APAC E-Com Brands and their Agencies lifting their game.

For most of 2020 we have had the absolute privilege of producing the first series of the new Adobe Martech Talk Podcast with Nicholas Kontopoulos (Regional Head of Marketing for Digital Experience) from Adobe.

The idea was the brainchild of Michelle Norris of Adobe to provide a platform for APAC E-commerce brands, their agencies and partners to share and listen to their fellow marketing professionals as they charted new territory in online-business community building. When Michelle pitched the idea, no one had any idea that the worldwide impact of COVID 19 was just around the corner.

The courage to start anyway, amidst those first few tumultuous weeks in March was a credit to Nicholas's team. The brands and agencies booked to come on the Pod by-and-large kept their commitments to contribute, despite the surge in uncertainty and, in many cases, workloads and the resulting series provides a once in a lifetime snap-shot of Australia's online marketing health.

Producing each episode gave us a unique seat at the table with the best of the best APAC brand managers and agencies. The word inspiring is so overused today that it's almost lost its impact however the smarts, and more importantly attitudes, of Australian and New Zealand brands as they were hit with unprecedented change, both online and offline, has been nothing short of inspiring.

A quick summary of the collective knowledge shared would include:

The first few weeks of lock-down saw businesses with good online marketing structures stretched to breaking point with unprecedented demand, while those with poor structures lost any of the benefits of an e-commerce market growing by almost 40% overnight.

Brand teams had to lean into (or onto) their suppliers and partner relationships to survive a small wind-storm for the first 2 months of lock-down and in doing so, many achieved great things under intense pressure. If you weren't able to rely on your agency partner at this time, your business suffered. Likewise, agencies that were able to take on the load and deliver for their clients over and above "normal" expectations proved their worth and cemented good relationships into great ones.

The Podcast guests discuss what went wrong and right over this period and how their tech stacks, methodologies, partnerships and customer journeys have changed for good as a result.

The new landscape

While online demand growth eventually slowed down, what was left as the dust settled was a new landscape. A new market of older online shoppers was now evident.

  • The need for greater communication with shoppers is growing with better post sale/delivery notification systems and more nimble delivery and logistics services.
  • Businesses that had a "bolted on" (or less strategically holistic) e-commerce solution now have an imperative to re-imagine their online business as a more intrinsically central part of their ongoing service and product delivery.
  • With new online shopper demographics and new buyer behaviours emerging almost overnight, the rewards in improving customer journey tracking and dynamic content delivery will now justify the systems or tech stacks required to deliver them.
  • Online customers now expect greater intuitive experiences, faster delivery, better post purchase communication and more personalised content and will change their chosen suppliers faster than ever if your brand isn't up to the task.

The podcast series production covers three countries, 10 well known brands and their marketing officers, 9 awesome digital agencies, a sprinkling of e-com partner services as well and Adobe's Nicholas Kontopoulos as host. The first Episode drops on September 15 this year and all episodes are well worth a listen.