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Adland leaders share their hopes for 2023

Adland leaders share their hopes for 2023

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The year 2022 presented its own set of challenges as the world opened up and learnt to live with COVID-19. Inflation, job cuts and the impending recession have been widely talked about in the news. Meanwhile, the adland was also not spared from the deteriorating macroeconomic outlook.

Magna's latest global ad forecast predicted that the industry will see 5% growth in ad revenues next year to US$833 billion. This new 2023 growth forecast, however, is 1.5 percentage points below Magna’s June 2022 forecast. 

Despite the volatile economic outlook, one thing's for sure is that digital transformation will remain at the heart of ASEAN’s growth. Sujith Abraham, SVP and GM, ASEAN, Salesforce said in a separate commentary that maintaining a durable, resilient business that can drive success now amidst a challenging economic outlook is increasingly challenging.

Citing IDC, Abraham said one in three companies in Southeast Asia will generate more than 15% of their revenue from digital products and services, compared to one in six in 2020. He also expects more businesses in the region to aspire towards becoming data-driven organisations, deploying more digital services to drive efficiency, profitability and a competitive advantage.

With the year drawing to a close, MARKETING-INTERACTIVE reached out to several leaders in the adland to find out what their hopes and wishes are for the new year and what do they aim to change in the industry.

Pankaj Nayak, managing director, Media Group, dentsu Singaporepankaj nayak md media group dentsu sg

When the world had just about recovered from the jolts of the COVID-19 pandemic and had seen a couple of good years of economic recovery, we’re now bracing for a recessionary marketplace in 2023. As the market softens, there will be increasing focus and pressure on costs and we are seeing a number of organisations already in damage control mode.

As clients adopt a wait-and-watch stance on how the year kicks off, my hope is to see all of us in the industry moving to a value-based proposition rather than a pure cost-based transaction.

Clients, agencies and media partners all need to come stronger together and focus on value creation rather than merely driving down costs. 

At dentsu Singapore, we have been focusing on building a sustainable business with a bunch of happy people and I sincerely hope we can maintain that in 2023 by continuing to grow and nurture our talent.

Nick Handel, president, McCann Worldgroup Southeast Asia

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We're hoping to make a meaningful contribution to 3Cs that make our industry so exciting: commerce, culture and creativity. We're looking to drive a more integrated approach to commerce to help brands harness a more coherent presence across what is an increasingly fragmented retail media landscape. We'll be establishing some really interesting new service offerings, in areas such as marketplace management, to complement recent investments in direct-to-consumer."

Culturally, the pandemic arguably left a mark on the desirability and availability of entry-level roles within the industry. We will be looking to renew our commitment to student programmes, such as the Crowbars, as well as our own graduate entry program, Accelerate, to ensure the industry has a healthy pipeline of future leadership talent.

And finally, which is most important, we'll continue to recognise that creativity thrives best in a workplace that is both inclusive and diverse. In 2023, we’ll be doubling down on a number of initiatives to help us continue to unleash the creative power of our people and our work.

Kunal Jeswani, CEO, Ogilvy Singapore and Malaysia

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I look to the year that was with gratitude, and the year to come with hunger. Hunger to make our culture better. Hunger to make our client relationships stronger. Hunger to inspire and retain our best people. And, most importantly, hunger to make our work better. 

If there is one specific thing I want to change is this: I want to do everything I possibly can to make people really have fun, while doing the best work of their lives at Ogilvy. We’ve become too serious and weighed down as an industry. We’ve forgotten how much fun this business can be if we approach every day without fear. We’ve forgotten what a joy it can be to walk into every meeting with the courage to speak our minds and with a genuine sense of kindness towards each other. I’d love to bring some of that back. 

Chloe Neo, CEO, Omnicom Media Group Singapore

chloe neo ceo omnicom media group singapore

As a collective team, Omnicom Media Group has certainly emerged stronger and more resilient after the last two years. Our 2023 ambition is to be continuously fit for growth, unlocking new opportunities and building future-proof capabilities to help our clients anticipate and navigate future shifts."

At the same time, our people continue to be the foundational success of our organisation and we will endeavour to help them thrive professionally and personally. When we do well as a business and support our talent, I believe we can contribute to a greater good for our industry. Let’s dream bolder and play harder.

(Read also: B2B marketing expertise will shift to agencies in 2023: What are the adland predictions?)

Amrita Randhawa, CEO, Singapore and Southeast Asia, Publicis Groupe

amrita randhawa 1

Changing the industry…not sure anyone who actually changes the industry says they are about to do it. But I do have two hopes. We have had a few heavy years as an industry and, more so, as humanity. I would love to see more senior leaders and clients come together to inject joy back into the work.

It’s there to be found in creativity, ideas, shared partnerships, informal connections, and pushing the envelope together. But we must create more opportunities for joy to surface in everyday interactions.

A better intersection between good for business and good for the community. From the composition of the industry to better represent the world we live in and the creation of ideas that not only produce epic business results but also transform the world around them. We need meaningful and long-term ideas – not just stunts or tokenism.

Mandy Wong, president, TBWA\Group Singapore

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The year 2022 has been a challenge for the industry and the world at large, so my hope is for volatility to settle soon, and the momentum of our economy’s recovery to get back on track. In the coming year, I look forward to forging new long-term client relationships; and I believe it would be a great year for us as we are already gearing towards putting out new disruptive, and transformational creativity for our existing partnerships.

For the industry, I hope we can reinstate the consumer confidence that was distressed from these past challenging years, and for all companies big or small to put mental well-being and health on top of their agendas – by collaborating closely with clients, I believe we can form new ways of working that puts the welfare of people first. It is about time to change the conversation on burnout of our talents from being the norm to a thing of the past."

Kasper Aakerlund, president, UM APAC

kasper aakerlund 1

This year has been unlike any other. Many marketers are still trying to navigate the post-pandemic media landscape as consumer behaviours, needs, and expectations have transformed at great speed. Perhaps the most dramatic change has been the complex fragmentation resulting from the adoption of eCommerce platforms and the boom of super apps.

Its impact on culture, consumption, mindset, and well-being, has led to more new challenges and opportunities than anyone could have predicted. It is my hope for the new year that marketers seize the day. Grab a hold of the technological advancements that have opened up new opportunities to connect better with our consumers.

The Asia Pacific region is sitting at the very epicentre of transformation, and we need to remain at the forefront of innovation to succeed. I would love to be able to lead that adoption in partnership with brand marketers, as we work together to forge a new era for the Asia Pacific region.

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