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Technology Featured East Asia

Magnolia opens up new office in Hong Kong

Hong Kong – Digital experience platform (DXP) company Magnolia has opened up a new office in Hong Kong, months after its Indonesian office opening. To date, the company has six existing offices in the Asia-Pacific region, namely in Singapore, Ho Chi Minh, Jakarta, Bangkok, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.

Said move will expand the company’s existing efforts in the Asia-Pacific region, strengthen strategic partnerships, establish operations, and accelerate Magnolia’s expansion in the region.

Don Lee, managing director at Magnolia APAC, said, “We are delighted to announce the launch of our Hong Kong office. With a local office, we can take a step up in supporting our domestic and regional clients based in Hong Kong, the Magnolia way.”

Meanwhile, Ben Chen, vice president of consulting for APAC and country manager in Hong Kong at Magnolia, commented, “There is no better time to set up operations in Hong Kong than now. Opening a local office here also provides us the invaluable opportunity to work even more closely with our partners to support our Hong Kong clients such as Livi Bank, SmarTone, Ping An, and many others.”

Magnolia handles several clients in the region, including Toshiba, HiSense, NCS Group, CNN Philippines and SP Group.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia East Asia

Tech platform Foursquare appoints new regional head for SEA, HK operations

Singapore – Location technology platform Foursquare has appointed a new regional head for its Southeast Asia and Hong Kong operations, former head of sales of martech Playground XYZ Tim Castle.

His new role will revolve around working closely with brands, agencies, and advertisers in this region to further the expansion of Foursquare across Southeast Asia, following the company’s recent rebranding stage, and various strategic acquisitions for the past two years, the companies namely Placed and Factual.

Prior to his new role, Castle spanned multiple roles among regional hubs, including in the UK and Australia, where he led new business initiatives at GroupM, AOL, which is now Verizon Media, and most recently at Playground XYZ, where he was responsible for expanding the business’s mobile rich media and measurement solution into new markets across Asia.

“Location services are critical to any enterprise’s technology stack. Foursquare has continued to push the boundaries of what’s possible with location technology with their full range of capabilities to help businesses scale, and create better customer experiences and business outcomes,” Castle said, commenting on his recent appointment.

Castle will report directly to Aditi Kohli, managing director of Foursquare Asia-Pacific.

“Tim’s appointment marks an exciting new step for Foursquare in the region. As we continue to gain momentum with our innovative enterprise products and proprietary location technology and data, we will deeply benefit from Tim’s years of expertise in driving new business growth across multiple markets,” Kohli stated.

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Platforms Featured East Asia

New stats show Hongkongers spend an additional hour online compared to last year

Hong Kong – Hong Kong internet users spent on average almost a whole hour more online each day in 2020 compared to the previous year, a new report from creative agency We Are Social and social media management Hootsuite shows.

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According to the report, time spent on the internet daily has increased from 6 hours and 16 minutes a year ago to 7 hours and 15 minutes today, following a year of COVID-19 related lockdowns, which curtailed many normal activities. This means Hong Kong’s internet users devote over a day more per month to being online versus a year ago.

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In terms of demographics, users aged 16-64 spend an average of an hour and 57 minutes a day on social media, making it the second most popular online activity for Hong Kongers after watching television. YouTube, WhatsApp, and Facebook are the most used networks but Snapchat is growing in popularity as parent company Snap reports its advertising reach in Hong Kong rose by 13% over the previous quarter.

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Of the same demographic, social media is mostly used for brand research with 44% of internet users, higher than for most countries, while 34% use voice commands in searches. 

The increase in time on the internet also shone a light on ad spend which the report revealed is in tandem with such leap. A year-on-year increase of 7% was seen in the amount brands spent on advertising on social media against a 4% rise in overall digital ad spend for 2020.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

PR firm The Hoffman Agency unveils new general manager for HK operations

Hong Kong – The Hong Kong arm of global public relations firm, The Hoffman Agency has recently appointed Kevin On as its general manager for its local operations in the special administrative region.

Through his new role, On will be furthering Hoffman’s Integrated Marketing Corporation (IMC) proposition within Hong Kong, as well as working closely with the agency’s other eight offices in the region. His appointment comes after the agency hit a record high global revenue of US$15.12M in 2020, up 1% from 2019 despite the pandemic, with over half the revenue coming from its Asia Pacific operations.

Prior to joining the agency, On has worked as the global marketing and communications director for drone brand DJI, based in Shenzhen, China, where he led major product launches across APAC, as well as strategic partnerships, and issues management. He also boasts a background working for ad agency Ogilvy, where he worked with blue-chip clients such as Intel, Nokia, and Dell. Overall, he has over 20 years of experience in the public relations industry.

“We’re in an interesting time where companies are looking for new and innovative ways of doing business, and with this, a new approach to doing communications with their customers, the public, and different stakeholders,” On commented. 

He added, “I’m excited to be back on the consultancy side to help clients navigate the unprecedented challenges they are facing, and shape interesting stories around the role of technology and its impact on businesses, communities, and our everyday lives.”

On reports to Caroline Hsu, managing director for APAC at The Hoffman Agency. Hsu stated that On’s recent appointment can be described as a ‘rare find’ since On has worked with various marketing communication roles and moved many times from Canada to China in line with his work.

“We pride ourselves as an international agency that gets tech brands, and solves business problems – but to do that in Asia, where cultures and social norms constantly collide, you need a team that’s not just on the ground, but one that understands the ins and outs of a market. With Kevin on board, we’re looking forward to sparking new creative juices that take all his experiences to date and apply them in a uniquely Asian way,” Hsu commented.

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Technology Featured East Asia

Retailer Dairy Farm Group taps MuleSoft, Salesforce, and Tableau for digital transformation

Singapore – Pan-Asian retailer Dairy Farm Group is leveraging its digital transformation strategies by adding API platform Mulesoft, CRM company Salesforce and data software company Tableau to its digital strategy platform.

An initial step undertaken by the retailer is launching its digital rewards club called “yuu”, wherein partner brands and coalition partners are integrated into the yuu platform to allow customers access and redeem points all within a platform.

“With MuleSoft, we are able to connect different systems from multiple brands using an API-led approach to roll out new services in a reduced timeframe. With an omnichannel customer experience across all our brands, we can better manage each customer’s journey and their preferred communication channels with Salesforce Marketing Cloud,” Crystal Chan, IT director for Dairy Farm Group said.

Aside from the digital rewards launch, Daily Farm Group’s current digital transformation strategies focus on the aspect of improving project delivery speed. The retailer will utilize API technology to further improve point of sale (PoS) and e-commerce systems that will create synergy between its online and offline channels. Furthermore, the APIs can be also used to provide new customer experience strategies such as providing curated content, news, and promotions.

The yuu rewards club rolls out to key markets Hong Kong and Macau, where the retailer holds about over 10 household brands in more than 2,000 stores.

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Marketing East Asia

Pricerite Group and HKBN enter a strategic business partnership

Hong Kong — Pricerite Group Limited and HKBN Group announced today a long-term corporate strategic and business partnership to leverage their respective marketing and technological excellence to deliver enhanced value for both companies and their customers. In the next 5 years, HKBN Enterprise Solutions will provide premier telecom service to Pricerite Group for strengthening the development of its New Retail service, while Pricerite Group will extend its exciting offerings to over 1 million HKBN customers.

This strategic partnership allows the broad customer base of the two companies to enjoy a great number of premium offers, thereby achieving a win-win situation. Starting from today, customers who register designated HKBN home broadband or mobile plans via online can earn up to HK$400 in Pricerite cash coupons by using a designated promotional code. 

Dr. Bankee Kwan, Chairman of Pricerite Group (pictured left) said, “Pricerite Group is determined to keep a firm foothold in Hong Kong and serve the Hong Kong community. Despite challenges ahead, we are dedicated to developing the home furnishing market in Hong Kong. Under current adversity, Pricerite Group has joined hands with the industry, together we have stimulated creativity and strived to provide quality while competitive services to our customers. We will continue to seek further collaborations with HKBN in all aspects, especially on technology, with the aim of a win-win situation in the long run.”

HKBN Co-Owner and Executive Vice-chairman William Yeung (pictured right) said, “This win-win collaboration with Pricerite Group demonstrates the high flexibility of HKBN’s Barter & Bundle program, which co-creates long-term value with our enterprise customers. Looking ahead, we will continue to step up collaborations with different companies to bring more benefits for both residential and enterprise customers while accelerating business growth.”