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Get To Know Hayato Nakata, CEO Of Interspace Malaysia & Singapore

The Southeast Asian market is full of diversity and I found it attractive as a professional marketer

According to Statista, affiliate marketing spending in the U.S. alone is expected to reach $8.2 billion by 2022, more than triple what it was 10 years earlier. The consistent upward trend at the moment, especially during this pandemic era, demonstrates that affiliate marketers will likely continue to thrive in 2021 and beyond.

Affiliate marketing is expected to grow tremendously as the online commerce in Southeast Asia is likely to jump from $100 billion in 2019 to $300 billion in 2025. Additional proof of the opportunity for retailers can be seen in recent Singles Day results for a number of the region’s top ecommerce players, including in-app purchases. I recently interviewed Hayato Nakata to understand more about him, his role at the CEO of Interspace Malaysia and how his ACCESSTRADE platform is gearing hard towards helping more affiliate marketers in Southeast Asia to ride the wave.

I must say, affiliate marketing amazes me. I really want to know more about it, Hayato-san but first things first though, tell me who Hayato Nakata is actually?

I graduated from one of Japan’s top educational institutions, Waseda University, and the 28-year-old lived most of my life in the capital city of Tokyo. I began my career in Interspace Co. Ltd. In Japan, I obtained skill sets in business development as well as handling some of the top media agencies in Japan and was awarded a promotion as the lead in sales that covered several industries and agency partners.

In December 2013, I joined Crossfinity Japan as the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) expert. Then, I decided to move to Malaysia in 2014 and worked in one of the leading SEO agencies. I have built a unique career in my life. All of my career is in the digital marketing line and I have spent a lot of time in the Southeast Asia region.

I would say it is a rare case for Japanese people to have the similar careers as I have. Most of them don’t leave Japan for their professional career as they have a robust local economy there. The Southeast Asian market is full of diversity and I found it attractive as a professional marketer. The same thing goes to my colleagues here. Since I came to Southeast Asia, the number of nationalities of the people I have worked with is innumerable with both hands. I feel that the real thrill is that staff with different backgrounds and skills work together to achieve the company’s philosophy and goals. 

I am a husband and a father of two little boys, by the way.

Based on your professional journey, it seems that you have vast experience in digital marketing, especially within the SEO and affiliate marketing areas. What’s your journey like to get where you are today?

I am very fortunate to have professional experience in this important niche of performance marketing, such as Search Engine Marketing and Affiliate Marketing. I left Japan with the desire to work in an international work environment and to have business management experience.

It’s very interesting to work in the global trend of digital marketing. This is because there are dynamic job opportunities such as localization of American marketing tools to the Japanese market and bringing affiliate marketing know-how cultivated in Japan to Southeast Asia. I am grateful for the environment where I still have a job that I can be absorbed in. I had the opportunity to participate in Interspace’s overseas business, and I am currently in charge of business in two countries, Malaysia and Singapore.

Can you share with me what ACCESSTRADE platform is all about?

ACCESSTRADE is an affiliate network operating in Japan and Southeast Asia. We offer the performance-based campaigns opportunities to advertisers and commission making opportunities for online publishers. We have our own advertising analytics system as well as a real-time campaign dashboard at the same time. It is a service with a history of more than 20 years, and is registered by 15,600 campaigns and 1.1million publishers. 

A uniqueness we have in Southeast Asia is that we have our platforms in each of the five countries which are Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam. We operate services that are firmly rooted locally in terms of language and services. We are also considering providing specialized services such as dashboard feature for online influencers while reading the latest market trends happening in the market

Why, in your opinion, ACCESSTRADE is very special and different from any other affiliate marketing platform available out there? 

First of all, ACCESSTRADE has more than 20 years of experience in affiliate marketing business in Japan and Southeast Asia. During this time, ACCESSTRADE has grown to one of the top networks in the region which has a high level of experience compared to most other networks. In ACCESSTRADE, merchant verticals are subdivided into more than 20 types of industries. The diversity of the portfolio of client industries is one of the great strengths that ACCESSTRADE has.

In addition, we have a program that provides educational and training opportunities for publishers who have joined the ACCESSTRADE network. Under the brand name “ACCESSTRADE ACADEMY”, we offer the opportunity to learn about affiliate marketing through online content and workshops. By bringing in the know-how cultivated in Japan and deploying it in each market, we believe that we can make a significant contribution to the expansion of the market.

The competition is crazy out there Hayato-san, even for affiliate marketing platforms. Do you still see there’s a room for growth for ACCESSTRADE in this region?

There is a lot of room for affiliate networks to grow in this area. First, there are major trends such as digital transformation, and companies’ digital marketing budgets are expected to increase over the long term. Among them, affiliate marketing should be valuable to many companies as a performance-based advertising method with clear cost-effectiveness.

The competitive environment is intensifying, and major affiliate networks in Europe and the United States are also entering the Southeast Asian market. Our strength is that we have local teams in 5 Southeast Asian countries. Southeast Asia is a diverse market with different cultures, languages ​​and consumer behaviors in different countries, respectively. Our local team can improve customer satisfaction in each country by providing high quality service.

You know, affiliate marketing helps millions of people around the world earn decent income. Some are even doing it on a full-time basis. What does it take actually to seriously earn good money from affiliate marketing?

Many people are interested in earning extra income using the affiliate marketing system. And it may sound a little bit dreamy at the same time, isn’t it? In fact, there are many cases where our publishers make it happen with us. One important thing I like to highlight here is that what they all have in common is the fact that they’re not the big media nor celebrities, but more like ordinary people.

Cases of such people earning from USD 1,000-5,000 a month are occurring a lot, just for your information.

What do they have in common with their success? The point is that they make use of their own uniqueness and skills. Some people are good at posting information to social accounts, some can write interesting articles, and some have SEO skills. With these skills, people have a chance to make money with affiliates. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the world-best skills that are second to none.

One of the great attractions of affiliates is that you can start with what you are capable of, in terms of both skill and time. You can achieve great success by gradually and continuously provide output using your skills. 

Some tried but failed. Any particular set of reasons why these people are failing at this?

Frankly speaking, it’s common to give up and leave affiliate marketing after a while after giving it some try, just because they don’t see nice results. It’s the same as it takes time to roll a plant seed and sprout. It’s really a waste to give up on the way because the buds are actually coming out of the seeds, but they don’t show up on the soil, isn’t it?

In Japanese, there is a saying that “continuation is power”. It’s an analogy that things can lead to big results if you keep going. I think this is exactly the case for affiliates. What I would like to advise for those who are starting affiliate marketing is that focusing on the area of ​​interest of theirs. It can be a good reason for a successful result. For example, if you like traveling, you may find it interesting to look up information about travel and create some content about it. In this way, you will be able to give a long term effort into affiliate marketing without spending your time into something which you are not really interested or fascinated by.

What was the biggest challenge you faced when growing ACCESSTRADE through Interspace Malaysia and Singapore?

The first is to contribute to the market expansion. In Malaysia and Singapore, affiliate marketing has not yet gained citizenship in the market. By comparison, affiliate marketing is a must-have option for businesses who invest into performance marketing in Japan. In addition, Affiliate marketing is well known among people as an extra-income earning channel.

The numbers prove it brilliantly, and in countries like Japan and the United States, affiliate marketing accounts for more than 15% of digital advertising spend. We are actively focusing on PR activities. In September of this year, we held an online event called “PERFORMANCE GROWTH SUMMIT” with major advertisers and media in the region as our guests speakers. We are proud that we were able to contribute to the expansion of the affiliate marketing and performance marketing market by having such an initiative.

How to register as a marketer or merchant, and become part of ACCESSTRADE’s Affiliate network?

Easy, simply click here.

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Written By

Azleen Abdul Rahim is the Co-Founder of Marketing In Asia. He also runs NSE, a social media management company. Follow him on LinkedIn.

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