Effective communication strategies in the digital age

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  • 1. Effective Communication Strategies in theDigital Age –The Success Story of BASF Ho Chi Minh City, May 31- June 1, 2012 Ingrid Nienaber Senior Regional Manager Corporate Communications ASEAN
  • 2. 1 | Overview BASF2 | Communication for a B2B company3 | Traditional Media4 | Social Media 6/11/2012 INTERNAL FOR EXTERNAL USE 22
  • 3. BASF – The Chemical CompanyWe create chemistry for a sustainable future Our chemicals are used in almost all industries We combine economic success, social responsibility and environmental protection. Sales 2011: €73.5 billion Employees ~111,000 Platzhalter für Bild Organized by Business and Functional Units both regionally and globally About 1,050 new patents filed in 2011 6 Verbund sites and about 385 production sites 3
  • 4. BASF in Asia Pacific Customers from more than 15 countries More than 17,000 employees 130 production sites 9 R&D sites Sales* in 2011: Approximately €14.4 billion EBIT: €1.13 billion *By location of customer; Data as of December 2011 #Some sites are not shown due to scale 4
  • 5. Sub region: ASEAN 8 wholly owned subsidiaries 11 joint ventures 20 production sites 22 sales offices Approximately 3,840 employees Sales* in 2011: Approximately €2.4 billion 1 R&D site *By location of customer; Data as of December 2011 #Some sites are not shown due to scale 5
  • 6. Structure of BASF’s 6 segments Performance Functional Agricultural Chemicals Plastics Oil & Gas Products Solutions Solutions Inorganics  Performance  Dispersions &  Catalysts  Crop Protection  Exploration & Polymers Pigments Production Petrochemicals  Construction  Polyurethanes  Care Chemicals Chemicals  Natural Gas Intermediates Trading  Nutrition &  Coatings Health  Paper Chemicals  Performance Chemicals 6
  • 7. Care Chemicals 7
  • 8. Construction Chemicals 8
  • 9. 1 | Overview BASF 2 | Communication for a B2B company •Branding •Traditional Media • Social Media • When not to use the media6/11/2012 INTERNAL FOR EXTERNAL USE 99
  • 10. We create chemistry
  • 11. The combination of everything we dobrings our brand to life ... Our promise: We are connected to deliver intelligent, sustainable solutions. And prove every day that we don„t just make chemicals: We create chemistry for a sustainable future.
  • 12. … in Corporate Advertising
  • 13. …through all BASF organizations andcommunication channelsOPERATING/ FUNCTIONAL REGIONS/ COUNTRIESDIVISIONS Strategic Planning & Implementation of internal & external communication GROUPWIDE
  • 14. … and in general BASF brand touchpoints e.g. brand architecturee.g. Trade Fairs/ (buildings, meeting rooms,Annual Meeting e.g. customer contacts lobbies) e.g. Marketing events
  • 15. 1 | Overview BASF 2 | Communication for a B2B company •Branding •Traditional Media • Social Media • When not to use the media6/11/2012 INTERNAL FOR EXTERNAL USE 15 15
  • 16. Does a B2B company even need toengage with the media? Consumers don‟t buy our products!
  • 17. Yes. Overall competitive positioning of BASF brand Demoralize the competition Market intelligence Prevent mistakes from appearing in the market Enhance share price And, yes, promote products  … because we want to be the ones telling our story!
  • 18. It’s not that simple: the right influencer forthe right purpose NGOs Academics Media Community leaders Online communities Regulators Industry associations
  • 19. Mainstream media are (still) the principalinfluencer online A) B) C) D)
  • 20. NGOs have a wide reach through theirown “media” online magazines (paper) magazines Twitter feeds research reports e-newsletters
  • 21. Unaffiliated individual influencers existbut are rare “An online influencer can come from anywhere, but not everyone can be an online influencer.”
  • 22. Bringing technical topics to mainstreamaudiences Community activities Feature interview Big investments Commentary Media tour VIP interviews
  • 23. Making best use of trade media Time preview releases well before trade shows
  • 24. 1 | Overview BASF 2 | Communication for a B2B company •Branding •Traditional Media • Social Media • When not to use the media6/11/2012 INTERNAL FOR EXTERNAL USE 24 24
  • 25. What are social media? Connect (Micro-)Blog Share Private & Public Worldwide Interact Opinion Blog Discussion Voting Campaigns
  • 26. Change in communication because ofsocialisation through the Internet Conscious decision of BASF: 75% of social network users Interaction on social media platforms have visited a brands profile. to positively influence the image of BASF. 30% become a fan of a brand. 72% of those who joined a brand community have a better brand perception than before connect.BASFWave 5 – the Socialization of Brands, UM 2010 http://www.slideshare.net/tlinz8612/wave-5-the-socialisation-of-brands-report-5465006
  • 27. BASF Strategy:Opportunities Through Social MediaWe add value as one company We innovate to make our customers more successful Strengthen brand and reputation as  Open innovation through one company collaboration Create value through cooperation  New ways of customer support Network for the Verbund  Market researchWe drive sustainable solutions We form the best team Build trust through openness  Cater to digital generations Engage in dialogue, influence and  Expand networks, know-how impact transfer, problem solving Drive solutions to the public  Support leadership culture
  • 28. Overview: BASF Online Communications Internal External News channels “BASF today” Social Media Channels Online Business Network Corporate Blogs & Widgets connect.BASF Intranet Internet Consulting Training Governance Guidelines Monitoring
  • 29. Publishing Conceptand Cross-Linking with BASF.com In Depth Information: BASF.com Content: YouTube, Dialog: Facebook, Slideshare, Flickr Google+ Website Integration Business: LinkedIn Newsflow: Twitter
  • 30. Hosting social media discussions(on our platform) We believe our own platform is the best place for a controversial discussion Best practices:  Transparent use of authorized individual spokespeople  Professional style  Reference to published information  Impartial “reporting” with our point of view  Quick responses
  • 31. Entering social media discussions(on managed platforms) Best practices:  Refer to website  Respond publicly if possible  Respond quickly that you will respond later, even if you can‟t actually respond quickly
  • 32. Entering social media discussions(on others’ platforms) Want to get to know a journalist / influencer? Commenting on her blog is a great way to do it!
  • 33. Provoking social media discussions (onmanaged platforms) Best practices  Keep topics relevant to the stakeholder – not just yourself  Use Twitter for “arms-length” relationship building  Start discussions with @replies  Use #hashtags  Retweet liberally  Retweet clips to enhance media relations
  • 34. Entering social media discussions (onothers’ platforms) In controversies: get your side of the story heard by the silent majority Best practices  Consistent, approved core messages, but authorized spokespeople have some autonomy to implement them  Address the issue, more than the comment
  • 35. Creating social media discussions (onmanaged platforms) Best practices  Keep the topic relevant to the audience  Solid “infotainment” style content  Explicitly invite discussion
  • 36. Lessons Learned – How To Engage DOs DONTsEngage regularly with your audience, Don‟t open a social media channel setting goal for posting (e.g. once a and not use it day) Don‟t tell secrets – e.g. confidential orRespond quickly to posts (response proprietary information within 24 hours) Don‟t speak marketing language orAct in an authentic, honest and include too marketing-driven posts respectful way Don‟t post too much, especially do notConsider your target group, offer publish irrelevant posts interesting mixture of content Don‟t leave your activities unattendedShow personality, include “human” stories and interesting facts
  • 37. 1 | Overview BASF 2 | Communication for a B2B company •Branding •Traditional Media • Social Media • When not to use the media6/11/2012 INTERNAL FOR EXTERNAL USE 37 37
  • 38. When not to use the media: working withinfluencers “Small group” communications: follow the continuum Hostile Cooperative stakeholders stakeholders Attend the Speak at the Sponsor Invite them Co- same same their to your organize conference conference event event an event
  • 39. When not to use the media: working withinfluencers “Make friends before you need them”  Prepare rich content  Follow up opportunistically  Leverage multiple platforms for initial introductions
  • 40. When not to use the media: working withinfluencers Take a structured approach (it‟s not just schmoozing)  Identify and track influencers by name; keep a mailing list  Assign ownership of important relationships (“key account management”)  Nurture the relationships: be generous with time and introductions
  • 41. When not to use the media: don’t alwaysgo solo Industry issues are better handled by associations Support behind the scenes with information, resources, content, expertise Collaborate, but don‟t collude: abide by ethical principles
  • 42. Building a brand like BASF is like creatingchemistry
  • 43. Questions ?
  • 44. Find or follow BASF on: Website: asiapacific.basf.com