Advertising is no child’s play. In the past, advertising men roamed Madison Avenue looking for a cheap glass of whiskey and a good block of copy. With smartphone usage only going up, they are now looking into filling the digital space and focusing on content.
We spoke to Cheong Hai Thoo, head of multimedia at Group Digital L!fe, a part of the Singapore-based telecomm giant, SingTel, to find out more about the bridge between digital advertising and content consumption.
Success in advertising
We see 287 advertisements on any given day. That’s data from Marah Creative, which further emphasizes the importance of getting your message out there and making it easily accessible. Advertising used to be about moving images on a black-and-white screen. It used to be about copy on a sleek lifestyle magazine. It used to be about radio stations and listeners tuning in. Advertising has changed.
Now, there’s mobile. In Asia alone, Hai Thoo shared that there will be over 1 billion smartphones in 2015. Smartphones are what accompanies the consumers at all times, helping them consume content while on the go. He added, “In the past, advertisers are willing to pay more for valuable shelf space near checkout counters as consumers tend to browse and make impulsive purchases while waiting for their turn to make the payment. This space is becoming less effective as consumers shift their attention to mobile.”
Given that mobile usage will only go up, advertising on this channel and medium has the greatest potential. Consumers are moving towards going multi-screen with their smartphones, tablets and desktop computers. Hai Thoo added that this is a great opportunity for advertisers to add mobile advertising into their market mix and connect dots across different channels to deliver consistent and relevant content.
Advertising vs. content?
“Consumers are simple and eat what they are fed.” Well, not anymore. Hai Thoo shared that content has a bigger role to play in advertising especially since consumers these days are more selective in content consumption. He added, “It is harder to convince and acquire new users. As such companies are moving into native advertising, which integrates good quality content seamlessly into the user experience of a platform.”
How then can you make sure that your consumers go home with the right brand messaging? Brands going down the sorry path of not being able to get their consumers to understand the positioning behind a certain ad isn’t exactly new or shocking anymore — it’s just bad advertising. “[E]nsure that the content complements with the brand messages and enhance the brand positioning, at the same time this content should bring real value to the consumers,” Hai Thoo advised. “This content can either be created by advertisers, which they have control to ensure that the messaging is aligned to the brand; or it can be aggregated from content partners or users based on specific topics or content verticals.”
In terms of allowing content and rich media to co-exist in the same digital space, Hai Thoo also shared that advertisers now have more leeway in reaching out to their target audiences with creative methods. “[They can] tailor their campaigns based on their budget. Advertisers can choose channels that deliver wider reach or go for touchpoints that allow them target specific audience through better targeting.”
One example would be NewsLoop, a Asia Pacific-focused content aggregator app which has over 30 different news and lifestyle categories. It also allows advertisers to target consumers according to interest and geographic locations through customized advertisements placed within the right content categories, Hai Thoo added.