Eastern Promises: The Programmatic Potential of South East Asia
This year, Adform continued its growth into Eastern markets with the opening of a new office in Singapore. The South East presents vast opportunities following the growth of mobile adoption as well as an appetite for cross device and data driven solutions. We caught up with new VP for South East Asia - Sukesh Singh, to discuss the future of programmatic in the region.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey so far.
I started my career in India, and working in sales and media was a sheer stroke of chance. My initiation into the world of digital advertising was through working for an ad network and my first task was evangelizing the medium itself.
Over the last 17 years, I have worked with marque brands like Yahoo!, BBC Worldwide, and NBC with exposure across television, display, mobile and programmatic in the APAC region.
What are the greatest opportunities in Digital / programmatic advertising within the SEA Market?
The opportunity in the SEA region is predominantly a reflection of the area’s diversity. Singapore and Malaysia are nearly on par with most leading regions in the world and deliver a very crowded space that is hungry for a better quality of service. The big opportunity for these markets over the next 12 months is for cross device targeting and DMP solutions.
On the other hand Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia are at very early stages of programmatic adaptation. Singapore takes the lead in terms of the maturity of the customers on programmatic with Malaysia being a close second. All the other markets are at different stages of the build and hence may require a certain level of managed / evangelizing of the full stack.
What are the biggest challenges?
While Adform may be a late entrant into the region, this will ultimately be another opportunity given the mixed bag of experiences that existing clients have had from other providers. The fact that our platform is media agnostic and inter-operable will enable us to pave a way for ourselves. The company's trifecta of data, creativity and trading also make us a force to be reckoned with.
Is there much audience data available?
In SEA, the advertiser sectors that have been the most interested in data were – Electronics & Computers and Finance in Q4.
SEA is a promising market as the advertisers are beginning to get more savvy in using the audience data. Eyeota experienced a 6-fold growth in the last two quarters and it is likely to continue to grow.
How important is mobile?
Mobile adoption in some of the less developed countries in SEA has been staggering in the last year and the trend is expected to continue. The use of smartphones amongst the mobile subscribers is already widespread, suggesting that mobile internet is only on a continued rise and hence a massive opportunity in the region.
What do you predict for the future of digital advertising
The need for data management will only become more pronounced and hence the focus will continue to gear towards further data integration. APIs will continue to become more pervasive in the near future. Mobile and social will continue to drive growth and will only become further customized.
What do you feel differentiates Adform from other full stack ad tech providers?
While there may be points of differentiation between other competitive brands and Adform, the differentiator that will make a compelling difference is the levels of servicing and our willingness to go the extra mile to deliver the best experience in spite of the revenue commitments.
Which famous figure inspires you and why?
Sir Richard Branson. I have always been amazed by his grit and the way he defines and redefines the rules of engagement. He said in one of his interviews that the universal value of Virgin was to change the game and challenge status quo by providing a product and service of great use. It just reflects in the way he has continued to take risks and never really got ruffled with failure. He is equally excited about everything he has ever achieved or failed at.