pr digital agency bangkok thailand

Getting the right fit and other adventures in retail

Stores are upping their IT game to entice customers into the buying process, and to help keep the in-store shopping experience relevant in a world online. Nike recently unveiled the Reactland VR video game in the iconic brand’s New York flagship branch. Potential buyers can strap on a pair of Epic React Nikes and run on a treadmill, as they watch an avatar of them with footwork synched to their own navigating a virtual environment on a big screen, for the entertainment of all in the store. The CGI settling allows you to test drive a pair of Nikes in a challenging environment.

 

Be your own tailor

 

Clothiers may have to turn more to such strategies if new tailoring technology proliferates. The prototype Size-Stream Scanner uses 10 sensors and takes just a few seconds to know the shape of you. The technology has improved vastly in recent years, and is complemented by the spread of big data and array of opportunities to spend more money in fewer clicks. The surprise factors involved with trying on shirts and trousers could soon be a thing of the past. Outfittery takes things a step further by using 20 algorithims based on the ideas of some 600,000 consumers to offer not only outfits that fit to a tee, but sage fashion advice on colors and styles based on your personality profile. Armed with detailed tech specs, buyers be free to order clothing (and style advice) with greater confidence with just an Internet connection.

 

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Facing a whole new shopping experience

While online shopping has never been easier, and continues gaining in popularity, big-name stores are turning to convenience with a touch of retail theatre to keep buyers happy when they’re shopping outside home. Both at-home and in-store shopping experiences are going hi-tech. These digital trends are both data-rich and customer-friendly, offering exciting opportunities for buyers and online marketers alike.

 

In China, leading online shopping website Alibaba now operates over 60 Hema supermarkets that normalize facial recognition technology. In 2017 Alibaba partnered with KFC to allow customers to settle the bill simply by smiling. Now, facial scans in cashierless Hema supermarkets are allowing shoppers to make purchases in the same manner on a bigger scale. Items can be scanned for detailed information on nutrition, preparation instructions and place of origin.

 

Shopping for food, with options for cooking along the way

 

Customers in the Shanghai branch can also scan a menu with a QR code during their time shopping and have meals ready for them afterwards at the Robot.He restaurant, a set-up due to be widely replicated in other Hema stores. Certain foods that you see in the supermarket and that you’d like prepared for you live are zipped away via conveyer belts hanging from the ceiling and then transferred by a robotic arm to the kitchen. After showing your face at the checkout, the freshly prepared meals are ready to go back with you as well – or receive your food via robot waiters and enjoy onsite at the restaurant.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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Buyers’ options grow as communication channels proliferate

The tipping point is coming for online shopping, from England to Thailand and beyond, led by the mass assemblage and channeling of big data like never before. It’s a windfall for tech-savvy firms and their marketers. Customers stand to benefit greatly as well, with many new products and services coming to be sold online.

 

Dominoes delivers KPIs

 

A clear example of the trend is online food ordering, from groceries to the updated version of the classic call-up-for-home-service success story: pizza delivery. Dominoes UK has gone online in a big way, from when it first started accepting orders by telephone in 2010 to taking the biggest slice of the pie by 2018. Last year the pizza lay claim to over half the market share tally. Today, over four-fifths of Dominoes’ pizza orders in the UK are digital; most of these purchases coming from smartphone apps.

 

Many roles, many communication methods

 

The rise of big data and increasingly sophisticated SEO specs and outcomes means more people have access to more info in shorter amounts of time. The lines between content and marketing have blurred. These messages are spread more of a matter of appropriate positioning, to ensure your message is being read, heard and shared on multiple platforms, in compelling ways and of appropriate length and tone, for maximum effect. Activate and amplify information so that it gets noticed. Everyone’s a publisher, buyer and potential influencer in a PR world where multiple hats and switching roles has been normalized.

 

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CSR as good PR

Over 75% of respondents in a recent survey expected business leaders to a have committed views on difficult issues the world is facing today. Companies are increasingly expected to have a positive impact not just on their workers and their families – which was the original intent of Corporate Social Responsibility – but on society. In addition, CSR has gone digital as much as anything else, with its effects able to be tracked, analyzed, reflected on and adjusted just like other KPIs.

 

Sustainable societies, sustainable companies

 

Another study reported that two out of three consumers will spend money on a brand that tracks and proves their sustainability. In the coming age of big data, in which customers’ buying patterns are clearer by their online activity, companies and other entities will also have information about their behavior publically accessible too, including carbon footprints, CSR activities and anything deemed worthy enough to turn up on Google.

 

Where CSR meets ROI

 

According to the 2015 Global CSR Study, 90% of consumers would choose not to patronize a company proven to have taking part in inappropriate business practices, and also expect companies to take a stand on environmental and social issues. The Reputation Institute found that while 40% of our decisions whether to buy something is based on what we think of a company’s products and services, 60% of those decisions come from what we think of the company itself. Reputation influences long-term financial stability, and all the more in a digital age, when privacy is under threat, and data can be manipulated. The last word in reputation is integrity, and remains as valuable as ever.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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The continuing saga of good storytelling in PR

The more that innovation delivers buyer-friendly breakthroughs, the more that disruption can wreak havoc. The larger databases become and enhance our buying options, the more confusing shopping online can become. The more we say we value authentic information, the more technology and media channels proliferate and make it easier for fake news to creep in. As social media platforms grow in number and complexity, switching off and detoxing from Internet addiction goes more mainstream.

 

Companies are scrambling to give customers the richer digital experiences they crave. The vastly growing quantity of information is helping fuel demand for quality. Through their brands, digital influencers and PR firms are competing in new ways, on new platforms, to hold and keep the attention of audiences. The content and depth of stories allows – and further encourages – content providers to engage with audiences in more meaningful, memorable ways.

 

The more channels expand, audiences fragment and attention spans fall, the more a unique story with heart is useful as a means for expanding influence and innovation for those who have a great message and the knowhow to spread it. A recent study by ad firm Hill Holliday evidences that customers are more likely to buy products and spend more on them when they are marketed along with an interesting story. This supports what the great majority of marketers think, that an integrated experience for customers across key platforms leads to greater customer satisfaction. When the message is compelling enough, the rest will often fall into place.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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Streaming ‘Roma’, Influencing Oscar

In the latest earth-quaking, IT-led disruption to business as usual for movie lovers and the marketers who influence them, the biggest movie streaming website, Netflix, scored big at the Academy Awards with 10 nominations, and picked up big wins for best director and best foreign language film best for its made-for-laptops film “Roma”.

 

While the black-and-white, Spanish-language film could also be seen in theatres, the fact it was made by Netflix has industry professionals paying attention. The campaign supporting “Roma” was backed by a US$25-million PR blitz. Although panned by one big theatre chain as a “made-for-TV” movie after winning four Bafta awards, including film of the year, the move is just one more sign of how more people love staying at home to watch films.

 

Competition is fierce for the future of Hollywood. Netflix’s “‘Roma’ Experience Day” multi-channel public relations campaign amplified the novelty factor for the film with a sophisticated strategy featuring choice details such as chocolates stamped with the name of the film and augmented-reality entertainment in which attendees at a gala were superimposed into a scene from “Roma” that they could share later. While some say that the Netflix is ruining the film-going experience, the company’s recent PR coup shows that viewers are in charge, and they don’t have to go to the cinema to get premium entertainment, and don’t even have to wait a few months anymore for the official debut on small screens.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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CGI influencers and a tale as old as time

People have always loved a good story, and getting wrapped up in plots. Lines famously blurred in 1938, when the fictitious radio broadcast “War of the Worlds” caused real-world panic that aliens were actually on the offensive.

 

A real trend today is the rise of a new-gen, less-than-human digital influencers, who are having valuable input on brands and society. When popular Instagram influencer Lil Miquela came out as a CGI product of the imagination, it created a stir, as she had been presented as human before the revelation. Some who had suspected her of having a face looking seriously Photoshopped felt vindicated. Others saw her as simply a product of the IT-enhanced times of today. While never approaching the disruption and chaos of “War of the Worlds”, a sense of having been had was still perceptible once the truth was out. Lil Miquela still has 1.5 million Instagram followers. So does another new-age influencer, Pumpkin The Raccoon. Although in the animal’s case at least we knew all along it’s a gag.

 

When asked to tick the “I’m not a robot” box in a promo for #RobotProblems, Lil Miquela has a moment with her CGI self before a human friend ticks the box for her and then cocks her head and arches her eyebrow slightly. It’s irony. We’re all in on her act now. But with AI’s growth, possibilities for deception are on the rise, and digital influencers will need to have honest exchanges with the public if they are to retain their long-term influence and reputation.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

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Integrity, integrated

Two interesting trends in the public relations reinforce and strengthen each other, although on the surface they may seem, well, somewhat segregated. The first trend is customers and market forces combining to promote tech-savvy, multifaceted, fully integrated, digital PR campaigns that synch messages across platforms both online and old-school, to optimize KPI and ROI.

 

The other trend is for greater integrity. Following Nike’s “Believe in something” campaign featuring currently unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose well-known position against racism may have helped cost him a starting position in the NFL, sales for the iconic sports manufacturer shot up by six billion dollars. But when Gillette tried something similar, reimagining its “The Best a Man Can Get” tagline as “The Best Men Can Be” with an accompanying video in order to encourage men to be less sexist, the results were mixed. The video accompanying the new messaging turned off more many traditional customers and didn’t result of much of a sales bump. Although intentions may be noble, the bottom line in risky campaigns that come off as preachy might be to take Nike’s classic advice to “just do it”.

 

Worse still are off-message messages in Twitter storms from the likes of Tesla’s Elon Musk that go far and wide thanks to the well-integrated nature of communications today, but go down strangely in terms of integrity. Have something nice to say. And if you must be provocative, it pays to rebel with style, not with words that may come back to haunt you and your company’s reputation and value.

 

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Delete, detox, drop out

The field of social studies covers a lot of warfare, so no one should be really be surprised when social media posts often stray into thoughts less reflective of higher instincts. To help users retain their online reputations and limit their real-world ramifications, Facebook recently unveiled the “remove for everyone” option, a feature that at one point only Mark Zuckerberg had. The handy upgrade allows users to delete Messenger chats that in retrospect they regret having posted.

 

In a world where thoughts lead to actions instantly transmitted to all your friends, family, Facebook friends or others who come across your less than fully thought out though most public posts, the timeless advice to keep in mind is to think before you say or write something rings true with renewed clarity.

 

While many will feel the need to reel in an errant post or Facebook Messenger text now and again, an increasing number are also making the final cut and deleting their Facebook accounts altogether. Still, this ultimate step remains a difficult one to take, despite calls for making it simpler in light of privacy concerns that have plagued the world’s biggest social media website by the Cambridge Analytica scandal regarding harvesting of the user profiles of millions of Facebook users and other concerns related to data privacy protection.

 

You are what you post. And at least until privacy concerns are more fully address, you’re online profiles may be revealing even more of yourself than you may feel comfortable about showing others.

 

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PR accidentally on purpose?

Working to enhance a client’s reputation and avoid embarrassment is essential in PR. So what if a mistake seems so unbelievable that some think it was planned?

 

A PR ‘stunt’ that goes down well with the public, generating some free publicity and perhaps future profits, may very well be remembered as a brilliant move. The downside is when something comes off as obviously gimmicky or worse. Sometimes it can be hard to discover true intentions…

 

Twice in recent months, some observers found the boundaries blurring for one airline. While typos have unfortunately become more common in today’s information-laden world, they rarely appear on the sides of airplanes. Which is why when one plane was spotted bearing the wording “CATHAY PACIIC” after a paint job with the “F” gone missing, some suspected a PR ruse. The company said that it was an honest mistake. But then just a few weeks later, several premium seats on Cathay Pacific flights from Asia to North America were spotted online going for closer to $1,000 then the tens of thousands of dollars they were supposed to be sold for. In both cases, the airline responded with a brave face – and honored transactions made on tickets sold at the vastly lower fares in the latter case – and the public read about it.

 

While the tradeoff between profits lost and publicity generated may have differed in these two cases, what’s true in both of them and all instances is that integrity matters. So be careful what bold PR moves you be considering: the clean-up shouldn’t be pricier than the publicity generated.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

 

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