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Main Feature Marketing APAC

What’s NEXT: Shoppable Content: The convergence of content and commerce

Crossing Over to Shoppable Content

As far as internet real estate goes, digital marketing has become a much more precise science. It’s no longer an open house where anyone can come in and salespeople can only hope that the right people would notice the high ceilings or marble countertop and be convinced enough to take the deal. These days, marketers bring the content right in front of their audience in an experience as personal as any, the digital analogy of leading the consumer right toward the cash register. Shoppability isn’t just a new catchphrase. In the world of content, it is the new normal.

The Consumer Conversion

In narrowing the gap between commerce and consumer, big brands are moving from a publisher model into an e-commerce one. Consider the biggest merchants in the world. They all become media at one stage. They have journalists in-house that produce numerous articles and videos, becoming brand publishers in the process.

Net-a-Porter, for example, has become more of a magazine online than a retailer. Amazon is now a media company that produces content all around the world. L’Oréal has invested tens of millions of euros to build platforms like hair.com and skincare.com. Those websites attract a lot of traffic which enable L’Oréal to gain traction and build up visibility among their users with free organic visits. 

On the other hand, those who are already in publishing, like Allure or Refinery29, are looking at newer ways to gain revenue from their audience beyond the unpredictability of paid advertising. Through the years, they have come up with more than 10,000 product reviews from different brands around the world. They aggregate those product reviews to develop search-based content, SEO traffic, and organic visitors for free from Google and eventually convert them to shoppers. So, when the audience discovers a product via Allure.com, they’re redirected immediately towards e-commerce websites like Walmart or Clinique. Allure then earns some commission based on the traffic and conversations that they’ve generated to the brand. 

The need to drive those organic visitors into shoppers has led to a convergence between content and commerce. In the last six months, there has been a massive transformation of online platforms into e-commerce websites. It’s become a formula to drive value, engagement, and sales. 

Becoming Shoppable

In the foreseeable future, more and more companies will be adopting this strategy into their brand.com websites, turning them into shoppable platforms. They will take their existing content management systems, embed seek-out, needs-based content for users, and add products within those pages. The result is a richer, dynamic, personal experience that engages the audience – and conveniences them – while giving significant commercial benefits to brands. 

How it works is that you take an audience-attracting piece of content, like an article. The article contextually features advertising based on a keyword on the page by displaying smart product placements based on an algorithm that is carefully chosen by the merchant or brand. Then and there, the audience can ‘add to cart’ without going through the hoops of multiple redirections or manually inputting a separate site. 

Allure and L’Oréal are only a few of the brands that are now relying on this formula. With shoppable content, the consumer is captive right at the moment of influence. For example, IKEA’s revolutionary augmented reality app, which lets users see how its products would look in their space, allows customers to buy that particular piece right then and there.

The aforementioned luxury retailer Net-a-Porter takes things further by turning even the analogue into a shoppable channel. The Edit is its weekly digital magazine that expectedly leads the audience to product pages upon clicking on editorial layouts. However, Porter is an actual, tangible print magazine. When readers scan over the images with the Net-a-Porter app, they can immediately purchase the featured products. 

Taobao has attracted millions of shoppers via live stream shopping. YouTube has installed a direct-response ad format with browsable product thumbnails underneath the video. Pinterest has turned its top-performing organic Pins into shoppable ads. TikTok has launched an integrated shopping feature, virtual teleshopping, and even dance contests that link to in-app purchasing. 

The progression of social media as a shoppable content venue is as organic as they come. It has a built-in audience that depends on social media channels for entertainment, inspiration, and now a procurement of those first two. Yet, these are only the tip of the iceberg when coming up with shoppable solutions for content. 

A More Meaningful Experience

When a company makes more engaging content and realises its commercial potential, it does not only benefit the brand but the consumer as well. Using performance-driven data offers consumers a more personalised and authentic journey. These numbers instigate a better understanding of people and their behaviours and inspire content that is much more relatable. 

Content marketing answers people’s questions at the right place and at the right time. Shoppable content takes that a step further – presenting benefits for everyone in the journey. It is as measurable as it is personal. It’s not just the next big thing. It’s here, now. 

This article is written by Sven Lung, CEO & founder of performance-driven content agency Green Park Content.

The article is published as part of MARKETECH APAC’s thought leadership series What’s NEXT. This features marketing leaders sharing their marketing insights and predictions for the upcoming year. The series aims to equip marketers with actionable insights to future-ready their marketing strategies.

If you are a marketing leader and have insights that you’d like to share with regards to the upcoming trends and practices in marketing, please reach out to [email protected] for an opportunity to have your thought-leadership published on the platform.

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Main Feature Marketing APAC

Top Stories for January: A food delivery platform’s new brand mascot comes out on top

We are so excited to kick off our Top Stories for the year. We have made a few changes to our monthly review, and this time, you’ll have a more in-depth look at the stories that have made it to the list. 

We have an amazing rundown inaugurating our Top Stories for 2022. First, we have a thought leadership series under MARKETECH APAC’s first-ever What’s NEXT series bagging a spot. 

A content marketing agency, who has recently developed a content hub for a Malaysian brand, also comes out on top. Meanwhile, a food delivery platform that is taking its branding to the next level is also named as one of our top stories. 

Top 3: Magnolia’s Don Lee shares his insights on DXP adoption for What’s NEXT

What’s NEXT: Why marketers need DXP more than ever in 2022

For the first time in MARKETECH, we have launched our content series dedicated to sharing insights for future trends, called What’s NEXT. 

What’s NEXT was launched in order to help the marketing community prepare for 2022 and one of the insights, authored by Don Lee, the managing director of CMS provider Magnolia for APAC, tops our stories for this month. In the article, he shared how a digital experience platform (DXP) can help brands deliver an excellent digital experience. 

In an exclusive interview with Lee, he further shares what he believes are the important factors that make up a good digital brand experience. He says three things: customer-centricity, omnichannel experience, and personalization. 

He said that there’s no such thing as solid brand loyalty anymore and it is continually a challenge – an “uphill challenge” – to retain your customers. 

“Customers learn to expect ever more service and value through unique and personalized experiences that match their preferences and needs; so for brands to keep up with those demands, they have to turn to experience-driven commerce,” shared Lee.

He said then that a DXP is tech that will enable brands to develop effective personalization. 

“You don’t want a one-size-fits-all sort of experience. You want it to be all about the [consumer]. They know [them], they understand [them], they know their preferences, and know exactly what they’re looking for…that’s what consumers want,” said Lee. 

Top 2: Green Park Content launches new health and wellness content hub in Malaysia

Green-Park-Content-health-hub

Content marketing agency Green Park Content (GPC) has launched an English language health and wellness content hub in Malaysia for a company that the agency has yet to disclose. This new content hub development aims to establish a powerful online presence for an integrated healthcare company. 

Called ‘All Things Health’, the new hub enables access to easy-to-understand, trustworthy articles written by health editors, physicians, and wellness experts and covers key health and wellness categories such as nutrition, mental health, and balance, as well as parenthood. It also addresses Malaysians’ growing demand for health and wellness information, with over five million category searches of health and wellness topics in the country per month.

MARKETECH APAC spoke with Ayie Austria, Green Park Content’s head of search experience and innovation, to know how GPC conceptualise a content platform.

Austria shared that they have a lot of data gathering and a great team of data analysts in GPC, and that’s where the market analysis comes in, in order to cement the opportunity to enter a particular market.

“There are a lot of intricacies in building a content hub but I would start by finding out what is the main goal of the website, what are challenges or problems we would like to provide solutions for our users, and why are we building this content hub,” said Austria.

Moreover, Austria also shared her opinions on what makes a good content hub. She noted that the content hub’s users experience needs to stand out, and content needs to be relatable and answers the questions users are searching for.

“More importantly, we need to be clear in communicating to users why they should choose our site over other competitors. Creating purpose-led content goes a long way in communicating to our users for loyalty and retention,” she added.

Top 1: foodpanda unveils new brand mascot Pau-Pau

foodpanda celebrates decade anniversary with new brand mascot

For the first month of this year, foodpanda got the #1 spot for MARKETECH APAC Top Stories. The leading delivery and grocery platforms unveiled their new charming mascot as they culminated 10 years of service within the Asian region.

The new brand ambassador is in line with foodpanda’s earlier brand refresh. The mascot, aptly named Pau-Pau for its likeness to a panda, is a meticulous step into new brand representation and maximization of the digital marketing space.

In an exclusive interview with MARKETECH APAC, Idan Haim, foodpanda’s vice president for growth and marketing, shared the inspiration behind launching a brand mascot, saying that going back to reasons for existence, foodpanda, like humans was born, given a name, discovered their purpose in life, and finally, the company wanted to soul-search.

Regarding the inspiration for the brand mascot’s design, Haim said, “Throughout this process, we watched many pandas in the zoo and through zoo footage. We were all so charmed by how they lived the life they want. They are so much fun with themselves and their environment that we felt so inspired and we wanted to bring this to our customers.”

“We wanted to bring this [feeling] to our customers, [inspite] of the fact that life is not perfect, we want them to enjoy these moments and create happiness and smiles. We believe we created this meaningful interaction with customers. Sometimes, I walk down the streets and see people at the bus stops and they smile when they stare at our videos and we feel that we have done something good because we created a small moment of happiness,” Haim said.

Rankings‌ ‌are‌ ‌based‌ ‌on‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Analytics‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌period‌ ‌of‌ ‌16th‌ ‌December to 15th‌ ‌January.

Watch our exclusive interviews with the brands themselves on the latest episode of MARKETECH APAC Top Stories, now live on our YouTube channel.

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Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s Top 5 Stories for December: APAC content marketing agency bags top spot

We can’t believe we are now down to the last roundup of top stories for 2021! It has been a great year recognizing the most well-loved brands and stories in marketing and tech for the year.

Our monthly deep dive and conversation with the top brands resulted in the much-awaited regular MARKETECH APAC Reports, and this month of December is no less an exciting list of one-of-a-kind campaigns, inspiring new leadership appointments, and fresh product launches. 

This month, we saw a food delivery platform moving into an entirely new vertical of consumer electronics. This period, a philippine arm of a global communications agency also announced a new business director, while, a content marketing agency with a presence in APAC unveiled an expansive roster of new hires in the region within its client servicing, creative production, and editorial teams. 

For the month, a very interesting campaign from a BNPL service in Singapore has also entered the list for bringing back audiences to the golden age of advertising in the 80s. Meanwhile, our MARKETECH Spotlight episode on a digital agency in Malaysia also came out on top for walking us through behind the scenes of incorporating AR and VR in marketing campaigns. 

Learn more about the top stories that will be closing off our 2021 with a bang:

Top 5: MY digital agency Unicom Interactive Digital on MARKETECH Spotlight

MARKETECH Spotlight_AR_UID

For our Top 5 story, we have the MARKETECH Spotlight episode of Unicom Interactive Digital, a fast-leading digital agency in Malaysia. 

In an interview with its COO Jareth Eng, we learn more about how brands are incorporating the tech of AR and VR in their marketing campaigns, and the best ways to deliver such that would effectively engage audiences at the same time push brands be top-of-mind. 

Having helped numerous brands develop immersive campaigns since the start of the pandemic, Eng shared the agency observed that content remains to be the top determinant of a success of a campaign. 

He says content must above all be personalized and authentic. 

“More and more, let’s be honest, we start to get bored of the same stuff, and we start to look for authenticity in content, because there are so much paid advertisements today [and] so much paid endorsements, and we reach a point where we do not know what is being said is real or not,” said Eng in the interview. 

Eng also shared his thoughts on the role of digital moving forward in the pandemic, “The perks of adding digital elements to campaigns have proven themselves during the past year. Even as we head back to a norm that we were used to, digital elements will still play a part.”

Top 4: Mel Panabi joins Red Havas PH as new business director

Havas Ortega Mel Panabi

Havas Group’s media and communications agency in the Philippines, Havas Ortega, has appointed Mel Panabi, former vice president of marketing communications at energy tech business WeGen Distributed Energy Philippines, as the new business director of its global public relations, social and experiential agency micro-network.

Through his new role, Panabi will be developing new products and services that will further strengthen Red Havas’ position in the country’s public relations and brands landscape.

MARKETECH APAC spoke with Panabi to know more about the area he is looking to prioritize in the role.

“I will be prioritizing promoting the ‘meaningful brands’ concepts of the agency. The global Red Havas Media Group actually made a study called ‘Meaningful Brands’, and it showed that people are now looking at the collective benefits provided by a brand, and its role in society,” said Panabi in the interview.

He adds that he is eager to start Red Havas’ sustainability and thoughtful corporate responsibility conversation. 

“One other thing is that the United Nations’ sustainable development goal is something that the brands need a lot, which is a space we want to occupy. We want to be associated with that kind of ‘meaningful brands’ and sustainability conversation,” he said.

Top 3: BNPL service Pace launches 80’s themed campaign

Pace campaign I Got This

Buy Now Pay Later service Pace in Singapore enters our top stories for bringing a very refreshing and unique creative campaign that brought people back to the vibrant pop culture of the 80’s. 

Armed with a video and an OOH ad, audiences saw VHS effect shorts complete with authentic 80s fashion, while decals on platform doors at train stations were reminiscent of the classic shopping advertisements from the period.

Speaking with MARKETECH APAC, Daren Goh, Pace’s head of growth, said that while BNPL is an inspiring tool for people to be financially responsible, payments could be something boring and pedestrian, hence, the push for the one-of-a-kind creative. 

“We thought 80’s was great because it’s something that any generation can relate to whether you’re [a baby boomer], even to Gen Z folks who are interested [in] how it is like [in the] 90s and 80s,” said Goh. 

He also shared that stimulating the feeling of Nostalgia was the goal.

“[80’s] seem like simple times and just really great times. So I guess we could tap into so many different feelings and people also see that no matter what age they are from,” said Goh.

Top 2: foodpanda to now offer delivery for consumer electronics via tie-up with Xiaomi

foodpanda x xiaomi

The leading food delivery platform in Asia, foodpanda, will now move to offer a wide range of consumer electronics and appliances for on-demand deliveries in Singapore and Thailand.

Partnering with Chinese tech giant Xiaomi, foodpanda will be offering Xiaomi’s products ranging from smart devices, audio, and mobile accessories, to household appliances, and will be delivered to homes within 30 minutes.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Christian Urban, foodpanda’s head of marketplace of new verticals for APAC, shared, “Xiaomi is one of the great new vendors coming on board recently, and of course, a very popular brand and we are super happy about that. They are on board with hundreds of their products from their flagship stores across Singapore and Thailand.”

Regarding the platform’s new partnerships and offerings in 2022, Urban said that they want to enable more and more vendors to join their marketplace, helping them to digitize and get their goods delivered within 30 minutes.

“Our goal is to serve a large portion of essential and non-essential goods, and there is actually a strong demand for it. Hence, strategically, the goal is to go deeper and offer more of those goods to our customers,” he added.

Top 1: Content marketing agency Green Park Content bolsters APAC presence with new hire lineup

Green-Park-Content-APAC-New-Hires

For this month’s #1 story, we take a look at the expansive company hire move by content marketing agency Green Park Content for the Asia-Pacific region. 

The hires, which were made in November, span across three major work categories: the client servicing team, creative production team, and the editorial team. In addition to these new hires, GPC also announced the promotions of some of its senior leaders, including Que Ramli to the role of global social media lead, Martin Niens as head of operations, and Fe Husaint who was recently promoted to the role of creative and global brand head.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Marcelo Bittencourt, managing director for APAC at GPC, shared that ever since GPC started out in APAC four and a half years ago with only two hires, they have tested the waters of the business in the region and have since grown to provide various services such as search engine optimization and editorial content.

“The goal for GPC in APAC is [trying] to answer to our global FMCG clients on how we can be more localized, how can we have content that is meaningful for the local countries, because we are seeing a shift from budgets being centralized, and we are seeing how important it is, and how empowered are the local marketers are in the countries. So [we] want to be there with them because we are a part of a global [and] regional work lines and as close to their local operations we can be,” Bittencourt stated.

On his insights on content development, he said, “Content is about connection, content is about building a bond with the audience. You cannot do this if you are not ‘there’, if you’re not using slang, if you’re not understanding what is the environment that you have. This is the biggest goal for us: to be able to grow our local expertise in the countries in APAC, to be able to be that partner to our global clients., and be able to answer their strategies to deliver their brand purpose with quality and with trust.”

Rankings‌ ‌are‌ ‌based‌ ‌on‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Analytics‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌period‌ ‌of‌ ‌16th‌ ‌November to 15th‌ ‌December.

Watch our exclusive interviews with the brands themselves on the latest episode of MARKETECH APAC Reports, now live on our YouTube channel.

This is in collaboration with Malaysia-based media company The Full Frontal.