With the intent of connecting advertisers to influencers and publishers, GroupM today launched its influencer marketing solution for the Asia-Pacific region. Launched in mid-2018, INCA was touted as a platform for fully integrated content marketing to promote content in social channels and drive brand engagement across digital platforms.
Available in Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia, INCA will allow advertisers to run campaigns across YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and TikTok, with GroupM adding that the service will be accessible to more APAC markets by the end of 2019.
“To guarantee effective marketing, advertisers must carefully interrogate available data on their partner influencers and their campaign performance,” said Mark Patterson, CEO GroupM Asia Pacific. “INCA enables us to do exactly that: we can connect brands with relevant, authentic influencers and publishers that have the power to help a brand achieve its objectives.”
Patterson acknowledged that followers, likes, and comments are vanity metrics and can easily be faked, adding to digital advertising fraud. With INCA, he believes that serving advertisers verified influencers and a campaign management process will ensure quality and brand safety.
GroupM claims that INCA consists of a proprietary technology platform that provides advertisers with unique insights no creators and audiences, with additional features such as fraud detection, workflow tools, content amplification, and detailed campaign reporting dashboards. Similar to Brand24, INCA claims to use a proprietary algorithm that uses real-time data to source, curate, and match influencers and publishers to a brand’s campaign objectives to deliver the most credible partners and content for the greatest impact.
Dafydd Woodward, Global Lead of INCA at GroupM, launched the influencer marketing solution in London a year ago and regards the APAC region as having an impressive influencer-driven ecosystem.
“Advertisers can now have peace of mind in knowing that they are working with the most trustworthy and relevant influencers and publishers, at a scale that can deliver the outcomes they need,” said Woodward. “With our transparent, data-validated process, we will help to shape the influencer marketing ecosystem for the better.”
The announcement comes just after Socialbakers reported that sponsored posts on Instagram grew by 189% in Asia since last year. The influencer marketplace model in the APAC region saw multiple new entrants in Q1 2019, namely Redhill, AnyMind Group, Whalar, Hiip, and Ribbit.
According to James Dutton, MD of APAC at TrafficGuard, businesses that fail to deliver results from influencer strategies are paying for fraud inflated vanity metrics that have zero impact on their bottom line.
“Where there is ad spend, there is fraud,” said Dutton. “In APAC, fraud claims over $17 million in ad spend every day. In display, that means fake traffic and fake ad engagements. Influencer marketing is no different. Popular measures of influencer campaign success are the very measures that are most likely to be impacted by fraud. Social audiences can be fake, follows purchased, post engagements artificial.”
He added that investing in any type of online advertising, without a sophisticated verification process in place, is a reckless use of marketing budgets.