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What DKK thinks about MPPM, Facebook, Programmatic and Alibaba…

In MARKETING mid-March 2018 issue, we sat down recently with the Group MD of Media Prima Datuk Kamal Khalid (DKK), to shoot the breeze about the Malaysia Premium Publishers Marketplace (MPPM) and other chatty stuff….

The Malaysia Premium Publishers Marketplace (MPPM), involving The Star Media Group, MCIL, Utusan Malaysia, Kosmo, China Press, Guang Ming Online, Nanyang and The Edge, has partnered with Innity to bring a publisher-led online programmatic advertising marketplace.

MPPM Chairman Heather Wee said, “Our goal is to ensure transparency and ethical operating standards. We’ll work with Innity to deliver quality online ad inventory to advertisers. This will also empower small and medium-size advertisers who could not afford online ad verification services to buy quality local online ad inventory via a self-service website.”

DKK (pic) has been with the Media Prima Group for 11 years and played a key role in its digital transformation and business expansion initiatives. We swapped stories about brand safety, Mad Men and how his office is just next to the MRT station (kid you not)…

I think it’s a good thing because a lot of the people who are involved in this had to contend with digital disruption. MPPM is an initiative that tries to give some control back to the publishers.

I am not sure whether it’s going to be a like-for-like placement for global platforms like Google, but I see it as a necessary step for publishers and media owners, intead of leaving it all to external players. I believe Google and Facebook will continue to be used by advertisers simply because of the reach. Scale is a challenge for any premium or private marketplace.

At the end of the day, everything is driven by advertisers. And that applies to any media currency. Our Audience+ platform, powered by Media Prima Digital, is a little similar except it is for all our digital properties rather than properties from different media owners. We’re a fairly sizable group. If you add up all of our digital reach across our platforms, we’re only a couple of million behind the top two players.

Advertisers need to be clear on how they want to utilise digital marketing. I suspect all of us still rely on Google and Facebook as entry points. People still access our content via those two conduits. I think in some sense it’s an alternative, and in some sense it’s complementary. The digital landscape is so interconnected.

Programmatic revenue, as far as digital is concerned, only gives you about half the picture. A lot of the other stuff is content marketing. Advertisers say I want meaningful engagements and that’s about content, no matter how you access it.  I think the digital marketplace addresses some of the issues in making certain content premium, a recognition that not all content is equal.

Everybody says we got to be more digital, but frankly half of them who say it don’t understand what they’re talking about. Nobody really knows how to solve the problems of disruption.

Google, Facebook and Apple are already here. But you’ve got Baidu and Alibaba from China next, and in my estimation those guys are more roundly developed because they have their own ecosystems. Alibaba is not just an e-commerce company, they’ve got all sorts of things. All these companies are very large, and more multipronged than Facebook and Google.

There’s an interesting statistic I saw the other day where the average age of a Facebook user is older than the average age of a television viewer. It makes sense because you’ve got neighbourhood groups that are on Facebook, which tend to be populated by older people with more time. Facebook generally lends itself to longer pieces, people actually sit down and write stuff on Facebook. I still think Facebook is still powerful for certain things, but I don’t think it’s a tool for everything.

I think Instagram is very good, of course Facebook doesn’t lose out since they own it, but Instagram is the more popular platform of choice because people can do long or short content, create their own narratives using Instagram stories… it’s very visual. That’s the reason why I think Instagram has become the more dominant app among younger users.

Historically agencies were one stop centres for creative, media and the lot. Then they decided creative is creative, media is media, and that the industry is sophisticated enough to justify specialising into separate fields. But I think it’s all coming back together now, it’s funny how the wheel turns. Clients and advertisers want solutions, not silos.

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