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Technology Featured Global

InMobi acquires insights platform Appsumer, bolsters performance marketing solutions for brands

Singapore –  Independent marketing cloud company, InMobi, has just announced the acquisition of Appsumer, performance insights platform for mobile app advertisers, to bring unified intelligence to mobile marketing and deeper understanding of marketing effectiveness.

Appsumer offers marketers no-code integrations with more than 100 marketing channels, customizable dashboards for clients to build and track goals and KPIs, and daily processing of marketing data for more accurate measurement and informed decision making. Through the acquisition, Appsumer’s self-serve technology platform, intellectual property, and team will support InMobi’s end-to-end content, monetization, and marketing stack, as well as empower marketers to assess their performance marketing spend all in one place. 

With third-party identifiers losing their dominance, which complicates the measurement and attribution process, it’s more important than ever that marketers have a clean, crisp view of how their marketing channels are performing. Appsumer’s workspace will allow customers a single source of truth to track performance, analyze results, and use that data to plan more effective campaigns.

Furthermore, InMobi and Appsumer will be building an operating system that makes understanding user acquisition funnels easier by using AI to build predictive capabilities into the platform, helping growth marketers more quickly experiment and iterate to optimize results from their user acquisition strategies.

Shumel Lais, Appsumer’s CEO and founder, will also be joining InMobi and will continue to lead the division, charting its future growth path and product roadmap. The full Appsumer team will be joining InMobi to ensure client service continuity and further develop and support the analytics and automation offering under the InMobi umbrella.

Commenting on the acquisition, Lais said that joining forces with InMobi potentially represents an exponential growth path for their pioneering technology.

“I’m excited that Appsumer has the opportunity to get into the hands of even more developers and marketing teams worldwide to leverage our best of breed offering, making it the default home for growth marketing,” said Lais.

Meanwhile, Abhay Singhal, the co-founder of InMobi Group and CEO of InMobi Marketing Solutions, shared that Appsumer brings a next-generation approach for advertisers to better understand the efficacy of their marketing efforts across multiple channels that growth marketing teams employ daily. 

“The solution makes it easy to map all mobile performance media investment to business outcomes. Shumel and his team are well-known industry leaders and visionaries in their field and will play an instrumental role in driving InMobi’s next wave of growth and innovation,” said Singhal.

Appsumer will continue to operate independently as a subsidiary within the global InMobi organizational structure.

The acquisition of Appsumer comes after the recent launch of InMobi’s InMobi Telco, aimed at helping mobile carriers and handset manufacturers optimize their customer experiences and diversify their revenue streams.

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Platforms Featured APAC

Consumers across APAC prefer OTT platforms the most: study

Singapore – With the lockdowns being extended, the demand for video streaming platforms have accelerated. It has also pushed the over-the-top (OTT) industry to be more creative. And with this, the global mobile marketing and advertising platform provider, InMobi, has released its ‘The OTT Premium Video Wave Consumer Study, Asia Pacific 2021’. 

The study aims to examine consumer preferences for OTT video platforms to other video platforms such as cable TV, long-form videos, and short-form videos, over the last year. It also seeks to unravel consumer perceptions of value, ad relevance, and willingness to pay for these platforms across India, Singapore, and the Philippines, as well as Indonesia, and Australia.

Insights from the InMobi report reveal that in 2020, an average of 46% of consumers across Australia, Singapore, India, and the Philippines, have demonstrated a clear preference for watching videos on OTT platforms. Meanwhile, in Indonesia, consumer preference for OTT was second only to long-form videos.

Moreover, respondents were more likely to watch and discuss OTT content with friends and family over any of the other comparable platforms, indicating the prevalence of OTT in everyday life.

Vasuta Agarwal, InMobi’s managing director for APAC, noted that they are seeing OTT becoming the premium video content platform of choice within the Asia Pacific region, where several providers have experienced massive jumps in subscriptions during the past year.

“Users have shown that they are willing to pay for and accept the monetization of OTT premium content through ads, so we expect that advertisers who make OTT a core part of their programmatic marketing strategies will gain a significant advantage,” said Agarwal.

InMobi said that there are additional insights on consumer preferences for OTT premium video platforms across the region, as well as their perceptions on ads on these platforms compared to cable TV, long-form videos, and short-form videos.

The report shows that over 40% of respondents in all markets rated OTT platforms as having the ‘most immersive and engaging content’ and being the most ‘value for money’, while respondents in all markets were least likely to give up OTT platforms and would continue using them even if they were fully ad-based, as well as were most willing to pay for them.

Another insight is that at least 50% of respondents in all markets found ads on OTT platforms somewhat relevant, with the Philippines most receptive towards these ads. It also revealed that OTT platforms also had the most influence on product selection and purchase among four out of the five surveyed markets, ranking in the top two – influential platforms for Australia, Singapore, India, and the Philippines.

And lastly, respondents from all countries ranked OTT platforms among their top two for watching and discussing content with their friends and family, indicating that it has captured the family viewing space.

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Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s Top 5 Stories for August: Mobile gaming in Indonesia takes reign

For this month of August, we see a compelling lineup of top stories in MARKETECH APAC all coming from the area of technology and platforms. As usual, top stories from brands serve as proof of the changing consumer behavior in APAC amid the unprecedented wave of digitization. 

For one, a Hong Kong startup is responding to the beat of social commerce in Asia where purchasing through social messaging is growing more mature. With a platform that simplifies customer communications for brands across social messaging apps, the SaaS company sees its presence expanding to Singapore and Malaysia.

Another one is mobile gaming in Indonesia. Indonesia is fast earning its name as the market with the strongest mobile engagement in the Asia region, and a report that entered the list presents insights that turn gaming patterns on their head.

Two global adtech platforms have also inducted leaders into new positions of COO, managing director, and into a role helming partner development in order to bolster their presence in APAC. Meanwhile, a recommendation platform for the open web has also unveiled its string of eight new hires for the ANZ, SEA, and APAC region.

Take a look at the top stories this August. Rankings were based on Google Analytics from the period of 16 July to 15 August.

Top 5: SleekFlow expands to Singapore and Malaysia

SeekFlow, the Hong Kong-born SaaS start-up that provides an all-in-one social messaging platform for businesses, is expanding to Singapore and Malaysia. SleekFlow streamlines customer communications in social messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat through a single platform. 

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Henson Tsai, the founder and CEO of SleekFlow, shared that the company has always been eyeing to make Singapore its regional hub. Aside from Singapore being the headquarters of many brands and companies, the SleekFlow team also found that there are more people familiar with the SEA market in the country compared to those in Hong Kong, making it the “sensible move.” 

Tsai also shared that Indonesia is a target market, where SleekFlow found that 80% of people buy on smartphones with only the remaining 20% buying on desktop. 

“If you actually compare Asia with Europe or America, you realize for example, in China, that kind of behavior [which is] buying through social commerce is kind of very mature…clicking through products and paying through chat is a very mature behavior. If you look at Southeast Asia, people actually purchase more often on mobile,” said Tsai.

Eveyone has that kind of experience right where they buy something and want to talk to someone first. I think these kinds of feelings make you feel more privileged, you feel more [ advantageous] over your peers because you have someone to talk to.

Tsai on the behavior towards social commerce

Top 4: Magnite announces new leadership roster in APAC

Following its acquisition of video ad platform SpotX, global sell-side platform Magnite elevates its leadership to realize the combined capabilities of the two platforms. 

New leaders include Gavin Buxton, who has been appointed managing director for Asia at Magnite Asia, and Yogesh Sehgal, who will assume the role of head of partner development at Magnite APAC.

Gavin Buxton, previously the managing director for Asia at SpotX, will be holding the same position for Magnite Asia, while Yogesh Sehgal, Magnite’s former regional manager for the region, has been promoted to the role of head of partner development. 

Speaking to Juliette Stead, Magnite’s senior vice president and head of JAPAC, in an exclusive interview, she shared that through this fusion, Magnite will be able to solve the needs of publishers more holistically and ensure that they continue to deliver the services and the tech that everybody has already expected from both sides 

Magnite and SpotX have been doing so incredibly well for such a long time, and we want to bring that together, and make sure that we’re not just 1 plus 1 equals 2. The way we see it, we’re better together, and to provide even more for the publishers and buyers in the market.

Juliette Stead, SVP and Head, JAPAC, Magnite

Stead also emphasizes the concept of scale that the newly combined capabilities bring about. 

“All of these publishers across all of these platforms provide the buy-side with a scalable alternative to walled gardens, that’s also really brand-safe, and that has a targeting and addressable functionality.”

Top 3: Adtech Silverpush names new COO

Global adtech Silverpush, known for its AI-powered contextual video technology, has targeted bolstering its global senior leadership by promoting its current chief revenue officer Kartik Mehta to the new role of chief operating officer.

Silverpush, which currently has presence in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) markets of the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, and Thailand; targets to penetrate further into the contextual video advertising and moment marketing space.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Mehta shares that in his role, he will be driving the company’s vision that they have set for themselves, adding that they are also pushing their ‘3.0 Agenda’ or a strategy simply called as ‘Pi’, which stands for partnerships and investment which then leads to acquisitions.

“Essentially, all of what we do is going to revolve around these key things. You know, the digital media industry is growing, and we firmly believe that we need to be true to our vision on what we have set for ourselves, and to be considered as leaders among most-respected companies in the contextual advertising space,” he said.

Part of what Mehta also shared during the exclusive interview surrounds the question of ‘how could we invest in technologies?’, adding that they pose the aforementioned question in a bid to help companies in the region, such as in APAC, who have geographical advantage in their market.

Ever since we started in the adtech space and the privilege we had over the past nine years, we said that everything we’re doing doesn’t rely on any kind of personal identifiers. The technology, which is available today, are eventually what we have progressed hereon, is all very privacy-compliant.

Kartik Mehta, COO, Silverpush

He added, “In terms of APAC perspective, the region today contributes about 65% of the overall company revenue, which means APAC becomes very, very important market for Silverpush in terms of expansion, in terms of what we have to do in our strategy, and within APAC, certain key markets like Southeast Asia and India are going to play a pivotal role in terms of our entire growth strategy.”

Top 2: Recommendation platform Outbrain keys in eight new hires for APAC

In its efforts to bolster the company’s growth and presence in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) market, global recommendation platform Outbrain has signed in eight new hires to serve the diverse needs of clients across said regional market.

Outbrain operates under the premise of generating revenue for online publishers by displaying feeds of content and ads, or boxes of links to pages within a website, that lead to third-party content.

The new hires are led by the new director of sales for SEA, Jovary Jose. He is accompanied then by Nathan Jackson, head of sales APAC at Outbrain; Chermaine Koh, senior account manager at Outbrain; Calista Teo, sales manager for SEA at Outbrain; Daniel Littlepage, director of business operations for APAC; Greg Wood, head of Engage ANZ; Krishan Lal, sales manager for ANZ; Alanna Green, senior account manager for Engage ANZ; and Ana Carolina Garcia, account manager for ANZ.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC about the latest hires, Jovary states that the company has a strong business growth in the region, noting the latest hires significantly showing a 50% growth of the company’s presence in APAC, focusing more on sales and recommendation teams across the region to support the Outbrain team.

Personally, I’m happy to be involved in Outbrain and growing the APAC team. Coming from a publishing background, I’m thrilled to support quality content and connect advertisers and brands. Again, I love the fact that Outbrain supports publishers, and being from the publisher side for the last decade, the idea of continuing support of publishers like Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and MediaCorp really appealed to me.

Jovary Jose, Director of Sales, Outbrain

Jose also shared in the same exclusive interview that Outbrain is working on a new hire to work with premium publisher partnerships across the APAC region.

“We are excited to continue innovating and building the best native advertising products for publishers and marketers for many more years to come,” he concluded.

Top 1: Indonesia, rising powerhouse of mobile gaming in SEA: report

With pandemic restrictions largely disrupting normal human activities, it is no wonder that there has been an exponential rise of modern trends and practices among affected markets, including the prevalence of mobile gaming across a wider demographic.

It is no surprise that our top story for this month concerns the ‘powerhouse’ figure of the Indonesian market when it comes to mobile gaming activity and consumption.

In the latest report released by marketing cloud company InMobi, they have found that aside from the new 46% of respondents saying it is their first time venturing into the mobile gaming space, data also shows that 80% of Indonesian respondents say that they commit to playing mobile games at least once or several times in a day, in which interestingly, the 35-44-year-old bracket showing up as the age demographic with the highest commitment.

In an exclusive interview with MARKETECH APAC, Rishi Bedi, general manager and vice president of Southeast Asia, Japan, and Korea at InMobi notes that mobile gaming has seen a steadfast growth in the region from the one and a half years, adding that Southeast Asia alone has 215 million mobile gaming users, and in Indonesia alone, there has been ‘double the growth’ of mobile gaming users in the particular market.

If we look at the analysis of the data, one that we see is the behavioral patterns of the time of usage of the mobile games, which are very different from what it used to be earlier, now consumers are spending more time through the day, [even] as early as 6 AM. Second is that we have seen a shift in demographics, one per se is that the perception of mobile gamers is young men below 25 years of age, but that’s not the case. We see about 60% to 80% of these [mobile gaming] consumers are above 25 years of age.

Rishi Bedi, GM, VP, SEA, Japan, and Korea, InMobi

When asked for advice for marketers looking to tap into this huge online market of online users, he says that one should first leverage the scale and reach of mobile gaming in the target market, noting the transition of their market.

“There is a huge amount of segmentation possible in mobile gaming, there is diversity [where] you could target the right audience and the desired demographics. There are mobile offerings and a range of other elements that you can leverage that are very unique to mobile gaming, featuring elements like interactivity and augmented reality,” Bedi said.

Watch our exclusive interviews with the brands themselves on the latest episode of MARKETECH APAC Reports, now live on our YouTube channel.

This is in collaboration with Malaysia-based media company The Full Frontal.

Categories
Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Cybersecurity firm HUMAN and InMobi’s new tie-up aims to make mobile in-app advertising more secure and ‘human’

Singapore – HUMAN, the cybersecurity company that protects enterprises from bot attacks to keep digital experiences human, has announced its new partnership with InMobi, the global mobile marketing and advertising platform provider. This is part of their continued efforts to disincentivize cybercrime by building a transparent and fraud-free in-app advertising ecosystem with real-time visibility and active protection against malicious bot activity.

HUMAN deems to be the first solution in the space to be fully accredited by the Media Rating Council (MRC) for end-to-end coverage against sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT) for desktop, mobile web, mobile in-app and connected TV (CTV). This includes accreditation for pre- and post-bid detection and mitigation of SIVT, which is challenging to detect as fraudsters attempt to mimic genuine user behavior. 

The new partnership, which includes a direct integration with HUMAN’s MediaGuard solution, ensures that customers and partners will be protected from emerging forms of SIVT–background ad activity, hidden ads, and app misrepresentation/spoofing, measurement manipulation, among many others, while guaranteeing always-on fraud filtering and measurement across the platform, covering 100% of the inventory available on InMobi Exchange.

Moreover, InMobi will be joining ‘Human Collective’, HUMAN’s newly launched initiative that brings together players throughout digital advertising to create a collectively protected ecosystem. InMobi will be responsible for boosting HUMAN’s mobile detection presence.

Kunal Nagpal, InMobi’s senior vice president and general manager for publisher platform and exchange, said that InMobi is committed to transparency, trust-based relationships, and delivering optimal business results to advertisers globally. 

“We are the first in-app marketplace to have the entire inventory verified by an independent MRC accredited vendor, and this partnership reaffirms and enhances that commitment,” said Nagpal.

Meanwhile, Tamer Hassan, the CEO and co-founder of HUMAN, believes that to sustain its growth, digital advertising needs a trusted marketplace built through global collaboration and strong partnerships

“With its global command of the mobile in-app market, this partnership with InMobi strengthens HUMAN’s ability to fight sophisticated cybercrime and creates a more trusted environment for digital advertising,” said Hassan.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

InMobi taps former Unruly exec to lead programmatic business in SEA

Singapore – InMobi, an independent marketing cloud company, has recently announced the recent appointment of former executive from video advertising platform Unruly, Valerie Jaquet, as InMobi’s new director of agency and programmatic business in Southeast Asia.

She had a five-year stint at Unruly, where she stood as its vice president for programmatic sales in APAC. Prior to InMobi, she had also worked with global programmatic buying group Dentsu Amnet and media company FairFax. Overall, she brings in over 15 years of digital advertising and programmatic experience. 

Through her new role, Jaquet will be focused on leading regional growth and scaling InMobi’s agency and demand-side platform (DSP) partnerships as well as overseeing the company’s programmatic business and operations.

Speaking about her appointment, she said, “In today’s fast-paced connected consumer landscape, it is imperative for brands and marketers to leverage data and technology in the right manner. InMobi is doubling down on its efforts to build the future of marketing, adtech, and data and I am excited to be part of this change and looking forward to expanding our reach and foothold within Southeast Asia.”

Meanwhile, Rishi Bedi, vice president and GM for Southeast Asia, Japan and Korea at InMobi, commented, “I am happy to welcome Valerie as our new Director and look forward to working together to drive stronger growth across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Philippines markets in 2021. Her rich experience, as both publisher and agency, is complementary to InMobi’s regional growth plans.”

InMobi’s latest appointments come as the Southeast Asian market is becoming a focus market for InMobi, with great growth potential on mobile marketing and programmatic fronts. This has been the case in their recent findings, where they note that mobile ad spending grew by 65% in the region.

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Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s Top 5 Stories for June: A platform’s top Hari Raya ads list comes out on top

This month’s top stories which were sourced from Google Analytics from the 16th of May to the 15th of June were a combination of local and global stories.

First off, Malaysia is taking the spotlight where two come from the market – a leading agency unveiling new leadership appointments, and also a platform’s rundown of top Hari Raya ads in the country. 

Southeast Asia country Philippines also made it to the top with an esports company and a media giant partnering in the country to change the game in advertising in esports. 

Two global ad tech companies have also joined forces to provide marketers a new way to measure their campaigns, while a global communications agency has also announced new managing directors. 

Together with our exclusive interviews with the brand spokespeople, read on to find out which stories made noise this month.

Top 5: PH’s Tier One ties up with GroupM to open esports advertising to mainstream brands

Tier One and GroupM

Tier One Entertainment, the Philippines-born esports talent agency for Southeast Asia, has partnered with media and communications giant GroupM to achieve a common goal: to bring in more mainstream brands in the advertising landscape in esports.

Advertising in esports remains to be an exclusive arena for endemic brands, and Tier One, which has been in operations for four years now, has always eyed to be an agent in bridging the gap between gaming and mainstream.

In an exclusive conversation with Joanne Llavore, the CCO of Tier One, she shared that as the audience penetration in esports continues to grow, the company has always been cognizant that the time will come when the standardization of media advertising metrics will become a requisite among clients.

GroupM being the leader in the industry, it is but inherent to seek out and forge this partnership as we work together with them to bring esports and gaming in the forefront of media advertising.

Joanne Llavore, CCO, Tier One Entertainment

Llavore adds, “It’s a blue ocean of non-endemic brands out there. And we know the potential is really huge to be able to scale the business.”

Aside from its headquarters, Tier One currently has offices in Myanmar, Japan, and Vietnam and had just opened an office in Malaysia. 

Top 4: dentsu malaysia unveils three key senior hires

dentsu Malaysia

Media and communications network dentsu in Malaysia has announced new leaders within its Media division. Asha Nair will become the new managing director of media investment and platforms, Jing-Wen Foo has been appointed as the new e-commerce director, while Hemanth Jayaraman has been unveiled as the new partner and agency brand lead of DentsuX

Dheeraj Raina, CEO of Media at dentsu malaysia, said that the new hires go under dentsu’s continuous transformation journey which started last year when it was announced that dentsu will now be organized into three main business lines including Media. 

Raina, who himself, has also been recently appointed as the inaugural CEO of Media in January, said that it has been an “intense 6 months”, looking at simplifying internal structures and how they create solutions for clients. It has also been, Raina bared, quite a year of subsequent pitches. 

The new lineup that you’re seeing of the leaders [is] primarily [for] creating capability centers of excellence within the organization so that as the agency partners with our clients, we are in the best position of solving their marketing challenges.

Raina said in a MARKETECH APAC interview

Raina also shared that the division will be more product-focused as an agency, such as into its e-commerce practice, where the vision is to provide clients beyond the performance marketing aspect of it but to be an end-to-end e-commerce service that touches on strategic consulting as well as on-site and off-site optimization, among others. 

“Obviously, it’s been a very, very challenging one and a half year for everybody in terms of forecasting and looking at how the future will be, and therefore, [being] an agency partner for us [means] to be able to then deliver really integrated growth solutions for our clients [which] is going to be very, very critical; and for that, I think, we need to have a very strong product focus, and that’s where I think is we are going to be spending a lot of our time as an organization in the next coming few quarters,” said Raina. 

Raina also remarks, “And obviously, e-commerce is one of the key products that is no more [treated as a] luxury [for brands].”

Top 3: Global communications agency Redhill announces two new MDs

Redhill

Singapore-headquartered global communications agency Redhill has unveiled two new managing directors, Marienelle Castelino and Tavy Cussinel

Both Castelino and Cussinel have been homegrown executives of Redhill, being part of the company for a long time, even during the time it was operating out of its headquarters in Singapore, in an attic-like office with no windows, as CEO and founder Jacob Puthenparambil describes it. 

Puthenparambil, in a MARKETECH APAC interview, shared why it’s important to build and stick with its people for a long time. 

It’s extremely vital for our growth that we have people who stay with us for a very long time because it’s a people-based industry, especially PR. A lot of the company culture is based on the long-term people that we have. You can’t write those things down or learn from a textbook.

Jacob Puthenparambil, CEO and Founder, Redhill

Through their new roles, Marienelle will deepen her focus on brand leadership and corporate mandates in markets across Asia Pacific, specifically Singapore, Indonesia, India, and Cambodia, while Tavy will focus on growing the agency’s education, healthcare, luxury, and lifestyle portfolios.

The communications firm started in 2014 as a boutique agency and in the interview, Puthenparambil shared how at the beginning, they had always been firm in their goal that they wanted to grow into being more than that. 

“We knew from day one that we didn’t want to be a boutique agency. We’re going to fight the big boys,” he said. 

He shared that along the way, they found that a boutique agency’s lifeline is mostly dependent and stuck to how long its founder is active or relevant to the market and that in the end, said agencies aren’t able to hold on to the talent or to the clients. 

“So that’s what pushed us to establish this presence in all these countries, even if it’s one [to three] people; [we] just go plant the flag there and start doing work,” he said.

Redhill currently has a global presence in 17 markets. 

Top 2: InMobi partners with The Trade Desk for a new brand lift solution

InMobi and The Trade Desk

Global marketing cloud InMobi has announced a new partnership with global technology company The Trade Desk to integrate InMobi’s mobile-first consumer intelligence platform – InMobi Pulse – into the latter’s demand-side platform (DSP).

As more and more brands seek to find additional and effective ways to measure their brand campaigns across all digital media, the two ad tech platforms come together to offer in-app brand lift surveys to be delivered programmatically, enabling brands to measure metrics such as brand awareness, favorability, intent to purchase and other metrics that determine campaign effectiveness.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Vasuta Agarwal, managing director of InMobi for the Asia Pacific, said, “This partnership is a first of its kind between InMobi and The Trade Desk, and it provides brands and marketers the ability to deterministically measure the incremental brand impact of their campaigns across digital media by web, desktop, and in-app.” 

It allows them to deliver in-app surveys, both to an exposed group and a controlled group of users which are users who have seen the ad and have not seen the ad, and then measure the difference in the brand lift metrics between these two groups.

Agarwal explaining how the integration works

She adds that the metric is deterministic because brands can use mobile ad identifiers to identify the end-user who’s seen the ad or not seen the ad. 

Agarwal also shared another benefit, “And any advertiser using the [The Trade Desk’s DSP] while running their campaigns, can do a lot of [other] stuff like in-flight optimization, and change in brand messaging, [among others].”

Top 1: YouTube’s top 10 Hari Raya ads in Malaysia

YouTube Malaysia Top Hari Raya ads

Finally concluding the Hari Raya, or the celebration of the end of Ramadan in Malaysia, YouTube, through its ads leaderboard, has rounded up the top 10 ads on the platform that came in celebration of the festivity. This is MARKETECH APAC’s top story for June. 

The list included a mix of international and local brands in Malaysia. Some of the local names on the list are Tenaga Nasional, Petronas, and RHB Group. Meanwhile, Asia retailer Watsons also made it as a top ad, with leading e-commerce platforms Lazada and Shopee also entering YouTube’s picks. 

YouTube’s ads leaderboard is usually based on metrics such as organic and paid views, watch time, and audience retention, but we spoke with Lars Anthonisen, Google’s head of marketing for Malaysia, to give us an insider on what other factors said Malaysian brands were able to hit right to get into audiences’ radar. 

Anthonisen said there are three key themes: brands that stood out stayed in tune with the values of Hari Raya, showed empathy, and took a stand on societal norms. 

More Malaysians, unfortunately, are unable to celebrate with their loved ones. I think ads that stood out were from brands who leaned heavily to the core Hari Raya values [such as] family, compassion, and hope, providing Malaysians the Hari Raya spirit.

Anthonisen on brands showing the values of Hari Raya

With Empathy meanwhile, he said that brands are starting to recognize the importance of acknowledging the struggles people and communities are facing. 

“Brands have realized the need to engage the audience on a deeper level by leveraging real stories and also [to] add [the] human element and build this deeper connection,” he said.  

And finally, Anothisen’s insight on brands challenging societal norms: “It can be daunting, I know, for a lot of brands to take a difficult topic on and turn it into something of value, but I think brands who were there to do it really got the support and the engagement from audiences.” 

And of course, he himself has a favorite from the list, and this is what he had to say, “The one that stood out for me was the one from Petronas. First of all, they used animation to tell the story a bit differently, but I think also the whole campaign centered around how many Malaysians missed home during Hari Raya, and I think that was a really lovely story.”

Watch our live interviews with the newsmaker themselves on the latest episode of MARKETECH APAC Reports, live on our YouTube channel.

This is in collaboration with Malaysia-based media company The Full Frontal.

Categories
Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Indonesia, rising powerhouse of mobile gaming in SEA: report

Singapore – Pandemic-driven ‘shelter in place’ advisories have pushed the greater majority of Indonesians to try mobile gaming for the first time, making them the new ‘powerhouse’ of said industry, a new report from marketing cloud company InMobi shows.

According to their latest report, over 80% of Indonesian gamers are ‘committed’ as they play once to several times a day, with the 35-44 years old bracket coming out with the highest overall percentage of committed gamers. The gamer demographic is split nearly equally between females and males.

Furthermore, the report also found out that 46% of their Indonesian respondents stated that it is their first time venturing into mobile gaming in general.

In terms of frequency in installing mobile game applications, about 54% of Indonesian respondents have three or more games installed, and 46% of committed gamers download games several times a week. Around 24% of respondents spend over an hour gaming, while the average mobile gamer spends an 11-30 minute ‘snack-sized’ playtime per session.

Rishi Bedi, general manager and vice president of Southeast Asia, Japan, and Korea at InMobi, notes that Indonesia has demonstrated that significant growth potential for mobile gaming in the region was seen due to better accessibility and affordability, as well as the rising demand for ‘snack-sized’ entertainment.

“Gaming is among the biggest opportunities for advertisers across Southeast Asia today. What it provides is not just huge reach, but the ability to access an audience that is highly engaged and receptive to ads in an environment that is completely brand safe and impactful. This, in combination with the richness of mobile, ensures that every brand can drive relevant ad experiences at scale,” Bedi stated.

The report also found that Indonesian gamers are familiar with and receptive to ads during gameplay, with over two-thirds of respondents preferring to watch ads to progress in games instead of paying. At least 62% remembered the ads they had seen when playing mobile games because it catered to their interests, was immersive, or provided them with in-game rewards. 

Within the wider Southeast Asian market, smartphone gaming experienced triple growth in the region during initial lockdowns in April 2020. This also translated into a long-term behavioral shift beyond the pandemic as gaming usage more than doubled year-over-year on average since January 2020 – a significant register as Southeast Asia is home to 250 million mobile gamers.

Categories
Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

SEA video streaming on Q2 2020 tallied at 657 billion minutes total: report

Singapore – As cities went into lockdown and public gatherings grounded to a halt, mobile device usage has been the daily centerpiece of people’s lifestyle last year, evident with the latest statistics from independent marketing cloud company InMobi that video streaming in the Southeast Asian region has clocked in around 657 billion minutes of views during the second quarter last year.

In its latest report on programmatic video advertising, InMobi reveals that 93.5 million of those views originate from Indonesia, signifying a 57% increase in video streaming in the country, and a 65% growth in mobile video ad spend.

The report also notes that the industries of retail andfast moving consumer goods (FMCG), shopping, e-commerce, gaming, banking and other financial services dominate the mobile video advertising scene in SEA, thanks to fueled growth by advertisers in this sector. Said industries are also benefiting high video ad engagement.

On a general note, the report also found that that 36% of all in-app programmatic spends is accounted for by video, and that 179% of higher click-through rate (CTR) are driven by video compared to other formats.

In terms of video advertising format, the report states that there has been a 47% higher CTR driven by landscape video compared to other formats. Yet this still doesn’t fare well to the vertical format, which has seen an impressive growth of 196% year on year, which is 2x higher CTR driven on vertical video compared to other formats. Vertical videos are the preferred format for marketers from the shopping, social, and gaming industry.

According to Rishi Bedi, vice president of Southeast Asia, Japan, and Korea at InMobi, mobile devices are now able to deliver a near-seamless video experience to users, which is especially significant in Southeast Asia due to the size of the market in the region.

“Brands are realizing the inherent potential of video marketing in creating real connections with their customers. From screen orientation and precision targeting to the best time of day and placement, adopting the right programmatic video ad strategy will be crucial for companies to stand out in the eyes of the mobile-first consumer,” Bedi stated.

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Technology Featured APAC

InMobi’s latest partnership with The Trade Desk to expand brand lift solutions across APAC

Sydney, Australia – As more and more brands seek to measure their brand campaigns across all digital media, marketing cloud InMobi has announced a new partnership with technology company The Trade Desk to cater to this growing need among marketers by making their respective platforms available to clients accordingly.

Through the partnership, InMobi’s mobile-first consumer intelligence platform – InMobi Pulse, will be made available on The Trade Desk’s demand side platform (DSP). Such use of these in-app brand lift surveys that are delivered programmatically can aid brands to measure metrics such as brand awareness, favorability, intent to purchase and other metrics that determine campaign effectiveness.

Vivek Misra, senior director for data partnerships at The Trade Desk said that they are thrilled to partner with InMobi, and aim to make it easy for marketers to access reliable and affordable brand lift studies from within their platform.

“Marketers are under more pressure than ever to demonstrate the impact of their advertising dollars. The Trade Desk is committed to giving advertisers more options to measure the value of their ad spend and prove their marketing investments are driving business results,” Misra said.

Meanwhile, Vasuta Agarwal, managing director for Asia Pacific at InMobi, commented, “This proposition by InMobi Pulse gives digital marketers an efficient, accurate and unbiased means to establish the efficacy of their campaigns. Marketers can accurately deliver in-app surveys to an exposed group which has seen the ads and to a control group which has not seen the ad. Through the difference in brand metrics between the two groups, the true impact of a campaign can be measured.”

InMobi also noted that the brand lift study can be deployed for a single creative or the entire campaign, based on the metrics the brand intends to measure. Advertisers can measure ad recall, awareness, consideration, favourability and purchase intent using the InMobi Pulse BLS on The Trade Desk’s platform.

InMobi’s latest partnership comes in line with the company’s recent goals to take their marketing cloud service globally, which led to the appointment of Krista Thomas as the company’s senior vice president and head of marketing for its marketing cloud division.

At the APAC level, InMobi has also shown its growth in the region, including senior appointments for its ANZ division, and with other corporate partnerships such as with Prebid.org and Gojek.

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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.”