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Marketing Featured APAC

Australian consultancy BeingIconic opens in Asia, names Jack Lim as principal 

Singapore – BeingIconic, an Australian consultancy centred around strategic marketing, commercial and operational expertise–is opening in Asia with backing from Singapore-based Avyan Holdings. It has also appointed Jack Lim as its principal for BeingIconic’s Asia operations based in Singapore.

Lim was previously the partner and chief growth officer at Avyan Global and former chief commercial and partnerships officer at ONE Championship and chief commercial officer at Mediacorp.

Following successful collaborations with over 50 scale-ups in Australia, BeingIconic has closed a pre-seed friends and family capital raise to expand operations in Asia and the UK, build out strategy and client services teams as well as investing in marketing and business development.

BeingIconic supports companies to scale outside of existing internal capabilities through flexible delivery of strategic marketing, network expansion, commercial and operational expertise. It has closed a A$1m pre-seed round with investment from Avyan Holdings, founded by former Havas chairman and CEO for South East Asia, Japan and Korea, Vishnu Mohan.

Peter Brocklebank, partner and managing director at BeingIconic said, “Since launching two years ago, we have taken a deliberate and staged approach to validate the proposition to ensure it delivers for companies ready for their scale-up journey. Scale-ups typically don’t fail because they don’t have a good product, they fail because they only have a great product. BeingIconic brings deep insights, expertise and networks to fuel the next phase of growth by becoming an integral part of their teams through expert guidance across marketing, operations and finance functions.”

Meanwhile, Ian Bell, partner and chief innovation officer at BeingIconic, commented, “There are significant opportunities to take the product and service innovations of Asian businesses and expand them out to new markets. BeingIconic’s mission is to grow these entrepreneurial scale-ups beyond their internal potential, be a trusted partner and help them realise their ambitions. The founders  together with our new shareholders are experienced in doing just that and now we are bringing this combined experience, and that of our wider team to scale-ups in Asia.”

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Marketing Featured ANZ

Elliot Giakalis appointed as Bastion Reputation’s principal consultant for media, public affairs

Australia – Corporate communications and business consultancy Bastion Reputation has appointed Elliott Giakalis as its principal consultant for media and public affairs.

Giakalis is an experienced communications and corporate affairs professional with a background in financial law. He was previously with the Australia Post, where he managed the national media team throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, provided strategic counsel to senior executives nationally, and was the speechwriter for successive CEOs.

He also brings valuable experience in state government, where he was previously a senior media adviser to the Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas. In this role, he oversaw and executed the media strategy on four Victorian State Budgets and several significant government financial transactions, including the lease of the Port of Melbourne.

He started his career as a lawyer at the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), with a focus on financial services regulation and compliance and the obligations of market participants, before moving into corporate affairs.

Bastion Reputation Managing Director, Clare Gleghorn, said she was pleased to welcome Elliot to the firm’s growing team. 

“Elliot is a wonderful addition to our team and, as a Principal Consultant, will bring his breadth of skills and deep expertise to continue to support our expanding client base nationally. Elliot further strengthens Bastion Reputation’s ability to help clients, as their trusted advisors, navigate the often-complex intersection between business, government, and the community. The entire team looks forward to working with Elliot as we continue to meet our clients’ needs whilst building the Bastion Reputation business,” she stated.

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Marketing Featured Global

AnalogFolk launches new consultancy ‘Mindworks Consulting’

London, United Kingdom – Independent digital creative agency AnalogFolk has announced the launch of ‘Mindworks Consulting’, a behavioural transformation consultancy which aims to deliver improved business outcomes through applying behavioural economics to both marketing strategy and organisational design. 

The new consultancy aims to help its clients achieve their business transformation ambitions by embedding behavioural science methodologies at the heart of the business to allow it to be nimble and reactive to changing business and customer needs. 

According to Bill Brock, co-founder and chief client officer at AnalogFolk Group, the founding team of Mindworks has been proving out their methodologies across a number of AFG’s leading clients over the past few years.

“This work has been pivotal for clients such as Dyson, Bayer and HSBC, allowing them to quickly identify business opportunities and help them change direction based on a real-time understanding of customer behaviour. It’s that success that has led to us making it a formal offering by launching MindWorks,” Brock said.

The new Mindworks Consultancy is led by Brad Herholdt as CEO; Michelle Watson, principal behavioural partner, and Mark Barry, principal consulting partner, all who previously worked together as business leaders at AnalogFolk. Bill Brock, AFG’s Founder will work closely with the team in his role as chief client officer, ensuring that MindWorks’ global clients benefit from the services across AFG’s portfolio of brands. 

As part of AFG, MindWorks becomes a partner brand to full-service digital creative agency AnalogFolk, content production company Untold Fable, and automation and tech engineering company With Robots, the latter two of which the group launched last year. 

Operating out of London, the consultancy is leveraging AFG‘s network presence in the US, Europe, Asia and Australia, providing a service to global clients whose briefs seek to deliver new value across the world. 

Herholdt commented, “Speaking to our clients, we know that every day, companies are struggling to keep up with the pace of change and how it influences their business. They are tired of 5-year vision decks that don’t make it further than the slides they are written on. MindWorks is impact focused, creating actionable roadmaps that we launch quickly so that our visions are built on real customer behaviours and organisational dynamics.”

Meanwhile, Chris Ryan, managing director and partner at AnalogFolk, commented, “We often talk about the need to operate at ‘Asian speed’ in this region, driven by the rapidly evolving and unrelenting expectations of Asian consumers in an increasingly digitised and automated world. Brands who continue to take a business-out approach cannot expect to thrive here. The MindWorks team is already changing how our clients operate in this region and we are excited to build on our early success in partnership with them.”

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Marketing Featured ANZ

Sandpiper Communications expands to NZ, appoints Ed Brewster as director

Auckland, New Zealand – Hong Kong-based communications and public affairs consultancy Sandpiper Communications has announced that it will be expanding to New Zealand by establishing a new office in the country. In addition, the consultancy has appointed Ed Brewster as director for New Zealand alongside assuming the position of director of international media at Sandpiper Communications.

Brewster has worked in corporate affairs both in-house and agency side for 25 years across the technology, financial and infrastructure sectors. Brewster previously led the corporate affairs, public policy and media for Huawei in the UK, as well as managing international media relations for Huawei Group in London. Prior to this, he was head of global media relations for Prudential.

Speaking about his appointment, Brewster said that in addition to being the perfect base for their primary industries offering, they believe that the consultancy can bring significant, tangible value to outward-looking New Zealand organizations. 

“Sandpiper’s established presence across Australia, Hong Kong, mainland China, and Southeast Asia gives us a unique platform to help tell the stories of New Zealand companies to target growth and investment. While brand [in] New Zealand is very strong, significant opportunities for local brands remain untapped, and we want to help close this gap,” Brewster said.

Brewster will be supported by Julia Walker, director of ESG and sustainability at Sandpiper Communications, and Kelly Johnston, COO at Sandpiper Communications

Walker has worked in finance, technology, ESG and international business and market development for 20 years. She has driven the international market expansion for major multinational financial data company, Refinitiv, and provided advisory services on the changing business, regulatory, sustainability and technology landscape across Asia-Pacific.

Regarding her appointment, she noted that they believe that with their network and experience across the region, they are well placed to attract international investment for the consultancy.

“Now is the time for New Zealand companies to unlock the opportunity that the transition to a low carbon and digital economy presents. Integrating climate risks and opportunities and understanding global regulatory and business environment changes will help position businesses for future success. Green finance is on the rise and many international investors are very keen to find opportunities in New Zealand,” Walker said.

Meanwhile,, Johnston has two decades of experience in strategic communications, financial communications, public affairs and sustainability for organizations across a variety of sectors in Asia, Australia and Europe, with recently his stint as a journalist for Radio New Zealand.

“The potential for New Zealand companies has never looked stronger, their entrepreneurial nature combined with brand New Zealand means there are real opportunities for growth and investment. I look forward to helping New Zealand organisations realise their ambitions, and further extending our primary industries experience to clients across the Asia Pacific region,” Johnston said.

Sandpiper is also pleased to announce it has appointed Isabella Durant as a senior account executive in New Zealand, reporting to Ed Brewster.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Thai programmatic consultancy Bidmath launches academy to train skills on Google’s DV360 platform

Bangkok, Thailand – Bidmath, a global programmatic consultancy, has opened an academy for the special training of Display & Video 360 (DV360), Google’s unified platform for programmatic buying.

DV360 is an end-to-end campaign management tool, which aside from media planning and buying, enables advertisers to manage creative development and run measurement for campaigns across display, video, TV, and audio.

The training academy was put up with an aim to increase the adoption of programmatic industry knowledge in the country. According to Bidmath, despite the substantial growth of programmatic advertising in Thailand, there is a lack of deep technical knowledge.

A study by ad tech firm Rubicon Project reflects such observation, having found that 43% of advertisers in Asia are either extremely or somewhat hesitant to switch from the traditional way of media buying through an insertion order (IO) to the more automated mode of programmatic buying. The study also suggested that the single biggest challenge hindering further growth of programmatic advertising budgets is a lack of understanding and appropriate skills to effectively plan and execute programmatic ad campaigns.

Three courses will be initially offered, with each focusing on a specific topic within DV360: private marketplace buying, optimization best practices, and the fundamentals. Courses will be offered in Thai, Vietnamese, and English, and will be available both virtually and in-person.

Director of Bidmath Asia KK Sharma said that the lack of understanding and technical skills are slowing advertisers down when considering the adoption of programmatic guaranteed spends and the potential upside for local publishers such as Viu for example.

“By introducing courses in local languages, we hope to see increased adoption of programmatic advertising across Asia, but there is still a long way to go. Courses in Thai and Vietnamese were launched to accelerate growth and reach,” Sharma said.