It’s no secret that the rise of social media has revolutionised the nature and scope of marketing over the past decade. Its instantaneousness and ubiquity mean that marketing agencies are under pressure to create branding strategies that would allow it to adapt to the constantly changing environment.
MTOMORROW is at the forefront of these changes, according to its founder, Max Zhang. Set up in 2012, the Shanghai-based company, a partner of Campaign’s Digital360 Festival, provides creative digital branding solutions and counts Procter & Gamble, Vivo, Abbott, Luolai and Adidas among its clients.
Speed and accuracy, Zhang notes, set his business apart from many of its longer-established competitors.
"Our result-oriented creative mindset promises accuracy, while our streamlined company structure results in prompt response and execution," he says. "These are the cornerstones of our highly agile marketing services."
As a strategy-driven creative content platform with more than 160 employees, Zhang is keen on MTOMORROW adapting content solutions according to changing branding needs.
Changing times, changing approaches
According to Zhang, 2011 was a watershed moment for the industry. As social-media marketing increased in popularity, it also ushered in an upshot in the demand for integrated content production and distribution.
In view of the heightened focus on brand efficacy, Zhang launched a new business model integrating ad placement, content creation and media distribution.
"Brand efficacy has long been one of the most fundamental paradigms of marketing, but changing times require changing approaches," he says. "Efficacy used to prioritise the effectiveness of distribution, such as the volume of readership, topicality, and participation. Efficacy in this day and age, however, gravitates towards business interests, including the click-through rate, conversion rate [and] store traffic."
While most marketing practitioners are no stranger to the standards of effective distribution, the criteria of the business-focused efficacy remain largely undiscussed.
Zhang proposes three directions. "First, modify the perspective of the content strategy. Instead of producing content that focuses on just the client, create content that truly speaks to your target consumers. Second, reconsider the breadth and depth of distribution."
A viewership of one million doesn’t mean that your marketing message is being communicated to your target audience. "Depth is what we look for," he says. "As I always say to my clients, once you’ve identified your target audience group, in-depth communication drives the most impact."
The target of distribution should also be adjusted to prioritise user retention over the acquisition of followers. Zhang maintains three standards for his content solutions: concept, consistency, and logical integrity.
"A solid concept should be able to bridge the cognitive appeal on one end with consumer insights on the other end," he argues. "Consistency avoids possible confusions in the process of marketing message delivery. We need to say the same thing in all formats and channels. Lastly, we are dedicated to ensuring all solutions are strategic, logical, and integral."
To achieve the above, Zhang has built a team with experts in every step of the production process. "Our end-to-end process takes care of everything, from strategy to implementation," he says. ‘Battle of 920 Love Teeth Day’, an award-winning campaign that launched a restaurant from scratch in the CBD of Shanghai within a mere 20 days, would not have been possible without MTOMORROW’s streamlined structure.
Looking ahead, Zhang’s plans for the company is twofold.
Aside from launching a media department to transform MTOMORROW into an all-round platform for integrated solutions, he has ambitions to turn the company into a ‘learning haven’. He says: "We would like to invite industry professionals and veterans to share their insights and expertise.
These bimonthly hand-on-heart sharing sessions will involve thorough case reviews, so every team member can learn from one another."