Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Real estate firm Colliers appoints new PH head of marketing & comms

Manila, Philippines – Professional services and investment management firm Colliers has recently appointed Rodel Ambas as the new head of marketing and communications for Colliers Philippines, effective immediately. 

Ambas will continue to implement Colliers’ brand guidelines to ensure that all of the firm’s marketing and communications efforts are consistent and well aligned with their core values and vision, collaborating with stakeholders to drive exceptional results.

Prior to his new role, he was with consulting firm Pinnacle Consulting as the head of marketing, where he was responsible for the property listings and customer service teams to ensure that the company’s branding, communications and performance marketing initiatives are well aligned and executed.

Before joining Colliers, he also had experience with companies like real estate marketplaces ZipMatch and Lamudi, and has provided consulting for various companies to help boost their content and public relations strategies to earn PR mileage through events and regular seeding of press releases.

Speaking about the recent appointment, Richard Raymundo, managing director for Philippines at Colliers, said, “I am confident that Rodel will contribute to leading our industry into the future given his enterprising and collaborative spirit. This will further strengthen Colliers’ branding and positioning in Philippine real estate.”

Meanwhile, Michelle Doyle-Jones, director of marketing and communications for Asia at Colliers, commented, “We are excited to have Rodel join our team to lead and further strengthen the Colliers brand in the Philippines. His relevant experience in real estate will certainly help us to drive exceptional results to accelerate the success of our clients and our people.”

Technology Featured Global

InMobi appoints Krista Thomas as SVP, head of marketing for marketing cloud division

Singapore – Marketing cloud company InMobi has announced the appointment of Krista Thomas as senior vice president and global head of marketing for its InMobi Marketing Cloud Division.

She brings in 20 years in the media and marketing industries to dramatically expand InMobi Marketing Cloud’s global awareness and influence, optimize customer acquisition, and launch innovative new solutions that leverage InMobi’s end-to-end advertising solutions to activate audiences, drive meaningful connections, and ignite growth.

Thomas is previously the SVP for marketing of advertising platform Amobee where she helped define the company’s TV-first strategy, help build a world-class marketing discipline, and relaunch the brand’s positioning and messaging in support of its CTV Allocator solution. 

She also served as SVP for marketing of software company VideoAmp and asn VP for product marketing of Rubicon Project (now Magnite) which she helped go public in 2014 and where she collaborated closely with InMobi to launch and drive the adoption of programmatic mobile and video advertising around the world.

Speaking about her appointment, Krista said, “InMobi Marketing Cloud has delivered steady growth around the world, extending its lead as a top three mobile advertising provider and the only one fully committed to transparency and an open media ecosystem.”

She added, “As vaccines continue to roll-out and doors reopen, businesses everywhere are seeking partners that can help them re-engage and reignite their audiences to take or defend market share. InMobi is that partner, and now is the time.”

Meanwhile, Abhay Singhal, co-founder of InMobi Group and CEO at InMobi Marketing Cloud commented, “As InMobi builds toward its next phase of growth, we are thrilled to welcome Krista to the executive team as InMobi Marketing Cloud’s first Global Head of Marketing. She will play an instrumental role in advancing our mission to drive real connections between brands and consumers through intelligent, mobile-first experiences.”

Marketing Featured APAC

Regional Head of Marketing Stephanie Caunter departs ADA

Malaysia – Stephanie Caunter, the regional head of marketing of ADA, the data and AI-driven marketing firm in Asia, will be exiting the company, and will relinquish her duties beginning the month of April. 

Caunter has been with ADA for a little over two years since March of 2019 and was in charge of all of its nine markets covering Southeast Asia and South Asia, such as Singapore, Philippines, and Malaysia, as well as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the latter mentioned region. 

Caunter shared to MARKETECH APAC that she is leaving the company to take on a new challenge in a different industry and with a different focus in role. She said her experience with ADA can be described in three words: thrilling, family, and growth. 

“I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to be part of ADA’s leadership team and start the marketing function from scratch; two years on [and] we’ve built our brand into one that’s known for its data and digital marketing capabilities, and is constantly fielding an influx of potential new customers,” said Caunter.  

ADA designs and executes integrated digital, analytics, and marketing solutions. Caunter headed the company’s brand building and lead generation and supported its prospecting efforts across all of the nine markets in the region. She developed its brand and marketing strategy from scratch, with the objective of bringing recognition to the brand among key buyers and influential stakeholders.

“It will be a bittersweet farewell as I have nothing but the fondest memories for my colleagues and awesome team members,” added Caunter.

Caunter did not share the details of her new role but said that the new work will see her focusing more on customer marketing. 

Main Feature Marketing Southeast Asia

AirAsia PH’s head of marketing on beginnings, failures and successes, and top advice for budding marketers

It would be hard to believe that Allenie Caccam, the head of marketing of one of the biggest airlines in Asia, AirAsia, in the Philippines is a self-confessed introvert–but now that she boasts of more than ten years of PR and marketing experience, you would think–she must have done something right. 

Allenie didn’t just thrive her way to an industry that is still mostly tagged as an extrovert’s world, but she did it with so much excellence that she rose through the ranks to become a top executive of a top airline brand. 

She started out as a marketing manager for the airline in the Philippines in 2014, eventually climbing up the ladder to become its senior manager for international marketing, then finally, assuming the role of head of marketing at a period that is none other than during the height of the pandemic. 

No surprise there–if you had to tap someone to trust your marketing during an unprecedented crisis, it would be Allenie. She is a Mass Communications graduate from the top national university in the country, University of the Philippines (UP), and carries a master’s degree in Business Administration from Asia School of Business. 

Fresh out of college, she began her grip in the industry as a PR manager at Grey Group which was still called Campaigns & Grey Philippines at the time. Before stepping into the world of aviation, she also had her time whipping up marketing strategies and creative campaigns for milk consumer goods company, Alaska Milk Corporation. 

In the MARKETECH Mondays interview, Allenie did not just let us in on her great career journey, but also gave insights that only a person with a unique experience of hers could impart – on failures and successes, on leadership, and ultimately, a veteran’s advice to the budding marketers of the new generation. 

An introvert’s foray into the colorful but sometimes rowdy world of marketing

It’s been months since we’ve started our MARKETECH Mondays webisode, and if there’s one thing marketing leaders speak in consensus, it’s that marketing may look fun on the surface, but is actually a work demanding of great determination and grit. 

Admitting to being an introvert, starting out as a PR manager took a challenge for neophyte Allenie at the time, sharing that her first dip into the industry immediately thrust her to do a lot of ‘people work’. 

As an introvert, it was very hard for me to talk to media, to talk to different kinds of stakeholders, presenting in big meetings. It was really going out of my comfort zone.

Albeit a challenge, Allenie said that more than anything, the experience was ‘exciting’. 

Allenie Caccam_MARKETECH Mondays_Olay_CAPRI
Allenie’s PR unit CAPRI in 2011 at the launch of Olay Natural White Bar

“Most of the skills that I learned during that time are also the same skills that I think have been useful in my career journey even after staying in the PR industry.” 

Allenie’s PR unit at Grey was called CAPRI, where she did PR campaigns for multinational companies. Her first PR event was a launch for a fashion brand and was tasked to do media relations. 

She shared that as a beginner, she had a lot of sit-down engagements with her bosses, hence, reiterates the importance of feedback at such stage of one’s marketing career. 

Learn as much as you can. I was always having one-on-one talks with my managing director, my direct boss during that time, and we would always sit down and discuss what are the things that should be happening in the day-to-day.

Allenie adds, “A lot of it is also trying to figure out what you really want to contribute to the group. For example, if you’re really into a certain type of industry, then that’s also I think [something that] you should voice out to your manager or to your direct boss so that you could actually hone your skills first at something that you’re comfortable with, and then as you become more confident in what you’re doing, then you start to venture into other industries or [to] other products, or [to] other companies that could actually expand your knowledge or your expertise.”

How the concept of failure and success evolved for Allenie

Having started a decade ago, Allenie said that with growth, her concept of ‘failure’ and ‘success’ has also naturally evolved. When before, failing would mean that a creative idea or campaign has not translated to sales or the target engagement, being a leader changes those entirely, where now, a fallout or a victory is more closely anchored to people management. 

Earlier marketing stints saw Allenie launching Alaska’s Krem-Top coffee creamer product to compete with leading Nescafe brand at the time, and when she stepped into the AirAsia company, earlier roles had her driving the network expansion plan of the airline in the country and lead digital campaigns to promote international routes. All of those–she shared, was what used to be her ultimate metric of success and failure.

Allenie Caccam_MARKETECH Mondays_AirAsia 1
International team of AirAsia Philippines in 2018

From just projects [and] meeting the targets, now it’s also more of how successful am I in building or training the members of my team. Now, failure for me is if they didn’t learn anything, or if they’re not improving, or if they’re not growing.

Success then would be the counter of such possible shortcomings in team management. For Allenie, success now meant being able to successfully launch those under her to manage their own, or heck, see them become even better than her, or when those that are more senior to her are able to recognize the efforts of her team. 

Now having assumed two senior leadership roles in AirAsia in a span of three years, she shared that at times, her team members have grown to be more confident that they don’t bother anymore to ask for her opinion – to which she agrees is a “good thing.”

Seeing your team being able to handle their own [projects], [and when] you would see the difference between you holding their hands before versus now that they don’t even ask for your opinion anymore because they already know what they’re doing–those are the moments that I think I’ve been really, really successful.

As a leader: ‘As above, so below’

Allenie is no doubt a leader not just in title but in heart. Even after a decade-long professional career, when it comes to leadership, she still clings to a principle that she learned way back as a university student which is ‘As above, so below’–a philosophy pertaining to the close relationship between the forces taking place below a surface and above it, such as leaderhip.

I always make it a point to be more self-aware [because of that perspective]. For example, if your team is not doing well, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not good, but also because maybe, it’s your style of leading them, and maybe there’s something more that you need to do from your end so they could do better.

AirAsia marketing team 2020
AirAsia marketing team 2020

Allenie believes that leadership is looking at your team as a reflection of how you are as a leader – how you manage, how you decide, and your mood as a leader. 

“I always make it a point [to] do self-reflection, especially when I’m having a stressful day [or week], [I try to see] how does that affect my team, and however they are performing is a reflection of how I am training them.”

On a more operational level, Allenie scratches the idea of “imposing things,” instead, engages the team through conversations to talk about the important ‘whys’. 

“[I like] having discussions with them to talk about the ‘whys’ like ‘why do you want to do this’, or ‘why is your strategy this and not that’”

I think when your team understands their ‘why’, why they are doing things, why they are performing a certain task, then it becomes more natural for them to initiate actions or to initiate solutions because they understand the reason why they’re doing it.

To budding marketers–specialization and being collaborative are the ways to go

Specialization–that is Allenie’s advice to the upcoming generation of marketers as we conclude the MARKETECH Mondays interview. You would think that carrying such ‘versatility’ in the profession – with experience in product development, PR, and aviation and route management – such advice would be ironic, but it actually takes someone who has successfully made ‘the rounds’ and experienced different pathways in the profession to know that being out in the field and experimenting is only part of sharpening the saw. 

Know everything or know the basics, and then you specialize [in] one thing, so that you have a specific skill set that only caters to that before you expand to the others, [because] that will also help you get a direction on what career path you want [to take] in the marketing industry.

Allenie also touches on another important thing, something that transcends expertise and one that encourages good work ethic – and that is being collaborative. 

Allenie believes that while marketing is one of the core departments in any company, it is only one part of the equation and that whatever success comes out of one brand’s marketing efforts, it is always, and will be a product of a good collaboration with other departments. 

Just because you’re [in] marketing, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t care [about] all the other departments. Marketing is one of the core departments in any brand or in any company, and [if you] know how operations work, know how finance, [sales] [or] [PR] works, [and just] know how all the other departments work, you can come up with better marketing strategies and better campaigns that [are] more holistic and [more] collaborative.

She adds, “If you just focus on marketing, it’s not just about shouting prices, it’s not just about coming up with buzzwords, or the next big thing, [because] a lot of those insights come from the feedback of the [other] departments. Usually, successful campaigns are successful because it involves full cooperation of the other departments in the company.” 

Ultimately, she said, “Sometimes, the real core ideas of our campaigns also come from other departments. Stay collaborative all the way.”

Watch our live interview with Allenie Caccam on our YouTube channel.

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