Rika Sharma, head of APAC agency, partner, and industry relations at Google, has more than two decades of marketing experience working with leading brands and agencies.
From newly set personal resolutions to freshly inked business goals, the start of each year is charged with ambition. However, ambition alone may not be enough to help you achieve maximum business impact.
The best results, as I’ve found in my years of working with leading brands and agencies, are unlocked when brands marry their ambition with agencies’ valuable market insights and expertise. This strong partnership can be a game changer for brands in 2024, given two major shifts afoot in the world of business and marketing.
Marketing agencies are critical allies for brands, helping them navigate change and achieve results with a breadth and depth of insight and expertise.
For one, investments in AI are set to ramp up in APAC. The fast pace of change and quickly evolving role of AI in driving marketing value means your brand will need to apply AI tools swiftly and effectively to get ahead.
The phasing out of third-party cookies this year will also prove pivotal, especially in a region where almost 8 in 10 brands rely on third-party cookies to reach customers and measure results. For your brand to find new customers and drive growth, investing in durable measurement and audience solutions that provide valuable insights will be important.
To navigate these two fundamental changes in marketing with speed and achieve results for your brand, you don’t have to start from scratch. Savvy brands have made marketing agencies their allies to fast-track success. The latter have a record of successfully pushing the envelope of AI in marketing, and building strong measurement foundations.
To understand how agencies in APAC are tapping into AI and durable measurement solutions to drive growth for brands, I asked five prominent agency leaders to share their experiences in these two areas.
Agencies have also embraced AI as an engine for experimentation so that marketers can turn their focus to excelling in what only they do — setting the marketing strategy and telling stories that connect meaningfully with customers. One such example is IPG Mediabrands.
The agency collaborated with Google Cloud to experiment with ways of enhancing its workplace productivity. This included the launch of a chat assistant, powered by Google’s PaLM2 language model, to help streamline workflows. In turn, the agency is able to double down on its competitive edge — human ingenuity and fresh thinking, and help brands stand out with creative marketing.
Indeed, AI’s ability to generate numerous iterations and experiments has empowered and inspired agencies like Dentsu to create fresh and exciting branded experiences for its clients. Its Artificial Client tool is another example of how it supercharged its creativity and mindset of experimentation with AI. Modeled on three customer personas, the AI tool provides Dentsu with real-time feedback on its creative assets and helps it gain quick insights on how to better engage audiences for the brands it works with.
Accordingly, agencies across APAC have spent the last few years gaining technical know-how and expertise in adopting durable measurement solutions. This includes attending Google’s training programs on the latest measurement and performance solutions that prioritize customer privacy.
Some agencies like Publicis Groupe have also moved to help clients develop well-structured data strategies. With it, the privacy-safe data not only provides brands with valuable measurements, but it can also be used to fuel the AI-powered performance solutions they use.
Others, like Dentsu, have gone on to work with partners, including Google to research how brands can measure and improve their ROI in privacy-safe ways with marketing mix modeling. And GroupM Nexus APAC has adopted the approach of co-creating strong measurement foundations and solutions with industry partners and clients.
Ambitions are not prophecies. By working with marketing agencies, brands can tap into their partners’ invaluable marketing insights and expertise, and be confident about driving ROI for their business in 2024 and the years to come.