Name: Jonathan Mackenzie
Job: Managing Director, Precision Asia Pacific
Number of years in Singapore: 7
What’s your favourite part of living in Singapore:
It’s tough to pick just one thing about Singapore but I’ll have to go with the food. Singapore is a cultural melting pot with a variety of people and cultures all living side by side. The choice of cuisine reflects this. We can choose between Chinese food or Mexican, Indian or Indonesian, Japanese or Malay in an evening. What’s more – you can choose from 29 Michelin Star restaurants or eat for under $10 in 1 of 114 hawker centres (food courts). And honestly, having tasted Indian and Chinese food in Singapore, takeaway in the UK will never taste the same again.
What can the rest of the world learn from Singapore’s ad industry?
Singapore is a small market. The total population is only about 5.5m and geographically half the size of London. As you can imagine, it’s not very hard to achieve reach in that kind of a market. As a result, OOH, Print, and Cinema remain strong channels in Singapore. That said, Singapore has some of the fastest broadband speeds versus anywhere on the planet. You can get home broadband at speeds of up to 3GB per second and mobile penetration is 150%, so opportunities in digital are really exciting and the reason why digital makes up two thirds of the media mix for Publicis Media.
What is the biggest untapped opportunity in your market?
Mobile, without doubt. Mobile still isn’t a big enough part of many of our advertisers’ plans and I put it down to the complexities of the channel which make it harder to define and rationalize. Being more difficult to predict and measure also make it challenging for advertisers that are anchored in more traditional ways of thinking.
The development of Precision Mobile was aimed at demystifying the channel and make it much more accessible by tackling all of the issues associated with delivery, measurement, safety and creative for all advertisers in APAC.
What are the major developments in programmatic advertising you expect to happen in the next 12 months in your market/region?
If I have to pick one – the big focus in programmatic over the next 12 months has to be in the area of private marketplaces and programmatic guaranteed. The worldwide focus on quality, safety and transparency is forcing dollars out of the exchange and into premium supply with a higher degree of accountability.
We are seeing more publishers recognising the potential for growth via programmatic, increasingly making more of their inventory available programmatically, and opening up some amazing opportunities.
That said, the processes for activating PMPs remain relatively clunky and manual and so we are investing resources and technology to streamline this as much as possible.
I wish someone had told me when I moved here….
How expensive cars are to buy and run. In addition to a higher price point for new cars, in Singapore, you have to pay for a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) which is a 10 years permit to drive the car on Singapore’s roads. It goes up and down, it was around SGD90k when I first moved here in 2011. Today, it is nearer SGD40k.
What’s the most useful phrase anyone moving to Singapore should know?
Singapore’s official language is English but there is the ‘Singlish’ colloquialism that is made up of English, Malay, Tamil, and various Chinese dialects.
If someone ever replies with the phrase: “I catch no ball!”, they are telling you they haven’t got a clue what you are talking about.
Author: Jonathan Mackenzie, Managing Director, Publicis Media Precision Asia Pacific