Faaez Samadi
Feb 21, 2018

Connection the key to unlocking APAC commerce

Understanding the complete O2O consumer journey is hugely important as consumers see only one brand wherever they look, say senior DigitasLBi leaders.

(L-R): Michael Kahn, Annette Male, Laurent Ezekiel
(L-R): Michael Kahn, Annette Male, Laurent Ezekiel

With consumers increasingly demanding about both their online and offline experiences, agencies and brands must focus their efforts on connectedness, according to Michael Kahn, global brand president of DigitasLBi.

There are simply too many channels, both online and offline, for brands not to pay close attention to how a consumer begins and ends their purchasing journey, Kahn told Campaign, which has informed DigitasLBi’s proposition of being a “fully enabled connected marketing agency”.

“You have to start with the consumer,” he said. “Their expectations of seamlessness have gone through the roof, so delivering connected journeys has gone way up in importance.

“Amazon, Alibaba, and Apple are teaching us this, which is one part of it. I expect with all the data I’ve given up, and some of my privacy, in exchange you’re taking care of my experience the right way. There’s a whole coordination of connection now that the consumer is driving.”

The complexity of Asia-Pacific’s commerce markets means agencies must help brands meet consumer expectations in all areas because they only see one brand, regardless of whether it’s online or offline, said Laurent Ezekiel, DigitasLBi president of North America and International. Getting that right requires a strong grounding in data.

“More than ever, if you’re going to deliver on that connected journey, our clients want us to be able to consult and then implement,” he said. “It all begins with data, which is the fastest growing part of us. APAC is a complex region, and that complexity forces you to innovate, which is exciting.”

Ezekiel said DigitasLBi has big growth ambitions in the region, and wants to double the business in APAC before the end of 2019.

Annette Male, DigitasLBi APAC CEO, said recent years have seen clients invest huge amounts in technology, and a large part of the agency’s consulting remit is helping brands get the best out of it.

“Clients are now coming to us to find out how to operationalise the IT and connect it to everything else,” she said. “It's all led by a data discussion, and they want to know how it manifests in user experience and a connected outcome.”

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