Telum Talks To... Alex Law, Head of Marketing, foodpanda

Telum Talks To... Alex Law, Head of Marketing, foodpanda

Marketing Director of foodpanda, Alex Law, tells Telum how foodpanda localised its marketing and communications campaigns in Hong Kong and talks about targeting after Google phases out third party cookies. 

What was the most challenging part of last year for the marketing team foodpanda?
One of our biggest challenges in the last year would be our efforts to break through the noise of the pandemic, navigating through countless uncertainties and unforeseen circumstances, helping to position our brand and offerings as an appealing, positive lifestyle choice and not just a necessity. Throughout the last year, we have been working hard every single day to stay agile and flexible, crafting relevant stories, campaigns and initiatives for our customers constantly adapting to the ever-changing environment while continuing to provide our services and support to all our stakeholders.

In marketing people talk a lot about being creative, can you share with us any tips on how to increase our creativity?
Staying on top of trends is key every few weeks, if not days. It is vital to understand what our community cares about and what interests them, as such good content needs to be fresh and relevant to really keep them hooked. We stay creative by not being afraid to break down the barrier between ourselves and our consumers. For example, we are also one of the first brands in Hong Kong to run a campaign on the popular and fast growing Clubhouse app, driving innovation and forming relationships with our fans and popular local celebrities over Chinese New Year. Collaborating with influencers in our niche helps to create diverse content that resonates with both our and their fans and helps establish a more solid bond and trust - or brand loyalty.

How important have data-driven campaigns been during the pandemic?
Behavioural patterns change quickly and often unexpectedly, especially under the new normal. With the help of data, we can understand our customers better. For instance, our data shows that the order volume for food delivery during the weekdays usually surpasses that of the weekends. With that, we’ve noticed a significant shift in perceptions towards food delivery. It becomes a daily lifestyle choice and we’ve observed a spike in breakfast and late-night deliveries. These valuable insights are only possible with data, which we then leverage to help inform and adjust our marketing strategy, making our campaigns even more targeted and personalised, which is key to effective brand communication and to building our brand image.

Can you share with us how foodpanda localised its marketing and communications campaigns in Hong Kong and how small F&B restaurants responded to foodpanda?
We are aligned with the growing consumer demand to support local businesses, make sustainable and eco-conscious choices, run campaigns and grassroots engagements that help to promote the community. During Chinese New Year we collaborated with local brand, The Chilli Lab, to produce limited edition gift boxes supporting this homegrown brand while bringing a collection of special offers to its customers. On a larger scale, with our AHHH campaign featuring Kevin Cheng, we have been able to strengthen foodpanda’s “Top of Mind” (TOM) awareness in Hong Kong by being locally relevant with reputable celebrity endorsers, while resonating with young audiences and enhancing our brand image.

With restrictions slowly being lifted, what are the marketing opportunities for foodpanda?
Over a year ago we launched our online grocery business, with foodpanda mall and pandamart and we have witnessed an extremely exciting growth. It will remain one of our key marketing focuses as we are confident that the demand is not only of great convenience and competitive advantage in the market, but it is also increasingly becoming integrated into our customers’ daily life. More recently, we launched our new monthly subscription programme, pandapro, an attractive scheme that offers our subscribers with unlimited exclusive deals and benefits on food and groceries.

Google is planning to phase out third party cookies, how do you think this will affect the targeting options for foodpanda?
This is a whole new era for the digital marketing industry as we enter a “cookie-less era” and we recognise that this is part of a bigger picture, that calls for better data privacy protection for consumers. Google’s plan to phase out third party cookies does have an impact on digital marketing in terms of formulating certain online marketing strategies. However, first-party data as well as other alternatives are still instrumental in creating effective campaigns and as a company that values data privacy of our customers, we understand the rationale behind the move and have thus been adjusting our own measures to cater for the new data environment.

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