TONG is a leading Chinese social commerce agency headquartered in London. Established in 2014, TONG delivers end-to-end digital and ecommerce solutions for global retail brands looking to enter and scale up in the Chinese market.
Tong Digital Prove Transparency is Good for Business
Brands are demanding more data and China insights from their agencies. They don't want to wait for a weekly or monthly update; they want to be able to check progress whenever they wish. Even if they can't read Chinese, they still want to feel connected to their brand presence in China.
Some agencies would rather choose what to reveal to their clients, cherry picking the best metrics to make themselves appear outstanding. Because of this, trust between the agency and brand can decay.
In light of all this, Tong Digital have grown their agency by offering something many marketing agencies do not.
I spoke to James Campbell, Co-Founder of Tong Digital, to better understand the advantages to complete transparency. So many agencies are terrified of allowing their clients direct access to their progress, but Tong Digital shared they have zero concerns here.
“Trust is at the heart of all our client relationships. The transparency that comes with allowing our clients a look under the hood at our work builds that trust, giving them the confidence that we have the brand’s best interests in mind.” James Campbell, Co-Founder
Tong Digital say transparency improves their business in 7 important ways:
They collaborate more quickly & efficiently.
They are better aligned to more accurately meet their client’s needs.
The content produced is better targeted and more authentic to the brand.
The client sees all the effort that goes into planning, scheduling, and analysing content.
They save hours of time that would be otherwise spent manually collating data.
The client feels involved and that they have impact on the campaigns.
The responsibility of the success of a campaign is no longer burdened entirely by the marketing agency but between the brand and the agency together.
Their clients range from government institutions to international beauty brands. All of them under Tong Digital's steady hand have flourished. With their permission we delved into the last 6 months of their data, to validate their claims.
This is the median performance of all of Tong Digital's clients across the board, since Tong Digital started managing their accounts.
One client had to be removed from the sampling as their growth in several months from 0 to 15,000 followers distorted the data drastically, making their performance appear unbelievable.
Despite a limited budget, Huda Beauty and Tong Digital managed to work together to build a genuine community. Huda Beauty's authenticity coupled with Tong Digital's expertise in Chinese social strategy.
“KAWO’s collaborative tools empower us to work hand in glove with our clients’ existing marketing teams around the world. Gone are the days of shared spreadsheets and asset folders; everything is centralised and updated in real time.”
Sometimes you miss your KPIs. It happens. Be it that your estimates were slightly too generous or for unforeseen market conditions. Yet if your client sees your working process they are a lot more understanding. As opposed to seeing a single end result which is unsatisfactory they instead see an agency who went above and beyond to try and achieve their goals.
Even though the accounts belong to the brands, some agencies are afraid to open up their working process. It's understandable to worry clients may misinterpret methods or data they’re not familiar with.
What isn't understandable is why some agencies choose an outmoded approach. An approach that has agencies appear untrustworthy, nervous, and incapable.
“In an industry developing as fast as this, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve. At TONG, this means making full use of KAWO’s features and analytical power to constantly innovate and improve the effectiveness of our content. Doing so has allowed us to consistently out-perform the competition across a range of metrics.”
While the Chinese market is rapidly maturing there is still a need for many agencies and brands to undergo proper digital transformations. WeChat is so entrenched in everyone’s daily lives, yet can lead to blockages in their workflow. Excel while fantastic to make reports in, is terrible for keeping you instantly updated. Manually scraping data and updating reports is time consuming too.
“The ability to work on and monitor our whole client base from one dashboard has transformed the way we work as an agency. Automated reporting and KPI tracking help to streamline our time and focus our efforts on creativity and client service.”
Agencies and brands that cling to the “old ways” because that’s how they’ve always operated are declining. They're losing their clients to more agile agencies that work smarter not harder.
Which they should. Agencies have more competition than ever. The industry is getting more intelligent with marketing methods and processes. Brands are wising up on how to see better ROI.
This was originally published on KAWO by Daniel Sobey-Harker.