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Main Feature Marketing Partners APAC

What’s NEXT 2023 Interview: Giving creative freedom to influencers could actually ‘surprise’ marketers

Singapore –  Influencer marketing has been gaining traction within the industry because of its ability to help brands get in front of new audiences and drive consumer engagement. Yet as a growing channel, it’s inevitable that marketers will still have to contend with the challenges of new platforms, new trends across social and evolving audience interests.

As part of MARKETECH APAC’s ‘What’s NEXT 2023: Interview Series’, Aaron Brooks, co-founder and president of influencer marketing platform Vamp and Pauline Linton, head of brand communications and advocacy at Adobe shared their insights on how brands could face these challenges in the inaugural episode of What’s NEXT’s interview series.  In the conversation, they provide an insider’s perspective on how the influencer marketing space is evolving, emerging key trends, as well as what’s in store for the industry moving into 2023. 

How has influencer marketing evolved from a tech enabler and top brand’s perspective?  

Kicking off the interview, Brooks shared how Vamp came into existence. Starting from content generation and using social platforms to help brands source creative, Vamp later developed into an influencer marketing platform designed to make collaborating with influencers simpler and easier.

“It was an opportunity to build a single solution that would just simplify that whole process. We wanted to simplify campaign management workflow, facilitate direct communication between collaborators, and build a proprietary algorithm that would help match-make brands to creators. Of course, you’ve got to have access to first-party data to be able to track performance and campaign ROAS, as well. So really, that’s where we’ve been focusing our efforts,” Brooks explained.

Coming from the end user’s perspective, Linton shared how Adobe’s approach to influencer marketing has evolved over the past years. “There was never really an influencer marketing programme when I was agency-side or when I first started at Adobe. I think influencers were always seen as ‘how are we going to continue to amplify’ or just as another distribution channel for our marketing campaigns,” she commented.

Linton also added that their use of influencers has evolved as the market has changed, and as their communications got more sophisticated. She said, “We realised the value of social media in our broader comms programme and how important influencers were to [localise] content creation for us across Asia Pacific.”

The value of influencers in the ideation stage 

Influencers are valued for their ability to amplify a brand’s marketing initiatives. But as influencers are now seen more as ‘creators’, the multiplier effect of having them involved in both the ideation phase, as well as being the means to generate mass-awareness of the message, is something we expect to see more of.

Linton gives a nod to this – and references how Adobe’s campaign approach has changed over the years from having influencers simply boost messages to audiences, to involving them in the ideation and planning stages. 

“We’ve evolved our strategy from influencers being put on every campaign to extend our campaigns as amplifiers, to really bringing them in at the very ideation and planning stage, and thinking about them more [as] content generators and ideators, and not just to amplify our programmes,” she said.

Moreover, she said that giving influencers creative control could ‘surprise’ marketers. “We started off as being really protective with our brand, and then we realised that, actually, influencers had better ideas than we did, so we’ve learnt to relinquish some of that creative control.”

On the other hand, Brooks also mentioned four key things that brands should consider when activating their influencer marketing strategies. These are (1) defining why your brand wants to work with creators, (2) treating influencers like the content experts they are, (3) testing and learning by creating various content to find the right format and channels, and (4) treating creators as brand ambassadors.

“We’re seeing now, more than ever, brands building up relationships with creators, and then using that squad for multiple and repeat activations. Not just activating on a project-by-project basis, but having a long-term view of creator and influencer marketing as well,” he added.

‘What’s NEXT’ for the influencer marketing space?

The coming years can be unpredictable for the marketing industry. That said, Brooks and Linton also gave their insights into where the influencer marketing industry is heading, including indications of some of the plans Vamp and Adobe have moving forward.

According to Brooks, influencer marketing has already reached a point where it’s already become a mainstay within the marketing mix. He added, “Once an emerging channel, it really has gained acceptance as a performance marketing channel.”

Speaking of his experience, Brooks mentioned that brands want access to better data, as they want to understand how their organic performance is creating impact, as a means to justify budget spend. To address this, Brooks said that Vamp continues to evolve its technology to prioritise their analytics capability, and providing deeper insights. 

Of course, the talk on the future of marketing would not be complete without reference to the metaverse, and VR/AR technologies. To this, Linton mentioned that Adobe is thinking about mixed mediums or realities where they can create different modes of engagement with influencers. 

“The insight that we get from influencers [are] really shaping the way we approach 2023. There’s a lot of exciting stuff to look forward to,” Linton concluded. 

There’s certainly a lot to look forward to in the marketing industry for 2023. From a tech enabler and top brand’s perspective, you can hear more influencer marketing insights from Brooks and Linton by watching the full interview HERE.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Techcombank to hyper-personalise banking experiences in partnership with Adobe

Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint Stock Bank, also known as Techcombank, has announced its multimillion-dollar and multi-year partnership with Adobe. The partnership will be seeing the launch of the first end-to-end customer experience technology platform in Vietnam.

Techcombank will be using Adobe Experience Cloud to deliver hyper-personalised banking experiences in real-time across offline and digital touchpoints. The launch will also mark a significant milestone in Vietnam and Southeast Asia’s banking industry.

Techcombank’s investment in Adobe Experience Cloud, including Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform (CDP), will form part of the integrated technology platform that will help determine the best personalisation format for its customers. This will be done by analyzing customer browsing behaviours and deploying persona-based discovery paths.

“Today’s consumers are banking across multiple online and offline channels, and it is critical that we meet their expectations wherever they choose to engage or transact,” said Jens Lottner, chief executive officer at Techcombank

He added, “With Adobe’s successful track record of working with leading financial services organizations around the world for the past decade, we are excited to partner with Adobe on our ongoing five-year transformation strategy, and accelerate our journey of being the leader in the customer-led digitization of the Financial Services Industry (FSI) in Vietnam.”

Simon Dale, managing director of Southeast Asia and Korea at Adobe, also said, “We are thrilled to be part of Techcombank’s journey to enable the digital transformation of Vietnam’s finance and banking industry.”

He further commented, “Using Adobe Experience Cloud, Techcombank will be able to deliver better and faster experiences for customers, advancing its long-term vision to inspire a more robust digital skills economy and workforce reskilling in Vietnam.”

As Vietnam aims to accelerate national digital transformation efforts in the finance and banking industry, Techcombank and Adobe will also be building the digital skills economy by unveiling an inaugural Center of Excellence (CoE) to upskill teams and develop digital talent.

To this, Dale commented, “Our CoE will develop the digital capabilities of teams within Techcombank to leverage the tools within Adobe Experience Cloud. This will simultaneously accelerate the bank’s digital transformation journey and enable the development of industry-leading digital talent within the bank.”

Adobe has also previously made updates to its Adobe Substance 3D suite to help brands be more metaverse-ready.

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Platforms Global

Adobe advances Metaverse with new 3D and immersive experiences updates

Singapore  Adobe today announced major updates to Adobe Substance 3D, a suite of tools and services that support 3D content creation from the beginning to the end of a project, expanding on the tools’ extensibility and performance. 

Adobe announced multiple updates across the Substance 3D Collection, including:

Native Apple M-series chips support, Substance 3D Materials SDK, Substance 3D Automation Toolkit, Substance Materials Plugin in Photoshop, and its later release of the Substance 3D Modeler.

Adobe Research, an organisation with research scientists, engineers, artists, and designers who shape experimental ideas into innovative technologies, today previewed research projects designed to power future Metaverse experiences. 

The growing importance of 3D and immersive content has contributed to strong demand for Substance 3D tools across gaming, entertainment, and e-commerce industries. 3D content creation also continues to grow into a core skill for creative professionals as more brands prepare for the metaverse and other immersive experiences. Substance tools have seen a strong 100 percent year-over-year growth, with now hundreds of thousands of monthly active users.

“Smart brands are getting “metaverse-ready” by growing their 3D and immersive content creation capabilities. That means that creative artists with expertise in 3D have a wealth of opportunities,” said Scott Belsky, chief product officer and executive vice president of Adobe Creative Cloud speaking at a customer event in Paris. “These innovations provide new superpowers to the rapidly growing number of creative people using Substance 3D.”

Adobe previewed a new intelligent method for optimising load time while maintaining visual fidelity for optimal AR customer experiences. The new AI-powered approach allows brands to deliver a high-quality AR experience in a fraction of the time it would normally require by prioritising AR content that is most likely to be relevant to the viewer first based on their movements within the physical space. This will help brands alleviate the common challenges stemming from slow load times on large AR scenes. This technology will be integrated into Adobe Aero later this year.

Starting this summer, Adobe will expand free access to Substance 3D applications to teachers and students worldwide. Universities subscribing to the Creative Cloud All Apps plan already have free access to Adobe Substance 3D applications.

Additionally, Adobe is partnering with schools on 3D and immersive curricula including RUBIKA DESIGN Valenciennes Design School in France and the ArtCenter in Pasadena, California.

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Marketing Featured South Asia

Adobe India names Anindita Das Veluri as new head of marketing

New Delhi, India – Digital media and digital marketing solutions company Adobe in India has appointed Anindita Das Veluri, former director at Deloitte India, to be its new head of marketing.

In this role, Veluri will be leading Adobe’s marketing strategy across the Indian market, and will be directly reporting to Duncan Egan, Adobe’s vice president of marketing for APAC.

In a career spanning over two decades, Veluri has held various leadership roles across sales and marketing. During her recent stint at Deloitte, she was responsible for building the Adobe alliance and scaling the company’s business in India. Prior to that, as the India business leader for the Adobe practice at IBM, Veluri was instrumental in expanding Adobe’s footprint across client segments. She was also involved in incubating the ‘marketing-as-a-service’ model for IBM Services and setting up the digital marketing services practice for solution selling across industries.

Commenting on her appointment, Veluri said, “In today’s digital economy, businesses understand that building customer experience is mission-critical to their growth, and Adobe is at the forefront of delivering next-generation technology to power them. I am excited to join Adobe’s exceptional team to grow the company’s strong and loyal base of customers as well as partners in India.”

Meanwhile, Egan shared that they are excited to welcome Veluri to drive Adobe’s marketing in India, as her strong track record and unique experience of having worked at the intersection of marketing, technology, business, and creativity make her a great partner for their fast-growing India business.

“Given Adobe’s clear leadership in the exploding Customer Experience Management category, we’ve led the industry by creating best-in-class marketing practices that drive business success. We see Anindita playing a critical role in sharing Adobe’s marketing journey with brands in India, and enabling their digital transformation strategies,” said Egan.

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Technology Featured APAC

Conversational AI company LivePerson hires former Adobe exec as SVP for APAC

New York, USA – To lead and accelerate the company’s growth in the Asia Pacific region, global conversational AI company LivePerson has recently appointed former Adobe executive Ian Kinsella as the company’s senior vice president for APAC.

Through his newly-found role, Kinsella will oversee LivePerson’s sales and customer success organization in APAC, expanding the company’s go-to-market strategy in the region as well as its team of sales and customer success experts. LivePerson partners with many of the region’s top brands-including mobile operators, insurers, banking and financial services institutions, retailers, and more-to provide AI-powered marketing, sales, and care experiences to their customers.

Prior to joining LivePerson, he led Adobe’s Digital Experience business across APAC, with responsibility for commerce and customer journey management solutions. Kinsella came to Adobe through its acquisition of the e-commerce platform Magento, where he led the APAC business. Previously, he served as vice president at SAP, leading the customer experience & commerce business in APAC and managing a portfolio of sales, service, marketing, and e-commerce solutions.

Kinsella also spent more than a decade as an entrepreneur, bootstrapping start-ups in Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. He has lived in the region for over 20 years and currently resides in Sydney, Australia.

“I’m thrilled to join LivePerson at this critical moment. Now that APAC consumers use mobile devices as their primary tool to connect with brands, we see a massive opportunity to help more of the region’s top brands offer and scale AI-powered conversations on their preferred channels, from WeChat to LINE, WhatsApp, and in-app messaging,” said Kinsella, regarding his appointment.

Meanwhile, Rob LoCascio, founder and CEO of LivePerson, commented, “With billions of mobile users, the Asia-Pacific region offers incredible opportunities for LivePerson. Bringing Ian on board catalyzes our APAC operation to partner with even more of the region’s signature brands to deliver our global vision for conversational AI’s transformation of commerce and care. I’m excited to welcome him to our executive team.”

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Technology Featured APAC

APAC businesses eye investing in insight, analytics capabilities for top marketing goals: report

Singapore – The digital disruption during the offset of the global pandemic has made businesses in the Asia Pacific prioritize investment in improving insight and analytics capabilities, a new report from computer software company Adobe shows.

The APAC-centric report shows around 49% of businesses willing to invest in insight and analytic solutions for their business to achieve their top marketing goals this year. In addition, one third (35%) of ANZ leaders believe their organization has strong capabilities in accuracy, actionability, speed, and access of insights, while Asian leaders are far more pessimistic at around 9%.

With that in mind, leaders in ANZ think their interest in investing to analytic support is a focus on personalized customer experience as 33% of respondents agree to this reasoning, while Asian leaders are committed to enabling digital customer acquisition (35%).

Duncan Egan, vice president of DX Marketing, APAC, and Japan at Adobe commented that organizations with better access to insights are more likely to say their customers are positive about their digital experience compared to their peers with lower levels of insight.

“For brands across every sector, 2020 brought a loss of predictability. Organizations of all kinds were driven online at an accelerated rate, creating a wave of new digital customers with increasing expectations. Customers now have the upper hand in the ‘digital relationship’, with more than half of marketing respondents across APAC reporting unusual changes in customer behaviors and journeys in 2020,” Egan said.

He added, “A company with a strong customer experience (CX) strategy is more likely to achieve long-term growth than its competitors, as they are better positioned to adapt to changeable customer behaviors and markets. This report highlights that organizations need to accelerate their insight and action capabilities by moving to more flexible technologies and cloud-based platforms, as well as a unified and real-time view of the customer journey.”

The report also showed that respondents who are confident about their company’s customer experience feel optimistic about their corporate strategy (63% in ANZ vs. 73% in India vs. 56% in Asia) and their own prospects for career growth (61% in ANZ vs. 70% in India vs. 57% in Asia). In addition, organizations across APAC report three significant barriers that are hampering marketing and experience: legacy technology and systems (51% in ANZ, 37% in India and Asia), workflow issues (38% in ANZ, 33% in India, and 48% in Asia), and a lack of digital skills and capabilities (34% in ANZ, 24% in India and 43% in Asia).

Egan explained that the manifested data has been a result of the current shift to remote work, which in turn has a significant and enduring impact on businesses moving forward, requiring new marketing strategies for reaching and keeping customers.

“Companies have never been more interested in being agile and adding new capabilities for seamless digital execution, with one third (34%) saying they’ve been unusually agile and able to make quick decisions,”said Egan. 

“A hybrid approach to technology – comprising cloud and other data management systems – allows organizations to be flexible and collaborative, letting them work better with existing solutions and quickly integrate new ones. The effects of such an approach within these organizations can be seen in the improved capability in key areas of analytics and insights, added Egan

Furthermore, the report also found that transparency is still lacking with only a small number of leaders (13% in ANZ and 12% in Asia) claiming their organization is effective at communicating how data is collected and used. Also, only 10% in ANZ and 13% in Asia believe they are highly effective at communicating the value offered in exchange for customers’ consent when they first encounter the brand.

Lastly, Adobe reported that most organizations are still a long way from authentically displaying digital empathy. Just over a third (37%) of Indian executives have significant insights into customer mindset, followed by 27% in ANZ and 19% in Asia. Drivers of purchase, friction points, and attribution of how marketing actions relate to customer behavior fare only marginally better.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

App marketing Adjust joins Adobe’s exchange partner program to boost app’s CX analytics

Singapore – To improve app marketing measurements and fraud prevention for their digital advertiser clients, app marketing platform Adjust has joined the Adobe Exchange Partner Program to utilize client-inclined strategies for performance marketing online, through Adobe’s Experience Cloud.

The Adobe Exchange Partner Program is an ongoing partner program designed for technology partners, which include software and data vendors to integrate third-party apps to companies looking to diversify and analyze their digital reach impact.

With this partnership, current and prospective mutual clients will be able to build a more complete view of the user journey across all channels — augmenting their customer experience stack analytics. This is done with a combination of mobile app data and data collected from other touchpoints.

Furthermore, the partnership entails a combination of solutions for marketing, analytics, advertising, and e-commerce, and the inclusion of a suite of measurement, fraud prevention, and automation products to provide data integration between Adjust and Adobe.

“As a driver in innovation in mobile marketing, we’re thrilled to become a premier level partner in the Adobe Exchange Partner Program, bringing actionable analytics and measurement, fraud prevention and automation to leading businesses globally — and with a single platform approach Adobe customers are used to. We are excited to see the business benefits both our current and future clients will see from this new relationship,” said Andrey Kazakov, VP Partnerships at Adjust.

Cody Crnkovich, head of platform partners and strategy at Adobe Experience Cloud commented, “As customer activity shifts along with the pandemic, advertisers are facing greater challenges connecting mobile marketing spend to app revenue and customer lifetime value. Adobe is delighted to have Adjust as a business partner, giving advertisers the capability to see mobile data across all available channels, automate campaign reporting and protect ad dollars from fraudsters in one place.”