Iván Markman
May 6, 2022

Flourishing channels present new opportunities for advertisers

Recent advances in adtech have multiplied opportunities in this omnichannel landscape. Meanwhile, emerging channels can now be combined symbiotically to deliver integrated results, says Yahoo's chief business officer.


Companies in Southeast Asia (SEA) are doubling down on future-proofing their businesses in an omnichannel world. A recent survey by business transformation consultancy TMX finds that 45.5% of enterprises in the region have identified 'adopting an omnichannel approach' as a key priority for the next three to five years—a requisite for winning after the pandemic.

For marketers, recent advances in adtech have multiplied opportunities in this omnichannel landscape to drive real business impact. Emerging channels can now be combined symbiotically to deliver integrated results. Of course, for consumers, it is not about the channel or screen. It is about a 360-degree experience that is relevant and useful. Take for instance, a consumer who sees an ad for pizza while streaming their favourite show. That same consumer then gets a discount code for the product in an ad on their phone. They are tempted and order a pizza with the code. A couple of hours later, they sign up for the brand’s loyalty programme, while checking email on their laptop—a connected consumer experience sewn into the way they live their lives.

While there is a huge opportunity from this interconnectedness, McKinsey research finds that capturing the full potential of omnichannel will require “a cross-channel perspective and transparency to measure and manage channel interplay”. The good news is, the power of programmatic is turbocharging omnichannel solutions, helping advertisers drive performance and branding across a diverse set of channels and formats transparently, flexibly and efficiently. As importantly, brands have the capabilities to do this at the scale they need. Here is a look at the expanding possibilities for marketers in the new normal.

Emerging channels that work harder together

Digital-out-of-home (DOOH) has taken a leap over the last two years, with advances in programmatic DOOH. Marketers now have the precision targeting and ease of programmatic ad-buying with the effectiveness of high-impact DOOH. For starters, there are versatile targeting options to consider. Marketers can leverage real-time signals to determine targeting tactics, which could be based on demographics like age, gender or household income. Or the weather, with parameters like ‘air quality’—potentially useful across SEA cities where ambient air pollution is frequently a concern. With warm days ahead, advertisers can tailor messages and offers based on the weather in real-time, factoring in the venue and screen. For instance, discounts that vary with the rise in temperature (ice cream anyone?). What’s more, with trusted identity solutions, advertisers can even target based on interests like sports and finance. According to Mordor Intelligence, the APAC DOOH Market is expected to register a CAGR of 18.14% between 2021 and 2026, with new use cases for ‘smart’ utility-digital displays since the pandemic.

As automated transactions in DOOH become more common, it will be more viable to integrate them within the broader media mix. Choosing the DSP with the right capabilities will be crucial to managing omnichannel campaigns within a single platform and building holistic cross-device brand experiences. In mobile-first SEA, DOOH and mobile can combine for a strong impact. And when you widen the ambit, emerging channels like CTV can also complement other ad formats to drive consideration, intention, purchase, and loyalty.

New approaches for an identity-constrained future

The new cookieless future of identity has a two-sided challenge—when identifiers are present and when they can’t be used. Non-addressable inventory, like the iOS 14 in-app inventory where users haven’t given consent for tracking, or cookieless traffic on web inventory when the user is unknown, is only going to increase.

Our research shows that today, while 30% of inventory is without IDs, by 2024, that number is set to drastically increase to 75%. However new solutions that allow the targeting, buying and measurement of products beyond cookies, content and app advertising IDs are fast emerging. These go well beyond advanced contextual targeting.

Cookie-cutter solutions are a thing of the past. With innovative tools emerging, advertisers and publishers have new pathways to continue creating unique, lasting consumer connections that drive growth and deliver relevant experiences across the omnichannel landscape.

Elevating digital experiences

The next wave of ‘digital shoppability’ is here, and the metaverse will be the playground for it. Yahoo research indicates that 86% of Gen Z expect their digital experiences and interactions with brands online to be seamless, innovative and to ‘enhance their real world’. Augmented reality (AR) try-ons and 3D catalogues are already driving applications that allow consumers to try before buying while creating the immersive, interactive experiences shoppers seek. Now, the intersection of technology with the consumer demand for experiences that are digitally forward is taking immersive experiences to the next level.

As new stores open in SEA, marketers will need to not just recreate the best of brick-and-mortar in the digital space, but also rethink hybrid shopping experiences. The impact will come when marketers can tailor experiences across the physical and virtual worlds. Technology will be an underlying enabler to craft relevant, unique and useful experiences that resonate with consumers who want the best of both worlds.

Advertisers today need new ways to understand and connect meaningfully with their audiences across multiple dimensions, channels and devices. By leveraging innovative ad tech tools and technologies, brands can unlock new pathways to take their omnichannel strategy to the next level. It’s game on.

Iván Markman is chief business officer at Yahoo

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