Adele Wieser, regional managing director at Index Exchange, looks at what today’s publishers and buyers need to know when crafting a global strategy.
The world of digital advertising is largely siloed. Though brands, publishers, agencies, and tech providers are all connected symbiotically, they also operate independently. The same is true of various regions – players in APAC (Asia-Pacific) operate separately and behave differently than those in the UK, and vice-versa. In order to build a truly global strategy, however, all parties, from buyers and sellers to tech partners, must tailor their approach to work across regions. When considering mobile marketing specifically, APAC is one region that cannot, and should not, be ignored.
To start, APAC is the world’s fastest-growing mobile-first market. Though mobile is growing everywhere, according to Comscore, consumers in countries like Indonesia spent nearly 91 per cent of their time online browsing from mobile devices (compared to approximately 77 per cent in the UK).
In Singapore and Hong Kong, smartphones are mainly used to check email (a result of the on-the-go, highly competitive workforce in these countries), and many APAC consumers also use their mobiles to watch TV. Further, 90 per cent of users in Thailand and Vietnam use their smartphones while watching TV, which is significantly more than in the US or Western Europe.
Why is this significant? Because APAC remains the second-largest advertising market in the world, second only to North America and exceeding EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa). In Southeast Asia alone, the digital advertising economy has more than doubled over the last five years. Young, digitally-savvy consumers in this region are playing an ever-greater role in the marketplace, and the fact that such consumers are tethered to their smartphones equates to a great deal of opportunity for today’s mobile marketers.
According to eMarketer, over the next four years, mobile ad spend in the Asia Pacific is expected to grow by 88.6 per cent, a significantly higher rate than Europe, at 60.9 per cent. The three countries in the region with the highest potential of growth rates by 2022 are China, India, and Indonesia, which collectively account for around 40 per cent of the global population.
Put differently, APAC is a powerful market, and that power is only expected to increase.
How is APAC impacting European marketers and publishers?
The remaining question, of course, is how the behaviours of consumers in APAC are impacting your bottom line as a marketer or publisher on the other side of the world.
Digging into our own exchange’s insights, it’s clear that publishers in APAC are bringing in spend from marketers across the globe, and across our platform. More specifically, more than 60 per cent of ad spend in APAC is generated outside of that region. Similarly, APAC consumers are reading global publications.
Another element to consider is buyer behaviour, and the ways in which this differs from region to region. In APAC, research suggests that brand loyalty plays a much less crucial role in purchase decisions than it does for European consumers – as demonstrated by Nielsen’s Global Consumer Loyalty study – suggesting that new marketers may see greater engagement and efficacy from users in this region. The fact that many users are on-the-go while browsing online may also boost opportunities for marketers (as consumers may be walking down the high street while viewing adverts, as an example).
In sum, marketers would be prudent to consider every possible consumer, in every corner of the globe, while constructing programmatic strategies. And APAC consumers are no exception.
How should marketers and publishers react?
Given the popularity of mobile in APAC in particular (and the rapid decline of the third-party cookie everywhere), it’s important that both marketers and publishers construct programmatic strategies that can work in cookie-less environments. Beyond utilising identity-based solutions and people-based marketing – something Index has written about at length in the past – it’s imperative that all parties educate themselves, and their peers, on the benefits of implementing such solutions. While players in Australia fully comprehend the advantages (and ways of using) first-party data, their counterparts across Southeast Asia may be slower in adoption – patience and education are key here.
That said, if we invest the time and energy to share news of such solutions (in APAC and beyond), we trust that the global programmatic ecosystem will soon embrace identity-based, rather than cookie-based, solutions and marketing techniques, allowing brands and buyers to better reach consumers – including those in Asia-Pacific.
Ultimately, we feel taking an omnichannel, international approach is the only way to thrive as a marketer, publisher, or tech provider in today’s digital advertising industry – and considering consumer behaviour in APAC should play a key role in the development of that strategy.