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APAC marketers face numerous challenges

News, 20 May 2016

HONG KONG: Better mobile creative and cross-screen measurement are two of the biggest challenges facing marketers in Asia Pacific, according to an industry figure.

Kevin Huang, CEO of online ad sales firm Pixels (recently acquired by Gravity4), told Exchange Wire that  cross-screen measurement remains the major challenge.

"Marketers do not want to reach devices," he said. "They want to reach consumers, but these users in Asia-Pacific switch between multiple screens on a daily, even hourly, basis." He argued that it was time for the industry to agree on standards and methodologies.

Huang was also critical of the quality of creative being served up on mobile devices, citing this as "the single and the biggest reason why Asia-Pacific marketers under-invest in mobile", even though they were perfectly aware of the importance of mobile as part of an overall campaign.

And apart from the quality of what is being served, he suggested that marketers sometimes struggled to find "the right balance between communicating effectively and being overly intrusive".

Added to these considerations are the local market differences around language and culture, which Huang illustrated with reference to Hong Kong and Singapore: "Both may be similar in some ways, but they cannot be more different than each other."

So, for example, the ads that work best in Hong Kong are delivered on local content sites, in Cantonese; but in Singapore, "content tends to be more global and regional in nature, with English as the main language".

And, if further complication were needed, Huang added that "different markets also adopt new technology differently".

Australia has developed a sophisticated programmatic market, for example, which is growing at 20% a year, but Hong Kong will devote just 1% of its total ad spend to programmatic this year.

"So, there are unique attributes in each Asia-Pacific market and marketers need to implement different advertising solutions to cater to the needs of each market," Huang concluded.

Data sourced from Exchange Wire; additional content by Warc staff