Three Key Movements Set to Shape Marketing in APAC in 2015 and Beyond

Marketers should hone their skills in these aspects of digital marketing.

By Louise Reid, BDB Asia


Marketing as a discipline has changed over the last few years; now, everyone who is anyone talks about the power of digital. Here in Asia, the digital landscape, use and acceptance of digital tools and channels, and the incredible diversity of regional markets mean that there is definitely no one-size-fitsall solution when it comes to digital marketing strategies.

Three key trends will play a critical role in the future of digital marketing in the region. They are e-commerce, digital advertising and mobile.

1. E-commerce: replacing physical contact with buyers


In 2014, Asia became the world’s largest e-commerce region: around US$525.2 billion was thought to have been spent on purchases made online. This means there is a massive shift in the very nature of how every company targets their customers and potential customers.
The zero-moment-of-truth (ZMOT) model, a concept coined by Google, refers to the research buyers do online before making a purchase. Google published an Asian version of its ZMOT handbook in 2014, in line with changing buyer behaviour in the region.
The real skill now in targeting new customers and encouraging them to buy from you (whether in person or online) is being present in a credible and impactful way somewhere or even everywhere during the online research phase of the buying cycle. Easier said than done, but a challenge that inspires and stimulates marketers of all shapes and sizes, and has the power to unite disciplines and skills from PR, SEO (search engine optimisation), social media marketing, direct marketing, advertising and even events.

2. Digital advertising: the rebirth of a much loved discipline


Digital ad spend grew in Asia Pacific by almost 20% in 2014, and the driving factors behind this growth are increased targeting and better data capture. Advertising became a bit of a dirty word in many marketing circles during the first few years of the global recession, with companies outright refusing to even consider it, instead favouring ‘earned’ and ‘owned’ media such as PR and social and investing in company websites and other assets.
Today, the ability to target online adverts and—critically—pay for the relevant impressions or clicks increases the potential and return. The rise of programmatic advertising, an automated way of buying relevant online media space within set parameters, further enhances its power.
It is also now easier to track the effectiveness of online campaigns, with publishers providing much more detailed insights into the results of an advert than ever before. Using this insight well means marketers can constantly improve their campaigns and get the biggest returns possible.

3. Mobile: getting the basics right is the key to success


There are already 3.7 billion mobile phone subscriptions in Asia Pacific and at least 0.8 billion active mobile social accounts . In many countries, more consumers are connected via mobiles than any other device; in fact, in countries such as Thailand, there are more mobile phones than people!
This mass availability, adoption and increased affordability of mobile phones across the region provide another opportunity for marketers to interact with their audiences online. Understanding mobile use and ensuring any material targeting mobile phones is responsive (ie it refits to appear suitably on a mobile screen) is one of many important things to get right.
Other considerations include ensuring any marketing is relevant and appropriate to the tool being used. For example, when using social media to get your messages across, you have to consider how and why
your target audience use it to make sure your activities resonate and don’t annoy!
Marketing in Asia Pacific is an incredibly exciting industry where the scene is set for unprecedented creativity and innovation. Finding amazing ways to reach your audiences and encouraging them to buy from you is what gets us marketers up in the morning, and there is no better place to be than here in Singapore.


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