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Gordon Domlija, Wavemaker APAC CEO, predicts that China will continue to lead in transformation and explains how this transformation may vary for other regions as consumers embrace technology differently.
FREMONT, CA: Gordon Domlija, CEO of Wavemaker APAC, stated that Asia looks to China as a model for digital transformation in the region. During an interview on the ShanghaiZhan podcast, he stated that in China, they are at the forefront of what change and transformation look like. Shanghai-based Domlija cites the country's innovation as the reason he chose to base himself there rather than in another market. A lot of what they are doing in other Asian markets is similar to what they did in China five years ago, he explained. However, Domlija warns that other markets may not evolve to a digital-commerce market as quickly as China. He further added that markets must temper some of the excitement, because each market embraces technology differently and that the consumer is still in charge of such evolution.
In 2022, digital transformation will be less of an issue in China. Despite the fact that China remains a performance- and acquisition-driven market, the role of the brand remains important, as brands offer deep discounts during ecommerce shopping festivals. If brands want to stay relevant with consumers, they must create better brand engagements, Domlija added. For example, Colgate's collaboration with fashion label Supreme and the agency's work on a Prada wet-market installation in Shanghai. Brands in China will continue to seek private audiences in 2022, but platforms will not share data due to new data-privacy regulations. Moreover, brands must create audiences not for CRM purposes, but to gain a better understanding of their customers. Brands have outsourced their understanding of their customers to the platform in the past but they need to drive insights as foundation for growth. In terms of agencies, they will continue to face difficulties in hiring and retaining good people in 2022, and the work-from-home model will not necessarily work in Asia. Since in many Asian countries, coming to the office is an important part of socialization and people visit the office because they enjoy the experience, Domlija concluded.