Measuring digital adex

Au-Yong: ‘With this measure, there will be more transparency in the digital arena and this will help advertisers to better manage and plan their digital advertising spend.’

Advertisers association to work with MDA

A COMPREHENSIVE measurement for digital advertising expenditure (adex), which is currently lacking in the industry, could be in the offing, a move which advertisers have long been waiting for.

For a start, the Malaysian Advertisers Association (MAA) will be closely collaborating with the Malaysian Digital Association (MDA) on the digital adex.

MAA, which has a membership of close to 1,000, plans to have more discussions with the relevant parties, including the MDA to come up with such a measurement. Research company like Nielsen at the moment does not measure digital adex.

With this measurement coming into play, advertisers will be able to have a clearer picture of the industry’s digital adex growth, prospect, digital spend and planning.

Industry players agree that it is high time that such measurement be introduced for the betterment of the industry amid the digital wave in the advertising space.

MAA president Margaret Au-Yong, without specifying the timeframe, says although the move to have such a measure is still at its preliminary stages, it is in the right direction to propel the industry to greater heights.

“The ad industry is moving towards digital and yet there is no proper measurement for digital spend. With this measure, there will be more transparency in the digital arena and this will help advertisers to better manage and plan their digital advertising spend.

“Besides this move, we plan to work on collaborative initiatives to design industry standards in digital media buying as it will ensure a more transparent metric and build industry benchmarks to aid advertisers with more insights for better planning,” she adds.

Au-Yong, who was re-elected at the association’s recent AGM together with vice-president Chan May Ling, says as for its membership affiliation, it is a positive move as MAA and its affiliate members could share and exchange on areas like marketing, branding and e-commerce ideas, experiences and knowledge.

This cooperation, she says, will enable MAA members to be ready and emerge as a stronger force in the wake of a challenging global economic and business climate. More local companies with strong brand names have expressed interest to become members. One of them is CIMB Bank, she notes.

The MAA has forged new collaborations with the Malaysia Retail Chain Association, which was chosen as the association’s first affiliate member in September 2015. Its latest affiliate member is Business Network International. These two associations have affiliations with more than 800 small and medium enterprises.

On its regulatory stand, Au-Yong says the association sees itself as a regulatory committee and industry self-regulation is a matter that the council continues to address, adding that she believes the industry must establish a set of ethics that will guide the industry and encourage best practices at every step of the way.

In view of global challenges, the MAA has also strongly aligned itself with the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA). After the successful global marketer conference in Kuala Lumpur recently, which featured an impressive global line-up of marketers and thought-leaders, the association believes a continuous exchange of ideas, strategies and concepts will truly benefit its members.

According to Au-Yong, the collaboration with WFA will provide a platform for MAA members to learn from regional best practices, especially from mature markets when it comes to consumer shifts, deeper digital media understanding and new agency frameworks which will help members in future planning.

On the outlook of the industry, she says it will be a challenging year. “For example in Asia itself, advertising in the region is estimated to maintain its growth of between 5% and 6% this year based on a February 2016 report by industry analysts Media Partners Asia, with China spearheading the progression.

“Although it will be a tough year for the industry, MAA will continue to focus on four key areas – digital media, new collaborations, global engagement and self-regulation – to ensure that its initiatives will help drive the industry forward and in the right path,” she explains.

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