IMS optimized Shanghai Fashion Week website and build e-commerce & e-RSVP systems

IMS optimized Shanghai Fashion Week website and build e-commerce & e-RSVP systems

Business Requirement

After nearly 20 years of development, Shanghai Fashion Week has an increasing domestic and international influence. However, the overall image and operation level of Fashion Week has not kept pace with the development of Fashion Week. Behavior also lacks effective monitoring and statistical means to effectively formulate sustainable development plans.


1.The overall update of the official website of Fashion Week.

2.Create Fashion Week E-RSVP platform, including event management, e-ticket, process monitoring and data analysis reports.

3.Build a Fashion Week data warehouse, data management platform and data analysis system.


The official website of Fashion Week is on par with the world’s four major fashion weeks, and its brand reputation has been greatly improved. The E-RSVP platform has greatly improved the management and service level of Fashion Week, improved the coordination ability, operational efficiency and flexibility of Fashion Week, greatly improved the user’s admission experience, and saved a lot of paper. Through effective data monitoring and statistical systems, the statistics dimension and granularity of fashion week data are enriched, making the official data of fashion week more authoritative, and providing an important reference for subsequent trend analysis and strategic planning.

Grasping And Tackling Sustainability Challenges For Brands

Grasping And Tackling Sustainability Challenges For Brands

Last month, Swedish activist Greta Thunbergposted on Instagram “Change is coming, whether you like it or not” when discussing the global climate strikes.

With millions of people actively demanding action from governments and corporations towards a more sustainable society, what are the strategies adopted by brands to adapt to these shifting consumer priorities?

Steps are being taken by private and governmental bodies

Sustainability, meaning “the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance” (the Oxford Dictionary), is the latest trending topic. A more encompassing definition refers to only consuming what you need versus what you want without it being at the expense of others (including but not limited to: fair wages, decent living conditions and ethically sourced materials).

In 2015, the United Nations assembly got together to agree on The Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030. Among the 17 Goals are the three key ones below, which underline the realization that change can be driven both at an individual and collective level by changing consumption habits:

  • Goal #2: Good health & well-being
  • Goal #12: Responsible consumption and production
  • Goal #13: Climate action

In 2017, the Prince of Wales convened a group of CEOs from the apparel and textile industry, enforcing them to commit to sourcing 100% sustainable cotton by 2025 under the Sustainable Cotton Challenge. Personal bodies are also enforcing sustainable initiatives such as:  opting to carpool to work, switching from plane to train transportation, buying local and seasonal products etc.

Evidently, encouraging steps are being taken by both private and governmental authorities although there is much room for improvement.

So how does consumers’ perception of climate and environmental challenges come into play in relation to their spending behaviour? And who drives the change towards sustainability in the retail industry? Brands, consumers, or policies?

Brands are acknowledging the need to play a role in creating a more sustainable model of consumption

In 2018, luxury household name Burberry came under fire (no pun intended) when it was revealed that  $36.5 million worth of unsold stock of perfume, clothing, and accessories, had been destroyed in efforts by the company to avoid brand devaluation. The backlash from the public and environmental agencies was colossal, to the point that the brand was forced to reposition its strategy. Hence, Burberry laid out to the public a Responsibility Agenda “designed to build position change and build a more sustainable future” with three key goals to be reached by 2022.

  1. Positively impact 1 million people.
  2. Be carbon neutral & revalue waste.
  3. Drive positive change through all products.

“Modern luxury means being socially and environmentally responsible” stated Burberry Chief Executive Marco Gobbetti.

Other brands, such as California-based Everlane and Reformation, are taking transparent and ethical work stances by offering long lasting quality clothing or recyclable products such as cosmetic brand Kinship, while larger companies have made public pledges to end their polluting practices. Case in point is Zara, which announced that all of its collections would be made with 100% sustainable fabrics by 2025.

Greenwashing or Genuine Commitment?

Although this all sounds very promising, the end goal for all corporations is profit.  Simply put, the battlefield for market shares and customer loyalty has now moved to the realm of environmental sustainability with the general population being increasingly more concerned about the effects climate change will have on their living environment.

This doesn’t mean that profit and sustainability are incompatible but rather that common “greenwashing” techniques – deceptively using means to persuade their consumers that their products or policies are environmentally friendly – such as:

  • Celebrating Earth Day;
  • Posting nature background photos on social media;
  • Offering reusable tote bags in exchange for minimum spending in store;

To appeal to customer’s desire to purchase guilt-free are no longer cutting it.  In the same way, commitment to sustainability goals are challenged by consumers should brands fail to meet their targets.

Similarly, e-commerce has completely changed the way how we consume, with millions of products available at our fingertips. During the first minute alone of Alibaba’s 2019 Single Day’s promotion, over $1 billion of goods were sold in China.  More ethical shipping practices (using recyclable materials, switching from plastic to cardboard, tape free boxes) are increasingly becoming the new normal.

Although many brands’ first steps towards a more sustainable business model were initiated by public backlash, this has had positive effects on the industry altogether. The same can be said about organic products, which are also part of the sustainability movement. Organic food products are grown under a system of agriculture with a socially responsible and environmental approach (growing products without pesticides or fertilizers).

How are products sourced, created and can they be recycled? What is their carbon footprint, are they good for my health? These are some questions among many being consistently raised by end buyers.

The Sustainability Movement in China

There is no luxury without China, there is no sustainability without China” remarked Francois Pinault, CEO of Kering during a ceremony in Shanghai recently.

What’s applicable in the West for brands needs to be adapted to the mindset of Chinese consumers. Tackling sustainability remains largely a top down governmental long-term goal rather than personal initiatives.  Hence, although sustainability is becoming a topic of interest to shoppers, it is still geared towards personal interest versus the greater good in China.

In the luxury sector for example, companies selling online second-hand or past-season fashion merchandise such as Vestiaire Collective, Hula or On the List are tapping into a new pool of consumers interested in snatching labels for the best value for money. Although brands’ emphasize sustainability as a selling point, what ultimately draws Chinese customers is the lower price bracket for guaranteed fashion labels from the biggest fashion houses (Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs).

In the fast retail sector, circular economy initiatives are being tested such as the freshly announced collaboration between H&M and YCloset – a Chinese clothes sharing platform counting 15 million subscribers – to see whether the consumers are interested in this channel and to gather more data about consumer behavior.

Another point of interest for these selective consumers is the concern for safe consumption goods in line with personal health interest. Hence, the purchase of organic foods and materials are on the rise.

In fact, in China, over half of consumers are willing to pay up to 25% more for food products that are organic. Home grown brands such as eco-friendly retailer Klee Klee or Hong Kong based OrgHive, a unique social and content platform for organic goods are the latest proponents of this new consumption model.

Using Social Listening to unlock the conversations consumers are having about your brand

As a brand, tuning into what your customers or the general public is saying about your products and company ethics is key to adjusting your market positioning: especially in China where the digital landscape has an ecosystem of its own. Are your sustainability commitments gaining traction or even deemed credible? Are your competitors gaining an edge over you because they have taken steps to make their products less harmful to the environment?

IMS builds sophisticated consumer modelling using data and machine-learning, which collects and aggregates insights about your brand that address those business and marketing question marks. We can help leverage social listening capabilities to analyze market sentiment on sustainability topics and guide your brand’s strategy based on these results. Undeniably, brands that can weave in demonstrable sustainability measures into their business models will be able to carve themselves a piece of today and tomorrow’s trend towards a more responsible consumption model.

Get in touch to learn more about the China market and how we can help drive your marketing strategy through social intelligence.

Céleste Lordet

IMS Launches Salesforce-Based Real Estate Management Solution To Disrupt Industry

IMS Launches Salesforce-Based Real Estate Management Solution To Disrupt Industry

Hong Kong, Monday 19th November 2019  Asia’s leading digital transformation agency, Integrated Management Systems (IMS)announces the launch of a unique, state-of-the-art property management and sales software solution with built-in intelligence and architecture to handle end-to-end operational activities, enabling agents and developers to maximise and accelerate sales thanks to AI matching and machine learning technologies 

Property Raptor, a top-of-class real estate software platform, empowers agents, developers, and agencies to increase productivity and close deals faster thanks to sophisticated blockchain and AI technologies 

Property agents and developers face debilitating, costly issues such as managing vast volumes of data, maintaining visibility of global resources and inventory, as well as integrating and streamlining work processes from multiple siloed systems. Property Raptor overcomes these difficulties by enabling agents to close deals faster, thanks to a sophisticated AI algorithm that matches buyers with properties, and vice versa. This speeds up the sales process, optimises buyers’ experience, and ensures repeat purchases and adoption of the solution. 

In addition to a fully automated, time-efficient sales funnel optimised for conversions, the tool automates repetitive tasks, manages a database with reverse searches through advanced data crunching and AI, handles entire regulatory compliance processes, offers 2D property visualisation for better inventory management, and has an AI-driven marketing engine at its core that delivers targeted marketing campaigns and generates data insights about buyers and factors that influence their purchasing behaviours. 

 “Agents are saved from having to waste hours and hours stuck at the start of the sales funnel, or finding out-of-date information on clients and properties from siloed systems,” states Justin Lau, CEO of Property Raptor. This cloud-based tool solves all the key industry pain points across productivity, compliance, client marketing, and inventory management, while guaranteeing a seamless and satisfying user journey for agents and buyers”. 

Increased transparency and effective marketing will empower agencies and developers to drive global success thanks to Property Raptor 

The tool will also enable property developers and agencies to deliver an unparalleled buyer experience to clients through thoughtful and relevant communications. Clients will receive specific recommendations and property details that accurately reflect personal preferences. 

 “Property Raptor is a unique, sophisticated yet easy-to-use system that we have designed and built closely with the real estate industry. It tackles the costliest issues faced by property agents and developers, while keeping in mind the industry’s need to deliver an exemplary user experience,” explains Anastasios Papadopoulos, CEO of Integrated Management Systems (IMS) and IMS Digital Ventures. “We’ve engineered the software so that it takes into account the industry’s need for safesecure, and agile data management as well as an efficient sales process for agents to close more deals faster.” 

Visit Property Raptor’s website: 

About Justin Lau, CEO of Property Raptor 

Justin brings to the Property Raptor team a profound understanding of business needs as well as deep knowledge of financial markets and real estate. Justin is able to leverage his network in the real estate sector to guide Property Raptor to becoming the leading CRM platform in Asia. 

Justin spent over 15 years in the banking industry, holding the position of Managing Director in the Capital Markets division at Credit Suisse, Lehman Brothers, Nomura and Daiwa Securities. He holds a degree in economics from the London School of Economics. 

Visit LinkedIn profile: 

About Integrated Management Systems (IMS) Hong Kong 

Integrated Management Systems (IMS) is Asia’s leading Digital Transformation Agency, offering technological solutions for data-driven strategies that transform businesses. IMS helps clients build, manage, monitor, and analyse an integrated, cross-channel platform to provide a seamless customer experience, maximising ROI and market potential. 

Services span marketing automation & CRM, digital transformation, data analytics, and omnichannel marketing strategies and execution. 

Visit website:  

Follow us on LinkedIn:  

About IMS Digital Ventures (IMS DV) 

IMS DV is the venture capital arm of Integrated Management Systems. By leveraging state-of-the-art technology, the team at IMS DV is able to navigate industry change and help companies adopt disruptive business models while sharing the risks and upside through corporate venturing. 

Working with Asia’s most influential corporations and visionary entrepreneurs, IMS DV catapults visions into viable businesses through sustainable and resourceful digital solutions. 

Visit website:  

For more information, please contact Manuela Buerki at Integrated Management Systems HK by email or telephone +852 3611 7840.

How To Create Customer Engagement For B2B Companies

How To Create Customer Engagement For B2B Companies

Rethinking marketing strategies in B2B Customer Engagement

A focus on customer engagement drives many of the successful B2C strategies for digital transformation, but that doesn’t mean that B2B companies can take a back seat. Any company still on the bench about using digital strategy for creating a customer-centric business model will quickly want to get in the game.

As companies face mounting threats from competitors on their home turf and further afield, customer engagement will play a huge part in deciding who stands out from the crowd. This approach is even more rewarding when you consider that almost 3/4 of B2B customers1 report a lack of engagement. That means that companies are risking over 70% of their revenue from current transactions. Or, to put it another way, you have a better chance of seizing a bigger slice of that tasty market pie if you are part of the engaging 30%.

While different studies have churned out different numbers, the conclusions reached are the same: the rewards for using digitalisation to adopt a customer-centric approach are tantalising and tangible. One study revealed that the top ten most connected B2B brands enjoy one-third more growth2 than those who are not connected.  Another report showed that B2B companies that adopt digital capabilities generate 8% more shareholder returns.3 Managers: it’s time to sit up and take note!

Before embarking on a strategy, B2B companies should first understand the nature of their engagement with customers, and how they are going to measure it

Struggling to find a definition of customer engagement that makes sense for your business model?

You’re not alone! While the meaning of customer engagement for B2B companies can vary by industry, it tends to drive the same reward – commitment.

Understand the differences (and similarities) of B2B and B2C engagement

The difference between market strategies is not necessarily in the approach. For example, both B2B and B2C stand to gain from marketing activities on social media, email, campaigns, and content hubs. Think a traditional institution like a bank can’t use social media? Think again! Even white-collar corporations can reap huge benefits from using social media as part of their digital strategy.

Confusingly, the traditional boundaries that drew a clear divide between B2B and B2C objectives in marketing are increasingly blurred. Twenty years ago, it was safe to assume that B2B companies relied more on developing loyal relationships and increasing Customer Lifetime Values than B2C, yet a quick glance at today’s leading B2C marketing strategies show more and more focus on building trust and long-term client relationships. Recent research goes so far as to indicate that there is little to distinguish between the CLV across B2B and B2C.4

On the other hand, the Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) for B2B customers can be significantly higher than the CPA for B2C customers (for example, not many B2C would-be clients will march into a shop and demand working prototypes!). B2B strategies also must adapt to more intense competition for a small pool of potential customers. This means that revenue generated from individual client relationships represents a bigger portion of sales for B2B compared with B2C. B2B companies therefore have extra incentive to increase CLV through customer engagement.

Arguably, the most important aspect to consider when deciding on an engagement strategy is customer behaviour. A typical B2B sales journey is longer and more technical than for a B2C, often involving complex interactions between different teams across various departments that may be located in different geographical regions. In addition, the B2B market has to account for their business purchases through reasoned or financial analysis, using logic and data. At worst, a B2C customer will get scolded when justifying their latest impulse buy to their weary spouse.

The opportunities (and challenges) of better B2B customer experiences

While these differences present a significant challenge for your B2B company, they also provide opportunities. Understanding market figures – and the reasons behind them – can allow you to exploit gaps in the market. Identifying competitor weaknesses can help you strengthen customer experiences, for the good of your client and your bottom line. B2B companies are recognising that customer centricity is pivotal in customer satisfaction, retention, and repeat sales. In order for companies to foster trust and strengthen loyalty to a brand, they must place customers at the core of their business strategies.

A crucial factor for B2B companies is understanding when to go digital. When there is a supply chain hiccup, chances are your customers won’t mind resolving the issue through a chat bot. When things go badly pear-shaped, you won’t win any favours by forcing your customers to do backflips before they get to speak to a real person.

Outside the need for human reassurance, there is a plethora of opportunities for offering simple digital journeys for actions such as tracking deal progress, re-ordering, or obtaining practical information and guidelines. In some industries, B2B customers have also enjoyed the rise of dedicated client applications, enabling them to keep tabs on equipment maintenance visits and other useful information.

And those are just the external facing strategies: incorporating digital tools can help you automate internal workflows, improve company-wide communication, and increase efficiency and productivity.

All of these benefits can help B2B companies deliver the best products and standards of service to their customer.

Evolve from bimodal measurement of customer engagement

An oft-cited difficulty when implementing a strategy for enhancing customer experience is determining ROI. There is a general understanding that achieving customer engagement generates value, but many leaders are still scratching their heads at how to measure the success of their strategy. A bimodal definition of engagement is simple but doesn’t help the identification of patterns in the long run. One solution is to link value generated from different types of customer behaviour on each point on customer journey,5  and then observe how changes in customer satisfaction affect these economic outcomes over time.

How can you measure

customer engagement?

  • don’t use a bimodal definition
  • do link value generated with customer behaviours
  • do use CSAT forms to observe changes in customer behaviour
  • do compare trends in customer satisfaction with value over time

You can then use these insights to prioritise areas of customer satisfaction that drive the highest returns, and incorporate lessons learned when designing and adapting customer journeys. Determining in advance the metrics you will use to measure your success is paramount to achieving meaningful improvement: a recent report illustrated that ambiguous Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) weakened the success of digital strategies aimed at enhancing customer engagement. Other factors included lack of formalized processes for offering improved customer experiences as well as lack of critical technology and tools.

Improving customer engagement through digital tools is an integral part of a customer-centric strategy for B2B companies. Where managers are able to overcome difficulties in adapting their strategy to suit their business model, they will also be able to better identify opportunities for engagement that cater to B2B customers’ needs. Digital journeys that are tailored to, and help simplify, the complex sales process can go far in increasing the Customer Lifetime Value by enhancing engagement.

B2B companies that provide engaging customer experience throughout the lifecycle will stand a much better chance at generating game-changing ROI than those who adopt a half-hearted approach. A structured strategy with predetermined KPIs and the right digital tools can make all the difference in becoming the next leader in the B2B market.

About the Author

Manuela leads the Marketing division at IMS, advising clients on branding and market positioning in both Europe and Asia.

Prior to joining IMS, Manuela worked in financial regulation and compliance. Past experiences include representing France in roundtable discussions in Brussels for the European Venture Capital Fund (EuVECA) Regulation.

She obtained her LL.B (Hons) at UCL before graduating from Sciences-Po, Paris, with a Master’s in Financial Regulation.

Connect with Manuela Burki on LinkedIn

How To Create Customer Engagement For B2B CompaniesManuela Burki

Three Tips For A Successful Cross-Border E-Commerce Strategy For New Brands In China

Three Tips For A Successful Cross-Border E-Commerce Strategy For New Brands In China

China shows the strongest e-commerce growth by 2023, almost double that of the United States. An increasing portion of that revenue is attributed to products sold via cross-border e-commerce channels. Yet as costs associated with advertising and operational e-commerce continue to rise, it’s increasingly challenging for new brands to see return on their cross-border investments in China. Consumers are more reliant on technology than ever: even China’s demographic of Silver Surfers are spending more time browsing online and are comfortable with modern technology. Online behaviour by Chinese consumers is complex and nuanced – even among users with similar attributes that would otherwise satisfy standard customer segments.

As a result, brands must tackle communications in a way that feels relevant, timely, and personalised to their target audience. Adopting strategies that drive conversion goals at every touchpoint requires marketing teams to understand:

  • Which users are at these touchpoints?
  • What do these users expect from the brand?

The Chinese market dynamics new brands face in 2020 are different than they were five years ago. While this can be overwhelming for new organisations looking to conquer China, there are some key considerations that significantly streamline market entry and boost initial traction in terms of awareness and sales.

As a new brand, you should:

  1. Identify which e-commerce platform is best suited to your industry category, budget, and revenue goals
  2. Leverage social intelligence to understand your target audience and get a competitive edge over big-budget competitors
  3. Embrace social commerce to drive down acquisition costs and start long-term brand-building

Despite the challenges, the Chinese e-commerce market is still highly rewarding for brands who, with the help of the right partner, navigate the digital landscape with an agile, insight-driven approach.

1. Identify which e-commerce platform is right for you

Cross-border e-commerce (CBEC) channels offer foreign-registered entities relatively easy access to the Chinese market, both in terms of cost and administrative burdens (for example, cosmetics brands accessing Chinese consumers via CBEC do not need to go through animal testing requirements).

There are numerous CBEC channels, and the right one for your company will depend as much on your risk appetite, flexibility on cash flows, total advertising budget, or stakeholder commitment as it will on your brand category and product.

Most companies start their research for their ideal e-commerce strategy with Tmall Global. This is unsurprising, given that the GMV per active user is the highest from all the cross-border platforms. Yet the costs of setting up and running a Tmall shop, such as hiring an agency, providing the deposit, or paying the commission to both the agency and Tmall, can be daunting for smaller brands or brands with an untested market strategy.

For brands who are more cash-flow conscious, a cross-border WeChat shop provides a worthwhile alternative for launch. Entering China via a WeChat shop allows brands to optimise their approach and refine their positioning, without the upfront financial commitments associated with the big CBEC platforms.

While the GMV per active user is much lower, the cost of setting up a WeChat shop is insignificant compared to Tmall Global and can be an excellent approach to piloting marketing campaigns, identifying the right content and funnel mix, and acquiring an initial database of customers. A WeChat shop also allows brands to scale their activities incrementally and can use initial results to secure investment and get proof-of-concept for stakeholders.

Once initial thresholds for reach or customers have been met, brands can then shift their attention to driving growth by diversifying their e-commerce channels.

2. Understand your target audiences and what they want by generating insights through social intelligence

Your business and marketing strategy should take into account your industry category, competitor strategies, and market analysis, but it also needs to leverage insights from social intelligence: what topics do your consumers care about and how do they resonate with them?

With such a crowded marketplace, it’s easy for your brand messages to get lost in all the noise.

By analyzing conversations on China’s most popular social media platforms such as Weibo or Little Red Book (XiaoHongShu), brands can identify which consumer emotions they can tap into with their communication strategy and the key phrases or words their audiences are using to describe products or needs.

An added challenge is the balance required between integrating localized content (such as for key shopping events like Chinese New Year or Single’s Day) while retaining connotations of higher quality ingredients or safety controls that are still typically associated with international brands. Different messages will engage target audiences differently. For example, Generation Z may be more interested in sustainability claims whereas Millennials may find messages of brand value and novelty ingredients more compelling. By understanding where different audiences are talking about these key issues, brands can find new and exciting ways of telling their story, either through owned accounts or through User-Generated Content.

Typically, off-the-shelf social listening solutions do not work well in China. Western brands should look out for agencies who have customised their data intelligence model to retrieve relevant, reliable data that can directly serve marketing teams and advance business goals.

3. Embrace social commerce to balance activation strategies with sustainable brand-building

Promotions and discounts, especially on e-commerce platforms like Tmall Global, are still a key driver for purchases by Chinese consumers. To help foster loyalty and to insulate new market entrants against price sensitivity, marketing initiatives should invest adequate resources into building brand equity. New brands must embrace social commerce to balance short-term customer activation with a long-term communications strategy across multiple ecosystems.

Many brands experience short-term sales peaks but fail to capture market share in the long-run. This is often due to pressure from international headquarters or investors impatient to witness the impressive results that are seen as a given in the China market. Unfortunately, discounts, free gifts, or other promotional gimmicks by brands are soon short-lived: and are easily outdone by companies with deeper pockets! Luckily, social commerce provides rewarding opportunities for brands who adopt agile, content-driven strategies into customer acquisition.

Content strategies for social commerce must therefore be a key focus for new brands: even before launching in the market. Unlike in the West, product discovery, brand validation, and the final conversion all happen within the same social media platform. Social media is a core component of the end-to-end customer journey in China and brands must meet consumers with great content at every touchpoint.

Aside from content published on owned accounts, brand should leverage the full capabilities of social media and e-commerce sites. Tmall Global, for example, is characterized by product reviews and ratings, while Little Red Book is a great channel for earning peer recommendations through user generated content. Brands can use Weibo influencers to announce the launch of your brand while driving sales directly on their own WeChat account via a commission-based model.

Key takeaways:

  • While the cost of selling online to Chinese consumers is increasing, brands can optimise their launch strategy by utilizing data, choosing an appropriate e-commerce channel for launch, and preparing for future success by leveraging long-term content strategies
  • WeChat shops are a good alternative to larger, more expensive e-commerce channels such as Tmall Global, although the GMV per user is lower
  • Content and social commerce is crucial for new brands looking to compete against established products
  • Although off-the-shelf social listening solutions in China are limited, a good marketing agency will help you customise a data model to generate reliable insights that drive branding and communications

About the Author

Manuela leads the Marketing division at IMS, advising clients on branding and market positioning in both Europe and Asia.

Prior to joining IMS, Manuela worked in financial regulation and compliance. Past experiences include representing France in roundtable discussions in Brussels for the European Venture Capital Fund (EuVECA) Regulation.

She obtained her LL.B (Hons) at UCL before graduating from Sciences-Po, Paris, with a Master’s in Financial Regulation.

Connect with Manuela Burki on LinkedIn

Manuela Burki

What Marketers Can Learn From COVID-19

What Marketers Can Learn From COVID-19

Article by Céleste Lordet

The outbreak of COVID-19 has quickly spiraled into a wave of uncertainty and left many businesses wondering what steps to take to curb plummeting sales. 

As marketers, many aspects of work scope have been reshuffled. This includes readjustment of: budget allocation, channels, mediums, campaigns, content and tone of voice. These, topped with work from home arrangements, have made it a challenge to be reactive at a time when adaptability is crucially needed. 

Yes, this pop-up you had long planned to promote your spring collection will not take place, your PR event to present the new face of your brand will have to be postponed and your digital out of home (DOOH) ads to bring people to your offline stores will have to be suspended. Losses are already happening. Luxury duty-free retailer DFS, had to close all of its stores and postpone indefinitely the opening of its latest space in the historical and prestigious La Samaritaine building in Paris. 

As dismal as this may sound, and although there is no single best way to deal with the downfalls of this pandemic, there are certainly best practices marketers can adopt to adjust their brand strategy to this new, unprecedented reality. Businesses that effectively harness insights and data to pivot their strategy during this pandemic, will stand a better chance of coming out on top of their competitors and ultimately capture new audiences and market shares. 

Marketers must embrace cost-effective, creative and timely approaches to communicate relevant brand value propositions. 

Not to spring too much theory on you but the new agora – or public sphere- as defined by Jurgen Habermas and Marshall McLuhan really is, by default, online. Because of safety measures including quarantines and work from home arrangements taken by governments and administrations across the globe, everything spanning from conversations, news, brand discovery, entertainment and leisure is now based off the internet. 

We saw this first and foremost in China, where the virus forced a lockdown on public and private bodies in December 2019. Time spent online effectively shot up with users especially keen on short videos and livestreaming formats. Shorts video apps such as Douyin (TikTok being the western name) or Kwaishou substantially increased their active users – a 23% growth between February 2019 and February 2020 (Source: Warc)Riding on this trend, companies from western countries keen on capturing new audiences, have been offering free streaming and broadcasting services. In light of new restrictive measures announced in France, premium and privately owned channel, Canal+, offered two free weeks to the public. Meanwhile, the Paris Opera offered all of its ballets and opera performances via streaming on its official website. Similarly, American newspaper, New York Times is providing complimentary access to all news articles considered important and useful during this time. 

Another effect the quarantine has had on online behaviour is the flourishing of e-commerce, whether it be in its classic forms or with the use of livestreaming. Although livestreams had been on the rise in the last couple of years in China particularly, with KOLs selling products ranging from vegetables at the market to the latest luxury lipstick on Little Red Book or Taobao, the effect of social isolation measures has resulted in a spike of online purchases.  To second that, latest research from Ipsos showed that out of 12 countries surveyed, consumers in 11 of these said they had increasingly turned to online channels to purchase their products. This held particularly true for consumers in highly impacted countries such as China (51%) and Italy (31%). These statistics underline the needs for brands to shift their efforts to the online realm to capture the surge of time and users on the internet. 

So, what measures can marketers effectively take to drive engagement and communicate effectively with consumers? 

1.Pivot your marketing roadmap  

Be reactive and proactive. As a marketer how fast you can shift your strategy to this new context will really make a difference in the short term and long term. Based on the product category you are working with (F&B, beauty, clothing), your business model and your market, reviewing your rebounding roadmap will be the first necessary step. This is a good time to pick-up on long term brand building strategies such as: developing your email journey strategy for your inactive user database or to reengage past customers having subscribed to your website but who have not purchased yet, or reviewing your content to optimize your targeting tactics. 

Among internet users, 44% indicated spending more time on social media (Facebook, Instagram). Thus, redistributing your ad spend to appropriate channels and experimenting with audience segmentation and ad settings to harness these habits and capture users’ attention will enable you to collect insights and data about users you wouldn’t have usually reached or engaged with. Remember, people have more time than usual, some are even actively looking to discover new and exciting brand and products during this down time. Now is the time to be bold (as long as you A/B test). 

2.Leverage your brand’s storytelling 

Communicate carefully. As Charles Caleb Colton once said: “Silence is foolish if we are wise but wise if we are foolish”. It would be a mistake to remain silent in a time at which people’s attention is more available than ever. However, as a marketer, you must tread communication and content thoughtfully. Sure, people’s attention span is greater, but so is their sensitivity. Your storytelling should revolve around brand awareness, identity and entertainment without pretending as though everything is normal. Opt for the soft sell approach and avoid going for the hard sells as this may be perceived as aggressive or inappropriate. During this critical period – the last thing you want is to come off as insensitive and trigger controversy over your brand. Fashion and beauty conglomerate LVMH for example, has announced it will use some of its perfume factories to produce hand sanitizers to donate to health workers in France while Starbucks is offering free coffee in the United States for front-line COVID responders. The Blacksheep restaurant group in Hong Kong has been actively communicating on its social channels and via email to keep customers informed about health and safety measures put in place across their different establishments. Showing best–in–class customer service with caring, reassuring messages and flexibility (on delivery times, refunds, etc.) will be key to building future sales, continuous engagement, and long-term brand value. Airlines such as Delta, Cathay or Air France which usually imposed penalties for booking changes have all adapted their policies in response to this exceptional situation. Brands who stay relevant and top of mind once the pandemic is over will be those that made consumers feel better, safe and inspired. 

3.Be innovative 

Think outside the box. For brands that are experiencing a slowdown in activities, now is also a great time to implement and experiment new tools and train staff accordingly. These don’t have to be costly. Podcasts are a great example and unorthodox medium for some brands to reach new consumers. As of March 2020, a study by GlobalWebIndex showed that 12% of survey participants had been listening to more podcasts due to the coronavirus worldwide. Webinars or Masterclasses are another avenue you can explore as a digital touchpoint replacement for events and conferences even if your business is small. You can start off with free (but limited) tools such as IG lives or try monthly subscriptions on bigger platforms such as cloud-based Zoom conferencing operator. If your business relies mostly on consumer interactions, partnering with software companies to alleviate your business is also a solution you can investigate. Hong Kong based real estate software Property Raptor has been a rescuer for many realtors experiencing cancellations of home visits and tours due to people’s concerns of contracting the virus. The property tech CRM software’s latest March 2020 product release includes a map and satellite view feature that allows agents to easily visualize and filter search listings in surrounding areas to help close deals even from the comfort of your home.  Marketers can leverage these opportunities to adopt digital customer centric communication which will help long term brand equity. 

4.Reach out for collaborations  

Sharing is caring. In times of difficulty is when stakeholders are seeking external solutions and collaborative outreach. This holds true for seeking collaboration opportunities with other brands but also with all third-party partners across the scope: logistics, PR agencies, e-commerce platforms, etc. Your clients and partners are directly impacted by your performance as a marketer, leverage this. One of China’s biggest e-commerce platforms, JingDong (JD) is a great showcase of the latter as they have just announced a “Spring Raindrop Plan” allocating funds up to 1.5 billion RMB to support brands most heavily impacted by the pandemic with perks such as membership premiums, content marketing and data analysis. Similarly, Alibaba also announced a plan to help offline brands get online as brick-and-mortar only business models suffered the most. If you are part of a marketing agency, reach out to your clients to start discussions about how each of your clients could help one another. This could be a spring special giveaway or a joint press feature or a Q&A featuring a different business owner during each session. If you are in-house, think about your partners. 

Digital transformation and agility as a business imperative 

Every crisis presents an opportunity for marketers to learn and to finetune their strategy to create long term brand building that will resonate with consumers and establish their brand’s position as the leading, trusted partner for consumers. Although dealing with the aftermath of COVID-19 will require stepping outside conventional ways of working and thinking, marketers ready to embrace and adapt to change will enable their brands to come out stronger.  

Integrated Management Systems (IMS), is Asia’s leading digital transformation agency. Our multicultural team of digital experts (software engineers, marketers , project managers and data scientists) come together to specifically tackle and adapt real time to current business environments to help your brand mitigate risks, and make the most out of tricky situations such as the COVID outbreak we are currently experiencing. With multiple trailblazing offers, such as marketing to China, social listening, e-commerce and data visualization, we empower our clients, by delivering creative and cutting-edge alternatives and strategies outside traditional marketing and sales funnels. 

Get in touch with our team to start the conversation. 

Céleste Lordet

IMS Has Just Launched OrgHive

IMS Has Just Launched OrgHive

IMS Has Just Launched OrgHive At A Time Where Chinese Consumer Concerns On Health And Wellness Have Peaked Post-COVID.HONG KONG–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The venture capital arm of Asia’s leading digital transformation agency, IMS, has launched OrgHive with the mission of helping consumers make better lifestyle choices while improving return on investment for brands marketing to China.

At its core, OrgHive provides transparency and trust in the organic and natural market in China thanks to blockchain technology

Two significant barriers to Chinese consumers purchasing organic products is a lack of trust in supply chain verification and absence of objective, reliable information on the benefits of related lifestyle choices. OrgHive facilitates authentication of Chinese certified products by leveraging the security and transparency of blockchain.

The platform’s launch follows an announcement from Beijing that China would be seizing the opportunity to invest in blockchain to help bring it in line with other market’s standards for this emerging technology. “We’re launching at a time when all the technology leaders of the world have their eye on China, to see what opportunities and innovations spring from this initiative,” says Anastasios Papadopoulos, CEO of Integrated Management Systems (IMS) and IMS Digital Ventures. “For domestic brands, OrgHive represents a crucial touchpoint to gain consumer trust and drive conversion to third-party e-commerce websites.

For international organic and natural brands, OrgHive is key to overcoming increasing operational and advertising costs associated with selling online in China

While operational costs of doing e-commerce have at least doubled since 2015, we have witnessed advertising and influencer costs increase by 350%-500% in the last three years,” explains Manuela Buerki, Director of Marketing and Strategy at IMS. “OrgHive addresses the pain points of customer acquisition in China by enabling brands to reach their target audiences within a transparent framework that also provides necessary insight into their customer’s browsing and buying behaviours.

Brands can access OrgHive via different membership tiers, according to the level of exposure and engagement they are aiming for with consumers. The platform has also been designed to reflect the internet habits of consumers shaped by China’s social commerce landscape, leveraging community content, peer to peer recommendations, brand and product discovery, and loyalty rewards – all within the same ecosystem.

OrgHive’s launch coincides with revived consumer interest into wellness trends and healthier food choices amid the COVID outbreak

At IMS, our marketing analysts have been using data insights from social intelligence to monitor trends in consumer attitudes towards more balanced lifestyle choices and healthier nutrition and exercise habits. We’ve witnessed a surge in conversations reflecting the need for change, particularly relating to 996 consumers (those working 9am to 9pm, 6 days a week),” comments Manuela. “We expect to see an increase in content searches related to making better choices, and plan to be at the forefront of providing trusted solutions to Chinese consumers.

As both a content and social platform, OrgHive provides the answer for consumers seeking advice and inspiration to ignite change in their lifestyle habits.

About Anastasios Papadopoulos, CEO of Integrated Management Systems (IMS) Hong Kong

After completing his training in M&A at Skadden Arps, Anastasios founded Integrated Management Systems in 2016 and played a key strategic role in positioning the company as one of the leading Digital Transformation Agencies in Hong Kong.

Combining his experience in M&A and Tech, Anastasios founded IMS Digital Ventures, the innovation, incubation and investment arm of IMS and Hong Kong’s first corporate venturing firm that launches and invests in disruptive businesses with Asia’s largest corporations.

Anastasios read Law in France and in the UK and holds a Management degree from HEC Paris

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About Integrated Management Systems (IMS) Hong Kong

Integrated Management Systems (IMS) is Hong Kong’s leading Digital Transformation Agency, offering technological solutions for data-driven strategies that transform businesses. IMS helps clients to build, manage, monitor, and analyse an integrated, cross-channel platform to provide a seamless customer experience, maximising ROI and market potential.

Services span marketing automation & CRM, digital transformation, data analytics, and omni-channel marketing strategies and execution.

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About IMS Digital Ventures (IMS DV)

IMS DV is the venture capital arm of Integrated Management Systems. By leveraging state-of-the-art technology, the team at IMS DV is able to navigate industry change and help companies adopt disruptive business models while sharing the risks and upside through corporate venturing.

Working with Asia’s most influential corporations and visionary entrepreneurs, IMS DV catapults visions into viable businesses through sustainable and resourceful digital solutions.

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For more information, please contact:
Manuela Buerki
Integrated Management Systems HK
+852 3611 7840.


SEM Marketing

SEM Marketing

Most online customer journeys begin with a search engine. Make sure your brand is easy to find and then continue to engage them across social media, display ads, video streaming, mobile applications, and more.

“It takes an average of 7 interactions with your brand before a customer makes a purchase.”

IMS will work with you to optimise your paid ad strategy across the client’s entire path to purchase. Our expertise covers:

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) isn’t just about showing up in search results, it’s also about making sure your customers see your display, video, or shopping ads as they browse other websites.

Retargeting helps you show content to consumers who have interacted with your brand. You can show different ads to consumers who have added products to basket, signed up to your newsletter, or simply read a blog post.

Social media advertising is one of the best ways to amplify reach of your brand. We identify top-converting content for each of your personas to help drive website visits, engagement, newsletter sign-ups, and sales.

Content matters in SEM and social media advertising. Our SEO experts and content strategists work together to identify the most effective content for your call to action. Our strategic approach to leveraging dynamic content, A/B testing, lookalike audiences and keyword audits allow us to maximise results for our clients, helping you achieve growth for your business.

Case study: for one FMCG client, IMS improved sales conversion rate by 4x and number of impressions by 9.2x while reducing overall spend, in just 3 weeks.



Guide Your
Consumers Across
Their Journey of Brand Discovery:
From Awareness
To First Purchase

Showcase your products or services on a functional and beautiful e-commerce platform. Maximize conversion rates with a value-adding customer journey optimized for every device.Our in-house developed Mavista e-business platform provides scalability, flexibility and features designed to grow your e-commerce business. We also support other e-commerce solutions such as BigCommerce, Shopify, X-Cart and more. These are feature-rich platforms that offer brands flexibility and control of the presentation as well as functionality of their online platform.Once your site is live, our marketing specialists will help you develop and execute the right strategy for your industry and target audience. By using state-of-the-art tools and advanced analytics to map out your consumer journey, we make sure that you deliver the right content to the right audience at every touch point.

Website & App Development

Website & App Development

Engage and Excite
Your Audience
Through a Customer-Focused Website

Re-imagine how powerful your website could be. Not just a podium to showcase your brand, but an immersive experience designed with the user in mind. Reinforce your brand identity that helps you stand out from the crowd.We work with best practices in search engine and conversion rate optimization for a responsive site that tells a compelling story. We identify pain points throughout your customer journeys to provide a seamless user experience and improve conversion rates. Whether you need a landing page for a paid advertisement campaign or a fully customised e-commerce platform, our experts in UX will help you translate your brand values into a strong online presence.

Delight Customers
And Foster Loyalty
Through Intuitive Apps

Whatever idea you have, we can turn into a reality.Engage more effectively with customers using personalised apps that integrate with the CRM database and built-in AI and connect to the internet to offer a seamless user experience across online platforms.Boost productivity by designing an app for internal functions such as HR, finance and IT. Use automation to eliminate repetitive and mundane tasks to speed up business processes.Our team of developers possess the expertise necessary to take your creative idea and turn it into a unique, engaging and fluid mobile app.