Malaysia well placed for data, media, tech convergence to be Asian leader in programmatic space.
WHILE there should be sufficient safeguards in place to ensure programmatic or digital ad buying will not be tainted with fraud or abuse, the prospect of buying advertisements via this channel is bright and gaining popularity.
According to Magna Global, programmatic spending in Asia Pacific will rise to US$10.2bil in 2017. Industry leaders in Malaysia agree that the country is well placed to take advantage of the data, media and technology convergence to be Asia’s leader in the programmatic space.
The road to programmatic, straightforward as it may seem, faces challenges such as the ad block backlash and advertisers’ doubts about the “realness” of the consumer. However, this has not slowed down programmatic growth.
In fact, Roopal Julka, head of Accuen Malaysia, Omnicom’s programmatic division sees ad blocking as an opportunity for the market to understand the true value of native advertising “All consumers want brands to reach out to them on a personal and relevant level – in and around the content they consume. Programmatic, with its data, will spur such targeted content,” he says.
An ad blocker is a programme that will remove different kinds of advertising from a web user’s experience online. These programmes target certain kinds of ad, such as pop-ups, banner ads and other common forms of online advertisement, allowing a user to surf the web without annoying distractions or interruptions.
IPG Mediabrands World Markets Asia president Prashant Kumar (pic) says there is strong growth potential in this form of ad buying. “If one were to include all automated buys, then the share of digital ad buying in Malaysia could be as high as 60% to 70%. I believe that as digital spending explodes, programmatic will see an exponential growth phase as well. It is also important for the industry to institute strict quality parameters to ensure the viewability of products, services and campaigns that are advertised digitally. Automation should not result in mediocrity and the consumer’s preference for interesting and entertaining content has to be weaved together with the advertiser’s product and offer, he notes.
Asked on whether he expects this channel of buying ad being applied beyond digital and mobile to other media channels like TV, print etc, Prashant says all media will be programmatically planned and bought ultimately.
This is because, he adds, automated supply chain systems will be married to programmatic demand management systems in a seamless data chain to super optimise business efficiencies. “I believe all media owners would do well to hire chief programmatic officers to get a first mover advantage,’’ he explains.
Kenneth Wong, head of digital at Carat Media Services and also president of the Malaysian Digital Association (MDA), thinks programmatic will soar once advertisers get familiar with demand side platforms (DSP) – a marketplace for media assets, and data management platforms (DMP) – audience information for accurate targeting and move away from clicks/views bidding alone.
“Malaysia is a key exporter of digital talent in the region and technology platforms brought in by various media partners give us a head start to lead programmatic in Asia,” he explains.
DSP is a marketplace for media owners that allows them to list their media assets along with reach, availability, costs and other relevant information. DMP refers to a data repository of audience information to enable better targeting of consumers.
U Mobile Sdn Bhd chief marketing officer Jasmine Lee Sze Inn sees the traditional media switching to digital. “With on-demand TV, iPTV, mobile application-based print content and location based outdoor advertising, the use of programmatic is only logical,” she adds.
In a move to push digital ad buying and innovation to a higher level, media solutions company Moving Walls Sdn Bhd is leading this charge with a first of a kind, big data platform, “Moving Insights”, to track offline with online and a marketplace, “moving audiences”, to catalogue and automate the buying of out-of-home media assets.
According to Moving Walls executive director Srikanth Ramachandran, programmatic should grow beyond data and automation to address the essence of advertising or consumer engagement.
“Consumers want to be entertained with relevant content and brands have to weave their product and advertising messages into this entertainment. It’s the dawn of a new marketing era. Simply put, programmatic will move advertising from “exposures” to “experiences”, Srikanth says.