Reimagining Southeast Asia’s Digital Marketing Leadership & Strategy For The New Paradigm

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – October 23, 2017 —

Outbound marketing has held sway for more than a hundred years. Paid advertising, whether in newspapers, on the radio, on TV and billboards, or across every webpage, has been business as usual even in the 21st century. This advertising amounts to an intrusion into people’s worlds – an interruption of their activities to demand their attention and instruct them as to what they should buy, usually through manipulating what they think, feel and do.

That time is at an end. Customers have become more savvy to the existing marketing channels, and ferocious competition has meant individuals have become very adept at switching off the ‘white noise’ of paid advertising – seeing it only as nuisance, never as opportunity.

The answer to this crisis is personalization. For businesses in South East Asia, this revolutionary new attitude to advertising represents an untapped opportunity. There is still space for businesses to become pioneers in omnichannel marketing, and deliver outstanding customer experience to their audiences.

Today, DMICON will be previewing some of the latest industry insights and inspirations on how brands can redefine their identities for the 21st century, creating a more responsive approach that allows brands to be what each customer needs them to be. Drawing on real life inspiration from this market will help to establish a new mindset among SEA business, enabling a convergence around a better style of post-modern marketing.

Success Stories Of Omnichannel Marketing


L’Oreal is one hundred years old, and yet their marketing looks as if it was invented this morning, across more than 30 iconic brands.

They have created Snapchat filters that apply makeup to selfies, creating an augmented reality that previews their product in use with extreme personalisation.

They have created a YouTube channel with rapid-fire tutorials, teaching people how to contour in 20 seconds, solving problems and building confidence in their target consumers.

They have shifted from solely celebrity endorsements to more relatable influencers, moving with how their market has evolved.

When you talk to their marketing teams, they refer to this as “changing the way we tell our stories”, and that’s the most important thing to be learned from them.

New touch points, new strategies, new ways of engagement, all prioritizing the relatable, personal, empowering aspects of modern marketing.


Sephora are using omnichannel marketing to create new, integrated experiences. Designed like a showroom, their new Toronto store offers people free makeovers using digital apps informed by Sephora + Pantone Color IQ touchscreen tablets. This allows the company to give personal recommendations to shoppers on what shades and brands of foundation, blush, and more they should be using. There is even a Fragrance IQ to allow people to discover new perfumes.

This seamlessly blends the digital and real worlds, with products available in store, after a journey guided by technology. The company talks about evolving the experience for the client, in response to shifts in consumer behavior.

The company has also developed Sephora to Go, a mobile app that emulates the knowledge of a personal shopping assistant to provide valuable recommendations. This app was developed after consumer data revealed shoppers used their smartphones to look for reviews while in store. The app is there to provide confidence in consumer decision making.

Their “pocket contour class” performs a similar function – people won’t buy products they don’t know how to use. The class provides real value for free, while showcasing the product advantages and filling in the knowledge gap, allowing people to feel confident in using the product. This both removes fear, and creates need.

By integrating their retail and online customer experience, they are enriching the brands impact on consumers in a way that directly benefits them. Selling products is now a small part of a whole world.

DECATHLON: eXperience

Decathlon is a worlwide sports store that has just opened a new location in Singapore. Unassuming and utilitarian, the store places its emphasis on products and an open-world, sandbox approach similar to popular games like Minecraft. You can try our or combine any items available, enabling you to bounce on the trampolines and ride bikes around the store.

Singapore’s head of marketing Clarence Chew is just 28 years old. He is part of the millennial market that promises to prove so lucrative in the decades to come. Instead of buying and carting large and unwieldy sporting equipment home, after negotiating queues at busy checkouts, individuals can try out everything they like, then place an order through an integrated platform and have the items delivered direct to their homes.

This new kind of hybrid online and real-world space has been described as “click and mortar”, allowing people to browse 13,000 products for sixty five different sports without feeling utterly overwhelmed. Using data collected from user experience in the industry’s third largest R&D facility worldwide is allowing the company to change their approach based on feedback, to align their provision with user behavior informed by Growth Hacking methodologies.

The ways in which these brands are transforming their approach to consumer-focused business is making clear the revolution that is about to hit the mainstream. Businesses can learn from these inspiring examples and action similar approaches for their own products and services.

The Three Commandments Of Omnichannel Marketing

Unification and Alignment – all teams and departments, from R&D to marketing and PR to customer services, must work together to help create the different dimensions that contribute to a single experience, based on the same information about customers, the same principles, and driving toward the same outcomes.

Data Analysis – Actions should be informed by data & analytics on user behavior, experience and feedback. Use data to analyze and assess problems and generate innovative solutions harnessing a combination of technology, staff and products.

Impact – With a vision and information informing action, obstacles to action must be removed or heavily streamlined to allow for rapid results. Things are evolving more quickly than ever, and maximizing alignment between teams, insights and actions will allow companies to more rapidly express compelling experiences.

Expressions Of These Commandments In Business

RCT Comms – make sure that in addition to reflecting the tone of voice and aspirations of the brand, communication is Relevant, Compelling and Timely.

Push Relevance – relevance is the first thing on this list, and it must be the first priority informing your approach to any business challenge. In omnichannel marketing, this means catering to a customer’s shopping habits, including when, where and how they like to shop. It means tracking customer data and keeping it accessible, so order history can be used to predict future needs and behavior. It means creating new products based on an analysis of needs currently being met, and needs being fulfilled elsewhere.

Loyalty – Creating an omnichannel campaign is about leveraging every touchpoint to create a sense of community and cohesion around a brand for warm followers and new audiences alike. A brand must be a mission and a personality, as well as a solution. Loyalty programs are the classic expression of this tendency, rewarding those who keep coming back for more. But much more can be done, and personalized experiences based on actionable insights around individuals will create the engagement that is now missing from traditional marketing.

A Huge Opportunity

Omnichannel marketing is an opportunity for us to reimagine and redefine what South East Asian business looks and feels like to consumers. It is also a cutting-edge world in which this region has the potential to lead the world. This in an opportunity not to be missed.

If you want to learn more about this augmented approach to leadership and strategy in the new age of consumer marketing, the Digital Marketing Innovation Conference (DMICON) is a 2-Day event in Kuala Lumpur, 29-30 November. At DMICON, the emphasis will be on Innovation, Leadership & Strategy, featuring Key Strategic Thinkers representing the region’s biggest brands, influencers, industry disruptors, and business change agents across all industries, from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Shanghai and more. For the latest, please visit:


Reuters, Tue Oct 24, 2017 – 03:45am UTC