Emerging markets in Asia Pacific: what marketers should remember when planning campaigns

A cursory glance at any forecast released by agencies and market research companies on mobile usage, advertising spend, ecommerce and digital economies usually throws up fast growth rates for the Asia Pacific region.

For example, a 2018 spring report by Magna Global predicts the APAC advertising market will grow by almost 7% in 2018, ahead of previous expectations of 5.9% growth, to reach $165bn, which means it remains the second largest region for advertising spend, behind North America’s $218bn.

A joint-report by Google and Temasek Holdings in 2017 showed that Southeast Asia’s Internet economy reached $50bn in 2017 and is set to reach $200bn by 2025, while a Kantar TNS study showed that over three quarters (77%) of people in APAC with access to the Internet made their most recent online purchase on mobile, in comparison to 61% globally in 2017.

So how should marketers use these statistics to their advantage in APAC and what kind of opportunities lie in wait for them, especially in emerging markets like India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Vietnam? After all, as Kaye Quema, head of sales for Asia at Blis points out to The Drum, 2018 is a big year for advertising, given that there are so many big regional events that marketers can capitalise on, such as the Asian Games, on top of local events happening in each market.

Getting around limited digital infrastructure

While countries like China, Japan and South Korea report figures of 53%, 91% and 86% Internet penetration respectively, emerging markets in APAC still face limited Internet access, even though mobile adoption is high, which means marketers must work extra hard to ensure that information is easy to find, digest, and is shared via word of mouth to spread brand messages and increase conversions.

To market in countries with the limited digital infrastructure, Quema of Blis highlights that both technology and creativity play an important part for marketers in the adtech space. She says this is because when a brand has great messaging that is supported by accurate data and executed via a well-integrated platform and implemented with a creative execution and message that hits to the emotions of target users, then it can have a ripple effect in terms of results.

“At Blis, we help emerging markets amplify their digital strategy by using our movement data capabilities to complement traditional media (such as TV and OOH) and determine ROI in terms of footfall by tracking accurate proximity,” she explains.

“In some cases, emerging markets also go through technology leapfrogging to a point where mobile has become an integral part of their lives. Our forte and USP is that whilst we are not only mobile-first, we are able to harness a mobile unique data signal (i.e. location) to build out highly accurate audiences and identify the best real-world scenarios to reach these users.”

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