Embracing new tech—that’s the task at hand for advertising hopefuls in China looking to make a mark on what’s the largest and one of the most prominent markets across the globe. This opportunity has spurred a swell of new agencies and creatives that mesh new, dynamic technology with their work, and has subsequently created an unprecedented competitive atmosphere across the country’s growing advertising industry.
While time on your soapbox is getting slimmer, Focus Media has managed to keep their head above the crowd. Established in 2003, the company has fashioned a vast network of interconnected video screens and posters in public spaces across China. Located in elevators, shopping malls and cinemas, their ownership of invaluable ad space has allowed the advertising giant to keep themselves and their clients consistently in the limelight.
Onward and upward
The scene media niche in China has for some time been firmly within Focus Media’s grasp, and their scope of work has already entered the global market. More recently, big data—for one—has taken a front seat in the company’s expanding operations. Their well-publicised collaboration with Alibaba is a match made in heaven for this distinct purpose, as the business also ramps up investment in AI, mobile Internet, human-computer interaction, and advanced face, image and voice recognition.
The latter development cannot be understated. This tech, combined with big data and the sheer reach of Focus Media’s ad platforms will undoubtedly bring about a massive integration of identification technology in the daily lives of consumers in China. For brands, this spells change as well. Connecting with consumers out of their homes will no longer be a static, one-size-fits-all affair. Consider how personalisation has become the norm for mobile advertising. That experience is destined to take shape in elevators and movie theatres.
Focus Media has also set down roots through its geographic targeting network that links relevant data to individuals, and in turn, has poured resources into enhancing data security. These components all form the path forward for the company, which holds a unique position in the market—filling a particular gap that still lacks new technology, but has seemingly unlimited room for growth.
To head up these initiatives, Cindy Yan Chan, previously chief strategy officer at Focus Media, has now taken up the position of chief information officer in the business. She seeks to integrate the company’s strategy department, tech department, research department and big data department, and with so many developments in tow, Chan has her work cut out for her.