marketers are not trying to capitalise on the huge potential of mobile marketing. That’s mainly due to the fact that most marketing agencies don’t have the capabilities to develop and deliver content via mobile. In addition, the vast range of operating systems and screen resolutions add a heavy toll to the cost of mobile content development. No matter what, as a marketer in Asia, we can’t possibly ignore the fastest growing marketing channel.

What should we, the media and your current and prospective customers, expect to see coming from GetIT Comms in the next couple years?
We believe the era of ‘gut-feel’ based marketing is over. The market is more driven towards ROI and analytics-based marketing. GetIT is focusing on that and we’ll keep on sharpening the saw for more results-oriented, measurable marketing in the near future.


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