The advertising media landscape will change radically next year, creating new opportunities and challenges for marketers.
Pablo Gomez, chief digital officer for Asia-Pacific (Apac) at market data and consulting group Kantar, said this on Singapore business and finance radio station Money FM 89.3’s Morning Drive programme.
Speaking to hosts Elliot Danker, Manisha Tank and finance presenter Ryan Huang, Gomez highlighted major themes in Kantar’s 2020 Media Trends & Predictions Report.
“The first is technology, which is rapidly transforming the media landscape in Apac,” he said.
“The second is the opportunity for spaces that brands can credibly occupy. Then there are catalysts and contexts for change.”
On the technology front, a key development will be the increasing application of 5G.
“5G is going to have a huge impact on our lives as it will be 20 times faster than the current 4G technology we use,” he added.
“The speed and latency will allow a lot of things to be connected to the Internet – anything from cars to your refrigerators. This will provide more opportunities for marketers, providing access to more data and information than ever before.
“For example, they will be able to know what you have in your refrigerator, what you ate and what you need to stock up on. Sounds somewhat scary, but it can also improve lives.”
But it will take three to four years before the technology is ready for application as countries build up infrastructure and capabilities.
However, technology can also create a “digital paradox” as new and evolving media channels will lead to a deluge of digital touch points. A case in point is the proliferation of streaming platforms.
“From the marketer’s perspective, they give you opportunity to create content,” Gomez said.
“But studies from around the world show that people are not willing to pay for more than two streaming services.
“In the UK, only 25 per cent of consumers subscribe to more than two streaming services. So with five or six dominant players battling it out, consumers will benefit from a pricing war. A lot of things can happen in the television landscape.”
The landscape in audio advertising is also changing, especially with the growth of podcasts.
“Podcasts have been around for a while but suddenly everyone is talking about them. Our data shows some 63 per cent of marketers saying they will invest more in podcasts next year.
“This transformation will also involve radio. I think radio has huge marketing potential for the future, even though it has been around for a while. The combination of radio and podcasts will attract more advertising money.”
Technology is also pushing the convergence of content and commerce, Gomez added.
“The so-called ‘shopvertising’ is already common in China. Technology now allows you to watch a video, say on YouTube, see an advertisement, click on it and buy. Globally, 50 per cent of consumers buy stuff via their mobile.”
The second major theme relates to spaces that brands will occupy.
“Increasingly, people are favouring brands that engage in social issues,” Gomez said. “In fact, 90 per cent of consumers say they want their brand to take a stand.”
Kantar’s data shows that 50 per cent of Gen Xers, 58 per cent of millennials and 61 per cent of centennials – or Gen Z, or those born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s – want brands to stand for something. Gomez said this is an opportunity for marketers, but it comes with risks.
“The most interesting is probably Nike and how it stood with [San Francisco 49ers quarterback] Colin Kaepernick. It caused a lot of controversy two years ago when it aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement. But it also created $6 billion in sales growth for the brand.”
But he cautioned that brands should tread carefully and weigh the risks and rewards of taking up social causes in today’s highly connected digital world.
“Apac is a dynamic and complex region where advertisers and marketers need to understand the needs, values and sentiments of all their customers and potential buyers before they get the word out in a way that feels authentic, not opportunistic,” Gomez said. The key is to find a cause which fits with the DNA of the brand.
Meanwhile, Kantar predicts that e-sports will go mainstream over the next 12 months, presenting lucrative marketing opportunities.
Also, influencers will continue to play an important role, but one that will be more closely scrutinised.
“We are seeing changes in the way the engagement metrics are being measured. Many marketers say that they are not as interested in ‘likes’ as they are in links to sales growth.”
The result has been a shift towards “micro influencers” who may have as few as 10,000 followers, but ones with spending power. “I have clients who are investing 20 per cent to 25 per cent of their marketing budget in key opinion leaders.”
Turning to catalysts for change, Gomez said marketers will need to find new ways to use data.
“The increasingly strict personal-data protection regime is presenting a challenge to advertisers, especially those who depend on third-party data providers,” he noted.
This is prompting media in-housing, with brands building their own teams of digital experts to collect and collate their own data.
“The thinking is, if I own and control my data, I can target consumers based on my data, instead of depending on riskier third-party data. But this will impact agencies, which will now have to reinvent themselves to serve these clients.”
The data privacy laws could also kill off browser cookies used in online tracking, he added.
The issue will be how to collect relevant data. While marketers are spending a lot on data experts, only 10 per cent have data that is truly useful, he said.
“They will have to develop the skills, engagement models and capabilities to meaningfully engage consumers in a crowded media landscape,” concluded Gomez.
THE STRAITS TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK