【3 key points】 When Choosing a Taiwanese Advertising Agency in 2021

【3 key points】 When Choosing a Taiwanese Advertising Agency in 2021

Hello, I’m Leo Sato (@slamdunk772), the CEO of applemint, a digital marketing agency in Taiwan!

Today, I’m going to completely forget that I myself is a CEO of an advertising agency and show you how to choose an advertising agency For those of you who are thinking of looking for an advertising agency in Taiwan!

leo

I’m going to be honest with the readers and promise not to favor myself

One of the most common mistakes in choosing an advertising agency is to choose one by its name. Every advertising agency has its own strengths and weaknesses. While applemint has absolute confidence in digital marketing, we are hopelessly weak when it comes to offline advertising, sales networks, TV promotion and connections with retailers.

So what happens when someone who wants to improve their offline advertising, store sales, and offline events asks applemint to do the job? It will probably fail miserably…

If you look into advertising agencies properly, they all have their strengths and weaknesses. The major companies are no exception. Just because a company is large doesn’t mean it is strong in everything. In general, the weaknesses of large companies are in digital marketing.

In this blog, I’m going to talk about how to choose an advertising agency in Taiwan according to your advertising goals, from the point of view of an advertising agency!

Revenue of Japanese Ads Agency

At the beginning of this article, I talked about how major companies are generally weak in digital marketing. As you see the top 5 advertising agency between in 2000 and 2021 in terms of revenue, you can see that those that are strong in digital ads have risen. In contrast, the companies in which many Japanese people recognize as “big ads. agency” have declined in sales except for Dentsu, Hakuhodo and ADK.

In 2020, CyberAgent and DAC (although it is a subsidiary of Hakuhodo…), which are strong in digital advertising, made rapid progress, while Tokyu Agency and Daiko Advertising dropped out of the top 5.

source (in Japanese): 《2020年5月最新版》広告代理店 売上高ランキング(総合広告代理店からインターネット広告代理店まで)

source (in Japanese): 広告代理店の売上ランキング

ADK is still in the top 5, but its sales have not changed much in the last 20 years. The result of Dentsu and Hakuhodo leap in revenue in 20 years is mostly due to merger and acquisition.

The so-called major advertising agencies are strong in TV commercial production and planning for mass media. They are also strong in two-dimensional design.

On the other hand, digital advertising is where it is difficult to utilize past knowledge and experience. Digital advertising is advancing at a rapid pace, and there are many cases where past knowledge and experience are completely meaningless.

What is important in digital advertising is adaptability rather than knowledge and experience. You could probably imagine how big companies lose its speed.

In other words, to speak really roughly, traditionally the big companies are strong in advertising and creative for mass media, and surprisingly not so much when it comes to digital advertising. Taiwan is no exception.

In fact, many major companies outsource digital marketing related work to their subsidiaries or other companies that are good at digital marketing.

Factors to Consider When Selecting an Advertising Agency in Taiwan

#1: What is your objective?

Now, let me get to the point. What are the key points when choosing an advertising agency in Taiwan? The first one is the purpose.

For example, SK-II often opens a pop-up store in front of the SOGO department store in Zhongxiao fuxing station to interact with potential customers. If you would like to plan a similar activity, I highly recommend major advertising agency because they probably have connection with Sogo department store and they are good at 2-dimensional design.

TV ads and TV placement ads are also the specialty of large advertising agencies. Large advertising agencies have personal connections with TV stations and production companies. When it comes to offline and mass media advertising, it is obvious that the big companies with the most resources are the strongest.

So what about digital marketing? Unfortunately, many of the major Japanese advertising agencies in Taiwan are weak in digital marketing.

It’s actually one of the major reasons why I decided to penetrate this segment.

This is especially true in Taiwan, and the reason for this is that the general managers are often not familiar with digital advertising in the first place.

It’s only been in the last 6-7 years that digital marketing has really become the core of advertisement due to the widespread of smartphones. However, digital marketing is too new for the general managers of major Japanese advertising agencies to have been in charge of it.

Furthermore, even if you try to train people in Taiwan, the turnover rate is so high that you can’t develop talent, and there are many cases where digital marketing services are of lower quality than in Japan.

So how can you find an advertising agency that is strong in digital marketing? Next, I would like to talk about the key to finding an advertising agency with strong digital marketing skills. But before that, I would like to quickly reiterate the importance of digital advertising in Taiwan.

The Importance of Digital Advertising in Taiwan

The media that Taiwanese people come into contact with the most in a day are all on the websites/applications.Here is some simple data on Taiwan. According to the data in green, 28.77 million Taiwanese have a mobile device, which is 120.7% of the population.

souce: https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2021-taiwan


This means that each person in Taiwan has at least one mobile device.Next, let’s take a look at how often Taiwanese people use the Internet.Look at the orange icon at the top of the photo below:

This means that Taiwanese people spend 1 hour and 56 minutes on social networking sites every day. The blue icon on the left shows the amount of time Taiwanese people spend online.

If this is correct, it means that Taiwanese people are online for about half of their waking hours. In other words, since the consumer’s point of contact is online, digital marketing is an inevitable part of advertising in Taiwan.

After reading this so far, I think you have finally come to understand the importance of digital advertising in Taiwan. Now, as an advertising agency myself, I’d like to tell you how to identify an advertising agency that is strong in digital advertising.

Factors to Consider When Selecting an Advertising Agency in Taiwan

#2: Applying the customer journey

There is a term called “customer journey”. This refers to the process by which a customer goes from being a “potential customer” to a “prospective customer” to a “customer” to a “loyal customer”.

For example, let’s say I am a sales representative for a BtoB electronics manufacturer. The company is going to participate in an electronics exhibition in Taiwan, and I am going to attend. Let’s say I set my own goal for this exhibition as “sign contracts with 30 companies”.

What do you think? It would be great if I could really close 30 deals at the trade show, but it doesn’t sound like an appropriate goal for a trade show. “Exchanging business cards with 30 potential customers” would be more appropriate.

In any industry, goals should be broken down by potential customers, prospects, customers, and loyal customers. In the same way, it is recommended to subdivide your goals properly in digital marketing. Once you have subdivided your goals, you also need to subdivide your communication in order to achieve the subdivided goals.

However, micro communication/conversion is time-consuming. In other words, subdividing goals and communication according to the stage of the customer is one of the key points in choosing an advertising agency that is strong in digital.

Points to consider when choosing an advertising agency in Taiwan

#3: Use of digital tools/ JavaScript

It’s hard to trust a company that handles digital advertising if they are not digitally savvy, right? In general, digital advertising pursues efficiency by making extensive use of JavaScript and APIs.

JavaScript in digital advertising is like water in human terms; it is essential for the measurement and optimization of digital advertising, and there should always be one person in an advertising agency who understands JavaScript.

Also, understanding the importance of JavaScript at the sales level is essential. Unfortunately, at many Japanese ad agencies in Taiwan, even the people who run the ads don’t understand JavaScript.

So how do you know if an ad agency understands the importance of JavaScript? Ask your agency if they automate reporting and digital ads operations.

Google Ads has a system that uses JavaScript to automate complicated operations that cannot be done by humans. For example, at our company, we use Google Data Studio to automatically reflect all digital advertising figures in our reports.

The key to choosing a strong digital marketing company in Taiwan is whether or not they are strong in digital and whether or not they are advanced in digital transformation.

Other Points to Consider: Appropriate Price

This is a little different from the question of whether or not a company is strong in digital technology, but the right price is also important in digital marketing.

There is an old book (in Japanese), but in “はじめての台湾マーケティング,” it discusses the cost of advertising in Taiwan. It’s been 4-5 years since the book was published, but I got the impression that advertising costs have not changed that much even now.

First of all, please take a look at this book to see if you are being ripped off on the cost of digital marketing. Unfortunately, there are advertising agencies that charge outrageous fees to advertisers who don’t know the market price of advertising in Taiwan.

Especially when it comes to influencers, there are a certain number of agencies that take advantage of the fact that advertisers can’t directly ask influencers about their prices and charge 2-3 times the cost. I’m not opposed to charging more because private companies need to make money, but as an advertiser, I would prefer to work with a company that offers appropriate pricing.

Local Advertising Agencies vs. JapaneseAdvertising Agencies

How did you think of this blog? In summary, the key to choosing an advertising agency in Taiwan is “purpose” and “whether or not they are strong in digital.

Factors to determine whether or not an agency is strong in digital
  • Application of the customer journey
  • Active use of JavaScript and APIs

For your information, applemint has a lot of confidence in digital. If we are in the category of Japanese advertising agencies in Taiwan, we are confident that we are the best. However, we are still weak in offline and PR activities that require a lot of resources.

Lastly, since we provide our services to many Japanese companies and that many people categorizes us as “Japanese Ads. agency”, I would like to introduce the pros and cons of Japanese advertising agencies in Taiwan and local agencies.

Advantages of Japanese Advertising Agencies

  • Almost no problems with payment.
  • Communication in Japanese is possible.
  • The Japanese community in Taipei is small, so unless there is a problem, they won’t do anything bad to you

Disadvantages of Japanese Advertising Agencies

  • High commissions.
  • Some companies do not provide high quality service.
  • You may be rejected if you

Advantages of local Taiwanese advertising agencies

  • Low commissions in many cases.
  • Some companies are highly skilled.

Disadvantages of local advertising agencies in Taiwan

  • Money problems occur frequently.
  • The quality of service is often low so it’s risky unless you’ve been recommended the company by someone

That is it from me about advertising agencies! If you are interested in our service, please contact us! We are good at Japan-Taiwan cross digital marketing!

Click to contact applemint.

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Leo Sato 佐藤峻

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