Speaking to the ANA in an exclusive interview, internet giant Tencent’s Hunter Zhang, director of corporate marketing and public relations, unveils how the company worked through a global crisis.

This is according to an interview, which WARC subscribers can read here, in which Zhang reflects that “acting fast to help customers respond” was the most important measure.

“There was no playbook; the situation as evolving rapidly with huge uncertainty. We can't use the same old way to evaluate marketing decisions.”

Marketing will play a key role in this: “during the crisis, marketing has become a key change agent for the rest of the company. It is crucial for us to take up a central role in leading creative thinking and development in the company to turn out something new to help more people.”

CMOs, in particular, are “agents of change.” A front-line position makes them the voice of the customer within the organisation to bring user-centricity to the product. This is true in both the short and long term, as a macro trend of digitalisation has accelerated in the time of Coronavirus.

But in the short-term speed is of the essence. By being helpful and mobilizing resources such as its VooV Meeting (formerly Tencent Meeting), its videoconferencing tool, the company saw a massive surge in use and therefore internal resource to improve the product and meet the extremely high demand. But this has brought the product to more people, experiencing the brand across 100 countries.

Asked about other brands responding effectively and inspiring him through the crisis, Zhang points to Maituan. “They led local catering businesses to serve meals and deliver groceries to people's doorsteps in a "contactless" way.

“Most people's lives would not have been as easy without Meituan's contribution during this hard time.”

Sourced from WARC