The digital marketing landscape is highly competitive and rapidly growing more challenging by the day. The deprecation of third-party cookies and increasingly strict privacy regulations have posed significant challenges for brands trying to make an impact in marketing. Now, brands are looking to first-party data to give them what third-party data never could — sustainable, robust and privacy-compliant results.

At the recent MARKETECH APAC’s What’s NEXT 2023: Marketing in Asia Pacific conference, Matt Hallett, Head of Product Solutions at Amperity, and Teresa Sperti, Founder and Director of Arktic Fox, led a panel discussion, addressing the challenges that marketers are facing in today’s landscape and how they can best navigate them. Here are their insights.

The challenges: Why your marketing isn’t measuring up

What’s holding APAC marketers back from making time for measurement despite the critical need for data-driven marketing? According to Sperti, it’s three things.

“Teams are stretched thin and lack the bandwidth to effectively invest the appropriate time and effort in measuring performance. They’re trying to balance short-term and long-term needs of the business. And trying to determine how to optimise performance or adapt strategy,” she says. 

The second challenge tends to crop up when it’s time to actually measure. Sperti argues that when provided with mountains of data, marketers aren’t entirely sure what they should be measuring. “Marketers often lack clarity around deciphering the most appropriate measurement frameworks to utilise to demonstrate value,” she says. 

“That’s largely because each channel, particularly from a digital point of view, provides a plethora of metrics to measure performance. It can be difficult to determine what the most important metrics are — this can create paralysis in marketers.”

The third challenge, Sperti points out, is the skills gap. In Arktic Fox’s recent research, noted in its annual Arktic Fox Digital and Marketing In Focus Report, half of leaders say customer data strategy and better utilisation of first-party data is a key priority. In fact, 59% say they are still trying to embed a more data-driven approach to marketing, and half of respondents (55%) say building a customer data strategy and better utilising first-party data is a top priority. 

The rise of digital

At Amperity, Hallett shares that there’s a strong focus on helping brands unify customer data across disparate touchpoints. This empowers them to drive better experiences for customers at any time but especially during a time of change. 

After working with a plethora of world-leading brands, he says the most successful amongst them have the right people at the top who understand measurement and why it is important. “Knowing what to measure ultimately starts with the people, strategy and the boldness to keep measurement as a number one priority,” he says.

With the rise of digital, measurement is especially critical, Sperti adds. “The rise of digital has created more complexity as much as it’s created more clarity from a measurement point of view because we have so much data at our fingertips now,” she says.

“Whilst the issues around measurement have intensified given the challenges of today, they’ve always been around. Historically, we haven’t been as accountable as we’ve needed to be around measurement and performance as an industry.”

Hallett agrees, saying, “Measurement issues aren’t a new problem. It’s just that tightening privacy regulations and cookie deprecation are adding more pressure to the space.”

Navigating a new privacy-first marketing landscape 

Significant change is looming on the privacy regulatory front, and it appears that leveraging third-party cookies may no longer be an option after this year. Despite these shifts, in the Arktic Fox Digital and Marketing In Focus Report, when asked about the key priorities leaders have in the data and analytics space across the next 12–18 months, less than one in four (23%) suggested that a focus on improving their compliance with data privacy was a priority. 

Meanwhile, less than half (41%) of brands indicate they have their house in order when it comes to privacy and consent, suggesting many brands will be caught off-guard by the magnitude of change that will bear down on the industry. Concerningly, only 11% of businesses from the study say they have a ‘clear plan and path’ they are implementing when it comes to evolving and adapting to changes in privacy and consent.

This finding suggests that leaders may not fully grasp the extent of the changes that will occur and the urgency of preparing for them.

With Australia tightening its privacy laws, Sperti says it’s imperative for brands to rethink how they are going to leverage that data and discover what, if any, gaps they have in their data sets. 

“Marketers are going to need to adapt their measurement approaches accordingly to ensure they have a reliable data set from which to form and make decisions,” she points out. “It’s going to be a challenging transition off the back of our current market skills gap for those that are trying to build maturity and capability around data, to then have to tackle these really big challenges around measurement brought on by privacy and third-party cookie deprecation.”

Hallett agrees completely, but also admits that there’s a silver lining to all of this change — it’s making an even stronger case for a robust first-party data strategy. With third-party cookie deprecation, brands are trying to leverage first-party data in new and exciting ways,” he says. 

“My day in and day out is essentially spent helping customers build the connectors to make sure that first-party data can be leveraged in a secure, safe privacy-compliant way.”

Embrace imperfection to drive marketing results

As businesses continue to navigate the dynamic digital marketing landscape, the pressure to deliver results has only intensified. In a world where success is often measured in clicks, likes and views, it’s essential to understand the different types of metrics that exist and how to use them effectively.

The best way to do this, Hallett says, is to maintain a culture of fast iteration and celebrate failure as much as success. “Because this is a period of such intense change, you have to forget your pride and be willing to walk away from a campaign if it isn’t working,” he says. 

“Brands are feeling the pressure. Customers can go to a different brand or a different retailer with the click of a button. Everyone is feeling the pressures of Amazon. To thrive, it’s important to make sure that you’re out there, testing and learning as quickly as possible.”

Sperti agrees, saying the celebration of failure is vital. At the same time, she says, it’s just as important to start being comfortable with imperfection. “Decades back, marketers would work on a big TV ad, and they’d be really focused on driving that big, broad awareness – the kind that requires a lot of precision and perfection,” she says. 

“Today, we need to start getting really comfortable knowing that our measurement frameworks aren’t perfect from the get-go. Often perfectionism stops us. We won’t start measuring until we have the ‘Rolls Royce’ of performance measurement frameworks, which means we never start. And when we never start, we fail to learn and evolve from a marketing point of view. What we don’t optimise, we don’t improve.”

Today’s opportunity is paved in first-party data

Ultimately, this new digital landscape demands a new journey — one organisations and brands must navigate together to find their footing as the foundation built upon shady privacy practices and third-party cookies begins to crumble away. 

In a privacy-first world, all roads lead to first-party data. And it’s time for brands to run, not walk, towards getting their house in order. Brands who make the change to leveraging first-party data see net-positive outcomes not just in match rates, efficiencies, time and security but also in revenue. 

The brands that say these challenges are tomorrow’s problems are missing out on the opportunity available to them today. 

It is the year 2023. For a very long time we have been warned about the levels of data that are collected about us online and the consumer becoming more and more identifiable. Yet, we all see ads daily that are absolutely irrelevant to us and what will never turn us into a consumer or even would probe us to consider the advertising brand.

The Challenge Many Brands Face Today

In an era of increasingly targeted marketing and limited budgets, how can brands effectively reduce wastage and improve performance by ensuring that their ads reach the right audience? For example, how can we prevent a consumer with no children from seeing a diaper ad or a vegetarian from being exposed to a burger ad? The key lies in developing personalised marketing strategies at scale that cater to individual preferences and needs, ultimately enhancing both brand image and return on investment.

To achieve this, brands have to understand their core consumer in the best way possible and identify the demand opportunities they want to focus on to enhance ROI. This is then followed by the question of how to target these audiences in the most efficient and effective way in a world that is becoming more complex.

Understanding Your Audience: The First Step to Success

Brands might not know their customers and potential customers well enough to determine the right strategies for engagement and growth. By understanding the audiences in their full granularity, we can identify which segments are more profitable and tailor our communication blueprint. 

The Approach: Applying the Pareto Principle

The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, suggests that 80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of its customers (this applies best to leading brands in well-established categories). By targeting these “core customers,” businesses can increase customer retention, boost sales, and drive growth. However, identifying and communicating with these key customers can be a challenge for marketers, particularly during times when budgets are split between brand and performance objectives, and many brands struggle with long-term brand building while chasing short-term sales goals.

Breaking Down Silos for Effective Strategies

Breaking down silos between CRM, Media, Creative, and Data teams is necessary to help build effective strategies that efficiently communicate with these audiences along the funnel. Core customers are those who make repeated purchases, provide feedback, have higher Life Time Value and refer others to the business. Targeting them at scale with high efficiency requires a deep understanding of their characteristics, needs, and behaviours, which can be achieved through data analysis and personalization techniques. While the 80/20 rule may not hold true for every business, analysing data to identify key customers should be crucial for maximising business success for all marketers.

Who needs to be in charge to tackle the challenge?

The simple answer is every team needs to own it and the CMO needs to break down silos between CRM, Media, Creative, Data and Insight teams.

As privacy concerns and data regulations continue to evolve, targeting audiences effectively while remaining compliant is becoming more challenging. However, there are still ways to reach target audiences in a world that is becoming less targetable. Here are some strategies that companies can use:

  1. CRM: The customer relationship management (CRM) team is responsible for managing the customer database and developing strategies to improve customer retention and loyalty. The CRM team can play a critical role in identifying key customers and tailoring marketing strategies to meet their needs. 
  2. Data: The data team is responsible for analysing customer data and developing insights that can inform marketing strategies. By leveraging data analytics tools, the data team can help identify key customers, track their behaviour, and develop personalised marketing strategies.
  3. Media: The media team is responsible for developing and executing marketing campaigns across different channels. By tailoring campaigns to key customers, the media team can help increase engagement and drive sales. Experiment with new targeting technologies: As privacy concerns continue to evolve, new targeting technologies are emerging that can help companies reach audiences in a compliant way. For example, contextual targeting based on artificial intelligence (AI) can analyse the meaning of web pages and match ads to the content that users are viewing. Other technologies, such as differential privacy and federated learning, are being developed to help protect user data while still allowing for effective targeting.
  4. Insights: Insight teams in a marketing department gather and analyse data to provide actionable insights that shape marketing strategies and drive business growth. They play a key role in market research, customer segmentation, consumer behaviour analysis, campaign performance analysis, product development, competitive analysis, forecasting, and reporting.
  5. Creative: The creative team is responsible for developing the visual and messaging components of marketing campaigns. By working closely with the other teams, the creative team can develop personalised and effective marketing messages that resonate with key customers.

Ultimately, successful implementation of the 80/20 rule requires a collaborative effort among all these teams that requires support from top-level management. Moreover, collaboration between creative and media teams is essential to turn the segmentation into a reality. Some of those steps to make that possible include:

  1. The magic comes to life when creative and media teams collaborate closely together to develop effective marketing informed by data and rigorously optimise and improve. 
  2. Share data and insights: The media team can provide the creative team with insights about the target audience, such as demographics, interests, and behaviours. This information can help the creative team develop messaging and visuals that are more likely to resonate with the audience.
  3. Develop media-specific creative: The creative team can develop messaging and visuals that are tailored to specific media channels. For example, social media campaigns may require shorter, more attention-grabbing visuals and messaging compared to email campaigns. By tailoring creative to specific media channels, the campaign can be more effective in engaging the target audience. The cookie cutter approach is not going to work anymore. 
  4. Test and optimise creative: The media team can provide data about the performance of the campaign, such as click-through rates, conversions, and engagement rates. The creative team can use this information to optimise the creative, such as testing different visuals or messaging to improve campaign performance.

An example of a clearly defined and carved out demand opportunity that has resulted in a tailored communication is this activation from McDonald’s.

Navigating Privacy Concerns and Data Regulations

As privacy concerns and data regulations continue to evolve globally, targeting audiences effectively while remaining compliant is becoming more challenging. However, there are still ways to reach target audiences in a world that is becoming less targetable. Here are some strategies that companies can use:

  • Focus on first-party data: First-party data refers to data collected directly from customers or prospects. This could include data from website analytics, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, or loyalty programs. By using first-party data, companies can develop more personalized messaging and offers that are tailored to individual customers.
  • Foster partnerships: Building strong relationships with key partners, such as publishers, ad tech vendors, and data management platforms, can help you better understand your audience and leverage their expertise to develop more targeted marketing campaigns. Collaborating with partners can also help you navigate the rapidly changing landscape of privacy regulations and targeting technologies. Start to develop personalized messaging and offers using data collected directly from customers or prospects.
  • Measure success and iterate: Continuously monitoring the success of your marketing campaigns is crucial for refining your strategies and ensuring that you are effectively reaching your key customers. By analyzing the data and adjusting your campaigns based on insights and feedback, you can improve your targeting, messaging, and overall marketing effectiveness over time.
  • Use contextual targeting: Target ads based on the context of the content being viewed and continuously test and experiment with different personalization tactics to find what works


In an age where personalization is king and consumer privacy is a top concern, brands must develop strategies that effectively target their core customers at scale with high efficiency. By breaking down silos between CRM, Media, Creative, Insights and Data teams, leveraging first-party data, experimenting with new targeting technologies, fostering partnerships, and prioritizing customer experience, companies can navigate the complex landscape of privacy regulations while still reaching their target audiences and driving growth. Implementing these strategies will not only help brands reduce wastage and improve performance, but also build trust and foster long-term relationships with their most valuable customers.

This article is written by Jan Harling, chief executive officer at Virtus Asia Consulting

The insight is published as part of MARKETECH APAC’s thought leadership series under What’s NEXT 2023What’s NEXT 2023 is a multi-platform industry initiative which features marketing and industry leaders in APAC sharing their marketing insights and predictions for the upcoming year.

It’s been years since markets have discussed using first, second, and third-party data in the digital world. We have also been faced with the announcement of no tracking on iOS and the delayed implementation of cutting third-party cookies by Google to 2024.  Marketers have been approached by various data agency partners and customer data platform (CDP) partners such as Insider, Tealium, Adobe, Sitecore, and more to sell their data platform solutions. 

Unfortunately, I have seen that with much fanfare, many markets, after buying into the solutions provided by data agencies or platform providers, fail to make full use of the investment they have made in those platforms. Those CPD platforms become half-baked into the client’s data ecosystem or sit as an orphan that no one knows how to maximise their use. Now that the selling part is done, what needs to happen is to have a true partner, internal or external, that has to orchestrate all the data you have in harmony to bring the most out of it.

Photo Courtesy of Element61

The Ensemble: Overview of Your First-Party Data

It’s a misnomer that markets think only in silos and treat their first-party data as the data gathered from their paid and owned media. While it’s doable, capturing the data from earned media and putting it into your CDP is challenging, as you don’t have complete control of the user-generated content.)  There is a wealth of data across all platforms that each marketer has- paid media data, organic data, customer CRM data, loyalty program data, and more. In short, you have massive amounts of consumer data that interact with your company’s properties in various ways. Two industries stood out for having the most first-party data across all industries: banking and finance, as well as travel and hospitality. 

The issue we have on hand right now is that marketers fail to do a collective overview of all the first-party data they have been collecting via various channels. They jump right into selecting a CDP platform only for paid media.  This is the most common mistake that I see marketers make.  Your CDP is more than an enhanced version of your GA4, Adobe Analytics, Google Campaign Manager, or Looker. Without the proper assembling, you would have a CDP platform that costs you millions but brings nothing in return in revenue.

Overtune: Setting the Stage

After analysing all the available data, you must set the stage to make them work for you.  You must have both marketing and business data plugged into the system. Otherwise, you will have data only collected from systems such as Sitecore or Salesforce or from media activities from media channel connectors into your CDP system.  You need to have both the front-end data (marketing data collected) and the backend data (customer, sales, and CRM data) join via the CDP to allow data segmentation and predictive modelling. You need to include both sides of the information to maximise your media efficiency and drive home results to prove to your CFO the return on investment on your CDP platform.

Intermission: Operational Excellence

This is the section where I see most marketers fall off a cliff and fail to ensure their CDPs.  After plugging in your media data and your CRM/Customer Data, you need to start utilising the CDP platforms for what they should do – Predictive Modeling and Customer segmentation.  With this, you can begin to orchestrate your media activities and segment the audience you have been collecting.  With the CDP, it will help you exponentially increase the power of your first party data beyond standard remarketing, which, unfortunately, I see too many marketers end up using a CDP platform only for the sake of remarketing.  With your CDP’s proper predictive modelling and segmentations, you can adequately leverage your data for future customer engagement, whether paid or owned media. You can create bespoke creative messaging and landing pages for different audiences based on your segmentation and predictive analysis from the CDP platform.

Finale: Results Framework

Your C-Suite will start questioning the investment in your CDP solutions. Now, it’s the final chapter to prove the return on investment in your paid and owned media activities and how they link it to the business metrics rather than just the marketing metrics. Ultimately, revenue is what all businesses seek, rather than simply looking at how much media efficiency you drive through CPC, CPM, or CPV.  Those metrics are important, but they won’t bring you home as the hero of your company. You need to be able to quantify how your CDP platform helps you drive the actual business outcomes for your company.

Many marketers are now panicking and need help managing the first party data once the cord of the cookies is finally cut by Google.  It’s the best and worst times to start looking at your current data collection systems, whether in Looker, Adobe, GA4, or even as simple as using Google Campaign Manager. There is still time for you to transition from a basic analytics or cookie collection platform to a real CDP.  Media and Data Scientists are here to help translate a very technical aspect of CDP into a layman’s term and help you connect the dots internally between your CEO and the CTO.  This is a must for an agency, be it a media, data, creative, social, or performance agency, to perform well beyond the cookie-less world.  You need to have a professional expert who knows your business needs and understands the challenges of your current data privacy and the data ecosystem.  With the proper orchestration, you can make all your first party data dance in harmony and bring impactful revenue to your business.

This article is written by Antony Yiu, chief executive officer at PHD Hong Kong

The insight is published as part of MARKETECH APAC’s thought leadership series under What’s NEXT 2023What’s NEXT 2023 is a multi-platform industry initiative which features marketing and industry leaders in APAC sharing their marketing insights and predictions for the upcoming year.

Singapore – As the pandemic thrust consumers to rely more on digital consumption, brands had to recalibrate their presence and leverage online channels to ensure they continued to reach their target consumers. This pandemic-induced reality is what gave way to the third wave of Digital Advertising — prompted by Retail Media. 

In the recently concluded conference ‘What’s NEXT 2023: Marketing in Asia Pacific’ by MARKETECH APAC, JJ Eastwood, managing director at Carousell Media Group, dug deeper into retail media and how it became the way to activate digital advertising’s now ‘third big wave’.

Watch the full presentation of Carousell Media Group’s JJ Eastwood here.

If we’re now in the third, where can we date back the earlier ripples? The study by Interactive Advertising Bureau Southeast Asia and India (IAB SEA+India) and Carousell Media Group revealed that the first wave, in fact, started with the search era in the 2000s and then followed by the social era in the 2010s when social media networks took part in digital advertising. Fast forward to 2020 — retail media networks finally took over. 

Retail media networks are classified into digital marketplaces, mass merchant retailers, and commerce intermediaries or delivery providers. To name a few, some known retail media networks are Amazon and Walmart in the US and in Asia, there are Carousell, Grab ads and panda ads.

In his presentation, Eastwood emphasised that five factors are driving the growth of retail media. This includes first-party data, which enables retail media networks to serve customers with relevant advertisements; closed-loop attribution, which helps in better understanding of ads; contextually relevant ads to the consumer; ability to reach relevant audiences at scale; and capability to run full-funnel campaigns. 

However, in particular, the growth of retail media was propelled by sponsored search ads which make up almost 80% of retail media networks’ revenue. 

Eastwood explained, “Those sponsored search ads are as relevant as organic search listings. This is what is at the core of every retail media network, what delivers results and meaningful insights for brands.”

The existence of retail media fills the needs of the brands since there has been a decline in television advertisements and the loss of third-party identifiers, whilst the stores are starting to shift into the digital world.

With this, Eastwood emphasised the retail media trends that emerged, particularly in Asia, where 99% of the brands and agencies plan to increase their retail media spending over the next 12 months. Moreover, according to Eastwood, 70% of advertisers are seeing an improvement in performance from retail media networks over other channels, whilst brands say that they will advertise on a retail media network despite not listing products in that marketplace.

Marketers face many challenges when advertising, such as measuring marketing outcomes, optimising cross-channel campaigns, and removing third-party identifiers, particularly cookies. Eastwood shared how retail media can solve these challenges. 

What’s next for retail media in Asia? Concluding his presentation, Eastwood said, “I think what is gonna happen for the next six to 12 months, particularly in Asia, are more data collaborations. Retailers and brands can come together and enrich each other’s data upon what they know about certain consumer profiles.”

He added, “Through the use of DSPs, Retail media is moving up the funnel into video and digital out-of-home formats. However, through the likes of shoppable videos, retail media will blur the lines between traditional branding campaigns and direct response.”

What’s NEXT 2023: Marketing in Asia Pacific is the inaugural 2-day hybrid industry conference of MARKETECH APAC which was launched last February 28 and March 1 as a culminating event under What’s NEXT 2023. 

More than 200 in-person participants and more than 100 virtual attendees participated in the conference to know more about what’s next in the different marketing disciplines including growth marketing, marketing and technology, retail media, public relations, travel marketing, influencer marketing, customer experience, and many more.

In the virtual conference held on the second day, Eastwood was joined by other marketing leaders from panda ads, Boost, CARSOME, and Hubilo, PrimeCredit Limited and Rentokil Initial amongst others, who also shared their insights about various marketing facets.

Carousell Media Group, the speaker for the keynote presentation, is a proud bronze sponsor of What’s NEXT 2023: Marketing in Asia Pacific. Carousell Media Group is the advertising arm of Carousell Group, which helps brands across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong acquire new customers and increase sales. With tens of millions of active shoppers and hundreds of millions of product searches on its marketplaces every month, brands can connect with consumers through full-funnel campaigns, drive conversions and gain valuable marketing insights.

Gaining more customers is an everyday challenge not only for salespeople but for marketers as well — but what if there are more ways than one to take on this challenge?

In MARKETECH APAC’s recently conducted conference, ‘What’s NEXT 2023: Marketing in Asia Pacific’, marketing leaders Anna Henwood, CEO of insights platform Stickybeak, and Nancy Almasco, marketing director of retail company enumerated some of the strategies marketers can take to create a 360º-journey in growing their customers this 2023 and beyond. 

The panel discussion was moderated by Kaspersky’s Communications Planning Partner for APAC and META, Mark Opao, which provided the audience with insights on how to boost brands’ knowledge of their target markets for regional expansion in 2023. The speakers also discussed how to leverage consumer data in marketing strategies and how to future-proof one’s brand amidst the competitive industry. 

Watch the panel discussion of’s Nancy Almasco, Stickybeak’s Anna Henwood, and Kaspersky’s Mark Opao here.

Ready: Where to start when making a 360-degree consumer journey

“For you to commit to that 360 consumer journey, you have to make sure that everyone is onboarded,” said Almasco on defining what a 360-degree consumer journey is. According to her, the ideal 360º-journey is not only a marketing effort but a company-wide one — including the sales, customer support, operations, and business development teams, amongst others. 

Meanwhile, Henwood highlighted that a 360-degree journey must always start with the customer. She also added that customers will tend to have different journeys, so marketers should first gather everything they have, including data, focus groups, and research, in order to understand where the gaps are. 

However, Henwood advised to not let the pile of data paralyse their brand. She furthered, “As soon as you can, start visualising the information that you’ve got… Just start getting up what you know, so you can see where you’ve got information and where you haven’t.”

Set: How to set up your brand for expansion

In the next segment, Almasco and Henwood also shared their views on brand expansion. To this, Almasco emphasised that companies should first set their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to know if there is a need for recalibrating the brand’s strategies. On making a ‘stop’ when analysing data, however, Almasco highlighted that it should be a continuous effort. 

“It’s a continuous effort. Week on week, month on month, you do an analysis, you review your data, you review performance, you measure your success or the numbers that you have versus the KPIs,” she explained. 

On the other hand, Henwood stressed the importance of being clear about your hypotheses and objectives. She said, “What I would really encourage you to look at is ways that you can get a more agile or modern research that helps you quickly test that hypothesis that you’ve got. There’s plenty of tools and digital platforms out there that can help you do that.”

Moreover, she also said that before brands should start thinking about expansion, they should first really understand their core brand strategy and messaging. “Having a really good understanding of your core brand strategy and your pillars, and understanding how you can tailor that to each market, I think is really important when you’re setting up brand expansion,” she explained. 

Go: Ways to future-proof your brand

Finally, Henwood said that while consumer data can be quite overwhelming, brands should be clear on the answers they are looking for. “Don’t go in there just looking at your data to try and find something out. Go in there with a question… You’ll be there forever, and you’ll never get out,” she concluded. 

On dealing with competitors, Almasco also highlighted that brands should go above and beyond them by understanding all their strategies and making them better whilst still keeping their brand identity. “But you have to ensure that in terms of brand identity, you keep it. Because you cannot promise on something that you cannot deliver,” said Almasco.

Opao concluded the conversation by rounding up the speakers’ points: don’t let overwhelming consumer data paralyse your brand and always know what you can deliver whilst also going beyond to stand out in the market.

‘What’s NEXT 2023: Marketing in Asia Pacific’ is MARKETECH APAC’s inaugural two-day hybrid conference, which tackled various topics in the marketing space targeted at future-proofing the industry, including growth marketing, influencer marketing, and retail media, amongst others. The conference was attended by over 200 in-person attendees and more than 100 virtual participants from various brands and industries in and out of the country.

Stickybeak, one of the panellists in the discussion, is a proud Silver Sponsor of What’s NEXT 2023: Marketing in Asia Pacific. Stickybeak is a testing and insights platform that delivers fast, cost-effective, and valuable customer insights through social media-powered targeting.

The rise of the Asian middle class, estimated to increase from 2 billion Asians in 2020 to 3.5 billion by 2030, is transforming the future of mobility in the APAC region. Increasing affluence, alongside accelerated technology adoption, will create strong demand for ownership and usership of vehicles equipped with advanced features such as telematics and infotainment systems. APAC’s share of the global connected cars market reached 42% in 2020, and is anticipated to register a CAGR of more than 19% from 2021 through 2025; that’s notably higher than the global average growth rate of 13% during the same time frame, according to data from Technavio.

Source: Technavio

China, the largest market in APAC, is running neck and neck with the U.S. in global connected car sales. The region’s technological advantages in information and communication technology (ICT) and data processing and platform services, along with secure investment underpinning a dedicated industrial strategy, as well as support from the central government, puts the market in a pole position to lead the connected car market for the region. 

India, Korea, and Japan are also significant connected car markets for the region. Acknowledged as the world’s fastest-growing economy, India’s rapid development of telecom infrastructures like 5G and 4G LTE will be a key demand driver for connected cars. Favourable government policies will also drive the market’s growth, given ongoing concerns over issues such as road safety and personal security. Meanwhile, Japan and Korea already play a significant role in the APAC car market. The Japanese have established themselves as industry leaders, while Korean manufacturers have made rapid strides forward. In both markets, the automotive giants will play a definitive role in advancing their connected cars agendas, catering to domestic car buyers that already have high awareness of connected technologies and increasing demands for convenience features in cars. 

The scope of connected cars will go beyond that of conventional vehicle usership: the connectivity in cars will help them become a key interface for a range of industries looking to provide services to consumers. In addition, with many media tech platforms in APAC already placing a stake in the ground, this will help bridge service providers to car manufacturers, enabling myriad new opportunities for brands and marketers. 

Any time a consumer makes a trip in their car, there are countless options and opportunities for commerce. With smart connectivity, connected cars can help drivers make purchase decisions, streamline the buying process, and close the loop with seamless payments. It is important to note that in the car, where touch-based devices such as smartphones are not optimal for commerce activities, AI-enabled voice technology will be key to unlocking these opportunities. 

Over the past few years, Chinese commerce giant Alibaba has been working with automakers to add its smart voice assistant, Tmall Genie, to the range of smart devices compatible with its connected car apps. Drivers are offered access to information via audio output or in text, while images form on the car’s display screen. 

One example is the integration of BMW Connected with Tmall Genie. BMW drivers can use Genie to place online orders on Tmall, and then choose to have their purchases delivered to their homes. Or if they are ordering groceries, they may want to collect them on their way home. Hema, Alibaba’s chain of supermarkets, offers this choice. With Elema, a leading online food delivery and takeout service that is also part of Alibaba’s ecosystem, drivers can view restaurant listings en route, put in their food orders, and pick them up on their way to their destination.

The use of consumer data together with vehicle data that provides location, time of day, and common routes, can target consumers’ needs and wants, providing a more personalised user experience. Combining vehicle technology with cutting-edge digital tools powered by data turns cars into an extension of mobile devices and integrates the car into the drivers’ connected lifestyles. 

Like Alibaba, Tencent, which owns Chinese super-app WeChat, is also fully leveraging its digital ecosystem to apply to the car environment, launching an in-car interface that integrates a selection of Tencent apps and functions into the in-car system. Tencent Way, a mobility life assistant, synchronizes users’ hobbies, driving preferences and other information with the in-car infotainment system to provide personalized services throughout the journey. Fun Audio provides travel information pertaining to the route taken using predictive technologies, as well as a selection of Tencent content services such as QQ Music, WeRead, Tencent Sports, Ximalaya FM, and more. WeChat offers a custom version for autos with voice recognition and interaction technology that allows drivers to use the app while driving. 

Tencent Way System – L / Clova Auto by LINE – R

In a similar fashion, Japanese mobile app platform LINE Corp and automaker Toyota have struck a partnership to offer an AI platform featuring voice commands for navigation services in Toyota cars in Japan using LINE’s Clova Auto system. Through voice commands while driving, users can check the weather at their destination, send and receive messages, as well as make calls via the LINE app, and even turn off their lights at home.

Besides the new commerce opportunities that connected cars enable, they will also open new channels to communicate in hyper-relevant ways with consumers at the moment of a potential purchase. For example, a fuel brand could recognize a connected car with a near-empty tank and proximity to one of its stations and offer a discount to fill up with the brand. These potential advertising opportunities could include sponsored placements and recommendations in apps integrated into the in-car system. Traditional drivers’ media such as radio and out-of-home can also be revitalized through addressable ads that tap into the data from vehicles. Certainly, for media tech platforms that already have their existing digital marketing ecosystem, this creates an opportunity for further diversification. 

However, there are critical concerns around road safety, data privacy, and cyber security that will need to be considered. Until cars become truly autonomous, the safety of drivers and passengers must be prioritized. Data collected from connected cars and consumer privacy must also be protected, in accordance with local data laws and regulations. Car manufacturers, software providers, and partners will also have to invest in cybersecurity to make connected vehicles safe for owners and drivers.

For brands and marketers, the prospect of connected cars is certainly exciting. Not only can they transform the way brands sell to, communicate with, and learn about consumers, but they also make drivers’ journeys easier and more convenient. Ultimately though, how these opportunities come to fruition will depend on how the concerns of road safety, data privacy, and cyber security are addressed. 

This article is written by Sharon Soh, Chief Planning & Audience Officer at UM APAC.

The insight is published as part of MARKETECH APAC’s thought leadership series under What’s NEXT 2023What’s NEXT 2023 is a multi-platform industry initiative which features marketing and industry leaders in APAC sharing their marketing insights and predictions for the upcoming year.

The recent pandemic subjected the healthcare industry to a trial by fire revealing loopholes that were otherwise shoved under the rug. If there were one obvious transformation that had to be quickly thrust into reality, it would be the digitisation of healthcare. 

In an interview under the What’s NEXT Interview Series by MARKETECH APAC, one of the leading healthcare services providers in Asia – Zuellig Pharma – shared with us its insights on digital experience innovation. The firm activated incredible pivots within its ecosystem during the pandemic, starting with a B2B e-commerce platform called ‘eZRx’. 

Right off the bat, its Head of Product & Engineering, Digital & Data Solutions, Preetham Nadig, encapsulated in a nutshell what had been the state of affairs over the last two years. 

“I think the pandemic has given us [an] overview of what happens when [we’re] not prepared, and how businesses had to transform overnight,” he said.

“Healthcare has gone [through] a tremendous digital transformation journey, and [with] [Covid], we have really catapulted into the next phase of our transformation.” 

Watch the full interview with Zuellig Pharma’s Preetham Nadig here.

Nadig shared that at Zuellig Pharma, they have seen customers demand more personalised and accessible experiences.

“In our part of the world, in Southeast Asia especially, healthcare is fragmented, [and] we still see the same challenges of having access to better [data], to [better] healthcare, and having the trust in [the] products that we consume.”

Meanwhile, on leveraging Sitecore’s composable solutions for their digital experiences, he commented, “Zuellig Pharma leverages Sitecore CMS across our ecosystem of Digital & Data solutions. Sitecore has helped us to deliver a better customer-centric digital strategy, which leads to driving revenue and conversion, and improving customer loyalty and marketing efficiency, to name a few.”

Nadig cited two crucial things for brands in delivering an excellent digital experience – personalisation and convenience

“Personalisation and convenience [stand] out. For that to happen, we need to really look at having composable solutions.”

Further, he believes it’s customer-focused innovation that’s going to be the key differentiator as brands continue to elevate and bring to newer heights their digitisation efforts.

“Continuous investment in [composable] solutions helps us to be prepared, be agile, [and] be very customer-focused.”

He also advised brands, “Start with the customer, understand their pain points, understand their journeys, and contextualise your experiences to your customers’ contexts.”

This interview was conducted in partnership with Sitecore. Sitecore is the leading provider of end-to-end digital experience software; its SaaS-enabled and composable platform empowers brands to deliver unforgettable customer interactions.

Manila, Philippines – As 2023 is now in full swing, marketing and advertising leaders alike are now on the edge as to what opportunities and challenges they should look out for in their respective industries. This comes with making sense of a lot of emerging marketing trends which have been accelerated by changing consumer behaviours and evolving industry perceptions, amongst others.

In response to the need for a diverse platform where the industry can learn from, MARKETECH APAC has recently concluded “What’s NEXT 2023: Marketing in Asia-Pacific”, a 2-day hybrid marketing industry conference from February 28 to March 1, which tackled a wide range of marketing topics that marketers can use to empower their marketing strategies this 2023 and be equipped with future-proof brand directions. The conference was attended by more than 200 in-persona attendees and more than 100 virtual attendees.

For Day 1 of the conference, the event was held physically at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, and featured a 22-strong speaker lineup from local and international brands namely:

  • Gino Riola, chief marketing officer at Allianz PNB Life
  • Gino Borromeo, chief strategy officer at BBDO Guerrero
  • Bea Atienza, impactful brand experience lead at Colgate-Palmolive
  • Jay-Anne Encarnado, vice president and head of corporate Communications and PR at Converge ICT Solutions
  • Denice Sy, chief sales and marketing officer at Ever Bilena Cosmetics
  • Nancy Almasco, marketing director at FlowerStore Group
  • Danielle Marie Eleazar, head of marketing of new verticals at foodpanda
  • Francis John Chua, head of channel and content strategy and governance at Globe Group
  • Norman Agatep, president and managing director at Grupo Agatep
  • Sheila Paul, chief marketing officer at Home Credit Philippines
  • Doris Dumlao-Abadilla, business features editor at
  • Mark Opao, communications planning partner for APAC, Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Kaspersky
  • Teri Flores, head of corporate communications at Luzon International Premiere Airport Development Corp. (LIPAD Corp.)
  • Weldon Fung, area director at Meltwater Southeast Asia
  • Paolo Alba, client service director and country lead for the Philippines at PRecious Communications
  • Louise Vas, head of OSW marketing at PrimeCredit
  • Raenald Renz De Jesus, head of marketing at ShopBack Philippines
  • Joaquin San Agustin, senior vice president of marketing at SM Supermalls
  • Anna Henwood, chief executive officer at Stickybeak
  • Jeremiah Su, chief marketing officer at Superminted
  • Albert Cuadrante, chief marketing officer at UnionBank of the Philippines
  • Christopher Daguimol, group director and head of corporate communication at ZALORA

Some of the discussions that were tackled on the first day include a keynote presentation from Home Credit Philippines and their marketing strategy to promote local financial inclusion, panel discussions on how brands are foreseeing their brand growth as well as tackling ‘fake news’ with public relations, and more presentations on video content strategy, the return of travel in a post-pandemic time, and the importance of CSR initiatives.

Meanwhile, for day 2 of the conference–which was held virtually–the speaker lineup came from international brands and agencies. The speakers for day 2 include:

  • Faiz Fashridjal, co-founder and business director at AllHeart Indonesia
  • Matt Hallett, head of product solutions at Amperity
  • Teresa Sperti, founder and director at Arktic Fox
  • Azadeh Williams, managing director at AZK Media
  • Diana Boo, chief marketing officer at Boost
  • JJ Eastwood, managing director at Carousell Media Group
  • Ravi Shankar, chief marketing officer at Carsome
  • Amit Wadhwa, CEO at dentsu Creative India
  • Deepak Lamba, head of global sales and partnerships at Hubilo
  • Toni Juhani Ruotanen, director of advertising and partnerships for APAC at panda ads
  • Sally Lai, regional director for marketing and innovation for Asia at Rentokil Initial
  • Sean Jefferies, martech product owner at Rentokil Initial
  • Kyra Coleen Jose, art director at Superminted

The discussions focused more on the importance of marketing innovations such as marketing technology, performance drivers, and phygital event experiences, amongst others.

MARKETECH APAC’s first-ever hybrid industry conference was also made possible by sponsors Meltwater, panda ads, Stickybeak, Carousell Media Group, and Hubilo.

Speaking on the recent conclusion of the conference, Joven Barceñas, founder and CEO of MARKETECH APAC, has expressed his gratitude to all of those who have attended the conference, stressing the importance of leading discussions for the marketing industry this year.

“We are very grateful that we kicked off 2023 with our first-ever hybrid marketing conference, which saw huge attendance from speakers and attendees across Asia-Pacific. We understand the importance of having a one-stop event that bears a wide array of topics that are beneficial to marketers this 2023. It is also important for us to be able to get some of the leading marketing leaders in the region to lead these conversations, and empower other marketers to brave the uncertain year ahead with optimism to their own marketing strategies.

He added, “True to our mantra of creating a well-connected marketing ecosystem in Asia-Pacific, our first-ever hybrid marketing conference is a testament to what other marketers can look forward to from us this year and in the future. We hope you can join us in our upcoming ventures to spotlight the best of marketing trends this year.”

What’s NEXT 2023: Marketing in Asia-Pacific will be also making its international debut in Malaysia and Singapore by the fourth quarter of this year.

Follow our YouTube channel as we will share the recorded sessions of the 2-day conference in the next coming days.

2023 will mark an exciting and transformative new phase for most businesses in the world as the economic environment and market situation evolves and enters a new normal. First-party data-centric solutions, online-merge-offline (OMO) services and applications, along with result-driven marketing focus with the emphasis on conversion and campaign result uplift, are set to help businesses build stronger resilience in a highly uncertain market environment. 

In the post-pandemic era, offline channels have been recovering steadily, but this does not mean that the influence of online channels will decline. Instead, with the nature of online marketing’s measurable effectiveness, the lines between customer acquisition, retention, conversion, and insight into the marketing funnel stages have started to blur, and this makes it more important to equip businesses with real-time first-party data collection and analysis capabilities to strengthen their online and offline data integration. Service providers with a strong AI know-how will continue to lead the trends of MarTech tool development and present more diverse applications to fit multiple scenarios. 

Following the incoming phasing out of third-party cookies, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a leading technology that provides better results for organisations, supporting them to enhance their campaign performances with limited data sources. In response to the economic slowdown and inflation, results-driven marketing solutions will empower businesses to turn their marketing investment into predictable returns and leverage a ‘turning AI into ROI’ customer-centric mindset to help enterprises cope well with the new normal in 2023. 

To prepare for the new normal in the post-pandemic era in 2023, the following three strategies can help companies seize potential business opportunities and make wiser business decisions:

Theme 1: First-party data centric solutions 

With the rise in the awareness of data privacy, businesses are seeking first-party data centric solutions for digital marketing. Real-time analysis and predictions from small data are two unique features of AI technology which can unify user profiles and extrapolate user affinity more accurately and realize personalised communication with limited first-party data, whilst respecting user privacy. Moreover, first-party data can also enable auto-piloted intelligent advertising to generate greater investment returns for customers. 

Theme 2: OMO application of online and offline data 

Digital transformation is a continuously evolving process. Although offline sales have gradually recovered in the post-pandemic era, online shopping trends that took hold during the pandemic have convinced brands that OMO is the key to sustainability and to coping with uncertainties. 

To adapt to the new normal in the post-pandemic era, enterprises are actively seeking solutions to integrate and connect data across offline and online channels. Brands that unify customer data across different channels such as websites, apps, and social media can then leverage smarter insights to create seamless and personalised customer experiences.

Theme 3: Emphasis on conversion and effectiveness with result-driven marketing focus

An ever-changing market environment brings formidable challenges to enterprises and brands. Brands are spending their marketing budgets more precisely to specify marketing targets. AI can incorporate natural language processing, computer vision, and conversational commerce to help businesses keep up with these changes in real time, gain insights that humans cannot perceive, and recommend businesses to take immediate actions driven by data. 

For example, AI can target high-value customers and make predictions beforehand, and optimize the effectiveness of advertising and retargeting. It can also be used to make creative decisions about ad materials to improve advertising effectiveness. Combined with intuitive visualisation to quickly display users’ feedback at every touch point of the customer journey, AI can quickly predict and understand marketing performance in real time and take immediate actions. 

AI not only improves the efficiency and effectiveness of customer acquisition, it can also predict purchase intent. After a user visits a website, brands can leverage the power of AI to deliver a personalised coupon to hesitant shoppers to stimulate the checkout process or increase customer transactions, enabling enterprises to maximise the ROI of their marketing campaign without sacrificing profit. 

Due to the impact of the pandemic and uncertainties in the market, AI-driven MarTech solutions have become an indispensable tool to help companies enhance their competitiveness. There will be more relevant applications to be introduced in 2023, and be adopted extensively in multiple industries. MarTech solutions will also become more data-driven and result-driven to help enterprises make advances in the face of adversity. 

This article is written by Hongchia How, Vice President of Appier for APAC.

The insight is published as part of MARKETECH APAC’s thought leadership series under What’s NEXT 2023What’s NEXT 2023 is a multi-platform industry initiative which features marketing and industry leaders in APAC sharing their marketing insights and predictions for the upcoming year.

If you are a marketing leader and have insights that you’d like to share on upcoming trends and practices in marketing, please reach out to [email protected] for an opportunity to be part of the series. 

Singapore – For MARKETECH APAC’s first-ever hybrid conference this coming 2023, What’s NEXT 2023: Marketing in Asia Pacific, social and media intelligence firm, Meltwater, will be joining us as a Gold Sponsor. 

Meltwater helps companies make better and more informed decisions by examining millions of posts each day from social media platforms, blogs, and news sites. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with 50 offices across six continents. 

Weldon Fung, Area Director at Meltwater Southeast Asia, will be doing a keynote presentation on the first day–February 28–titled “The Evolution Of Influencers And Communities: How Effective Partnerships Can Fuel Your Affinity Brand In 2023?

Through the keynote presentation, Fung will be sharing relevant data about how impactful partnerships with influencers or creators can be on community brand building and how to find the perfect fit in a partner. Moreover, he will explain how influencers can help create a meaningful impact for brands.

Fung also explains how influencer partnerships have been vital for brands to build relevance and authenticity for new audiences.

“Influencer partnerships can be an effective way for brands to reach new audiences and increase brand awareness. Influencers have built up a following of engaged users who trust their opinions and are more likely to engage with and purchase products that they recommend.”

He further added, “Additionally, influencer partnerships can help to build credibility and authenticity for a brand, as the endorsement of a trusted influencer can signal to potential customers that the brand is reputable and trustworthy. Furthermore, Influencer partnerships can also help brands to increase their social media reach and engagement. Not only that but this steers marketing to move toward community brand building as well.”

Joven Barceñas, founder & CEO at MARKETECH APAC, commented, “With gratitude, we extend a heartfelt thank you to our Gold sponsor Meltwater for joining us on this journey to uncover the future of marketing in Asia. Their unwavering support and partnership have enabled us to bring the What’s NEXT 2023 Conference to life in a hybrid platform that promises to be an exciting and insightful experience for all.”

What’s NEXT 2023: Marketing in Asia Pacific is the dedicated conference under the digital media’s future-centred industry series, What’s NEXT 2023. To be conducted in a hybrid format, the 2-day conference will happen on February 28 – March 1, 2023, with the in-person event on the first day to take place in Crowne Plaza Galleria Manila. 

The hybrid conference gathers the top marketing leaders in the region to drive the conversation on what to come next in the marketing industry this 2023 across its different domains. To be presented in multi-platform discussions, industry speakers will be touching on various areas such as Digital, Growth Marketing, Engagement, Public Relations, Customer Experience, Retail & E-Commerce, and Influencer Marketing, amongst others, to help brands and marketers prepare for the future of the marketing landscape this 2023.

Head over to the official event site to see the full agenda of What’s NEXT 2023: Marketing in Asia Pacific. 

Interested delegates for in-person and virtual sessions may register here.

For sponsorship opportunities, please reach out to [email protected].