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Why SEA as a region should move past traditional advertising

We know the potential the world of digital holds in the region. Just yesterday, we published an article where eMarketer said digital spend forecast which highlighted a double digit growth in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan in 2017.

While SEA represents a vast opportunity of growth for digital, it still has a large amount of traditional advertising taking place, said Haresh Khoobchandani, group CEO of iProperty Malaysia and Singapore.

In a conversation with A+M, he explained that despite the fundamental shift in the way people are searching, accessing or sharing information and making decisions, given the ageing demographics in several markets, there is still a role for offline media given the state of infrastructure. As such, he said:

Harmonising between old and new media in the execution mix is a must in our region.

“Marketers must learn to harmonise between the old and new media. Not commonly appreciated but something all marketers must embrace and develop the skill and mental model to do so,” he added.

But overall, there is still a lack of understanding the world of digital in the region.  To overcome this, more education is needed on how digital can be effectively utilised to serve consumers, deliver and measure the impact customers seek.

This hold true in the property segment of the region too, Khoobchandani said, despite the way in which property is now being sold changing.

Property is no longer about transactions – it’s about selling lifestyle.

“Be it buying, selling, property management, renovating, dreaming about your next home, managing utilities or knowing exactly who’s looking at your property, we want people from right across the world to do it with us,” he said. And a key for success in his industry is in finding solutions that are personalised and engages with both consumers and customers and provide the “property search” experience.

In an era of cornucopian change – the fabric of our challenges is what gives birth to the opportunities we are embracing as a group. This to help change the way the world experiences property!

Modern day marketing challenge

With the ambiguity surrounding digital, and the murkiness in measurement systems, it is no doubt that Khoobchandani, coming from a sales and marketing background, worries about measurement.

A main challenge for him, he said is in measuring the the impact of the marketing campaigns, and harmonising it with traditional and new media for optimal coverage and impact.

“How are we embracing omni channel to deliver more targeted and personalised experiences for our customers? How do we best react to constantly changing needs and wants of our customers and consumers in order to ensure we deliver the best experiences across various channels?” he says, citing these being some of the issues that keep him up at night.

Today’s marketers need to develop the ability to understand data to drive more targeted marketing, measure impact and not activity and analyse the data. This can only be done by getting “comfortable” with technology and understanding how a technology-enable experience can be seamlessly delivered.

He also pointed out that with constantly changing needs and wants of consumers, the task of delivering an optimal and personalised experience over omni channels is getting harder every day.

He added:

Due to the rise in technology there has been a clear shift in power from brands to consumers.

As such, it is really important for business leaders and owners to start understanding the role of marketing, and how central it is to the success of business and the relevance of an organisation. He added that as technology continues to get embedded in every fabric of life, organisations need to re-think about how they build capability versus buying capability.

Marketing is not part of the business. It is the business.

“Marketing has now become the business,” he said.

This is because consumers are now more than ever at the heart of any and all functions. Given how consumers behave, the democratisation of information and knowledge and the existence of omni channels, marketers are best suited to understand these audiences, and as such has become the business.

For a long time, marketing has been known to be more of an art. This however, is not applicable in the current marketing setting. In the current era, we need to put a science behind the art.

“Let’s face it. An individual today is completely empowered to influence millions across the world through their keyboard! Marketing, as we’ve always known it, is fast disappearing and evolving towards being more conversation driven, experiential and all about engagement across the new and the old channels,” he said.

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