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As the Asia Pacific region starts to loosen pandemic restrictions, marketers need to be flexible and agile to maximize performance from their out-of-home and digital out-of-home spend. The Drum finds out how delivery firm Lalamove is getting the most mileage out of its OOH and DOOH spend in Malaysia.

It's almost a year since Malaysia introduced the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), its lockdown bid to control the spread of coronavirus. The order prohibited a wide range of activities, including mass gatherings and inter-state travel. For the country's advertising industry, attractive city sites became ghost towns and most brands refocused marketing on personal and at-home devices where the public was spending more time.

In China lockdown hammered ad spend, particularly non-digital formats, while Singapore, which saw less stringent lockdown rules, the ad industry nevertheless took a hit.

But for Malaysian on-demand delivery platform Lalamove, the CMCO period was a good time to start investing in out-of-home and digital out-of-home media. Rajiv Rai Singh, the head of marketing for Malaysia and Singapore at Lalamove, tells The Drum that the brand was able to take advantage of cut-price rates on OOH and DOOH sites.

Digital outdoor advertising is undergoing significant transformation across the APAC region, with spending expected to grow over 18% each year until 2026. The growth is driven by a developed infrastructure, a dense distribution of digital screens and by connected technologies that facilitate new opportunities for brands.

“Being a delivery tech company we had a significant amount of geodata pointing to areas where we could expand our delivery service. We used this data to identify areas that had lower brand visibility so we could build awareness in these areas,” explains Singh.

“We turned to AdEasy’s platform to view multiple media assets and pinpoint the ones that met our criteria. This made planning easier. As more people are at home and online we needed to maintain a strong presence online so we focused on SEM, social media, advertorials, online display and PR.”

He continues: “While most brands were divesting in OOH we saw this as an opportunity to get lower rates and higher frequency or screen time at the same time. The key was in timing the slot to when traffic was starting to increase back again. To take it a step further we had to do thorough research to identify undervalued media assets to stretch our ad spend further.”

Melissa Sim, chief executive and co-founder of OOH marketplace AdEasy, says it was able to assist Lalamove in terms of providing a huge inventory of suitable billboard locations in a short timeframe.

“Lalamove is a good example of how a company turned a challenging time into an opportunity. While most companies had a knee-jerk reaction to the pandemic last year, they doubled down on their ad spend to increase their brand awareness which resulted in them becoming one of the household names in logistics,” she says.

“You could literally see a Lalamove ad everywhere in the Klang Valley. Today, their success speaks for themselves when you hear people say “I’ll Lalamove it over to you”.

In addition, investing in OOH and DOOH during the the MCO period was an opportunity for Lalamove to support its community and provide the necessary service the public needed. This has seen Lalamove record a positive growth during this period, Singh claims.

“We saw this as an opportunity for Lalamove to position ourselves as a market leader in this space so we went all out to make sure we were top of mind across multiple channels and at every stage of our customers buying journey,” he says.

“Consumers have become accustomed to a faster and more convenient form of delivery so we expect Lalamove to continue growing. Our next step is to continue to build our awareness and capture the trust of early and late majority consumers.”

The Drum previously explored how Foodpanda Is investing in DOOH media across South East Asia as it aims to deal with the huge competition among daily use apps like Grab, which are moving towards becoming super-apps.

It has begun a pilot with blockchain platform Aqilliz and ad tech company Moving Walls to facilitate what it claimed to be the “world’s first blockchain-powered digital out of home (DOOH)”.