The Futurist: The game changers

We are often challenged to think of how to build a sustainable brand. Well, I always go back to basics and focus on applying simplicity in every aspect. It is about the attention to detail, ensuring the 7Ps of marketing are covered in the way where it matters most to the customer.

Brands which are genuine and stay true to their purpose while contributing back to the society will win the hearts of customers.

Where is marketing headed in 2020?

In 2019, we observed the Internet and media giants introduce their new services primarily in the area of entertainment. Apple and Google now both compete in gaming subscription services - Apple Arcade and Google Stadia. Netflix launched a cheaper mobile-only plan and Amazon Prime Video made its debut through partnerships in the region. They all share the same purpose which is to grab content consumption time.

We will see more tie-ups between telcos and these companies, as it makes sense to marry a telco’s capabilities with premium content which will result in providing more value to consumers. Telco marketers will need to be smarter in delivering value if they are to convince consumers to use more data.

Creating the biggest impact in the digital space is to be extra sharp in customer experience. It’s about how brands can solve customers’ pain points while applying simplicity at its core.

Challenges facing telco marketers in 2020?

The year 2020 will see more attempts by telcos to innovate especially in products and services offering to stay relevant. Marketers will face challenges in trying to transition from mass marketing to more personalised content marketing. Building a personal touch will be as important as gaining trust.

Keeping the fundamentals in check such as user friendliness, value for money and perceived value, protecting personal data and being a brand that cares about communities will be key to building brand affinity in the long run.

Trends which excite you?

For us, one of the exciting trends to anticipate is the launch of 5G. Coupled with AI and machine learning, this would be game-changing especially in the area of multiplayer mobile gaming. There is plenty of research that points to how 5G can significantly improve the gaming performance with respect to speed and latency. Games can potentially be streamed directly into phones with almost zero latency. Add this to the continuously improving mobile phone technology, hardware will no longer be a barrier to the availability of higher-spec games being played on phones.

This is a space we are quite excited to play in, and have started by introducing RepublicGG (RGG). RGG is a consumer storefront that allows gamers to purchase gaming credits and earn rewards, and where credits can be exchanged with exclusive in-game perks and other gaming merchandise.

How will telcos need to evolve?

Consumers are now highly sophisticated with specific demands on what they want their tech to do for them (and by extension, their service providers). They expect brands to know their preferences and help them to solve issues in the most convenient and quickest way possible. These facts have motivated brands to innovate products.

A key aspect of a telcos transformation must be centred around hyper-personalisation - meeting relevant needs to prompt the highest probability of product adoption. Essentially, providing services that matter most to the customer. I believe we will see telcos invest heavily in areas such as data science, digital products innovation and advanced network technologies, all factors that play an important role in their transformation journey.

The writer is Michael Chung, head of games - digital products and services department, Digi Telecommunications Malaysia.

This sponsored post by Digi is part of Advertising + Marketing’s annual Futurist series and was first published in our Q1 2020 issue.