Why APAC's tech-platform supremacy will drive regional digital investment

CIO Review Europe | Monday, December 07, 2020

APAC has become the world's second-largest programmatic area in terms of digital expenditure. Brands should treat Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, China, and Australia/New Zealand as distinct regions since cultural and technological variations influence both brand strategy and campaigns.

FREMONT, CA: In 2020, almost 40 million individuals in six APAC nations went online for the first time, bringing the total population of Southeast Asian countries to roughly 70%. APAC has swiftly become the world's second-largest programmatic area in terms of digital expenditure. Real GDP growth is also expected to be the world's fastest-rising area. While these statistics depict an attractive macro picture and provide great potential for brand marketers, they obscure the significance of tailoring creative advertising to local markets throughout the region. National identities and local cultures have never been more vital, particularly in an area like APAC. Brands should treat Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, China, and Australia/New Zealand as distinct regions since cultural and technological variations influence both brand strategy and campaigns. Brands confront a media contradiction as digital media dominates brand-marketing spending and the digital channel ecosystem is dominated by tech giants. While local programmatic investment optimization is critical, technology investment decisions are increasingly being made at a pan-national, regional, or global level. As a consequence, there is increasing pressure to regionalise digital investment management, affecting APAC companies.

Using local knowledge to centralise programming

A new digital service was used for the first time by one in three customers during the pandemic, according to Google's 2020 e-Conomy SEA study. As adoption skyrockets, we will see partnerships with big giants—Google, Amazon, and Facebook—dominate investment strategy, as they do in the US and EMEA. One of the largest transformations in digital habits we're witnessing is the dependence on single apps for numerous activities. These ‘super applications' connect people to services like digital banking, e-commerce, ridesharing, and food delivery. For example, Grab, a widely used transport app in Southeast Asia, has expanded into food, fintech payments, shopping, and more. As these platforms acquire prominence and develop their capabilities, they will certainly attract more global companies and foster more investor connections. This is critical as both global and regional businesses migrate to regional investment strategies. Local data will be sucked into regional technology, which will develop regional insights and customise regional advertising to markets throughout APAC more efficiently. A localised technique doesn't work with more centralised data processing. Allowing in-market teams to be directed by local insights and nuances may improve customer understanding, but not necessarily investment efficiency. A well-thought-out worldwide strategy may be gravely compromised by too much decision-making flexibility, thereby harming a brand. Smaller markets, particularly in APAC, may be challenging to locate talent with strategic and technical knowledge. Individual markets may so fall behind while bigger markets develop. While programming planning should nearly always be centralised, the mix of regional and local control varies by market. For example, in highly controlled markets like China, you must allow for greater local knowledge than in more open markets. Overall, the digital media trend raises concerns regarding the future sustainability of local network agencies.

Brands regain control

Other factors are at work. Agencies in APAC will be rated more on their ability to work with internal teams. Although distinct ideas, centralisation, and in-housing are frequently intertwined in the drive for control, with a central team standardising plan for local teams to implement. As the US and EMEA move toward a hybrid strategy, with certain programmatic aspects in-house and some outsourced, there are indicators that APAC may follow. Other socioeconomic variables, such as the pandemic, imply audience requirements are evolving like never before. The way regional and global businesses spend in digital will continue to shift, creating an exciting opportunity for those that move away from a local to a centralised strategy.

See Also: Top Ad Management Solutions Providers in APAC ( Hybrid Theory, Nasmedia, Revelation Digital )

 

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