IMMAP: Philippine online ad spend hits P2.2 billion in 2013

Online ad spending in the Philippines has reached 2.2 billion in 2013, a fantastic year for the industry but it shouldn’t rest on its laurels anytime soon.

“We are closer to the beginning than the end. Yes, we have earned our legitimacy, now what?” asked Mike Palacios, Internet and Mobile Marketing Association (IMMAP) president, in his opening speech at the 8th IMMAP Summit.

Palacios (pictured) talked about digital transformation, which is this year’s theme, and how it benefited business and connected 38 million out of the 100 million people that live in the island nation to date.

He was “shocked” at the pace of innovation coming to the Philippines but noted that content, product and service gaps remain.

Technology has made discovery almost instantaneous and granted brands and agencies unprecedented agility to reach and engage people but, as a drawback, made digital advertising “a fragmented scope of work.”

Lines are blurring between product, agency and supplier in a “crazy world” with agencies that have diverse capabilities – and it shouldn’t make any difference, argues Palacios.

“Truth is, we are all in this ecosystem. The digital consumer train has left the station and businesses now have to play catch-up.”

Paul Srivorakul, group CEO of ACommerce, agrees, saying that while “demand and funding is good, we don’t have enough builders” in Southeast Asia.

“If you want to solve the online advertising problem, we need to solve the e-commerce problem," Srivorakul said in his keynote on how e-commerce is affecting digital marketing in the region.

He shared his experience as co-founder of Ensogo, and how it gave him a chance to see how banners, websites and campaigns perform from a sales perspective.

Srivorakul observed that businesses are willing to cash in on online advertising only if e-commerce can grow faster, which is unfortunately stunted by poor logistics that can delay product deliveries for up to 10 days.

“If we fix the logistics problem, you will see e-commerce start to pick up from 1% to double digit. And when companies start to make money from e-commerce, they will start spending money. 40% of online ad spending in China comes from e-commerce.”

He concludes that “e-commerce makes smarter marketing,” not just because it doubles as a direct sales platform but on its ability to collectdata from customers. "And it's not just about big data, it's not just about smart data. it's actionable data,"Srivorakul adds.