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In order to help attendees gain a clearer idea of what to expect at the Digital Marketing Leaders Summit 2019, we recently had an interview with Raúl Falquez, Global Digital Marketing Director of Huami. Raúl is an expert in social media marketing, e-commerce, ecosystems, digital transformation, digital economy, PR, the Chinese economy and in leading companies to achieve digital intelligence and connectivity. He is also the Marketing Director of STENNIS, a marketing agency focused on the blockchain industry based in Singapore. 
 
Tell us a bit more about yourself and your role at Huami? 
 
I’ve been doing social commerce and digital marketing in general for about 6 years now. I started with my own small entrepreneurship creating a store in Facebook. I had never done any social media ads before, but sales quickly started to grow and go much better than I expected. So I kept working on my online store for about 6 months. After that, I went to South Korea where I did my master’s degree in Economics, to then go to Shenzhen and start working for TCL. 
 
At Huami, I‘m in charge of all our social media and digital marketing channels globally. We have about 20 accounts in Instagram, 20 in Facebook, 4 in Twitter, 4 in YouTube and a couple more in alternative platforms like TikTok. We work with 7 agencies worldwide, who help us manage these accounts, the community, create the content, etc. My role is to work on each of the countries’ strategies with the agencies, check their work, supervise the social media and search engines ads, etc. In summary, to make sure that all our global accounts are working properly, that the agencies are working with a clear goal and strategy in mind, and that all our channels are delivering positive ads results. 
 
During your time at Stennis, how did you apply marketing techniques in the blockchain industry and how did this differ to what you’re doing now? 
 
First, I want to clarify that my answer is about cryptocurrencies and utility token projects, and not about other none-coin based blockchain projects. Crypto projects are very special in terms of digital marketing. First of all, because most social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the biggest search engine, Google, don’t allow crypto projects to execute ads. There are some ways to overcome Facebook and Google ad blocks, and we did it for several projects, but I won’t get into that. 

So, the crypto community came up with what they call bounty campaigns, which in a nutshell, are semi-organic ads where any person can promote your project and get a reward for it. 

For example, let’s say we have a project that has 100 Million tokens. Each token is worth “x” amount of money. And they decide to allocate 2% of their tokens for a pre-launch marketing campaign. So we created a website, a platform, where people can sign-up and do promotion for us and get tokens as reward. The reward will go according to the number of followers and results of the user’s promotion. Promotions can be a single post about the project, making a review on YouTube about the project’s business plan (called whitepaper), writing blog articles, getting other people to join the bounty, etc. There are many ways in which users can help us promote, and the rewards are very carefully calculated.

This type of semi-organic promotions is something that fascinated me because of its efficiency and ability to exponentially increase your active community, even after the bounty is done. Imagine that all these people will be fully aware of your project’s business model, all of the features and details of your product/service, the progress of your project, etc.

The openness of the project with its users helps create highly loyal users. They are an incredibly well-informed community that can talk about your project with anyone in a very detailed level. This is what any marketer wants for its community.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to replicate this method in Huami in the future.
 
Why did you choose Asia as the region for your marketing career path in recent years?
 
China has a great economy and there is an increasing number of companies that want to have overseas presence in the biggest social media platforms, because they understand the power of these platforms and their low-cost ads, and they also see them as an alternative sales channel. There is a great demand for digital marketers, and the technological business environment in Shenzhen is perfect to grow professionally.
 
As data becomes pivotal to creating more personalized experiences, how are you best optimizing your data for marketing? 
 
I’m always trying to create a more personalized experience for the user. To achieve this, I use data in several ways. I use it to make sure I’m showing the ads to people who are actually interested in our products. Huami increases its product portfolio every year, so I also need to make sure I’m showing the specific product the user is interested in. Utilizing the data, I also try different types of ads for different people with different voice-tones and approaches. But the best and most useful data doesn’t come from the ads stats; it comes from surveys. I like to do surveys and boost them to have a bigger amount of answers, to help you better understand what my users think about a specific topic and better serve them.
 
What do you hope our delegates can take away from your presentation? 
 
First of all, I hope they go back to their office and start making a social commerce, and digital branding long-term strategy. The one thing I want people to understand is that social media ads are currently way underpriced, and it won’t stay like that forever. Most people use no more than 7 apps in a day. And usually 2 or 3 are social media apps, so having a strong presence in those platforms is critical for every B2C business. So I hope they have the vision to invest in these platforms to create branding, and to utilize them as a sales channel as well. After a few months’ time of work, the investment can pay itself with the sales driven by these channels. And in a couple of years, when ads get higher prices, they might realize they missed a great chance to do online branding for a very cheap price.
 
Raúl Falquez is the speaker at the upcoming Digital Marketing Leaders Summit Hong Kong 2019. To find out more about his presentation, please click here.

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