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www.marketingmagazine.com.my

ISSUE 215 /// END - JAN 2018

OUT OF HOME:

REINVEN

TING FROM

BILLBO ARDS TO LANDMARK

MARKE

TING! SHUKOR ARIFFIN

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER BIG TREE OUTDOOR

INSIDE

MARKETERS’ TOP ADS OF THE SEASON IS DIGITAL A FRENEMY OF CREATIVE? WHY ARE MARKETERS BLIND TO SHOPPER MARKETING TRUTH, LIES AND PROGRAMMATIC!

ISSN 1985-5575

00215 9

771985

557001

KDN NO. PP15776/03/2013 (033405) RM3.50


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ISSUE215END-JAN2018

DO YOU TRUST FACEBOOK? EDITOR’S NOTE

By The Turbanned Stranger | ham@adoimagazine.com

A recent survey by Verge in America indicates that Facebook had the lowest percentage of people who liked its products and services. Strangely then, in the same survey, a majority said Facebook’s effect on society is positive overall.  While most say they distrust Facebook than any member of the big five, Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, yet a majority

RETAIL MARKETING

said they would care very much if Facebook went away - more than those who said they would greatly miss Apple. About a third of respondents said Instagram is ‘cooler’ than Facebook. On privacy issues, Google actually scored slightly higher among respondents for transparency around how it uses people’s data. 

Despite this, eMarketer expects Facebook will continue to dominate US social network ad spending, generating US$21.57 billion (almost 83% of total social media ad spending) this year. Do you know what Facebook, Google and Amazon own? They own many, many companies.  We were recently surprised by how many people did not know…so we have picked out some notable companies they own and give you enough sound bytes to sound like a savvy savante at fancy cocktails. Facebook Inc. owns Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, Oculus VR…. Google’s parent Alphabet owns Google, Gmail, Hangouts, Google Maps, Google Home, YouTube, Waze, AdSense, DoubleClick...  Amazon owns Alexa, Zappos, Internet Movie

Database IMDB.COM….. Microsoft owns Microsoft Office, Windows, LinkedIn, Skype, Xbox, Nokia, ComCast, AT&T…. Apple owns Siri, NeXT Inc., iPhone, HomePod…. Snapchat is owned by Evan Spiegel, an American Internet entrepreneur.  Twitter is owned by a group of investors who include Steve Ballmer (ex Microsoft CEO) and a Saudi prince.  Uber is owned by Travis Kalanick, and other investors include Alphabet and Microsoft.  Tencent, the world’s biggest investment corporation, owns WeChat, QQ.com, JD.com….it surpassed Facebook in market value in November 2017.  Pinterest is owned by Cold Brew Labs, Inc.  

Respectfully, Harmandar Singh

WILL MALAYSIAN RETAIL RECOVER FROM GST IN 2018? by Sita Subramony

WHAT IS CAUSING POOR RETAIL PERFORMANCE? ‘The retail sector is becoming increasingly fragmented,’ says the Marketing Director of a leading retailer. This means that

Employment Index

CSI

140

140.0

20.0

0

0.0

Employment Index

2 3

40.0

20

2 3 4 2017:1Q

40

4 2016:1Q

60.0

3

80.0

60

2015:1Q 2

100.0

80

4 2014:1Q 2 3 4

100

2 3

120.0

2013:1Q

120

2012:1Q 2 3 4

NO! The retail sector has been reporting disappointing performances in 2017. Is it the GST that is affecting growth in retail? Arguably, Malaysians have accepted the GST as a necessary evil. And the dust has settled on whatever price ‘adjustments’ retailers had to make to accommodate GST (many taking the opportunity to raise prices beyond the 6%, and blaming their suppliers of course!) The reality is prices continue to rise way beyond the 6% as income levels are almost stagnant. In Quarter 3 2017, the Consumer Sentiments Index fell to 77.1 (Source: MIER, see Table). MIER commented: A) Current household finances deteriorate B) Income and job outlook lacklustre C) Anxieties over higher prices grow D) Burly spending plans amid waning incomes and jobs

Consumer Sentiments Index

retailers, both off and online, have to fight harder for the share of wallet of a consumer base that is either shrinking and/ or becoming extremely price conscious. The consumer base I refer to are the lower and middle class; the high-end consumers continue to spend, in fact, experiential luxury is the new buzz for this group. Shoppers are becoming very savvy as they look for bargains to stretch their ringgit and maintain lifestyles. There is a proliferation of e-commerce players like Shopback for shopping, Offpeak for entertainment, Lazada, FashionValet, Fave, to name a

few. Hanging out with some millennials, I noticed they were constantly on their smartphones searching for bargains in order to maintain their lifestyles. Retail Group Malaysia says that the recovery of the Malaysian retail market in 2018 is highly dependent on the general elections, external economic demand and the ringgit’s performance. Really? How will GE14 impact retail? Consumers HAVE to spend on necessities regardless of election results. Ad agencies say that the 2018 World Cup will help too –

sure it will, the media owners obviously. Is it gloom-and-doom for Malaysian retailers? The eternal optimist in me says NO! WHAT SHOULD RETAILERS FOCUS ON: 1) Better understanding of their consumers/shoppers’ path to purchase and touchpoints that can trigger sales and build loyalty. With rapid changes in technology, there is no excuse for retailers not to be in constant touch with their consumers. Deep-dive into your database retailers! ‘Talk’ to your customers and make them your advocates. Loyalty programmes have become simpler to execute and maintain; but PLEASE, keep margin-eating promotional messages to a minimum. 2) Maintaining if not increasing advertising spend - make the advertising $$ work harder. Digital marketing is now virtually idiot-proof; the key challenge for retailers is relevant content and constant engagement. Increase User-Generated-

Content to strengthen the brand-consumer relationship. Use Facebook targeting to influence existing and new customers. Be innovative and super-creative in social media; a high-end ice-cream retailer had a 3-km queue when they INSTA-d ‘a free scoop between 7-9pm’. The result – they doubled their usual sales by offering an additional scoop for just RM5! GE14 will definitely be a major impact on the Malaysian economy and consumers. Regardless of the outcome, the retail sector must persevere.

Sita Subramony is a LSG Exponent – by LEARNING an issue, she SHARES her expertise to GROW a business sustainably.


ISSUE 215 /// END-JAN2018

MEET THE MAN WHO DRIVES BRAND FAME!

COVER STORY

05 Marketing pundits and soothsayers, take a break. 2018 is here and the tree has grown deeper roots. Digital threat? Hardly. In fact, Big Tree Outdooor Sdn Bhd, has flipped over the digital wave to its advantage. It is on the up and up, also growing, branching out. And the Out of Home(OOH)...

EVENTS CALENDAR 2018 8 FEBRUARY

MALAYSIAN MEDIA CONFERENCE 16 & 17 APRIL

APPIES MALAYSIA MARKETING AWARDS 8 JUNE

MALAYSIAN CMO CONFERENCE 29 JUNE

MC2 AWARDS (MARKETING, CREATIVE, CONTENT) 21 AUGUST

EDITOR'S NOTE

EDITOR'S NOTE

DO YOU TRUST FACEBOOK?

BLOCKCHAIN, THE KING OF 2018! (UH, WHAT’S A BLOCKCHAIN?)

Welcome to 2018, the age of mainstream cryptocurrency day trading and the 10th anniversary of the conceptualization of the blockchain...

A recent survey by Verge in America indicates that Facebook had the lowest percentage of people who liked its products and services. Strangely then, in the same survey, a majority said Facebook’s effect on society...

02

02

BEST OF GLOBAL DIGITAL MARKETING CONFERENCE

AUTO MARKETING

NO VROOM YET, BUT SHIFTING GEARS, YES

24 SEPTEMBER

MALAYSIAN CHIEF MARKETING OFFICERS (CMO) AWARDS 26 OCTOBER

DRAGONS OF MALAYSIA & ASIA AWARDS NIGHT

The Malaysian Automotive Institute (MAI) is upbeat about the 2018’ Budget. It is expected that the allocation of RM245 million for the upgradation of smart manufacturing...

26 NOVEMBER

MALAYSIAN MARKETINGTECH CONFERENCE Regional CEO Professor Harmandar Singh ham@adoimagazine.com Content Officer Aradhana Takhtani anna@adoimagazine.com Business Development Manager Jarrod Sunil Solomon jarrod@adoimagazine.com Art Director / Designer Chemical Ali ali@adoimagazine.com Events & Workshops Ruby Lim ruby@adoimagazine.com Photography & Digital Imaging DL Studio No 7, Jalan PJU 3/50, Sunway Damansara 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor D.E. Malaysia tel +603 7880 6380 / 6386, email: studiodl@pd.jaring.my

08

04 12

AGENCY OF THE MONTH

MARKETERS’ FAVOURITE ADS OF THE SEASONS Malaysian advertisers spend millions every year during festive and celebratory events when reaching out to their consumers. In fact, the race to outdo each other is not lost on an audience that has become more discerning over the years, watching stuff from tear jerkers and national love ...

WHY CREATIVITY WILL FLOURISH IN 2018

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Have you been thinking you’ll be asking Alexa, Siri, Cortana and maybe your smart-fridge, what to buy, as you advance further into 2018? Digital marketing and advertising experts have already cluedinto this evolving face of consumers, and everyone’s catching up fast....

09 CREATIVE THOUGHT

Contributors: Sita Subramony, Josh Sklar, Edward Ong, Alvin Teoh, Salim Khubchandani, Mahesh Neelakantan, Chris Jacques, Tom Hogg, Sue-Ann Lim

MARKETING magazine in now available in over 200 selected bookstores across the Klang Valley.

NO! The retail sector has been reporting disappointing performances in 2017. Is it the GST that is affecting growth in retail? Arguably, Malaysians have accepted the GST as a necessary evil...

BEST FESTIVALS ADS

Web & Digital: Nurul Amira Ibrahim, Saravana Kumaa

© All Rights Reserved By: Sledgehammer Communications (M) Sdn Bhd (289967-W) No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without prior permission in writing from the publisher. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions and/ or for any consequences of reliance upon information in this publication. The opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher or editor. Advertisements are the sole responsibility of the advertisers.

WILL MALAYSIAN RETAIL RECOVER FROM GST IN 2018?

SETTING THE BAR HIGH

Roving Photographer: Mccain Goh

MARKETING magazine is published by Sledgehammer Communications (M) Sdn Bhd 22B, Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad Satu, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel: 603-7726 2588 Fax: 603-7722 5712 www.marketingmagazine.com.my

ONLINE FLUX

CREATIVE OPINION

SHOPPER MARKETING

IS DIGITAL A FRENEMY OF CREATIVE?

Creativity did not come into existence when agencies put writers and art directors in the same room, and called it the ‘creative department’. If we were made in the image of the creator, then we’re all- by definition- creative. That’s you and me, and yes, even that AE who has no idea what’s a layout pad...

WHY ARE MARKETERS BLIND TO SHOPPER MARKETING? PERSONALITY FEATURE

17

ON TARGET

DATA AVALANCHE: BOON OR BANE FOR MARKETERS Along with Big Data, terms like Data Science and Analytics, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, NLP have come to the fore over the recent past together with scarcity of talent...

16

MARKETING MAVERICK OR MIRACLE? CONTENT MARKETING GREAT CONTENT WORKS WONDERS

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15

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What is the biggest wake up call for marketers in the age of content marketing? 95% of Content Marketing is crap. That’s not my opinion, that’s research. A study by Beckon found that just 5% of Branded Content achieves 90%...


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ISSUE215END-JAN2018

DIGITAL DISRUPTION

BLOCKCHAIN, THE KING OF 2018! (UH, WHAT’S A BLOCKCHAIN?) by Josh Sklar, President of Heresy

WELCOME to 2018, the age of mainstream cryptocurrency day trading, and the 10th anniversary of the conceptualization of the blockchain, which is the foundation of Bitcoin and all of its many (many) counterparts. That’s right. It took a full decade for a fad to get going in earnest and for the common folk to even become remotely aware of its existence. Two questions you may have at this point: “What’s a blockchain?” and “What does it have to do with marketing?” (If a third is, “How can I stop hearing about Bitcoin?!” – I really wish I could help.) For the first, it’s hard to be a regular reader of anything these days and not be exposed to detailed background pieces, but in case you’ve avoided them and don’t feel like heading to Wikipedia right now: a blockchain is an “open, distributed, decentralized public ledger.” Each transaction posted to this ledger is recorded in a unit called, that’s right, a “block” that is linked to the previous block forming, you’ve got it, a continuous “chain”. This linking is accomplished via an unwieldy long unique string of characters (usually 64 of them) called a “hash” that appears only in the previous block and the new one. The transactions are verified by a community of people called “miners” who write programs that run on powerful, energy-sucking

computers to solve crazily complex cryptographic puzzles just to confirm that the hash character string in the new block matches the one in the previous. If it is correct, that means no one could have altered the transaction data in the block (trust me) so it’s securely kosher and can be added to the ledger. Once in there, it is then distributed to anyone who has or wants a copy of the ledger. Why do miners spend the time and insane amounts of electricity required to do the cryptodance? Because if they are the first to solve it and post it to the ledger, they are rewarded. For example, in the case of Bitcoin they get… Bitcoin (worth

US$15,000 each at this very moment of writing, but maybe much less or more in the next). Ok, so those are the basics of what a blockchain is. Why it exists is that it secures online transactions made “peer-to-peer” (one person or entity to another) while cutting out any middlemen or “trusted intermediary” who may take a cut of the transaction and/ or impose cumbersome, timeconsuming and costly regulations. In the case of cryptocurrencies, that means central banks for fiat currency (government-backed legal tender like the US dollar or the Euro), it’s a platform like PayPal, for property it’s the mortgage brokers, supply chain

...IN THE CASE OF BITCOIN THEY GET… BITCOIN (WORTH US$15,000 EACH AT THIS VERY MOMENT OF WRITING, BUT MAYBE MUCH LESS OR MORE IN THE NEXT)... has its logistics companies, and for marketers wanting ad space, it’s the media buyers or demandside platforms (DSPs). And that brings us to the second question: the reason advertisers might be interested is that new groups such as the New York Interactive Advertising Exchange (NYIAX), in partnership with Nasdaq, are using it to create fully transparent, open platforms to list and direct-sell future ad space inventory without third-

party fees or the fear of fraud – such as with impressions being inaccurately accounted for, as is all too common today. Another company, adChain, is also using the blockchain to completely eliminate ad buying deception by tagging a creative piece to allow the agency, publisher, and advertiser all know when someone has looked at the ad and what actions they took, without having to rely on someone else to tell them. Of course, these systems and the many others that are popping up will depend upon widespread adoption for them to be successful, but they are all finally delivering on the long touted promises of the Internet and digital age: openness, transparency, and efficiency. Let’s just see if the blockchain can help them take root in an industry plagued by bureaucracy, opportunism and questionable ethics.

Josh Sklar, President of Heresy, author of “Digital Doesn’t Matter (and other advertising heresies)” josh@heresy.co, @chiefheretic, http://heresy.agency


THERE’S PERMANENCY WITH OOH, UNLIKE THE FLEETING NATURE OF DIGITAL CONTENT.

SHUKOR ARIFFIN

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER BIG TREE OUTDOOR

Marketing pundits and soothsayers, take a break. 2018 is here and the tree has grown deeper roots. Digital threat? Hardly. In fact, Big Tree Outdooor, has flipped over the digital wave to its advantage. It is on the up and up, also growing, branching out. And the Out of Home(OOH) industry is looking good. Though 2017 gave mixed signals arising out of economic uncertainties, OOH growth is set to be bolstered riding on advertising for the General Elections and the FIFA World Cup. As per a report by PwC (Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2015-2019) Malaysia’s OOH advertising revenue is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 10%. While physical OOH spending growth is forecasted to continue, Digital OOH alone is expected to touch US$60 million for year 2019.


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ISSUE215END-JAN2018

COVER STORY

The leap is primarily coming from Out-Of-Home (OOH) companies for brands to establish dialogues with consumers via the incorporation of leading-edge technology and real-life interaction. And not just local, global OOH too is steadily growing, next only to the explosive rise of digital advertising. The promise of access to the same metrics that online advertisers have been getting from Google Analytics, is another area OOH is gearing up to. Big Tree, a Media Prima shining star, which provides a range of formats like LED screens, billboards, unipoles, overhead panels, lightboxes, digital video display stands, etc., in every part of Outdoor, is a known fact. What is, however, slowly unfolding, is the creativity within Big Tree, taking digital advances as the catalyst for revitalizing the OOH business. So, yes, there’s a team at Big Tree that’s cracking it, ushering in new approaches to capture consumer attention, that involve dynamic messaging in real time. Leading this team, is Media Prima’s home-grown changeleader, Shukor Ariffin, who before taking up the challenge of CEO, Big Tree, in July 2017, wore many hats, with success... Corporate planning; business development; managing activities of businesses on the production of innovative media formats; even reviewing financial statements and performance data; Shukor dug his heels deep into all the above. He believes the advent of digital media has in fact given OOH new avenues of creativity and connection. With 2018, he is going to push the envelope further. Let’s find out how Shukor and his team at Big Tree, are evolving around the digital upsurge and creating compelling consumer experiences. All this, while providing new opportunities to advertisers. WE KNOW THE BIG HAPPENING FOR BIG TREE IS THE LAUNCH OF YOUR MEDIA FORMAT OFFERINGS ON THE NEWLY LAUNCHED MASS RAPID TRANSIT (MRT) SUNGAI BULOHKAJANG (SBK) LINE. TELL US MORE... As Greater Kuala Lumpur/ Klang Valley develops into a world-recognized cosmopolitan hub, the demands for sustaining liveability poses the need for a beautified yet purposeful cityscape. 
 In line with this idea, and in view of the geographical

THE IDEATION AND ”PERSONA OF OOH MEDIA

FORMATS SHALL BLEND IN WITH THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT, YET REMAIN NOVEL AND OUTSTANDING. THESE INITIATIVES ARE COSTLY IN TERMS OF CAPEX, BUT NECESSARY IN DELIVERING ROI WITH HEALTHY MARGINS.

MEET THE MAN WHO DRIVES BRAND FAME! coverage of this line which runs along arterial routes linking affluent satellite cities, Big Tree focuses on offering advertising that enriches the traveling experience of the 10 million residents of the Klang Valley (expected by 2020). Our advertising platforms focus on the dynamic urban vibrancy and its beautiful cityscape, thus raising the bar to advertiser-consumer relationships, maximizing the value gained by advertisers. 
 This is significant because the Greater KL/KV footprint is the capital and commercial heart of Malaysia and it now represents more than half the national purchasing power. 
 The suite of media formats along the externals of the MRTSBK line, dubbed Premium Street Furniture, transforms the local, even regional OOH landscape by offering brands with redefined OOH aesthetics, larger-than-life dimensions with unique architecture effectively delivering compelling brand

messages. CAN YOU SHARE OTHER INNOVATIONS AROUND YOUR OOH DELIVERIES IN RECENT TIMES, OR SOON TO BE DEPLOYED? Big Tree has rolled out a vast inventory such as the Beamer Series which generates multiple impact along the SPRINT Expressway, the Halo Panels which present advertisers with loud branding in TTDI and Pusat Bandar Damansara (PBD), or even the Adoption in PBD, allowing one-of-a-kind large ambient display at the landbank in between pillars to showcase brand messages, identity and even products. 
 Brands on the Digital Tower Series @ TTDI, would appear bold and opulent, strategically capturing the crème-de-lacrème of KL’s society. These screens effectively engage audiences at a key traffic light junction, unmissable to bypassers or stopped traffic at the intersection. Apart from reaching the elite

FY2017. This positive trend is expected to continue into 2018 with a potential economic growth between 5% to 5.5% for 2018. 
 Thus, the Malaysian OOH landscape is expected to sustain an upward trend in adex for the year 2018, approximating at 4%. 
 Despite the cautious outlook HOW DID ADEX IN OOH by advertisers in 2017 and 2018 FARE IN THE PREVIOUS due to economic uncertainties, FINANCIAL YEAR AND most industries showed robust WHAT DO YOU EXPECT, growth in the year 2017, with GOING FORWARD? We view 2018 with optimism. retail alone expanding by 10.3% (versus 7.6% in 2016). Hence, OOH ADEX based on AIMS Research indicated in Q3 2017, the assumption of growth in a spend of 347,120,000, giving most industries would remain resilient. 
 a figure of 1,005,916,000 Apart from the support from for YTD Jan-Sep, 2017. This indicates a 6% growth for Q1-Q3 industry growth, the OOH adex 2017 versus Q1-Q3 2016, which in 2017 had been strengthened by advertisers leveraging on is encouraging. the media publicity of the 2017 OOH will continue to Southeast Asian (SEA) games. remain the top 3 advertising The year 2018 foresees a similar media within the total media opportunity towards bolstering landscape, averaging a share the Malaysian economy as of 6%. 
 well as growth in OOH adex This is in line with the with advertisers riding on the Malaysian GDP growth of 6.2% international sporting event up to Q3 2017, and expected FIFA World Cup and GE14! between 5.2% to 5.7% for urbanites at Persiaran Surian, Jalan Damansara, SPRINT Expressway, Big Tree’s array of Premium Street Furniture also captures the attention of road users on Jalan Cheras and Lebuhraya Cheras – Kajang. 



ISSUE215END-JAN2018

7

Adoption COVER STORY

Activation Halo Unipole @ LDP

Cubig @ LDP

WHAT MEDIA INNOVATION CAN WE EXPECT FROM BIG TREE IN 2018? As the market leader in Malaysian OOH media, Big Tree strongly believes the OOH media landscape should echo the change of cityscapes The values of creativity, innovation and incorporating cutting- edge technology, along with international benchmarking in functional aesthetics are fundamental at every stage of architecting media formats. 
 The ideation and persona of OOH media formats shall blend in with the urban environment, yet remain always novel and outstanding. These landmark initiatives are costly in terms of CAPEX, but necessary in delivering ROI with healthy margins. In 2017, we incorporated our signature Halo design on two key sites along the Lebuhraya DamansaraPuchong (LDP). Also, a static Halo Unipole

Spectacular Display and Digital Tower Series @ Zenith Mall, JBCC

stands tall, transforming the skyline of Kelana Jaya along the LDP. A towering digital screen called Cubig @ LDP creates a landmark for brands to engage consumers traveling from Damansara and Puchong, also Shah Alam, Subang Jaya and KL City Centre. 
 THERE IS MORE DIGITAL OOH NOW... Digital OOH assets in Malaysia have tremendously expanded. Apart from the Digital Tower Series @ TTDI and Cubig @ LDP, we have also done a facelift to our signature Cubig Series @ Bukit Bintang; adding a fourth set of screens, as well as enhanced the resolution for all screen sets. 
 Our digital assets on transit too have seen an upgrade; from four screens on a single panel to one larger panel with superior quality of digital display. Our Digital @ Transit inventory now allows digital domination of the Klang Valley

transit network, namely the LRT and KL Monorail. 
 We are now offering brands the unique advertising experience on LRT external formats which have penetrated urban areas that were previously not present with transit. The extended lines of the LRT now serve Ara Damansara, Subang Jaya, Putra Heights, Puchong and Bukit Jalil; and we have introduced brand owners to a new media namely the Vista Series, as well as LuMi Series and Halo Panels. 
 From the year 2016, we have started packaging Activation into our array of integrated solutions. Moving forward, we are now also working on experiential advertising and to embed technology into traditional ad formats. HOW ARE YOU ALIGNED WITH MEDIA PRIMA’S LONG-TERM STRATEGIES? Media Prima has embarked on a strategy towards a digitaldriven business module, and

is complementing traditional media formats, leveraging on the shift in market trends. 
 Likewise, Big Tree too has boarded product differentiation initiatives, exploring the possibilities of combining OOH media with online media, considering the flexibility of OOH advertising. In Europe and America, OOH is often used as prompter to an OTT marketing campaign and we see brands in Malaysia would very much welcome these approaches in their A&P mix. 
 
 Brands are also able to reach users of the North-South Expressway (NSE) via our digital screens at various high-traffic Rest and Service Areas (RSAs). 
 Another significant digital landmark from Big Tree is in the city centre of Johor Bahru, at the latest lifestyle hub, Zenith Mall, which holds a towering display of multiple digital visuals. INSIGHTS FOR MEDIA In Big Tree’s effort to constantly add value to its holistic offerings and integrated OOH ad solutions, our ‘Exposed’ event held on 8 November 2017, revealed research insights to guide media planning. Big Tree commissioned IPSOS to conduct three extensive studies to understand consumers as part of a general OOH overview, plus consumers on the North-South Expressway (NSE) and consumers on the LRT. It conclusively proved the strength of OOH advertising and its unique propositions in establishing relationships with audiences. We have found that Malaysians are very visuallydriven; and hence design and product image must stand out more than text. At Big Tree, we stand by the objective of making OOH formats more interactive; a whole new experience not only to brand owners but also to endconsumers. OOH is available 24/7, rain or shine. You won’t and can’t miss it. OUTDOOR IS MASS AND PERSONALISED AT THE SAME TIME... True, it is probably the most pervasive and in-your-face mass media left in this age of digital. And at the same time, it can connect with our physical-starved digital lives by being a constant that stands the test of time. There is a sense of permanency with Outdoor, unlike the fleeting nature of the digital universe.

KEY FINDINGS OF BIG TREE-IPSOS RESEARCH: • Malaysians spend an average of 9 hours with OOH daily. • High 84% see an OOH weekly. • 80% of people are able to recall specific brands. • Potential 40% conversion rate of consumers to visit stores of advertised brands and make purchases.

OOH FUTURE FORWARD Digital OOH will lead the tide of change. Most analysts believe this will happen and all marketers agree. Globally, PwC predicts that Digital OOH advertising revenues will overtake traditional spend by 2020, growing at a rate of 15% a year for the next four years. In Malaysia, Digital OOH advertising revenue is expected to rise from US$39 million in 2017 to US$60 million in 2019, accounting for 45% of the segment’s total revenue at the end of the forecast period. The year 2018, will see OOH introducing new digital technologies and convergence, new lighting and materials, more innovative business practices, and a new audience ratings system. This is also the year when AI will play an integral role in media metrics measurements and understanding the customer journey for OOH.


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ISSUE215END-JAN2018

AUTO MARKETING

NO VROOM YET, BUT SHIFTING GEARS, YES 2018 IS SHAPING UP TO BE AN EXCITING TIME FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY IN MALAYSIA. GLOBAL MANUFACTURERS ARE REVVING UP THEIR OPERATIONS TO CAPTURE BIGGER SLICES OF THE GROWING AUTOMOTIVE MARKET. by Reenassri Sekaran

FACTS:

590K

VEHICLES TO BE SOLD IN

2017

68K BUT WAS CUT SHORT BY

THIS IS THE SECOND TIME IN TWO YEARS THAT FEWER THAN

600K VEHICLES HAVE BEEN PURCHASED BY MALAYSIANS

The Malaysian Automotive Institute (MAI) is upbeat about the 2018’ Budget. It is expected that the allocation of RM245 million for the upgradation of smart manufacturing facilities will boost the automotive sector. Then the inflow of RM1.25 billion to increase exports will definitely spur the rate of exports for vehicle component manufacturers. While all this is good news, it does boil down to Malaysian consumers and their purchasing power in 2018. It would be useful to take a quick look at the Big Mac Index when we mention purchasing power. BIG MAC INDEX The Economist came up with the Big Mac Index based on the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) theory. Basically, Puchasing Power Parity is used worldwide to compare income levels in different countries. So why Big Mac? Everyone around the world is familiar with the bright, yellow Golden Arches. A big draw with consumers all over the world. But then again, prices of a Big Mac fluctuate with every region. Out of the countries, at RM7.40 per burger, Malaysia definitely has the cheapest Big Macs once you factor in the exchange rate. It works out to be USD$2.01. In the US, it will cost you $4.80. Though, if you ignore the exchange rate entirely and focus solely on the average income of citizens, the outcome changes vastly. The average Malaysian

working professional aged 25-27 earns approximately RM3,600 monthly, while comparatively his Singaporean counterpart earns around SG$3,700. WERE MALAYSIANS SPENDING IN 2017? So how was Malaysians’ purchasing power impacted by a weak currency and economic uncertainties in 2017? Malaysian consumers have been holding back purchases in times of uncertainty while financial institutions have seen lower profits and higher debts. Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) President Aishah Ahmad reportedly told The Malaysian Reserve that consumers “have been very cautious in their expenditures.” The Malaysian automotive industry had set a target of 590,000 vehicles to be sold in 2017 but was cut short by 68,000. This is the second time in two years that fewer than 600,000 vehicles have been purchased by Malaysians. Perodua Holdings Sdn Bhd reported that their sales for the year 2017 was slightly lower at 70,991 units from the 72,291 units sold in 2016. The drop in sales was due to lower taxi orders. Despite its resounding success with the newly launched third generation Myvi, the brand is wary of the 2018 economic climate. Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh, Perodua President and Chief Executive Officer was reported to have stated that Perodua’s challenges for 2018 remained the same as 2017. He said, “One of our key concerns is our bookings-to-sales

conversion rate, which is about 45% at present. As a reference, in 2014 it was 60%.” “While we believe Bank Negara’s move to reduce household debt in Malaysia is prudent, we also hope that the implementation by the respective financial institutions could be more flexible,” he added. Despite the outcry on the ongoing financial challenges faced by many in Malaysia, BMW managing director and CEO, Han Sung Yun believes that in Malaysia, BMW is the most successful premium hybrid brand. This, he attributed to the fact that over 50% of the whopping total vehicle deliveries is the highest, not only in Malaysia but also in ASEAN and globally. Even the luxury automobile maker, Rolls-Royce is convinced that the demand for superluxurious cars will continue to be strong in Malaysia. Managing Director of Rolls Royce Motor Cars Kuala Lumpur, Datuk Michael Ong Leng Chun commented there was a bright future in the Malaysian market with the on-year increment in the number of high-net-worth individuals in the country. “Malaysia is still a very important market for us because we have very influential people located in both Peninsular and East Malaysia. Interestingly, some of the most bespoke cars we have made, customised with songket-based interior, for example, are for clients here,” he said in an interview to a Malaysian newspaper. So despite the constant daily gripes about the economy, there

still are Malaysians willing to fork out six figure sums to purchase vehicles online; they snapped up all 12 limited edition Volkswagen Beetle offered during Lazada’s famous 12-12 sale in a matter of twenty minutes recently! Furthermore, the online price of RM 112,112 did not include registration and insurance. The twelve buyers also purchased an exclusive Welcome Kit on Lazada at RM5,000 which also doubled as a pre-payment booking fee. CHEERY OUTLOOK Bank Negara Governor, Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim said that expansion could be seen across all economic sectors of Malaysia. The Malaysian economy has posted a growth of 1.8% against 1.3% in the preceding quarter, according to the Statistics Department. Frost and Sullivan, the global research and consulting organisation has indicated that 2018 will be a better year for Malaysia’s automotive industry. On top of that, all eyes will be on Proton Holdings Sdn Bhd as the national car company plots its return to the top with Chinese strategic partner Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd in the driver’s seat. Moreover, Public Investment Bank has released a statement from their strategic report informing that they expect a mild recovery in the sector going forward, supported by improved consumer sentiment and the launch of new models. Surely, the gears are shifting.


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MARKETERS’ FAVOURITE ADS OF THE SEASONS KFC: Raya Joget Abah

Astro: Merdeka/Independence Day

Malaysia Airlines: #MayTravelLightUpYourLife, Deepavali

Celcom Axiata: Emma Merdeka 2017

Maxis: Deepagrams

Digi: Kita Teguh Bersatu, Merdeka

MALAYSIAN advertisers spend millions every year during festive and celebratory events reaching out to their consumers. In fact, the race to outdo each other is not lost on an audience that has become more discerning over the years, watching everything from tear jerkers and national love to comedy and the outright boisterous. The repertoire can range from

cinematic extravaganzas to blatant oversell down to sheer mediocrity. Unlike any other country in the world, this marketing opportunity to soft-connect with consumers during the seasons has turned into an annual media wave in Malaysia. We also see long-running videos, some up to 5 minutes, thanks to YouTube and the like.

So we asked middle management marketers in Malaysia what were their favourite choices in an *online survey and covered TVCs/online videos for Thaipusam, Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Merdeka Day, Malaysia Day, Deepavali and Christmas in 2017.  Respondents were selected from the top 50 advertiser-companies (by total media spend across all media)

in Malaysia. Of course they were not allowed to vote for their own work. We also took the liberty of including Merdeka and Malaysia Day into this Seasons category. Brands covered included Malaysia Airlines, Maxis, Celcom, RHB, Astro, EcoWorld, HRDF, TM, Star Media Group, Media Prima, Petronas, KLCC, Innisfree, F&N, Digi, KFC, and more.

*MARKETING magazine declares that this is not a definitive study: Sample size - 170, Respondents - 64. This initiative was undertaken purely as  an educational exercise.

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BEST SEASON ADS 2017


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CREATIVE SURGE

Creativity did not come into existence when agencies put writers and art directors in the same room, and called it the ‘creative department’. If we were made in the image of the creator, then we’re all, by definition, creative. That’s you and me, and yes, even that AE who has no idea what’s a layout pad. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s look at our environment. We’re living in a dystopia scifi tried to warn us about. AI is making our jobs redundant, Bitcoins are threatening to destroy our beloved banking systems, Donald Trump is President and perhaps most worryingly, Stranger Things Season 3 won’t be available until early 2019. How should we respond? That depends on how you view your environment. It’s either a swimming pool, or a vast ocean. The pool is safe, familiar, comfortable. Its four walls limit the things you can do, but hey, that’s just the way it is. Meanwhile, the ocean is a terrifying place. The currents are dangerous, there are storms on the horizon and who know what lurks in the deep? Ah, but that’s where treasures are found. As technology expands, creativity expands. AI is bulldozing industries the way developers are tearing down reserved land with secret blessings. Soon, all that’s left are grey buildings where we toil away for our machine overlords. AI may well be the be-all and end-all, nobody can predict the future. But until that day comes (probably around the same time when our sun burns out), it still needs human input and human insight.

WHY CREATIVITY WILL FLOURISH IN 2018

They have more startups per person than Silicon Valley and the rest of Europe. Wired calls it the world’s most advanced digital society. Mobile phones are, of course, already on 5G. How did Estonia become a tech leader? One of the reasons, I believe, is resilience in the face of adversity. They endured Danish, Swedish and Soviet occupation. 7.3% of the population was killed during WW2. A further 10% deported to labour camps. Independence was finally restored in 1991. In a larger sense, all this was no accident. Look also at Israel. See what they have accomplished despite being surrounded by their enemies. This is why Malaysians can and will succeed. However much you complain about the government, the economy and our shrinking currency - know that all these are blessings in disguise. With the right mindset, we can do great things. Will 2018 be the Year of Creative? Let’s make it happen.

by Edward Ong - Founder, Borderless

Yes, I am aware of AI copywriting sites like persado.com - which allow marketers ‘to identify the language and emotions that resonate with consumers to increase engagement and build powerful relationships’. Except I’m not sure if Ham will be tapping it for his next MARKETING article. The stronger Persado becomes, the easier it is to create

content. The easier it is to create content, the more writers we’ll have. Ideas enable technology. Technology enables ideas. The more we’re closed in, the more creative we become. Estonia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. Population 1.3mil. Here are some facts you may or may not know: They created Skype.

Edward Ong is a Writer and Creative Director. He runs a company called Borderless which helps clients discover and develop new business.

ECD#62 -

REFLECTIONS Once upon a time, I worked with one of the most talented creative ever. He had the ability to make me feel small even though I was technically his boss. How I loved his mind. And how I envied his talent. But this person, was constantly frustrated. And eventually, he went away. In my humble opinion, he had only one flaw: he could not sense his own darkness. So he blamed everyone for everything. And as his boss, I failed to bring that to light and so, I failed him. In my many years of doing whatever I am doing, I have had many conversations with people. And if there is one thing I can pass on to everyone, it will be the ability to reflect on things. For without it, we would only be reactive, hardly proactive. The absence of reflections quite usually result in being constantly frustrated from seeing the self as the perpetual victim; the amazing and talented individual who’s not allowed his or her place in the sun because of this and that. Sure, there are truths in that. And some of the people we work with have much to grow. But sometimes, the biggest enemy to excellence is the self. Sometime back, I tried to identify 10 pieces of work that I did that I wouldn’t mind telling people about. And I discovered something; not one of them came from the brief as is. Every piece came from a place of imperfection: a poor brief, low budget, bad or impossible deadline, a client who’s lukewarm to your ideas, a partner who doesn’t see eye to eye with you, and sometimes, no client, no brief, no expectations. Yet, these pieces of work exist and each is a little milestone of sorts in my journey in Adland. So the harsh lesson for me is this, while we acknowledge that some of the people around us need to grow (and a couple need their asses kicked), it would do us good to take that finger and point it to ourselves. Quite often, we are the culprit of our own un-success and at the same time, we are the saviour of our work and legacy.

The ‘Everyone’s Complaint Department’ series of comic strips began as random doodles and reflection pieces of Alvin Teoh, ECD of NagaDDB Tribal. These little stories were originally posted on Facebook and is an ongoing tribute to life in Adland.


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YES, THESE PROS ARE READING OUR MAGAZINE!

REED BETWEEN THE LINES

HOW CAN ”CREATIVITY

EVER BE DEAD? IN THIS DIGITAL AND MOBILE REVOLUTION, CREATIVITY WINS THE DAY.. IT’S WHAT DIFFERENTIATES AND DISRUPTS, CREATES ORIGINALITY AND FRESHNESS, STIMULATES AND ENGAGES.

LARA HUSSEIN MANAGING DIRECTOR - M&C SAATCHI MALAYSIA

EVERYONE’S ”WAITING FOR THE DUST TO SETTLE... IT MAY NEVER. “ GERALD MIRANDA MALAYSIAN MEDIA PIONEER

THE TRUTH ”GETS UNCOVERED WHEN ONE LOOKS UNDER THE BONNET.

BALA POMALEH CEO - MALAYSIA IPG MEDIABRANDS


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DIGITAL AGENCY OF THE MONTH

HAVE you been thinking you’ll be asking Alexa, Siri, Cortana and maybe your smart-fridge, what to buy, as you advance further into 2018? Digital marketing and advertising experts have already clued-into this evolving face of consumers, and everyone’s catching up fast. But is something missing in this consumer journey, which is fueled by Augmented Reality and Data-Driven marketing? We asked Ben Chew, the intuitive, quiet leader of Malaysia’s leading digital advertising agency Isobar, part of the giant global Dentsu Aegis network, who is unwavering in one single core philosophy guiding his work: staying real, humane and unpretentious. For it is the ’real’ that gets lost in this scramble to be seen aligned with the buzzword digital marketing. In our Agency of the Month series, Ben Chew, Managing Director of award-winning Isobar (the agency recently picked up 5 Effie for Mudah.my), dwells on the ‘realness’ that has infused the work of all their campaigns. He also takes on questions on other significant issues facing digital marketing today. Accompanying Ben, is his Lead Strategist Tanvi Singh, who helps Isobar arrive at a clear roadmap that orchestrates all relevant digital channels and tactics. Every work in Isobar is assessed from a ‘real’ perspective. “Real is something that resonates with the market and also resonates with people,” says Ben, adding, “We are fiercely true and once that is settled, when we tell a story, we tell it in a Real way.” Setting the above as the tone of the interview, Ben takes on questions of challenges to the evolving digital marketing, brand safety, transparency, speed of digitalization, systems and processes for agencies to learn, unlearn, etc. What are some key challenges facing digital advertising as greater share of ad spend is going there? BEN: There’s no doubt the share for digital will grow exponentially in next 5 years (now it is 20% of the total advertising spend). With this, there is going to be an even greater demand for talent. And this, in my view, is the huge challenge. With the brain drain of creative talent in Malaysia, we are staring at a vacuum, more pronounced since we already have a shallow pool of talent in traditional advertising. In terms of potential, we do have them but we do not

SETTING THE BAR HIGH

cultivate enough, neither are we promoting or giving exposure, as an industry. At Isobar, we are constantly working on how to build this. How is Isobar handling it? BEN: Starting with internship programmes; we ensure interns appreciate the real demands in digital marketing and engagement out there. We have specifics worked out for them. They manage the brands; in the community management aspects of it; running the relationship with the clients. Community Management is something we have tried and tested with our interns. Everything is methodical, but it is also robust enough for them to experience the real thing. Some of them head back into our agency later. We also do road shows, work with the 4As and universities. More critically, we believe in them, so we tell them they have the power to change lives and businesses in a real way. For example, at Isobar, the technology we have introduced

From left: Liew Sanyen, Koh Mui Yen, Ben Chew.

can transform and bring experiences that are unique and life-changing. Millennials need a hook for integrating their career and lives into something that seems permanent. They are beginning to see the value of creativity and empathy within this automation. How is Isobar looking at integration in the network? BEN: Isobar’s brand Idea is rooted strongly to the premise that we live in a world of unlimited ideas today for good reasons. One, is our sheer cognizance of the power of technology to make our ideas exponentially better than what many can possibly imagine.

The second reason is about integration, in that digital has not only facilitated an upwardly mobile society but has brought upon us a convergent world where the lines demarcating real and virtual are blurring. Our key talents coming into our business have literally lived through these changes and recognising these changes dictates the way we innovate on how we engage our audience.  The right attitude and mindset aside, we ensure the plugs are also in-place to fuel the integration process internally. At Isobar, this process is dictated in our Story-do approach where we are not only tellers of stories, we are also their creators.

We believe better stories can be told with better experiences. What differentiation are you bringing to clients? BEN: It is beyond doubt that analytics and technology have been revolutionary in defining how we make our customer engagement choices and change the way customers experience brands. While science is inherently logical, we must remember fundamentally that we are in the business of creativity and not science. Interestingly, Isobar’s distinctiveness lies not in owning one or the other but the combination of all three: data, technology and creativity.


E

ISSUE215END-JAN2018

From left: Celestine Tsui, Saiful Yusoff, Tanvi Singh, Wong Chin Wei, Grace Gan.

How do you see brand safety, fake news, and clients questioning ad spend playing out in Malaysia? TANVI: The digital movement is still at a nascent stage but we do govern ourselves as per what is happening around us, so we can prepare ourselves better. Media owners like Google are taking big steps to avert the dangers. Automation cannot take over the vigilance. As brand custodians we should be investing in software and algorithms which are customized enough to know the difference between good and bad, language detection, or any vileness therein.

Do you see measurement and transparency being the new normal in 2018? BEN: We do not have a digital adex now in Malaysia. A number of performance measurement tools are already used by marketers but with every content platform used and goals set, metrics also vary. On transparency issues, both agencies and marketers are in it together. What are you doing on measurement metrics? TANVI: We are making clear attempts on the social front. At Isobar Malaysia we have created a Dashboard that helps clients gauge the right level of engagement that should rightfully be expected in each category.

While digital has speeded up the entire marketing momentum, traditional insight generation processes still lag behind. We want to make data real and use it to help our creativity take quantum leaps. The Big Data we go after is differentiated - human data that tells the story of what the consumers are saying, feeling and how are they behaving. Based on this, we have developed our unique insights platform – Data Felt. It identifies hotspots for human interactions from across the web and analyses them through machine learning to get real consumer insights. We no longer solely depend on focus groups and surveys. Instead, we truly understand their pain points, interests and behaviours, from data that exists in the digital world. Three things you would do to keep Isobar top-of-themind for clients in 2018... BEN: 1. To be the Digital Transformation Agency for clients. 2. To be recognised for digital work that works. 3. To be the go-to agency for digital thought leadership. Who are your team members and what unique strengths do they bring to a digital agency like yours? BEN: We ensure a healthy mix of digital natives, pure traditional advertising oldies like myself,

hybrid account management and creative individuals and even self-made entrepreneurs, to make the lead pack. This combination reflects how we straddle the convergent world we deal with daily. What will Digital unfold? BEN: Digital is not a website, campaign or a plug-in effort after the ATL needs have been decided. It is the way of life that defines the new ecology. There are different experiences that can be created for the customer, made possible by the pervasiveness of the internet/WIFI/smart phones in our lives. This wave of digitisation will be torrential in the next few years. Expect to see better content and more distinct use of data that will help us create more emotional and connected experiences. The convergent world is the new ecology we live in. As one of the leading technology-driven agencies in Malaysia, Isobar has a string of whiz-bang awards in its basket. The team is matching up to the dizzying spell of digital changes with its own burst of creativity and knowledge. As Ben would like us to believe, the agency has acquired a vibrant layer of digital talent and techniques to view the real world. Going forward, it is still the real that holds the magic: and this is Isobar’s mantra.

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AGENCY OF THE MONTH

IS ”NOTDIGITAL A WEBSITE,

CAMPAIGN OR A PLUG-IN EFFORT AFTER THE ATL NEEDS HAVE BEEN DECIDED. IT IS THE WAY OF LIFE THAT DEFINES THE NEW ECOLOGY.

BEN CHEW

MANAGING DIRECTOR ISOBAR MALAYSIA


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ON TARGET

DATA AVALANCHE: BOON OR BANE FOR MARKETERS by Salim Khubchandani, On-Target Marketing Solutions Sdn Bhd

Along with Big Data, terms like Data Science and Analytics, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, NLP (Natural Language Processing) have come to the fore over the recent past together with scarcity of talent in these areas and thus top dollars are being paid to acquire such talent. Furthermore, according to IDC Research, digital data is expected to grow at a compounded growth rate of 42% through 2020. With about 1.7MB of data expected to be generated every second for every human being on the planet, digital data levels are expected to grow to 44 trillion gigabytes. We take a look at the crucial role that analytics plays. Brands (and data) have been around for decades and there have been success stories even before ‘data science’ came into being as a discipline, but the playing field has changed. Whilst (structured) data has always been around ever since brands have been (call logs, sales volumes split by numerous parameters/segments, and lots more), it was often ignored and remained in the backyard. Brands which have not been able to keep a close watch on the hugely increasing and overflowing streams of data and resulting insights have found it tough to survive, sometimes falling to inexperienced but smarter players or even ‘start-ups’. Big Data (best defined by the four key characteristics or 4 V’s of such data which are Velocity, Veracity, Volume and Variety) has added great complexity to the role of analytics. Which means we now have huge ‘volumes’ of data measurable in scales like petabytes (1 Petabyte = 1,000 TB) from a ‘variety’ of sources directly from the consumer (hence ‘veracity’) and in realtime (at high ‘velocity’). These massive data sets generated from multiple sources are invariably ‘not clean’. Precious nuggets of information to be derived from the data are often either hidden amongst not so relevant bits, or incongruous fields since its from varied and unstructured sources (i.e social, internet of things, etc). This forms the starting point and the most time consuming part of data analytics or a data scientist’s job, almost 80% of time being spent towards preparing and managing data for analytics. Josh Wills (former director of Data Science at Cloudera) once said : “I’m a data janitor. That’s the sexiest job of the 21st century. It’s very flattering, but it’s also a little baffling.”  FROM DATA TO INSIGHTS Data by itself, and especially ‘Big Data’ can be overwhelming but it’s the insights that must be drawn from it which make it so valuable and thus the role of data scientists is a priceless one. For Singapore-based e-commerce

company, Lazada, its big data journey is “just starting” says their Singapore based CEO and co-founder, Martell Hardenberg. “The data that we collect allows us to better understand the shoppers’ profiles and general habits. From here, we are able to streamline how shoppers find products through targeted marketing and offers, better product recommendations, and more relevant and interesting products and product mix on display; which results in a better user experience,” The big data team of Lazada is responsible for handling data science, data engineering, as well as search and data tools. It matches people with the products they are looking for. RELEVANCE TO MARKETING The left brain vs right brain theories have been researched in some quarters and proven to be a myth. Analysis (left-brain dominant) is arguably the most important piece of any marketing campaign, even though marketers often need to appeal to emotion and empathy (right-brain dominant). Unless data is analysed well, it won’t lead to meaningful insights or conclusions that would aid better marketing. To do this, marketers need to practice the following: 1. Seek the answers by asking the right questions and probes e.g a display campaign may be getting very high impressions and even good CTRs, with terribly low engagement levels and high bounce rates (even though low download times), making it likely therefore that the ad is appealing, but not to the right audience who are quickly exiting. 2. Aggregate and extract from multiple data sets or sources, vs relying on one data set e.g quantitative data reflecting overall increase in volumes (across SKUs) may pose a picture of comfort for a brand but a deeper look at the most profitable SKU reflects steady and gradual declining sales owing to quality issues (reflected through sentiment analysis picked up by social listening tools) may indicate an alert. 3. Specify and measure based on the right metrics and not get carried away by the numbers .e.g many believe that ‘Likes’ on Facebook are a direct indicator of ‘popularity’ of a brand, whereas in reality this number by itself says nothing towards the disposition of fans towards the brand. 4. Test the right hypothesis and generate actionable conclusions i.e delve deeper

into the conclusions to come up with tangible and feasible actionables as takeaways. 5. Avoid being a perfectionist It is great to have the most optimal output but the quest for perfection may delay taking necessary action which could also prove costly. Hence, best to make gradual improvisations based on learnings by continuing to keep a finger on the data pulse and gauging from consumer reactions. INSIGHTS TO IDEAS, AND BEYOND Ideas don’t simply germinate in a vacuum, and behind every successful idea lies an insight, which could be lying buried in an ocean of data. Traditionally, insights were gathered largely through market research. Today with Social Media and some of the analytics tools developed including Social Listening which use Image Recognition and NLP (part of Data Science), the data if properly analysed have been put to great use towards creation of better content or product innovation. We take for example the origin of Instagram Stories - humans are wired to listen to stories, love stories, and tell stories. Berkeley scientists discovered that the body produces oxytocin when exposed to character-driven stories. An article in the Havard Business Review explains that storytelling prompts the body to produce the neurochemical oxytocin which is a “feel-good” hormone, also released when people demonstrate trust or kindness toward one another. If your content can prompt the body to

produce oxytocin, then you know you’ve done something right. Instagram has exploited this insight in the creation of Instagram Stories which has over 250 million followers, and growing. MARKETERS AND LEFT BRAIN VS RIGHT BRAIN Growing volumes can only make the task of ‘data janitors’ (aka data scientists) even more complex and time consuming. Though technology in the form of adequate tools including hardware and software is keeping pace, there appears to be a crying need for this breed. For content creators and marketers, success will in a way continue to be measured by how well we appeal to the emotions. Data flow and opportunities to leverage it towards insights through analytics (right-brained) will keep growing even faster. This doesn’t imply that marketers must make a beeline towards becoming data scientists, but now have an opportunity and need to derive even better insights through analytics, and to avoid being drowned by the data avalanche.

Salim is Founder and Managing Director of On-Target Marketing Solutions, Malaysia, a digital and data analytics company, and given his immense passion for Data has combined over three decades of Marketing experience with a Data Science certification. He is contactable at salim@myontarget.com


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CREATIVE RAPIDFIRE

IS DIGITAL A FRENEMY OF CREATIVE? Digital for creatives is less of a “frenemy” than a “fropportunity” - a fresh opportunity to take a big idea and let its legs stretch further than ever before. Done wrong (without that big idea), it becomes shallow, tactical, fleeting. Done right, it can involve the consumer more deeply with a brand’s storytelling than almost any other medium. What’s not to like? AJAY BAKHSHI Executive Creative Director M&C Saatchi Malaysia

I’m not sure if Digital is liberating but I love it because I have the power of bi-location and be at many places at once. In terms of the work I produce, there’s a two-way communication, like in good relationships. The multitudes get to see stuff coined in my brains and I get to see how it affected them by their responses and this makes me feel that our work is something organic. ALVIN TEOH Executive Creative Director Naga DDB Tribal 

SIR MARTIN SORRELL:

THE FEAR IS THAT EVEN ”THOUGH GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK GET THE BULK OF WPP’S AD SPEND, THEY ALSO ENCOURAGE OUR CLIENTS TO USE THEIR TOOLS DIRECTLY VERSUS GOING THROUGH AN AGENCY.

It is a term immortalised by WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell when they forged a partnership with Google calling them a “frenemy” or “friend-enemy”. WPP invested, on behalf of the clients, about US$5 billion with Google in 2016. Advertising Creative Directors in Malaysia have all embraced Digital as an enabler of their creative ideas. We asked some of them what they thought. It appears that 2018 is poised to be the Year of Creative. Because once the technology, data and AI settle in, it will be a case of how to win with truly great ideas. As Henry Tan, Group Chief Content & Consumer Officer of Astro, said recently, “Once you have got in touch with the girl next door, only one question remains: how do you woo her?” Digital has fundamentally changed how we communicate, socialise, stay informed and shop. The ‘Digital’ consumer as a separate individual or entity as apart from a ‘Normal’ consumer is dead. The Consumer is Digital. So Digital needs to be in everything we do. Digital has enabled us to reach more consumers and be more effective in lot more delightful ways.  GAVIN SIMPSON Chief Creative Officer Ogilvy & Mather Malaysia I love how Digital challenges me to think different. To be constantly on my toes. I am a digital native, I moved to advertising only later in my career. Digital has always been my weapon of choice. Knowing and understanding it has given my work an edge.  VJ ANAND Executive Creative Director BBDO Malaysia


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SHOPPER MARKETING

WHY ARE MARKETERS BLIND TO SHOPPER MARKETING? LET’S FACE IT – THE FMCG/CPG INDUSTRY IS AT A CROSSROADS! by Mahesh Neelakantan

THE REALITY IS ”THAT EVERYONE

HAS THEIR OWN INTERPRETATION OF WHAT SHOPPER MARKETING MEANS AND DEPENDING ON YOUR ROLE AND WHETHER YOU ARE FROM BRAND, AGENCY OR TRADE, YOU SEE IT DIFFERENTLY...

Mahesh Neelakantan is CEO of Newton Malaysia & Strategic Investor in Newton Lanka.

ON one hand - faith in traditional advertising is diminishing - if the Adex trends over the last few years are anything to go by. This audience erosion on traditional media is accelerating more than the adex numbers indicate. Whilst there is still a role for building awareness and saliency – via ads and spots that can entertain and change perception, the reality is that it’s not translating into sales – as much as expected. Whilst some may argue that it is not easy to link the money spent on this kind of advertising directly to sales, most marketers believe it works and it’s something that they are comfortable doing and they rely on independent verification and long-standing metrics. And on the other side is digital advertising. Targeted, personalized, contextual and optimised – providing marketers with reassurance on effectiveness. However, in the last year or so, there have been some trust and accountability issues – coupled with the inability or unwillingness of some media platforms to do basic math or allow independent verifications. The Consumer Packaged goods industry is facing a

sort of existential crisis for consumer goods marketing. And no - I am not making a case for brands to divert their funds towards Shopper Marketing either. The problems that plague consumer marketing occur frequently in shopper marketing too. Instore expenditure decisions being made for legacy and historical reasons. Not enough evaluation, over-indexed focus during brand launch/relaunch and, quite simply, too much generic activity. The reality is that everyone has their own interpretation of what Shopper Marketing means and depending on your role and whether you are from Brand, Agency or Trade, you see it differently. From Key account management, Promoter engagement, Plannograming, Bundled promos and offers, Instore POSM/display, Category Management and Joint business programs, you could say that it is ‘All of the Above and also ‘None of the above’ – kind of similar to the Six blind Men and the elephant. It’s time for Marketers to see consumer marketing and shopper marketing as two equal parts of the marketing

game, rather than seeing shopper marketing as just another way of dealing with retailers. And transform the way they think about consumers and shoppers and retailers; simultaneously and in an integrated manner. # 3 PRINCIPLES THAT MAY HELP US RELOOK AT SHOPPER MARKETING. SHELF-OUT THINKING Shelf-out thinking, short for “Big Brand Ideas from the shelf-out” – makes the campaign planning and thinking more than an instore shelf talker. Few pointers: • Driving Consumption and Usage, cycle after cycle • Are we cueing Occasion Based Messaging? • Is there any data/ opportunity to leverage Adjacencies? • Within the store, is there an opportunity to attempt contextual placement? ONE SIZE DON’T FIT ALL This especially applies to communication and messaging. The same key visual cannot be applied across the entire path to purchase. Whilst some FMCG brands have made the shift – it’s appaling to still see many brands using the last frame of the TVC + ‘NEW’ + packshot

as their key visual. And from a campaign deployment perpsective, we need to pick our battles. ‘Focus demands sacrifice’ and we cannot afford to sustain presence and investment at all outlets and all channels. Store-Chain profiles and related shopper profiles frequenting the particular store-chain could be a good starting point to guide this thinking. PILOT-EVALUATE-SCALE Inspired by the BuildOperate-Transfer approach used in the infrastructure industry and now even the IT industry, brands need a culture that encourages piloting of new programs and initatives. Can brands develop a 70-20/10 principle in guiding investment for deployment – 10% being reserved for NEW ‘PILOT’ – 20% reserved for scaling up previous Pilot and 70% reserved for the base plan? It’s time to wake up and relook at shopper marketing beyond a ‘rebadging of all the sales promotion/launch POS collaterals’ and embrace opportunites and possibilities of ‘Marketing to the Shopper in an ‘Always On’ mode.


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HOW GOOGLE AVOIDS BILLIONS IN TAXES BLOOMBERG reported this month that Google saved up to US$3.7 billion in 2016 by moving 16 billion euros between Ireland, the Netherlands, and Bermuda using legal loopholes. The report explains how Google continues to use the “Double Irish” and “Dutch Sandwich” loopholes to cut its foreign tax bill. In 2016, Google saved 7% more than it did in the year prior. They do this through a shell company in Ireland to collect overseas ad revenue, a Dutch

subsidiary to hold that revenue, and another Irish shell company in Bermuda, with the right to license Google’s intellectual property to ultimately report it as income. Moving the money this way is where the names “Double Irish” and “Dutch Sandwich”

come from. In 2014, Ireland announced a grace period till 2020 to comply, giving Google the legal leeway to continue exploiting the loopholes for another three years. Google responded saying, “We pay all of the taxes due and comply with the tax laws in every

country we operate in around the world.” Like Apple, which was recently ordered by the European Union to pay Ireland billions in back taxes, Google uses tax loopholes to send overseas revenue to tax havens which allow them to enjoy a

BIG BOY GAMES

corporate income tax rate of zero. Compared to the 35% rate in the US. But with the new US tax bill aimed at appeasing corporations, Apple, Google, and others may bring more money back to the US. Google reportedly still has US$60.7 billion in overseas revenue parked somewhere. Last year, Donald Trump said he was “smart” by not paying income taxes and argued that if he did, the money would be “squandered”.

MARKETING MAVERICK OR MIRACLE?

THERE is nothing ordinary about Dato Seri Vida, as everyone now knows… a moving cult brand who has personified herself to celebrity status on sheer gut, awkwardness and outrageous styling. Hers is a story worth telling again and again. Datuk Seri Dr Hasmiza Othman or more popularly known as Datuk Vida, owner of Vida Beauty, is a marketing genius onto herself. Her self-crafted tagline “Qu Puteh, Qu Puteh, barulah putih” has been tattooed into the minds of many housewives in the Malay heartland. This Kelantan-born, ex Mandarin school teacher cum savvy cosmetics businesswoman, has redefined the conventional tactics of promoting local products and is a radical thinker with a larger than life personality. She spent RM20 million on advertising and promotions in 2016, and last year chalked up more than RM7 million in media expenditure alone. A bulk of that money went into various sponsorships which were required to reach out to her target market, who in her words are the ‘mak-ciks and pak ciks’ she spends quality time with. “Consultants only know how to talk, and say what I want to

do is illogical, so I don’t want consultants. I won’t pay other people for taglines. In these times when people are afraid to spend, I will ‘boom’ again with my appearance and people will

continue to buy my products!” Her single ‘I Am Me’ received millions of views in just days, early last year. DSV has 1.7 million Instagram followers. A YouTube star, she is now

divorced and rumours are rife about her and celebrity Chef Wan these days. A former critic, he says, “ I forgive and forget, and look forward to the future.” Without doubt, DSV was a

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PERSONALITY FEATURE

CONSULTANTS ”ONLY KNOW HOW TO

TALK, AND SAY WHAT I WANT TO DO IS ILLOGICAL, SO I DON’T WANT CONSULTANTS. I WON’T PAY OTHER PEOPLE FOR TAGLINES.

runwayany hit at MARKETING magazine’s CMO Conference in 2016, aptly themed “New Realities of Marketing”. Vida Trivia: When she sponsored the Kelantan Football team, she changed the team’s name to Pamoga Qu Puteh The Red Warriors and got Stadium Sultan Muhammad IV and the team jerseys painted Barbie pink!


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ISSUE215END-JAN2018

CONTENT MARKETING

What is the biggest wake up call for marketers in the age of content marketing? 95% of Content Marketing is crap. That’s not my opinion, that’s research. A study by Beckon found that just 5% of branded content achieves 90% of the industry’s total consumer engagements. That means that 95% of content achieves no meaningful consumer engagement whatsoever. And 19 out of 20 pieces of content are a waste of everyone’s time and money. Marc Pritchard, P&G’s Chief Brand Officer, calls content marketing “The Crap Trap”, and I agree with him. Marketers are providing relentless, real-time content on social media, chasing ridiculous metrics and pointless ‘Likes’. Yet all they’re doing is increasing the clutter that makes it harder for everyone else to cut-through. Because the more content that is being created, the less engagement it achieves. That’s a fact. Beckon’s analysis found that while the quantity of ‘Content’ was increasing by a massive 300% in the last year or so, engagement rates fell through the floor. Another analysis by TrackMaven saw engagement with branded content decline by a massive 17% in one year alone. And the total output of branded content achieved an average of just 2.19 interactions per brand per 1,000 followers. That’s nothing. There’s too much content being produced - and too much of that content is crap. The quantity of crap increases the clutter for everyone, making it harder for every marketer to achieve impact and engagement.

GREAT CONTENT

WORKS WONDERS by Chris Jacques, CEO of The Reputation Partnership

Can marketers actually become publishers, or is that just a catchphrase to keep up with the times? Great content works wonders. If you do it right, it can work brilliantly. Some recent benchmarks: GE’s Reports and podcasts are truly refreshing. Adidas’ Game Plan A is a wonderful immersion into the company’s value system. OK Cupid’s ‘Dictionary for the Modern Dater’ is irresistible. UBS worked with Vice, Vanity Fair and Monocle to create its fantastic ‘Unlimited’ hub. Airbnb’s Magazine and Guidebooks are proving incredibly popular and are transforming Customer Engagement. Trust me, content marketing can work. It can work brilliantly. But 95% of it doesn’t. The key is to do as little as

you can, as brilliantly as you can. And stop churning out endless crap chasing meaningless Likes on social media. How long do you think it will be before machines take over marketing? Forget the hype: Artificial Intelligence is still pretty dumb. AI is great for helping marketers analyse, automate and respond to predictable actions at scale. Like automated recommendation engines, crossselling, up-selling, loyalty alerts, social media sentiment analyses, programmatic and the rest. But AI is still laughably hopeless for Insight, Understanding, Motivation, Inspiration, Innovation, Creativity and Complex Decision-Making. And neither machine learning nor deep learning shows any

evidence of being able to address these weaknesses. Even IBM’s Watson is still hopeless in these areas. But it’s changing. So all marketers must embrace AI, direct AI and lead AI – but they must never, ever delegate any major decisions or systems to AI. Can content craftsmanship and the science of data find peaceful co-existence for marketers? You cannot develop and market the right content at scale without the right application of data – and data is utterly pointless without unique, irresistible, engaging and motivating content. In my opinion, the primary responsibility of any successful CMO must be the creation of a marketing ecosystem that blends the best of each.

This seamless combination of AI and Human Intelligence is utterly critical for the success of any major organisation in the world today. But no-one must ever, ever allow AI to lead the way. It has to be led.

As CEO at Reputation, he helms the premium strategy consulting firm that provides personal counsel to Asia’s most dynamic publicly listed companies. Having previously led worldclass advertising agencies – Bates across Asia; BBDO throughout Asia-Pacific; Lintas across Europe; Y&R and Wunderman across Asia-Pacific and promoted to lead Y&R throughout all of North America; and regional CEO of M&C Saatchi across Asia.


WE HAVE MANY QUESTIONS TO ANSWER ON FEBRUARY 8: “How can we have better TV adex accuracy because there are now two different panels and no consistency in discounting?” — Marketing Director, Global Cosmetics & Beauty Company

“What do clients look for in today’s media agency relationship and how does that reflect the value exchange?”

— Chief Data & Insights Officer

“With so many players in OOH, how do media planners justify their best plans and not be biased to the top 3 key players in the market?” — Outdoor Media Owner

“When and how can we have a clear reading on marketing digital spend to have more a holistic view for better benchmarking?” — Marketing Director, Global Cosmetics & Beauty Company

“How do we create a common measurement platform across digital and traditional media to allow us to measure and minimise overlap of the target group?” — Marketing Director, Global FMCG Company

“How do we make digital more accountable and how do we develop talent to cater to the needs of this new world.” — CEO of Global Media Specialist Network

“The industry is going back to the integrated model. This time it is led by data and media, instead of creative. Do we have talent at all levels to understand and run this future?” — CEO of Marketing Services Consultancy

“How do you effectively extract insights across media for the best ROI from the investments made in traditional

and new media?”

— Regional CMO, global multinational technology company

“How is AI going to affect media buying and how are media agencies striving to stay relevant with this growing threat.” — Regional Lead, Multimedia Platform enterprise

“Media Prima Digital’s new acquisitions, Blaze from Astro, Newspaper Groups coming together in a consortium; what would be the landscape of digital in 5 years time in Malaysia?” — Founder, New Age Media Technology Company

“Media agencies and media owners sometimes compete for the same client and tasks. Are media platforms surviving by killing the hands that feed them?” — CEO of Global Creative Agency Network

“What is the progress of a single TV measurement currency by the Astro, Media Prima, RTM, MSA, Nielsen, Kantar and 4As? It has been years of talking and discussing...and the TV industry is suffering.” — Seasoned marketing veteran

“What are the new performance metrics that are important to clients? Are GRPs, Reach, OTS, etc., still the primary measures clients expect media agencies to deliver on?” — CEO of Global Media Specialists Network

“In the age of duopoly with Google and Facebook, how does the media agency model cope?” — Senior Media Professional

“Over USD7 billion is wasted on global online ad fraud a year, but why is it not a priority by agencies moving forward?” — VP of Marketing at leading telco company

www.marketingmagazine.com.my/mmc2018


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ISSUE215END-JAN2018

PROGRAMMATIC MARKETING

IT’S been at least five years that programmatic, or its various iterations, has been heralded as the ‘next big thing in marketing’. Programmatic buying is a subset of programmatic marketing which uses real time systems, rules and algorithms to automate the delivery of data-driven, targeted and relevant experiences to consumers as they interact with a brand’s many touch points. It is the future of marketing, using technology to automate processes and the use of math to improve results. Whilst there’s been huge growth and success stories in the sector (more and more advertisers now have their own internal trading teams to take full advantage), some continue to question committing budgets to this data-driven space. Like any channel, programmatic isn’t without its challenges. In stark contrast to many others, however, the ecosystem has developed unique ways of delivering, measuring and replicating successful performances. In reality, many of the perceived challenges of the ever-growing channel present opportunities that help brands grow faster. Does programmatic really drive better performance? It seems many had their fingers burnt in the early days, finding that performance faltered compared to standard digital buys. Automated media promised a lot, but the extent of automation was simply to match users with advertisers and adjust bid levels within set parameters. Most now realise that the key is human input in setting optimal parameters. In the same way that a share portfolio benefits from market insights and the inputs of a smart broker, digital campaigns

TUGOF-WAR BETWEEN DATA AND CREATIVE DATA-DRIVEN CREATIVITY

By Sue-Ann Lim

Sue-Anne Lim Chief Data Officer Dentsu Aegis Network, Malaysia

TRUTH, LIES AND PROGRAMMATIC! HOW MARKETERS CAN NAVIGATE THE PROGRAMMATIC MINEFIELD, WITHOUT LOSING THEIR JOBS. by Tom Hogg, MD, Trade Indy

perform better when experienced traders test and continuously optimize around the best performing tactics and strategies. AI is now driving automated trading capabilities significantly of course, but even the best AI is still schooled initially by the smartest human logic. What about all the brand safety issues and ad fraud? It’s true, there are those out there who would rather take your money and run. As with any walk of life, it’s wise to screen partners before, during and continuously after committing to anything. The usual tactics of running test budgets, agreeing key milestones and syncing campaign data with sales outcomes all help; but it can’t ever be 100% certain within an automated process. Yet nobody leaves their credit cards at home when they go on holiday just because credit card fraud exists. As in the personal finance category, human monitoring coupled with technological advances mean that fraudulent or brand-negative activity is most frequently detected and blocked – where ad fraud is evident, DSPs refund the value of those false impressions. WE are not out of the jungle yet. With all this hullabaloo on data-driven creativity, it has set the industry into two camps. The ones who are believers and the ones who are forced to reckon with it. But what we fail to remember is, long, long ago before we even came about this seemingly apocalyptic term called ‘big data’, research has always informed creative strategies. The strategic planning department was the insights gatekeeper, the Chief Consumer Voice in the business discussion – and nothing was cooked unless it was built on keen consumer insights that everyone voted on to influence new behaviours. Those days were just 10 years ago. As we moved and settled very quickly into the fourth industrial revolution; from information to data technology at a speed that’s far from what artisans are used to, suddenly we get stumped and very frustrated – why are we so limited by data? In data, there is order but numeracy alone won’t take

So how will I know if it’s working? The focus on user experience is a huge plus for programmatic, which effectively starts life as a digital footfall generator. A clear and enticing creative served to the right person at the most relevant moment has a good chance of getting a customer through the door. After that it’s the job of the virtual customer representative, or landing page, to cater to relevant customer personas and drive sales. Programmatic makes the entire process highly measurable, providing rich insights regarding audience segments, post-view behaviour, attribution modeling and conversions (to name a few). It’s about far more than clicks because it shows what’s happening inside customer journeys. If sales targets are hit, replicate the campaign and re-invest. If they’re not, it’s a lot easier knowing what to fix in your funnel when the media budget automatically generates insights. How can I really be sure that the targeting is more advanced? Regardless of ad-blocking moves such as Apple’s ITP and the upcoming Chrome updates, anonymous data is still being

us very far. I likened strategy planning of today, is like looking at a night sky full of stars. Only the ones who can connect the dots will be able to navigate. Whether we are navigating around a kilobyte or a yottabyte, we are still plotting a route. I can understand why big data can be extremely overwhelming and for that matter, seems limiting for creativity – because everything seems so… calculated, instructional, and for once, clear. Where were the chaos of creative thinking that we once enjoyed? Bright ideas that came out from nowhere and everywhere; on the throne, in the shower, over pints, over jokes? It’s a tough job to crack the creative code in the age of data because these irritating numbers don’t just set the direction, they now validate our so-called brilliance too. Whatever is going to happen to us; the philosophers of business and artists of consumer science? I shall not defend ‘data’ anymore. It is limiting. It shows

gathered from devices at a larger scale than ever before; this allows ads to be targeted at previously unimaginable levels. Despite the significant advantage of massively reduced ‘off target’ wastage, a display or video ad in programmatic is still, essentially, being served to a cold audience. This alone is not likely to generate a conversion; it may take more impressions per user, different combinations of targeting data or multiple different media touchpoints to find the sweet spot. Executed and targeted correctly, programmatic provides a relevance filter that measures and predicts which targeting combinations make conversion most likely. Regardless of the rapidly evolving channel ecosystem, the fundamental aims of campaigns remain the same – get more people to notice, encourage more of them to visit a point of sale and, finally, make sure that as many of them as possible make a purchase. Around all the jargon and hype, programmatic is another, highly measurable, way of doing exactly that.

Tom Hogg is Managing Director Malaysia of Trade Indy. He just can’t get enough of the Malaysian media scene and is back in the industry helping advertisers grow their return on digital ad spend. With unique experiences across media, insights, UX and customer strategy, he dreams of the day when regardless of the jargon, we’re all still aiming for the same goals.

you the real deal – whether or not someone actually engaged with what we truly believed was brilliant. Our luminous ideas start to dim when the numbers don’t show up. And truth be told, it isn’t just disheartening, it is also getting damn well difficult to do the creative job. But here’s what I learned. Great talents might be discovered on white canvases but innovation is ascertained over great limitation. The world’s greatest innovations are discovered out of problems and the limitations of current working data is merely the search vehicle that brings about the clarity of situation. So that we are better informed on how precisely we could or should fix the problem. Someone once told me that data will spill anything once you’ve interrogated it enough. Of course it does. If there are x-zillion stars, you’d find any pattern and it will still look legit, no? But the true test of that illustration is in the results and where we could never track at the same granularity before, or even at the speed we would

like to, we could now. Which is why, the comingof-data-age agencies will be driven by a group of young bright things – the Creative Analysts, who are your evolved Strategists, who are much more data-acute and are a true hybrid of art and science, who will be packaged as consultants, who will be willingly paid for by clients, who could even perhaps save the agency business for us. To quote David Droga, “Our goal is not to be the most creative agency, because that is a subjective thing, and my ego would like to think we are creative. I want us to be the smartest, and data helps us become smarter, and in turn that helps us become more creative.” If creativity is the livelihood of the business, we do not need to identify with it, because its a given. The bigger question is, what kind of creative business do we want to be in? And how can a data-driven culture help us get there? This article reflects the personal views of the author.


ISSUE215END-JAN2018

CREATING WORK THAT MATTERS:

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CREATIVE PERSONALITY

NAGA DDB TRIBAL Nik Radzi, ECD, Naga DDB Tribal

WHEN MARKETING interviewed Naga DDB Tribal’s Executive Creative Director, Nik Radzi, we had a tough time getting him to hand over a photograph of himself. He humbly said “the team did most of the heavy lifting” and wanted the spotlight to be shared. If you visit Naga DDB’s website, the first thing you find is the strong statement, ‘we’re an agency defined by our people’. Which is why even though Nik Radzi has more than twenty years of experience in the advertising industry, he still maintains a humble demeanor. Nik went on to share that it was Naga’s passion for exploring human-interest stories and socially inclined work that captured his attention. He was drawn to the work that Naga DDB Tribal created and the stories they told. It was different than most marketing approaches as it required hard work, some journalism and a lot of compassion.  The global advertising industry as we know it is in a conundrum with furious competition flaring from all directions. What are clients looking for when it comes to creative agencies in today’s digital age? Nik expresses that now, data is everything. It’s a whole less guess work and a whole lot more data work.  “At Naga, we believe that you can collect as much as data as you want, but it’s useless if you can’t use it creatively. It is after all our goal to be the most disruptive, data-driven, insightladen storytellers.” There’s an entire team of thinkers at Naga DDB Tribal who support the planning, research and insights team. Most importantly, they are constantly seeking out the latest trends, behaviours and consumer insights, to ensure that each campaign launched is carefully planned.

BILL BERNBACH ONCE SAID ‘WE WHO PROFESSIONALLY USE THE MASS MEDIA ARE SHAPERS OF SOCIETY. WE CAN BRUTALISE IT, VULGARISE IT, OR WE CAN LIFT IT TO A HIGHER LEVEL’. THESE WORDS HAVE INSPIRED NAGA DDB TRIBAL AND YOU CAN SEE IT IN EVERY PIECE OF WORK THAT THEY DO.

KFC - Can strangers be friends?

Air Asia - Meet that someone special

Digi Merdeka - Can there be unity?

MAKING THEIR OWN MAGIC It’s not an easy feat creating eye-catching content in an era of white noise, short attention spans and ad blockers. We asked how Naga DDB Tribal churns out fresh ideas and content. Nik explained that part of being a creative is to be in tune with things going around them. “You can’t just sit in the room and Google everything.” It can all be summarized in the experience of being human. Nik said that if we started viewing customers as people, we would have more in common than we think. Plus, what makes an impact on a person can already be found within ourselves. 

PSC - The Sickest Mannequin Challenge

IDEAS FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING HUMAN When tasked to create a Merdeka film for Digi, the team questioned themselves: how do we get past the pleasantries and the expected story of how Ahmad, Muthu and Ah Kau get along while ignoring half the population that resides in East Malaysia? The spirited team then took it upon themselves to film the real people of Malaysia living without fear or prejudice in today’s political climate. This played a role in reminding Malaysians that unity has little to do with uniformity. Instead, the film portrayed a strong statement that it had

more to do with the spirit of inclusivity. How many pieces of chicken does it take to turn strangers to friends? No Malaysian is a stranger to that delightful KFC ad which features a social experiment-- of pairs of Malaysians sitting on a sofa and being served some fried chicken. The team at Naga took a positive approach on racial differences by taking Malaysians who are poles apart and allowing them to discover similarities within them. Basically, the team tapped into their personal experiences of being Malaysians and narrated their story.

INCEPTION The power of the advertising industry mirrors an example from the movie Inception. It’s about the ability to plant a thought in people’s minds so that they can feel differently about something and thus altering their decision-making process. Naga DDB Tribal has got exciting plans cooking up for 2018, to get themselves more involved in technology but with a twist. Technology, for the purpose of humanity. “Our whole concept is purpose driven. It boils down to doing work that matters.”


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ISSUE215END-JAN2018

PEOPLE NEWS

GIGI PRESIDENT OF CRESTA AWARDS JURY

MARKETING MAGAZINE TOP WEBSITE Feedspot’s editorial team and experts ranked MARKETING magazine’s website at number 19, after research on thousands of top Malaysian news portals. Feedspot, which aggregates all the content of popular websites and blogs in one place, announced this list for Best Malaysian News Websites winners for the week updated on January 7, 2018. The ranking based is on the websites’ Google reputation, Google search ranking influence and popularity on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites for quality and consistency of posts.

Gigi Lee, Chief Creative Officer of TBWA\Group Malaysia, has been selected as President of the 86-member Grand Jury for the 2018 Cresta Awards.

STAN’S THE MAN

PRASHUN LEAVES THESUN FOR SHADE

Stan Chew is the new Country Manager for Knorex’s Malaysian office, and will be the driving force for one of the leading global ad tech companies in Malaysia.

Prashun Dutt, who headed theSun’s Marketing and Circulation as Chief Marketing Officer and member of the editorial board for more than five years, has parted ways with the publication.

Knorex provides performance marketing technologies and solutions to businesses with advertising needs to reach out to their targeted audiences worldwide.

He is reported to have left ahead of his contract coming to an end.

Stan will focus on building new and existing client relationships, hiring key talents and driving long term business strategies.

He did not reveal much about his next steps but mentioned he would be working on “big assignments” in April this year. He would also be taking time off to get involved in academic work.

His last role was GM of Performics Malaysia and was key to launching the Group and tripling the size of the team over the past two years.

Before theSun, Prashun worked as the Director of Strategic Planning and Research at The Economist, based in Singapore and Hong Kong.

This is Cresta’s 26th year of celebrating the best in international advertising and marketing through a world-wide creative competition. Gigi is a celebrated award-winner who has been ranked the World’s 12th Best Executive Creative Director by The Big Won, based on data collected from global, regional and local awards shows. “We have jurors from 45 countries. They will not discuss the work, rather they will vote on it in an extremely fair and unbiased mathematical system. The only criteria are the originality of the idea and the quality of its execution,” she quips.

Thank you Malaysia. Thank you Malaysia for accepting me. And being my home for the past 20 years. Thank you Malaysia for letting me do the impossible. Like the time we used white ink on newspapers to prove that TV screens were whiter than white, where it matters. It ruined their printing press (sorry) but my Sony clients were ecstatic. One senior Japanese marketing manager even exclaimed, “This is pure masturbation! I love it!”. Go figure. Or the time we rounded up a group of random Mat Rempits (think scum on bikes) into a recording studio to do a radio commercial. Without a script. Gerek bro. Or co-creating a new type of bank that mimicked a fast food chain. “Morning sir. Would you like some insurance to go with your loan?” would be the new banking lexicon. Thank you Malaysia for providing me with fearless clients who hunger for some excitement in their lives. Like the “Potong” campaign for P1, a wireless broadband service; the “Mother Trucker” monicker for Nissan Navara trucks; the “Di Sini Banyak Ayam” billboard that stoked the flames for Nando’s, and the “Melabur” or literally “shit” campaign for Brand’s InnerShine. Thankfully, we got off scot-free, although the legal team had to be on stand-by. Thank you Malaysia for giving me the courage to fire clients. To preserve our sanity, decent values, and common sense. Even if some of them look good in our financials, they didn’t deserve us. Enough said.

Thank you Malaysia for allowing my fantasies live in my TV scripts. A husband with four wives.? Check. A family of six cruising on a single motorbike? Check. A chainsawwielding mass murderer? Check. Triplet girls? Check. Boy with a television head? Check. Now the only one left is dwarves in front of the camera. Thank you Malaysia for allowing me to reach out to the community and less fortunate. Be it the “Happiest Meal” initiative to stop food wastage, the CUP and Village Water projects via Global Peace Foundation and a brand revamp for Hospis Malaysia. I hope these small gestures helped lead to bigger things. Thank you Malaysia for the opportunity to play a part in the industry. As a juror at award shows, speaker at marketing conferences and workshops and mentor to some tertiary students (editor’s note: also to all his young and not-so-young creatives at work). I hope you’ve learned and benefitted from all my wisdom and unabashed love for irreverent nonsense. Thank you Malaysia for being Malaysian. You’ve taught me to be proud of your Manglish, Mat Rempits, Mamaks, Mee Goreng, multiculturalism, and many more. These are the ingredients that make you special. As illustrated by the infamous Malaysian song, “I Am Me.” Go google it. Thank you Malaysia for tolerating my numerous evil pranks and more evil “After 7” corny jokes. My apologies to those I’ve scarred for life.

Thank you Malaysia for providing budget airlines. It helps when you need to travel back and forth to Singapore every weekend to be there for your family. Oh yes, my wife and kids thank you too. Thank you Malaysia for the heady buzz. The last-minute changes, the disorganised briefs, the incompetent decisions, the 4 a.m. brainstorms, the sleepless nights and the countless rejections. These have not changed for the last 20 years. But for the sake of sanity and the fragile millennials, we’ve got to slow things down. Thank you Malaysia for all the shiny little metals, accolades and recognition. The celebrations are still swimming in my head. I’m still waiting for the gold lion and D&AD pencil. Lastly, thank you Malaysia for all the talented people with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working. From management to the tea ladies; from creatives to brand managers; from clients to suppliers. All of you have moulded me to be the person I am today. At times, I may have been a slave driver: heartless, overly critical, stubborn, fussy, and eccentric. I did it to bring out the best in you. To help deliver work that you can be proud of. Serious. Now it’s time I say, “Farewell Malaysia”. My family needs me now, on a permanent basis. Thanks for all the great memories. I’ll be nearby down south. If you’re in town, give me a shout (I’ll hear you, trust me), and let’s have coffee. This ain’t “Bye Felicia”. It’s more “Bye Malaysia”.

* TBWA/Malaysia Chairman Sa’ad Hussein wrote this Thank You ad before leaving his adopted home Malaysia to return to his family in Singapore .


Issue 215  

End-January Issue

Issue 215  

End-January Issue