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Marketing Featured Global

PRM Marketing Services announces transition to accelerate existing business globally

Singapore – PRM Marketing Services (PRMMS) has announced that it is transitioning its business to focus on providing services concerning customer and channel partner marketing, including B2B2C, customer relationship management (CRM), partner relationship management (PRM), as well as incentives and rewards, to a more global focus.

Their global strategy will be focused on the markets of Asia-Pacific (APAC), Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), as well as North America.

PRMMS is led by CEO JB Ray who has been spearheading its CRM and PRM business since 2003. Said transition marks a major milestone for the company in accelerating its loyalty and relationship marketing business independently which has been growing for two decades across APAC markets.

Speaking about the transition, Ray said, “Formation of PRMMS is a strategic move guided by innovation, growth and our ambition to be the disruptor in CRM, PRM and Incentives and Rewards category. We envision the future is about ecosystem led b2b2c solutions and we are not stopping until we help transform and enable the industry to be efficient and effective in managing customers and channel partners.”

As part of the transition, PRMMS has also confirmed several key management updates, namely Carolin Chan as VP for strategy and marketing, while Binesh George has been appointed as chief technology officer. Chan and George have been with the company for 15 years.

Speaking about his appointment, Chan said, “I am excited about PRMMS evolution and impacts we can bring to markets. I will be focusing to further enhance our capabilities, help our global clients expand to APAC and EMEA markets and strengthen our marketing activities, consistent with our business strategies.”

Meanwhile, George commented, “Technology has been our key enabler and I am looking forward to further accelerating the productization and transformation process of our solutions ensuring security, compliance and scalability needs of our clients.”

Ray further added, “The new organisation structure together with our strategic direction will allow us to develop innovative solutions and redefine how CRM, PRM and Incentives and Rewards will operate in the future in ecosystem led environments and bring strategic benefits to clients, partners and customers.”

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Technology Featured Global

Freshworks launches CRM suite for startups

Singapore – Following the company’s recently-concluded event Refresh 2021, software company Freshworks has announced the launch of Freshstack, a customer relationship management (CRM) suite built for the unique needs of startups that unifies customer support, sales, and marketing teams. 

The product bundle helps startups personalize marketing to generate pipeline and deliver effortless omnichannel service for faster growth, at an affordable price point that’s easy to deploy and manage.

Said suite combines three Freshworks’ products: Freshdesk, Freshsales and Freshmarketer.

Freshdesk is an omnichannel customer support solution with a new unified inbox and collaboration functionality across support, sales and marketing teams, to help businesses resolve issues faster. Meanwhile, Freshsales is a unified sales intelligence solution with context-driven forecasting and pipeline management. Lastly, Freshmarketer is marketing automation software that enables AI-driven lead generation, email personalization and send optimization.

Speaking about the suite launch, Girish Mathrubootham, CEO and founder of Freshworks, said, “Startup founders should ensure that their developers are focused on building their core technology, not babysitting their CRM stack. From day one, Freshworks has built products that democratize access to modern, easy-to-use software. Freshstack builds on that commitment by helping the titans of tomorrow get going faster today.”

The combination of Freshworks applications helps give startups what they need to instantly get up and running with a CRM platform that attracts new customers, builds lasting relationships with existing users and scales as their customer base grows. Companies can get going with up to US$3,000 in credits for Freshstack, as part of the Freshworks Startup Program.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Astro taps CRM firm Evergent for streaming service sooka

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Multimedia broadcasting Astro has tapped customer relationship management (CRM) company Evergent, to activate monetization for its newest streaming service sooka, launched last June this year.

Through the partnership, Astro will use Evergent’s customer management and monetization tools to support registration and subscription management for sooka. Offering both free ad-supported content and subscription services, sooka unites live international sports programming with popular Malaysian dramas and entertainment programs.

For Euan Smith, chief executive officer of TV and group chief operations officer at Astro, the company’s mission is to provide Malaysians with entertaining and informative content, reaching as many customers as possible through the most popular platforms and devices.

“Through our partnership with Evergent, we are now able to offer multiple pricing options for our new sooka streaming platform while also retaining the ability to unlock new business opportunities as we scale the service. As a result, our customers can choose the pricing model and payment methods that best match their needs, allowing Malaysians to enjoy premium content and live sports anytime, anywhere,” Smith said.

Meanwhile, Vijay Sajja, founder and CEO of Evergent, notes that Astro’s new flexible monetization options, powered by Evergent’s technology, will now make premium content more accessible to millions of Malaysians.

“Through Evergent’s global partnerships, we are able to work together with the most innovative media and entertainment companies in each country or region. Astro is the market leader for Malaysian entertainment and a leader in Southeast Asia, and we are proud to help them further grow their business through the launch of sooka,” Sajja stated.

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Marketing Featured ANZ

HubSpot’s World Certification Week for this year to empower indigenous people through education

Sydney, Australia – Leading customer relationship management (CRM) platform HubSpot is coming out with another World Certification Week, an event it first introduced in 2020, that encourages professionals around the world to dedicate the period of the event to learning by completing certifications at HubSpot Academy. This year’s version has grown into a week-long global virtual event. 

Through the event, the CRM platform will offer live, online learning events and aims to provide an opportunity to take this to the next level by helping participants prepare for the certification exams. 

Something new HubSpot will be offering would be its partnership with the GO Foundation, which will benefit the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia through education, as well as establishing scholarship programs for indigenous people.

Through this campaign, HubSpot donates AUD$5 to an education-focused nonprofit every time a certification is awarded globally for free; certifications secured in Australia and New Zealand will count toward a donation to The GO Foundation, which will be up to AUD$15,000.

In addition, HubSpot and the GO Foundation are currently exploring new ways of working together, including the possibilities of partnering and the development of a bespoke mentoring program and an internship program for Indigenous university students who are interested in a career in tech. HubSpot is also working towards establishing a volunteering program with GO, enabling HubSpot employees in Australia to support GO and its students. 

Kat Warboys, APAC marketing Director at HubSpot, states that they are proud of their work with the GO Foundation, adding that this supports their work in creating pathways and systems for indigenous youth to successfully transition from school and university into the workplace.

“Education and upskilling has always been a priority for HubSpot. Learning and growth is built into our culture, and is something we encourage and support our team to do because we know how important it is for personal and professional development. World Certification Week is a marker of this, and we’re pleased to be able to extend our work with a local initiative to support the GO Foundation in empowering Indigenous youth through education,” Warboys stated.

Meanwhile, Charlene Davison, CEO of the GO Foundation, commented, “The GO Foundation is grateful for the support we will receive from Hubspot during World Certification Week. The donation will have a significant impact on the work we do with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to fulfil their aspirations and enable educational opportunities. We appreciate support from organizations who share similar values and look forward to exploring ways of working together into the future.”

Learners can join HubSpot’s trainer to prepare for their exams, learn alongside peers and learn how to make the most of certifications on resumes and networking profiles. Throughout the event, learners can share their progress with colleagues and friends on social media using the hashtag #WorldCertWeek.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Globe secures stake in Salesforce’s partner Third Pillar for CRM solutions

Manila, Philippines – Philippine telecommunications company Globe announced that it has secured a 67% stake in business applications company Third Pillar, a partner of customer relationship management (CRM) company Salesforce.

The acquisition comes as the local telco giant targets an even more improved customer experience for its user base. Globe has shown its diversity in terms of mobile and data services, delivering access on global platforms such as Netflix, Viu, and Spotify. Furthermore, the telco industry has become a lifeline for most businesses by introducing connectivity, cloud, cybersecurity, and a host of other digital solutions befitting a remote work structure.

According to Peter Maquera, senior vice president for Globe Business, the partnership stems from their desire to give the telco’s enterprise customers a holistic experience, and at the same time playing a vital part in helping navigate through Salesforce and design processes that work for Globe.

Maquera admits that prior to utilizing Salesforce, they had no integrated view of customers, which were already at thousands. He mentioned that they were closing deals but not as fast as they hoped, and they didn’t have all of the information they needed to take immediate actions.

“Our collaboration with Third Pillar enabled us to use Salesforce in automating our B2B sales processes; enhancing workflows among teams, and expediting our turnaround time. With a 360-degree view of our customers, we’re able to identify where they are in the customer journey; extract more accurate forecasts and reports; improve pipeline management, and come up with faster, well-informed decisions,” Maquera explained.

He added, “In fact, after only a year into the partnership, we were able to log more than 8,000 opportunities; reduce neglected initiatives from 57 percent to 1.8 percent; diminish delayed projects from 53 percent to 1.1 percent, and decrease dwell time by 300 percent.”

Meanwhile, Maridol Ylanan, head of strategy and marketing for Globe myBusiness commented that through Third Pillar’s consulting services, combined with their background in telco, they were able to maximize Salesforce and configure it based on the telco’s needs.

“Implementing Salesforce wasn’t just about finding opportunities and closing transactions. The platform empowers us to start conversations with our customers and look out for their needs, no matter where they are in their journey. Now that we can leverage Third Pillar’s subject matter experts and industry specialists, coupled with our own experience in using Salesforce, we hope to empower more businesses to truly connect with their customers,” Ylanan stated.

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Platforms Featured Global

New report shows pandemic woes changed landscape of consumer understanding

Singapore – The current state of the world in the mid of the global pandemic has changed the perception among industry professionals on understanding the preferences of consumers, a study by enterprise listening company TalkWalker and open review platform Trustpilot showed.

According to the global study, around 82% of industry professionals believe that the pandemic has changed their understanding of consumer conversation. In addition, half of the respondents (50%) said that access to insights from consumer conversations is still limited to a specific department within their organization, which is still some way to go for data democratization. Lastly, 18% of the respondents said that their organization monitors and analyzes conversations through a unified platform.

Some of the key channels affected by the pandemic in terms of consumer understanding include social media and community management, product marketing, corporate affairs, digital marketing, customer relationship management (CRM) and customer experience.

Social media remains the top source of brand interaction, with growing focus on review sites, blogs and call centers. Around 28% of respondents said that social media is one of their three top channels for brand engagement.

The report also stated that there is much to be done in terms of analytics training and education, with less than 44% of respondents seeing their brand as extremely data-driven; yet experts identify technology as a key to move forward in 2021 and to make sense of sentiment around their brand, their competitors or their industry at scale. 

APAC leads the charge in data democratization, with 41% of respondents showing such characteristics, followed by EMEA (33%) and the United States (28%).

“Most of the brands in APAC that are struggling with insufficient data and inadequate analysis, currently rely on manual monitoring as well as a set of different tools. To reduce these difficulties, companies should consider a unified platform that gathers all necessary data, and allows them to analyze conversations at scale,” the report stated.

As a recommendation, TalkWalker and Trustpilot notes that leaders must break down information barriers, and let customer and consumer intelligence flow from all channels, as over 50% of respondents admit that data siloes still exist within their organizations. 

The report also stated various industry case studies where brands can learn from, such as the automotive industry accelerating to green mobility to the finance sector’s adoption of digital banking, as well as the rapid transformation of the pharmaceutical industry.

“Today’s consumers expect brands to meet them where they are, with empathy, and a shared set of values. Conversational Intelligence is the key to unlocking meaningful customer relationships by understanding what customers are saying, where they are saying it and why,” said Cara Buscaglia, chief innovation officer at Talkwalker.

Meanwhile, Peter Simpson, head of enterprise and global partnerships at Trustpilot commented, “Listening to and understanding customers is key to building a trusted brand. This principle is core to the services of both Trustpilot and Talkwalker, making us natural partners for this report. The findings published here will help businesses better learn what consumers expect of them, and how they can position themselves to deliver.”

The study was conducted with the participation of over 1000 marketing, PR and consumer insights professionals across APAC, EMEA and the USA.

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Technology Featured ANZ

Almost half of Australian business leaders say CRM is costing revenue: report

Sydney, Australia – Australian business leaders are stating their dissatisfaction with their current customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, new research by global software company SugarCRM shows.

According to the report, 49% of Australian sales professionals believe their CRM systems are costing them revenue, suggesting that sales leaders are struggling to ensure teams are spending enough time with customers and can access the data required to build and maintain these vital relationships.

Furthermore, the report shows that 52% of sales professionals in Australia believe that their CRM systems are unfit for purpose, while customer churn is costing mid-market companies an average of US$5.5M each per year. 

For Craig Charlton, CEO of SugarCRM, the recent data reflects the greater change in customer behavior, and businesses around the world are facing a customer relationship crisis.

“Sales teams are bogged down with administration and stuck with an inaccurate picture of the customer with little advance notice or insight into customer churn. These findings are a wake-up call for companies relying on the market-leading incumbents in CRM with software that is tuned to steady-state and known customer behaviors,” Charlton said.

The research also found that 53% of sales leaders are fatigued and frustrated with the CRM admin burden placed on their sales teams, which is taking them away from customer-facing activities. Indeed, sales reps are only spending 54% of their time selling. Furthermore, over half of sales reps in Australia (52%) reported their customer churn increased in the last 12 months, with 52% of respondents having trouble predicting when customers would churn. 

Lastly, upon reflection, almost half (48%) of those sales professionals reported not knowing why customers churned, while 50% of Australian sales leaders admit that they cannot access customer data across marketing, sales, and service systems, leaving customer-facing team members without a clear picture of their customers.

“The gap in customer data, the millions of dollars lost to churn, and the lack of insight, prevents sales and business leaders from acquiring the intelligence they need to make both vital strategic and tactical decisions. Companies that close the data gaps and improve the accuracy and completeness of their customer data, stand to improve retention, increase revenue, and gain more predictable business outcomes,” SugarCRM said in a press statement.

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Technology Featured Global

CX management Alida opens up the year with new product launch, feature enhancements on platform

Toronto, Canada – Customer experience (CX) management and customer insights platform Alida has recently announced a new slew of products and services, developed with direct feedback from their customers.

Alida’s initial product release for their Winter 2021 release is the Alida Video, which helps brands harness video to amplify their customers’ voices. Through Alida Video, brands can easily capture customer-recorded video feedback, uncover authentic, deep insights, and inform stakeholders and decision makers at the speed of business, all in a unified platform.

Meanwhile, enhancements to existing features include improvement to the platform’s deep insight feature Alida Sparq and broad feedback feature Alida Surveys.

With the improvements on the Alida CXM & Insights Platform, users can expect the following:

  • Hub Newsletter Redesign for brands to better engage their Alida Sparq insight community members and stakeholders with more visual and content-rich newsletters
  • Quotas for administrators to control the number of responses to a survey or a set of questions
  • Mobile Survey Image Enhancements to improve the respondent experience
  • Recodes & Rollups as an Early Access Program (EAP) for users to create new custom variables based on a dataset and analyze data from a different view

Included in the CXM & Insights Platform are also updates on Alida Touchpoint, including NPS® via Quick Polls, that enable organizations to keep a pulse check on brand perception. Brands can now place activities in mobile applications to engage customers with on-brand micro-surveys designed to collect contextual feedback.

“In today’s global climate, video has become an integral mode of communication to engage and connect with people. It is imperative that brands use it to humanize their customers’ emotions and glean accurate context, to put insights into action and build a great customer experience,” said Riaz Raihan, president of products and engineering at Alida

He added, “We are thrilled to provide our clients with the added value of video to deeply understand and analyze their customers by hearing and seeing them talk directly.”

Alida has also launched its FS Industry solution, specifically catered for the benefit of financial services clients. It has enhanced its CXM framework, with features such as ‘Case Management’ for case creation on the platform for customer follow up, ‘Data Lake’ for accumulating various organizational data sources in one platform, ‘Crosstab Analysis’ for checking survey data by various categories like demographic, and ‘Configurable Dashboards for Alida Surveys’ for creating a dashboard for Alida Surveys.

Alida, formerly known as Vision Critical, and headquartered in Toronto, Canada; has recently expanded its presence in the Asia Pacific