Creative Works Brand Strategy Mobile

APAC marketers embrace multi-channel marketing strategies for better customer experiences


By Preethi Ravi, Journalist

March 9, 2023 | 8 min read

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At a recent event in Singapore, The Drum Network and our partners at StackAdapt gathered experts in multi-channel marketing to look at how the APAC region is changing the game.

The Drum Network in Singapore

The Drum Network in Singapore

The Asia-Pacific Region (APAC) is leading the way in an array of emerging marketing channels such as in-game advertising, programmatic audio, and digital out-of-home (DOOH). With that comes a host of new opportunities for brands and agencies to create compelling consumer experiences.

At a recent event hosted by The Drum Network and programmatic advertising platform StackAdapt, we gathered market leaders to ask: what are the opportunities and challenges in 2023 for multi-channel marketing in APAC?

Marketers who have adopted multichannel marketing practices have realized significant business benefits, from brand awareness to improved campaign performance, reaching new customer segments, delivering personalized services in a data-safe space, and a higher return on marketing investment (ROMI). All this while providing a seamless journey for consumers across channels.

Our panel discussed the opportunities this all brings: for improvements through better organizational alignment, process definition, and technology integration. While fragmentation and investment in multi-channel platforms remain challenges, APAC marketers are diving headlong into the future.

In-game ads: a phenomenon in APAC

While our panel emphasized the need for businesses to reach their audiences where they are, gaming emerged as the biggest phenomenon in APAC.

For years, APAC has been the leading contender in an industry that is valued at $300bn USD. Gamers in APAC spend 8 hours and 27 minutes each week playing games.

The marketing industry looks at in-game marketing as the gateway to an audience that doesn’t connect with traditional media. Brands can tap into this unique ad channel to reach massively engaged consumers.

Speaking about the opportunities in 2023 for multi-channel marketing in APAC, Nikunj Arora, senior director of partnerships and business solutions at StackAdapt, says, “In Asia, there are roughly 1.746 billion gamers. This presents an opportunity to create new touchpoints with users via in-game ads. Insights gained from this programmatic channel can then be used to improve performance for other media like audio or display advertising. Ultimately, this creates a more unified approach to full-funnel advertising. As a company, we use these multi-channel media activations to help provide a uniform user experience where advertisers can measure their dollars throughout the buyer's purchase journey.”

Consistent creative to boost multi-channel marketing

Creative plays an integral role in multi-channel marketing. Getting your message in front of your audience at the right time, and in the right format, is integral to this strategy. The key to multi-channel marketing is not just choosing the right message, but also staying consistent in that message across channels.

Focus on channel integration and unified communication across channels, suggests Vinod Savio, executive creative director at Toaster.

“Build a consistent relationship with your audience,” says Savio. “You want to engage them every step of the way. You’ve got to think like them and cut through the noise and get in front of the audience for those six seconds where you can grab their attention.”

As Savio summarizes, “You’ve got a million touchpoints, but you need to identify the ones that work best for you and maximize on that.”

Investment and fragmentation: the biggest challenge in APAC

In an increasingly fragmented marketing arena, the marketer’s role in devising a meaningful multichannel campaign becomes more challenging.

“Fragmentation of audience, as with channels, is going to be a challenge. Test and identify which channel is most effective from an individual brand perspective and measure its impact against the money spent,” says Sean O'Brien, co-founder and managing partner at The Half Rhino. With smarter digital strategies, technology, data and segmentation, navigating fragmentation is achievable.

Investment is another challenge. Investing across channels is not feasible for every brand. That means investment “not only in terms of marketing dollars and tracking, but in building capability to take advantage of these new channels, and to define their roles within a multi-channel approach. Brands and agencies will need to decide how they build these–from scratch, through acquisition or by partnership, and then how they integrate them to avoid working in silo. This goes beyond structure and incentive, to developing a diverse but unifying culture,” adds O’Brien.

VaynerMedia’s head of media, APAC, Marc Langenfeld, believes in staying focused and fostering an obsession with consumer attention. “Brands need to meet the consumer on the platforms where they spend their time, through the lens of consumer, culture and platform behavior,” says Langenfeld.

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Advances in the APAC market that western marketers can adopt

Market leaders at the event recognized that APAC is a dynamic market, and one that is willing to experiment and grow. Marketers in this region are inventive and willing to work with multiple organizations to complete production in a short span of time.

The potential of this market is huge, says Carolina Jung, head of growth at Media.Monks. “Back in 2009, a homepage takeover, which is just a banner ad on, in Canada was $30,000 for one day. In the US, it was $300,000 for a one-day banner ad. In APAC, with $5,000 you can do so much more, be it for out-of-home, radio, or audio. The opportunity here is that people are willing to be scrappy to grow this market. Let's take advantage of this.”

Laura Roberts, managing director APAC at Invnt Group, believes that working on engagement-first, viral executions and experiential moments have proved to be successful in the APAC market. “Content that is authentic, shareable, drives engagement, and influences behavior,” she says, “goes a long way in creating stickiness and impact, rather than a series of short-term promotion-based marketing campaigns and messages.”

With a multi-channel strategy, brands can reach consumers throughout the entire funnel while crafting a brand story across channels like native, display, video, CTV, audio, in-game ads, and DOOH. “Using a mix of multi-channel approach drives greater reach while crafting a brand story throughout the entire customer journey,” adds StackAdapt’s Arora, who urges marketers to test and learn for successful multi-channel marketing.

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