fergus bloomberg

Bloomberg Interview: Fergus Hay on Alibaba’s Snapchat Investment and the Value of Social

Social@Ogilvy’s own Fergus Hay, Managing Director of Social@Ogilvy APAC, sat down with Bloomberg last week for a quick chat about Alibaba’s recent plan to fund Snapchat.

Snapchat, as Fergus explains in this interview, is a consumer-based app that sees over 700 million images and videos exchanged per day. It is predominantly prevalent in North America among the younger demographic who want to move beyond slower-paced Facebook to a platform with more ephemeral, quick content.

For a CEO like Jack Ma who wants to grow Alibaba.com as the world’s biggest e-commerce platform, Snapchat can be a gateway to the US market – particularly to an up-and-coming consumer base. Collaborating with Snapchat is a “very smart move” commented Fergus, as competitors like Amazon are starting to see an outdated consumer base.

Fergus also emphasized, social is no longer just a media platform or an analytics tool; it’s becoming the very core of product development itself.

“The companies that build their products around social behavior, those are the ones that are going to get great shareholder value,” he said, citing examples like Uber, evaluated at $40 billion USD.

Looking into the future, Fergus advises brands to stop chasing fan count and rather focus on building deeper customer relationships.

“Just because you like something on Facebook, doesn’t mean you’re going to buy that product or fall in love with their values,” he explained. “So go for less people, but build a relationship with them over time. We call that social CRM.”

See the full interview here.