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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Havas Media Group Singapore elevates Russell Lai as new CCO

Singapore – Havas Media Group Singapore, the media arm of global marketing and communications group Havas, has elevated Russell Lai to chief commercial officer. In his new role, he will be overseeing the media offerings and commercial priorities of the group, covering 2 agency brands – Havas Media and Arena Media. His elevation to the group function comes after a strong and steady track record of client retentions, service diversification and business growth over the last 2 years in high-growth categories such as fintech, digital banking, gaming and other e-commerce clients. 

Lai will be reporting to Jacqui Lim, who recently expanded her role as CEO of Havas Media Group SG, to take on an additional title as Chief Growth Officer of SEA & North Asia of Havas Group

On his promotion, Lai said, “I am very proud of the growth strides we have accomplished in the last 7 years and thrilled with the opportunity to accelerate our growth. As Chief Commercial Officer, I will continue to focus on future-proofing, empowerment and collaboration in order to build and strengthen Havas Media Group’s position as a leader in the local media industry. I truly believe our best days are still ahead.” 

Meanwhile, Lim shared that the promotion is a well-deserved recognition for Lai’s contribution to the agency’s evolution journey.

“With the speed at which the industry is evolving across media, data, content, entertainment and web 3.0, it is paramount to identify strong and agile leaders that have their pulse on the market trajectory. Someone who will lead the navigation of these complexities together with clients, partners and internal teams to deliver augmented customer experiences and business accountability in the coming time ahead. Russell has proven to be the progressive leader of choice to chart this growth path for the group,” Lim said.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Chris Riley announces exit from roles at Ogilvy

SingaporeChris Riley, who served recently as the group chairman for Ogilvy in Singapore and Malaysia as well as CEO for Ogilvy Singapore, has announced his departure from the agency to join Glydways, a US-based transportation and technology company, where he is appointed as its new chief commercial officer

Riley began his career in 1995 at Ogilvy Hong Kong, where he now works for the company. The past six years have seen him serve as Ogilvy Singapore CEO and chairman of the board for Singapore and Malaysia, as well as supervising the agency’s experience business in Hong Kong. He has also led IBM’s growth into 147 new markets.

Kent Wertime, who now serves as co-CEO of Ogilvy Asia, will also serve as group chairman for Ogilvy Singapore and Malaysia, and a new Singapore CEO will be chosen soon. Wertime has worked closely with the Singapore Group over the past two decades and is already extremely familiar with the office and clients. Wertime and Riley will collaborate closely to ensure a smooth transition. Announcements on further senior appointments in Singapore will be made in due course.

Wertime said, “I’ve worked closely with Chris for over two decades and would like to thank him for his many contributions to Ogilvy. He has been a true example of Ogilvy at its best. We will miss him but wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

Meanwhile, Riley commented, “I’m eternally grateful to Ogilvy for providing such stimulating career opportunities which I’ve thoroughly embraced. I’ve worked with fantastic clients, colleagues and friends, and now have an opportunity to apply my skills and experience to something completely new and different.”

Ogilvy shifted to a new global structure with five businesses last year, with regional and local leadership in each. The agency will continue to build the agency and leadership roles while offering clients with complete continuity.

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Technology Featured APAC

Krishnan Menon appointed as CCO for Merkle, dentsu CXM in APAC

Singapore – Krishnan Menon, formerly the chief client and growth officer for APAC at Wunderman Thompson, has been appointed by dentsu International as the new chief client officer for the network’s customer experience management (CXM) company Merkle and integrated customer experience management arm dentsu CXM, both for Asia-Pacific.

Tasked with elevating Merkle’s integrated client management approach and delivering the full value of dentsu’s CXM capabilities, Menon will also work across the dentsu network to expand on existing Merkle/CXM client relationships within the creative and media service lines.

Furthermore, Menon will nurture and grow client relationships at Merkle across the region with a focus on helping brands deliver customer experiences that are meaningful and valuable to people everywhere.

His appointment is effective by 20 December, 2021, where he will be reporting to Z Shen, president at Merkle APAC.

“As clients across the region make rapid strides towards being customer-centric and purpose driven, I will focus on bringing them the best that Merkle and dentsu have to offer. Together with the outstanding talent at Merkle across the APAC markets, I’m confident that we’ll bring added value and growth to our clients’ businesses,” Menon said regarding his appointment.

During his time at Wunderman Thompson, he focused on the top clients across the APAC region and on building client-centric teams and practices. Menon has spent almost twenty-five years at WPP across Ogilvy India, Kinetic, Wunderman, and Wunderman Thompson.

“Krishnan is the perfect leader to guide Merkle’s growth and maturity, as we evolve our client services in lock-step with the big investments in capabilities and specialization we’re bringing to markets like Australia, New Zealand, India, China, Singapore and others. Merkle has the talent perfectly suited to accelerating our entire industry and Menon will ensure our clients get the best of us,” Shen stated.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

theAsianparent Group names first-ever chief commercial officer

Singapore – theAsianparent (TAP), the content and community platform for parents in Southeast Asia has announced its first-ever chief commercial officer, former Johnson & Johnson Digital Director for APAC, Akshay Trivedi

The new appointment comes as TAP recently makes a similar stride in its leadership, welcoming Fiza Hasan Malhotra to inaugurate the platform’s chief brand officer role. 

Trivedi brings with him almost two decades of experience in digital marketing, customer engagement, sales, and market research across FMCG, finance, and media. At J&J, he started out as a digital lead, eventually elevating to the role of APAC regional director for digital, media & content excellence. Trivedi was also previously a director at Edelman Digital and was a senior digital product manager at Standard Chartered Bank. 

For the inaugural role, Trivedi is charged to lead the group’s commercial unit which comprises 60 people. He will be developing and driving global commercial strategy for TAP. 

TAP said Trivedi sets out to boost the group’s market share and revenue through both online and offline opportunities as well as through tapping innovations that would deliver breakthrough products and services to the brand’s parent community.

On reaching the said goals amid the ongoing pandemic, Trivedi mentions “continuing to grow our product lines especially around personalization, making healthcare professionals part of our community” and bringing roadmap that would center around “4 Ps: cutting-edge Products, high impact Platforms, providing our People with the right growth opportunities and designing the most relevant solutions for our business Partners.”

Trivedi also seeks to match external trends with internal potential.

 “A lot has changed in the industry in the last 18 months. Businesses have become a lot more performance and conversion focussed. With a fantastic mix of the best talent and products in the industry, the opportunity is there for us to enable our business partners to realize the best ROI through our cutting-edge solutions,” added Trivedi. 

On the appointment, TAP founder and Group CEO, Roshni Mahtani Cheung, shares, “Akshay’s track record in strategizing at scale while playing to the core strengths of a brand, company, and its people is what we’re banking on to bring cohesiveness to our growth initiatives, where we’ve already got all the right elements in place: excellent products, an engaged community, strong partnerships, and deep purpose. 

She adds, “As a young dad and having worked with top brands across industries, he understands the needs of the community and of clients, respectively. This enables us to better serve both and all grow together.”

TAP is currently present in 13 countries in Southeast Asia and available in 11 languages.

Last March, its community for parent influencers, VIP Parents (VIPP), entered the Top 5 Stories of MARKETECH APAC. In an exclusive conversation, VIPP’s Co-Founders Heena Singh and Jessica Tremel shared the difference parent influencers make in inspiring fellow parents on the best brand and services for their families. 

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Venture builder Mana Partners appoints Matthew Zatto as new chief commercial officer

Singapore – Mana Partners, the global gaming and esports venture builder, has appointed Matthew Zatto, former chief executive officer at hybrid consulting firm Travel Intelligence Partners, to be its new chief commercial officer.

Mana Partners is a trading, technology, and asset management firm launched last year which constitutes a brand consultancy, technology development, and industry investments. The venture builder aims to help brands, startups, and rights owners to unlock new communities and opportunities through partnerships and programs.

Based out of Singapore, Zatto, for the new role, will be developing new revenue streams and commercial partnership opportunities in order to expand the company across SEA. He will be joining a diverse founding team that includes some of the region’s most experienced industry leaders, namely, Jamie Lewin, the managing partner and chief strategy officer at Mana Partners, and Mike Kang, the company’s managing partner and chief operating officer. 

Zatto brings with him over 14 years of experience in martech and advertising across a variety of sectors. Aside from his former role at Travel Intelligence Partners, Zatto has also previously worked as the vice president of sales at global permissioned data and verified identity firm Adara. Some of his past roles also include being the destination marketing sales manager for SEA at travel company TripAdvisor, and being the sales and business development lead at Wildfire Interactive, the social media SaaS platform that was acquired by Google.

Zatto commented he is excited to be joining the Mana team at such a tipping point in the gaming and esports growth story. 

“I believe Mana Partners has a novel business model and tremendously talented management team that uniquely positions us to capitalize on the opportunity in SEA and beyond. As the ecosystem evolves, I believe Mana Partners can be the economic catalyst in the gaming and esports industry,” said Zatto.

Meanwhile, Lewin believes that Zatto will be bringing invaluable experience in scaling high-growth and innovative businesses across the region and his commercial acumen, adaptability, and quenchless enthusiasm will undoubtedly set them up for success in driving the business forward.

“At Mana Partners, we bring the uniquely diverse experience of our people – within game developers, publishers, esports producers, brands, media agencies, and technology companies – to brand challenges,” noted Lewin.

In the coming months, the company has announced that it plans to develop and launch proprietary technologies and rapidly grow the business across SEA before further expansion into North America and Europe.

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Marketing Featured ANZ

Tech suite Reekoh appoints former Technology One exec as new CCO

Brisbane, Australia – Integration platform Reekoh has appointed former Technology One general manager Steve Terry to be Reekoh’s newest chief commercial officer.

Under his new duties, he will be responsible with the company’s revenue, growth strategy and execution for Reekoh’s Industrial IoT (IIoT) integration cloud and product suite across direct and channel customers/partners.

“2020 was quite a year with its fair share of challenges, but throughout everything, we’ve seen the market opportunity for integrating physical and digital environments grow substantially, our value proposition become incredibly validated and increasingly in demand,” said Dale Rankine, Reekoh CEO and co-founder.

He added, “Steve’s extensive and stellar performance in commercial growth of IP, solutions and services in asset-heavy industries, along with his international market experience and networks made him the perfect addition to our executive team. Now is the time for us to capitalise on what we’ve built and to execute on the opportunity we have to become a dominant player in the digital transformation and integration of industrial enterprise.”

Prior to joining Reekoh, Steve Terry also assumed the role of chief commercial officer at logistics company XL Express, where he helped in creating modern marketing platforms, lead generation, and brand value for the brand across ANZ.

“I’m excited to have an opportunity to join Reekoh at a time when we are seeing a significant shift in the convergence of operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) platforms. In the next three years, 50% of operational organizations will have blended IT/OT functions that combine both operational and IT expertise. With the internet of things (IOT) and industrial internet of things (IIOT) markets are expected to grow into the trillions by 2025, Reekoh is at the forefront of this incredible wave of transformational change,” Terry stated.

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Main Feature Marketing APAC

August’s Top Five: Marketing and Tech stories that hooked you for the month

For the month of August, marketing leaders had it big, with the top stories that took most of your attention are those that have spotlighted marketing experts.

One was a retelling of a Filipino corporate communications head’s success story, another was an Asian eCommerce platform’s appointment of a new chief commercial officer, and also, a point-by-point marketing measurement plan authored, none other than by a tenured player in the field.

The latest on virtual and augmented reality also made heads turn this month. The strike of the pandemic made for hardened and limited times, but with tech, it was an opportunity to ride on the connective powers of VR and AR, unleashing the best of the digital experience to carry on a new normal.

Here, we’ve made a run down of all of them. Based on Google Analytics from July 20th to August 16th, these were the top 5 stories for the month:

Top 5: The PR expert of the holy grail chicken brand in the Philippines: Mark De Joya

In the premiere of our interview webisode, #MARKETECHMondays, we featured Filipino marketing expert Mark de Joya who shared the journey he trailed before finally becoming the head of corporate communications of Max’s Group, the company behind the country’s most sought after restaurants.

Although, like any other head start, his first foray into marketing can be said to be “humble,” it is still a stint with that of consumer product behemoth Unilever, its Philippine leg. Since then, what he had was a meaningful immersion to the industry of advertising having worked thereafter with international creative agency McCann Worldgroup.

Truly a self-made man, Mark was revealed to be overflowing with personal formulas and borrowed wisdom from his mentors. One of them, he got from then McCann chief strategy officer Gino Borromeo, which spotlights a different side of creativity, that is, creativity isn’t just being artsy, but the ability to solve problems.

His advice to young marketers, “A lot of people might not feel that they are built for the marketing [or] advertising industry because they don’t think that they are creative enough. I will say, creativity is important, but the one thing that enables that is curiosity. The best marketers I’ve met are also the most curious.”

Top 4: Digging into the ropes of marketing measurement with Salesforce Datorama CMO Leah Pope

From whom is it better to acquire insight into the importance of marketing data than from a marketing maven straight out of the field of extracting marketing insights?

Chief marketing officer of data insights platform Datorama, Leah Pope in July lent her thought leadership piece on this important feature of marketing management, and not just marketing measurement on any normal day, but crafting a strategy at this time of uncertainty.

She imparts four steps: Harmonizing the often siloed marketing data into a single source; setting up a set of standardized data for data hygiene; rechecking goals and benchmarks to track marketing progress amid a new normal; and finally, aligning a single system of record of marketing data to collaborate the now branched out remote setup of marketing teams.

Top 3: Malaysia’s Entropia and manufacturing firm UMW’s virtual museum

To imagine within our thinkable minds a museum of virtual experience will always, for the meantime, send us all in awe. And that is exactly what judges from the fourth International VR Awards have felt with Malaysian tech innovator Entropia’s virtual museum of company UMW, granting them a nomination for the award-giving body’s social impact award.

The immersive experience offers six degrees of freedom to move through manufacturing firm UMW’s artifacts, enabling teleport from one scenario to the next. Users are able to view the very first products UMW had assembled: the Toyota Corolla KE 10 in 1968, the first Komatsu bulldozer, as well as an education on the Rolls Royce engine casing manufacturing and assembly that was accomplished right in Malaysia.

The museum isn’t just nominated for any category, but a social impact category, one described to shine on companies and individuals that produce products that have made a significant social impact on the world around them.

UMW said, “We used VR as a platform [for the company] to impress [and] attract talents both young and old, and above all, [as] a testament on how a corporate legacy can be kept alive using technology.”

Of course, winners of the award will be announced virtually, slated to take place in November.

Top 2: Another Entropia news, but now, an augmented reality car showroom

In latter July, BMW Malaysia unveiled its all-new BMW X5 xDrive45e M Sports model, but that wasn’t the only exciting part. For the first time, the marque in Malaysia ran a model launch via an augmented reality (AR) experience, courtesy of the ingenuity of Entropia’s experience design unit, Entropia Extended Reality (EXR).

Countries’ lockdowns amid the pandemic made it nearly impossible for consumers to visit showrooms, let alone attend a car launch, and this is where EXR comes to the rescue.

EXR Head Ramakrishnan CN said the usage of extended reality (XR) for marketing and advertising is no longer a niche, and that the COVID-19 has definitely accelerated the pace of demand.

Entropia explains how the AR works: “By just clicking the link [on BMW’s app], the users will be able to get a virtually realistic 3D model of the car, and by just tapping the screen, they can reposition the car, [view it] at different angles, pinch and resize it, and slide in any direction for a 360° view.”

Talk about a fusion of innovation.

Top 1: The month of August puts Keepital’s appointment of CCO to top story

For the top story of the month, people news is at the heart of it. By July, congratulations have been in order as Asia-focused B2B eCommerce platform Keepital announced that they have appointed a new chief commercial officer, sales veteran Arthur Ng.

Arthur’s seasoned experience in B2B digital advertising sector matches the core offering of Keepital: bringing together buyers and suppliers in a central location; boasting a directory of B2B sales executives to put through businesses on a forum where they can network with each other.

Arthur has been a staple player in the function of business development since 2008, having worked with companies such as publisher The Green Book, supply chain Singapore Post, online media Purple Click, and the similar-natured Innity.

His responsibilities were as specific as it gets: ownership of the customer and the customer interface with the product or service offering, where he’s charged with making sure that all functions of the organization are aligned to meet strategic commercial objectives

MARKETECH APAC caught up with Arthur and he shared, “My past weeks with Keepital were pretty amazing and fulfilling. [I’ve been] going in-depth to understand the platform’s enclosed system, speaking to SME bosses to understand their marketing pain points and requirements.”

Watch the MARKETECH APAC REPORTS of these top five stories, with exclusive appearance and commentary from the newsmakers themselves.

If you have interesting stories, thought-leadership pieces, and case studies in the area of marketing, technology, media platforms and SME, please send us an email at [email protected]. Who knows your story could be part of our top 5 next month.