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Hottest Trends Of 2019 In Digital Marketing

The digital advertising market in Asia Pacific is expected to hit $94.9 billion this year — up from $43.0 billion in 2015 — as brands increasingly push their marketing dollars to where consumers are most engaged: namely online and mobile. Here are top need-to-know trends across programmatic, mobile and e-commerce, to help marketers stay up to speed with a rapidly evolving digital advertising sector.

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Programmatic predictions: Premiumisation, new platforms and transparency the watchwords
Brands in Asia will be investing $452 million into programmatic buys in the region this year alone, up from $106 million in 2015.

Apart from rocketing revenue in the sector, there are three fundamental factors that will increasingly dominate across the next 12 months. The first is premiumisation. A major differentiator for today’s best platforms is access to exclusive and premium inventory, especially via easy-to-access and custom buying deals, such as programmatic guaranteed.

According to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the penetration of programmatic guaranteed in digital display and video ad activity across APAC will increase from 6 per cent in 2017 to 11 per cent in 2020.

BCG also found programmatic advertising to be 30 per cent more efficient for advertiser and agency-buying teams. By aligning ease of use with premium and guaranteed placements, these numbers will continue to improve.

That is why at Verizon Media we focus on combining providing premium content and exclusive ad placement across our own inventory, and also forging partnerships with other premium providers.

Expect transparency to also continue to be a priority in 2019, as responsible providers double-down on their efforts to meet brands’ needs.

Last year we began to see the benefits delivered by the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) ads.txt project — a simple, flexible and secure method to publicly declare the companies they authorise to sell their digital inventory in order to slash the risk of fraud and boost brand confidence.

But there’s still more that can be done. We have been implementing supply path optimization (SPO) to shorten the path from buyer to seller. This has helped further to weed out lower-quality and duplicate inventory, thereby reducing fraud and enhancing transparency.

Last but not least, we will see programmatic expand to new platforms this year.

That’s why platforms need to make it easier and more effective to buy inventory across connected TV, programmatic audio, digital out-of-home and in-app opportunities.
 
Mobile: Effective partnerships pivotal to maximise new opportunities
Asian consumers have an insatiable appetite for mobile — with many people in emerging markets leapfrogging straight to smartphones for getting online.

According to Hootsuite, the share of mobile web traffic in Laos is at 90 per cent, far eclipsing web browsing done through other devices. In Myanmar that figure is 72 per cent, and in Cambodia it is 42 per cent. In Vietnam 68 per cent of users access the Internet most often on a smartphone in Vietnam.

All of these compare favourably against more mature markets. For example, in Singapore 41 per cent of people prefer their smartphone to access the Internet, while in the Philippines it is 52 per cent, and in Malaysia it is 60 per cent. In Indonesia and Thailand, the number of users preferring to access the Internet via smartphones is similar to the ones seen in emerging markets.

Overall, data from e-Marketer shows that by 2021, technological improvements and device affordability will lead to 62.4 per cent of the region’s population owning an Internet-enabled device

That’s 1.81 billion people — or 23 per cent of the total global population.

As access to devices and connectivity improvements increase, so will the opportunities for marketers. One of these will be the growth of virtual and augmented reality — arguably among the most immersive and engaging formats ever created to empower brand storytelling.

With the eventual advent of faster data transfer speeds that 5G networks will unlock, the next generation of devices will be faster and more capable of creating exciting new ways to engage with consumers. It is therefore vital that brands find the right partners to utilise these advancements and meet new and long-time mobile users’ demands for new experiences.

E- and m-commerce growth: Maximising digital marketing on the path to purchase
APAC’s e-commerce growth will hit 14.2 per cent in 2019, according to Fitch Solutions, meaning it is crucial for brands to harness the latest digital marketing trends to create a credible, trustworthy and effective path to purchase.

And these opportunities are being further reinforced by the proliferation of smartphone use, referenced above.

Research from Flurry, Verizon Media’s mobile developer analytics platform, assessed 14,500 apps and 217 million devices across the region in 2018, and found that m-commerce sites saw the biggest spike (240 per cent) as consumers increasingly splashed their cash via their smartphones.

But an m-commerce site alone will not guarantee success. Instead, brands have to deploy the latest creative solutions to win the battle for consumers’ attention, hearts and minds.

One way to achieve success is by maximising the wow factor and utility of augmented reality (AR).
Last year, for example, we developed an AR mobile ad unit available through our native marketplace to tap into these very trends.

This was used by Pottery Barn to help create a seamless path from inspiration to purchase, allowing users to view a variety of home furnishings within their actual home environment. The experience resulted in an average time spent of 2.4 minutes within the ad, as well as an 8.9 per cent click through rate.

The campaign also created a seamless path to purchase, recording an impressive 8.9% CTR from the AR experience to the products on the brand’s mobile shopping site.

Asia’s impressive e-commerce growth will continue to be driven by rising internet penetration, widespread smartphone adoption, a fast-growing middle-class, and the increased availability of convenient payment solutions.
But don’t fall into the trap of believing that increasing purchases is the only benefit of using new digital marketing strategies.

By incorporating the latest AR and VR technologies, brands can also benefit from a wealth of consumer insights and metrics based on user responses and reactions within the campaign.

While some of these are still being fine-tuned, there is no doubt that these Extended Reality (XR) formats - the likes of AR, VR and MR (Mixed Reality) - will bring a new set of engagement metrics to enhance our understanding of the user’s experience.

So, whether is the pace of change in programmatic, the sweeping creative possibilities across mobile, or the ever-expanding opportunities via e- and m-commerce, there is no doubt that 2019 is going to be another action-packed year for APAC’s smartest brand marketers.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Rico Chan

Chan is MD, Verizon Media Hong Kong, Japan and INSEA

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