Malaysian publishers have an advantage over tech giants - they know their audience better

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian publishers have an advantage over tech giants as they know their audience better, say media agencies.

Dentsu Aegis Network Malaysia media head Yap Chee Weng said by knowing the audience better, they could work to identify solution-focused offers to complement their news content and sustain it.

"But the content also counts. It’s about winning the hearts and minds of Malaysian consumers with content that is relevant and moves people.

"Furthermore, advertisers are looking for outcome-based solutions such as programmatic, customised geo-targeting and e-commerce tie-ups.

"Therefore, publishers need to craft solutions that can meet the demand," he said, adding that the rise of the tech behemoths doesn’t necessarily mean that traditional media publishers can’t claw back audience.

Yap said brands were clear that return on investment ROI counts. "Regardless of what platforms are offered, they simply have to deliver the right ROI’s for brands," he said.

According to Yap, publishers would need what he described as a unique selling proposition - a point of difference - with strong product offers that were solutions-oriented.

Advertising and communications veteran Bala Pomaleh, who is also IPG Mediabrands Malaysia CEO, considers the tech giants as competitors rather than a threat to publishers and broadcasters.

"Publishers need to either find ways to improve and match these giants on efficiency, or create differentiated products by audience.

"Marketers are going after high-value audiences and local media owners need to clearly understand this.

"Big conglomerates like Astro, Star Media Group and Media Prima are in a great position as they have a wide suite of offerings that can be used in an integrated manner to show effectiveness, which could claw market share from their larger digital competitors," said Bala.

He was commenting on the latest research report by CGS-CIMB Securities, among others, the threat of the likes of Facebook and Google on the Malaysian media and their dominance in the Internet adex in the country.

According to the research house, citing the findings of consultancy firm Media Partners Asia, the share of Internet adex (advertising expenditure) in Malaysia’s overall adex market grew by 17.5 points from 2015’s 17.9% to 35.4% in 2019, with the lion’s share going to Facebook and Google.

“With the two technological giants gobbling up a large chunk of Malaysia’s adex market, news producers and free-to-air broadcasters are hit the worst, ” the report said.

It is estimated that about 80% of the digital adex in Malaysia is funnelled to Facebook and Google, it noted.

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