Digital Marketing Experts in Asia Share Predictions For 2016

Last year, we did a prediction for the biggest internet trends for 2015. This year, we decided to invite some of the top digital marketing experts in Asia to offer you a glimpse of what they think would be the biggest thing in 2016. After reading similar articles made by our counterparts in the west, we thought it was appropriate to do the same thing for this side of the world in Asia.
Experts from various fields in digital marketing, such as in-house marketers, agencies, Internet marketers, and software providers gave us their insights for what they think will set the digital marketing trend for 2016.
What’s going to be the biggest thing in digital marketing in 2016? What will the experts be working on in 2016? Let’s find out!

Jacky Yap, General Manager of Vulcan Post & Parrot, Singapore & Malaysia

Jacky Yap runs Vulcan Post, a digital lifestyle publication with over 750,000 readers a month and we work with clients to amplify their brand messages to our readers. Parrot is a powerful content research tool that indexes all publications in Singapore and sort them by Virality. You can also discover everyone who shared the article on Facebook.
Jacky’s #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2016
“2016 will be big for content marketing and video marketing. 2015 was already huge but 2016 will be even bigger and more noticeable.
Advertisements don’t work as well anymore. Brands in the United States have moved into other channels such as content and video since 2014. Southeast Asian brands and clients are slowly adopting that, so marketing spend will increase even more in 2016.
Content marketing, when done right, not only helps in getting hard ROI but also soft ROI (branding), and brands in Southeast Asia are slowly recognizing and accepting that. Besides that, content stays on the web forever, as opposed to banner ads/Facebook ads. In 2016, companies which invest in high quality content will win.”
What Jacky will be working on in 2016
“Grow Vulcan Post even more, and moving to a new content vertical to help more brands. We will also be growing Parrot’s content research tool so that brands and clients can use it to do more contextual and relevant content marketing research to help them make smarter decisions.”

Simon Kemp, Marketing and Brand Strategist, Founder of Kepios and We Are Social, Singapore

Simon Kemp has developed brand and marketing strategies for many of the world’s most admired companies, including Unilever, Google, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and Diageo. 8 million people around the world have read his marketing books and guides, and he appears regularly on television and in the press to discuss brands and marketing strategy.
Simon is the founder of Kepios, a marketing strategy consultancy, as well as Regional Managing Partner for We Are Social in Asia, and Head of Asia Pacific for Contagious Insider Consulting.
He was recently recognised as one of Asia’s Most Influential Digital Marketers by CMO Asia magazine, and was featured in Campaign Asia’s 40 Under 40 honours list in 2014.
Prior to starting his own businesses, Simon held regional strategy roles with BBH (Bartle Bogle Hegarty), Universal McCann, and Starcom Mediavest. He has also been a global management consultant, with stints at Accenture and Ascension Strategy Consulting.
Outside of work, Simon is a music producer and DJ, and is recording his first album. He also organises various social events, including tasting nights for the Singapore Whisky Society, as well as the hugely popular #SataySocial street-food event.
You can find Simon all across the internet under the moniker of eskimon.
Simon’s #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2016
“My big prediction for 2016 is that we’ll see some important changes. The last few years have been mostly about evolution, but I think we’ll see some dramatic changes in the next 12 months.
My first prediction is that we’ll see a new kind of ‘device interface’, perhaps involving a radical rethink of the Google Glass concept to enable people to move from the internet as a ‘focus’ medium (like television) to an ‘overlay’ medium, where we use connected technologies to enhance and enrich all of our other kinds of activities. This will lead to internet technologies becoming increasingly like electricity: something that we can’t imagine life without, and yet that we take almost for granted – just like the flipping of a light switch.
My second prediction is that we’ll see a fairly innovative new entrant to the social media world. I don’t think this will be a ‘new Facebook’ though; I’m predicting a new kind of concept that changes the way we (both users and marketers) think about the concept of social media.”
What Simon will be working on in 2016
“I’ll be focusing my attention on the same thing I’ve been trying to do for the pst few years: helping marketers understand that they need to stop thinking about ‘digital marketing’, and start thinking about digital can help them add value to people’s lives.
Too many marketers and brands are still caught up in the hype cycle, testing out all the newest technologies and platforms, without stopping to think what their consumers and audiences might need, and how they can use these new tools and techniques to add meaning and help make the world a better place. Sadly I think that job’s going to take a lot longer than the next 12 months, but the good news is that there’s a huge competitive advantage to be gained by the marketers that grasp it this year, and put that people-centric digital thinking into practice.”

Carmen Benitez, President/Managing Director of Fetch Plus, Singapore

Carmen Benitez is the Managing Director and Founder of Fetch Plus Inc Pte. Ltd., a technology company based in Singapore with offices in SE Asia, Australia and the United States.
As a leading technical innovator in the social media space, she developed the first social media marketing automation platform to benefit the franchise sector.
She has also been cited several times and authored numerous articles in major international publications. She has also written for global company blogs like Citi.
Carmen currently serves as a board member of Girls in Tech and as Chairwoman Strategy and IT for its Singapore branch. In addition, she is an active member of the Young Entrepreneurs Council.
She is also an active mentor to start-ups through the JFDI-Asia incubator program and has mentored the inaugural Singapore University Technology and Design / MIT entrepreneurship class at SUTD/MIT, Singapore.
[Profile source: Crunch Base]
Carmen’s #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2016
“The process to automate purely local activity / connectedness will be a key trend in 2016. Being digital in 2016 requires an understanding of local user experience, shifts to app deep linking and methods available to consume local content. Businesses that understand that will be those that resonate most with audiences.

For example, I believe creative cloud solutions will dominate the digital media landscape as well as new niche content driven portals for SMEs to connect with audiences. Each will appeal to business owners and agencies as it opens up creativity and opportunity for improved local audience development and connectedness.”

What Carmen will be working on in 2016
“For us, our main focus in 2016 is the national launch of our lifestyle content portal in Australia called www.Local-Connect.com.au and to grow its audience and small / medium size business network. If that goes as planned, you just may see something similar launching in other markets across Asia Pacific!”

Gian Sim, CEO of Nooovle, Philippines

Gian Sim is the CEO of Nooovle, which is a Full Stack Digital Marketing Consultancy Firm that helps SMEs build their presence online using basic to advanced digital marketing methods.

He is also the founder of Mainline Power in the Philippines which is home of the patented, innovative and award winning Mainline Power Track system providing “Power and Data beyond limits”. Mainline makes life easier and less frustrating by allowing you to simply and safely, add, remove and reposition, power and data sockets wherever you need them.
[Profile source: LinkedIn]
Gian’s #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2016
“Content marketing will grow even more in 2016. More people will put their focus on creating valuable content for their audience. Videos will be the go to content for this year. Just by observing your Facebook news feed, you can see that people are creating more video content in this platform.
More proof? Check out the video ads of Frank Kern, Gary Vaynerchuk and Tony Robbins. These guys are killing it with videos and you should too!
Time to work out that smile!”
What Gian will be working on in 2016
“Copywriting. I’ve been studying how to drive traffic for the past few years and I have to say that traffic is nothing if you don’t convert it.
It’s time to work on getting more conversions from lesser ad spend. Creating more engaging content. Lastly, connecting with more marketers around the world :)”

Dan Clarke, Founder and CEO of Disruptient, Singapore

Dan Clarke is the founder and CEO of Disruptient, a leading SEO & Digital marketing agency in Southeast Asia, based out of Singapore, with clients across Asia Pacific and the Middle East.
With over a decade’s experience in the industry – and a career spanning Europe, The Middle East, and Asia – prior to founding Disruptient, Dan was the head of SEO for Middle East & North Africa in Dubai. He worked at two of the largest global media agencies, with clients including HSBC, Nissan, and Adidas.
Before that, Dan worked with Rocket Internet in Berlin heading up Groupon’s international expansion ahead of the company’s $17.8 billion public listing on the New York stock exchange in 2011.
[Profile source: Tech In Asia]
Dan’s #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2016
“My biggest prediction for 2016 is that more and more companies in South East Asia would realize the power of, and step up their content marketing game. Content-driven marketing is one of the best ways to establish an engaged audience and position your company as a thought leader in that space. As Google’s algorithm continues to evolve, strong content is always going to be a winner as it is impossible to fake and really requires the company to understand their market.
Even without the marketing benefits, content marketing forces companies to do a load of target market research, which itself is important.”
What Dan will be working on in 2016
“The biggest thing I’m going to focus on in 2016 would have to be training.
I still feel there is a lot of scope in the region to bring up the level of knowledge in Digital Marketing (specifically SEO) and really pull Singapore especially in to line with other developed markets. This has a positive impact on the whole tech scene as a better-educated market raises the standard across the board.
In 2016, I hope to continue to have the opportunity to deliver workshops and training seminars and help grow the tech ecosystem here in South East Asia.”

Eli Schwartz, APAC Head of Marketing, SurveyMonkey, Singapore

Eli Schwartz is the Director of Marketing, APAC for SurveyMonkey, the world’s largest online survey platform. He oversees SurveyMonkey’s marketing efforts in the Asia Pacific region. In addition, he leads the company’s global SEO efforts and strategies across 17 languages. SurveyMonkey serves over 25 million customers worldwide, including 99% of the Fortune 500, and collects over 3 million online survey responses daily.
[Profile source: Tech In Asia]
Eli’s #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2016
“Google, Apple & Microsoft have spent enormous resources in creating and improving digital assistants, but according to a recent survey I ran and blogged about here, people aren’t really using them.
I think 2016 is the year that people finally realize the power of just speaking to their phones to discover answers without the need to type a thing.
Once this shift happens, it will have an enormous impact on paid and organic search marketing. Tail keywords will be extended from a handful of words to full sentences and even paragraphs.
Marketers will really need to create content that answers people’s questions rather than just search queries.”
What Eli will be working on in 2016
“This year, like most of my last few years, I will continue to focus on international search marketing.
Every year Google releases thousands of innovations in their search algorithms but many of them never make it beyond the English language.
While Google understands things like synonyms, plurals, conjunctions, special letters and more in English, they are lacking in these abilities outside of English. This creates tremendous arbitrage opportunities for those who take the time to understand where Google might not have launched an algorithm improvement or closed a search loophole.
International search marketing is even more exciting than English-only as it presents an infinite amount of challenges and opportunities to learn about how the algorithms work.”

Denny Santoso, Founder and CEO of DigitalMarketer.id, Indonesia

Denny Santoso is a digital marketing strategist and an entrepreneur. He started his own company at age 21. He has 15 years of experience in the Indonesian Fitness Industry. Recently, he is actively developing his businesses in various fields and becoming a public speaker on entrepreneurship in various events.
He has also launched some startups in various fields in recent years. As such, he also contributes as a mentor in business development and strategy.
Using social media marketing strategy to develop his digital business, he now has very high social media exposure with hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook, Twitter, and his email-marketing list.
Currently, he is also helping with business development, as well as ecommerce strategy, by being a mentor in many events and through social media.
[Profile source: dennysantoso.com]
Denny’s #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2016
“Since the Google algorithm now favors more ‘user intent’ rather than just keywords, people will realize more about content marketing, and how to write good content.
Video will improve since Facebook’s algorithm has shown that it favors more Facebook videos.
Expect less organic traffic from your social media as well. You will need using paid traffic to get more exposure. And over time, it will increase your overall user acquisition cost. You will then need to optimize your marketing funnel with automation to increase your profit.
SnapChat is going to get big in Indonesia as well. And it’s the next social media for branding because the user attention for your post is higher in SnapChat. And since people have to click the username before seeing your post, it’s gonna be the ultimate personal branding powerhouse soon.”
What Denny will be working on in 2016
“Since I’m in Indonesia, building media commerce and growing the knowledge of digital marketing is my focus in 2016. I have DigitalMarketer.id with a membership site.
Indonesia is preparing for ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2016. The current trend is a lot of people learning to tap into Digital Marketing for their existing business. That’s my focus for this year.”

Marcus Wong, Founder of SEO Good Guys, Singapore

Marcus Wong is the Founder of SeoGoodGuys. It is a Singapore SEO Blog that aims to teach startups and the good guy ways of doing SEO. He is passionate about entrepreneurship and SEO.
[Profile source: sooperarticles.com]
Marcus’ #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2016
“Marketing Automation certainly qualifies as a trend for 2016, expect that it tends to favor quantity over quality.
As more people rely on automation to get their ‘stuff’, the value of quality content rises.”
What Marcus will be working on in 2016
“Producing a few awesome pieces of content that beats “X number of 500-word keyword targeted articles per week.
Acquiring that 1 link that beats 100 so-called “high quality and relevant backlinks!”.
Building relationships with a handful of industry peers; pay little attention to social follower counts.
Identifying the sources of quality traffic and optimizing for them, rather than spreading too thin over multiple channels.”

Walter Lim, Director and Editor of Cooler Insights, Singapore

Walter Lim is the Founder of Cooler Insights. He has over 20 years of senior management experience in marketing communications, public relations, content marketing, social media marketing, and events marketing. A proficient blogger and social media influencer, he has been a judge for the Singapore Blog Awards for the past 5 years. A chief content strategist and digital marketing consultant, Walter also lectures part-time at a local polytechnic and conducts workshops on social media marketing as a trainer.
[Profile source: Cooler Insights]
Walter’s #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2016
“I predict that more companies will embrace content marketing and customer experience management as important drivers of digital marketing in 2016.
While content marketing is huge in the West, it has only just started to take off here in Asia. However, companies are starting to recognize that creating and sharing valuable content is the best way to build trust, likability and reputation in a digital and social savvy consumer landscape.
As for the second area, we have seen that major telcos, airlines, hotels and banks are already using their digital platforms to serve customers. With the maturing of Customer Experience Management (CEM) systems and methods, it is quite likely that these organizations can extend their service experience to the digital and social arenas.”
What Walter will be working on in 2016
The thing that gets me most excited is the development of a social media and content marketing training arm for my business in partnership with Equinet Academy. Doing so will help me to indulge my passion for teaching while sharing my own experiences in this field.

Luch Zanirato, General Manager of Maxweb Inc, Philippines

08-LuchLuch Zanirato is the General Manager of Maxweb, Inc. They are providing quality SEO (Search Engine Optimization), PPC (Pay Per Click), Social Media, Online Reputation Management, Web Design, and Holistic Marketing to small and medium enterprise levels.
[Profile source: zoominfo]
Luch’s #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2016
“With the world turning to mobile devices for on demand services, consumption of content via this medium will be growing at a staggering rate.
In order for brands to stand out, there will be an increasing need for marketers to master creating content for moments/micro-moments appropriately for each stage of the sales funnel.”
What Luch will be working on in 2016
“We will be working on content strategies focusing on micro moments paired with the right content distribution strategies.”

Edmund Loh, Founder of Musemancer, Malaysia

09-EdmundEdmund Loh is the founder of Musemancer, an Internet Marketing consulting company for SMEs and businesses that want to leverage on the Internet to market and grow their business online. Starting off as a self-learner in 2005, Edmund Loh went from a mere reseller and affiliate to becoming the top Private Label Rights producer in the Internet Marketing arena, with hundreds of titles and products tracing back to his works.

Edmund is the co-author of national bestselling book “Secrets Of Millionaire Students” with fellow Bestselling Author “Secrets Of Internet Millionaires” Stuart Tan and ClickBank Maestro Dylan Loh. This book is available at major bookshops throughout Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
[Profile source: Startup Grind]
Edmund’s #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2016
“I operate mostly in the JVZoo marketplace and in the last 4 months alone, more than 50% of the products that became ‘Pick Of The Day’ were software; in particular, web based apps, followed by WordPress plugins.
So it makes sense to offer what is already selling very well. In this market, the audience are matured, read less than just a few years ago, and are more action-oriented. They are looking for ways to simplify and automate their business.
Many of the high 5 and 6 figure product launches here are software, while information products seem to be lesser.”
What Edmund will be working on in 2016
”I am working to introduce more software solutions in 2016. In particular, a string of WordPress plugins followed by web based apps.”

John PagulayanResearch Specialist and Marketing Consultant, Philippines

10-JohnJohn Pagulayan is an Internet Marketer and a Research Specialist.
He started creating his own information product by the age of 27 and has been a consultant and a research specialist for ads and promotions for his offline clients.

After a year, he brought his expertise online and has been a coach and a mentor for several clients in building their own online business from scratch.

He has a total of 3 years’ experience in researching and the consulting business with copywriting as his side gig.
[Profile source: Udemy]
John’s #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2016
“As more and more industries and offline businesses learn about the power of using paid online traffic to generate leads, fans and sales, online ad prices have increased dramatically last year and this year will be no different.
Although it’s still considerably cheap compared to Radio, TV and print advertising, 2016 will be a harsh year for small companies – ad budget wise – as there will be a huge increase in demand (thanks also to an influx of digital marketing consultants). So, it’s only safe to assume that there would be an increase in price.
And if they’re not willing to spend MORE to acquire a lead, then that leaves the floor wide open for their competitors.
Fortunately, people can work around this by using an effective email marketing campaign for their existing customers.
It still baffles me up to this day how most companies don’t have a simple follow-up in place. They always focus on getting a new customer but not a single attempt to reactivate an existing one.
In fact, I’ve asked local businesses in our area this question, “How do you connect with your existing customers?” and most of the time, I get a blank stare.
Or if you’re fortunate you’ll get them to answer, “We don’t”. And the only way they know how to reconnect with buyers is…well…make another ad – which is a total waste of resource as these people already know, like and trust them. All they need is a little bit of reminding now and then on how your business can help them.
Heck, they don’t even maintain a database of current customers, which is insane! They just let them come in and out of their business without a sure-fire way to get them back through the door whenever they want to.
What they don’t know is that just by adding a simple follow-up system in place, they can generate more revenue (at least 3x) on the back end without spending another dime on ads (offline or online). And once they get their back end down to a ‘T’ or at least make twice as much as they are doing now, then that would be a perfect time to use ads for generating leads.
At least now, they know that even if they lose a percentage on the front-end, they’ll be able to make it back in no time and still return a healthy profit. In fact, most of my 6 and 7 figure clients are purposely losing up to 30% in the front end acquiring leads because they know they’d get it back and more. For them, if they’re not losing that much, they’re not advertising enough.
Now compare that to a business that’s scrimping down on his ad budget because he has no way to get it back.
Ultimately, the goal is not to get customers for cheap (although that is a good thing) but instead, be able to spend as much as they can or even outspend the competition and still be in the green.
It’s the only way for them to survive this year’s battle of online ads.”
What John will be working on in 2016
“My #1 focus for 2016 is to help small businesses double or even 8x their revenue without spending a dime on ads. How? By using an effective email marketing campaign for their existing customers.”

Chris Reed, Global CEO and Founder of Black Marketing, Singapore

Chris Reed - Digital Marketing Expert AsiaChris J Reed is an official LinkedIn Power Profile and has one of the world’s most viewed LinkedIn profiles with over 38,000 followers and one of the regions top social sellers on LinkedIn. He is also a serial entrepreneur having created marketing businesses in both Europe and now in Asia Pacific with Black Marketing – enabling LinkedIn for you which now has a presence in Singapore (HQ), ANZ, North America, China, Hong Kong, Cambodia, South Africa, Thailand  and the UK.
Chris has also led a variety of digital and partnership marketing agencies on both sides of the world as well as being CMO of social media consumer brands in both London and Singapore. Chris is also one of the region’s most influential bloggers, has featured in books, regularly speaks and chairs at events across the world and is a mentor for the CMO Council SMU Marketing Graduates and is uniquely a Co-Chair/Chair of both BritCham and AmCham business groups.
Chris’ #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2016
“LinkedIn will overtake Twitter as the most relevant social media platform for engaging in a business context.
More people and more companies will see more visitors coming from LinkedIn to their sites and content than Twitter delivers.
We are already seeing this happen with clients as Twitter stagnates and in fact goes backwards in influence and LinkedIn supersedes them and becomes increasingly part of the marketing mix to drive users and deliver influence to where a B2B brand wishes them to go.”
What Chris will be working on in 2016
“Riding the wave of social selling and LinkedIn in Asia, expanding our offering into other Asian countries, and accentuating our presence in our largest markets which are Singapore and Hong Kong to enhance our IPO which is happening in February.”

Alvin Koay, Founder and CEO of MobileAds.com, Malaysia

12-AlvinAlvin Koay is the CEO and Co-founder of MobileAds.com and Richmediaads.com. He sets the general vision and overall growth of the company. His expertise lies in partnerships, sales and product development. Alvin is also a certified hypnotherapist, NLP practitioner and life-coach, with accreditation from the International Institute of Neuro Semantics and Meta Coach Foundation.
[Profile source: mobileads.com]
Alvin’s #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2016?
”One leading marketing trend as we move into 2016 is mobile advertising. As we know, mobile has exceeded desktop in various angles like media time, shares, ad spend, and many others.
The KPCB, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, reported in The Internet Report 2015 that global mobile internet usage has exceeded desktop for the first time. Imminent to this, marketers need to embrace mobile marketing. They should leverage on a few key strategies following the mobile advertising boom: Rich Media Ad Formats on Mobile, Mobile Video Ads, and Location-Based Ad Campaigns.
Marketers can have a broad range of creative possibilities when developing ads for mobile. For instance, brands can offer ads that allow users to take photos, book calendar, and shake or tilt their phone to activate the ad, play a mini-game, check the compass or locate the nearest store.
Mobile video ads are nothing new. It is one of the most impactful advertising to date. According to AOL’s latest research on video, there are two key observations: (1) consumers are 4x as likely to watch videos on a device based on convenience, not viewing experience, and (2) screen size does not matter to consumers much. Think of it as a concise, impactful mobile video on the go. It offers compelling advertising that not just boosts branding or brand recall. Combining with other interactive components like map locator, it will lift the store visitations as well.
Brands and marketers should focus on the rich media creative development optimized for mobile-first consumers.”
What Alvin will be working on in 2016
We will be building solutions for small digital agencies to easily and cheaply get started in interactive mobile advertising. We want to help agencies to start mobile campaigns with an entry-level solutions, using advance ad formats embedded with videos, location-aware, coupons and many other interactive technologies.

Colin Miles, Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing at InternetQ, Singapore

13-ColinColin Miles joined InternetQ in 2011 and presently holds the marketing and corporate relations portfolio. He is also the Chairman of MEF (Asia) – the global mobile community for content and commerce, headquartered in London. Colin is a regular industry speaker on the global circuit – and also a Judge for the GSMA’s Global Mobile Awards; held each year in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress. Likewise, he is a Judge for the Asian Communications Awards; and more recently, was appointed as Chief Judge for the Malaysian Government’s ‘IPCC’ contest, which is a nationwide talent search looking for new App developers and mobile game concepts. Colin is a graduate of Oxford Brookes University, UK – with a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Publishing.
[Profile source: Reuters]
Colin’s #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2016?
“My no. 1 prediction for digital marketing in 2016 is Mobile.”
What Colin will be working on in 2016
“Smartphones/invisible apps/machine learning. Pretty much the same as the past 8 years.”

Janette Toral, E-Commerce Advocate of Digitalfilipino.com, Phillipines

15-JanettJanette Toral has been promoting the growth of e-commerce in the Philippines since 1997. She is the owner of DigitalFilipino.com She currently serves her community in the DigitalFilipino Club. She also helps the public through training and consulting in e-commerce, digital marketing, blog campaigns etc.
[Profile source: janettetoral.com]
Janette’s #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2016
“We have to re-learn digital marketing as we can’t do it like how we have been doing it in the past. 2015 has shown us that the audience have matured as Filipino Internet users who are avid followers of personalities and brands can plan among themselves how to make things trend daily – something that is usually a job requiring specialized experts and done occasionally.
E-Commerce is growing in great leaps with the help of local digital influencers as well as affiliate marketers. The maturity of this segment to engage in e-commerce affiliate marketing came at a time when brands and sites find themselves spending a lot more money for customer acquisition through ads. We will see more investments in this space as more savvy Internet users find ways to generate income, recommending items from reputable outlets (and earning from it), all while being online.”
What Janette will be working on in 2016
“Teaching marketers how to code or edit existing codes. There are a lot of great ideas out there from marketers but one of the biggest stumbling blocks is seeing them into fruition for lack of technical resource. When marketers learn how to code and create their own sites, back-end, mobile app, among others, we will see more products and services online coming out there in the future.”

Kenneth Yu Kern San, Founder of SpurPress, and Global CEO for the Kingmaker Group of Companies, Malaysia

Kenneth Yu is an author, keynote speaker, trainer, consultant, and serial entrepreneur. Regarded as the Digital Renaissance Man, he’s renowned for creating lucrative web marketing campaigns for a whole range of multi-billion dollar industries. He’s the founder and CEO of SpurPress, a full-service international end-to-end boutique digital marketing agency and consultancy with offices in 4 different countries, delighting clients like McDonald’s, Fujitsu, OCBC, Groupon, Maxis, and Digi.
Kenneth’s mantra is “Applying psychology to applied technology”, a rally cry that displays his passion for combining old school persuasion with cutting edge technology. This unique approach has made him a popular speaker in in prestigious conferences like the Prime Minister’s Department’s Tech Talk 2015, iProperty Expo, Malaysia Media Congress, and BFM Breakaway, as well as numerous ones internationally.
Kenneth’s #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2016
“Everything Old Is New Again.
The digital marketing is filled with fads and trends. Every time a new medium emerges (i.e. Snapchat, Waze, Programmatic etc), people get excited over these next big things. Yet, actual quantifiable results in it short supply. Why? Brands and agencies forget the MARKETING in digital marketing. It’s all about the emotions, the persuasion, and speaking to the target market — the fundamentals don’t change.

The human operating system hasn’t had a reboot in 6000 years. Throwing banner ads, bidding strategies and unending status updates at a frazzled ADHD human psyche is a recipe for disaster. The digital marketers that succeed are those that understand marketing and THEN USE digital mediums as a tool to amplify its effects.

Psychology, not technology. Tech is TOOL, not cool.

That’s why according to Marketing Interactive, 2016 is a year of reckoning for many of the big agencies. A lot of the contracts are expiring, and brands are taking a long hard look at the ROI (or lack thereof) in a time where money is tight. RESULTS RULE. And marketing 101 is the key to accomplishing that in an increasingly performance-driven era.”
What Kenneth will be working on in 2016
“There are 3 big things happening in digital marketing every single month, so its really hard to say since the industry is too dynamic for its own good.For me, my focus is the BUSINESS of digital marketing. In this industry, you have 2 extremes — the hoity-toity puffery of jargon from the Corporates, and the rag-tag, disorganised bright shiny syndrome mindset of the boutique digital agencies.
My aim is to bridge the gap via the various agencies I run and own. I want my team to understand both the human psyche and new technology so intimately that they CAN’T HELP but deliver results and put the entire industry on notice.
And oh ya, Internet of Things and Augmented Reality will be the new mediums you can dazzle your clients with. Start doing stuff there and be on the cusp of a trend.”

Oscar Venhuis, Managing Director of MWI Asia, Hong Kong

Oscar VenhuisOscar Venhuis is the Managing Director at MWI Asia, a digital marketing firm specialising in SEO, social media, and content marketing with offices in the U.S. and Hong Kong. Born in Seoul, raised in Holland, graduated in the UK, and for the last 15 years I have worked in London, Beijing, and Hong Kong. I specialise in product innovation from inception to implementation for global brands including Adidas, Nike, Prudential, and Guggenheim.
[Profile source: LinkedIn]
Oscar’s #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2016
“2016 is the year of the monkey and mobile is going bananas in Asia. These three trends will drive the digital landscape in Asia.
1. Online Goes Offline (and vice versa)
E-commerce brands like Alibaba and WeChat are integrating their digital with physical retail shops where consumers see and try the actual product before ordering and paying it on their mobile. The seamless shopping integration will continue in 2016 and more brands will follow. Merging both online and offline to create a formidable shopping experience for consumers.
2. Social mobile ad spend keeps rising
Social allows consumers to follow brands and for brands to reach out to their followers. For brands advertising on social is attractive because postings are more intertwined in people’s timeline. Additionally, readers are more likely to trust postings if their friend has liked it previously. The fact that more and more people are using, and going to use, mobile in Asia and the case that conversion on social is very effective is a good reason for brands to shift or increase their social mobile ad budget.
3. Amplification is Queen
If content is king, amplification is queen. The importance of content marketing continues this year with the emphasis on shareability and content distribution. Great content becomes relevant when it is shared. This year there will be a big push in amplification strategies making sure that digital content is reaching a wider audience through KOL’s and affiliate marketing programs.”

Bui Anh Tuan (Tony Bui), Co-founder at BraveBits and Growth Marketing Leader at WooRockets.com, Vietnam

buianhtuanBui Anh Tuan (Tony Bui) is the co-founder at BraveBits and Growth Marketing leader at WooRockets.com. He started the career in 2007 at the project www.JoomlaShine.com as the Technical Support executive and later on got the chance to work in various areas such as sales, business development, email marketing, content marketing, customer experience, market research, project management.
Tony’s #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2016
“The focus in Mobile direction. Customers would be more familiar with buying goods from mobile devices. eCommerce shop owners would care about the website have the special “light” mobile layout for better user experience. At the present, there are services / tools to convert existing eCommerce websites to mobile iOS apps. Mobile eCommerce will gain more awareness from the press. Thus, digital marketers have to learn more about mobile UX / UI, get to better understand users’ behavior on both Android and iOS platforms.”
What Tony will be working on in 2016
“Since we are new in eCommerce & WooCommerce niche, we have to build the brand awareness. A great way to do that is via sharing the expertise of that niche plus actively participating in community building. The content will be mainly about building & optimizing the conversion rate of eCommerce website based on WooCommerce.”

Kouhei Kurihara, Co-founder and Representative of Mangaconnect, Japan

Kouhei KuriharaKouhei Kurihara is the co-founder and representative of Mangaconnect, an enterprise for the pioneers to cultivate their frontier based in Japan, to distribute Japanese contents to the domestic community and to other parts of the world. Before Mangaconect, Kouhei worked with a major Japanese e-commerce company and also have extensive experience with education and non-profit organizations. He had also been in the role of a secretary of local politicians.
[Profile source: LinkedIn]
Kouhei’s #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2016
In terms of digital marketing, it would be challenging for us to separate “the digital” and “the real”.
The Internet of Things (IoT) and Virtual Reality (VR) will be rapidly evolving in 2016, in accordance with their tremendous online network. As such, there’ll no longer be much difference between what’s considered online and offline.
Through dynamic technological innovation, anything surrounding digital marketing will slowly shift from online to offline.
The notable keywords for digital marketing in 2016 are:

  • Localization
  • Engagement
  1. Localization

While localization was repeatedly prioritized, there is a huge gap between its current state and its potential. We will see a shift in focus to the localization of interests rather than that of physical location. As seen in the recent terrorist attacks, communities around the world were bonded through the Internet by similarities, not geographical differences.
As such, businesses will have to look closely into building communities bonded by interests. They will also have to pay attention to influential community leaders and to respond to them appropriately.

  1. Engagement

We have been insisting that “Content is King”, but solely pushing out contents for the sake of it doesn’t work anymore – we need to actually shift the focus to the customer’s voice.
The era will be back to “Customers First”. Since the Internet started, the discussion has been that of ‘How to reach the customer’ with social media, online advertisements, and content. However, these methods will cease to work as well as they used to. Overflowing content on the Internet will have to fight against the real need to engage customers.
What Kouhei will be working on in 2016
We’ve been working on localization since May 2015, with partnership in each region. We will be dedicating the year to expand these partnerships for digital localization as we shift into the era of the IoT and VR.

Suria Sparks, Owner of Suriamohd.com, Singapore

SuriaSuria Sparks helps aspiring entrepreneurs get known & get clients via branding & marketing with Facebook (without Ads). She is voted Top 1% Most Influential People Online by FAST Company Magazine. Besides being a Facebook Marketing leader, Suria is also a multi potentialite, celebrity nutritionist, best selling author, international inspirational speaker, positive parenting advocate, and a life and business coach.
[Profile source: suriamohd.com]
Suria’s #1 prediction for digital marketing in 2016
What is KING is: Mobile friendly content & Videos shared & amplified to targeted audience.
I call it the Oprah effect.
People love her. They can’t get enough of her even after 25 years! She made it as a Billionaire Content Mogul by simply offering content people LOVE amplified via mass media. That will never change due to the human psyche that remains. When people Know, Like and Trust you, that is amplified via social leverage.
The biggest thing in 2016 will be the making yet of another Oprah.
Who will create the next Oprah wave?
It’s the brands who are willing to be authentic, real, and personable & who are able to touch the human hearts.
The ‘High Tech’ to ‘High Touch’ formula wins many lifetimes over!
What Suria will be working on in 2016
Continue to nurture the relationships with my audience via

  1. Weekly Video Content
  2. Email Value Nuggets
  3. Facebook Advertisements


Author’s Note:

We’d like to extend our appreciation towards the above experts in so generously sharing their predictions and plans for digital marketing in the year of 2016.
P.S. We’d like to invite other digital marketing experts to add to the article. If you identify yourself as an expert and don’t see yourself in the list, do drop us an email at sharon@digitalinfluencelab.com and we’ll gladly add you into the list 🙂
With these advice from the experts above, what digital strategy will you be implementing in 2016? Share with us below!

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