Meet Social Media Powerhouse Christel Quek
Christel Quek (@ladyxtel) currently works as a Global Social Marketing Manager at Havas Media, the 5th largest communications group worldwide and is based in Asia. She assures us she is addicted to fluffy topics like strategy, digital influence marketing, Guinness, and Content Curation.
Tell us about Christel Quek?
When I’m not working or reading / writing / doing research with a glass of wine by my side, I’ll be travelling, capturing moments with my Canon 5D or spending my time with my family and loved ones. I really appreciate the value of having a private life outside the extroversion you’ll need to exhibit in the advertising world.
How Christel Quek became one of the most influential woman in social media
Influential is such a strong word! Till this day, I must thank the amazing writers behind the Twitter Powerhouses series on Huff Po for featuring me among so many amazing women who have really made their mark in their fields of expertise – business, non-profits, entrepreneurship and so on. I enjoy connecting with people on Twitter and I try to make it a point in connecting with 3 different people on the interest graph every day.
It’s important to exhibit positive energy and be willing to help and share on social media. That was something I’ve always kept at the back of my mind in my work as well when I was planning campaigns for different brands – by adding meaningful value and not just being all in-your-face. That’s not my cup of tea!!
I’m inspired by creativity, invention, insights and campaigns which matter. There’s nothing quite like simplicity and distilling complication to its essence.
I’m motivated by how the digital landscape can be a bridge between brands and consumers – and how brands can be humanised, add value, and inspire the masses through digital. Social Media is a huge space and it’s honestly nothing new- I believe that the recent explosion can be attributed to the increasing openness individuals are willing to embrace and share on the internet – and smart brands who have been capitalizing on this opportunity to generate earned media in a more meaningful fashion.
Working at Havas Media
Currently, I’ve moved into an internal role to focus on B2B content marketing, training, and strengthening our own social marketing efforts with the global team at Havas Media.
I’m also involved in our fantastic brand index, Meaningful Brands (you don’t have to take my word for it, just find out more!). Meaningful Brands represents a point of inflection for brands to look beyond a brand’s short term financial gains when measuring brand strength, and consider how brands effect consumers on a more human level – and how they allow them to create new lifestyles which are more consistent with today’s challenges.
Just as a little tidbit – consumers are now willing to pay a premium for a product which is produced responsibly – and the numbers have risen from 44% in 2010 to 53% in 2011. The current shift is towards brands which are committed to sustainable initiatives. If you’ll look at the stock markets, the performance of brands which are committed to sustainable initiatives outstrip those who don’t. Economics has proven that.
In fact, at the recent Cannes Lions 2012, 6 of the 10 Gold Media Lions awarded were for non-profits or for meaningful causes.
While we’re on the subject of Cannes, the Havas Media team also worked with John Cleese of Monty Python Fame and Morgan Spurlock of Super Size Me to share their experiences of the meaning of creativity & of brands respectively at the Lions.
I’m really excited and passionate about this cause – after all, in the context of today’s demanding environment, consumers are looking for brands they can identify with – brands which positively impact their communities and society tangibly. Brands which are able to contribute to a consumer’s well being. Brands, which are, in short, Meaningful.
Social Media Inspiration
Reading extensively about the digital landscape is important – I’m a hardcore bookworm and I believe that my rather battered iPad and crowded bookshelf are testament to that fact! It’s important to constantly inspire yourself with the great work the really great marketers have executed – the marriage of tech, storytelling and invention have really given rise to awesome campaigns.
My favourite campaigns include:
I had the opportunity to work with some great brands (my favourites being KLM Airlines and Intel) last year- the former for Singapore and Indonesia, and the latter for a campaign in South East Asia. They’re really 2 brands I have great respect for in the digital landscape because they have consistently done groundbreaking work in connecting with their consumers and improving brand recall.
The Future of Marketing & Social Media
In my opinion, too many brands are focused on using social media as advertising, and there is a fundamental difference between social media advertising and social media marketing. You don’t just buy ads on Facebook, you invest time into content creation and community engagement. You don’t just buy a banner ad on YouTube – you’ll have to make succinct YouTube videos which can capture the right attention and win the hearts and minds of consumers.
The Relationship Between Paid, Owned, and Earned Media
There’s a delicate balance in the relationship between paid, owned, and earned media, and brands need to understand this balance. The great thing is this – if social media platforms are maximised to their full potential, it will be a fantastic representation in using paid media effectively, in driving traffic to a brand’s other owned media platforms, generating valuable earned media and PR through engagement programs, in data capture and insights, and more.
Campaigns will need to be social by design as a whole. You can’t isolate social as a separate department, it’s a layer you’ll have to apply across mobile, the web, and even offline media & experiences.
But more importantly, the astute brands will be using social media platforms for social good. Morgan Spurlock spoke about this at the Havas Cafe at the recent Cannes Lions – that, “doing good and doing well don’t need to be mutually exclusive- and you can do both things.”
It’s no mere coincidence that the 6 Gold Media Lions (out of 10) at Cannes this year went to brands or causes which were meaningful or exhibited sustainable initiatives.
The brands which are doing a great job here include IKEA, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Danone.
I’ve also reflected upon this earlier, as written here : http://ladyxtel.com/future-of-social-media/.
Which Mad Men character do you relate to and why?
Woah this is a tough one. But I’ve been likened to both Peggy and Joan. In particular, I can identify with Peggy’s drive, ambition, candid nature, and how she started out in the business. I like Joan’s sharp tongue, and in any case, I really adore Christina Hendricks!