Interview with our COO, Xue Sun: future trends and challenges in digital marketing


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Los Angeles, CA

Integration: a more comprehensive role

Xue describes the current landscape of digital marketing with two words: integration, and specification. By way of background, integration refers to the assimilation between branding and sales. Specifically, driven by the innovations of modern technology, companies today place more emphasis on the profitability of digital marketing. In other words, how can communication activities like branding eventually lead to a solid sales increase? Meanwhile, integration also happens internally. Agencies are now combining all their resources to provide clients better service. Xue also mentioned that the secret behind Hylink’s success is the power of integration – as a highly integrated company, the company is able to fully leverage all of its strengths, delivering a full service spectrum to every client.

Specification: a new booster for development

Other than traditional industry giants, newly-emerged creative branding companies have also become vital players in advertising. Consumers’ increasing demand for high-quality, categorized media content is not only a result of internet development, but also the desire for a more prosperous life. Xue believes that audiences today are more content-centric. Considering today’s advertising space, instead of simply sponsoring a popular show or attaching a brand name to one, companies are increasingly focused on how to integrate themselves within the programs to enhance their brand image. Xue emphasizes that through sponsorship or big-data analysis, brands need to be more rational and focus on the actual content they are producing.

Threats and challenges

Maintaining creativity while having an active pulse on the latest trends in this dynamic market is a major challenge faced by both independent, compact agencies, as well as traditional industry giants.

Following P&G’s CMO Marc Pritchard’s announcement that the company was planning to reduce its media buying, the entire industry reacted and began to re-evaluate the effectiveness of digital marketing as a whole.

As a communications specialist, Xue has encountered several challenges in this space. First, fabricated data has jeopardized the reputation of the industry. Secondly, some agencies make generating viral content their only priority, which has led to unethical marketing practices. These behaviors have not only hurt the industry’s reputation, but also have negative impacts on society as well. Finally, discrepancies between brand messaging and campaigns still exists, which can ultimately decrease lead generation and sales.

Xue believes that the future of digital marketing will center on reconstruction and development. Digital marketing companies will be taking on increased responsibility with brand and content strategy, while integrating the advanced technologies available.

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