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Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s Top 5 Stories for September: BNPL in Thailand clinches top spot

What a great way to start the ‘Ber’ months this year with a list of high-flying stories which gave the industry a peek of the latest developments in the startup, e-commerce, and digital payments scene. 

This September, an Indian-born PR agency leading the way for communications in the startup sector has expanded its presence to Singapore. A Buy Now Pay Later platform is also ramping up its market in Southeast Asia with the announcement of its country manager for Thailand. 

Meanwhile, e-commerce makes another round getting into readers’ radar with a data-driven marketing firm in Asia unveiling its new leader for its e-commerce offering.

Stories from the Philippines are also in this month’s top spots with one career coaching firm in the country sharing its business story, and also, a report that saw the convergence of consumer products and social media snared readership for the period.

Take a look.

Top 5: PR agency Value 360 Communications expands presence with new Singapore office

Value 360 Communications Singapore

Value 360 Communications, the startup-focused PR agency in India, has announced that it will be expanding its market to Singapore to unlock growth opportunities in the country’s burgeoning start-up space.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Kunal Sinha, the founder and director of Value 360 Communications, shared that the company has been part of the journey of 15 unicorns in the market of India, where they have built communications from the ground up. Learning from the process, the agency eventually grounded its name and reputation in the sector. 

Working with a complex market such as India, Sinha believes, gives the agency a strong value proposition to bring to the start-up space.

“We are going to focus on providing start-up PR in the SEA region, and Singapore will be the core for us in extending our services to start-ups. We are also in a discussion with other global brands who have both India and Singapore presence, and we are looking to hire talents with specific experiences in start-ups,” said Sinha.

We have an internal training module where we will be able to help them learn and understand about the start-up space.

Sinha on hiring new talents

Top 4: MARKETECH Spotlight: PH’s Metamorphosis Group on disrupting career coaching in the country

Metamorphosis Group_Danica Octa

Entering this month’s top stories is one of the latest episodes of MARKETECH Spotlight featuring career coaching firm in the Philippines, Metamorphosis Group (MG). 

In an exclusive conversation with the firm’s Founder, President, and CEO, Danica Octa, she shared MG’s start-up journey which began in the pandemic year in 2020. Gaining more expertise and leadership into the current job and recruitment industry in the country, the coaching firm has now firmed up its mission of becoming an end-to-end employability solution for those seeking guidance on their career development. 

Speaking MARKETECH APAC, Octa shared how the firm sees its role in the Filipino workforce. 

Our role [in the workforce] is to be some kind of a learning partner [and] an accountability buddy.

Octa believes that above all, it’s able to help shape people’s career journey through its future-oriented thinking. 

“We are very forward-thinking, we understand the future of work, we as a company is very, very in touch with what’s going to happen 10 years later,” she said. 

Octa adds, “We have the intuition, we can give our market the information they need to succeed moving forward, of course, so that they can upskill and reskill to the appropriate job that they need to have, moving forward. So I think that’s the role that we take here.”

Top 3: Filipinos take to Twitter conversations around favorite consumer products

Twitter-Philippines

Twitter Philippines has recently released a report on the products Filipinos love to talk about on the platform. The data shows that there are five key trends in how Filipinos converse around food, beverages, and personal, as well as home care.

Chandan Deep, Twitter’s head of emerging business for SEA, shared that people on the app and the conversations that they create are what makes Twitter unique, and that 71% have rated it as a great platform for brand interaction, making it the number one among its peers.

MARKETECH APAC conversed with Deep, and she noted that when you looked at the top mentioned brands, which were listed on their CPG dispatch, you will see some good samples on how brands can engage with their customers on Twitter, to be able to drive more meaningful conversations.

Twitter has a diverse community so they can connect with people who like entertainment, gaming, or health, making the first move as a brand by initiating conversation and making your audience enjoy it.

Top 2: ADA names former Lazada CBO Sherry Tan as regional head of e-commerce

ADA ropes in Lazada MY’s Sherry Tan to become its regional head of e-commerce

ADA, the data- and AI-driven marketing firm in Asia, has appointed former Chief Business Officer of Lazada Malaysia, Sherry Tan to be its regional head of e-commerce. 

ADA has just unveiled its end-to-end e-commerce solution for brands in APAC, and for the new role, Tan will be leading a team of leaders who will support the growing demand for e-commerce in the region. 

In the interview with MARKETECH APAC, Tan shared the challenges that brands in e-commerce are faced with in this pandemic.,

“In the last 18 months right, the pandemic catapulted e-commerce retail significantly, and there are more users in the digital space whether it is the buyers or the sellers. Now, it has become harder for brands to attract customers because there are wider options available,” said Tan. 

According to Tan, besides having more choices, customers are gaining smarter as well and therefore, have higher expectations toward their shopper journey. 

Brands need to stay on top of their game to predict industry trends…and then they need to enhance engagement and attraction to their brand to build loyalty and retention.

On ADA’s e-commerce solution, Tan said, “Leveraging on our data and digital shelf, we are able to craft [an] e-commerce and digital strategy based on sentiment analysis, customer insights as well as [competitive] landscape. This data allows us to understand what consumers are interested in, where they have visited over a period of time, and ADA is able to target these audiences for the brand.”

Top 1: BNPL platform for Asia, Atome, names country manager for Thailand

Atome Poompong Tancharoenphol

For our top story for the month, we have Buy Now Pay later platform in Asia Atome’s appointment of its country manager for Thailand, Poompong Tancharoenphol Tancharoenphol was formerly Zilingo’s country head for the country. 

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Tancharoenphol said, “I think I have been fortunate to look at e-commerce both from AddVentures and Zilingo before. There [are] a few key factors in making an e-commerce company successful, namely the business model itself, whether it is B2C e-commerce, B2B e-commerce, and marketplaces, and there is [a] supply chain, marketing, and payment.”

He adds that with BNPL being quite new to the Thai market, it could mean either two things: it may be potentially good or something which the market may not adapt to. 

I think the direct value we offer to the retailers and e-commerce players is the increase in the market size. We were able to increase the market size to 30% more than any other payment method, and this comes along with increasing sales and conversion [afterward]

Rankings‌ ‌are‌ ‌based‌ ‌on‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Analytics‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌period‌ ‌of‌ ‌16th‌ ‌August‌ ‌to 15th‌ ‌September.‌

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.

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Main Feature Platforms APAC

MARKETECH APAC extends content offering with podcast launch

Manila, Philippines – In its continuing quest of providing holistic and integrated content offering, MARKETECH APAC, the dedicated news platform for the marketing and advertising scene in Asia Pacific, has launched its podcast series, adding to its existing content offering of article and video content.

The ‘MARKETECH APAC Podcast’ converts all 13 existing video interviews by MARKETECH APAC into a podcast format to further boost the great content shared by different marketing leaders across the Asia Pacific region.

These include titles such as ‘MARKETECH Mondays’, which brings in marketing leaders to share their career journey to inspire the new generation of marketers, ‘MARKETECH Expert Up Close’ which focuses on the industry experts discussing their journey on leadership and industry growth, their insights and marketing strategies, and ‘MARKETECH Spotlight’ that focuses on the brand or technology and deep dive the conversation on the organization’s journey, milestones, impact on the industry, and what’s next for them.

Speaking about the podcast launch, Shaina Teope, regional editor at MARKETECH APAC, stated, “Podcasts are now a go-to channel for the digital audience, and therefore for brands to be able to reach them. We have been releasing a roster of interviews and conversations since the publication started, and it’s only a natural step for us to eventually venture into this medium to deliver a truly integrated media platform. We’re excited for more people to unlock insightful and novel content catered to the industry.”

Meanwhile, Joven Barceñas, publisher at MARKETECH APAC, commented, “We are very excited to launch our podcast platforms. Aside from providing options for our audience, this also provides our content partners multiple touchpoints to engage our growing audience in the Asia Pacific.”

He also added, “With our podcast launch, we also would like to thank our interns, John Raven Aviso and Lorrenz John Rodriguez of Cavite State University who helped us a lot in launching our podcast channels. We are very privileged to have them on our team.”

The ‘MARKETECH APAC Podcast’ is available on 6 platforms, namely Anchor, Spotify, Breaker, Google Podcast, Pocket Casts, and RadioPublic.

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Main Feature Marketing Southeast Asia

K-pop brand ambassadors: Are they the new ‘upmarket’ or a ‘relevancy’ ploy?

Korean pop music or most commonly known as ‘K-pop’ has now become a global force to be reckoned with, despite its relative local roots in South Korea. Part of the rising popularity of K-pop nowadays can be attributed to frequent use of social media. Data from Twitter shows that K-pop stars averaged 1.2 tweets per day by second-generation stars, 3.5 tweets per day by third-generation stars, and seven tweets per day by fourth-generation stars. The latter also tweeted 5.8 times more than second-generation stars, and two times more than third-generation stars.

With the combination of global popularity of these groups and the evident presence across social media channels, it is no wonder that a lot of brands, both locally and globally, have tapped into the growing popularity of K-pop groups to be their respective brand ambassadors.

There have been countless examples across the globe of the rising number of K-pop brand ambassadors, ranging from automotive brand Hyundai, insurance brand Prudential, to local brands such as Philippine telcos Globe and Smart, and more recently, global fast-food chain McDonald’s.

Looking at these brand ambassador examples, most of them have unified reasons as to why they chose to tap into K-pop groups: bringing favorite groups closer to the brands’ consumer base, while integrating the K-Pop group’s trademark into the brand’s objective into being customer-centric. 

And while this seems like a positive message for brands to delve into, some customers feel like brands should instead focus on improving their services rather than tapping into K-pop brand ambassadors. For instance, insights provided by media intelligence and insights company Isentia unveiled that Filipino customers shared their concern about Philippine telcos tapping into K-pop ambassadors.

With these seemingly divided thoughts from brands and consumers, it begs the question: are K-pop brand ambassadors the new way for brand representation, or is it merely a ploy of some to garner traction and relevancy?

For our first-ever deep dive under The Inner State, MARKETECH APAC’s feature series, we spoke with four public relations industry leaders: Li Ting Ng, director of innovation and client experience at DEVRIES Global in Singapore; Sailesh Wadhwa, chief strategist at Edelman Malaysia; Andrew Sha, managing director at RedTorch Communications in the Philippines; and Elya Eusoff, general manager at Ruder Finn Asia Malaysia, to once and for all, get their take on the tipping point for brands realizing the impact of K-pop brand ambassadors, and how integrating them can affect the overall health of their brand; their brand value and reputation.

K-pop brand ambassadors: why them instead of local ones?

According to Li Ting Ng of DEVRIES Global, part of the growing trend of K-pop brand ambassadors can be attributed to the fact that prior to its global expansion, K-pop stars have long been tapped by Korean brands themselves to be their front for both their local and global campaigns. However, with the spread of the so-called ‘Hallyu’ or ‘Korean wave’, there had been a steadfast rise of non-Korean brands finally hopping into the K-pop brand ambassador scene.

And with the now evident mainstream success of K-pop globally, Ng also noted that non-Korean brands tapping into the bandwagon can be highly likened to the phenomenon of roping in Western figures, like a Hollywood A-lister actor or actress who have been signed as a brand ambassador.

Such global recognition of these brand ambassadors, Ng notes, can now help brands be able to streamline their brand campaigns to a much wider and global scale.

“In addition, as the world is increasingly connected across geographies, consumers do not distinguish between what the brand does in different markets. Therefore, everything consumers come across from a brand – whether online or offline – contributes to their overall brand perception,” she stated.

This is also agreed upon by Elya Eusoff from Ruder Finn Asia Malaysia, which, according to him, further stamps the brand’s quality of their products or services, and therefore linking the brand to be labeled as ‘international’ and ‘of quality’.

In an example given by Eusoff, he compares K-pop brand ambassadors to the fact that Malaysian brands have also tapped international celebrities in order to add recognition and relevance to their brand. For instance, athlete Usain Bolt was used to signify connection speed with Malaysian telco Celcom, while football player Roberto Carlos was showcased by AirAsia to signify ‘the possibilities of daring to dream, among many other similar partnerships. 

But perhaps, the most notable reason for the rise of these K-pop brands: the growing demographic of K-pop fans, which are well known to start large-scale fandoms. Ng notes that K-pop fandom is one unique asset within the K-pop scene, which in turn is a great opportunity for brands to tap into to grow their consumer base.

Sailesh Wadhwa of Edelman Malaysia also agreed to the aforementioned statement, noting that the heightened interest in K-pop groups can be hugely chalked up to the fact that the genre being a source of positivity for millions of fans worldwide, which pushes brands to think of innovative ways to incorporate the same cheer and positivity through their desired collaborations.

Meanwhile, Andrew Sha of RedTorch Communications also affirms the belief in seeing K-pop fans being the strength for brands tapping into K-pop stars, stating that long before ‘Hallyu’ became globally known, K-pop has been a dominant genre of interest across Southeast Asian nations, including Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. He also noted that with K-pop fans providing a large purchasing power in support of their idols, it is no wonder that brands can also leverage this to generate engagement and sales.

Will riding the K-pop brand ambassador wave work always?

For Sha, brands hopping into the K-pop wave “will work,” as long as it is done right. Sha uses the example of photo cards, a well-known merchandise among K-pop fans, and he notes that buyers from both the brand’s home country and overseas will try to get hold of the product as long as it is relatable and appealing to them because they want to support their idol. 

However, there are mixed thoughts about the effectiveness of K-pop brand ambassadors, as Eusoff states that while a K-pop affiliation may bring value to the brand, they would still need to adhere to their core values from a corporate aspect, and not just merely ‘riding’ the trend, which in turn can bring a negative impact to their existing customers. 

Wadhwa also agrees with this reasoning, stating that while having K-pop brand ambassadors can have brands offer its customers a piece of the pop group’s existing story and persona, there is still a critical point brands should take into consideration, or else it only ends up as an ‘opportunistic tactic’ by the brand, which does not add up genuinely to the brand’s value.

Furthermore, Ng supports this reasoning by noting that brands should also take into consideration the proper affinity of the brand and the group they are pitching to be their front. She also added that just because K-pop has an international following or any related group, for that matter, doesn’t mean brands should immediately jump into this endeavor. Rather, they should ask themselves the purpose of the brand ambassador’s appointment, whether it is for the longer run or merely just to get a boost of attention and sales.

“We have seen many instances of K-pop collaborations resulting in products selling out almost instantly for the latter. However, while you may achieve short-term sales and buzz, it is important to question whether these consumers support their K-pop idols or support the brand or products,” Ng stated.

Tipping the pros and cons of K-pop brand ambassadors

Content, gamification, and activation or pure engagement: this sums up what unique experiences brands should apply as with any brand ambassador, according to Wadhwa.

“We’d like to view them as creative collaborations. And the best natural fit aside from values, personality and talent attraction fit, is their willingness to curate unique experiences for your brand. Given their currency with the audiences we intend to connect with, the brand story needs to have a natural fit, else we run the risk of being left out from the romance,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Eusoff notes that the factors of global link and reach to a much wider audience, as well as the possibility of faster and higher impact results are some of the advantages of tapping K-pop brand ambassadors. This was agreed upon by Sha, who added that factors such as increase in return of investment (ROI) and the brand being the front and center of buzz online or offline gives the brand an advantage to win some brand love. 

On the other hand, almost all of the public relation leaders agreed that extremely expensive fee and strict rules in engagement are the main factors that pose a low point for a brand seeking a K-pop brand ambassador, with Sha adding that one wrong move from the brand would result in immediate backlash from the fans, and Ng adding that the K-pop brand ambassador could potentially outshine the brand and its product or service being offered.

Pointers to ponder for brands venturing into the K-pop brand ambassador space

Both Sha and Eusoff agree that in order to truly work out a K-pop star-brand partnership, there should be questions considered regarding the relevance of the group to the consumers, as well as on the match of the K-pop star’s story and persona against what the brand truly embodies. 

Wadhwa agrees with this as well, stating that in addition to the science and rigor of choosing an ambassador is ticking the boxes on ROI metrics where the real question to ask is – what would the brand’s role going to be when these stars are romancing their audiences.

Meanwhile, Ng’s stance is for brands to take a precautionary route, noting that with issues emerging from the industry such as perpetuating toxic beauty standards, bullying, and its notorious training boot camps and contracts, brands should ask themselves how they should align themselves with the groups or idols they desire to work with.

“If you’ve decided that engaging a K-pop ambassador would benefit your brand, it’s key to recognize that K-pop talents and groups are brands of their own. Choosing the biggest and most popular talent or group may not necessarily add value to your brand, especially if it becomes all about your K-pop ambassador rather than your brand,” she concluded.

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Main Feature Marketing Featured APAC

MARKETECH APAC to launch regional workshops, on lookout for trainers

Manila, Philippines – In response to the growing need among businesses in the Asia Pacific region to learn new skills for their marketing endeavor, MARKETECH APAC, the dedicated news platform for the marketing and advertising scene in Asia Pacific, has announced that it will be launching its new slew of digital courses catered to empower businesses through marketing skills.

Named as ‘Elevate’, MARKETECH APAC offers a series of marketing workshops to provide the marketing industry with addressing the ongoing need to upskill new and cross-skilling marketing talents and to help them to be successful in their roles. 

In addition, MARKETECH APAC is planning to offer virtual training programs to ensure safety while learning and to get participants in the region to have an opportunity to learn together from other markets. There will also be an option to do on-site training depending on the current COVID-19 situation in the city.

Topics for the virtual training sessions digital marketing, content marketing, public relations, and e-commerce. MARKETECH APAC will also produce specific training courses for SMEs and the startup community.

Joven Barceñas, publisher at MARKETECH APAC, spoke about the training launch, “We are excited to launch MARKETECH Elevate. This is our way to stay true to our mission – Making marketing for all. This time, we will work with marketing experts to identify the current training needs of marketers across Asia Pacific and deliver quality training programs in the region.”

MARKETECH APAC’s launch of ‘Elevate’ comes after the news site just recently celebrated its one year since its establishment, and continues to enrich its stance as an Asia Pacific-centric marketing publication by extending help to aspiring and junior marketers in bringing out the best in them in the industry.

Furthermore, MARKETECH APAC believes that through the selection of topics for training offering, all of them are ample to empower aspiring marketers and businesses to step up their presence, whether locally or regionally.

Interested trainers who would like to be part of this initiative are encouraged to send an email to elevate@marketech-apac.com. Please attach your CV and share your training portfolios, or suggested training topics.

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Main Feature Technology APAC

MARKETECH APAC opens conversation on the new internet: Advertising in a privacy-first and cookieless world

Singapore – Recognizing the need for brands to transition from the traditional dependence on ‘cookies’ for their digital advertising to a privacy-centric method, MARKETECH APAC, the news content platform dedicated to the advertising and marketing industry in the APAC region, has recently conducted its webinar last 2 June to spur the dialogue on the topic. It provided marketers and advertisers in Asia a view of the best practices they can adopt for their transition to a new internet landscape that is fast putting the premium on consumer privacy. The virtual event on Wednesday also uncovered firsthand insights from marketing professionals in Asia with a panel that saw the gathering of esteemed leaders from the industries of insurance, digital payments and fast food. 

In the first half of the webinar, Creative & Media Innovation in Asia | Preparing your brand for a cookieless world, Travis Teo, co-founder and executive director of Adzymic, presented a discussion on the status quo of third-party cookie usage in marketing and the challenges and opportunities it would leave once they are finally phased out in 2022. 

Meanwhile, in the said panel discussion, industry practitioners shared their experiences as they shift away from cookie targeting techniques. Marketing leaders from Payoneer, Burger King, and Income discussed the strategies they are employing to get ready for the not-so-distant future. 

Privacy-centricity and creative technology: modern marketing techniques for the new cookieless era

In the first presentation, Teo discussed a three-pronged approach that brands can follow to continue driving campaign performance in the post-cookie world: how to sustain accurate audience targeting, where should the ads appear, and how creative messaging strategies should shift to adapt to the new targeting methods. 

He discussed in detail the key alternatives to third-party cookies, sharing the pros and cons of Google’s cohort-based interest targeting, and first-party data targeting methods through hashed/anonymized email addresses or first-party cookie collection. Other considerations discussed were the scale of universal ID adoption of online publishers, accessibility of second-party data from publishers and leveraging adtech to scale up on creative testing and performance. 

Round table discussion on how brands are preparing for transition

The panelists included Tanushri Rastogi, brand and media lead at Burger King Indonesia; Anny Huang, head of digital business at Income; and Eileen Borromeo, head of marketing for Southeast Asia & Pakistan at Payoneer; with the session moderated by Peggy Koh, head of growth and client success at Adzymic

Through the lens of the panelists’ unique business environments, the group discussed how they are sharpening focus on capturing quality first-party customer data via consumer mobile apps or BTL events, and investing in martech stacks that include data management platforms to run campaigns. They concluded by sharing client perspectives on the expectations they had of media agency or martech partners to be knowledgeable and proactive in making recommendations for future-ready methods of running campaigns.

The webinar was conducted under MARKETECH APAC’s webinar series Inside Innovation, in partnership with Adzymic, which attracted a total of 396 registrations across Asia and ANZ.

On-demand access to the webinar is now available. Register here to get your access.

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Main Feature Marketing Partners APAC

What the education space is making possible that it hasn’t prior to new normal: APAC universities’ panel discussion

Australia – Last 13 April, MARKETECH APAC’s webinar production unit ‘Inside Innovation’, through the webinar ‘Asia-Pacific Outlook 2021: Reimagining your higher education web strategy‘, has gathered digital marketing leaders and experts from higher education in APAC to talk about how the massive shift to virtual learning changed universities’ approach in engaging students and the challenges and new opportunities it has brought to higher education institutions in delivering an excellent and effective digital experience. 

Graced by panelists Paul Gower, deputy director for marketing & user experience at Australia’s Curtin University, and Monica Hong, the digital marketing national manager of Australian Catholic University, who were moderated by global SaaS solutions Siteimprove’s Vice President for APJ Gabriel Ponzanelli, and likewise joined by its Digital Marketing Consultant Rick Elenbaas – the group found that what stands out to be the most valuable opportunity right now in the education space is increased accessibility

The international and domestic market

While the pivot to online for almost all aspects of campus life such as admissions, enrolment, and the educational instruction itself, has imposed restrictions due to the lack of physical interaction, the greater focus on digital has also opened up a lot of opportunities for both institutions and students, which may not have been possible if weren’t for the nationwide lockdowns. 

One would be the reach to international students. Although both Gower and Hong agree that due to cross-border restrictions, the blow of the pandemic has been greater to their international market, it has also proved to be beneficial for reaching the said cohort in other areas such as implementing open days. 

“Moving forward into a hybrid deliverable is really good because we found that delivering a virtual open day meant that we can reach the international [audience] which we knew preferred to actually find information online, rather than physically go to open day, which was more for school leavers,” Hong shared in the panel.

Now that international reach has become more tightened at large, this then pushes universities to reimagine their curriculum and offerings and to put more attention to their domestic market. 

Siteimprove’s Ponzanelli having worked with different institutions shared that a common problem for schools at the start of the pandemic was the disruption of university attendance, where international students had to stop at the middle of the academic year and couldn’t come back to continue due to borders closed. 

With this, Ponzanelli shared the two strategies common among universities, “What we hear from a lot of them, they’re sort of looking at two strategies. One is to pivot away from say the [regions of] Central South America or Africa, or kind of away from the [regions of] China, Southeast Asia, and India; and the other one is [to] double down on the domestic,” he said. 

Gower shared that in Curtin university, they have been a lot more aggressive in protecting their domestic market share in the last 12 to 18 months – looking at offering more short courses for post-graduate students and to those that wish to take micro credentials – as a big growth opportunity. 

“[This] forms a large part of our marketing strategy for the next three to five years – developing much more [options] for short courses or nano or micro credentials which people can then use for broader accreditation [to more expansive programs],” shared Gower. 

“A lot of universities are looking at this, people just want to dip their toes in the water, learn, [and] get a bit of the flavor of a particular topic, particular skill, take that back and then see if they sort of go any further or build on that,” he added. 

The opportunity to attend school for physically challenged individuals

Aside from the dimension of opportunities with regards to domestic and international students, the new normal with the increased remote setup has given way to simply push forward accessibility as it is – for those students that are not able to attend physically such as those with physical disability, for example. 

Ponzanelli said, “The move to online and these hybrid models have really opened the door for people that probably couldn’t attend the university physically before. Somebody that is in regional areas of the country, [or] someone that [has] a physical disability, that just physically could not get to a campus. So I’m assuming and I’m hoping that accessibility is much bigger, and [is] more on the table than it used to be before.” 

The panel touched on the two-prong discussion on accessibility – first, the accessibility opened by virtual learning to get into higher ed for physically-challenged individuals, and then the other accessibility thereafter – how accessible a university’s online experience is, such as their websites in delivering a virtual campus experience. 

Siteimprove’s Elanbaas shared more on the topic in his deck presentation on how to make universities’ websites and digital campuses more accessible and effective, catering to the needs of internet-immersed digital natives. He discussed how websites should address more than just the visually impaired but also those who have cognitive impairments, deafness or difficulty of hearing, and also challenged motor functions. He also speaks of the long-tail effect of inaccessibility which could start from poor student experiences then resulting in negative word of mouth and then eventually losing out on the share on student enrolment. 

Of the topic, Hong shared, “Moving in a more digital native world, everyone goes on Google first to google everything that they do, and so it is important to make sure that we are visible on the website, [that] our website works, [and] our user journey is seamless as much as possible. So that is the most important thing.”

The webinar was done in partnership with global SaaS solutions Siteimprove. On-demand access to the webinar is now available. Watch as the panel discusses more in-depth the different challenges universities met at the onset of the pandemic, and how they have successfully adapted. Insights discussed were hybrid learning, adopting conversational platforms, marketing to influencers such as students’ parents, dealing with siloed subdomains, and diversifying global market strategies as the world continues to navigate the global pandemic. 

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Main Feature Marketing Partners APAC

MARKETECH APAC prepares brands into a cookieless world with upcoming webinar for privacy-first audience targeting

Singapore – MARKETECH APAC, the APAC-wide news outlet dedicated to the marketing and advertising industry in the region, is launching a webinar that aims to prepare brands for the impending change in digital advertising: audience retargeting in a cookieless and privacy-first world. 

Cookies have long stood as the cornerstone for brands’ advertising efforts, and now that the industry is gearing up to foray into a privacy-first digital space, brands and companies remain in the dark on how they can achieve the best of both worlds – keeping consumers’ privacy intact while attaining campaign performance and driving conversions. 

Leading web browser Google Chrome has already announced its intentions to block third-party cookies by 2022, joining the pack, Firefox and Safari; and with this on the horizon, MARKETECH APAC aims to create a dialogue that would open the floor for brands and advertisers in Asia to discuss the best practices and approaches in maintaining creativity and innovation all the while adhering to safe measures in monitoring audiences’ browsing behavior and preferences. 

Titled ‘Creative & Media Innovation in Asia: Preparing your brand for a cookieless world’, MARKETECH APAC has roped in esteemed marketing leaders from various industries for a panel that would discuss the importance of first-party data and how brands in Asia are doing their share of adapting to the emerging privacy-first internet, and how tech agencies and brands can best navigate this new type of digital environment. 

The panel includes Eileen Borromeo, head of marketing of financial services company Payoneer for Southeast Asia and Pakistan, and Anny Huang, head of digital business of Singapore-based insurance company Income. Joining them is Travis Teo, executive director of Asia-wide ad tech Adzymic

Within the webinar, Teo will also be delivering a presentation that aims to dig deep on the landscape of programmatic advertising amid a new cookieless digital space. The presentation also aims to shed light on how programmatic creatives can fit into overall media strategy and process and will explore the topic of ‘Hacking programmatic display’, exploring how creative innovation and variation drive performance. 

Shaina Teope, regional editor of MARKETECH APAC, commented, “Just like ‘old habits’, we need to make way for new ones, especially if it has stopped serving peoples’ best interests, and this has been the case for digital advertising. For a long time, the use of cookies has only been benefitting best the brands and companies in hitting their campaign and sales objectives and it is time to draw the line. This webinar is positioned to help advertisers to take the necessary first step – and that is to recognize the problem and immerse in the conversation of how we can not only learn to adapt to a privacy-first digital advertising but the ways brands can be the very agents of the transformation into using first-party cookies.”

Meanwhile, Teo, who will be one of the speakers in the webinar, said, “Every change in the digital advertising landscape brings new opportunities and innovation to the space, despite the challenges and unknowns. While moving to a cookieless world remains an uncharted territory for most brands, it provides a great opportunity to reboot old practices and move to a more sustainable and responsible way of audience targeting, and re-focus on how creatives can help provide the necessary cut-through. I’m also keen to discuss with brands the practices and approaches they can adopt to best transit to a cookieless digital environment.” 

The webinar will be held on 2 June at 2 pm SGT. You can register for the event here.

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Marketing Featured Partners APAC

MARKETECH APAC tackles higher ed’s digital marketing strategies in ‘new normal’ in webinar for APAC universities

Singapore – MARKETECH APAC, the news content platform dedicated to the advertising and marketing industry in the APAC region, has recently concluded its webinar Tuesday, April 13, which tackled the changing education landscape amid the pandemic and how this has pushed the imperative for higher education institutions to recalibrate their current marketing roadmap, specifically schools’ digital marketing strategies. 

Moderated by Gabriel Ponzanelli, the vice president of global SaaS solutions Siteimprove for the Asia Pacific region and Japan, the webinar, Asia-Pacific Outlook 2021: Reimagining your higher education web strategy, presented a panel of esteemed marketing leaders from Australian universities to discuss the current challenges and opportunities for universities in delivering a student experience now that the academic community has been thrust to completely navigate in a virtual environment. 

A presentation has also been showcased by Siteimprove’s digital marketing consultant Rick Elenbaas, who discussed in detail the definitive changes in the student journey and how they have affected students’ expectations. 

As the name of the virtual event promises, Elenbaas laid out the three core steps in delivering a converting and retaining web experience, namely: achieving an uninterrupted digital student journey, making your digital journey accessible, and becoming digital resilient and future proof. More details on this presentation to be found in the webinar’s on-demand access. 

In addition, Elenbaas also covered a lot of ground on how digital natives are outnumbering other students and what vital characteristics a university’s student experience should embody in order to truly connect and resonate with this group of individuals. Furthermore, he also emphasized a strand of students’ navigation online that some universities fail to pay more attention to and that is, the accessibility of their campus websites, that goes beyond just addressing visual impairment. 

Meanwhile, the panel discussion included panelists Paul Gower, deputy director for marketing & user experience at Curtin University, and Monica Hong, the digital marketing national manager of Australian Catholic University. The panel delved into the different points of the student journey and how each has been turned around by the absence of physical interactions. Gower and Hong, through the lens of their own universities, provided a picture of how the larger education space is changing – from delivering a seamless application process to conducting ‘open days’ and ‘student orientations’ at this new normal and to adapting the digital strategy for both the domestic and international markets.

The panelists also bared how each of their teams dealt with the challenge of moving into the unknown when the pandemic first struck, and how in such a massive environment and space as digital, they manage to prioritize which communication points are most important in user experience such as the accessibility of campus websites. 

The webinar was conducted under MARKETECH APAC’s webinar series Inside Innovation, and is in collaboration with Siteimprove. Siteimprove is a global SaaS solutions that provides organizations with actionable insights to deliver an effective digital experience that drives growth. 

You may register here to obtain access to the on-demand webinar.

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Main Feature Marketing Partners APAC

MARKETECH APAC to host webinar ‘Asia-Pacific Outlook 2021: Reimagining your higher education web strategy’

Singapore – Virtual learning has long been in learning institutions’ blueprint for educational provision, but the emergence of the pandemic has surged the need for online channels at an unprecedented level. This further pushes every aspect of university operations, including its student admissions, recruitment, and retention efforts to assume a digital environment, hence necessitating institutions to reevaluate and rethink their digital marketing strategies. 

This April 13, APAC-wide marketing and advertising news platform, MARKETECH APAC, gathers a panel of experts from the region to discuss and present the current challenges and opportunities in today’s digital and online marketing landscape of higher education institutions. 

Titled the ‘Asia-Pacific Outlook 2021: Reimagining your higher education web strategy’, the webinar will lay out and touch on the pillars of creating an intelligent and inspiring digital experience for students through a university’s most valuable asset – its online portal. 

To start off, the panel includes Monica Hong, Australian Catholic University’s digital marketing national manager, where the group will discuss how universities can best evolve their website and digital experience, one that would effectively attract potential enrollees and retain existing students. Joining her are top digital marketing executives, global SaaS solution Siteimprove’s Vice President for the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ), Gabriel Ponzanelli, and its Digital Marketing Consultant Rick Elenbaas.

The expert line-up will steer the dialogue on the ways learning institutions can maintain agility to overcome common industry pain points. Furthermore, the webinar will present on the crucial features of high ed web strategy, the different ways of effectively gauging campaign success, and how schools can identify and fix the roadblocks in the bid to deliver a highly encouraging, inspiring, and informative digital experience. 

Ponzanelli leads the APJ sales and marketing teams in Siteimprove, and carries with him over 20 years of experience in traditional and digital marketing across agency and corporate sides. Elenbaas, meanwhile, has worked in Sydney’s digital landscape for the past 10 years, building a wealth of knowledge within the fields of SEO and Analytics, having worked with clients like Toyota Australia, Woolmark, and Pizza Hut, as well as Richardson & Wrench and Real Insurance.

Meanwhile, Hong boasts of 12 years of experience. In her role at Australian Catholic University, a public university in the country with seven campuses, she takes the helm of the institution’s advertising and marketing portfolio.

Shaina Teope, MARKETECH APAC’s regional editor, who will be moderating the webinar commented, “Universities’ online portals have long been an entryway for students to obtain a peek of what they would call home for the next four years or so of their lives, a place to immerse themselves in academic enlightenment, and holistic transformation in braving the real world.”

“Through this webinar, universities across the Asia Pacific and beyond will not only receive a refresher on the most effective digital marketing strategies to attract enrollees and achieve student retention, but will also learn amid changing times, how to be the fort by which talented and brilliant individuals will build their future career around,” added Teope. 

In partnership with Siteimprove, the virtual event will take place live on April 13, Tuesday, and will simultaneously be broadcast at the following timezones: 11 am SGT, 1 pm AEST, and 3 pm NZST. 

There is no better time for universities’ marketing teams to rethink and recalibrate their web and digital marketing execution plans. All marketing, communications, digital, and user experience professionals of universities’ marketing teams across the APAC region are invited to attend the virtual event. You may sign up for the webinar here.