With online penetration reaching 52% across APAC, it’s no surprise that brands are increasingly prioritizing advertising spending in digital. Some marketers may fail to realize that the modern global digital advertising ecosystem constitutes multiple layers that can deliver incremental value to enable them to optimize their campaigns to target their intended audience.
With the advancement of emerging tech such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and other experimental streams like Natural Language Processing (NLP), experiential marketing initiatives are rapidly emerging as parts of mainstream ad mixes across APAC. The increasing penetration of smartphones has further facilitated the growth in the potential of digital marketing initiatives, with Hootsuite’s Digital Report 2019 stating that Asia reported a 50% annual growth in the number of mobile users, with China adding another 50 million new online consumers in 2018 - opening up a new customer base for advertisers.
Everything right from how brands communicate their information, catalog and test target viewers, tailor and measure digital operations, maintain campaign data, and analyze results – various tech platforms drive incremental value that adds up to tangible outcomes for modern advertisers. As a growing number of ad tech solutions are helping brands cut through the clutter and facilitate more efficient delivery, they are also helping digital publishers and apps monetize their audience better.
Evading the Duopoly
The most trustworthy way for ad tech administrators to acquire a share of the growing publicity market is by exploring new possibilities instead and avoiding head-to-head competition with the tech giants - Facebook and Google.
While there’s no guaranteed method to acquire the advertiser and investor's confidence, most ad-tech firms should remember that 'dominance' doesn't necessarily mean quality or preference. A slew of scandals have rocked Facebook's popularity across the world, and a strong focus on transparency alone would enable many ad-tech firms to acquire new consumers.
Add to that the fact that new content consumption trends are appearing across APAC, i.e. Video Streaming is rapidly emerging as a space where startups can find new revenue channels. Connected smart devices offer startups the opportunity to deliver ads right into customers' homes.
Emergence Of Programmatic:
Programmatic Advertising has contributed a new revenue stream to multiple publishers who are scouting for the perfect business model amongst print, TV, radio, and digital. According to the Boston Consulting Group’s study on advertising tech, the total digital display and video ad market across APAC is set to increase from $14.5 Billion in 2017 to $19 Billion by 2020 end. Programmatic advertising’s share in this mix will grow from 19% to 36% over this period. However, emerging markets like Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia will require some time to reach maturity as programmatic markets, which means other brands have ample opportunities.
The efficiency & convenience of delivering programmatic advertising has offered small advertisers & media owners across APAC the chance to showcase their inventory. However, as ad networks grow unregulated and unconstrained, there have been rising concerns of digital privacy, brand safety and ad fraud along with a low focus on the general user experience on the web. Right now, most regulators and industry bodies are trying to implement digital privacy guidelines to curb the beast, as the market adjusts to the new balance in powers.
India: Untapped Potential
India is a case of diversity, i.e. while programmatic reports a 41% share in the overall advertising market, adoption of ad serving and third-party trackers are still rare. On one hand, some players are pushing ad tech advancements, others are leapfrogging to advanced tech such as programmatic. Although the obstacles are high, publishers are driving uptake in adoption.
While high-quality user data seems scarce, both advertisers & publishers will invest in augmented data capacities to thoroughly benefit from the data-driven targeting that is made more accessible with programmatic.
As brands and their ad agencies develop better data and targeting capabilities, the appetite for programmatic will grow significantly across APAC. However, as spending keeps shifting away from direct, many associates are likely to move to programmatic because of concerns about ad fraud and their lack of experience with other programmatic types.
However, expertise in Programmatic varies widely across India, and lack of experienced talent means most media buyers have to demonstrate to media owners how programmatic works for it to become a phenomenon.