Campaign Asia article – 1bn users vs $1bn

It’s easy for marketers to get excited when seeing huge user numbers, like Whatsapp claiming a billion monthly active users back in February. Why wouldn’t you want to be part of the action on a platform that kind of scale?

The reality is, marketers need to look beyond the user numbers and understand what is actually possible on the platform. It’s a case of opportunities over numbers and certain messenger apps have integrated brands in ways that are native to the usage experience. Examples include:

  • Branded Snapchat filters like this one from Cadbury
  • LINE stickers created by brands that are used in conversation
  • To a lesser extent the content people receive in the form of messages for ‘following’ brands on WeChat, Snapchat, LINE, etc.

Some brands are trying to crack the code of marketing on whatsapp through stimulating dark social sharing.  Whilst undoubtedly dark social is huge (circa 70% of shares) approaches like this will always be difficult to manage and limited when only 256 people can be part of a group, so you’ll need to communicate multiple different numbers)amongst a load of other logistical challenges. Plus it doesn’t do away with the fact whatever your seeding needs to be so good people will want to share it.

I recently wrote an article for Campaign Asia  suggesting marketers focus their efforts on the messenger platforms that allow for brand integration and the benefits of integrating your brand into the established user experience. Please take a read.


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