Evan Teng
Aug 8, 2016

Lightning pace of change in Taiwan

Traction for digital marketing demands that marketers and agencies optimise their response times.

Lightning pace of change in Taiwan

Traction for digital marketing demands that marketers and agencies optimise their response times.

In Taiwan, digital media spending has been growing 20 per cent each year, but the power of digital marketing has been relatively slow to gain traction.

The game-changer in perception came from independent candidate Ko Wen-je’s successful campaign for the Taipei mayorship in 2014.

The biggest contributor to his win, as many critics observed, was his legendary digital campaign. Ko’s team strategically and smartly facilitated and deployed both tangible and virtual resources via the internet.

“In this digital era," said Ko, "things happen at lightning speed. Having a substantial amount of resources doesn't mean you will win. How fast you respond is what makes you a winner."

This is an excellent statement that reflects what we’re facing in today’s advertising business. Today, consumers are getting more and more impatient. They expect service providers to make products and services available instantly.


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Not too long ago as I recall, to realise a creative idea from scratch, the pre-work phase could take weeks, sometimes even months. The more time we were given to perfect our work, the better, we thought.

If we keep holding on to this mindset as the only way to do business, however, it will not do us much good in today’s fast-moving market in which time matters.

I should clarify that this is not an attempt to say that we should reinvent the wheels of doing things. There is essential groundwork to be done, which will always require time, before we proceed any further. No matter how fast we want to move, good brand content and will never be an instant creation.

What we can do differently from now on is to optimise our response times. Speed is possible only if we proactively reach out to and work with our peers, such as media agencies. Good management of social listening and media tracking would help us tremendously in identifying the right issues, formulating the right strategy, making the right judgement and delivering the right response quickly and effectively to our audiences.

In my opinion, there are five fundamentals crucial for success:

  • A dynamic data pool is essential. Excellent sources can come from social listening, media tracking, real-time sales data and CRM report.
  • Secondly, we need fast-response teams: This team should be self-efficient, fully-functional and be able to respond to clients’ inquiries and needs speedily and effectively.
  • Thirdly, content marketing remains important. We must be ready at all times to provide a diverse range of content to satisfy the demand for information.
  • Fourthly, retargeting needs to be strengthened. With the power of such technology, everything can be traced, tracked and analysed. Media agencies can be extremely helpful in this aspect.
  • Finally, optimization is critical: Digital campaigns will never be one-time shots anymore. We no longer have to passively wait for post-campaign reports. Rather, real-time data can now help us make optimisation judgements instantly, effectively and constantly.

The pace of change in Taiwan is rapid but if we manage technology and data well, I trust that we will elevate the level of our work to that of Ko Wen-je’s political success.

Evan Teng is managing director of JWT Taipei

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