Marcus Ho is a highly sought-after Social Media Strategist to best in class business in Asia.
Well known for his fresh insights and to radically increase footfall and sales for business through social and digital campaigns, Marcus has successfully helped 200 over corporations and SMEs in all facets of Social Media Marketing in the short span of 4 years. Some of his clients include 3M, Qatar Airways, Pernod Ricard, Capital Malls Asia. Marco Polo Hotels, Wacoal, etc.
Marcus is also the author of two books – Social Payoff and Secrets of Facebook Marketing. Marcus has also been featured on numerous media including Forbes Business Times, Radio 938 Live, Channel News Asia, and The Strait Times. Today, he spends most of his time running SocialMetric, a measurable social media agency, based in Singapore.
In spite of his success, Marcus feels that there is more he can do. His personal mission is to create 10,000 successful business case studies through social media by 2023.
Digital Vidya: How did you get into Digital Marketing?
Marcus: I started digital marketing from somewhere around 6 to 7 years ago. When I started my very first business, that was an e-commerce store which was selling ipod accessories and you know I do love things online and offline because it is said that if you want more business and you want more sales, you need to market and you need to push to market and because in 2009, I was trying to generate sales for my e-commerce business and for the longest times ever, there was like no sales at all. And it even remind me to the point, where I remember I was having dinner with my father and my father asked me a question that ‘Marcus, how is your business?’ and he asked me this question and I just answered him that I am sorry but it is not doing so well and he kind of mocked me. And you know how entrepreneurs are like. We don’t keep up that easily and I was so frustrated when he said that to me.
I went around looking for options and I happened to stumbled upon a couple of seminars so I attended some of the seminars and when I attended them, firstly there were couple of things which I felt was wrong.The first thing was that it was a very motivational kind of seminar and second was they were just teaching me of how to make money from home by selling e-books and stuff like that. But I was heading against it and you know I had an up in real basis and all I needed now was just to learn a technique to generate sales online. But nevertheless, I took home some pretty cool concepts from the seminar and then I went to apply online and specifically on Facebook and for the most part of it, it was lot of like learning lesson on how to advertise on Facebook. I wasn’t getting it even but I didn’t give up because I saw there were other businesses that were so successful in generating sales online, specifically through Facebook.
So, what I did after that was basically I never gave up but I kept refining, retweeting this technique over and over again to the point where by the end of one month, I completed the sales and it was phenomenal from businesses, which was just 800$ which generated a business of total revenue 50,000$ every month. And that was where I knew that I stumbled upon the techniques. A technique which really worked. Then, I met my other business partners and we started an agency to really apply these techniques for many other businesses, ranging from the multi national corporations to the small mid size companies to even the one man corporations and what we realized is that using this technique, it worked for not just MNCs but yes you have to tweet the budget a little bit.
We also worked for one man operations and small and medium sized businesses as well and that’s where I knew that this technique works and now I want to share it with the world and that’s how we started agency and during this while I wrote this book, Social Pay Off.
Digital Vidya: Why do you think it’s important for entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and students to learn Digital Marketing today?
Marcus: It is important because you see digital is the only platform on the internet right now or rather all the platforms as marketing platforms. Digital is something, I can guarantee with closed eyes and can say that just by doing digital, you will be able to generate cost per lead at much lower cost in comparison to doing an ad in a traditional style or an ad in newspaper or in a magazine or on TV or radio. I lend all of those traditional trends and methods and I pick digital all the time. Why? Very simple! I have questions for everyone who is reading this interview. The first is that, do you want to work very hard and make a lot of money? Or second option is, do you want to be lazy and make a lot of money at the same time? Chances are people will just pick the lazy option and I simply like this because I am lazy as well. 🙂
Well, I can just open my computers and just by applying a few things on Facebook which doesn’t really take me a lot of time, I am making money on Facebook and I am getting more customers on Facebook. I am getting more customers not only on Facebook, but every single social media platform as well and that is why I really believe that digital media is the best platform to get a lowest cost per lead and lowest cost per sale acquisition.
Digital Vidya: According to you, what are the top mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging Digital Marketing?
Marcus: I will say that there are two big mistakes.
The first big mistake is that they are being through bluffy. Well I mean by bluffy is, when people come and when most company’s approach is digital media tend to think that, “Oh! In digital media to be successful, I have to think out of the box, I have to be very creative and bring some creative ideas, activation campaigns and so on.”
Now, there are so many examples of companies just doing that and making loses. Did you know that even the legendary advertising professional, David has once said that ‘if it doesn’t sell, it is not creative’? So, similarly which will be two creative mediums at digital media is not, try to get sales out of that and we can’t actually quantify the sales, then even it can be a very successful campaign. Interesting point, Avon, The French Mineral Water brand, they came up with the most popular online advertisement in history. You know it’s called roller babies where a couple of babies scatting together, dancing to the tune of Rappers Delight and it got a lot of hits like within a couple of days or weeks. It got a hit of 50 million hits, views in fact on YouTube videos. 50 million views just think about that. How many of us here actually have produced a video of 50 million views? My guess is not much! But did you know that even when they got 50 million views and Guinness World Record has named it the most viewed online advertisement in history, but what is very interesting is that despite of all this so called awards they got in that year, Avon lost market share and sales has went down to almost 25%. So, that is one key mistake.
The other key mistake is that they like a step by step system, a step by step strategy to approach digital media and that is why I always talked about it because like I prefer to be lazy at any point of day and make a lot of money and get a lot of more customers. The way they do it on digital is to have proper system, proper step by step processes.
Digital Vidya: You have been a proponent of Measurable Social Media Marketing. How can an organization build ROI measurement framework for Social Media Marketing?
Marcus: I have an entire video on how to build ROI and this framework has been taught at the best of MBA schools. This framework is being taught and used by top CEOs by fortune 1,000 companies in fact. So, that framework in itself is one very powerful thing but I think I can send you that video link but I want to answer it in a more specific way. People think that success on social media is in the form of likes, comments, shares and all that. Now, this is what I totally disagree with. You know it’s good to have likes, comments, shares but at the end of the day business owners or marketing professionals or sales professional, you have to trust their likes, comments something which is tangible. You still have to go back to your business objectives, right? What is how many sales can I get from my 1,000 fans or how many sales can I get from my 2,000 fans? And once I know every 2,000 fans I can close may be 2 or 3 sales from there.
And after that, it’s just the number game but what I tend to notice is that most marketers these days do not even track their social media ROI at all. They nearly just track base or engagement numbers which is fine, but ultimately what you want to track is how much of the social media actually contributed to the revenue and there are many ways to do that, right?
One of the ways which I mentioned which is included in my social media ROI framework is that, to measure the number of visitors from your social media platforms to your sales, relate that pages on your website. Now, what do I mean with this is? For example, what is one of the sales related pages on your website may be, if you are resting on e-commerce? But, if you have a contact us page or a locations page, you know people go to such pages are people who are actually interested in buying from you or giving enquiry. So, if suppose they are your client in fact and what you want to do is, you want to measure out of all my fans on Facebook. They come to my website, how many of them actually go and see the contact us page or the enquiries page or the locations page. Okay and from their, I know what is my rough idea. Okay!
The other way is of course traditional sales metric method. Basically, when everybody buys from you, you just ask question how you got to know about us and if their answer is Facebook, then you know you will be on to something right.
Digital Vidya: Do you agree that Facebook Advertising can be a very powerful tool for Lead Generation & Online Sales? What are the key reasons for the success of Facebook Advertising?
Marcus: By far yes! Okay! Facebook is the platform which I can guarantee that you can get the most number of leads at a most affordable cost. Why do I say this because I’ve tried all different forms of driving traffic and generating sales online for many of our social metrics clients and even my students are now quitting programs and what I’ve always noticed is that amongst all the other platforms, it is always Facebook that would give you the cheapest cost per sale and obviously, one of the key reasons behind is because you know when you run ads on Facebook, you are actually targeting people based on their psychographics and not their demographics.
So for example, if I am a real estate agent and I want to reach up to more investors naturally, I can run my ads towards investors on Facebook. So, every centre that I’m spending on Facebook is actually spent to reach to my particular and specific target audience. You know the problem with our traditional ads is that we never run ad on newspaper or magazine or TV or radio, whatever. When I run ads like this it is not untrackable and I’m targeting more on demographics and not psychographics. But with Facebook, I can actually target based on psychographics and that’s one of the reasons why I feel our Facebook is so powerful to run the ads online.
Digital Vidya: Share your thoughts on the opportunity of LinkedIn Advertising for Lead Generation including for B2B organizations.
Marcus: I’ve tried LinkedIn in limited experience and I wasn’t a big fan of that advertising platform mainly because the cost per lead acquisition is too high. You know in Facebook, I can get the cost per lead to the same target audience and for multiple companies and industries as well.
I’ve always noticed one pattern, on Facebook I can generate leads and sales cheaper and quicker and LinkedIn gives me so much more expensive. LinkedIn in my experience was about 500% more expensive than Facebook. So, with that I’m not a big fan of LinkedIn specifically to generate leads but I hear and I have different opinion when it comes to using LinkedIn for hiring purposes.
Naturally, I think because in Singapore we have the issue of talent management and hiring & what I’ve noticed with LinkedIn is that the candidates that apply for jobs on LinkedIn are much more competent and with much better attitude based on their work ethics rather than the other job portal sites. So, my conclusion from that is, LinkedIn works for hiring and not really for lead generation.
Digital Vidya: According to you, what kinds of businesses should consider paid features (i.e. Promoted Tweet, Account or Hashtag) of Twitter?
Marcus: Now, I’ve tried all three things really on Twitter like promoted tweet and Twitter recently launched a new tool on Twitter, where people could immediately enter their name and e-mails from there. I don’t find as effective as using Facebook right now. So, if there is going to be anything that is useful on Twitter I would say is that lead generation product. But for now, I don’t think it works. I’m not a huge fan of it.
Digital Vidya: What’s your message to budding entrepreneurs who want to build a product or solution in the area of Social Media Marketing? Do you think there’s a market for newer Social Media products?
Marcus: Yes, definitely and I would put this whole rule of 1820 rule, that you can have a shitty product and you can market it really well on Facebook. But at the end of the day, if it is going to be a shitty product and you promote it using the right techniques and the right strategies, it is just going to make your product look shittier. It is just going to make more angry customers coming to your social media platform, which is not a good thing and given a research before that, the cost of social media disaster is 4.3 million dollars and this would mean brand damage litigation cost, reduce in purchase orders and so on. So, can you imagine just one small mistake can cost company’s 4.3 million dollars? That’s a lot of money and if you don’t put in the right strategy, you’ll be in for bigger trap on social media, which is why I think it is very important for people to start learning the right techniques and right strategies to approach social media marketing. There is always a new market for new social media product.
Digital Vidya: Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?
Marcus: I think you guys have done a great job. I’ve heard Pradeep speak on Malaysia Social Media Week where we shared the same stage. Pradeep is definitely a guy that knows the stuff very well. I think you guys are also on to something very big and yup keep up the good work.