Kent Wertime, co-author of DigiMarketing, will share his creative marketing tips at Property Report Congress Singapore on 23-24 November 2016


Experience writer, speaker and thought leader Kent Wertime, co-CEO at Ogilvy and Mather Asia Pacific and co-author of DigiMarketing, is confirmed to give the keynote address at the 2nd Property Report Congress Singapore 2016, a conference for senior real estate executives.

His keynote, entitled “Future Markets: Accessing the Next One Billion Middle Class Consumers,” will touch upon the growing affluence of Asian consumers, who can now spend more on real estate based on their bigger earnings, and the future.

“I think the Property Report Congress series is at the centre of what is driving so much of the change in Asia and particularly ASEAN,which is why I want to be there,” he says.

“The truth is there are numerous, compelling markets in ASEAN. It’s one of the key reasons I’ve spent more of my life living in Asia than my home country, and it’s what makes me personally so committed to the region,” he admits.

Originally based in New York, Wertime has lived in Asia for about 25 years. He joined Ogilvy in 1999 as head of its interactive division. Three years later he published his first book, Building Brands and Believers, in 2002. He released his second book, DigiMarketing, in 2007.

“I’ve seen an enormous transformation of the markets over the past three decades, and I am confident that transformation has a long way to go further in the future,” notes the current co-CEO of Ogilvy and Mather Asia Pacific.

More: Nearly 30 speakers lined up for 2nd Property Report Congress Singapore

We recently spoke with the renowned thought and creative leader to discuss his upcoming keynote speech at the Property Report Congress Singapore, and his confidence in Asian markets and consumers, and what he thinks of the buying attitude of millennials.

In 2016-17, what will be the best channel to reach middle class consumers: content marketing, traditional above the line marketing, or below the line marketing?

Social media and content marketing are exploding in consumer use and, as a result, are very important channels to consider today. That said, traditional media still has reach and scale in several markets, and below-the-line media can be very targeted and useful for various activation opportunities. No channels should be automatically struck off from consideration.

Ultimately, there is no “best channel.” Rather, research suggests that channels working in combination create the best and most effective impact – more so than single channels on their own. What marketers need to consider is how to create the right channel mix, with the appropriate use of each channel in the mix. More channels today are able to both collect and use consumer data. A smart mix of channels generally goes beyond “broadcast” media to use more targeted, performance-driven, and data-driven media to reach target groups.

An optimal channel mix will facilitate data collection and profiling, which extends the database of potential customers. Additionally, consumer commentary and contribution can help extend the reach, effectiveness, and appeal of campaigns. So, the best marketing programs today also often weave in elements that prompt consumers to participate and contribute their views, generating greater impact.

Image credit: Retail News Asia

Millennials have a reputation that they are not interested in purchasing real estate. What can be done about this?

Research shows some fascinating patterns about millennial attitudes. As a starting point, it’s worth noting that they are not “entirely different” from older generations. In fact, our research shows that, in many ways, millennials are similar to other age groups that are part of their same nationality or cultural group. So, it is possible to over-state the case (which seems to be the fashion today) about millennials being different about virtually everything.

That said, there are key differences in their attitudes, which sets them apart. In particular, millennials are reframing the view of permanence and commitments. We see this manifested in various, key aspects of their lives.

Millennials have different expectations in the workplace, and are more comfortable with shorter duration stays in jobs, and have a more fluid sense of their careers. They are also more comfortable forgoing ownership in favor of new aspects of the sharing economy, and they value experiences as a key social badge.   Since they more naturally embrace both the sharing economy and the gig economy, they have a reputation as not being interested in ownership.

More: 2 in 3 Asian millennials still living with parents

This, however, does not mean there’s nothing that can be done by developers and content creators. To start with, developers can better understand millennial trends and cater new developments to the types of environments that they are seeking – be it locations that are more attractive to urban millennials, more common spaces suited to the activities and sports they prefer, and the configurations of the living spaces themselves.

Also, the marketing that’s conducted for these developments can tap more into the social media channels they use, plus involve influencers and other peer endorsers in ways that might interest millennials more. And there’s an opportunity to create events and new experiences around new properties that will attract millennials in new ways.

Lastly, there are potentially new angles in timesharing and other forms of flexible usage and ownership that might be more appealing to millennials. As is the case with every generation of buyer, opportunities will be driven by a better assessment the real drivers of their usage and purchase decisions.

How would you describe the future of ASEAN markets?

Despite continued worries about low, global growth, I would still describe the long-term future of ASEAN markets as characterised by good long-term growth prospects, supported by a broadening middle-class.


The continued reshaping of ASEAN markets as more middle-class societies evolve will be driven by a number of factors, all of which are manifested in various ways, such as the role of today’s women, education, the progress Muslim consumers (the “Muslim futurists”), rise of e-commerce, tourism, continued urbanisation and the expansion of consumer choices.

As a consumer, which ASEAN market would you bet your money on in the future personally? 

If I have to pick just one country of the future, I feel that Vietnam is a great long-term bet. I’ve travelled to Vietnam since the early 90’s, and I’ve always felt that Vietnam has tremendous potential, due to its people, it’s demographics, its geography, and its place in history. The country has attractive features and resources.

Some investors experienced a period of frustration in Vietnam some time ago, when the ambitions for the market were held back by bureaucracy, which meant that many planned projects weren’t moving forward. However, I feel that Vietnam has long moved on from that and has momentum, demographics, and ambition on its side.

We’re very excited to hear your keynote at the Property Report Congress Singapore later this month.

I am excited, too! Urbanisation, driven by the development of property and infrastructure, along with technology, is ultimately one of the main factors that has reshaped societies in the past 50 years – and it will continue to be so in the future. So, I am happy to have a chance to share insights about where future consumer growth will come from, plus interact with the audience at the event.

For registration and enquiries about Property Report Congress Singapore on 23-24 November 2016 at the Shangri-La Hotel, email conference director at or visit the official website.