I had the privilege of presenting a session alongside my good buddy Benjamin Grubbs from Turner. The session was entitled “When Technology Intervenes With Content Development and Execution” and we discussed how new technologies have led to the development of branded video content by brands. 

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Benjamin Grubbs, Regional Director of Interactive Media, Asia Pacific, Turner Entertainment (Left) and myself speaking at Ad:tech 2012 in Singapore. (Apologies for the grainy photo. It was taken from all the way in the back!)

I talked about the importance of digital content in the online research process that takes place before consumers even step into a store or visit your website (what the very clever folks at Google refer to as the Zero Moment of Truth). For the mobile industry, this is the point at which consumers are using Search to find content like reviews and unboxing videos, which could take place as early as a month prior to purchase, according to research.

This is the critical moment where you want your content discovered, which can be achieved by a combination of paid search and SEO. (Having great content helps too, of course!)

I shared SingTel’s experience with branded video content, most notably our work with our first made-for-Youtube weekly show TGIS. The following video shows how TGIS helps SingTel customers save on data roaming charges and avoid “bill shock”. We decided to produce a TGIS episode on this topic when we noticed terms like “mobile data charges” and “data roaming” trending on Google, following stories on customers having experienced “bill shock” appearing on social media and the press.

Another area where branded content can be harnessed is in building brand affinity. The following video was produced for the highly competitive Prepaid market, where foreign workers living in Singapore make up a huge part of the customer base. The following video was produced by our brilliant Prepaid team and demonstrates how SingTel can develop an emotional connection with its Prepaid customers well beyond price promotions and discounts.

Brand or “Thematic” campaigns used to only be possible using television. Now content can be tailored to specific audiences, targeted and produced at a fraction of the cost. Used in unison, branded content and search can be a powerful combination in winning the Zero Moment of Truth. This combination can be harnessed for new product launches, educating consumers about complex issues or even in PR crisis management.

ADDENDUM – Big props to everyone who provided this great content: the TGIS crew (XPR Cohn & Wolfe and Block A), Team SingTel at Ogilvy, the SingTel Prepaid team and of course my own Digital Marketing team at SingTel.

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