Meet Arthur Altounian, INCA’s regional lead in Asia-Pacific. Arthur has been a driving force in APAC, leading client and agency development, supporting teams in the region, launching our solutions in new markets, while also contributing to product design in tandem with our solution and tech leads. With such vast knowledge of the industry, we spoke with Arthur to gain an insider perspective on working in influencer marketing in APAC and to discuss his goals for the future of INCA in the region.
Q: Tell us something that people may not necessarily know about the APAC region?
One: That the region is vast to say the least. INCA is currently activating campaigns in 13 Asia-Pacific markets, which means that there are many cultural and economic differences to consider when planning influencer activity.
Two: In several Asian markets, influencers are typically called key opinion leaders a.k.a. ‘KOLs’. ‘KOL’ marketing is a relatively advanced media channel adopted by many brands, in most categories today who have learnt how to get the best out of content creators and to deliver performance across the whole marketing funnel.
Three: In 2021, consumer interest in livestream commerce was higher in the Asia-Pacific region than the rest of the world. According to a survey from Wunderman Thompson, 17 % of APAC respondents said they had an appetite for shopping via influencer streams and video calls with sales assistants. In the United States, 14% of shoppers said the same, followed by Europe with 5%.
According to Statista, China, which has pioneered the use of live streaming in the online entertainment and e-commerce sectors, reported by the end of 2021 that there were over 703 million live streaming users in China, which represents a penetration rate of 68.2% among internet users.
Q: What is unique about the way you work in APAC?
Generally, our planning and use of insights and data for influencer selection is probably very similar to the rest of the world. However, it’s perhaps unique that in APAC (excl. China), on top of the mainstream global platforms, we also consider using local social players when relevant. This is because we can’t limit ourselves to just Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. That being said, it’s probably worth mentioning that as of February 2022, Facebook accounted for nearly 69% of the social media market across Asia, leading the way in markets like Thailand, Vietnam, and Taiwan.
Q: The APAC region is pioneering the use of INCAtech. Can you please tell us more about it and how it’s utilised?
INCAtech fuels our ideation process and planning in the region. It’s our proprietary technology which combines multiple sources of data, AI and algorithms to enable us to:
- deliver strategic planning at scale
- discover engaging and trending content ideas
- identify the best creative talent
- perform influencers brand safety checks
- analyse creative and formats
- obtain competitor overviews
- extract brand specific and vertical insights
It’s an absolute goldmine!
Q: What is getting you excited about H2?
It’s an exciting time to be in this industry and in the region. I would say that I’m most excited about our plans to launch INCA in Korea, as well as the development of our social commerce and content distribution capabilities. This has been driven by our centre of excellence in Indonesia, which will undoubtedly help other markets to scale and deliver better value for our clients.