Digital Advertising in Asia is an exciting space awash with opportunities for growth. There are over 1 billion smartphone users in APAC, and at any time, there are more Asians on Facebook than there are watching television. However, this is across a diverse region comprising different cultures, languages and infrastructure. As devices evolve, so do people’s tastes, and tolerance for ads. Marketers in the region need to step up, or get left behind.
Digital marketers today have many channels available to deliver contextually relevant messages: mobile-friendly formats to reach people on the go, social ads that match with CRM data to display dynamic product ads, and affiliate marketing to give selected publishers a vested interest in the success of your campaign. These options allow brands to connect with consumers with pinpoint accuracy and context.
However, a few pain points still exist. There is a knowledge gap today. Many schools in Asia are still teaching marketing based on age-old theories, not real-time practice. That is a huge disconnect from today’s industry needs. Whilst some marketing concepts such as the purchase funnel remain constant, we can’t ignore that digital has redrawn the entire playbook. In addition, there is also a tracking and technology lag. Many marketers overemphasize last click attribution, and effectively ignore everything that happens before it. Not enough is being done to track the customer’s journey before the last click.
To get out of this rut, marketing leads today need to transform the marketing function and choose the right partners to get ahead.
The knowledge gap today leads to a lack of digital talent, but also an opportunity to develop the next generation. Multinational agencies and brands have the platforms and best practices, and know the skillsets they want. At the same time, Asia will produce more than half of global graduates by 2020, so there is a huge talent pool here. On the whole, industry leaders need to work together on a framework to train and accredit talent in the region to ensure new talent comes in with the right skillset and outlook.
Marketers also need to make peace with the lack of perfect attribution modelling today and change their orientation towards the lifetime value of customer segments. Identify who your most loyal, passionate customers are, and find out where they came from. Rigorously track and test campaigns, and record data to surface not just the last click, but engagement and view-through conversions to map out how they are attracted and retained over time. From there, choose channels based on the value added to the purchase funnel and absolute performance. However channels do not operate in silos and we need to acknowledge that the customer journey has multiple touch points.
Apart from internal transformation, working with the right partners is also critical. The ever-changing platforms, channels and displays today means marketers need to be agile and outsource when necessary. Invest time and align with partners – in particular, hire a nimble, tech focused creative partner to get an influx of new ideas.
To find the right partner, assess companies in this region based on their technology and commitment to the region. Having people on the ground in the right places is essential for localization. Service and support is very key to success in this region due largely to lack of talent and high turnover.
Ad fraud and viewability are also challenges, so tech and media buying partners should also be screened thoroughly. One safe option is to partner with large, scalable publishers with reputable publications. However, exchanges can offer more granularity. If partnering with exchanges, try to create customized site lists to ensure a relevant, quality audience. In addition, use tools that allow you to assess and optimize the quality of traffic, and ensure your ads are fully viewable.
Having right approach, and the right partners ensures that you don’t get left behind as Asia moves from television screens to smartphone screens, and print to pixels. Those who move fast, keep up with the pace of technology and overcome the challenges, stand to gain the most in this environment.
So now that you know, click here to find out more about how AdParlor can deliver the best ROI on your social and video campaigns.