Ahead of his session ‘The Power of People & AI: How Human Supervision Can Drive True Performance’ at #DMWF Asia on 18-19 February, our Managing Director APAC, Chris Steedman shares his thoughts on the current digital media landscape and what marketers should be looking out for in the future.
Let’s kick off with a bit about your background in digital marketing and what you’re up to at the moment?
I joined M&C Saatchi Performance back in 2008 when mobile marketing was just in its infancy. Since then, the digital advertising industry has evolved enormously and so has our agency. The changing customer journeys are making it increasingly difficult for marketers to connect with their customers; our agency exists to connect brands to connect to today’s connected consumers. In 2013, I came over to set up operations in the APAC region and am very proud of our achievements. Today, we have a team of over 70 brilliant people across Singapore, India, Indonesia and Australia. The speed at which this region develops is incredible, we’re very excited for another year of fast-paced change in the fastest-growing region in the world.
Which digital marketing trend that has impacted your campaigns the most in past year?
In 2019, we noticed more and more clients looking for alternative channels to the major ad platforms. These days, clients are after channels that can then provide them with the scale they need to grow, at a lower cost than the traditional platforms once relied upon.
What is the next BIG thing that marketers should be preparing for now?
Marketers must prepare for Google Chrome’s decision to eliminate third-party cookies by 2022. Whilst the information available to the market is limited, given the announcement was only last week, the industry’s current understanding is it will clearly have an impact on how marketers run measurable web-based activity. Watch this space.’
What is the best piece of advice you have been given as a marketer?
Always focus on the customer.
What, in your opinion, is the most exciting new technology for marketers?
Most probably, the development of programmatic TV advertising which has the potential to be a win for audiences, advertisers and the television industry at the same time. With programmatic TV, media buyers have more control over addressability and advanced measurement capabilities. This type of advertising opens the door for better relevancy of video placement. Relying on software automation and data-driven technologies, programmatic TV allows a brand to target the right people at the right time with the right message.
What can our community learn from you at your session/panel at DMWF Asia?
The development of machine learning and artificial intelligence have led to speculation that they may bring radical, unprecedented changes to the global economy. I will discuss the important role of human supervision in implementing machine learning within digital advertising and the need to invest in human capabilities – without human supervision, data has its limitations.
Like a prize boxer, you are the undisputed heavyweight in your field. If you had a walk-in song, what would it be?
Why can’t we be friends by American funk band War.