SINGAPORE - A lack of understanding of the programmatic function in certain local markets has prompted Mindshare to centralise its Southeast Asia planning operations in Singapore.
“Our planners weren’t ready,” said Sanchit Sanga, chief digital officer, Asia Pacific, speaking at an event organised by the Mobile Marketing Association and InMobi. “We had to break that thinking at the core and take some hard decisions. So we’ve taken away planning from markets, and everything is now run from Singapore.”
These markets include Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia. “The planners were doing lazy planning, so we decided to build it out first, after which we will eventually send it back,” he said. According to him, the markets were overly reliant on Google and Facebook and were not using the entire ecosystem.
Sanga puts it down to a talent challenge in the local markets. “There’s generally a shortage of programmatic skill sets in local markets," he told Campaign Asia-Pacific on the sidelines of the event. "Also most of the technology partners are based in Singapore, creating an easier and smoother workflow.”
In August 2015, Mindshare launched a new regional data hub called FAST, short for Future Adaptive Specialist Team. Located in Singapore, London, New York, Shanghai and Mexico, the team is designed for clients with centralised needs. Mindshare is also currently building a centre of excellence for programmatic in Singapore. The agency's goal is to manage $100 million out of the FAST hub by the end of this year.
Mindshare’s chief digital officer claims that programmatic now accounts for 25 percent of client's digital media budgets. According to him, clients like Unilever, Kimberly Clark and GSK are driving the change as they have global directives to move money toward programmatic.
“Two years ago we weren’t ready," Sanga said. "Xaxis was managing all our programmatic needs. But as clients demanded independent hiring desks, we had to start from scratch."
After initial publication of this article, Mindshare reached out to Campaign Asia-Pacific to state that "a lack of consistency in programmatic delivery in certain local markets" prompted Mindshare to centralise its Southeast Asia planning operations in Singapore. A statement provided by the company added:
We kept the consultative layer in our Singapore hub, while campaign planning and management are done from the markets. The planners will focus on managing campaigns, while the hub provides technology advice and data partnerships. The markets can further optimize their digital investments beyond the traditional walled garden platforms.