OgilvyOne Recruits Kent Lee to Run Social Selling Offering

New Unit Created to Bridge the Social Media Adoption Gap Between Salespeople and Sales Organizations

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BEIJING (AdAgeChina.com) -- OgilvyOne Worldwide has appointed Kent Lee as social marketing director and Vanessa Na as head of content. The Beijing-based executives will oversee a "Social Selling" offering launched this month by OgilvyOne in China to help companies drive growth through social media. The unit was developed after OgilvyOne conducted research in the U.S., U.K., China and Brazil revealing that a "social media adoption gap" exists between salespeople and sales organizations.

Kent Lee
Kent Lee
Mr. Lee was previously the VP, business development at Wanmo Targeted Advertising, an online marketing agency. Before that, he held digital marketing roles at Euro RSCG Worldwide and Y&R/ Wunderman in China. Mr. Lee will be responsible for packaging OgilvyOne's social media offering and helping advertisers build innovative customer relationships.

Ms. Na, who was previously a senior consultant at AC Capital Strategic Planning Public Relations, will oversee content strategy, execution and sourcing to channels such as social networks, blogs and online communities.

"Our research has shown that the people on the front-line, the salespeople themselves, recognize the power and potential of social media. They are hungry for education and empowerment, yet few companies are providing the access and training they need," said Brian Fetherstonhaugh, OgilvyOne's chairman-CEO. "Part of our new 'Social Selling' offering has been designed to help companies overcome this discrepancy and drive sales growth."

OgilvyOne conducted research among 1,000 full-time sales professionals in all four markets, with 250 respondents per country. The results revealed that social media has had an enormous impact on buying behavior; 49% of respondents see social media as important to their success. In China, 73% percent see it as important to their success, the highest rate among the four countries, and nearly triple the 27% figure in the U.S.

Among the most successful salespeople, over two-thirds believe social media is integral to their sales success. In China, 71% of top sales people believe that, while 84% also said the selling process is changing faster than their own organizations are adapting to it. The figure was lowest in the U.S. at 68%.

Many companies actively discourage use of social media. In China, 42% of salespeople believe their companies are afraid to let employees use social media, compared to 55% of British salespeople, the highest among the four countries.

Many U.S. companies claim to have a social media strategy, but only 9% of U.S. salespeople say their company trains or educates them on the use of social media for sales. In China, 38% of salespeople surveyed said they use personal blogs in their selling process, compared to only 3% in the U.S.

"Selling must evolve in lockstep with the way people are buying today. The study and our observations show that while this is starting to happen in China, it is still not evolving as quickly as it should. In a market like China, where word-of-mouth recommendations are so critical to purchasing decisions, salespeople would be more effective if they understood not only the importance of social media to their customers, but also how to use it to engage with them in an appropriate and helpful way," said Chris Reitermann, OgilvyOne's president, Greater China in Shanghai.

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