I am back stateside after last week’s trip to Singapore for Microsoft’s audience targeting event, and I’m still recovering. Not only am I (slowly, painfully) readjusting to this time zone, I’m still processing everything I saw, experienced, and learned about the digital marketing ecosystem in Asia.

The abbreviated version for digital marketers with an Asian presence: There’s plenty of opportunity but lots of work to be done.  

I was fortunate enough to meet with several agency folks while there – from Omnicom (OMG, Annalect), Publicis (Zenith), and WPP (MEC). And I was struck by two overarching themes:

  1. Agencies want their clients to broaden the scope of their digital marketing endeavors – trying new audience targeting methods like retargeting and behavioral targeting, upgrading their approach to interactive measurement by choosing the right metrics and moving beyond last click attribution, investing more heavily in creative development to better match creative messaging to audience segment. But they are perhaps more conservative than their stateside counterparts when it comes to pushing for change.
  2. Their clients aren’t doing much to help them change the status quo. I heard about click-based measurement, 2-3 week campaigns that leave little time for optimization and meaningful learnings, and, overall, sub-optimal investments in digital relative to traditional media.

So this is my call to you interactive marketers who have counterparts in AsiaPac. Be an ambassador. Share all the great things you’re doing, the best practices you’ve developed, the wins you’ve had (big and small) with your colleagues around the world (of course, I expect you’ll learn from them too!). Because while the opportunities readily available in the US may not be so ready available elsewhere (though there are wide variations from country to country across the region), the only way to encourage vendors, publishers, and other suppliers to make them available is for YOU – the marketing community around the world – to push for them.

That said, I’d love to hear from you on this topic. What have you heard from your Asian counterparts when it comes to the digital marketing ecosystem and the opportunities available? What’s great? What’s a challenge? What’s the next big thing? Share your stories with me!