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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Braze appoints Astha Malik as new CMO

New York, USA Braze, the comprehensive customer engagement platform that powers interactions between consumers and the brands they love, has announced the appointment of Astha Malik as its new chief marketing officer, effective 27 June. Malik joins Braze following the retirement of former CMO Sara Spivey, earlier this month. She will be reporting to co-founder and CEO Bill Magnuson and will join the executive leadership team at Braze and will oversee all global marketing functions.

A tech industry veteran, Malik brings more than 20 years of experience building brands, driving innovation, and accelerating revenue growth. Most recently, Malik served as chief operating officer of VTEX, where she oversaw the company’s global go-to-market strategy and operations, global marketing, global enablement, growth people operations and strategic alliances. Throughout her career she has also held leadership positions across a number of premier technology companies including Zendesk, Citrix, Sumo Logic, and PagerDuty.

Malik also serves as a board member for software companies Greenhouse and Everlaw. She is also an active advocate for diversity and leadership and has received the Stevie Award for Female Executive of the Year as well as the Business Leadership Award from the National Diversity Council.

In her appointment, Malik said,“I’m thrilled to be joining the Braze team and to lead marketing for a brand trusted by marketers at customer-centric companies around the world.” 

Malik added, “There’s so much opportunity ahead for Braze to keep shaping the future of customer engagement through its growing community of marketers, developers, and customer engagement teams. I look forward to joining the talented team and accelerating the momentum in the company’s next growth phase.”

Magnuson said, “Astha brings an exciting array of experience, perspective, and talent to our leadership team.”

“She has a proven track record of growing global, leading, technology companies and building top-performing teams. Her addition to Braze will be instrumental as we continue our next phase of growth as a public company,” Magnuzon added.

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Main Feature Marketing Partners APAC

SEA roundtable: Marketing leaders bare their best strategies in customer acquisition, retention for the post-pandemic

As we enter the post-pandemic period, we are now dealing with an entirely new consumer – desires, needs, and motivations that have transformed to adapt to the new phase of the ‘new normal’.

Last April 20, MARKETECH APAC, in partnership with Braze, gathered marketing leaders from brands Astro Malaysia, BigPay, bolttech, Hmlet, Philippines AirAsia, ShopBack, Zeemart, and Zenius. to discover how brands are implementing their customer acquisition and retention strategies in this period of unprecedented changes as well as how they are building a culture of experimentation and optimisation in each of their organisations.

Watch the highlights from the roundtable that roped in marketing leaders from brands Astro Malaysia, BigPay, bolttech, Hmlet, Philippines AirAsia, ShopBack, Zeemart, and Zenius.

Hybrid experiences to deliver high customer engagement 

When during the height of the pandemic, consumers and businesses were thrust to interact entirely in a virtual manner, the less restricted post-pandemic meant that brands now must take into consideration the dynamics of the engagement brought by the physical experience and integrating that with the uncovered powers of the virtual space.

Allenie Caccam, head of marketing of Philippines AirAsia, shared that in order to bring cohesiveness to your customer engagement, it doesn’t stop with what is done in the brand’s app or website, but almost always culminates with an on-ground activation or face-to-face interaction “to personify the brand as a lifestyle.”

“We do drive cross channel customer engagement by identifying the critical points of engagement and addressing it through hyper-personalisation and experiential marketing,” said Caccam. 

Priyanka Nadkarni, marketing lead of insurtech bolttech, echoes this and says that it is important to follow your consumers offline, as in their case, the discovery process for insurance products doesn’t stop within digital bounds. 

“We need to remember that we’re not only digital anymore…for us, it’s really about where [do these] insurance and protection products really make real sense for the customer, and it’s not always online,” said Nadkarni.

Meanwhile, fintech BigPay also agrees with the same marketing direction. Jia Nina, country marketing lead of the brand, said that they don’t rely on the app alone, and remarked that marketing also goes beyond the app.

Raymond Muliadi, head of product at edtech Zenius, shared, “Offline will always be there. And we will not be able to dismiss online or offline. So we want to make sure that we build an ecosystem where the learning is complementing online and offline.”

Tapping into the fundamentals to effectively retain customers

During the roundtable, industry leaders were in unison about how it is to effectively retain customers in this period and that is to bank on the powers of the fundamentals – knowing your consumers inside out, and activating marketing that genuinely aligns what they want and value.

BigPay’s Jia Nina also shared her insights on this and said, “We really listen to customers… effective marketing is always a conversation, it’s not just you talking to people.”

Meanwhile, Astro’s Norsiah Juriani Johari, its VP for product marketing, believes that to keep customers coming back to your product, you have to be able to deliver authentic value exchange. 

She says that we now live in a world of transparency and that customers “can see right through you” and will know when a brand isn’t upfront about what it promised to deliver.

“Listening to the customers and really holding true to our core values at these challenging times has really helped us a great deal as a business and as a brand,” she said. 

Personalisation also came out as a top strategy among marketers for customer retention. 

Edward Tan, the associate director for growth marketing at co-living space provider Hmlet, says that personalised engagement is what is able to draw customers back to the product. 

“One thing we learned when it comes to customer retention, for locals especially, is to shift from purely selling them the co-living experience to the need for consistent and personalised engagement,” said Tan. 

When driving that cross channel customer engagement, he says, “The most important factor to us when it comes to cross-channel engagement is definitely reaching the right customers via the right channel at the right time with the right messages.”

Shopping and rewards platform ShopBack, which is currently an adopter of Braze’s consumer engagement platform, also shared to employ the same strategy, which is leveraging the best channel for customer needs and then finding the right timing and triggers for your communications. 

Its Head of CRM Scott Tan said, “For us, it’s creating a meaningful cross-channel engagement. It’s really about setting up your platform to make sure that you can (1) anticipate user needs, (2) [have] the right channel, and (3) find appropriate triggers and timing.”

Building a culture of experimentation and testing

Now that consumers have increasingly become more nuanced and that the staying power of trends is going away at lightning speed, these have put down greater importance on brands’ practices in experimentation and testing. 

For Zeemart, an F&B procurement platform, and a pre-series A startup, it’s about encouraging a positive attitude toward ‘failing forward’.

“I think the advantage of being a startup is that you’re always building, learning and iterating,” said Tan.

“Develop this attitude of failing forward, because no one really knows the answers…facilitating feedback, gathering results and going out and fixing it, and testing it again,” he added.

Meanwhile, bolttech’s Priyanka Nadkarni summed it up briefly on the topic, “To be a pioneer, own it, link together and think outside in.”

As we move towards the post-pandemic period, virtual and digital are here to stay–but only better. Consumer experiences are set to become even more ingenious and innovative now that the period has enabled us to once again bring back physical engagement and interaction.

Among the insights the industry leaders shared, non-negotiable principles of marketing stood out, agreeing that no matter what the changes, marketing will always be and should remain experimental. We don’t get to the bottom of the ‘AHA’ moment if we stick to what has already been successful or what is deemed to be the best at present, as the future ahead will only become unpredictable and challenging for marketers but also groundbreaking with the emergence of unimaginable digital interactivity. 

Watch the highlights from the roundtable that roped in marketing leaders from brands AirAsia Philippines, Astro Malaysia, BigPay, bolttech, Hmlet, ShopBack, Zeemart, and Zenius.

Take a look at Braze’s latest marketing report, ‘2022 Global Customer Engagement Review’ which shares the top three trends that are shaping customer engagement in 2022 as well as opportunities companies can seize for growth by industry and region. The report is free to download here.

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Main Feature Marketing Partners APAC

Explore the state of customer engagement in 2022

Singapore – MARKETECH APAC, the digital media for the marketing and advertising industry in APAC, has partnered with Braze, the global customer engagement platform, to launch the industry report on consumer engagement, ‘2022 Customer Engagement Review’, an overarching review of the current state of consumer engagement. 

Combining data from the Braze platform, with the results from a survey of 1,500+ marketing decision-makers across 14 global markets, the report unveils macro trends within customer engagement that emerged in 2021, covers how customer engagement has evolved over the past year, and highlights opportunities for improvement and growth for 2022. 

This is the second instalment of the annual report, and the latest edition assesses shifts in customer engagement trends over the past year, together with actionable insights on what to expect next year, and how brands can address evolving consumer needs, channel preferences, and privacy concerns. Furthermore, to inform the report, data were analysed from three different sources.

“The events of the past two years have fundamentally altered the way customers approach brand relationships. The bar for consumer expectations is at an all-time high,” said Bill Magnuson, co-founder and CEO of Braze.

Today’s brands are embracing customer engagement and it’s paying off. But as the bar for marketing experiences rises, how can your company keep up? The report breaks down findings across five different industries—financial services, health and wellness, media and entertainment, QSR and delivery, and retail and eCommerce—as well as regional breakouts for APAC, EMEA, and the US. Each industry and regional breakout also features a case study from a leading Braze customer, including Linkaja, The Coffee Club, and Mercari.

Notable findings include insights regarding the continued shift toward zero-party (i.e. shared by users) and first-party (i.e. gathered with user consent) data, the emergence of data management as a top challenge for brands, and the growth of brand confidence in their customer engagement abilities. 

“For brands to rise to the occasion, they must focus on establishing a personal connection through customer engagement, and provide seamless communication across their preferred channels and platforms. Companies that fail to provide coordinated, cross-channel customer engagement strategies risk falling behind on business outcomes and revenue goals,” added Magnuson. 

Shaina Teope, MARKETECH APAC’s regional editor, commented, “We’ve seen so many changes in the past two years since the pandemic began, and now that the ‘new normal’ has actually become our ‘norm’, we need to prepare ourselves on the challenges and opportunities arising from this new brand-consumer dimension. Overarching industry reports like the ‘2022 Customer Engagement Review’ are definitely a boon. Through this report, we will be better equipped on how to move forward in 2022, since the insights comprehensively look into the past, present, and future landscape of consumer engagement.“

Also included in ‘2022 Customer Engagement Review’ is the Braze Customer Engagement Index, a framework assessing brands in 12 competencies across two key axes—technology and teams—to put forward a model for best-in-class customer engagement. Each brand is then indexed on these factors and distributed across three maturity stages – Activate (least mature), Accelerate, and Ace (most mature). The index revealed overall positive momentum from last year, with many companies increasing their maturity and sophistication across all 12 customer engagement competencies.

Download your own copy of the report HERE.

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Main Feature Marketing APAC

This downloadable guide has everything marketers need to boost the consumer engagement funnel

Singapore – The global pandemic has challenged brands to rethink their existing digital marketing strategies due to the sudden shift in consumer behavior which has made online preferable to all other consumer channels.

With this in mind, customer engagement platform Braze and MARKETECH APAC, the dedicated news platform for the marketing and advertising industry in Asia-Pacific, have teamed up to launch the marketing guide, ‘Guide to Elevate Your Customer Engagement Strategies’, to offer brands a wide array of customer engagement strategies to elevate their campaigns no matter which part of the marketing funnel they’re looking to amplify – whether that’s to activate, monetize, or retain consumers. 

‘Guide to Elevate Your Customer Engagement Strategies’ features more than 40 customizable campaigns that have also been leveraged by the world’s savviest brands; this means along with fresh ideas to personalize, brands are provided with a broader perspective on a specific campaign with good examples of how other brands have applied it on their own. 

The guide is grounded in today’s fast-moving consumer landscape, providing each suggested campaign strategy with an estimated difficulty level, as well as the engagement channels that the campaign is best applied on, including email, in-app notifications, and social media advertisements, in order to capture consumers’ attention and retain them in the long run.

Strategies within the guide are divided into three main categories – for activation, monetization, and retention. The pandemic changed the game for each step of the consumer engagement cycle, and what it takes to activate, monetize, and retain consumers may be different than what brands were used to pre-pandemic.

In terms of activation, while free trials remain an effective way of drawing in customers, the guide provides new strategies that encourage experimenting with the channels, content, and timing of the messaging to more effectively underscore the brand’s offering. 

When it comes to monetization, meanwhile, the guide assists brands in taking advantage of cohesive and cross-channel campaigns to deliver promotional messages that effectively convert consumers.

And lastly, with retention, marketers can find informative and actionable insights in the guide that show how to leverage cross-channel messaging to highlight their brand’s value in providing existing and new products and services.

Bill Magnuson, Braze’s founder, said, “The secret weapon that differentiates exceptional, enduring companies is the quality of their customer engagement, encompassing the full set of activities through which companies build direct relationships with their customers.”

Taken together, these use cases make it possible for brands to determine the right mix of campaigns for their specific needs and business goals, and then to implement them effectively to make the most of their customer engagement efforts. By taking a methodical approach, marketers can ensure they’re not missing out on campaigns that could drive stronger customer loyalty or additional revenue.

Shaina Teope, the regional editor of MARKETECH APAC, commented, “No matter how seasoned marketers have become in a specific part of the consumer lifecycle, the changes brought by these strange times put us to square one, placing upon brands the need to revisit and reassess their consumer engagement. This comprehensive and no-frills guide will resonate well with marketing teams of all sizes.”

To access the guide, you may download ‘Guide to Elevate Your Customer Engagement Strategies’ here.