Future of the Cloud and Marketing

Steven Chang, Corporate Vice President of Tencent, met with cloud computing strategist Joe Weinman at a Tencent MIND workshop about the cloud today. Centering around subjects such as big data of the internet media and algorithmic marketing, they engaged in an inspiring dialogue on how the cloud impacts marketing in the era of mobile internet. It was particularly revealing on how advertisers and media platforms can best enhance their competitiveness by cloud technologies.

Joe Weinman presented the dramatic impact of the cloud on current business models, marketing and consumer relations, as described in his latest book Digital Disciplines: Attaining Market Leadership via the Cloud, Big Data, Mobility, Social Media, and the Internet of Everything. In particular, he shared four digital disciplines, which were information excellence, solution leadership, collective intimacy and accelerated innovation. It was highlighted that in the digital era, these digital disciplines were key to success in production and marketing.

Afterwards, Weinman was joined by Steven Chang to discuss the relevance between “Cloudonomics” and marketing, the different usage of cloud computing in China and the rest of the world, and new marketing opportunities for the future presented by this technology.

Chang pointed out that we have entered the era of Web 3.0, an era of fiber optic broadband, mobile internet, post-PC, cloud computing and big data. As our daily lives are being transformed through digitalization, interactions between brands and users have shifted from a physical environment to a virtual one that contains various digital platforms.

In the future of marketing, though user interaction remains imperative, a valuable asset to the competitive edge of a brand will be its ability to communicate with users’ mobile devices. Eventually, the competitive advantage between brand marketers will no longer be about creativity alone. The main battlefield will shift to the field of data management and the ability to adapt to digitalization.

By utilizing technologies such as big data, cloud computing, cross-device synchronization, and GPS tracking, Tencent is capable of offering ad placement that targets all scenarios both online and offline. It takes into account information such as the location of the user, time of the day and the purpose of their journey before sending any relevant ads to the user. This allows the ad to reach its target audience without compromising user experience, while increasing the competitiveness of the campaign from a number of dimensions.

Discussing the application of cloud computing to marketing, both experts agreed that many brands have been very successful in adopting cloud technologies. In particular, Chang pointed to a groundbreaking digital campaign between Tencent and Burberry.

As a long-term partner of Tencent, Burberry is often recognized as one of the most innovative brands that incorporates a digitalized user experience in its strategy. For the grand opening of its biggest flagship store in the Asia Pacific region, Burberry and Tencent together created a digital campaign that successfully maximized its audience reach. The campaign developed a “parallel” experience by leveraging the influence of Tencent Video, WeChat, Weishi (an app for sharing short videos), and the QQ.com Fashion channel. This produced a real-time immersive experience for those unable to attend the ceremony in person.

Cloud computing is widely applied in a number of Tencent products. For example, user accounts of Tencent Video and Penguin TV are interconnected, which allows synchronization and interaction across various screens. Tencent will continue to help advertisers and marketing partners win in the burgeoningChina market in the era of the cloud.

Author: Dylan Jones

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