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Technology Featured APAC

Emplifi acquires live stream vid platform Go Instore, offers improved in-store experiences online

Singapore – Customer experience platform Emplifi has announced the acquisition of the live streaming video platform, Go Instore. This move aims to give B2C brands faster connection-to-conversion experiences in-store and online.

Go Instore enables video-powered retail by connecting online customers with in-store product experts using immersive HD live video. With this, Go Instore and Emplifi’s leading-edge video technology will be providing brands with a new channel, which they can engage with and serve their customers, strengthening Emplifi’s omnichannel approach. 

Moreover, with the addition of Go Instore, Emplifi Social Commerce Cloud, which offers a multitude of marketers’ social commerce capabilities, will now have enhanced capabilities to be the brand’s partner in offering customer experience-focused services.

Mark Zablan, Emplifi’s CEO, commented that this acquisition marks another important milestone on the journey towards being the CX platform of choice for brands who want to give their customers great experiences at every touchpoint on their journey.

“We’re excited to start helping brands connect and convert consumers more quickly and directly through the power of live stream video and social media,” said Zablan.

Meanwhile, André Hordagoda, the co-founder of Go Instore, said that they are incredibly excited to join forces with Emplifi to deliver even more powerful shopping experiences across their client’s websites and social channels. 

Aman Khurana, Go Instore’s co-founder, believes that Emplifi’s vision, innovation, and speed-to-market align perfectly with Go Instore. 

“Together we will accelerate retail transformation with social commerce,” said Khurana.

Coming off the recent rebranding and fusion of Astute Solutions and Socialbakers companies which announced the brand launch of Emplifi, the CX platform’s acquisition of Go Instore will help in strengthening its position as a CX leader and provides brands with an end-to-end platform for social marketing, social commerce, and omnichannel service and care.

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Technology Featured APAC

CX firm InMoment names Eric Weight as VP of solutions consulting for APAC

Singapore – The software application provider for customer, employee, and business experiences, InMoment, has just announced the appointment of Eric Weight, former head of presales and consulting at CX software company NICE Satmetrix, to assume the role of vice president of solutions consulting for APAC.

Weight has over 25 years of experience designing and deploying CX solutions at various B2B growth technology companies in the world. He also has considerable experience leading consulting, services, product management, and pre-sales teams worldwide.

Aside from his recent role at NICE Satmetrix, Weight has also worked as the vice president of professional services and customer success at technology expense management solutions provider MobiChord, the vice president of solutions consulting at customer experience and market research company MaritzCX, and the vice president of implementation services at cloud-based software firm Allegiance.

The latest appointment aims to support InMoment’s rapid expansion across Southeast Asia and Japan. Through this, Weight will be leading the expansion and advising companies in transforming the experiences of their customers.

Commenting on his appointment, Weight said that he has been waiting for the right time and the right company to deliver real customer experience transformation to SEA companies, and InMoment quickly emerged as a true leader in this space and has now invested in this market to make his hopes a reality.

“Having lived in the region previously, I’m thrilled to return and join the Singapore-based InMoment team and help our clients realize the ROI from Experience Improvement and become their trusted partner in delighting customers and stakeholders alike,” said Weight.

Meanwhile, David Blakers, InMoment’s managing director for APAC, said, “We welcome Eric’s talent and leadership to InMoment, and look forward to his expertise helping build high impact customer experience programs across the region.” 

In August this year, InMoment also announced the launch of its new Singapore data center, which aims to strengthen the company’s presence in the APAC region.

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Marketing Featured APAC

AU-based digital transformation firm TMX appoints Now We Collide to amp up brand strategy

Australia – APAC digital transformation and supply chain consultancy, TMX, has appointed the independent creative agency Now We Collide, to manage its brand strategy, as the firm expands rapidly across the region.

TMX offers end-to-end digital and supply chain solutions, and works with major consumer brands including UNIQLO, Australia Post, BMW, L’Oreal, and Kmart, as well as Asahi, and Coles.

Through the partnership, Now We Collide has developed a universal visual identity campaign that translates across multiple languages and markets to support TMX’s growth, encompassing digital and social media strategy, as well as a full suite of creative for both organic and paid media.

The new integrated brand campaign is driven by high-end 3D animation and its aesthetic has been made dynamic, fast-paced, visually informative, and warm to echo TMX’s brand purpose – ‘Invent Tomorrow’.

Travis Erridge, TMX’s CEO, said that the new brand strategy firmly establishes the company’s credentials.

“Navigating through the nuances of each APAC market is no small feat however Now We Collide were experts in providing consistency of message. We’re looking forward to continuing our partnership with Now We Collide as we continue our growth across key markets,” said Erridge. 

Now We Collide’s managing partner and CEO, Keir Maher, said that it is a privilege to support a successful Aussie business that’s making such big waves on the international stage. 

“The visual identity, language, and style guide of the campaign is very unique in the category and goes to the heart of TMX as an innovator. We’re proud of this campaign that translates TMX’s unique story onto a global platform and best of all, we’re already seeing the strategy provide positive business outcomes for the team at TMX,” said Maher.

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Technology Featured APAC

CX firm Genesys welcomes two new senior hires to boost APAC presence

Singapore – The global customer experience orchestration company, Genesys, has just announced two new senior appointments, to reaffirm the importance of APAC as a growth market for the company. 

The key senior hires are Assaf Tarnopolsky, the new senior vice president and general manager for APAC, and Stephen Hamill, the new vice president for ASEAN and South Asia.

Tarnopolsky will be driving cloud business momentum in APAC, which experienced strong growth in the fiscal year 2021. He brings with him more than 25 years of leadership experience to the role, including most recently as director of marketing solutions for SEA, North Asia, and Japan at LinkedIn, where he drove significant growth for the platform’s advertising business in Asia. Tarnopolsky’s past media and technology career highlights also include serving as the CEO of tech-news start-up Tecca.com, the vice president at Sony Pictures, and director of international business development at mobile-media pioneer MobiTV.

Meanwhile, Hamill will be responsible for business strategy and sales with a focus on accelerating the growth of Genesys in ASEAN and South Asia. He possesses more than two decades of expertise, having held senior leadership roles in APAC with technology firms such as Oracle and Adobe.

Commenting on his appointment, Tarnopolsky said that he looks forwards to being a part of Genesys at a pivotal point in its journey to assist businesses in their digital transformation journey.

Meanwhile, Hamill commented, “I am thrilled to be driving the next chapter of growth for Genesys and look forward to deepening our presence across the region.”

ML Maco, Genesys’ executive vice president for global sales and field operations, shared that customer experience has become a strategic differentiator as companies adopt cloud and digital technologies to meet customers’ evolving expectations, especially post-pandemic. 

“I am confident with Genesys, they have the platform to transform customer interaction into an empathetic customer experience. The leadership of Assaf and Stephen will help APAC businesses realize the value of the vision we call ‘Experience as a Service’,” said Maco.

The appointments come after Gwilym Funnell’s elevation from Genesys’ head of Asia Pacific to global head of strategic growth, which is a newly created global role responsible for identifying new opportunities for the company to expand across new market segments and establish strategic partnerships.

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Platforms Featured APAC

Consumers across APAC prefer OTT platforms the most: study

Singapore – With the lockdowns being extended, the demand for video streaming platforms have accelerated. It has also pushed the over-the-top (OTT) industry to be more creative. And with this, the global mobile marketing and advertising platform provider, InMobi, has released its ‘The OTT Premium Video Wave Consumer Study, Asia Pacific 2021’. 

The study aims to examine consumer preferences for OTT video platforms to other video platforms such as cable TV, long-form videos, and short-form videos, over the last year. It also seeks to unravel consumer perceptions of value, ad relevance, and willingness to pay for these platforms across India, Singapore, and the Philippines, as well as Indonesia, and Australia.

Insights from the InMobi report reveal that in 2020, an average of 46% of consumers across Australia, Singapore, India, and the Philippines, have demonstrated a clear preference for watching videos on OTT platforms. Meanwhile, in Indonesia, consumer preference for OTT was second only to long-form videos.

Moreover, respondents were more likely to watch and discuss OTT content with friends and family over any of the other comparable platforms, indicating the prevalence of OTT in everyday life.

Vasuta Agarwal, InMobi’s managing director for APAC, noted that they are seeing OTT becoming the premium video content platform of choice within the Asia Pacific region, where several providers have experienced massive jumps in subscriptions during the past year.

“Users have shown that they are willing to pay for and accept the monetization of OTT premium content through ads, so we expect that advertisers who make OTT a core part of their programmatic marketing strategies will gain a significant advantage,” said Agarwal.

InMobi said that there are additional insights on consumer preferences for OTT premium video platforms across the region, as well as their perceptions on ads on these platforms compared to cable TV, long-form videos, and short-form videos.

The report shows that over 40% of respondents in all markets rated OTT platforms as having the ‘most immersive and engaging content’ and being the most ‘value for money’, while respondents in all markets were least likely to give up OTT platforms and would continue using them even if they were fully ad-based, as well as were most willing to pay for them.

Another insight is that at least 50% of respondents in all markets found ads on OTT platforms somewhat relevant, with the Philippines most receptive towards these ads. It also revealed that OTT platforms also had the most influence on product selection and purchase among four out of the five surveyed markets, ranking in the top two – influential platforms for Australia, Singapore, India, and the Philippines.

And lastly, respondents from all countries ranked OTT platforms among their top two for watching and discussing content with their friends and family, indicating that it has captured the family viewing space.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Digital travel agency Booking.com sparks travel inspiration in new ‘Booking Explorers’ campaign

Singapore – With travel now under strong consideration and vaccination programs slowly gaining momentum in Asia, Booking.com, the online travel arm of Booking Holdings for lodging reservations and other travel products, has announced the inaugural launch of its new campaign that aims to re-ignite travel inspiration.

The new campaign is a celebration of the trailblazers and explorers among people, shedding light on why travel has continued to remain so fundamental to their identities and showcasing what a return to travel could mean to people personally.

Titled, ‘Booking Explorers’, the campaign is a series of stories by leading personalities in the APAC region, such as Amazing Race Australia winners, Tim Sattler and Rod Jones, who have traveled the world proudly representing the freedom to love and who advocate making travel more inclusive for the LGBTQ+ community. It also features Indian multiple Grand Slam Champion, Sania Mirza, who was a global citizen that pursued a successful professional career in tennis before the pandemic, and Korean alternative pop band, Leenalchi, who connected people through the power of their music by traveling the world to find inspiration for new songs and interacting with global fans. 

In addition, rising style icon and global fashion model, Chau Bui, was also featured in the campaign. She calls Vietnam home but has traveled from Seoul to Paris, New York, and Milan to find inspiration for her unique style. And lastly, the campaign includes the famed Japanese illustrator in Paris, Kaori Watanabe, who expanded her mental comfort zones through travel and used this new perspective to create art that transports us to faraway lands.

Laura Houldsworth, Booking.com’s managing director and vice president for APAC, shared that the campaign is a heartfelt reminder of travel’s transformational impact and celebrates the spirit of travel through the voices of the explorers, who were forced to look inwards during this time and found new inspiration in the travel where it was possible while advocating for their greatest passions from home.

“With travel slowly resuming, it is my hope that these stories will bring a message of hope to our Asian travelers; and continue to broaden our horizons on how we can still experience our world responsibly when it’s safe to do so,” said Houldsworth.

The new ‘Booking Explorers’ campaign will be available at www.bookingexplorers.com.

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Marketing Featured APAC

Carousell names Essence as integrated media agency of record

Singapore – Carousell, the listing platform in Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong for pre-loved consumer goods, has awarded its integrated media agency of record duties to Essence, the global data and measurement-driven media agency.

The Singapore-born classifieds marketplace is present in eight markets across Southeast Asia. Carousell offers a diverse range of products across a variety of categories, including automobiles, property, and home services, as well as electronics, and fashion accessories.

Led out of Essence’s Singapore office, the agency’s scope of work for Carousell includes brand and performance marketing in Singapore, the Philippines, and Hong Kong. Essence’s offering covers media services such as media planning, media activation, automation, and media technology, alongside its specialist capabilities such as consulting, analytics, data strategy, ecommerce, experience, strategy, and advertising operations.

As part of the partnership, Essence’s first activities with Carousell include a campaign to build brand awareness among its target consumers in Hong Kong, a campaign to establish the brand’s versatility across products and service categories in Singapore and the Philippines, as well as conducting the agency’s Essence Media Health Check consulting service with Carousell’s team on its performance marketing campaigns.

“As one of the world’s leading classifieds platforms, we are so excited to have found such great partners in Essence, who enable us to establish meaningful ways to connect with our users at scale, no matter which part of the funnel they are at,” commented Cassandra Leong, Carousell’s director for brand. 

Meanwhile, Monica Bhatia, Essence’s senior vice president of client partner for APAC and managing director for Singapore, said that Carousell is an inspiring brand that believes in using technology to solve meaningful problems at scale and always improving in crafting the most seamless user experience for people to sell what they do not need and find what they need. 

“Likewise, through Essence’s data-driven approach to media, consulting, commerce, and content, enhanced by technology and a commitment to constant improvement, we are excited to help Carousell deliver the most valuable experiences for its consumers, as well as accelerate marketing transformation and business growth for the brand in this region,” said Bhatia.

Most recently, Essence has also announced the launch of its newest consulting service called ‘Essence Data Health Check’, with the aim to aid brands in getting value from collected audience data, which in turn can optimize business impact and consumer brand experience.

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Technology Featured APAC

Adtech TripleLift sets afoot on APAC market, appoints new MD

Singapore – Global adtech TripleLift announces that it will be expanding its global presence into the Asia-Pacific market, as well as announcing Singapore-based Henry Shelley to be appointed as TripleLift’s new managing director.

Part of the expanded regional market presence is due to the fact the company has seen a growth of APAC publisher partnerships in the last two years by over 250%. 

TripleLift’s multiple ad formats have become an integral part of the programmatic revenue strategies for most of those publishers. Since launching the industry’s first native ad exchange in 2014, TripleLift has expanded its marketplace and offerings to include display and video.

Meanwhile, Shelley brings extensive experience accelerating client business and expanding company operations across regions, including London, Australia, and Singapore. He most recently served as general manager for The Trade Desk, leading its expansion across Southeast Asia. Prior to that, he was global account lead for Amnet Programmatic Experts of the Dentsu Aegis Network and held positions at marketing agencies Columbus Agency and Latitude.

For Shelley, programmatic native advertising is, more than ever, now an essential and permanent fixture on media plans across the APAC region. He added that great-looking ad formats enrich people’s experience with brands, which then gives advertisers, publishers, and broadcasters performance that scales.

“TripleLift quickly established itself as a trusted partner in Australia, and with the company’s acquisition – one of the largest transactions in ad tech history – expansion in key markets across APAC is accelerating. I am beyond thrilled to lead TripleLift’s next phase of growth in APAC, helping shape the future of digital advertising and making advertising work better for everyone in the region,” he stated.

TripleLift first launched its native programmatic product seven years ago to help publishers compete with large media platforms that were grabbing an increasingly disproportionate slice of ad budgets and squeezing publishers across the open web in the process. Since then, the company expanded its product portfolio to support every major programmatically transactable ad format from display to connected TV (CTV).

Meanwhile, Jacqueline Quantrell, chief revenue officer at TripleLift, stated that as the region is home to several of the worlds’ largest and fastest-growing digital ad markets, APAC presents publishers and advertisers with an enormous opportunity to harness the power of programmatic to achieve business objectives.

“With our established suite of ad formats, increased investment in new technologies, and Henry at the helm of our business in APAC, we’re poised to help more publishers grow their share of budget and help advertisers reach their target audiences,” Quantrell concluded.

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SME Featured APAC

SaaS banking startup Mambu rolls out new all-digital product for SME lenders

Singapore – SaaS cloud banking platform Mambu, which has presence in Singapore and Australia, has just recently launched a fully flexible digital solution for SME lenders that aims to cut costs and time to market.

Mambu provides banks and fintechs with loan management technology and access to an ecosystem of partners such as web-based identity authentication, credit checks, and loan origination. These partners are vital to lenders wanting to offer speedy loan approvals which has proven to be a key competitive advantage.

The new SME lending solution by Mambu is designed for fast new product launches and offers flexibility in order to quickly adapt to changes. It offers a variety of options to adjust loan conditions in order to support borrowers that are in financial difficulties. This flexibility helps clients to better serve SME companies and to release financial burdens during pandemic times.

According to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), it is estimated that there is an unmet financing need of US$5.2T every year across 65 million firms or 40% of formal MSMEs globally. At the same time, there is more pressure on SME lenders to deliver low-risk decisions quickly via a fully digital customer experience.

Elliott Limb, Mambu’s chief customer officer, shared that whether it is starting a new company or growing an existing one, there’s never been a bigger requirement for SME lenders to offer the services their customers need. 

“With Mambu’s composable approach, we provide an agile way for our clients to build and shape new financial services around the businesses they want to help,” said Limb.

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Marketing Featured APAC

The Coca-Cola Company names Anupama Biswas as senior director for Analytics & Insights in APAC

Singapore – The Coca-Cola Company, the global beverage company that owns the world-famous beverage brands Coke and Sprite as well as a portfolio of hydration, nutrition, juice, and dairy, and sports, and coffee and tea brands, has appointed media, digital, and analytics veteran Anupama Biswas as its new senior director for its Analytics & Insights team in the APAC region. 

The appointment comes as the company progresses on a major strategic transformation, including rewiring to become a more networked organization. Biswas will become part of a new team called Platform Services and will be leading the company’s analytics and insights for four operating units in the APAC region. 

Biswas brings with her almost two decades of experience in media, digital, e-commerce, and analytics, and business strategy across leading consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and Colgate-Palmolive. Her expertise includes combining data-driven insights, creativity, and pragmatism to develop organizational alignment, focus, and a clear path to growth. 

Biswas most recently comes from Kellogg Company as its regional director for e-commerce, media, and analytics in the AMEA region. In her last assignment, she has implemented digital transformation and drove change management within the organization by building in-house digital & analytics capabilities.

Meanwhile, her experience on the agency side has had her working particularly with GroupM agencies, such as Maxus, which is now Wavemaker, and also Mindshare. For a little over a decade, she was with MediaCom in its Singapore team. 

In an interview with MARKETECH APAC, Biswas shared that her role will be focusing on delivering actionable insights to drive business growth. The specific areas she will be handling will be commercial in nature, such as consumer segmentation and revenue growth management. 

Biswas shared that over the near term, her responsibilities would be more focused on building a team and on building the analytics framework, while over the long run, the goal would be to make the jump from descriptive analytics to more predictive and prescriptive solutions.

“I am super excited to be at The Coca-Cola Company. This is a company that I have always admired and it’s a privilege to be here. I look forward to driving a data culture and unlocking analytical solutions to deliver actionable insights to further fuel business growth,” said Biswas. 

Meanwhile, Alex Clarke, the global head for Analytics & Insights at Coca-Cola, and to whom Biswas will be reporting, commented, “We are thrilled that someone with the talent and experience of Anu has chosen to join the Coca-Cola Analytics & Insights team. This is an exciting time to join our company as we step-change how we leverage analytics and data science to support our growth ambitions. Anu will play a key role in the region in helping us achieve our goal of being a truly data-driven organization.”