Digital Reporter

For the longest time, big companies poured their advertisements on television, radio and newspapers. But as digital platforms continue threatening the traditional ones, businesses are pressured to follow the gadget-equipped crowd.

“International companies that are here are pushed a lot by their global offices or regional offices to shift to digital marketing,” said Henry de Chaille, the industry manager of Google Philippines, a.k.a. the local office of the world’s most iconic search engine. Speaking to SparkUp at the sidelines of a panel discussion organized by La French Tech Philippines on May 4 at the QBO Innovation Hub in Makati City, he continued: “We also see, especially during the last months, a big shift among local companies—particularly conglomerates—that are asking more questions on how they can fully leverage digital [platforms].”

A report by London‑based data and business research provider IHS Markit released in December last year forecast that product advertising in the world will be executed mostly online in the next five years, overtaking television as the main global advertising platform. The report added that digital advertising accounted for nearly $160 billion or 30% of the world’s $540 billion advertising revenue in 2016, with traditional marketing means such as TV, print, and radio trailing behind.

Working at Google, which is also engaged in online advertising technologies, Mr. de Chaille is put in a position where he can see how companies are adjusting to the disruptive platform. He develops advertising business for Google, as well as video‑sharing website YouTube, in the country and provides digital transformation support and advertising solutions to fast‑moving consumer goods companies.

Among the “changes” that big brands are tackling, he enumerated, are the following: making their mass reach more customized, integrating digital marketing into their entire marketing, and, most importantly, focusing on brand relevance wherein they engage and not just push advertisements.

Art Erka Capili Inciong

At the forum, other tech VIPs pitched in. Laurent Goirand, the head of the world’s largest media investment group GroupM in the Philippines, said he expects digital marketing to flourish. He added that the surge of digital marketing in the Philippines is attributed to the country’s growing economy: “A growing country means growing marketing budget because they are directly connected. A growing country means you (companies) need to sell your products all the more and you need to spend all the more.”

According to Marcy Venezuela, President and CEO of Xurpas Enterprise, the growth in digital marketing is also due to the continuous surge of Filipinos online as well as the consumption of more electric devices in the country. Leading a company that provides mobile enterprise solutions to corporate clients, Ms. Venezuela is a witness to the impact of digitalization on the marketing landscape.

Ms. Venezuela also pointed out that with the flourishing of this marketing platform comes huge responsibilities, especially in the aspect of security. “We have to revise or refresh our policies or legislations for online commerce,” she told SparkUp.

Technology has changed the marketing landscape in the country—that’s old news. But with Filipinos’ seemingly unending patronage of gadgets, companies shouldn’t only catch up with the crowd, they should figure out, yet again, how to lead it.