Facebook urges businesses to shift to digital

  • Companies need to adopt a mobile first strategy
  • Create content that is relevant to customers, track return on investments

Facebook urges businesses to shift to digital


CUSTOMERS are spending more time-consuming content and discovering new brands on their mobile device of choice.

A study conducted by Facebook says that nearly 62% of people check their phones more than 30 times a day and almost half of that number is spent on their Facebook feed.

At the Mobile Moves Commerce event hosted by Facebook Malaysia, its country director Nicole Tan urged businesses to speed up in executing mobile strategies that reach their target audience, due to the rapid growth of the mobile culture in the country.

Current trends show that mobile has changed the way people discover and connect with businesses. A study by WARC in 2016 showed that mobile is seeing a 300% faster growth than e-commerce in Malaysia this year.

McDonald’s Malaysia senior marketing manager Eugene Lee agreed that the mobile and digital environments have become the preferred medium to reach out to customers.

“In the past, we used to prioritise reaching our customers via TV, radio and print. Digital was normally thought of last. However, McDonald’s has shifted our strategy to advertise our campaigns and bring our promotions to mobile and digital platforms. Everything else is secondary,” he said.

Lee said that McDonald’s latest Big Mac Chant Challenge is their first campaign to go fully digital, while foregoing traditional mediums like TV and print.

“We are spending 85% of our marketing budget in the digital space through advertising on Facebook with Canvas and video ads in collaboration with Facebook Creative Shop to ensure creatives are tailored specifically for mobile over the promotion period,” he said.

Lee said that their target audience of primarily younger customers spent most of their time on their mobile devices and that was the biggest deciding factor in considering a digital first strategy.

“Many people get their first engagement with technology through their mobile devices. In fact, people get a mobile number first before they even get an email account,” said StoreHub co-founder Fong Wai Hong.

However, businesses should not get bogged down in accumulating Likes, Shares and Comments on Facebook. Instead, they should be tracking and measuring the returns on investment generated by their online campaigns.

For small businesses, it is all about driving revenue, and everything needs to be measured down to the final bottom line.

“We love Facebook as a platform because we are able to track right down to the type of customer that FB is generating for us. We then use targeted marketing to gather more people who are similar to our best customers,” said Fong.

But the biggest challenge for mobile is making engaging content that customers actually care about and want to see. It is not as simple as putting your TV commercial on mobile devices, according to Lee.

He cited McDonald’s latest Big Mac campaign where it collaborated with mobile Karaoke app Smule. Customers could record a duet of the Big Mac chant with local singers like Siti Nordiana or Elizabeth Tan and upload it to Facebook or Instagram in order to redeem a free Big Mac.

Though Facebook has only had a Malaysian office since May 2016, Tan said the company has made great efforts to partner with businesses both big and small to help them unlock new opportunities by helping them think about mobile strategies first.

“We are committed to helping businesses grow and reach the more than 19 million people on Facebook in Malaysia, whether it is brand building or driving leads through integrated campaigns on Facebook and Instagram,” she said.

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