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ABS-CBN’s Donald Lim: ‘Use digital to disrupt, not to market’

BORACAY — For someone who’s dubbed as one of the founding fathers of digital marketing, digital expert and guru, ABS-CBN Chief Digital Officer Donald Lim admitted he isn’t really what you would call a “digital person.” He only has 10 tweets in his lifetime and zero posts on Instagram. What he boasts of though is a rank 51 standing worldwide in Dark Throne.

However, that doesn’t make him less of an expert when it comes to digital because underneath his lean social media presence is an impressive marketing background. Prior to being ABS-CBN’s Digital Chief Officer, he was a Chief Innovation Officer at McCann Worldgroup Philippines. He also served as the Managing Director of its digital arm, MRM Manila. Formerly, he was the president of Yehey! Corporation, one of the Philippines’ top digital marketing holding company.

During his KIDLATalk, Lim talked about how to best use digital to strengthen brands’ marketing efforts. He said that most brands make the mistake of thinking that digital should be used to amplify traditional platforms, “Digital is weakest in amplification. Digital strength is engagement. You don’t use it to amplify.”


He pointed out that digital can be used to compliment but it can also stand alone. This was what he did with the reality show Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) during his first few months working for ABS-CBN.

Instead of merely posting what was happening on TV on Facebook or Twitter, his team came up with a PBB House online Facebook application. Through this application, the auditionees who weren’t able to make it as housemates were given a second chance—that is to virtually live inside the Big Brother House.

Lim cautioned though that apps aren’t always the way to go unless you are very sure of what you want to do.

What brands and agencies can readily do is to create their own Youtube channels and earn from it, “videos are the next way.”

He also encouraged brands to think out-of-the-box the way Airbnb and Uber did. Airbnb is an online community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world while Uber is an application that lets its users conveniently get a taxi, private car or rideshare using only their mobile phones.

Lim emphasized that brands and agencies, especially the young creatives, shouldn’t just look at digital from a marketing perspective, “At this day and age of digital, the imperative for creatives is to disrupt or be disrupted.”

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