Digital Marketing Experts in Asia Share Their Predictions for 2017

Ok folks, 2016 was a CRAZY year to say the least. But it’s over and aside from some all of the drama we’re constantly seeing on our Facebook feeds, this was also a stellar year for the digital marketing world.

Hear what the industry experts have to say about the industry developments from 2016, what they predict will happen in 2017, and what they will be up to!

Tim Soulo – Head of Marketing, Product Development & Chief Evangelist, Ahrefs

Your biggest takeaway for digital marketing in 2016:

My biggest takeaway this year is how big of an advantage in marketing you get when you have an objectively superior offering.

These days people are connected like never before and they often listen to the people around them when making purchasing decisions. So if your product or service is vastly superior to those of your competitors – you won’t believe how fast people will learn that.

By heavily investing in your product you’re actually helping your marketing team a lot. Not to mention that marketing and product development should actually go hand in hand.

Your #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2017:

I don’t have any particularly exciting prediction for marketing in 2017. I just see that marketing is quickly evolving in all possible areas:

– We learn to understand our customers better;

– We learn to attract and retain the right kind of customer;

– We have better analytics tools and we monitor all sorts of business metrics;

– We get better at creating quality content, be it a blog post or a TV ad.

I mean marketing is evolving in all areas and it is really hard to pinpoint something in particular.

What excites me personally is the influence of AI/ML on marketing. I see many people invest in tools and algorithms that will help them automate their common marketing tasks and squeeze the best possible results out of them. I’m pretty sure in just a few years we’ll have tools and services where you just click one button and it does all you need.

What will be your digital marketing focus for 2017:

Our focus for 2017 will stay the same – creating the best product we can. Our niche is quite small, so to be a leader in this market you don’t really need to invest a lot of resources in marketing and sales. We just make our product better than any existing alternatives and our customers do all marketing for us.

 

Kenrick Drijkoningen – Expert in Residence, Golden Gate Ventures

Your biggest takeaway for digital marketing in 2016:

More consolidation in the industry: Google and Facebook taking an ever greater ad spend market share with no end in sight. On mobile there has been a lot of consolidation too as the industry matures (but is still way behind desktop).

Your #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2017:

Companies should and will shift more focus on retention strategies (as opposed to new acquisition). However this will require closer integration of marketing and product which often seems a challenge. Also, I think there will be greater scrutiny on containing costs for channels that don’t show direct ROI.

What will be your digital marketing focus for 2017:

What is has always been: Driving higher ROI for the clients I work with by being channel agnostic and approaching each company as a unique issue to solve.

 

Titan Lee – Head of Growth, Tech In Asia

Your biggest takeaway for digital marketing in 2016:

Digital strategies such as advertising on popular paid channels are no longer as effective as before. There has been increasing studies on consumer’s Ad Blindness towards Display Ads on both websites and social media. Compounded with the increasing competition on keyword bids as more businesses become digital savvy towards online ads, it is observed that companies are now struggling to balance their Customer Lifetime Value(CLV) to be greater than their Customer Acquisition Cost(CAC) to reach profitability. Businesses now, more than ever, need to get creative in reaching their targeted audience via lateral thinking keywords and putting infrastructures, such as referral and affiliate systems, in place to further leverage on existing clients.

Your #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2017:

I believe Chatbots are going to be a hit in 2017 with the increasing focus on Artificial Intelligence both in the digital and physical world. At the same time, we have seen a trend towards Big Data & Predictive Analytics in 2016. I foresee a marriage of the Chatbot Technology and Predictive Analytics to customise a personalised user’s experience and provide recommendations based on the interest and online behaviour which social media sites would provide.

What will be your digital marketing focus for 2017:

2017 is going to be an exciting year as I’m a recent addition to the Tech in Asia team as Head of Growth. Like any Growth Hacker out there, my true north is growth, and I’m looking forward to super-charge Digital Marketing efforts for the upcoming Tech in Asia conferences held across four different countries. Events marketing is a very different game from what I’ve previously tackled. Challenge Accepted.

 

Roshni Mahtani – Founder & CEO, Tickled Media (including theAsianparent.com)

Your biggest takeaway for digital marketing in 2016:

Content is king, but distribution of that content is queen. Many brands are creating content that is now idly sitting on their website with no one reading, sharing or consuming it. Content creation is the first step, but having that content syndicated everywhere is  something that requires just as much thought and focus.

Your #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2017:

The growth of vertical/niche communities. More than ever, we are seeing users choosing their platforms based on what is interesting to them vs where everyone else is hanging out, and we will see this trend continue in 2017. Think Vimeo vs YouTube for film makers, VSCO vs Instagram for photographers. Our hypothesis is that parents will also prefer another platform to meet other parents vs where they are hanging out right now – Facebook.

What will be your digital marketing focus for 2017:

We have recently launched a new app called ParentTown which allows users to chat with other parents and experts. Our focus is to double our community base from 7 milliion monthly parents to 14 million monthly parents in 2017.

 

Armin Amiri – Head of Digital, Nuren Group (including Wedding.com.my and Motherhood.com.my)

Your biggest takeaway for digital marketing in 2016:

Video Content was a game changer! Facebook, Snapchat & Instagram were all very focused on video content and it worked very well. Videos got the highest attention and engagement among all digital content out there and digital marketers used it to their benefit, videos became the best medium to deliver messages to users.

Your #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2017:

Virtual Reality is the next step in digital marketing after videos. I predict digital marketers will use Virtual Reality to influence users. VR will help brands to present their services and products in ads in the best possible way.  

What will be your digital marketing focus for 2017:

Human element! It’s definitely important to stay on the ball with industry trends while focusing on humanising every aspect of digital marketing. We should make sure technology doesn’t impact our communication and human touch. Brand ambassadors, influencer endorsements, personalization for each audience and relevancy are all essential elements for effective digital marketing in future.

 

Raymond Segismundo – Head of Performance Marketing, Chope

Your biggest takeaway for digital marketing in 2016:

People are shifting to even more mobile use than ever before which further emphasizes the importance of a mobile first approach to websites and digital marketing. There is now even more computing power on a smartphone than the spaceflight that landed humans on the Moon so it makes sense for people to shift their entire life on a device that fits in their pocket.

Your #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2017:

Voice ads will probably become a reality in 2017 with the rise of Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant (and obviously other voice assistants on your mobile devices like Apple’s Siri). Ask Siri for directions, Siri will ask if you would like to take a Grab or Uber. Ask Alexa for Italian restaurants near you, Alexa will give you the Italian restaurants near you and ask if you would like to book on Chope or through another restaurant reservations site.

What will be your digital marketing focus for 2017:

In addition to focusing on Voice ads in 2017, I would focus on making sure that I get into all the betas or new releases of all the advertising platforms before other advertisers get on it. For example, Google released Google Shopping Campaigns in Asia this year (2016) and I was one of the early beta testers in the USA back in 2011. I was invited to use Apple Search Ads before it was released as well this year (2016). I will continue to take advantage and press for features that are available in the USA and not yet available in Asia, and jump into any beta possible.

 

Visakan Veerasamy – Content Strategist, ReferralCandy

Your biggest takeaway for digital marketing in 2016:

The difference between the best content teams and the also-rans is quite staggering. A lot of people do the bare minimum required, or slightly more than that, but it’s the teams that dare to go all out (and this means deciding to expend more resources) that seem to be really killing it in the content game.

Your #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2017:

Everything is getting faster, easier, more connected. It’s getting easier than ever to simply broadcast a live conversation you’re having to millions of people.  I think we’ll see more of that – people using tools like Facebook Live to engage with their customers and followers. Facebook Live today feels like YouTube did about 5-10 years ago – it’s probably going to get a lot more polished and professional.

What will be your digital marketing focus for 2017:

Despite all the new tools and gizmos and apps and startups and such, at the end of the day, marketing is still fundamentally about helping people see why they should be customers for a product. My focus is going to be to continue to get better at understanding my customers, and giving them what they want before they can articulate it. Plus, I’ll be working on ReferralCandy’s blog (make sure to check it out!).

 

Dan Clarke – Founder & CEO, disruptient

Your biggest takeaway for digital marketing in 2016:

The biggest takeaway from 2016 for me would probably be around Facebook starting to lose its shine with the bigger brands. We saw P&G announce they were pulling back from Facebook targeted ads as they were not showing the ROI [check out the article here].

We also saw Facebook take a lot of flack around the propagation of “Fake News” and have to consider what this means for those that use Facebook to drive traffic. It opens the door to a terrible situation where Facebook can decide what does or does not get seen.

Given that Facebook most recently triggered a safety check around a “Bangkok Explosion” which was entirely false and spread by “Fake News” it is clear that Facebook themselves have huge issues identifying it [check out the article here].

Your #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2017:

I think in 2017 the way in which social media platforms tackle “Fake News” is going to be a big issue that impacts a lot of things.

The world is very polarized in it’s views, as can be seen by the experiments of switching Facebook news feeds from left wing/right wing users [check out the experiment here].

My prediction, or fear, is that the left-wing overweighting in the tech community will  lead to the issue of “Social media bubbles” being addressed by overbearing closing down of right wing media which will alienate half of the user base and push them to other channels.

Overall I think the Social Media platforms have a lot of challenges in 2017 [check out his full list of predictions here].

All of which is good for organic search and SEO which continues to be a core channel for driving engaged users.

What will be your digital marketing focus for 2017:

My focus for 2017 will remain mostly the same; I think a continued focus on the importance of delivering a mobile centric website is more important than ever, as is speed. Also in 2017 I would focus on driving more clients to adopt HTTPS connections as standard, as this seems to be the way in which Google is pushing the industry.

Focus on Mobile, Speed, and security and you will go far this year.

 

Wei Leen Ng – Co-Founder at Lean Metrics

Your biggest takeaway for digital marketing in 2016:

Filter bubbles are a thing on Facebook.

Your #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2017:

Video content will outstrip written content in importance to marketers

What will be your digital marketing focus for 2017:

Developing a content creation capability that, encompasses all mediums.

 

Yanly Riky – Head of Online Marketing & Campaigns, Berrybenka.com

Your biggest takeaway for digital marketing in 2016:

2016 is the year of mobile, much improved mobile performance.

Your #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2017:

For certain business vertical, we will see more O2O approach in the market.

What will be your digital marketing focus for 2017:

Our focus on 2017 is to focusing on mobile UX (including marketing), while utilizing offline channel to improve our online channel and vice versa.

 

Now you’ve heard from the experts – what are your thoughts? Let us know your predictions for 2017!

This round-up piece was brought to you by Digital Marketing Summit Asia and Digital Influence Lab. We hope to see you soon at Digital Marketing Summit Asia 2017! 😉

Comments