Meet the people who drive the power of marketing with Astro

4 years ago

(marketingmagazine.com) – The new frontliners at Astro have seen more than their fair share of the industry evolving in recent years.

Take TH Chong, for example, a radio biz whiz for almost 10 years and now firmly in the saddle driving media sales for the entire group, including TV, Radio, Digital, Print, Content and Activation.

Chrong Teck Hiong or better known as TH has been an ad agency person, client and brand marketer, and has seen through the entire business spectrum from sales, integration services, content to media and digital.

You now drive media sales across the Group. What’s your mandate?
I am bringing together all the diverse talent within the group (content, data, media sales) to offer a truly 360 integrated content marketing solution for marketers.

To start off, we revamped the sales team structure to be more holistic. Previously we had different teams and the creative solutions were depending on who took the brief.

Today the integrated team takes the brief from the very beginning, and comes out with solutions which are best for the client, and not what is best for radio or tv, and so on.

Can you detail what you mean by integrated approach?
You see, advertisers are not just spoilt for choice but they demand it. So when they throw a marketing challenge to the Astro Group, the first thing that happens is the master conductors, or integrated team, come into play. Every brief is given the macro and micro treatment.

This group of top strategists brainstorm the solutions that will answer the challenge. We look at what is the best solution for the advertiser moving forward, mixing and matching our various offerings within the group for the best possible outcome.

Sometimes, the solution is not so obvious and we have to create one. Sometimes radio fits the solution better than TV or digital.

Sometimes it is a pure play digital strategy that works best. Whatever is right, is the way we roll. Because at the end of the day, clients want solutions and not more plans on the table.

What makes you different from the other media players, assuming that your competitors are not just television players?
It is very interesting the way you have phrased the question. We see the competition as part of the ecosystem we live in, so that can involve anyone who is after the advertising dollar.

That includes YouTube and Facebook too! Having said that, Astro is primarily a content and consumer company. We are storytellers who craft original signature content IPs that resonate with Malaysians.

Last year, 22 of our local content titles exceeded one million in viewership. We have seen viewership of over 4 million for Maharaja Lawak and Anugerah MeleTOP.

Astro has significant reach to all segments of Malaysians because our robust audience measurement system is capable of accurately and effectively capturing and collate viewing data representative of 7 million TV households and 30 million individuals in Malaysia in order to generate actionable insights for marketers.

What are Malaysian marketers looking for now that all of them are beholden to ROI?
Marketers are seeking for integrated media and marketing solutions to reach their consumers.

The days of simple media buys for placement of ads on TV, radio and print purely based on pricing, cost per thousand (CPM) is no longer sufficient.

Astro has the right pieces in place to take the craft of marketing to the next level – the ability to partner with marketers to craft the right marketing content to reach the right audiences on the right platform, be it TV, radio, print or digital.

Astro’s multitude of channels, devised for different audiences, is a big advantage to the more generic fare that is found on other TV platforms.

There are programmes for higher income and more urban demographics, as well as dedicated channels for children, comedies and movies.

And one more thing, our inventory is almost limitless compared to other television platforms.

I have to ask you about your partnership with Kantar Media on Dynamic Television Audience Measurement (DTAM)….

Whether it is television, radio, mobile, print, multi-screens, the marriage of content and data is where the sweet spot is. Content adds value to data by providing meaning, context, services and market intelligence around data.

For the first time, media buyers have more granular insights into the viewing habits of Malaysian pay-TV homes.

The proprietary system, DTAM, uses Return Path Data (RPD) technology to capture and collate viewing data directly from Astro set top boxes. DTAM is also able to track viewership of advertising spots across all Astro channels.

DTAM can be combined with Kantar World Panel’s consumer research to target specific brand and product users for more effective marketing.

For example, do all female shampoo users watch the same programmes? This information is critical for shampoo advertisers.

That’s why rich and meaningful information from Return Path Data can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of advertising campaigns.

This sounds more like a technology company as opposed to a media organization….

Both functions are not mutually exclusive today.

Marketers can analyse viewership data by a wider set of attributes as provided by our set-top-box (STB) to identify a more specific subset of consumers and purchase TV spots against these audiences instead of just relying on GRPs to determine desirable audiences for their ads.

And that’s exactly what programmatic advertising is: the use of STB data to inform the purchase process.

Of course, the danger in programmatic is when one commoditises content into numeric terms.

The magic is to use data to enhance content because at the end of the day, we are in the business of emotionally moving consumers.

Deep dive data can now inspire creative campaigns like never before!

Chrong Teck Hiong or better known as TH has been an ad agency person, client and brand marketer, and has seen through the entire business spectrum from sales, integration services, content to media and digital.

You now drive media sales across the Group. What’s your mandate?
I am bringing together all the diverse talent within the group (content, data, media sales) to offer a truly 360 integrated content marketing solution for marketers.

To start off, we revamped the sales team structure to be more holistic. Previously we had different teams and the creative solutions were depending on who took the brief.

Today the integrated team takes the brief from the very beginning, and comes out with solutions which are best for the client, and not what is best for radio or tv, and so on.

To read the full interview, to find more on the team and what is in store for Astro next read MARKETING Magazine’s September-October issue.

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