jos-birken-480x600As you can read elsewhere on this site, AdAsia has undergone an ownership change. Does this mean our venerable magazine will change its character too? The answer is a resounding yes.

Marketing is undergoing rapid and drastic changes. The dominant focus on branding dating from the Mad Men era lies behind us now; customer (or consumer) focus is taking over. Branding remains very important but increasingly the primary focus of modern marketers is the ultimate customer for their product. “Did you know my product is really good for you?” makes way for “Who are you, and how can I best be of service to you?”

This long-term, gradual change from brand focus to customer focus has deep consequences. The Customer Experience becomes paramount, for marketers and salesmen alike. Relevance is a must, in an era where consumers have become jaded by a continuous stream of marketing messages, are becoming more empowered in demanding the best from any vendor, and are acquiring a resounding voice of their own through ubiquitous social media.

There are other consequences. We are about to enter a new Golden Age of Storytelling. Marketing has become storytelling, and modern marketing means personalised storytelling. Our audiences have broken up into many types of individuals, and to all of these we need to stay relevant. Modern marketing brings exciting opportunities for those who are able to weave their stories in such a way that bits of content can be put together and repurposed in such a way that they become relevant to many different listeners.

And then there’s technology. You can address the personal needs and tastes of millions of consumers at the same time without making use of some pretty nifty technology. And in turn, technology is developing very fast and allows us (or else our competitors) to create more relevance on ever greater scale. Marketing technology is now an integral part of our lives, and think tanks like Gartner are already predicting that in a few years’ time the Marketing department will be a bigger buyer of technology than their cousins from the IT department.

What does this all mean for AdAsia Magazine?

The times are a-changing, and AdAsia is going to change along with them. For starters, this magazine will form a much-needed bridge between marketing and technology. These two cannot be separated any more, and that means that marketers need to become more familiar with all the new stuff that’s out there; and the numerous tech startups (and even the more established tech companies) need to become more familiar with the issues that are important in marketing. On both sides there’s still an enormous gap to bridge. Many marketers still think that the tech bit is something you leave to the techies after the real marketing work has been done. And many tech companies think that marketing is not for them. After all, if you build something nice, they will buy it anyway, won’t they?

AdAsia will look in new directions, not only for subjects but also for writers. If you have something meaningful to contribute on marketing and tech, or on customer experience, or on content generation in the interactive age, or on anything that you think is relevant in the modern marketing world, you are welcome to join the club. All we ask is a clear point of view and an entertaining way of bringing it across. (We will help you with the entertaining bit.) After all, without entertainment we all die.

We are proud to be the ones who will carry the AdAsia title, with its deep roots in the Southeast Asian marking world, in new and exciting directions. The magazine deserves it. It has led the way in the past, and it will lead the way in the future of marketing as well.

Needless to say, the editorial team will change as well. But apart from bringing in new people, we are very happy to announce that Allein Moore will remain with the team as International Editor. Further additions will be announced soon.

Allein, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making AdAsia what it is today, one of the best and most authoritative trade magazines in the business.

As for the future: watch this space!

Jos. Birken
Publisher, AdAsia Magazine.