Making Connections Through Podcasting

Traditional Media and New Media

Apart from producing marketing narratives for first- and second-tier brands, one of the things that marketers find most fascinating is my background as a broadcast presenter. I have been a radio talk show host for more than 20 years. I’ve even hosted programs in my school days. There is a certain sense of appeal around radio broadcasting. This, coupled with how I’ve gone from using traditional media and new media channels, is a good conversation starter.

Recently, I launched a podcast over the Internet, instead of hosting a conventional radio program. Podcasts have not yet become popular in Hong Kong, but they have long been popular elsewhere in the world. Taiwan, for instance, has had a growing number of podcast listeners. Listening to podcasts is a good avenue to discover and gain new knowledge. It used to be that only radio stations which had industry-standard microphones suitable for broadcasting. Now, as long as you have a microphone, anyone can start their podcast with a computer.

Getting to the Heart of Marketing

The ever-changing nature of new forms of media can give people the feeling of never being able to catch up. But let me put it to you that while marketing tactics continue to evolve, the underpinning philosophy remains the same. You probably already know that brand “story selling” resonates with an audience better than hard selling, and it is more effective. This is a widely accepted concept. However, in practice, this concept is often forgotten.

Storytelling is very effective when used in social media marketing. Every time I share the brand stories that I “tell” for international brands on Hong Kong’s social media platforms in my speaking engagements, my audience’s interest is immediately piqued, and they listen in rapt attention. But this method of storytelling is, in fact, nothing new. It has been used in traditional media – in advertorials found in print media like magazines and newspapers. Now that new media is fast gaining in popularity, the focus is often shifted to the new features and ideas of the various platforms. The attention then turns to such “eye candy” tactics, and the heart of marketing is put aside. There may be a lot of flairs associated with marketing tactics. But don’t forget to go back to the basics of a good marketing strategy. To achieve your marketing goals, every move must be planned and well-calibrated.

The Old Ideas Versus New Tactics: Which Is Better?

Whether I am giving a lecture to a large or small audience – in fact, I just taught a Social Media Marketing course at HKU SPACE – I like to introduce the philosophy of marketing first before delving into the details of implementing a pointed strategy. As someone who does brand marketing for established industry players daily, I can tell you that there are a myriad of creative ways to engage your target audience. These include the following:

  • Broadcasting “Live
  • Creating Facebook/Instagram AR filters
  • Engaging micro-influencers to hard-sell products and services
  • Having a Chatbot that can potentially help to triple sales
  • Using 30 cameras to capture unforgettable moments through Bullet Time (also known as the Matrix effect)

These fanciful tactics all stem from the same, basic principles of marketing: 

  • Knowing your prospective customer
  • Formulating effective sales copy
  • Crafting a compelling marketing narrative

Conducting marketing activities is the “how,” while having a deliberate strategy addresses the “why.” Yet, bosses and marketers often only pursue newer and trending forms of engagement. No wonder this classic Cantonese proverb applies to the industry: “It does not matter how old the idea is, the most important thing is whether people trust it enough to use it.” On weekends, I host the technology segment on Radio Television Hong Kong’s Knowledge Co (知識會社). And since a few months ago, I put digital marketing-related topics on the Podcast platform, Marketing Superpower.

Media and business models are evolving rapidly as a result of the pandemic. Whether embarking on a more fundamental transformation or changing your marketing style, adopting mindfulness in your approach is key. To be effective, every step executed should be underpinned by a well-thought-out strategy.

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