Digital in Asia and eTail Asia join forces to promote eCommerce excellence

Digital in Asia is excited to announce an ongoing partnership with eTail Asia, the leading platform in Asia to help online retailers discover, develop and implement strategies to build a successful eCommerce business.

The focus is the eTail Asia 2015 conference, which will be held on 11-12 March 2015 in Singapore and presents a great opportunity for online retailers and marketers to expand their networks, listen to case-studies and interactive discussions, and stay informed on the latest innovation in online business across Asia.

EXCLUSIVE: Digital in Asia followers can get 15% off eTail Asia conference tickets. Please sign up or contact us at to receive the code through email.

For more details on the eTail Asia 2015 event, please see below. Also, please stay tuned for our upcoming newsletter showcasing Asian eCommerce case studies and research.

The Asia E-Commerce Conference Made By Retailers For Retailers

eTail Asia is the leading platform in Asia to help online retailers discover, develop and implement strategies that will help build a successful eCommerce business.

eTail Asia is the only event you need to attend to be updated on the trends and growth of innovation and investment in the retailing channel. Our programme is entirely dedicated to help you better understand the online customer’s behaviour and how you can achieve consistent growth and drive conversions.

What’s new in 2015?

  • Over 50 speakers representing the different verticals within the e-commerce industry
  • Meet with over 400 industry participants from Asia’s booming e-commerce space
  • New formats: Join your peers in interactive formats such as Case Study Revolution, Drill-down Roundtables, 1-2-1 Drop In Clinics, Unconference Live! and Boardroom Discussions to have an open discussion about your challenges and strategies to overcome them
  • Streams: The conference agenda will feature focused streams on Mobile, Omni-channel marketing, Customer Experience, E-commerce Support. Pick and choose your stream of your interest.
  • Hear from top VCs on what their criteria are while investing in an e-commerce company

Meet the Advisory Board of E-tail Asia 2015:

Jonathan Yabut Chief Marketing Officer – Air Asia Zest
Max-F Scheichenost Founder & Managing Partner – Alps Ventures
Gary Wheelhouse Chief Digital Officer – Harvey Norman
Tito Costa Managing Director – Zalora
Pawoot Pongvitayapanu Founder & Managing Director –
Dalia Seidner Marketing, Asia-Pacific – Bazaarvoice

ETail Asia have a number of interesting whitepapers to download for free, click here to get your copy.

MicroAd launches SSP aimed at APAC publishers

MicroAd today announced the launch of a new SSP aimed at APAC publishers, named MicroAd COMPASS.

With the largest market share in Japan, MicroAd also serves advertisers with a DSP offering. This is an interesting addition to the APAC supply side landscape following the recent roll out of Pubmatic, and offers another alternative for local publishers to the Google hegemony.

We have a Q&A next week with senior figures at MicroAd covering the story in more detail. For now, the press release continues below.

MicroAd, Inc. (CEO: Kentaro Watanabe; hereinafter referred to as “MicroAd”), the leading Online Ad Platform company in Japan, today announced the launch of its supply-side platform (SSP), “MicroAd COMPASS”, which enables online publishers to maximize their ad revenue, across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. This marks another fundamental step to extend MicroAd’s successful ad platform model to other APAC countries.

“MicroAd COMPASS” is a programmatic platform for online publishers to monetize their ad inventory and discover new sources of ad revenue. There are currently more than 5,000 publishers in Japan using the platform to manage display ad sales and inventory on both PC and mobile websites. To enable the maximization of ad revenue, “MicroAd COMPASS” has 2 main features:

(1) In addition to the management of direct-sold ad inventory, “MicroAd COMPASS” integrates programmatic selling through its connections with partner DSPs and ad networks. Furthermore, it maximizes publishers’ ad revenue via real-time “Full Flat Auction” that identifies and displays the ad with the highest price on publishers’ website.


(2) Besides, “MicroAd COMPASS” is equipped with comprehensive ad management tools which allow publishers to adjust the upper limit of ad delivery time and amount daily, further utilize the remnant inventory with inventory prediction function, and improve the efficiency in managing both direct-sold, guaranteed ads and programmatic, real-time-bidding ads in a single interface.

“As compared to Japan market where programmatic advertising is relatively more mature, most of the other APAC countries are still in the early adoption phases that publishers are not familiar with or even not aware of the programmatic platforms, and hence, educating the market posses a significant challenge,” said Douke Yasutaka, APAC SSP Director of MicroAd. “Nonetheless, we also see this as a vital opportunity as we are aiming to be the market leader in the region. For the overseas market expansion, we target to reach 20 to 30 major publishers in each country and a total of 200 publishers within 1 year.”

Dedicated to provide optimization solutions for online display advertising, MicroAd is the pioneering ad platform company with the largest market share in Japan, serving both demand and supply sides of ad inventory. It has expanded its presence into other APAC countries and launched its demand-side platform (DSP), MicroAd BLADE, which is currently used by more than 8,000 advertisers across the APAC region. To support the substantial rapid growth of demand in the overseas markets, it now unveils the SSP, “MicroAd COMPASS”, starting from the countries with higher demand, namely Vietnam, Taiwan, Indonesia and South Korea.

New Advertising and Technology Report covers Data, Programmatic and the Future of the Web

The Economist has just released a special Advertising and Technology report, with comprehensive commentary on not only the current key industry talking points, but also the long term impact of new technology on the Ad business.

All written from the “outsider inside” perspective you’d expect from The Economist. Great journalism, and well worth a read.

The report is sponsored by creative agency Ogilvy, meaning plenty of David Ogilvy pearls of wisdom interspersed throughout the text. The best:

“An advertisement is like a radar sweep, constantly hunting new prospects as they come into the market. Get a good radar, and keep it sweeping.”

Neatly applies to the modern world of smart data and audience targeting doesn’t it? Enjoy.

PWC Digital IQ study reveals appetite for change from the top

The latest PWC Digital IQ study shows that Asia CEOs lead the way on Digital. There is however concern on the ability of businesses in Asia to deliver transformational Digital strategies top to bottom.

80% of respondents from Asia said their CEOs are active champions of Digital strategy, compared to 71% overall.

chart (1)

And 89% say their CEO and CIO have a strong relationship – much higher than the average of 69%.

chart (2)

However, at 87%, respondents from Asia are considerably more concerned than their global counterparts (74%) about the inability to quickly adopt to new Digital realities as a threat to organizational growth.

Success in capturing value from Digital investments starts with the CEO and requires that company leadership agrees on making Digital a priority. But it doesn’t finish there.

Until the entire business is acting accordingly in everything they do the work is not complete. Perhaps the key conclusion to draw from the survey is that, across Asia, the will for Digital transformation from the top, still needs to translate to everyday business practice on the ground.

Find more detail on the study here.

Facebook announces new mobile targeting option to help advertisers reach consumers in low bandwidth areas

Consumers in Asia are coming online at a staggering rate, with the majority accessing the Internet via mobile networks. The flip side of this rapid change is that network speeds can vary and infrastructure is constantly changing.

In light of this, Facebook has announced it is introducing a mobile bandwidth targeting feature to assist brand marketers deliver more relevant messages to customers.

The new targeting option enables advertisers to reach people based on the network connection — 2G, 3G or 4G — they most often use when accessing Facebook.

facebook bandwidth targeting

The hope is that this creates a better experience for both Facebook customers and advertisers as creative and messaging become more targeted.

People want fast, efficient experiences on their phones. Our hope is that mobile network targeting can improve the experience people have with Facebook ads by helping advertisers deliver the right experience while respecting people’s device bandwidth and data costs.

This new feature will provide significant benefit to advertisers both in markets such as The Philippines, where network delivery is notoriously slow, and across much of rural Asia.

APAC Digital Ad spend to grow almost 20% in 2014

Digital advertising investment across Asia-Pacific is projected to increase 17.9% to $41.07 billion this year, according to eMarketer’s latest estimates of global digital ad spending.


With online and mobile advertising spend totaling $18.96 billion this year, China is set to maintain the largest share of the region’s digital ad market, at 46.2% in 2014.


Perhaps the most interesting story is Indonesia, which will be the leading country for growth in digital ad investment at 75% this year. Indonesia will near South Korea at $2.85 billion in digital advertising spend by 2018.

The New Digital Advertising Ecosystem Part IV: The Life of a Programmatic Ad Impression

With advertisers set to spend more than $9 billion on programmatic buying by 2017, we all know the future is coming. However, confusion still exists about how ad exchanges and data driven buying really work.

In this latest in our series on the new Digital advertising ecosystem we look at the incredibly short but complex life cycle of a programmatic RTB ad.

Watch as a digital ad is bid on, bought, sold, delivered, and seen. It begins the moment your browser loads, and in the blink of an eye, an ad is served.

Thanks to MediaCrossing for the video and takeaway infographic below.


Google creates new ‘Zero Moment of Truth’ Handbook Asia edition

Google has created a new edition of it’s online media and marketing handbook aimed at Asia, named “Winning the Zero Moment of Truth in Asia”.

The Zero Moment of Truth is an interesting concept, and highly relevant to brand advertisers both globally and regionally.

The term ‘First Moment of Truth’ (commonly called FMOT) was coined by Procter & Gamble in 2005 to define the first interaction between a shopper and a product on a store’s shelf.

This moment was considered one of the most important marketing opportunities for a brand, as P&G asserted that shoppers make up their mind about a product in the first few seconds after they encounter that product for the first time.

While this first moment of truth is still important, the rise of full internet adoption and increased search engine use often lead to many brand interactions taking place between a consumer and a brand before that consumer ever sees a product on a shelf.

Whether we’re shopping for washing powder, cinema tickets or a hotel in Singapore, digital media has changed how consumers decide what to buy.

Google calls this online decision-making moment the Zero Moment of Truth — or simply ZMOT.

The new Asia version of the ZMOT handbook contains fresh and regionally relevant data for female shoppers, consumer packaged goods, and the Asian digital marketplace.

Winning the Zero Moment of Truth in Asia (2014)

The Growing Importance of Audience Data and Programmatic Trading in Asia

Industry analysts regularly highlight the shift currently taking place in the way media is being traded, as the market moves from relationship driven buying to programmatically delivered electronic trading.

We’ve looked at this topic in detail previously in our series The New Digital Advertising Ecosystem, and it’s clear that programmatic will be an area of growing importance in Asia with a staggering 300% projected growth in APAC over 2014.

In light of this, the merger of Seed and mediaQuark – the company will retain the mediaQuark moniker – to create a real time media intelligence company focused on Asia is an interesting development.

With an audience marketplace of over 200 million active users, the new mediaQuark is also offering data enrichment that operates in all the local languages.

Together the new mediaQuark products should allow programmatic buyers to operate across 1st and 3rd party data sets to really show off the capabilities of data-driven marketing in the region.

In a significant step forward, this makes audience targeting at scale available in South East Asian markets for the first time.

Tom Simpson, ex Group M and Havas, will lead the new combined operation, with the goal of becoming a clear leader in providing advanced trading and media intelligence solutions to clients in the region.

“With the increased regional focus on programmatic and data-driven advertising, the merger absolutely makes sense. We are both focused on APAC, and the co-operation will be great for the market. The combined company now offers the best of inventory with best of audience, on a strong tech platform. Clients should get a higher ROI with our joint offering” says Simpson.

“The core mediaQuark semantic technology platform will enable regional clients to run ‘in target’ demographic campaigns, scale activity beyond first party data but most importantly deliver improved performance” Simpson adds.

Of course audience targeting as a concept is nothing new globally, and the use case and ROI uplifts are well documented. The uniqueness of the mediaQuark proposition is that it makes audience buying a reality right now for South East Asia.

With this development, alongside the recent launch of Traders Only and their #TradersThursday event, it promises to be an exciting year for the programmatic community in Singapore.


Half a Billion New Smartphone Users Across China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia in 2014

According to latest forecasts from Mediacells, consumers in India and China alone will buy almost 600m smartphones in 2014, comprising half of the global total.

Smartphone penetration will grow fastest in China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia where half a billion new users will be added in 2014.

In line with bulk sales, China and India will add 216m and 207m new smartphone users in 2014.

But the really stand out markets are Indonesia, who will add 40m smartphone users, and Vietnam who will see 14m more smartphone users by the end of 2014.

This means more than 80% of new smartphones will go to first time users in Vietnam and Indonesia over 2014.

The year ahead is looking to be a real tipping point for mobile in the region.


Mobile is now reaching the stage in Asia where it cannot be ignored from an  advertising and marketing perspective. It will be interesting to see whether this is reflected in increased Mobile spend from brands and advertisers over 2014.

News and Resources for Digital Marketing and Media in Asia.