After two days of keynotes from a wide variety of speakers at the Digital Marketing Asia conference in Singapore, the conclusion is obvious; marketing is more than ever about technology and automation these days. That doesn’t mean that creativity, relevance, emotions or in short the human factor are any less important. But it is also clear that marketing has become a whole lot more complex, which in turns offers loads of opportunity to stand out. To achieve that, a lot of marketing managers in a lot of companies need to step up their game and embrace marketing tech even more than they did before. If they don’t do that the competitor will.



Many keynotes address the complexity that comes with the wide variety of devices and channels that marketing can cover or has to cover. Barney Dunne (HP) tells the audience how the switch from mobile to PC and from pre-login- to logged-in could be addressed. He also explains the importance of A/B testing. We don’t know what consumers want or prefer until we try different designs out.

Barney Dunne

Ashley Lim (Facebook) highlights the increasingly complex path from awareness to purchase.  And he’s not the only one: Tuomas Peltoniemi (TBWA/DAN) on the second day revisits the subject. He elaborates further on the Zero Moment of Truth model and recognises no fewer than three Moments of Truth, leading up to the actual purchase, and each of them carrying the risk of losing the sale. Marketing strategy should address this, across all channels. Are marketers becoming salesmen?

An omni-channel approach is required to ensure that consumers discover, engage, choose and purchase your brand. Each touch-point should ideally be personalised and adapted to where the consumer is in the purchase process.



Technology may be a big enabler, but so is content, more than ever before. The big trend is the move towards video content. It is even clear in the presentations of most keynote speakers. The message is the medium or in other words, almost every speaker uses video in his or her presentation.

The importance of video content is confirmed by Zuber Mohammed (YouTube), who explains that connecting across all of the consumer’s many screens necessitates the development of ‘share-worthy’ content.

Tony Chow

Content in general can only be successful if it tells a story. It is even more powerful if that story is told in multiple pieces as, Tony Chow explains. Producing content should be based on a clear plan with objectives, which in turn allow you to calculate ROI. Besides this content is subject to science and art, where science is about measurement and art is about arousing emotions. With good stories you can differentiate yourself.

Jeremy Heng underscores the importance of storytelling by showing some work recently delivered by Havas. He confirms that storytelling should have authenticity but much like Tony Chow, it should also be based on planning, thinking creatively and then measuring results.

That planning and preparation does not mean lengthy processes and but does allow agile content development is presented by Maya Hari (Twitter). She provides a few examples of how brands use Twitter to quickly react with appropriate content on trending stories and viral tweets. She explains that in order to do this, brands have to build a broad and deep memory of their purpose and their past. They also have to put processes in place and if an agency is part of the process, they should be integrated as well. In alignment with Zuber Mohammed she is explained that conversation are now a form of social currency.

Google has its own approach to developing effective content. Gap Kim (Google) uses the old alliteration trick and presents the HHH model. A model that supports three moments in a consumer experience; Help, Hub and Here.  Help refers to product information and demos. Hub is scheduled content that conveys passion and emotions. Here are the big moments and events that happen less regularly or only once.


Technology & Experience

Valtech presented with two different speakers on both days and had some interesting insights to share. Saurabh Chakraborty (Valtech) explained how technology today is no longer about efficiency, so adding to the bottom line; but more about effectiveness, i.e. adding additional revenue to the top line. He describes an example from work with Audi, where technology has become the primary enabler of a next generation showroom experience.

On the second day JC Hermann (again from Valtech) explained his vision on how to achieve retail excellence in the next 5 years. Retail should be about experience as currently there is clearly an experience gap. To achieve this marketing should embrace lifestyle of the consumers. JC gets the prize for coming up with the Mother of All Buzzwords: “(We’ve got to) address the millennial’s super omni-channel journey.” Somehow we’re missing Big Data in there.

JC Hermann
JC Hermann

“Today’s biggest opportunity is the Millennials
Super Omni-Channel Journey”

Internet celebrity Robert Scoble also made an appearance. He described the use of iBeacons which will take consumer-brand interaction to a new level. According to Scoble this level is very much driven by context. There are still a few hurdles to overcome as loading of apps and keeping notifications always on to then take action, stands in the way of a seamless customer experience.



Largely regarded as a professional community, two presentations explained how LinkedIn is a channel that can support sales and marketing. Vicky Skipp (LinkedIn) presented the principles of Social Selling according to LinkedIn. It is interesting to see how personal branding combined with finding the right people to connect with, contributes to improving sales. After achieving dominance in the HR space, LinkedIn is clearly trying to conquer Social Selling as well. Chris J. Reed (Black Marketing) then explained what to do and what not to do, to present yourself properly on LinkedIn.

Vicky Skipp


Data and insights

Finally in many keynotes the importance of insights from research and data analytics, both pre- and post-campaign, was highlighted over and again. Daan van Rossum shared insights about how consumers don’t use digital but have changed their behaviour completely and digital adopted through and through to communicate, investigate, socialise and shop.

Post-campaign data-analysis to define ROI, optimise content, fine-tune experiences and improve the use of technology seems to be common practice.


Moving forward

The path for marketing moving forward is certainly paved with technology. But without proper content, a great customer experience and accurate data-analytics, technology is useless.




Find this content useful? Share it with your friends!