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Bata in the News: Discovering Bata’s Social Media Strategy
Bata in the news

On July 13, Marketing magazine published an in-depth article about Bata’s new global marketing strategy, based on an interview with CMO Thomas A. Bata and his recent talk at a prominent social media conference.

Marketing magazine is a leading source of advertising, marketing and media news in Asia, with editions for Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Read on for interesting nuggets from journalist Rezwana Manjur’s article, “Modernizing Bata’s 123 year-old family business one step at a time.”

Thomas A. Bata is boldly overseeing and changing the course of 15 of the Bata brands. He said it was a huge opportunity to bring more “swagger” to the brand and, at a time when brands are trying to localize, he is looking to take the international brand, global.

On stage during the Socialbakers Engage Prague 2017 conference, the chief marketing executive said, “Being global and international are completely different. Today we are international and have a presence in 76 countries and have retail stores in those countries.

“But global brands are consistent. In a digital world where people can access content from anywhere in the world, you obviously have to be constant in your communication and send the same message,” he said.

A year ago the brand closely scrutinized its 220 million global customers. The team promptly realized its shoppers were tech-savvy and connected to social media. Many were middle class, and 75 percent were women making decisions for their husbands and families.

But the brand needed an iconic product and story. “A challenge we had was that if you mention our brand, people say, ‘Oh, shoes,’ and not much more than that,” Thomas A. Bata said.

“We want to make comfort sexy. We wanted to show that you don’t have to choose between looking good and feeling comfortable,” he said, adding that in the modern world, a woman shouldn’t have to choose one or the other.

While the product team at Bata got busy, the marketing team dived deep into social. They decided to divide the various mediums and channels into ones that had equity and ones that had traffic conversion.

“Social media is global, and you can reach a huge target audience via a few channels. Traditional media has hundreds of media outlets and, as such, calculating ROI becomes more of a challenge,” the CMO said.

Today, the majority of Bata’s content on social media is done locally, but in line with global standards and guidelines. About 30 percent of content is dictated by Global to allow for consistent brand messages and standards. Bata has also cut back significantly on traditional mediums, and data was key to get people on board.

This doesn’t mean the brand isn’t keen on localizing its content. Currently, Bata works with numerous local influencers, which leads to better ROI for the brand.

In April, Bata revamped its image with a massive global fashion show. Thousands of visitors from all over the world attended, including many celebrity guests from more than 20 countries, TV stars, models, editors from top media publications, and bloggers.

Because its social media strategy was in place, Bata could also draw in people through its Facebook page. A total 3.3 million people followed the event through social media, live streaming and websites. This led to more than 35 million people interacting with the brand.

But this is not the end of the road for the brand, said Thomas A. Bata. He hopes that by 2018, it will invest more on growing its following on Instagram and Facebook and encouraged the use of tools and technology to create change.

Check out the video above for his full conference presentation.