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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Tug Singapore appoints Darran Hong as SEO director

Singapore – Digital marketing agency Tug Singapore has appointed Darran Hong as its newest SEO director, where he will be responsible for leading the agency’s SEO services for its growing portfolio of clients in Southeast Asia.

Hong joins from life insurance company FWD Group as assistant SEO manager. Prior to that, he also served as senior SEO strategist at global performance marketing agency, Performics.

Hong’s new role will include responsibility for managing overall SEO for its clients in the region, helping to drive incremental growth in search to maximise return on marketing investment. This includes planning and managing site technical implementations, while also determining the strategic direction of content campaigns in line with business goals and objectives.

Speaking on his appointment, he said, “Tug’s proposition is built on using data, media, content and technology to full effect and backed by a global network of specialists. I’m delighted to be joining the team in Singapore as the agency builds its presence by delivering a new approach to performance marketing.”

Meanwhile, Karen Soo, who was recently appointed as managing director for Tug Singapore, commented, “We have identified new business opportunities in key categories including software, insurance and finance and Darran’s experience in this space will be invaluable as we embark on growing the Tug agency across the region. He is a strategic thinker who understands how to effectively use digital marketing to leverage brands and deliver results for our clients.”

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Marketing Featured ANZ

Digital marketing agency Tug names Isabel Blanchard as paid media director

Sydney, Australia — Following continued new and organic growth, digital marketing agency Tug Sydney has appointed Isabel Blanchard as paid media director. Blanchard will lead the strategy and management of Tug’s paid media clients across search, social, display and video.

Joining from Incubeta NMPI where she was senior account manager working on brands including Cue, Veronika Maine, Le Specs and Hanes Australasia, Blanchard is an experienced digital marketing strategist. She has successfully leveraged B2B and B2C brands at agencies including NOVO Digital, Admatic, Syfr and Amobee.

Charlie Bacon, general manager of Tug Sydney, said, “Blanchard has a broad depth of experience across all digital media platforms, in addition to a strong strategic and analytical understanding of how to best use paid media to deliver effective outcomes for our clients. I welcome her to the team at an exciting time for the business as we continue to grow in Australia.”

Tug, which has offices in Sydney, London, Toronto and Berlin, is a specialist in performance media and uses data, media, content and technology to optimise the digital marketing performance and return on investment for its clients including WWF, Budget Direct, NobleOak, GenesisCare and DHL, among others.

Blanchard commented on her appointment, saying, “Tug has built a strong reputation for delivering effective digital marketing strategies that drive return on investment. I’m looking forward to bringing my experience to Tug and continuing to deliver for the brands we work with.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

ZALORA MY taps Bray Leino Splash to revamp influencer program’s UX

Singapore — The Malaysian arm of e-commerce platform ZALORA has tapped digital marketing agency Bray Leino Splash to revamp the user experience of its Community Influencer Program, a reward system for influencers and customers.

ZALORA’s Community Influencer Program encourages influencers and ZALORA customers to endorse and earn via their social media platforms, rewarding them a commission on sales.  Bray Leino Splash was tasked to improve the user experience design of the site and make it easier for interested customers to sign up.

Efrain Lopez, executive creative director at Bray Leino Splash, commented on the steps the agency took, saying that they identified the previous version of the site did not succinctly communicate the USPs of the program hence customers found it harder to sign up right away.

“To this end, we stripped down the design of the site and put up the USPs upfront, & also created a straightforward FAQ section. This was fronted by a neat calculator tool to allow interested customers to calculate how much revenue they could earn simply by keying in the number of followers they had without the need to fill in a web-form,” Lopez said.

According to Zalora, its sign-ups garnered a 150% Increase after the UX revamp. Leonard Chang, regional affiliate marketing lead at ZALORA Malaysia, commented on the optimization of the program.

Chang said, “We have strong confidence in the new look of the program which has now recorded a 150% increase in the sign-up rate and a 90% increase in time spent on the site. This is the first key milestone and we hope to achieve a much better user experience through continuous optimization moving forward.”

Last October, ZALORA Philippines in partnership with Rizal Commercial Banking Corp launched its fashion and lifestyle credit card.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Lion & Lion taps Frederik Rasmussen as new client director for MY

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — Lion & Lion, the digital marketing agency headquartered in Malaysia, has announced that it has appointed young talent from dentsu, Frederik Rasmussen, as its new client director for Malaysia. Rasmussen is a previous senior consultant at dentsu and will be responsible to augment the business development department of Lion & Lion for the new role. 

Rasmussen holds extensive experience both at the client and agency side of business engagement. Aside from his consultant role at dentsu, he’s held positions as a brand, digital, and sales leader at European emergency services Falck and as a digital account manager for Vizeum prior to joining Lion & Lion. 

At dentsu, Rasmussen’s responsibilities included leading some of the agency’s top-tier accounts like BMW and Burger King. 

For the new role at Lion & Lion, Rasmussen will be responsible for managing the agency’s biggest clients and will be leading business engagements both locally and regionally. He reports to Fredrik Gumpel, CEO of Lion & Lion. 

Rasmussen expressed his delight in joining the agency, “I am excited to take on my role here at Lion & Lion. I took a big leap of faith when I decided to leave Denmark, but in order to pursue my dreams, it felt intriguing to relocate to Malaysia and join Lion & Lion.” 

The young talent also shared, “My goal is to become an active part of two areas in particular – give our clients the best service, and grow Lion & Lion to the next level. I am certain both of these goals require support and backup from my talented colleagues, thus my first plan is to listen and understand the business I’m now settling in.” 

Meanwhile, Gumpel disclosed his thoughts on the agency’s move to sign the young dentsu talent.

“Frederik Rasmussen has joined our team during a momentous phase in our agency’s growth, one in which we are expanding our capabilities, while also building a larger network of regional clients. His digital and strategic experience for big international brands from both a client and the agency side across a broad spectrum of industries will play a crucial role in taking our product to the next level,” Gumpel said. 

Gumpel adds, “As a digital-first agency, his familiarity with new marketing platforms and trends will also enhance our core strengths of marrying data and technology with creativity to deliver impactful solutions,”

Last October, the agency in Malaysia also announced the appointment of Wai Sim Liew as the new business director for the market. The series of appointments, including Rasmussen’s, are part of the company’s development efforts for the region. 

In addition, the agency, which has a presence in Asia, specifically in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Jakarta, has also recently undergone a new brand identity and position, with a tagline ‘Made to Impact’. The agency said it aims to highlight the results it provides for clients. 

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Marketing Featured South Asia

Social Panga bags Fujifilm India’s social media mandate

Mumbai, India – As part of its quest to remain a leading imaging solutions company in the local market, Fujifilm India has appointed digital marketing agency Social Panga to handle its social media duties, which will amplify the corporate philosophy and the industry presence of Fujifilm India.

Said mandate, which was won through a multi-agency pitch process, covers duties of conveying the core ideology of Fujifilm India, in ways that not only catalyze the brand’s awareness but also establish its presence in various verticals that the brand operates in.

For Tribhuwan Joshi, lead brand communication for PR and CSR at Fujifilm India, they intend to kick-start their digital and social media campaigns alongside Social Panga via inventive strategies that the agency has in store for them, as well as intending to position Fujifilm India as the imaging solutions leader that wants to create a safer, stronger and better future.

“At Fujifilm, our aim remains to tackle societal challenges through our cutting-edge technology in healthcare, materials and imaging business. We want people to know Fujifilm is a brand that believes in innovation to improve lives and we will #NeverStop innovating for a healthier and sustainable world,” Joshi stated.

Furthermore, Social Panga’s Gurugram office shall tend to the requisite by aiding Fujifilm India with substantial and engaging content, along with paving the way for groundbreaking digital and social media campaigns that blend well with its target consumers.

“Our collaboration with Fujifilm India shall make way for strategically-devised campaigns that shall bring the Fujifilm thought to the fore and place the vast reach of Fujifilm’s innovations on the radar of the Indian consumer. Social Panga strives to make a difference and with Fujifilm India onboard, we are all set to accomplish the same – creatively as well as tactfully,” said Himanshu Arora, founder at Social Panga.

The awarding of the social mandate comes at a time where Fujifilm applies its manifesto of ‘Value from Innovation’ at every step and uses its leading edge, proprietary technologies to provide top-quality products and services that help enhance the quality of life of people worldwide.

“Social Panga aims to position Fujifilm India in the social media marketing arena as a trailblazer in developing technologies that improve people’s way of life. The agency’s expertise shall pave the way for an integrated marketing approach based on nouveau ideas, crisp storytelling, and other attributes that shall fulfill the mentioned aspects,” the agency said in a press statement.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Lion & Lion appoints Wai Sim Liew as MY’s business director

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Digital marketing agency Lion & Lion has announced the appointment of Wai Sim Liew as the new business director for its Malaysian operations. Said appointment aims to reinforce the agency’s growth in the market.

Through her new role, she will be responsible for overseeing the client service department to further build on the agency’s dedication towards helping ambitious brands unlock growth.

Furthermore, she will be also taking a focused look at strengthening how the agency delivers work for its clients, while ensuring that creativity and sound strategy remains at the core of all activities.

Wai Sim brings with her 14 years of experience in the communications, advertising and media industries. Prior to joining Lion & Lion, she built her career in other agencies such as Publicis, Leo Burnett, BBDO/Proximity and most recently, Ogilvy, where she was a client service director.

“Having worked with Lion & Lion in the past and seeing them shine in their expertise on the digital front is super inspiring. I am thrilled to be joining this dynamic team bursting with their own individual talents and looking forward to working closely with every one of them to deliver business-orientated impact for our clients,” she said, regarding her appointment.

She will be reporting to Jeppe Carlsen, managing director at Lion & Lion Malaysia.

“We are excited to welcome Wai Sim to our senior management team, where she can apply her breadth of experience supporting clients from a wide range of industries. Our agency has experienced strong growth recently, particularly in accounts that have a regional scope and we intend to continue this momentum. Her entrepreneurial spirit and ability to deliver impactful results will be invaluable as we further improve our positive business growth and product offerings,” Carlsen stated.

Recently, the agency has been appointed by beverage company Carlsberg Malaysia to handle the social media account of their wheat beer product 1664 Blanc. Separately, the Singaporean arm of the agency has been appointed by Kodak to handle its global social communications, and the Indonesian arm of the agency being appointed once again by cosmetics company L’Oreal to handle its extended remit in Indonesia.

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SME Featured East Asia

SEO service HKGSEO opens up free web analysis, consulting services

Hong Kong – Website search engine optimization (SEO) services HKGSEO is opening its doors to provide free SEO analysis and consulting services worth HK$ 2,000 (US$ 257.97). 

The company said this is in response to more SMEs turning to the online market and setting up websites and online shops amid the pandemic. 

Earlier in 2020 when the pandemic struck, the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) in Hong Kong launched the ‘Distance Business (D-Biz) Programme’ subsidy, which has led to the increase of businesses opening up online sales channels for recovery. 

“Many companies are not familiar with website technology, website optimization, and SEO promotion are often ignored. In fact, SEO is one of the highest ROI of many online marketing channels and it is worthy of a long-term investment,” said the company in a press release. 

HKGSEO asserts its confidence in offering the free SEO services, having performed SEO for more than 500 enterprises, such as website analysis on CMS Web Content Management System, SSL Website Security Certificate for customer information protection, website mobile version,  as well as website loading speed and content.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Bud Communications’ SEA region expansion a response to tech client demand

Singapore – PR & marketing agency Bud Communications has expanded its presence in the Southeast Asian region by designating new appointments across its PR and digital content in Singapore, Jakarta, and Sydney.

The first appointment is Sherawaye Hagger (left of the banner picture), the agency’s new client director, and will report to Oliver Budgen (right of the banner picture), founder and managing director of Bud Communications. Prior to joining the agency, she had more than 15 years of integrated communication background and was a former practice director of H+K Strategies Singapore.

The agency has also appointed a new account executive, Virginie Cosentino, and a new account manager Maina Harjani, who was a former managing editor of Indonesia Tatler. Cosentino will overlook the agency’s digital offering, while Harjani will overlook the agency’s regional capability and editorial and content offering.

Stuart Edwards is the agency’s newly-included non-executive director, and will advise on operations and business growth and receive reports from the three aforementioned hires. Prior to joining Bud Communications, Stuart was the founding partner of the business advisory service Edwards & Cowas, was previously COO of Edelman APACMEA, and managing director and part-owner at MullenLowe Profero which was acquired by IPG in 2014. 

“As we dust ourselves off from a turbulent year that has rocked tech companies around the world, the response we’ve seen from our clients vindicates Bud’s journey in becoming Asia Pacific’s leading PR agency for challenger tech brands,” said Budgen.

He also added, “COVID-19 has shown us that as tech companies adapt to fit a changing consumer landscape, they’re increasingly looking for agile, kinetic partners that can offer impactful communications that deliver true strategic value. As a fresh, challenger agency we are extremely proud of how far we have come this year and as 2021 approaches we’re committed to continuing the momentum into the new year.”

Bud Communications’ team and regional expansion have been an effect of recent clients that they are working on, including OTT-revenue management platform, Evergent, electronics e-commerce company RS Components, entertainment marketing agency Culture Group, media intelligence company CARMA ASIA, and cybersecurity firm, White Ops.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Webqlo develops Instagram AR filter for Taiwan Excellence contest

Malaysia – In its continuing foray to integrating augmented reality (AR) into their marketing projects, local-based digital marketing agency Webqlo announces a new Instagram AR filter for Taiwan Excellence, a movement that promotes Taiwanese products and services.

The Instagram filter is developed in line with Taiwan Excellence’s “#EverydayExcellence Selfie & Win” contest for Malaysian participants, and encourages users to use the filter, share it on Instagram and Facebook to grab a chance to win prizes from the contest holder. .

The contest promotes engagement on Malaysian users to look into the promotions of Taiwan Excellence, including Taiwanese products, services and businesses.

“We’re very excited to work with them to launch this #EverydayExcellence contest as a new way to engage with their audience and also to try out AR, which is new to the brand. This is inline with the brand’s focus on innovation and response from the audience has been very encouraging as well,” Cherrie Koay, head of digital for Webqlo stated.

Koay also added that brands are increasingly investing in interactive strategies like this in a way to create more engagement in a digital aspect.

“Interactive experiences like AR and VR are fast becoming an integral part of social media marketing, especially during this pandemic. We’re seeing a lot of brands investing in AR and VR to engage with their audience in more immersive and interactive ways digitally. From launching fun branding filters to offering experiences that are typically only available in-store, brands are leveraging on these technologies to blur the lines between the virtual world and the real world.  These new technologies are definitely here to stay and will change the way we consume social media,” Koay said.

Webqlo has also worked with other AR-related projects before, including brands such as South Korean cosmetics brand LANEIGE and ZA Cosmetics.

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SME Featured Southeast Asia

Newscorp Australia’s digital marketing agency targets Singapore SMEs, ties up with SPH

Australia – News Corp Australia’s digital marketing service News Xtend has struck a partnership with Singapore’s news and publishing company Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), to target the island state’s small and medium enterprise market.

The digital marketing agency provides expert advice and know-how to SMEs to market themselves digitally, and this is the first time the agency has ventured into an overseas market.

The partnership is said to last for three years and will see the Singaporean publishing group reselling the agency’s services.

Executive chairman for Newscorp Australasia Michael Miller said that partnering with like-minded companies is the space that News Xtend has been eyeing to play in.

“We’re now exporting our know-how by partnering with another media company that, like ours, has successfully transitioned to the digital landscape,” said Miller.

He added, “It’s a great acknowledgement that the investment we’ve made to grow and diversify our business is now being deployed by another media business in another region.”

Aside from its publishing business, Singapore Press Holdings houses a number of digital businesses such as marketing communication services, an SaaS platform, and a mobile job portal.

The agency will be providing to SPH’s customers services such as search engine marketing, social media advertising, and video and display advertising.

The agency will also be offering a call tracking service, which will be packaged into simple, outcome-focused solutions, designed to make easy for customers to achieve meaningful business results that they can measure.

SPH’s Deputy CEO Anthony Tan thinks the partnership is well-timed, as the country’s current digital penetration is at almost 90%.

“SPH is excited to provide businesses with an affordable and convenient digital marketing solution to help them achieve their desired results. With this new partnership, we are well-positioned to support SMBs by bridging the gap in the solutions available in our domestic market,” said Tan.

Meanwhile, Emma Fawcett, News Corp Australia’s managing director for commercial product and platforms shared that Singapore has been an obvious choice for the expansion.

The company cites a PwC data which shows that SMEs generate almost half of Singapore’s gross domestic product and accounts for 72% of employment, where much of the sector is family-owned.

“Singapore’s explicit digital agenda places it among the region’s most digital savvy nations, which is something that extends to its small to medium business sector and is highly attractive to a business such as ours,” Fawcett said.

She added, “The fact Singapore has important synergies to Australia in terms of industries and digital habits, language and a highly supportive environment for foreign investment are wonderful extras and, of course, Singapore’s status as a critical commercial hub for the entire region is an added bonus.”

News Xtend’s parent company Newscorp Australia owns a portfolio of both national and regional newspapers, and a number of magazine brands. It is also a majority shareholder of merged entities Foxtel and FOX SPORTS Australia.