Marketing Featured Partners APAC

Sitecore leads the conversation on ‘composable future’, marks first in-person industry event in 2 years

Singapore – Digital experiences have become imperative in the past 2 years of a socially-restricted environment, and now that in-person engagement is getting back on its feet, Sitecore, the global leader in digital experience management software, aims to lead the conversation in disrupting digital experience technology that is charging towards a composable future.

After 2 years of the pandemic era, Sitecore Asia hosted their largest, in-person event to discuss and celebrate the now and future of world-class transformative digital experiences that are elevated through the seamless integration of content, experience, and commerce. Conducted in Riviera, Mediterranean Fine Dining by the Bay in Singapore last 22 November, Composable Future Asia hosted a stellar full-house turnout of over 100 top digital leaders from across Asia. 

Sitecore, leading the composable future 

The event kicked off with Dave O’Flanagan, Chief Product Officer of Sitecore, who delivered his keynote session on ‘The future is composable: delivering standout digital experiences across every customer journey’

O’Flanagan dove deep into the latest product innovations at Sitecore and sets out Sitecore’s vision for the next 12 months. He shared how Sitecore’s evolving end-to-end composable digital experience platform (DXP) is targeted at giving brands the agility, speed, and flexibility they need to meet the demands across the customer journey at every moment.

Challenges and opportunities of the ever-changing customer expectations

At the heart of the event is a highly anticipated customers’ panel discussion that rounded up several industry thought leaders from top organisations across Asia.

The discussion saw digital and tech heads Chirag Desai, Head of IT Digital & Channels Solutions at The Hong Kong Jockey Club; Dheeraj Taneja, VP for Product Design & User Experience Design at Adani Digital Labs; Geoff Smeaton, Head of Technology for APAC at Wunderman Thompson; and Preetham Nadig, Head of Product & Engineering for Digital & Data Solutions at Zuellig Pharma on how mainstream and B2B consumers see their expectations changing when it comes to digital experiences delivered by brands.

The session addressed the important question of how different industry players have responded to the challenge of accelerated digital demand during the pandemic and now post-pandemic.

For Hong Kong’s sporting and betting firm The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), their Head of IT Digital & Channels Solutions Chirag Desai said that beyond the predicament of social restrictions, they are also called on to respond to the growing multi-generational consumer base where each cohort brings a distinct set of expectations and behaviours.

For example, Desai shared, owning a horse draws more interest from the older demographic, so the strategy in question becomes, how is the company able to retain said experience as relevant even to other consumer bases.

“What we found is that, a younger generation of customers…we were losing them, that we were selling a product or an experience, if you will, that was not relevant to them. They were not interested in bits of paper and going to the shop and all this kind of stuff for share of wallet,” said Desai.

Meanwhile, for Asia’s leading pharmaceutical healthcare services provider Zuellig Pharma, as one of the critical healthcare providers during the global health crisis, they were pushed to quickly pivot the entire value chain and have each point digitised in one fell swoop.

“Zuellig Pharma operates across the value chain, connecting connect clients and consumers across clinical reach, commercial, distribution, channels, as well as patient care. As we are engaged across the entire spectrum of [the] value chain, it was especially important for us to accelerate every single piece of this ecosystem when the pandemic struck,” shared Preetham Nadig, Zuellig Pharma Digital & Data’s Head of Product & Engineering.

In imparting their perspective, India’s Adani Digital Labs coined an interesting term, the ‘economy of convenience’. Dheeraj Taneja, its VP for Product Design & User Experience Design, said that in line with this, it’s the unpredictability of the consumer that keeps them on their toes.

“Convenience is the key. If a brand is able to provide you [with] the same, your loyalty shifts instantly,” he said.

He continued, “If we talk about the challenges…the challenge I think is the non-predictability of the consumer…if he gets a better deal somewhere, he [moves] instantly.” 

Meanwhile, on the opportunities amidst the pandemic, Taneja said it is simply the innovation of digital itself – the intervention and evolution of digital that spurred in the lives of customers. 

“The opportunity lies in the communication with the customer. Brands must have two-way communication across all touchpoints to have best-in-class consumer experience,” he said. 

How organisations future-proof their business through leveraging modern, cloud-based technologies 

The subject matter experts discussed modern technologies they see emerging that would help strengthen brands’ relevance, and in line with this, the new possibilities companies must not fail to explore to create value in both the short and long term.

In line with its multi-generational imperative, HKJC’s Desai shared it was important that they move to cloud technology to bring in a consumer experience that would cut across all age groups to drive lasting impressions and customer loyalty.

“[We] [started] small. So we build a private cloud; we started building containers,” he said. “We build internally a more flexible platform, composable platform, if you will, that allows us to now start building experiences for a new generation of customers.”

During the pandemic, Zuellig Pharma launched a B2B e-commerce platform for a smarter and more convenient way to buy and sell healthcare products via eZRx. In addition, the organisation launched a super app solution for digital healthcare to enable the timely offering of different vaccination programs through the platform.

Nadig said that the expectation has now become the level of engagement and service as in B2C; which means that B2B players now also demand a B2C-intensive consumer experience.

“That’s been the kind of the key focus area for us at Zuellig Pharma. We really want to double down [on] digital experiences. We are building a digital experience platform in the composable nature of these solutions,” he said.

In today’s fast-changing world, the leaders agree that to deliver exceptional digital-based consumer experiences at this rate, foundational technologies must be adaptable, and thus, composable.

Adani’s Taneja captures this the same, “Another important area [is the] iterative process and [an] iterative process is required to build an ecosystem, which will enable loyalty of the customer. So, if you want to retain the customer, you must keep on iterating, keep on evolving.”

He further added, “I have seen the world is moving from MVP to MDE; minimum viable product to minimum delightful experience. I think as an industry, we all must come together and build delightful experiences.”

In true composable nature, guests were gifted Sitecore-branded LEGO sets which they can build into a modular spacecraft, enabling them with the flexibility to design, develop, and deliver their own dream customer experience. Alongside this bespoke door gift, attendees embraced a social challenge where they share their customised creations on LinkedIn with the hashtag, #SitecoreComposableFutureAsia.

This future-centric event was successfully launched in partnership with Aleph, SmartOSC, and Wunderman Thompson.

Reach out to Sitecore to learn more about how they’re elevating brands and disrupting the market through innovative digital solutions.

This post is created in partnership with Sitecore. 

Sitecore is a global leader of end-to-end digital experience software. Unifying data, content, commerce, and experiences, our SaaS-enabled, composable platform empowers brands like L’Oreal, Microsoft, United Airlines, and PUMA to deliver unforgettable interactions across every touchpoint. Our solution provides the cutting-edge tools brands need to build stronger connections with customers, while creating content efficiencies to stand out as transformation and innovation leaders. Experience more at 

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

DXP Sitecore officially beefs up tech off quartet of acquisitions

California, USA – Digital experience management software, Sitecore, has fully integrated its core products from the acquisitions of Boxever, Four51, Moosend, and Reflektion into its Digital Experience Platform (DXP). These integrations come at a critical time for brands looking to revolutionise digital experiences to meet customers at the moment with more relevant, intuitive, and human experiences. 

The new additions have been fundamental to expanding Sitecore’s advanced, SaaS-enabled composable DXP that empowers brands to deliver unforgettable customer interactions, and will enable businesses to provide real-time, personalised digital experiences across every touchpoint, from content to commerce.

Dave O’Flanagan, Sitecore’s chief product officer, noted that they are committed to delivering a composable DXP that meets the continuously changing needs of brands – unifying content, experience, and commerce, enabling them to offer exceptional customer experiences while continuing to innovate for whatever demands are around the corner. 

“Ambitious brands have outgrown the one-size-fits-all vendors, and they will not settle for piecemeal point solutions – they need a stack of best-in-class features that work in harmony together – and this is what Sitecore delivers,” said O’Flanagan.

The updated offerings include Sitecore OrderCloud, which expanded its marketplace support capabilities with a new release of order routing flexibility, supplier empowerment, and pricing flexibility. In addition, OrderCloud released a new Inventory Records feature to provide inventory management flexibility to enable manufacturers, distributors, and retailers for seamless operations and commerce business success. The capability comes from the acquisition of Four51, which delivers modern B2B, B2C, B2B2X, and marketplace experiences for enterprise brands.

Meanwhile, Sitecore Send has revamped its platform with an improved design and more efficient user experience. It now operates with six additional languages, including Spanish, French, German, and Greek, as well as Japanese, and Portuguese. Moreover, Sitecore Send has announced a new pricing plan with a 30-day free trial for the full range of Send’s enterprise-level features. This capability came from Moosend, an innovative marketing automation and campaign management platform. 

Another offering update is Sitecore Discover, which now has enhanced its Commerce Engagement Console (CEC) with a revamped appearance library and editor to provide a better user experience and more control over merchandising. It also improved its widgets with type filters and rule exports to add more convenience for users. This capability comes from Reflektion, the AI-powered digital search platform that understands and predicts individual shoppers’ purchase intent based on patterns, context, and needs in order to convert shoppers into buyers.

And lastly, Sitecore Personalise has now completed its integration with Sitecore Experience Manager. It offers a channel diagnostic testing and real-time personalisation capability that complements Sitecore’s market-leading CMS and is delivered in the cloud. Sitecore also published several new connectors on the Sitecore Marketplace including Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Responsys, and Klaviyo in addition to adding new AI-powered product discovery capabilities to support a broad range of commerce-related use cases including intelligent search, product listing pages, and product recommendations. This capability comes from Boxever, the SaaS-based Customer Data Platform (CDP) providing decisions and experimentation.

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

DXP platform Magnolia opens up office in Indonesia

Singapore – Digital experience platform Magnolia has announced that it is opening up a new office in Jakarta, Indonesia as part of the company’s stride to deepen its presence in the Asia-Pacific region. The announcement follows after the platform has been recognised once more at the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms as a ‘Visionary’.

According to the company, they will be dedicating 30% of their operational budget to the local Indonesian office and 40% of their marketing budget for this market. Furthermore, they have four staff hired for Indonesia looking after technology, solutions and business development.

Don Lee, managing director for APAC at Magnolia, said, “Setting up operations in Indonesia was part of our plans back in early 2021 as this is a market that will require highly localised resources and consultancy, the Magnolia way. With the new office, we believe it will open up major opportunities for Magnolia and customers as more brands in Indonesia are evaluating digital tools that help them bolt on, and fully leverage, their expanding marketing ecosystems.”

Speaking about the challenges the company sees in the Indonesian market, they said that the DXP landscape is still in its infancy stage where there is a lack of awareness of DXP and the enormous business benefits it can bring.

“Many companies in Indonesia are either looking for a simple CMS, or overpaying for a complex, monolithic platform and we believe Magnolia fits perfectly into the sweet spot for what Indonesian brands look for – scalable, future-proof technology with Asian-centric pricing. Digital usage is uneven within and among various business sectors, with some departments more advanced than the others and the brand’s digital strategy can be compromised holistically,” the company explained.

This sentiment echoes Lee’s aspirations to make the DXP landscape more organic and customised to the client’s needs, as well as giving clients the ability to control their budget and strategy–which he explained to MARKETECH APAC during an episode for MARKETECH Spotlight.

“From there, they should aim to build a modular, organic DXP which has the capability to help them achieve their DX goals faster as they observe results. Investing in a composable DXP is key as it allows them to integrate with new or legacy martech functions seamlessly,” he said during the Spotlight interview.

Meanwhile, speaking about Magnolia’s placement, Lee highlighted Magnolia’s commitment to its customers. 

“It is an incredible honour for Magnolia to be recognised in the Visionary quadrant this year. We have been recognised in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for the second year in a row, a testament to our constant commitment to our customers and helping them transform the performance and attractiveness of their digital interactions with their customers,” he said.

To coincide with the opening, Magnolia has also launched its first Indonesian website to meet the growing demands for best-of-breeds enterprise CMS and composable DXP solutions in the region.

Magnolia has offices in APAC located in Singapore, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Bangkok, and Ho Chi Minh. 

Technology Featured Global

Optimizely taps Google Cloud to drive joint innovation, next-gen experimentation

Singapore —  Digital experience platform Optimizely has entered into a strategic partnership with cloud services provider Google Cloud. In addition to Optimizely moving its market-leading experimentation solutions to the cloud platform, the multi-year agreement signifies a commitment by the two companies to co-innovate digital offerings and develop digital-first marketing solutions to market.

Through the new partnership, customers can benefit from working with Optimizely’s content experimentation for enterprise companies and Google Cloud’s secure infrastructure and capabilities in AI, ML and analytics. In addition, Google Cloud and Optimizely will also coordinate a joint go-to-market and sales execution strategy to seamlessly deliver experimentation solutions to customers around the world.

A notable part of the multi-year agreement of the two companies is their intent to collaborate closely on co-innovation, developing new and expanded digital offerings that bring the best experience possible to new and existing customers. As marketing continues to evolve, success depends on the data-driven decision-making and optimised customer experiences that Optimizely’s end-to-end, scalable experimentation solutions will deliver on Google Cloud.

Alex Atzberger, CEO of Optimizely, said that he couldn’t think of two tech companies that are more relevant for the data-driven growth marketer than Google Cloud and Optimizely.

“We share the same philosophy on leveraging data, AI and experimentation to replace guesswork with certainty. By entering into this strategic partnership with Google Cloud, we’re empowering marketers to unlock their digital potential, create exceptional customer experiences and deliver strong business outcomes all on a trusted, secure platform. It’s a true win-win-win situation for Optimizely, Google Cloud and the marketing industry overall,” Atzberger said.

Optimizely’s Web Experimentation and Full Stack Experimentation allow marketers to take the guesswork out of delivering personalised, meaningful engagements. Optimizely will continue to enhance its in-class experiences for its customers as they move to Google Cloud.

Rob Enslin, president at Google Cloud, commented, “Through this partnership, Google Cloud infrastructure will underpin Optimizely’s fast-growing and widely-adopted customer experience platform. It’s critical that businesses deliver exceptional products and services to consumers, and this partnership will enhance their ability to do so, driven by the Optimizely platform, data and Google Cloud’s capabilities in AI and ML.”

Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC prepares marketing industry for 2022 with What’s NEXT series

Over the past two years, the pandemic has transformed the consumer, the brand, and the advertiser. The absence of physical interactions created a ripple of massive changes that have either brought sectors down to their knees, or proved to be a boon for others.

If anything, the upcoming year is presenting a better promise for business as social restrictions further ease down and travel reopens. But despite this remains the challenge of unearthing and uncovering who the consumer will be – What will please him and what will fall off his radar? 

MARKETECH APAC, the digital media who itself was born in the mid of the pandemic, aims to take the intimidation off the new year and instead help marketers focus on the potentials for innovation through the thought leadership series, ‘What’s NEXT’.

What’s NEXT is a collection of expert insights by marketing leaders which aims to present predictions and insights on forecasted trends in 2022 and help future-proof brands’ strategies coming into the new year.

“As a watchdog and a dedicated content hub for the industry, we know how fluid trends in this part of the world could be. Metaphorically speaking, we want to hold marketers’ hands and be with them as we step into a new chapter in this global situation, and see how the pandemic – now endemic – will change the way brands and consumers interact with each other,” said Shaina Teope, regional editor of MARKETECH APAC.

The series which ran from December 2021 to February 2022 gathered marketing leaders coming from different domains to present ideas on how to stay ahead of the marketing game this 2022. 

Check out the full line-up of insights by marketing leaders under the series:

What’s NEXT: The top personalization strategy for the increasingly nuanced consumer

  • In the recent webinar by MARKETECH APAC on the future of digital marketing in the Philippines, AirAsia PH’s Head of Marketing Allenie Caccam; Anvey Factora, the head of marketing communications, e-commerce, and retail at Canon Philippines; and Mark De Joya, chief operating officer of Max’s Restaurant – all agreed on one personalization strategy that would remain constant in relevance no matter what the changes the new year will bring to the market and the consumer.

What’s NEXT: Why marketers need DXP more than ever in 2022

  • It’s now no question that any platform or tech that help push brands’ digitization further is worth being the centerpiece of brands’ marketing strategies. Don Lee, the managing director of CMS provider Magnolia for APAC dug a little deeper on how DXP, specifically a composable DXP, can best help brands not just adapt to the changes in the consumer today, but how such type of platform can 

What’s NEXT: Moving beyond static ads by leveraging programmatic creative management platforms

  • Travis Teo, executive director of adtech adzymic, shared the different possible hindrances that are keeping brands from providing optimum digital creatives – and deep dived on the root cause of all of them.

What’s NEXT: Predictions for customer experience in 2022

  • In this read, Shellie Vornhagen the CXO at CX platform Emplifi, enumerates the ways CX is going to transform itself as newer trends firm up in the market in 2022, such as social commerce, conversational chatbots, and most especially, metaverse. 

What’s NEXT: How can platform businesses supercharge their loyalty programs in 2022

  • In the pilot article under the series, we roped in Loyalty & Growth Leader Henry Christian to talk about how on-demand businesses, which has surged in need among consumers during the pandemic, can leverage their present demand to deliver highly-retaining and -converting loyalty programs.

What’s NEXT: Guide to help you master the art of content marketing in 2022

  • Who better to share insights on forming the best content marketing strategy coming into 2022 than a marketing leader from leading Asian news publication South China Morning Post. Its Regional Sales Director for APAC Darryl Choo shared how brands can refresh their content marketing strategies, imparting helpful insights on how to successfully work from internal process to delivery.

What’s NEXT: How mobile is redefining shopping experiences

  • We have become mobile-first even before the pandemic struck, but with stronger demand for fast and on-demand shopping experiences by the consumer, the mobile platform is now opening up more greenfield opportunities for brands to explore and innovate. Check out the thought leadership piece by Karam Malhotra, global VP at SHAREit Group

What’s NEXT: What the future looks for marketers beyond the cookie

  • When Google earlier announced that it will be phasing out cookies by 2022, the advertising community was brought to a standstill, suddenly overcome by the urgency to re-calibrate ad targeting strategies Then the community had some kind of dejavu when this was further delayed to 2023, providing a breather but at the same time asking of brands and advertisers to do better in their preparations. Let this insight on cookies by Cheetah Digital’s Billy Loizou, further add to your cognizance on dealing with a cookieless digital environment as there is no such thing as overpreparation.

What’s NEXT: Why brands must focus more on customer retention than acquisition this 2022

  • David Harling, the managing director of MoneySmart, touches base on the state of growth marketing now that we are about to navigate a digital world without cookies. His top piece of advice – brands may want to lessen dependence on acquisition as this will start to cost more in the efforts to scale.

What’s NEXT: How businesses and brands can thrive in metaverse

  • Metaverse is now taking the digital world by storm, and marketers are at a great position to leverage this platform to turbocharge brand engagement – but how does one start? Cheelip Ong, Lion & Lion’s regional chief creative officer, shared how metaverse can be the implementation ground for other emerging trends in marketing such as NFTs and gamification

What’s NEXT: Unpacking opportunities in digital finance for 2022

  • Of course with the surge in digital activity this pandemic tags along the supercharged growth of digital finance. Superapps in SEA is leading the way with financial services, becoming the anchor by which consumers can have a brand as top-of-mind across all services. UM APAC’s Elizabeth Shie and Abygayle Brani share the ways fintech marketers can leverage its growth this 2022.

What’s NEXT: Why brands must adopt a multi-platform strategy for social advertising

  • According to Stewart Hunter, the director of for customer success in APAC, each social media platform has grown to serve a different role in the funnel, posing a challenge to the brand message and format in various platforms. Hunter shares why brands must start adopting a multi-platform strategy for their social advertising and where to begin in their efforts.

What’s NEXT: Top tips for CRO this 2022

  • Whether you’re an online retailer, a startup with a valuable B2B product, or an entrepreneur selling your expertise, CRO could be the key to a bigger profit margin in 2022. Charlotte Ward, the director of Agnes media, shares her top three pieces of advice in achieving greater conversions.

What’s NEXT: Shoppable Content: The convergence of content and commerce

  • In narrowing the gap between commerce and consumer, big brands are moving from a publisher model into an e-commerce one. Sven Lung, CEO of Green Park Content, takes a look at some of the best case studies of previously launched shoppable content initiatives and shares how brands can successfully deliver said efforts on their own.

What’s NEXT: What to expect in influencer marketing in 2022

  • What’s the next phase of influencer marketing? We’ve seen the power of influencers in brands’ marketing in the past period, and now, we need to prepare for what’s to come next in this area. Ace Gapuz, CEO of Blogapalooza, shares what she believes the 5 forces that will drive influencer marketing forward – including the phenomenon that will start streating content creators as individual media companies.

What’s NEXT: How brands can connect with Asia’s next generation of culture shapers

  • How has the pandemic changed the youth? In this insight, Lesley John, the MD of Virtue for APAC, shares the consumption and lifestyle changes that have occured among Gen Zs and Millennials in the past two years, and shares how brands can get under the skin of this cohort moving forward in the pandemic.

What’s NEXT: How BNPL can be a merchant enabler for retailers in Asia

  • BNPL services have increased in adoption in the past year with the pandemic seeing a surge of consumers jumping into digital consumption. Moving forward in 2022, Jeremy Wong, head of strategic partnerships at Atome, shares the ways BNPL is expected to evolve, and what retailers can do to leverage its power in enabling sales among merchants.

What’s NEXT: 2022 will see the evolution of corporate purpose

  • As consumers become more conscious about their impact to society, they have grown to demand more accountability from the brands they consume. Mel Panabi, business director of Red Havas Philippines, shares on what has become of this new resolve and how brands must act in accordance to this new value-laden consumer behavior.

What’s NEXT: Welcome the age of reimagination

  • Virtual events are here to stay, and it’s time we step up these online interactions beyond standard online meetings and gatherings into something more powerful. According to Cathy Song Novelli, SVP for marketing and communications at Hubilo, it’s about creating a supportive ecosystem to enable innovation among event marketers.

What’s NEXT: How the ride-hailing industry shifted gears to meet market demand

  • Ride-hailing services is no longer a luxury and the pandemic has further pushed for its value with the recurring limitations on social interaction. Ryde’s CEO Terence Zou and PR Lead Katrina Adrianne takes a look at this transformation over the past two years and shares what we can expect from the industry as we move forward in 2022.

What’s NEXT: The state of dine-in, food aggregators moving forward in 2022

  • When food aggregators cushioned the downward growth of dine-in during Covid, it has gradually stepped up from being an afterthought to becoming F&B players’ top business model. KFC Malaysia’s CMO May Ling Chan reviews the current opportunities and challenges as brands further strengthen their strategies on food aggregators.

What’s NEXT: The future of CTV measurement and transparency

  • Connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT) has overtaken the linear TV experience over the past two years. Laura Quigley, SVP for APAC at IAS, talks about what has been these changes in media consumption and the opportunities that lie for advertisers and publishers in programmatic technology.

If you are a marketing leader and would like to share your insights and predictions under the series, email us at [email protected]

Technology Featured APAC

Optimizely unveils integrated B2B commerce and content cloud solution

Singapore – Digital experience platform (DXP) provider, Optimizely, has announced that it is launching an integrated version of its B2B Commerce Cloud and Content Cloud products. The integration allows the two products to be easily implemented together, aiming to help brands to reach audiences with more sophisticated content strategies and work more effectively across large teams of marketers.

The integration makes use of the B2B Commerce Cloud as a headless commerce API to make B2B data and capabilities available within the Content Cloud. Optimizely’s B2B customers will be able to use the Content Cloud to manage all the pages, templates, content, and assets of their site. The firm also said that the new integration will bring an out-of-the-box and combined site search engine which searches products in the B2B Commerce catalog while searching content in the Content Cloud and then combining the results. 

Furthermore, firms will be able to manage their product catalog in B2B Commerce but have all the products available for use in the Content Cloud. The integration will also enable brands to build and manage multi-sites in the Content Cloud while leveraging the shared data for customers, products, and orders in the B2B Commerce Cloud. 

“Optimizely Content Cloud has a long history of providing marketers with extensive tools for content publication and creation of exceptional digital experiences. With the integration of B2B Commerce Cloud, businesses can extend these tools to B2B customers, enabling the delivery of optimal digital experiences across audiences,” said Justin Anovick, chief product officer of Optimizely.

To help customers get the most from the combined products, Optimizely said it will be releasing a B2B-specific sample site that includes numerous Content Cloud templates and blocks that can be used to accelerate customers’ build time. Customers can use the provided assets or reference them as examples before customizing their own. The sample site will address the time-to-market metric that many B2B customers find critical when selecting their technology vendors

Additionally, Optimizely has named a preferred implementation partner for the B2B Commerce Cloud – Content Cloud integration in Nishtech Inc. According to Optimizely, Nishtech has first-hand experience with the new integration and can be contracted to guide customers and their agencies through setting up and utilizing the new integration.

Just this December, Optimizely has entered into an agreement to acquire Welcome, a marketing platform that carries capabilities in content marketing platforms (CMP), marketing resource management (MRM), and digital asset management (DAM) in a single solution.

Main Feature Technology Partners APAC

What’s NEXT: Why marketers need DXP more than ever in 2022

Why do marketers need digital experience platforms (DXP)? The answer is simple. Most people check out a brand online before they walk into the store, or check out its physical office, or if they even have one at all. And this touchpoint has become even more ingrained in a consumer’s journey in the new normal, where lockdowns have dampened the relevance of brick-and-mortar stores.

According to the latest E-conomy report by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company, the Southeast Asia region is charging ahead at full steam, having added 60 million new digital consumers to the internet economy since the pandemic started, with 20 million of them joining in H1 2021 alone. And this will further increase as e-commerce becomes the be-all-and-end-all of consumers’ shopping demands.

DXP as the vital baseline of consumer experiences

When we walk into a store, say Uniqlo – the entire experience matters – from the lighting, the smell, and the layout to the customer service and the checkout experience. Now imagine trying to replicate this online, purely digitally – you take away the physical elements like touch, smell, and feeling of being in the store; so what you have to do is to ensure the online experience is as powerful as possible to instill positive emotions in the customer.

In the case of digital experience, this will be the user interface, the simplicity of navigation, the speed of page loading, the personalization of the page itself, and micro components to make the experience enriching while being bespoke, along with the checkout process remaining seamless, the omnichannel engagement fulfilling, among many others. If the experience is positive across the customer journey and all the multiple touchpoints, then the customer’s experience towards the brand will naturally be uplifting, leading to more engagement, advocacy, sales, and loyalty.

Digital experience has been way underrated – brands spend many more times the budget on traditional campaigns, loud billboards, and posters, but all these are turning into spam and noise for the customer. Even if the advert catches their eyeballs, and they land on a website that is poorly designed, all that money spent will be in vain. However, a superbly executed website or app has the potential to go viral effortlessly simply because of human nature – we experience something good and we want to share it with others, and if the site is made to be shareable easily, then it will proliferate.

There are many ways to measure DXP ROI – but rather than using a template and then measuring that against variables which may not matter or are very intangible, using a composable DXP allows you to build a martech stack against a specific business objective. So, for example, with all things being equal, you want to measure increase in conversions – adding a shopping cart + marketing automation and then tracking the differences over a period of time, or against the same interval as compared to last year or years before – this will allow you to see the incremental gains which you can then use against the tech/resource investment to get the ROI.

Breaking ROI down into specific objectives will allow marketers to pinpoint what really works for them and what doesn’t, rather than get a digital transformation solution that costs millions and waiting for a couple of years for that to ‘transform’ the revenue. It simply doesn’t work that way; apart from the tech investment, there is also change management you need to take into account – the retraining of people and reshaping of processes in order to fit the new ‘solution’, not to mention the attrition as well.

Asia is one of the most creative and competitive markets in the world, and they are constantly leading the pack with innovative ways of engaging the customer. For some of the brands, there is a ‘family business’ approach where marketers work in silos, and for the others, they pay millions of dollars a year for solutions that they barely even use 10% of. 

As marketers get savvier digitally, and the role of digital leaders become more empowered, they will be able to focus their investments better and get better ROI from those investments, as well as use agile solutions to adapt rapidly to changes in the market in order to take advantage of these disruptions.

The new marketer is the one who sees change as an opportunity, not as a tragedy. And with this new normal, the future of DXP in Asia is really the only way to go – whoever can embrace digital first, will displace the competition first. And once you gain that foothold, the others can only play catchup. Our younger generations are digital natives, and digital is the future as the world becomes a giant online city.

This article is written by Don Lee, managing director for APAC of CMS provider Magnolia.

The article is published as part of MARKETECH APAC’s thought leadership series What’s NEXT. This features marketing leaders sharing their marketing insights and predictions for the upcoming year. The series aims to equip marketers with actionable insights to future-ready their marketing strategies.

If you are a marketing leader and have insights that you’d like to share with regards to the upcoming trends and practices in marketing, please reach out to [email protected] for an opportunity to have your thought-leadership published on the platform.

Platforms Featured ANZ

AU’s housing body partners with DX agency Switch to refresh digital portal

Sydney, Australia – Housing Industry Association (HIA), the largest residential building organization in Australia, has partnered with digital customer experience agency Switch which is also an implementation partner of DXP Sitecore, to overhaul its suite of web-based content platforms and provide a connected digital experience to its member businesses across the country. 

HIA is Australia’s only national industry association representing the interests of the residential building industry. It acts as the industry’s voice and promotes policies and provides services that enhance members’ business practices, products, and profitability. 

According to a press release by Sitecore, the association said it wanted to change its traditionally face-to-face membership model by expanding the digital experience and services it offers online. 

Together with both Switch and Sitecore, the transformation project sought to improve the association’s digital strategy, customer engagement, and website design, and deliver a cloud-based platform that would provide hyper-personalized experiences, e-commerce services, data-decisioning systems, and marketing automation capabilities. 

Ben Brooker, HIA’s general manager for digital, describes the project as a “huge step.”

“Our goal is to be the trusted, ever-present voice of the residential building industry in Australia, and provide a central digital experience that unites all customer segments under a proactive, personalized, and connected experience,” said Brooker.

Meanwhile, Switch’s CEO, Steve Nelson, remarks on the growing importance of digitization, “As digital natives become the norm, companies are looking at new service offerings to match expectations and create seamless digital experiences.”

Switch said it formulated a digital strategy centered around four key transformation goals: Raise and capitalize on awareness, increase sense of belonging, grow revenue, and build an efficient digital operating model.

The association’s digital transformation journey included an evolution of its onboarding and membership model, an overhaul of its e-commerce platform, and CPD (Continuous Professional Development) structure, and the creation of an engaging and informative digital resource library to assert HIA’s position as an industry expert. 

In addition, an integrated e-commerce solution was created across all of HIA’s digital to support the opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell content online. The solution enables access to a number of resources that were previously only delivered in-store or through a customer service phone query. The digital transformation project also included a simplified user management UX that supports HIA’s membership structure, and the creation of a service prompting users to explore the website and learn about the features available. 

The strategy resulted in a multi-phased roadmap, allowing HIA to commence its digital transformation journey, starting with a new ‘Foundation Site’.

In accomplishing the project, the association deployed a suite of Sitecore technology platform services, including Sitecore XP (Integrated Digital Experience), Sitecore XC (Digital Commerce), and Personalisation technology. 

Technology Featured APAC

Optimizely boosts DXP with launch of ‘Data Core Service’

New York, USA – New York-headquartered Optimizely, a provider of digital experience platform solutions, has launched ‘Data core service’ which enhances its digital experience platform (DXP) to provide deeper analytics and unified data insights across its suite of products. 

With Data core service, Optmizely aims to provide companies a greater understanding of their customers, as well as their overall digital business performance. The new service will be available to Optimizely cloud customers by Q1 2022, and will be included at no charge, subject to 250K MAU’s usage limit, for customers who are implementing one or more of its solutions which include Content Cloud, Commerce Cloud, B2B Commerce Cloud, and Experimentation. 

Optimizely said that Data core service will serve as the ‘connective tissue’ for its users, unifying data to serve as the ‘underlying force’ across content-centric, commerce-centric, and experimentation use cases, as well as customer profiling. 

Data core service also provides common context, helping companies bring data across Optimizely into a centralized place and gain access to dashboards and analytics on how their digital business is performing. Ultimately, data core service aims to help companies deliver the right experience at the right time by providing visibility into their digital properties. 

During the company’s virtual Opticon21 event, Justin Anovick, Optimizely’s chief product officer, said that the best DXP must be adaptable and that organizations shouldn’t have to manage disparate data sets or question where the single source of data truth is when developing their tech stack. 

“With the launch of Data core service, we’re giving customers full visibility into their data without sacrificing composability,” said Anovick. 

The service launch follows the company’s unification of the Optimizely and software Episerver brand and the acquisition of customer data platform Zaius in March 2021. 

Optimizely has a global presence with offices in APAC including in Australia, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Technology Featured Global

Magnolia’s digital experience platform recognized on Gartner Magic Quadrant

Singapore – The digital experience platform of Magnolia, a global content management systems provider, has recently been recognized at the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant by Gartner.

The Magic Quadrant are market reports published by consulting firm Gartner based on qualitative data analysis in demonstrating market trends, such as direction and business nature. The report is conducted every one or two years to several technology industries.

Magnolia is the newest entry to this year’s Gartner Magic Quadrant, and recognition is afforded to its digital experience platform (DXP), the Magnolia DX Core. 

The said DXP, categorized under the ‘Niche Players in the Magic Quadrant’, carry capabilities that include content management, personalization, search, campaign management and digital asset management (DAM). It is often deployed by organizations in banking, manufacturing, communications, and travel and hospitality verticals for business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-employee (B2E) use cases.

“We believe that Magnolia provides the powerful capabilities that marketing teams need to quickly launch customer experiences without having to involve IT. Through its Visual SPA (Single-page app) Editor, Magnolia offers best-in-class authoring experience for omnichannel publishing by enabling marketers to fully design, control and preview experiences for any channel,” Magnolia said in a press statement.

For Magnolia CEO Tim Brown, the recognition from Gartner is a testament of a greater shift in “market demand from single-vendor DXP suites to ecosystems of integrated best-of-breed platforms.”

“Our vision of a composable DXP, built of deeply integrated best-of-breed solutions, enables brands to incrementally build out a high performance DXP that leverage existing proven components and services. Our advanced experience authoring and content management features coupled with a modern tech stack empowers all stakeholders. This combination enables the launch of new digital products and differentiated experiences at unprecedented speed,” Brown explained.

Meanwhile, Rasmus Skjoldan, CMO at Magnolia, commented that last year has seen enterprises moving towards the direction of forward-thinking business movement by “bringing high-quality digital experiences to their customers considerably faster than their competition.”

“We’re essentially seeing the sun rise for composable platforms that give enterprises a much faster way to launch digital experiences – and the first but clear glimpses of the sun setting for the suite platforms as they eventually become too slow for the modern enterprise. It’s a natural evolution for this market in which overly complex suites are replaced by a new approach,” Skjoldan stated.

In a statement provided for MARKETECH APAC, Magnolia Singapore’s general manager Don Lee stated that Magnolia’s recognition is a ‘big win’ for the future of flexible DXPs.

“We are incredibly proud to be featured in this quadrant for the very first time, and on top of that, leading the quadrant in vision. This is testament to the affirmation by our clients of our project success promise along with the flexibility of our composable DXP, allowing brands to build their digital experience platforms in any way they desire, either on premise or as a service,” Lee stated.