Hello from VMA Group Asia, I wanted to provided an update on the market out here in Hong Kong and Singapore. 2013 was a busy year for VMA Group Asia and as documented in our study ‘The Pulse 2013/2014’, looking at Marketing and Communications across Asia we have seen a big rise in Digital Communications in Asia, in terms of recruitment activity and resource investment.
Whilst a standalone Digital Communications function is still a fairly novel concept in Asia, 67% of respondents from our recent Pulse report predict that social media will become the main platform used to communicate with their customers and stakeholders, therefore experience in this area is fast becoming a highly sought-after skill in new recruits. This is a huge number and reflects the rise in demand for social media and digital communications skills in 2013 and also this is going into 2014 and we do expect to see this trend to continue for quite some time. This rise should not come as any big surprise due to the rapid pace of digital development in Asia with the emerging markets such as China, India and also Indonesia witnessing significant shifts in consumers’ media consumption habits.
So what is the Digital Communications function? Our survey respondents who currently sit within Digital comms listed their areas of responsibility as managing external social media, websites, online video, mobile and digital innovation. Internal and social media channels seem to be down on the list however we predict that this will more of a priority in lines with trends we have seen in more mature markets. Taking a slightly more broader view beyond individual responsibilities, the five key roles our survey respondents believe a digital communications function should address are:
1) Help tell the story of your company
2) Build community around your brand
3) Reputation Gain
4) Support Crisis
5) Commercial Gain
The report reveals that the digital communications expertise tends to be largely concentrated at the executive and manager level in Asia, with limited respondents holding a senior role, this does not surprise me as digital communications is seen as still being in its infancy, this will change over time as organisations start to ramp up their internal and external social media plans and activities. Also what we have seen as well is that the market for digital talent is still relatively small, demand often outstrips the availability of suitable recruits, a scenario sometimes best resolved with in-house training. Another area which is so important when dealing with Social Media and Digital Comms is the content, this is so important to establishing a present and also keeping your target audience engaged, as Charlie Pownall, VMA Enhance states that ‘ it is time for corporate communications in the region to step up to the plate and assume a lead role in ensuring that social media is used strategically, consistently and authentically to enhance the long term reputation of their organisations.’
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yammer are now a fact of life for communicators and whilst no social media platform is a replacement for face-to-face communication, communicators cannot ignore integrating social media tools as part of their communications channel mix for all manner of stakeholders and employees. Some of the recent roles that I have been working on are Group Social Media Manager, Digital Lead, Digital News Editor across various sectors, times are changing and all signs suggest that recruitment and training activity in this area will continue to grow, to match the increased demand.
By Tom Morgan-Harris
You might also like
- The Pulse 2017
- Marketing Communications: Asian Trends in 2016
- Cheap marketing ideas for a shoestring budget
- VMA Group extends its marketing offering through new senior hire