Technology plays an important role in marketing and advertising of the modern day, as customer behaviours are changing and becoming more complex in this age of new normal.
Advertising and marketing are no longer only a tool for creating brand perception. The advertising industry, which connects brands of products with customers, previously centred on the brands to create their content. But today the focus has been shifted to consumers as the content creator.
Punsak Limvatanayingyong, the country manager of AnyMind Group in Thailand, said that at present technology is playing an increasingly important role in advertising and marketing — for brand owners, entrepreneurs, and buyers (as users and consumers) alike.
“The duty of marketing is to create demand for products. With marketing, you can make consumers subconsciously demand products they never wanted before,” Punsak told The Story Thailand.
AnyMind is a technology solutions provider for the advertising, influencer marketing and human resource industries.
Marketing today has expanded its duty beyond creating demand, according to Punsak. It gets to know consumers better and helps predict their future demand for goods.
As today’s lifestyles are closely connected to technology, online advertising agencies adopt the modern tools for better understanding of consumer behaviours.
“The knowledge is adapted for the understanding of customer demands while responding to the brand owners’ requirements. This environment has led to the birth of many startups that are developing technologies to help with marketing,” Punsak said.
Technology answers to marketing demands
Marketing technology, or MarTech, is part of the advertising industry’s ecosystem today, serving as a jigsaw piece to help boost advertising, along with such means as media buying , influencer marketing, and e-commerce.
Technology is the heart of AnyMind, which mainly provides technological support for advertising agencies and brand owners, in addition to project planning.
Marketing is a challenging task in the modern-day market that is centred on consumers, as consumer behaviours are constantly changing and markets are highly fragmented.
COVID-19 brings new chances for MarTech
Punsak views that the COVID-19 pandemic is speeding up the learning and adoption of new technologies, although many consumers have been familiar with technology that are already changing their behaviours.
This environment allows MarTech room to grow in the market amid the demand from product brands and advertising agencies looking for supporting technology.
AnyMind’s aim is to develop technology for data synthesis that helps with business decisions.
“MarTech is not a big platform like Facebook or Google. It’s a small platform that specializes in data gathering and social listening for marketing campaigns and brand creation,” Punsak said.
“One-on-one communications with customers or CRM [customer relationship management] requires a lot of marketing efforts. This brings new marketing opportunities and ideas based on technology to answer the marketing issues.”
Marketing does not need to rely on any technology but failure to adapt and adopt new knowledge also brings a risk. Use of technology helps you get data faster and act promptly in revising your marketing plans if necessary.
“We no longer need to buy advertising airtime on TV a month in advance. Today, you can buy advertising space or cancel it anytime you like, and you can do changes at all times,” Punsak said.
“This provides opportunities for MarTech, which helps us to quickly understand consumers and campaigns. Results can be evaluated faster and marketing plans can be revised promptly for quicker results. There have always been efforts to create new MarTech products.”
With the help of technology, analysis of available data can be executed more accurately and precisely. Meanwhile, data analysis can be performed better with assistance from data science, deep tech, and artificial intelligence (AI).
Another challenge involves how well the technology is adapted to the local culture, the target group, or the relevant contexts involving languages and traditions, among others.
“Different MarTech companies face different challenges,” Punsak said.
The difficulty of MarTech
In his view, MarTech offers a huge potential of opportunities for Thai startups although it proves difficult to find qualified personnel who are good at both technology and marketing. System developers and marketers tend to view technology differently.
“Marketers look for tools that are complex as the markets are highly fragmented these days,” Punsak said.
Despite all the difficult and complex challenges, AnyMind aims to develop tools to help marketers better use technology to improve their work, according to its country manager. And its collaboration with advertising agencies and brand owners helps AnyMind to better understand the consumer’s constantly changing demands.
Due to the more complex consumer behaviours, marketers need the help of technology to tackle more complex questions.
“We need to do remarketing. I have to do more of what I call ‘haunting the consumers’ by making them see us even more than before. We must know where they are and approach them more. Also, we may need influencer marketing that is even more complex. Tech can help with the planning and evaluation, as consumers keep changing,” Punsak said.
AnyMind has seen a continued growth and suffered no serious impacts from COVID-19 because it copes well with challenges to its business, according to the country manager.
“We adjust not only the way we work [including adopting the work from home policy], but also the customers’ strategy to correspond with the current situation, in the face of limited budget and the need for a more effective result,” he said.
He also said that businesses may continue with old-style advertising, but MarTech can help you get the result faster and more accurately.
With marketing technology, brands can have a better and clearer knowledge of their customers — both existing and prospective ones. For instance, consumer data by segment helps brands to better communicate with and access their target groups more fittingly.
In other words, brands can get better results with the same amount of money, or they pay less for more valuable results.
“For me, everyone can do anything, but their cost and result differ. Technology can bring better results with lower costs. Adopting MarTech may result in a higher cost because it’s an investment,” Punsak said.
AnyMind’s business goal
According to the country manager, AnyMind’s business goal is to “make every place borderless”. He admits that it is a challenge for any business, particularly those with overseas operations. That is because of the differences in language, culture and norms.
“In the future we hope AnyMind can do the marketing planning here and implement the plans overseas. We can help you manage your product marketing and make your business grow further — from creating awareness and consideration, to conversion,” Punsak said.
As a startup company, he says, AnyMind is strongly determined to grow further both in Thailand and overseas — with the goal of becoming a “unicorn”, a startup valued at over $1 billion (Bt33 billion).
“We have to be able to see the direction of customer changes. Technology helps us to see the picture before we make decisions,” Punsak said.
“Marketing is part of business investment. With good understanding and accurate prediction, we can reduce the risk of doing business. Better information can help us bring down the risks.”
As a tech-savvy marketer, Punsak says new-generation marketers should adopt new technologies and keep the balance between art and science. For him, investment in technology could bring a better result and more efficiency.