The Drum – The faltering economic recovery from Covid means the industry’s biggest agency groups aren’t seeing the growth they used to in Asia Pacific.

For Shufen Goh, co-founder and principal of R3, 2023’s figures reflect trends that bookended the Covid era.

“The APAC marketing landscape has settled after a few years of recalibrating itself. Social, influencer, and e-commerce are now mature in the ecosystem. You have clear platform leaders within each country and less disruption in consumer behavior. The focus now for brands is working on effectiveness and efficiency,” she tells The Drum.

As in the US and Europe, enthusiasm for large-scale digital transformation work – demand for which drove agency growth in 2021 and 2022 – ebbed away last year.

“Increased pressure to rationalize marketing spend and prove its value has made marketers more cautious with their budget,” says Goh. “The initial post-pandemic push for digital transformation in APAC is now being measured and more consideration given to understanding the ROI of any marketing investment before actual spend takes place.”

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