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Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s top 5 stories for April: A data and AI company takes number 1 spot

This month’s top stories are all about game-changing old practices and breaking stereotypes in the industry. A new agency has just launched a new proprietary tech that aims to bring more science to the practice of media planning, while a popular short-video platform moves beyond its popularized brand of entertainment to launch a pilot educational series. 

Meanwhile, the world of gaming makes another comeback. Two companies have recently partnered to offer brands an inventory of a new type of advertising in the gaming world. An AI and data company has also offered a new solution to a marketplace that is of surging demand today – e-commerce; while this month also saw the appointment and elevation of one veteran in the area of loyalty marketing in APAC.

Rankings were sourced from Google Analytics from the period of 16 March to 15 April. Take a look. 

Top 5: Global platforms Anzu and Eskimi partner to offer in-game advertising to brands 

More brands will be able to better engage with gamers around the world and get their hands on a relatively new type of brand placement in games – in-game advertising – as two platforms have partnered to offer the said type of inventory to advertisers in Africa, Asia, and CIS, as well as Europe, and MENA.

Anzu.io is a global in-game advertising platform, while Eskimi is a full-stack programmatic and data platform. What Anzu offers are real-life advertisements that fit natively into games, and Yaniv Rozencweig, the director of business operations at Anzu, said that it is looking for a demand-side platform (DSP) like Eskimi that has a strong and agile tech team that is able to “make adjustments” in order to tap into its supply. 

MARKETECH APAC spoke to both Rozencweig and Monika Poškutė, the head of marketing at Eskimi, where both said that the partnership ultimately aims to solve the long-standing problem of intrusive ads. 

“Our mindset is very similar [and] basically the same, we believe that ads should not be intrusive, and they should not be a big distraction in your life. You’re supposed to have your activities online for the game that you’re playing on your mobile phone, and it is the game that you’re enjoying, it’s entertainment, [so] suddenly receiving like a pop-up [ad] is a distraction, it’s intrusive,” said Poškutė. 

They also said that the tie-up will be offering foremost the education to clients and brands on how to work around this unique type of advertising and how to best harness it to better connect to gamers which had already reached about 3 billion around the world. 

“You can find various user segments in this big gamer audience in a non-intrusive way, and we believe that by educating our clients about this new opportunity, we are able to offer new channels, [and] new engagement rates, and I could even say probably more loyal user segments,” added Poškutė. 

Top 4: JOLT Digital brings science to media planning through J-CAL 

Singapore-based digital agency JOLT Digital has recently unveiled its new tech for media planning J-CAL, or which stands for J-Calculator, which aims to turn the practice of media planning on its head by bringing more science to advertisers’ processes through econometric modeling. 

MARKETECH APAC spoke to the agency’s founder Sebastien Lepez, where he said that throughout his own experience in media planning, he found that most executives allocate media budget based on gut feel.

Lepez, a marketing veteran with over 13 years of experience in both the agency and client sides, shared that media planners usually use media metrics or the rate of likes, impressions, and views, and while, effective in its own way, still doesn’t integrate sales in the process. 

“We allocate the optimal media budget to the channels we have selected. Our tool is able to tell us exactly how many percent should be invested into each of the channels,” he said. 

In the development of J-CAL, five years’ worth of data across Southeast Asia was used to build econometric curves or what the agency calls response curves for each of the channels that are present on digital. 

“J-CAL has taken nine months to develop and I think we have created a technology that is very unique and very robust. A lot of data, efforts, and thinking has gone into it. We truly believe that it is going to game-change media planning,” Lepez stated.

He further said, “Our industry is in need for a change and it’s been requested by clients for many years. After years [of] working at agencies and clients, I had time to observe the gaps and now I am able with JOLT and with J-CAL to fill these gaps.”

Top 3: TikTok Singapore launches first-ever educational series

While TikTok is most popularly known as an entertainment platform, TikTok in Singapore aims to showcase that such is definitely the case and that the platform is far more reaching than just exciting dances and singing. With this, it launched last 31 March to 6 April its first educational series which has its pilot theme on careers on tech. 

The first-ever #JobTok educational live stream series is a lineup of shows that aims to equip the youth aspiring for tech careers with knowledge of the jobs and skillsets of the future in the industry to help them to make more informed career decisions in life.

“We recognize the need to dispel the uncertainty among today’s job seekers and equip them with the relevant skills to be future-ready, so with that idea in mind, we decided to launch the first-ever ‘JobTok’ educational live series to equip all the users in the platform with the knowledge and the skill set of the future to allow them to make more informed career decisions,” said Doreen Tan, user & content operations manager at TikTok Singapore, in an interview with MARKETECH APAC

The platform has roped in women leaders in tech, tech executives from the government, and even its own engineers to shed light on some of the most burning questions of tech enthusiasts. Segments presented were ‘Adulting Advice from Young GovTechies’, ‘The Faces Behind TikTok live’, and ‘Women Leadership in Tech’. 

‘Ultimately, what we are trying to do here is providing an insider look into the tech industry and to just spark greater interest among Singaporeans to enter this fast-growing industry,” added Tan.  

Top 2: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts names new senior director for marketing and loyalty in APAC

Just recently, hospitality giant Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has consolidated and rebranded its Southeast Asia Pacific Rim (SEAPR) unit to now represent the whole Asia Pacific, and with this, it has elevated its former director for marketing and loyalty in SEAPR Lynn Poh to now take the lead as the senior director for the hotel’s rewards program, Wyndham Rewards, in APAC.

MARKETECH APAC conversed with Poh to know more about what her first order of business will be as she takes on the role.

“My first order of business is integrating the marketing and loyalty teams in Asia Pacific, and plus, developing a strategic marketing plan for both digital and loyalty that will support the needs of our hotels across the region,” said Poh. 

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is one of the biggest hospitality chains in the world with brands across upscale, midscale, and value segments. The APAC leg currently comprises over 1,500 hotels, and within the running quarter of the year alone, the region has announced new additions to its portfolio with a new property in India state Gujarat, and inaugural entries in Nepal and Cambodia.

With tight travel restrictions in the region still in place, how does Lynn plan to keep the rewards program on its feet when such depends on recurring bookings? She said it’s about leveraging digital channels and employing social media strategies that will keep the brand on consumers’ radar. 

“We have seen positive news of travel bubbles coming out of certain destinations, so while we’re still very focused on integrated campaigns, we are also taking a sub-regional approach that’s tailored to market needs,” she shared. 

“So I agree that bookings have not reached historic levels, but throughout the pandemic, Wyndham had been really present in social media and digital channels, and we’ve been driving this message of dreaming to travel again, reconnecting with family and friends, so really driving that top-of-mind awareness through our social media platforms,” she added. 

Top 1: ADA launches new end-to-end e-commerce solution in APAC

Nabbing the top spot for this month of April is ADA, a company that uses deep data and AI capabilities to provide brands in Asia actionable marketing insights and brand and communication strategies. ADA garnered the highest readership for the month for its new e-commerce solution, which is an end-to-end offering for brands.

Speaking with MARKETECH APAC, Anurag Gupta, chief operating officer and chief of agency at ADA, said that what the company found was that while e-commerce is a booming industry in Southeast Asia, companies’ current solutions for online brands are very siloed. 

“There are companies who are driving traffic to the e-commerce platforms or marketplace, then there are companies helping brands optimize the customer journey, then there are companies helping them do fulfillment, but nobody’s linking everything together,” Gupta said. 

Hence, its launch of the new solution. The service is aimed at clients seeking comprehensive solutions to drive traffic, manage customer experience, optimize conversions throughout the funnel, and create engaging content on digital marketplaces as well as owned e-commerce sites.

Gupta said that even amid the increase in adoption of e-commerce, it is still seen as vanity and supplemental channel, where about 90% of sales are still dependent on offline purchases. With the new solution, ADA also aims to help companies understand that with the right direction and strategies, it can be a major channel for a brand. 

Gupta cites one of the pitfalls for brands on the customer journey, taking into example cosmetics brands, where most of the time, customers will come searching on the internet to look for different types, for example, of lipsticks. If brands don’t take the difference of keywords in search seriously, a seemingly small detail would be a big problem on online presence, he said. 

“[E-commerce] is a major part of the digital ecosystem. We see that companies are going to accelerate their e-commerce investments, it is going to be a much bigger channel in their portfolio, and hence, we want to prepare companies how to manage this,” stated Gupta. 

Watch our live interviews with the newsmakers 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.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

JOLT Digital launches new media planning technology

Singapore – Digital media agency JOLT Digital has announced the launch of its new media planning technology J-CAL, which allows marketers to create more effectiveness to their campaigns through calculated budget spend and expected return of ad spend (ROAS).

J-CAL is customizable to each client’s specificities and works for any size budget. It has been built using thousands of data points from campaigns over the past five years in Asia. Furthermore, J-CAL is not only focusing on campaigns that have a performance objective but also on branding campaigns. It is undeniable that branding is critical as it not only helps grow brand health metrics but also sales. 

“At JOLT, we think that allocating thousands of dollars deserves a scientific approach and that’s why we have created a technology, J-CAL, that predicts the most optimal budget allocation to each channel, as well as campaign’s return of ad spend (ROAS),” the company said in a press statement.

For Sebastien Lepez, founder and CEO of JOLT Digital, part of the reason why J-CAL was launched was due to the fact that most planners only rely on ‘gut feeling’ on how much a campaign should spend in order to be effective.

“After using J-CAL for some of our clients, we realized that something was missing. A campaign’s objective is not always focusing on performance. Most often there is also an objective of Brand building. That’s why we have incorporated a brand building dimension in J-CAL and in the calculation of the return of ad spend (ROAS),” Lepez explained. 

He also cited the recent news of Airbnb shifting their campaigns’ objective to brand building rather than performance as one of the inspirations for the media planning technology launch.

“J-CAL has taken nine months to develop and I think we have created a technology that is very unique and very robust. A lot of data, efforts and thinking has gone into it. We truly believe that it is going to game-change media planning,” Lepez stated.

He added, “Our industry is in need for a change and it’s been requested by clients for many years. After years working at agencies and clients, I had time to observe the gaps and now I am able with JOLT and with J-CAL to fill these gaps. J-CAL is going to game-change media planning and bring a more scientific approach to it.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Online art marketplace RtistiQ hands media planning, buying duties to JOLT Digital

Singapore – RtistiQ, a new online marketplace in Singapore dedicated to art and collectibles, has chosen digital media agency, JOLT Digital, to handle its media planning and buying across all digital channels. These include paid Social, SEM, and SEO, as well as programmatic, among channels. 

Through RtistiQ, artists are given the opportunity to promote their creations to an international audience. RtistiQ uses blockchain technology to allow artists to authenticate and mark ownership of their creations, aimed at formalizing and making art transactions more transparent.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Co-founder and CEO of RtistiQ, Jothi Menon, shared that after releasing the beta version of the platform to onboard artists, they were on the lookout for a partner to support its marketing initiatives. He said the company found JOLT Digital to be the rightful agency, providing 360-degree coverage across all digital mediums with a very quick turnaround. 

“It has been a perfect partnership with both JOLT and [RtistiQ’s] belief in using latest technologies to deal with existing problems in the industries we operate in. More importantly, we both have been working with the sense of offering better transparency to our customers and technology is a key enabler for that to happen,” Menon said. 

Meanwhile, Seb Lepez, JOLT Digital’s CEO and founder, echoes the same sentiment, believing that both of the parties’ vision to disrupt traditional methods is a great foundation for the new partnership. 

“RtistiQ is trying to change the way art is sold from the authentication to the tracking via blockchain and then sold to the consumer. This is in a way very similar to JOLT Digital where both companies want to change an industry through the usage of unique technologies so end consumers and customers can benefit from it. I can see that we are both on a mission to game-change outdated industries,” he said. 

Just recently, JOLT digital has also bagged another account, Singapore telecom, TPG Telecom.

Categories
Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

JOLT Digital snares TPG Telecom account

Singapore – After six months of courting, JOLT Digital has successfully been appointed by Singapore telecommunications company, TPG Telecom as its digital media agency. 

The agency will be responsible for the planning and buying duties of the telecom across digital. The partnership, which is inked for the year 2021, will be led by its Strategy & Planning Director Jonathan Ng.   

“We relish the opportunity to partner with TPG Mobile, Singapore’s fourth telco, to establish their brand in Singapore as they deliver a compelling product offering while championing charity causes in the process! Their latest one is for ‘Causes for Animals’, and is a fun, crowd-sourced campaign across social platforms that really drives home their identity as a brand,” Ng said. 

JOLT Digital has initially crafted a campaign for the telecom, which goes in line with its existing ‘50GB for $10’ mobile plan

JOLT Digital started working with the telecom in December 2020 and has already crafted campaigns for its senior digital plan and the latest charity cause for animals targeted at the younger audience. 

Coinciding with its existing ‘50GB for $10’ mobile plan offering, the campaign is in partnership with animal welfare charity, Causes for Animals in Singapore, urging users to participate in an Instagram challenge where each post corresponds to a $10 donation towards the charity. 

JOLT Digital shared to MARKETECH APAC that during the pitching process, it proposed an approach based on its mission, which is to bridge the gap between traditional media agencies and emerging technology – a strategy it believes can help TPG Telecom stay ahead of the game to increase ROI and grow its business.

Sebastien Lepez, founder, and CEO of JOLT Digital, said, “We are very happy to work with clients like TPG that are a big name in their industry and have the potential to grow to a leading position like JOLT has as well.” 

At the helm of a digital agency, Lepez also shared his insights into today’s changing digital landscape. 

“First of all, it is important to put back the consumer in the center of the question. We need to realize that before impacting brands, the pandemic has impacted consumers massively and this resulted in changes on the brand side,” he said. 

“We have seen digital consumption by consumers increasing during the pandemic and not only for the usual crowd but also for groups that were less present there, like senior groups. The pandemic has accelerated the consumption of digital and subsequently brands that are agile and nimble, like TPG [which] have followed and strengthened their presence online to respond to this big digital thirst by consumers,” he continued.