Q&A with Manish Kumar, MD, Scala APAC

Top MarTech Trends of 2024 for Asia-Pacific

Q&A with Manish Kumar, MD, Scala APAC

Top MarTech Trends of 2024 for Asia-Pacific

The marketing technology world is evolving at a rapid pace. As digital disruptions continuously reshape the industry, it is critical for businesses to stay up to date with these changes to remain competitive.

Managing Director of STRATACACHE and Scala Asia-Pacific, Manish Kumar, shares his thoughts on the ever-evolving MarTech landscape, provides key insights on what trends we are likely to see in marketing technology and digital signage throughout 2024, and reveals what businesses in the region need to do to adapt and keep pace.

Manish Kumar's Q&A session on Martech trends shaping 2024 in Asia-Pacific

Q: What is the demand like for digital signage and marketing technology in the Asia-Pacific region?

A: The region is in the middle of a huge boom in technology and infrastructure. The adoption of digital signage tech in emerging markets like India and some southeast Asian countries is rising at a lightning pace. There is a very high annual growth rate in the digital signage market of over 15% in some regions. There is a huge demand for technology like interactive kiosks and displays. We’re seeing this mainly in retail and hospitality settings like QSR and casual dining. With the retail boom comes a higher demand for interactive technology. The boom in ‘smart city’ initiatives in many countries in the region is also driving the adoption of digital signage. And finally, we are seeing a huge uptick in adoption in the airport and transport industries, which are also booming markets in places like India.

Q: What are some of the key martech trends we’ll see play out in the Asia-Pacific region in 2024?

A: AI is on the rise, especially in regards to customer experience and personalisation. Marketers across many industries, but especially retail, are turning to AI to create personalised shopping experiences and target their marketing more tightly for higher conversions. We’re seeing a growing trend of businesses using AI tools to streamline marketing efforts, automate routine tasks, and provide insights for informed decision-making.

Immersive experiences are also taking hold in a big way. In 2023, we saw more brands leveraging virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies. From interactive product demonstrations to virtual store visits, the possibilities for this trend are endless and we expect big things to happen in this area in 2024.

Finally, it is impossible to ignore the impact of Retail Media Networks on the overall retail landscape in APAC. Some estimates show retail media is expected to grow by 60% over the next five year, which is phenomenal. Ninety-nine per cent of retailers in Asia are planning to invest more in retail media. Of all the trends we’re seeing, RMNs have the biggest potential for advertisers to better target customers with timely, relevant marketing by blending technology with insightful data analytics.

Q: How have customer expectations changed, and how is marketing technology evolving to meet new customer desires?

A: Covid changed the entire retail and customer service landscape. There’s no doubt the consumer has changed, in both their behaviour and preferences. Targeted advertising must be very relevant. Customers expect highly personalised experiences, and this has a big impact on brand loyalty. We’re seeing brands investing heavily in technology that help personalise their messaging, targeting, and overall marketing strategy.

Consumers also expect the information they want to be presented on-demand, at their fingertips. Digital experiences are evolving to provide relevant, highly accurate information based on first-party data.

Q: We all know omnichannel marketing is the way of the future. What are your thoughts on integrated, omnichannel marketing?

A: Today’s customers engage with brands across multiple touchpoints and channels. Brands are responding to this by investing in technologies that allow them to deliver seamless and consistent messaging across all channels, from social media, email and mobile apps to the physical store environment. Digital signage is continuing to bridge the gap between ecommerce and physical retail.

Q: What is the importance of good media players for the success of digital signage, and how is Scala evolving to meet the need for high quality media players?

A: Good media players are essential for delivering high-quality content. And content is the key to a good user experience in digital signage. Reliable media players have a critical role to play in the success of any digital signage network.

Scala has been actively working to meet the need for high-quality media players in the APAC region through ongoing innovation and improvement to our lineup of Scala Media Players, with the introduction of four new models in the last 12 months.

Q: What kinds of emerging technologies and solutions are on the horizon for Scala Asia-Pacific in the next 2-3 years?

A: Scala APAC is set to embrace an array of cutting-edge marketing technologies that will revolutionise how businesses engage with their target audiences. In the next 2-3 years, the company will invest in several emerging technologies. Our recent opening of our new India headquarters in Bangalore is part of our refocus on research and development in the region. We’re looking at AI and AR to augment our existing solutions for retail and QSR, as well as delivering a complete suite of digital signage creative services to businesses across a wide range of industries.

Q: What are the key verticals Scala APAC is focusing on for the next 12-18 months?

A: Retail is always a core focus for us, and this isn’t changing anytime soon. We will continue to target the retail industry to deliver state-of-the-art digital signage solutions that can provide better customer engagement and elevate the shopping experience.

Transportation is a key focus for us in 2024. Many airports in countries like India are undergoing significant renewal in the next two years. Beyond airports, Scala APAC is also focusing on improving the passenger experience in other transportation hubs like bus and metro stations.

There is increasing demand for smart digital solutions to streamline communication in schools and universities, so this is another key focus for us in the near future. We’ll be focusing on how Scala’s range of dynamic and interactive digital signage solutions can enhance student engagement and learning outcomes.

About the Author:

Manish Kumar, Managing Director – APAC, helms the Asia-Pacific operations at STRATACACHE since April 2018. In this position, Manish oversees sales, services and support activities across the STRATACACHE brands, aligning operations with region- specific needs in the digital media/marketing technology market. The key driver for the phenomenal growth in APAC, he concurrently also holds the position of Vice President, Investments Asia-Pacific at STRATACACHE Capital, helping to lead deal discovery and investment on a global scale.

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