How about affiliate marketing in Asia? Well, Asia is already a diverse region for businesses and marketers, and the rise in digital has driven an increased importance of localisation strategies to reach diverse local audiences.

Sam Tam has enabled European and Asian companies with their business expansion efforts across Asia and the world.

He will discuss localisation for different Asian markets, development of a scalable Asian brand story, and how Asian businesses can reach an international audience.

Speech by Sam Tam | VP, AdAsia

Sam Tam Speech Transcript

Hello guys, I hope you had a good day. It’s almost at the end of this very fruitful day.

My name is Sam. I’m coming from AdAsia from the Hong Kong office.

Let me just introduce a little bit about my topic today. It is about expanding your business boundary in the Asia-Pacific region.

Sam Tam: Background

Sam Tam - Background

Sam Tam – Background

A little bit about my background, I have many years of working in the internet and mobile internet industry, especially on the app monetisation platform before joining AdAsia.

In this company, we are basically focusing on digital marketing platform in 2 areas.

Actually, one area is the video advertising network. We have our proprietary video advertising network

And then we have another KOL marketing platform based in Asia Pacific.

About Affiliate Marketing in Asia through AdAsia

Before I begin this presentation, I would like to introduce a little bit about our company.

What we are doing. How we are trying to help you guys expand your boundaries in the APAC region.

Sam Tam - About AdAsia

Sam Tam – About AdAsia

AdAsia is basically a company that just started last year. Our headquarters is based in Singapore from sometime last year.

From the very beginning, we only have like 70 people. Nowadays, we have expanded to around 230 people around Asia Pacific. And we have 9 countries, around 10 offices.

And our plan is to expand it into like 12 offices in 11 countries by the end of this year.

So, as you can imagine, we are expanding quite quickly in the region.

And what we are trying to bring you guys on the marketing platform side, we are having a great growth on a quarterly basis, around 30% or more.

We just completed our Series-A funding for around 30 million US in Asia just beginning of this year.

And we also acquired a Japanese company a few months back in Japan.

So let’s share with you guys what we are doing and some of the cases that we are doing in the Asia-Pacific region.

I think in general, as you can imagine, the Asian digital and affiliate market is very big but very unique.

It’s a big market but it’s a very diverse market.

Everyone knows that the market potential for Asia is huge, but we need to be localised in terms of the differences in culture and differences between countries.

And very important as well, is also we need to be very aware of the omnichannel but at the same time we need be very focused on, especially on mobile channels, especially in the Asian region.

And another thing, I think is worth noticing is about social network marketing in Asia, I think is especially popular.

So we also focus a lot in that area as well.

Sam Tam - Asia Market Potential

Sam Tam – Asia Market Potential

Some data, as you can see, this is some research data from eMarketers. For  APAC region, I think we are expecting the Ad spend market to be growing around 15 to 30% year to year, for the next few years.

Three Important Channels in APAC

And especially, you will see the digital ads or channel changes, I think is more focused on the new channels like digital video ads, social media ads and also especially the mobile app advertising.

So these 3 new channels I think is very popular in APAC.

And we’re expecting this will be getting more popular in the next 2-3 years.

5 Rules of Localisation

And what we can offer, I think especially is about localisation.

These are some of the rules or tips that we want to remind marketers here.

Sam Tam - 5 Rules of Localisation

Sam Tam – 5 Rules of Localisation

First of all of course, as a marketer, you want to customise your offering because in  APAC there is a lot of difference in culture and in different belief, values, religions.

When you offer your products in regions, for example, if mobile games are very popular in the region and for each individual country, you need to customise in localised language, different UI, different content or maybe different benefits or rewards.

Differentiation amongst the local market is needed.

Secondly, you need to be culturally sensitive to some of the local country’s differences. In particular countries, it depends on your products.

And also I think one of the key success factors to be localised in local countries is to work with local partners.

I can give you one example, in Hong Kong recently, you know Alibaba, the big Chinese e-commerce giant is expanding their AliPay services in Hong Kong.

So they find a local partner which is Cheung Kong, which is a very local, real estate developer in Hong Kong.

They work with some local real estate developers to make sure their mobile payment service will be successfully implemented. And I think this is also very important for localisation.

Of course, to become part of the Asian community in different countries, depending on your product differentiation is also important.

Lastly, I think it is also very important to be patient because as you can imagine in Asia, you have different countries and sometimes it takes time and a lot of resources to let the local countries get used to your local products and to be successful in Asia.

I think these are the key tips that we can offer.

Mobile-led, Omnichannel

Sam Tam - Mobile-led, omnichannel

Sam Tam – Mobile-led, omnichannel

And regarding the mobile channel, this line can show you very interesting statistics.

This data is coming from comScore and as you can see, actually in some newly developed or Southeast Asian countries like in Vietnam or Malaysia, you see the red bar is a huge part of the chart. And the red bar represents the number of users that are using the mobile channel as access to the Internet.

So it says a lot when you compare this data with more established countries like Singapore.

And you can see that in Singapore, at the desktop or multi-platform the penetration on accessing the internet is much higher than compared with to just the mobile platform.

So it says a lot about the mobile channel as one of the marketing channels in Asia Pacific, especially for newly developing countries in Asia.

Driving Localisation Engagement

Now maybe we can speak a little bit more about driving the localisation engagement.

Sam Tam - 4 Realms of an Experience

Sam Tam – 4 Realms of an Experience

And in our company, this slide shows you some research, we’ve done in some foreign countries like the US and some universities.

62% of the millennials believe that they are more likely to engage in the social network.

So they say that, if you more likely engage them on a social network, it will be more likely they will become your customer in the future.

The same research actually has similar things as from Harvard business review, saying about the experience economy.

This seems a little bit not very concrete. I can give you an example of what we have done and some of the classic example.

You can imagine maybe 20 years ago, if you are calling IDD service, a long distance call service, a customer typically, will compare based on price or service quality among the different carriers.

But nowadays with the data network and internet development actually, people are using a lot of IM chat applications like WeChat, Line, Skype.

All these applications provide this new user experience that is not available in the traditional IDD long distance call services.

So you can see the users are actually shifting to this new service. And are more open to getting used to this new type of experience.

Rather than 20 years ago, we don’t have this service as a new innovation.

Nowadays the users are more, getting used to the experience as a product, as a service.

Sam Tam - Recent Clients

Sam Tam – Recent Clients

And this is one of our recent clients that during the online, digital and affiliate marketing campaign in Asia.

Our client is an airline company ANA, which is a Japanese airline company. They did a campaign in Thailand, specifically.

Actually, what they wanted to do is to increase the sales of their business class ticket sales. They want to target the affluent, Thailand people, Thai business people or some affluent people in Thailand.

And then they want to implement an online to an offline digital campaign which is trying to drive the users from the online community and integrate that together with a real-life interaction, a physical experience.

So the campaign is set up from 2 parts.

One, we have like an online portion which is an online advertising campaign, including some types of banner campaigns, some KOL, video, marketing campaign.

And then the airlines the landing page.

We’re driving the users to this online landing page, trying to have them to register to a physical, hotel event experience in Thailand.

So the campaign ran online for weeks. And then we get the user response, registration.

And the 2nd part of the campaign will be hosted in the Marriott, a local Thailand hotel.

And this hotel is actually promoting the theme of Japanese premium travel experience with the business class, like a first-hand experience.

In this hotel, they set up a Japanese food film. And then we also offer, like a real business class seating in this hotel.

So that a user, they come to this hotel and experience the Japanese dining and then they can also have the firsthand experience of getting into the business class feel and interact with the physical setting of that airline.

So the campaign, after it ended, we actually generated more than 900 persons for this a whole campaign to attend this event.

So it was quite a successful event.

This is a good example of integrating the online with the offline and trying to engage the users with new experience, which is more engaging.

So this is one of the clips for our KOL video advertising for our online campaign.

So now the stories that we are trying to create is more experience and interaction with the users rather than trying to interrupt the people with the advertising message.

Key Theme

Sam Tam - Key Theme

Sam Tam – Key Theme

This is the key theme of the service.

And from a Forrester report, actually, it also says more or less the same, which is more than 75% of the consumers actually will turn to the social network for guidance, when they buy or make the purchase decision.

It is very common, I think nowadays, if you plan to buy a product and properly you will search online, see what people feel and what’s the reviews are like and or check with your friends on Facebook or actually look at your Facebook or Instagram from your friends and see whether they are using it.

This is a very common practice nowadays.

Sam Tam - Result

Sam Tam – Result

And I think nowadays people, especially Millennials are more likely to trust the UGC content and the Word Of Mouth, rather than just advertising or advertisement.

Basically, it says people trust people not just for the brands and for the logo.

Sam Tam - Fastest Growing Online Customer Acquisition Channel

Sam Tam – Fastest Growing Online Customer Acquisition Channel

Some other research also indicates the same.

Influencer marketing is one of the fastest growing online, consumer acquisition methods.

This is another case, we want to show you, it’s also happening in Thailand, it’s a consumer brand called Glico, and it’s a Japanese food brand.

And what they’re doing is that they have here a campaign that they want to promote some of the food products in Thailand, so they use one of the microbloggers in Thailand to help them to create a KOL campaign.

So let me just show you this video first.

Yeah, I don’t understand Thai as well but the tone of this film is basically trying to be like clean or fun and enjoyable.

This campaign actually, when they launched,  polls had been posted to the microblogger fan page. And the Glico company also helped to advertise a little bit on their official fan page to promote this product.

And at the end, I think this product helped them to drive their e-commerce and sales 300%.

Sam Tam - Personifying Your Brand

Sam Tam – Personifying Your Brand

So it’s quite a successful brand for KOL marketing.

The Right Influencers

Sam Tam - Identify + Find the Right Influencers

Sam Tam – Identify + Find the Right Influencers

Then I think the next step when we are talking about KOL marketing, we talked about the campaign but how are we going to choose which KOL is suitable for your brand?

Your brand is also very important.

Three Main Areas

We think that it can be divided into three main areas.

First of all is about relevance which to find out what kind of KOL is related to your brand.

And then secondly, it’s also important, is to find out what’s the KOL’s fan page. What’s the numbers between different SNS networks platform.

And thirdly, it’s about relevance.

So do these KOL’s resonate with your brands? Are they matching to each other style?

These are the 3 important factors when we think about how to choose a KOL.

And as you can imagine, there are many platforms on the SNS nowadays that KOL’s can utilise to do their marketing campaign.

So which platform we are going to choose is also very important.

In some parts of the countries like in Japan, for example, LINE is much more popular, although Facebook and Twitter popular there, but LINE is very popular locally.

So depending on your countries of promotion, it’s likely if you are trying to promote a KOL in China campaign, you should probably choose WeChat.

And for other parts of Asia, probably Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

And sometimes if you are targeting for a younger audience, you may prefer to choose Instagram or Snapchat which is more targeted to a younger audience base.

And if you are targeting B2B customers, of course, LinkedIn is one of the obvious choices.

So these are some of the consideration when considering an SNS platform.

But then after, you consider these platforms, the next thing you want to do is craft your story. And set a tone and the pace of your story, which your KOL is going to carry out throughout its campaign.

And this is also an important stage.

Find Your Story-line

It depends on the brands, you really have to find the story-line, which is matching for your brand and also your KOL style.

And then afterward, I think it’s also important to give a trial for some crazy idea and try some new KOL’s that you’ve never used before.

Because there may be some surprises along the line, you never know.

I think there are a lot of things we can learn from this area but these are the 3 important factors when we think about KOL selection.

Then yes, just to sum up a little bit.

Everybody’s knows now that data is abundant.

And when we are using our phone, using our laptop, even doing e-commerce, we consume and generate a lot of data.

And this data, if we can put it in the correct application and we can collect it in a real-time. Analyse it and try to apply that into digital and affiliate marketing platforms and services.

And also AdAsia working very hard in this area as well, we believe that it will be a huge marketing potential for this. And also we are trying hard to work nowadays.

I think that basically, this sums up my presentation for the day.

I tried to make it short and sweet.

Do you guys have any questions for me?

If not maybe we can save it for the networking hours afterward.

So thank you guys, thank you.