Kosuke Sogo
Aug 5, 2016

Making sense of this complicated marketing space

Until a truly all-knowing marketing dashboard becomes a reality, marketers need to use existing tools in a comprehensive and scalable way. AdAsia's Kosuke Sogo shares some advice for doing so.

Kosuke Sogo
Kosuke Sogo

We have a wide range of owned and paid channels alongside marketing and advertising technologies and methods available to us today, from social media, influencer and traditional marketing, to data-driven media buys.

Oftentimes, we find ourselves adopting these in silos, with the execution, management, and reporting of each marketing method performed by multiple vendors. We eventually piece them together to tell our brand’s story.

A simple example is that of a marketing stack—using a host of seldom complementary but often powerful marketing and advertising vendors. Some marketing stacks can even consist of 30 to 40 vendors.

However, these silos can also lead to high costs when testing and learning which vendor suits your needs best. Another issue marketers will face is in reporting, or consolidating generated reports into a single and informative sheet.

Interestingly, there has yet to be a consolidated platform that allows marketers to perform every function. Imagine a dashboard that places social media ad buying alongside metric monitoring of influencer marketing and video advertising efforts. Adding on to that, marketers still have to deal with video production, influencer management and creative development.

For now, we have to make use of the tools we have in a comprehensive and scalable way.

The often quoted Benjamin Parker once said: “With great power comes great responsibility.” The technology is available to us, but we have to use it the right way.

As usual, data and more data

The most obvious first step is to understand your audience. As marketing departments and media agencies adopt the use of data management platforms, user segmentation becomes a lot simpler for marketers. This forms a solid base from which a brand story should be built on.

Through collected data, marketers will also be able to plan how to target and retarget users with relevant advertisements, across geographical borders.

This brings us to the next step.

Creative production and reproduction

Often, marketers will look for their preferred creative agency or production house. It then becomes a chore of back-and-forth discussions and approvals on marketing collateral. However, the people with the greatest insight into the type of creatives that work best are not in the conversation—the ad optimisation specialists.

Marketers can still gain valuable insight into this though. Let’s take it up a notch.

Through online behavioural data, marketers can understand how their target audience interacts with ads. This allows marketers to take creative production a step further: including knowing which copy length and animations resound best with their audience.

Driving brand narratives

This is also where influencer marketing can come into play. Engaging the right influencers to tell your brand story provides greater authenticity to an organizations’ voice, and may reach a potentially greater audience than traditional channels.

Influencer-generated content can also be used, with relevant approvals, as creatives. Influencers understand their followers (and your target audience) best, and using their high-performing content will resound better with your audience.

In fact, well-performing influencers who have developed brand affinity can become regular brand ambassadors through relationship-building. These influencers can also be hired as actors in video advertisements, or used in future influencer-led branding and awareness campaigns.

In order to build a strong marketing approach and brand story, it is important that characters and narratives are developed to last more than just a single campaign.

Placement of ads

Marketers in Asia have to build an understanding of their market’s local landscape in order to build scalable narratives.

For example, a video ad would be more well-utilised in markets like Malaysia and Thailand, as the television is still a commonly used medium. Couple that with online pre-roll and the emerging advanced television market in Asia. The potential audience reach will be far greater than just one medium. But of course, each video ad would have to suit the platform it is placed on.  

Programmatic advertising is increasingly becoming the obvious solution to ad placement across channels. However, media buying is often outsourced to a media agency or vendor, with few running it in-house.

At the end of the week, the marketer will receive many reports from their various vendors (depending on the number of campaigns and channels), and then extract value from these reports. There is little insight into the day-to-day happenings, or whether the process can be improved to suit a particular brand’s needs.

Bringing it all together

We have more than 3,784 marketing and advertising vendors today, with many others emerging. it is important that marketers understand and use the right tools for each and every part of their marketing strategy. The above outlines a common modern marketing approach in Asia, from audience segmentation and creative production, to ad placement and reporting.

Kosuke Sogo is CEO and co-founder of AdAsia Holdings

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