Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

CREA expands capabilities to enable int’l brands to reach consumers in SEA

Singapore – Digital commerce enabler in SEA, CREA, has announced a new and enhanced offering that will enable it to efficiently import international brands to Southeast Asia, acting as their gateway to the market.

The extended offering means that CREA now offers brands the full spectrum of support regarding importation, licensing, product strategy, and distribution across online, social, and offline commerce channels. With this, brands will be able to rapidly accelerate their entrance to the Southeast Asian market, which is estimated to be made up of 350 million online shoppers, according to an annual study conducted by Bain & Company and commissioned by Facebook.

In addition to this end-to-end support, brands can now leverage CREA’s community of digital content creators to amplify their reach and drive mass awareness and engagement amongst consumer audiences through social channels such as TikTok and Instagram. Brands will also be able to access its in-house marketing, branding, and data-driven insight capabilities to further drive sales and reach new audiences, with the aim of establishing themselves as household brands in the region. CREA will also be offering brands access to its technology-driven logistics network, further streamlining their entrance to the market.

Aimone Ripa di Meana, founder and co-chief executive officer of CREA, shared that this transformation of their business was a natural progression for their company, and they are proud to see how much they have grown in such a short space of time. 

“We started working with brands in Southeast Asia that were looking to ramp up their digital presence, and now with our expanded capabilities, we can support international brands on their journey to enter the market. We look forward to bringing more global brands to the region and driving their success,” he said. 

CREA said that the new offering launches with it having already secured exclusive rights to distribute and manage some of the hottest new-generation brands from the United States, including skincare and beauty brands Mario Badescu, ILIA, and Malin+Goetz. More brand partners will be announced in due course.

Technology Featured APAC

Consumers from SG, HK expect brands to connect with them at a deeper level: survey

Singapore – About 80% of consumers in Singapore and Hong Kong want brands to connect with them personally, and 70% say that brands have deepened their relationship in the past year through positive online experiences, according to a survey by digital experience management software Sitecore.

The survey showed that seven out of 10 consumers have deeper relationships with brands, while the key to securing better experiences for consumers was to deliver quality customer service support and interactions, good customer experience when making a big-ticket item, positive initial interaction with a new brand, and through providing a relevant, helpful experience. The elements that trumped price were the high quality of products with 66%, reliability with 55%, and transparency and believability with 46%.

The same survey also found that consumers still greatly value the excitement of the in-store shopping experiences, with 36% saying they want to buy everything online, and 53% saying they ‘live for the experience’ and love to shop in person. Meanwhile, consumers place top priority on the ability to shop on mobile devices where apps or websites work well with 54%, and sites that remember their shopping preferences with 42%.

Joey Lim, Sitecore’s president for APJ, noted that consumers expect outstanding digital commerce experiences and they also expect online platforms and apps to work seamlessly, and their desire to shop in-store is very strong, however, the shift to digital is putting more pressure on brands to deliver quality customer service online. 

Lim also shared the survey showed that one in three consumers believe brands that show empathy and understanding will build stronger relationships with customers.

“Brands can pursue actions that build a stronger relationship with customers, such as illustrating empathy and understanding what they need at the moment. They can do this by providing insightful recommendations and deploying imagery and language that makes them feel represented by the brand,” she added. 

Moreover, the report revealed that loyalty changes frequently, as less than 25% of consumers are very loyal to their favourite brand store but consumer technology, banking services, and consumer goods deliver the strongest brand loyalty. It also found that consumers say that they have confidence in their favourite brand because it meets their expectations, gains trust, and guarantees satisfaction.

Meanwhile, discounts, loyalty programmes, and clear communications are highly valued when brands have to change prices, and more than 90% agree that brands need to prove that they treat their customers and their employees fairly. The survey also showed that while more consumers under the age of 44 are digital converts, most consumers love to shop in person for most of their purchases, and 40% say they chose to shop at brands with values that align with their own, as well as a third of consumers say that they have chosen to shop at brands with ‘real life’ vs. ‘perfect life’ experiences.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Databricks launches ‘Lakehouse for Media and Entertainment’

Singapore – Global data and AI company and pioneer of the data lakehouse paradigm, has launched the first lakehouse platform for data-driven businesses in the media and entertainment industry. The Lakehouse for Media & Entertainment enables organizations across the media ecosystem to deliver better data and AI outcomes for consumers, advertisers and media partners with a single and collaborative platform for data, analytics and AI. 

Databricks customers like Acxiom, Warner Bros. Discovery, and SEGA are among the earliest adopters. With Brickbuilder Solutions, accelerators, and a powerful partner ecosystem, businesses can create tailored customer experiences, prepare for consumer analytics at scale, and empower increased cooperation among media teams. 

The Lakehouse for Media and Entertainment integrates data solutions and use-case accelerators for essential industry use cases such as AI-driven recommendation engines, customer lifetime value and churn, quality of experience, community toxicity analysis, advertising optimization and more.

Companies may use Databricks’ powerful analytics to build a holistic view of their audience and advertisers, make real-time choices, and spur innovation. Databricks enables media companies to use all of their data – including photos, video, and other unstructured data types – to establish a comprehensive understanding of their consumers by supporting real-time analytics, business intelligence (BI), and sophisticated AI capabilities on all data kinds.

Designed to jumpstart the analytics process, Lakehouse for Media & Entertainment Solution Accelerators offers a blueprint of data analytics and machine learning use cases and best practices to save weeks or months of development time for an organization’s data engineers and data scientists. 

Popular accelerators for Databricks customers in the media and entertainment industry includes recommendation engines to create more personalised customer experiences with AI-powered content recommendations that drive engagement and monetization opportunities, followed by consumer lifetime value models that easily identify and better understand the most valuable customers with CLV models that concentrate on spending patterns and retention. In order to ensure a high-quality streaming experience, it is important to examine both streaming and batch data sets to ensure a smooth experience for the user. Through the offering, it is also possible to create healthier gaming communities by utilising natural language processing to detect toxic language in in-game user comments and discussions, and this can be done in real-time.

Along with AWS, consulting partners like Cognizant and Lovelytics are accelerating the adoption of the lakehouse platform by developing Brickbuilder Solutions for the Media and Entertainment industry, tailor-made to combine the power of the Databricks Lakehouse Platform with the proven experience of partners. The Lakehouse for Media and Entertainment launches with additional support and capabilities from technology partners Labelbox and Fivetran.

Steve Sobel, global industry leader for media & entertainment at Databricks, said that executing a strategy around data, analytics and AI is more critical than ever for media companies to remain agile, competitive and data-driven as audience demands change with the rapidly evolving media landscape.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with industry leaders like AWS, Cognizant, Fivetran, Labelbox and Lovelytics to bring the Databricks Lakehouse for Media and Entertainment to the industry, and enable media leaders to personalize, monetize and innovate in delivering smarter, 1;1 experiences for consumer and advertisers across the globe,” Sobel said.