Main Feature Technology Partners APAC

What’s NEXT Interview: Zuellig Pharma’s Preetham Nadig discusses elevating digital experience

The recent pandemic subjected the healthcare industry to a trial by fire revealing loopholes that were otherwise shoved under the rug. If there were one obvious transformation that had to be quickly thrust into reality, it would be the digitisation of healthcare. 

In an interview under the What’s NEXT Interview Series by MARKETECH APAC, one of the leading healthcare services providers in Asia – Zuellig Pharma – shared with us its insights on digital experience innovation. The firm activated incredible pivots within its ecosystem during the pandemic, starting with a B2B e-commerce platform called ‘eZRx’. 

Right off the bat, its Head of Product & Engineering, Digital & Data Solutions, Preetham Nadig, encapsulated in a nutshell what had been the state of affairs over the last two years. 

“I think the pandemic has given us [an] overview of what happens when [we’re] not prepared, and how businesses had to transform overnight,” he said.

“Healthcare has gone [through] a tremendous digital transformation journey, and [with] [Covid], we have really catapulted into the next phase of our transformation.” 

Watch the full interview with Zuellig Pharma’s Preetham Nadig here.

Nadig shared that at Zuellig Pharma, they have seen customers demand more personalised and accessible experiences.

“In our part of the world, in Southeast Asia especially, healthcare is fragmented, [and] we still see the same challenges of having access to better [data], to [better] healthcare, and having the trust in [the] products that we consume.”

Meanwhile, on leveraging Sitecore’s composable solutions for their digital experiences, he commented, “Zuellig Pharma leverages Sitecore CMS across our ecosystem of Digital & Data solutions. Sitecore has helped us to deliver a better customer-centric digital strategy, which leads to driving revenue and conversion, and improving customer loyalty and marketing efficiency, to name a few.”

Nadig cited two crucial things for brands in delivering an excellent digital experience – personalisation and convenience

“Personalisation and convenience [stand] out. For that to happen, we need to really look at having composable solutions.”

Further, he believes it’s customer-focused innovation that’s going to be the key differentiator as brands continue to elevate and bring to newer heights their digitisation efforts.

“Continuous investment in [composable] solutions helps us to be prepared, be agile, [and] be very customer-focused.”

He also advised brands, “Start with the customer, understand their pain points, understand their journeys, and contextualise your experiences to your customers’ contexts.”

This interview was conducted in partnership with Sitecore. Sitecore is the leading provider of end-to-end digital experience software; its SaaS-enabled and composable platform empowers brands to deliver unforgettable customer interactions.

Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s first-ever hybrid industry conference tackles what’s next for various marketing facets

Manila, Philippines – As 2023 is now in full swing, marketing and advertising leaders alike are now on the edge as to what opportunities and challenges they should look out for in their respective industries. This comes with making sense of a lot of emerging marketing trends which have been accelerated by changing consumer behaviours and evolving industry perceptions, amongst others.

In response to the need for a diverse platform where the industry can learn from, MARKETECH APAC has recently concluded “What’s NEXT 2023: Marketing in Asia-Pacific”, a 2-day hybrid marketing industry conference from February 28 to March 1, which tackled a wide range of marketing topics that marketers can use to empower their marketing strategies this 2023 and be equipped with future-proof brand directions. The conference was attended by more than 200 in-persona attendees and more than 100 virtual attendees.

For Day 1 of the conference, the event was held physically at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, and featured a 22-strong speaker lineup from local and international brands namely:

  • Gino Riola, chief marketing officer at Allianz PNB Life
  • Gino Borromeo, chief strategy officer at BBDO Guerrero
  • Bea Atienza, impactful brand experience lead at Colgate-Palmolive
  • Jay-Anne Encarnado, vice president and head of corporate Communications and PR at Converge ICT Solutions
  • Denice Sy, chief sales and marketing officer at Ever Bilena Cosmetics
  • Nancy Almasco, marketing director at FlowerStore Group
  • Danielle Marie Eleazar, head of marketing of new verticals at foodpanda
  • Francis John Chua, head of channel and content strategy and governance at Globe Group
  • Norman Agatep, president and managing director at Grupo Agatep
  • Sheila Paul, chief marketing officer at Home Credit Philippines
  • Doris Dumlao-Abadilla, business features editor at
  • Mark Opao, communications planning partner for APAC, Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Kaspersky
  • Teri Flores, head of corporate communications at Luzon International Premiere Airport Development Corp. (LIPAD Corp.)
  • Weldon Fung, area director at Meltwater Southeast Asia
  • Paolo Alba, client service director and country lead for the Philippines at PRecious Communications
  • Louise Vas, head of OSW marketing at PrimeCredit
  • Raenald Renz De Jesus, head of marketing at ShopBack Philippines
  • Joaquin San Agustin, senior vice president of marketing at SM Supermalls
  • Anna Henwood, chief executive officer at Stickybeak
  • Jeremiah Su, chief marketing officer at Superminted
  • Albert Cuadrante, chief marketing officer at UnionBank of the Philippines
  • Christopher Daguimol, group director and head of corporate communication at ZALORA

Some of the discussions that were tackled on the first day include a keynote presentation from Home Credit Philippines and their marketing strategy to promote local financial inclusion, panel discussions on how brands are foreseeing their brand growth as well as tackling ‘fake news’ with public relations, and more presentations on video content strategy, the return of travel in a post-pandemic time, and the importance of CSR initiatives.

Meanwhile, for day 2 of the conference–which was held virtually–the speaker lineup came from international brands and agencies. The speakers for day 2 include:

  • Faiz Fashridjal, co-founder and business director at AllHeart Indonesia
  • Matt Hallett, head of product solutions at Amperity
  • Teresa Sperti, founder and director at Arktic Fox
  • Azadeh Williams, managing director at AZK Media
  • Diana Boo, chief marketing officer at Boost
  • JJ Eastwood, managing director at Carousell Media Group
  • Ravi Shankar, chief marketing officer at Carsome
  • Amit Wadhwa, CEO at dentsu Creative India
  • Deepak Lamba, head of global sales and partnerships at Hubilo
  • Toni Juhani Ruotanen, director of advertising and partnerships for APAC at panda ads
  • Sally Lai, regional director for marketing and innovation for Asia at Rentokil Initial
  • Sean Jefferies, martech product owner at Rentokil Initial
  • Kyra Coleen Jose, art director at Superminted

The discussions focused more on the importance of marketing innovations such as marketing technology, performance drivers, and phygital event experiences, amongst others.

MARKETECH APAC’s first-ever hybrid industry conference was also made possible by sponsors Meltwater, panda ads, Stickybeak, Carousell Media Group, and Hubilo.

Speaking on the recent conclusion of the conference, Joven Barceñas, founder and CEO of MARKETECH APAC, has expressed his gratitude to all of those who have attended the conference, stressing the importance of leading discussions for the marketing industry this year.

“We are very grateful that we kicked off 2023 with our first-ever hybrid marketing conference, which saw huge attendance from speakers and attendees across Asia-Pacific. We understand the importance of having a one-stop event that bears a wide array of topics that are beneficial to marketers this 2023. It is also important for us to be able to get some of the leading marketing leaders in the region to lead these conversations, and empower other marketers to brave the uncertain year ahead with optimism to their own marketing strategies.

He added, “True to our mantra of creating a well-connected marketing ecosystem in Asia-Pacific, our first-ever hybrid marketing conference is a testament to what other marketers can look forward to from us this year and in the future. We hope you can join us in our upcoming ventures to spotlight the best of marketing trends this year.”

What’s NEXT 2023: Marketing in Asia-Pacific will be also making its international debut in Malaysia and Singapore by the fourth quarter of this year.

Follow our YouTube channel as we will share the recorded sessions of the 2-day conference in the next coming days.

Main Feature Marketing APAC

Thought Leadership of the Year: Wayne Deakin’s insight into rethinking brand experience

What good is our social sphere if consumer brands simply remained stagnant in their brand experiences? This is somewhat the proposition that Wayne Deakin, creative lead at British ad agency Wolff Olins, gave in his piece, Don’t believe the hype–rethink brand experience penned and published here at MARKETECH APAC last September 2022.

There is quite an unsettling but interesting air from the way the ad man painted a picture of branding – indicating as if something is at stake other than just top-of-mind positioning, consumer perception, and loyalty. Nonetheless, Deakin must have struck a chord in audiences, earning it the topmost readership in 2022 amongst all written insights by industry leaders on the platform. This makes the feature our Thought Leadership of the Year.

The think piece that began with a sundry of worldly sorts

Reading into the first few paragraphs of Don’t believe the hype–rethink brand experience, you wouldn’t know that the think piece is indeed about branding. The global principal for design at Wolff Olins begins his commentary by explaining how the world is changing, touching on a sundry of entities such as the architecture of cities, data and AI, and gender identity. 

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Deakin said that our experience with a brand is “made up [of] multiple interactions and [micro-interactions].”

He further goes, “Brand isn’t a top-down or traditional channel approach but instead thinking of brand as a living breathing ecosystem of parts and how it stretches across all parts of business and operations.”

What Deakin seems to assert is that branding has ceased to revolve solely around marketing tactics, whereas “Marketing is just one piece in how you surface as an identity today.” 

He says, “We now need to view [brand-building] in a more open and transparent approach…[the] reality is that [today,] all the actions a brand does need to be viewed as [brand-building] opportunities, as consumers and employees are judging your brand on many fronts.” 

Befriending friction and considering principles of atomic design for your branding

Blocks of intelligent insights later, you’d find that Deakin’s main show has yet to come into the feature – and that would be his out-of-the-box and unorthodox three-pointer on how to deliver a brand experience that respects consumers’ unpredictable human nature. 

And it goes as follows: One, whereas ‘friction’ is at all costs avoided, he advises making your ‘friend’; two, in the same breath as breaking traditional approaches, he believes speed is not always king; and three, he encourages brands to consider the mechanism of atomic design and adopt the value of composability. 

If he were to pick only one and identify the most important amongst the three, he said it would be what he paralleled with science – being composable. 

“It seems we are in a recession, so the concept of being composable is something that brands should prioritise for sure,” he said. “Making sure you are armed with a modern design system that is adaptable to different channels and media is something that’s critical in a [recession] when different channels and platforms will be hit in different ways.” 

On a less technical note, but still in the name of being ‘flexible’, Deakin also reiterates that it’s about “being a friend, not just a utility.” 

“Psychological segmentation has an important role to play in understanding how we can be more human and coherent – showing up in many ways at the right time in the right way.” 

On aiming to be a category leader, he said, “That ability to arm your agency and partners with a composable brand that can work in many ways to attract different audiences is essential.” 

What brands must focus on this 2023

Deakin’s insight was penned in September 2022, and as of writing, had been a good quarter ago. In today’s fast-paced tech-inclined environment, that could metaphorically be described as light years ago if we’re talking about keeping up with consumers’ ever-changing nuances. 

If he would have written the piece today, Deakin said he would not change a thing. 

“I wouldn’t change anything I wrote. I would say that [there are] even more reasons to lean into brand experience as we move into 2023.” 

“As economic times get tougher, businesses tend to cut costs of course but brand experience is a very useful approach to become more agile and to convey the values, [meaning,] and purpose of your brand quickly, [easily,] and – most importantly – responsively to customers’ evolving concerns and needs in changing times.”

He said that 2023 is all about one thing, and that is building trust. Deakin joins the many leaders today that are advocating to focus more on consumer retention over acquisition. 

His two cents on the matter, “It’s not about throwing everything into searching for endless new customers but [instead] [about] making existing customers spend more time, money, and interactions with your brand.” 

He looks to BigTech members Apple and Amazon, and opened up about how the said players don’t waste efforts into bringing in new evangelists, but instead, finding more ways to keep those within their business ecosystem inside it. 

“If you [were to] do one thing well in [2023,] it should be prioritising the thing that galvanises trust with your primary customers – the customers whose loyalty you can’t afford to lose, especially in uncertain times.” 

Deakin concluded, “Spend more energy on building that deeper connection.”

This recognition is based on Google Analytics results on the most-read stories of 2022, along with editorial validation on the significance of a leader’s contribution, campaign results, and overall impact.

Main Feature Marketing APAC

OMG’s, Cebu Pacific Air’s women marketing leaders to lead jury panel of MARKETECH APAC’s Empowered Women Awards for 2023

Singapore – Empowered Women 2023: Marketing Conference & Awards, MARKETECH APAC’s latest initiative to recognise women’s leadership and empowerment in the marketing and advertising industry, has officially unveiled the official jury panel of its upcoming awards ceremony. The judging panel represents a wide variety of seasoned and leading women leaders in the Asia-Pacific region.

The panel will be led by head of juries Eileen Ooi Wei Ling, chief executive officer at Omnicom Media Group; and Michelle Eve A. De Guzman, marketing director at Cebu Pacific Air.

Wei Ling said, “I think this is a great way in recognizing women in driving change, leadership and building next generation leaders. Women need to support women more, and bringing awareness and recognition of women who’s done just that and also for others is a great way to encourage more women to do so, and to break barriers of women juggling work and life.”

She added, “I would like to see individuals demonstrating agility in leadership in achieving change, empathy in raising next generation leaders, and creativity in problem solving.”

Other members of the jury include Allenie Caccam, regional commerce head at AirAsia; Melissa Sandhu, head of sales and marketing at Prince Court Medical Centre; Tanushri Rastogi, marketing lead for Popeyes APAC at Restaurant Brands International; and Joanna Teoh, branding director at Una Brands.

There are 5 categories women leaders in the industry can participate in based on the nature of their company.

  1. Empowered Women in Marketing is the category for women leaders from brands.
  2. Empowered Women in Agency is for women leaders from the agency side.
  3. Empowered Women in Tech is for women leaders from tech companies.
  4. Empowered Women in Platforms is the category for women leaders from media, e-commerce, and e-sports brands.
  5. Empowered Women in SMEs is for women entrepreneurs and leaders who own or lead a company with employees below 250.

The nominees for the awards will be judged based on 2 main criteria – (1) the leadership they have shown to their respective companies and agencies; and (2) the contributions they have made to the company during their leadership tenure. 

There would be at least 20 winners for each category. MARKETECH APAC will be writing a dedicated article for each winner to further celebrate their success.

Said event by MARKETECH APAC succeeds last year’s pilot launch, Empowered Women Series 2022. During the said inaugural initiative, it selected 13 women leaders across the Asia Pacific for exclusive conversations in discovering their leadership journey, experiences, and insights into marketing. The content was produced in the form of videos, podcasts, and articles. 

Shaina Teope, regional editor at MARKETECH APAC, said, “We started the initiative with a humble yet notable content series in the form of interviews–it’s now time to bring it further. We’re thrilled to officially announce the co-women leaders in marketing who will be giving justice to the laurels we’ll be conferring in diverse areas of marketing leadership.”

Key dates related to the awards ceremony this 2023 are as follows:

Entry Submission – until March 31, 2023

Judging Period – April 1 – 15, 2023

Virtual Awarding Ceremony – May 31, 2023

The nomination fee is US$249 (early-bird rate), applicable until February 28, 2023. After which, the standard fee of US$349 applies.

Head over to the official event site for the complete details. Interested parties can contact MARKETECH APAC’s team about the nomination process and sponsorship opportunities at [email protected].

Main Feature Marketing ANZ

Video Campaign of the Year: Betting platform Sportsbet’s cinematic campaign

With mobile platforms now the lifeline of our content consumption, we have seen storytelling in this space become an extension of the ever-sophisticated and highly elaborate silver screen. One particular Australian brand – Sportsbet – took cinematic value up a notch in the early part of 2022, resulting in the launch of its March campaign emerging as our Video Campaign of the Year

Through the use of new technology from virtual production studio Dreamscreen, Sportsbet, Australia-based online betting and entertainment website, has raised the bar in ad delivery, building promotional shorts that boast bespoke production to take audiences into an otherworldly delight. 

Sportsbet’s team, Jason Thatcher and Raman Goraya, the brand’s heads in brand and advertising, and content and partnerships, respectively, jumped in a conversation with MARKETECH APAC to bare with us how the campaign for its betting products spurted out of the seeds of creativity to ultimately take form as films that time-travels viewers into eras of Ancient Egypt and the Middle Ages. 

The campaign sequel that invited Cleopatra into the spotlight

The March 2022 campaign, which put into focus its group betting feature ‘Bet With Mates’ and multi-bet product ‘Same Game Multi’, was in fact a sequel of an earlier series of ads that marked the launch of Sportsbet’s unique cinematic direction. In the 2021 campaign, settings included barbarian times and storylines circled imaginative themes such as an alien invasion and travelling to the future.

Thatcher and Goraya said that these are the lengths necessary in order to create product and brand stickiness. 

“Sportsbet is always focussed on making sure we can drive [cut-through] and memorability,” they said. “With so many messages in [the] market (within the wagering category especially), if we’re not capturing the attention of the audience to promote our products, then we’ve failed.”

The latest one, developed in partnership with production outfit Palomina, had a trio of ads within it. The short titled ‘Alliance’ was set in the Middle Ages, the film ‘Cleopatra’ showed the queen amongst her people in Egypt, and the ad ‘Rescue’ places fictional characters on a deserted island. Each film was striking and on point both in visual and flow – carried out with top-class cinematography, individuals in the historical settings are seen planning to place their bets as a group with gusto. 

“We used a similar approach for [the] 2021 campaign, and we found our audience [was] highly engaged by bringing fascinating but recognisable environments to life,” shared Thatcher and Goraya.

“There was also quite a bit of humour and cheekiness in putting your everyday person in a setting viewers would usually see on a Hollywood feature or Netflix series. By doing [this,] we were not only gaining memorability but staying relevant to our audience.”

The brand outperforming itself

According to Sportsbet’s marketing heads, the brand outdid itself in the March 2022 campaign with the content hitting above-average levels of its own benchmarks in bringing “Enjoyment”, being “Different” and “Unique”, and as an initiative that “Sets trends”. 

Thatcher and Goraya said they wanted to build ‘tension’ and this suspense and excitement was achieved by crafting environments outside of the current time period. 

“[When] faced with the temper of Cleopatra or a medieval witch, we are able to position our product offering as an interesting solution. Whenever we expand outside the scenarios you see on a lot of advertising, we notice viewers have a higher level of engagement and curiosity.”

Of course, whilst consumers are bedazzled with the brand’s creative delivery, a production of such scale is not without its own challenges. According to the team, the numerous iterations needed for the campaign made for intricate logistics. 

In fact, one of the executions which played around the release of the new Top Gun film had to be delayed due to the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine political tensions at the time.

“Our media investment dictates Sportsbet needs to produce a wide range of creative executions to avoid wear out and irritation,” said the brand’s leaders. 

“Having to deliver up to 30 different executions (including bespoke digital media assets) across 5 unique scenarios becomes a complex production challenge. We had challenges where we needed to adjust scripts for filming time and making sure we can talk to the right product offerings.”

The courage the brand mustered in order to get out of its comfort zone in marketing is obviously paying well. The streak of innovative and original films is not just hitting home in terms of brand engagement, but is also adding up to earn the brand a masterful reputation in adland.

To those who wish to adopt a similar level of creative endeavour, the duo said, “The main advice would be to have ambition but stay agile and expect challenges throughout [the] production.” 

What’s next for Sportsbet?

As far as cinematic narratives are concerned, the campaign won’t be the last in the betting brand’s sleeve, the marketing heads ensured. 

Sportsbet had not been laying low a bit and is consistent with its marketing efforts, albeit on a more laid-back approach. The latest one from its content line-up is an ad for the World Cup, still injecting that tongue-in-cheek play we’ve all come to love.

Thatcher and Goraya said they have a commitment to provide the best and most innovative products to their customers. 

The duo concluded, “Our marketing will continue to support that goal as well as [continue] to highlight the fun and engaging nature of our brand.” 

This recognition is based on Google Analytics results on the most-read stories of 2022, along with editorial validation on the significance of a leader’s contribution, campaign results, and overall impact.

Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC launches thought leadership series under future-oriented industry series, What’s NEXT 2023

Singapore – With social restrictions gradually easing down and the world slowly returning to normal, we are now realising the full potential of the phygital world: a space that brings a combination of digital and physical experiences. From SMEs and institutions to large enterprises, this blended experience is being incorporated into their day-to-day operations because of its numerous advantages.

The year 2022 saw the marketing industry flourishing in more ways than one. This includes the rise of influencer and content marketing, the continuous boom of the e-commerce space, and the metaverse getting more known in the digital world, amongst others. But amidst this upward trajectory, there are still challenges that the marketing industry will face and will have to overcome now that hybrid marketing strategies are in place. 

MARKETECH APAC, in its quest to share key trends, insights, and relevant predictions for the preparation of the marketing community for 2023, has brought back its future-oriented industry series – but now much broader and larger to give the community a 360-degree view of what to expect in the coming year. ‘What’s NEXT 2023’ now comprises of four main pillars – article, interview, webinar, and conference –  and to kick the series off, the digital media starts with the launch of its thought leadership article series. 

The article leg of the industry series features the views, predictions, and some tips from various marketing leaders across APAC on different industry-relevant topics for 2023 and beyond. This includes exclusive written insights on integrated campaigns, personalisation, and B2B marketing, amongst others. 

Part of the series is Andrea Chuang, head of marketing for Malaysia-based used car platform myTukar, who will be discussing the importance of integrated campaigns and things to consider in doing these campaigns; and Jan Harling, director of new customer acquisition for APAC at foodpanda, who will be sharing his knowledge about personalised marketing and what brands need to know about their consumers. He will also be providing tips on how media and creatives can work together for their personalisation initiatives, and how to target consumers in a world that’s becoming less targetable.

Check out the initial line-up of published insights by marketing leaders under the series:

Kick-starting the article series, Amperity’s Area Vice President Billy Loizou explained the consequences of having fragmented customer data for businesses. He also enumerated three reasons why a great identity resolution strategy is a must-have for brands.

Click here to read the full article.

In this insightful read, James Campbell, regional manager of SnapLogic for ANZ, stressed why it is important to incorporate intelligent practices into companies’ data integration, how vital it is to leverage modern technology, and how automation helps enterprises deliver and achieve their goals, amongst other things. 

Click here to read the full article.

With tech companies and governing bodies making stronger restrictions when it comes to data privacy, businesses might find it harder to access customer data. In this article, Billy Loizou, area vice president of Amperity, shares how you can empower your business despite the stricter privacy rules, unlock the value of customer data to drive growth, and use ‘messy’ data to make the year 2023 for your business a success.

Click here to read the full article.

At present, B2B marketers still believe that they should always talk about how ‘good’ their products and services are. Donovan Chee, head of marketing and communications for SEA at Bureau Veritas says that marketers don’t have to do this, and instead learn to understand their customers and “win their hearts and minds,” amongst other tips.

Click here to read the full article.

The fifth installment of this series features Negar Mokhtarnia, director of product at Australian retail brand Pet Circle, weighing the importance of focusing on customer lifetime value over customer acquisition for e-commerce companies. She also shared her own take on leveraging data to boost brands’ customer experience and establishing a relational e-commerce experience to ensure sustainable growth.

Click here to read the full article.

Consumers today expect brands to be more vocal about social movements and contentious topics, which puts the responsibility to brands being an advent of change. In this article, Aaron Brooks, co-founder of influencer marketing platform Vamp, gives his insights on purpose-driven marketing, why it is important, the value of authenticity, its four key elements, and some advice for brands looking to leverage this approach.

Click here to read the full article.

Conventional business knowledge implies that sales and marketing should be tied together to drive profit and define a brand’s success. In this piece, Mark Opao, communications planning partner at Kaspersky for APAC explains why the two are hard to fuse and exposes the underlying realities of marrying Brand Building and Sales Promotion.

Click here to read the full article.

In the post-pandemic era, we just might see economic environments and market situations evolving. So, how can companies leverage these evolutions? Hongchia How, vice president of Appier for APAC answers this question by enumerating three MarTech strategies that can help companies seize great business opportunities and make smarter business decisions.

Click here to read the full article.

Asia-Pacific’s share of the global connected cars market reached 42% in 2020, and is anticipated to register a CAGR of more than 19% in the coming years. But how can this drive the growth of media tech platforms? Sharon Soh, chief planning and audience officer at UM APAC shares with us how, as well as its impact on brands and marketers in this thought-leadership piece.

Click here to read the full article.

Watch this space as we update this article with details and links for other What’s NEXT 2023 thought-leadership articles.

If you are a marketing leader and would like to share your insights and predictions under the series, email us at [email protected].

Main Feature Marketing Partners APAC

MARKETECH APAC to help brands future-proof their marketing strategies in the metaverse with upcoming webinar this November

Singapore – The immersive space of the metaverse is all the rage now, but the said virtual world with its inherent wellspring of innovation keeps surprising brands and marketers with its capabilities as an interactive platform. With this, it is vital that we keep delving into conversations that would help keep us up to speed and maintain our competence in the metaverse.

MARKETECH APAC, together with consumer intelligence platform Talkwalker, is proud to present the latest industry discussion on marketing in the metaverse. The expansive virtual world gives way for multiple and diverse iterations in the business of marketing, and through a gathering of expert minds in the field, MARKETECH APAC aims to help brands wade their way through the different challenges and opportunities that await them as we enter the new year filled with new trends. 

What’s NEXT 2023: Metaverse Marketing Activations in APAC, which will be held this November 29, 2022, at 2 pm SGT, has roped in brand and marketing leaders that have walked the talk of marketing in the metaverse. Through the webinar, we are going to discuss what has been done, what was deemed effective and not, and what more can we do to keep our consumers engaged and be on top of our game as more players enter and amplify their presence in the metaverse.

This November, learn how you can future-proof your marketing strategies for the metaverse by hearing the insights of Benjamin Soubies, managing director of Talkwalker for JAPAC; Ramakrishnan C.N., managing director & metaverse lead of Accenture Song; Amrita Mallik, vice president of HSBC India; and Chris Gurney, group creative director of Virtue Worldwide.

Soubies will be giving a presentation on Metaverse & Social: How To Effectively Engage Communities where he will deep dive into the sentiment of consumers toward the metaverse: how they think, feel, and do in relation to the highly immersive space. Soubies will also be sharing the top metaverse activations by brands in APAC and how brands can make the best out of the fusion of the two most popular consumer spaces today: metaverse and gaming. 

The panel discussion, The Metaverse – Leading The Charge For Metaverse Marketing Opportunities, will be graced by Ramakrishnan, Mallik, and Gurney. Moderated by Shaina Teope, MARKETECH APAC’s regional editor, the three leaders will be picking each other’s minds and imparting their top insights on how to best launch marketing campaigns in the metaverse. The group of industry leaders will also uncover what consumers have been saying about the most recent trends in the space, and most importantly, enlighten viewers on what brands can expect to see in the virtual ecosystem this 2023. 

Shaina Teope, regional editor of MARKETECH APAC, commented, “MARKETECH APAC has been leading the conversation on the metaverse, and after our comprehensive 3-episode series on the space, we are proud to bring the discussion much further through this industry webinar with our partner, consumer intelligence platform Talkwalker.”

Meanwhile, Benjamin Soubies, managing director of Talkwalker for JAPAC, commented, “As featured in Talkwalker’s latest Social Media Trends 2023 report, the next year will be a critical time for the metaverse. The possibilities for brands are endless, with numerous opportunities to experiment and innovate in the space.” 

He added, “To succeed, brands will need to fortify their tech stack and have a robust system in place to understand the aspirations of consumer communities and how they are engaging in the metaverse. With consumer intelligence, marketers will be able to create authentic and relevant experiences that resonate with their target communities in the virtual reality.” 

Do not miss this very important discussion on one of the pillars of Web 3.0. Gear up for the future developments within the metaverse, and equip yourself with future-proof marketing strategies for 2023. 

Register HERE to secure your spot at the webinar. 

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

How the Shopee PH endorser flak unfolded–as told by social data

The recent brand ambassador announcement by Shopee Philippines has caused a wide range of reactions amongst Filipinos online, with the majority turning against Shopee for tapping local celebrity Toni Gonzaga who is known for her controversial support of now-president Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. 

As of this writing, Shopee has defended its decision, stating that Gonzaga was chosen for her ‘mass appeal’, and not for her ‘political views’.

Despite this, clamour and discussion regarding Shopee Philippines’ announcement remained. In light of this, MARKETECH APAC has tapped social media monitoring Digimind to learn more about how the negative flak unfolded–as told by social media data.

Are Social Mentions Equal to ‘Boycott’ Sentiment?

Digimind noted in its data that social media mentions of Shopee spiked following the brand ambassador announcement, peaking at 286,495 on September 29. Said day was the time Shopee Philippines uploaded a teaser video of Gonzaga as the new brand ambassador.

However, despite the large volume of tweets mentioning Shopee, social media mentions, specifically those suggesting the boycott, only took 0.4% of all social media mentions. Despite the small percentage, this still amounts to a fairly sizeable volume of4,000 netizens expressing their opinion to boycott Shopee.

According to Olivier Girard, head of Digimind for APAC, influencers will always be on the verge of receiving scrutiny, especially when being associated with a partisan group or cause. 

“While consumers are familiar with the concept of influencers or celebrities endorsing brands, brands now need to have a more stringent process in place when assessing each influencer’s fit for their brand or campaign. Any brand, large or small, runs the risk of facing some level of social scrutiny or backlash when announcing a public figure with uncertainty over the public might receive them,” he said.

Was There a Spillover to Rival Platform Lazada?

 Following the negative flak to Shopee, numerous citizens have shown interest in moving to rival e-commerce platform Lazada, which is also one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the country.

However, Digimind notes that the social media conversations around Shopee still eclipse those about Lazada, showing that resentment towards the former is much stronger than renewed support for the latter. Over the course of September 26 to October 3, Shopee registered around ~2M social media mentions while Lazada only managed to get around ~145k social media mentions. In addition, Shopee’s mentions reached around ~11m users while Lazada reached around ~5.2m.

“Where brand reputation is concerned, it is therefore critical that brands evaluate potential ambassadors closely in the domain of social media,” Girard said, related to how brands should pick their next brand ambassador.

Who and Where the Discussion is Coming From

Digimind noted a great number of discussions related to Shopee come from sellers themselves and users that are greatly concerned about the welfare of the sellers.

A handful of small businesses and online shops have decided to create a business account, with some saying that they would not support a platform that ‘enables [political lies]’, as well as ‘unjust termination of employees’. Netizens have pointed out the irony from Shopee Philippines’ side in retrenching employees in order to ‘optimise’ operations and then contracting a new brand ambassador afterwards. 

Girard said that it’s important for brands to obtain consumer sentiments to help them prepare communication contingencies ahead of time, as in the case of Shopee. 

“[This] can help brands identify influencer profiles that match their target community and sieve any negative sentiment your marketing and social teams might otherwise miss out on in the macro analysis,” Girard explained.

In the end, the brand ambassador announcement for Shopee Philippines went on as usual, albeit social engagement against them has diminished over time. Time will only tell how these media social sentiments truly play out in the longer run.

Main Feature Platforms APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s Empowered Women returns with a conference and awards ceremony

The Philippines – MARKETECH APAC, a marketing-centric media company has reformatted last year’s Empowered Women Series into Empowered Women 2023: Marketing Conference & Awards.

Last year, MARKETECH APAC selected 13 women leaders across the Asia Pacific to discover their leadership journey, experiences, and insights into anything about marketing. The content was produced in the form of videos, podcasts, and articles. Some women marketing leaders that graced the inaugural series were Manisha Seewal, CMO of Gumtree Australia; Vasuta Agarwal, SVP & managing director of InMobi APAC; Angeli Beltran, director of interactive commerce ASEAN & global care centre of excellence at Reckitt; Raushida Vasaiwala, general manager for APAC at Celtra; and Eileen Ooi, CEO of Omnicom Media Group Malaysia.

The conference component

This year, MARKETECH APAC introduces a unique platform to recognize women’s empowerment in the industry in a one-day virtual event on May 31, 2023. The virtual event starts with a half-day conference featuring renowned women industry leaders in the Asia Pacific to talk about the trends and insights in marketing

Approximately, 10 top-notched women speakers will be invited to speak. While the conference features women marketing leaders, the event is open to all audiences. 

The awards segment

The second half of the day will be an awards ceremony. There are 5 categories: (1) Empowered Women in Marketing, (2) Empowered Women in Agency, (3) Empowered Women in Tech, (4) Empowered Women in Platforms, and (5) Empowered Women in SME

There would be at least 20 winners for each category. MARKETECH APAC will write a dedicated article for each winner to further celebrate their success.

All nominees will receive a complimentary pass to join the virtual event

Speaking about the launch, Joven Barceñas, founder & CEO of MARKETECH APAC, said, “We have received great feedback and reviews about our last Empowered Women Series. We are greatly encouraged to innovate and to reformat the programme to further highlight the achievements of women in the marketing industry.”

Barceñas added, “The conference component of the event allows us to gather the select women marketing leaders to share their insights and experiences not just to empower women marketers but everyone in the industry.”

“The award winners are selected by an esteemed women panel of judges in the industry. This process offers a genuine result for the winners. Not to mention that we have a head of the jury for each category which further validates the authenticity of the awards.”

Meanwhile, Shaina Teope, regional editor of MARKETECH APAC, also commented, “Diversity in leadership is an ongoing challenge for all industries and this includes the marketing world. Some of the most successful brands and creative outfits are helmed by women and we want to be at the forefront of honouring these amazing leaders. While we introduced a very successful pilot series last year, we wanted to come out with a stronger initiative. We’re proud of ‘Empowered Women 2023’ which now boasts a bigger platform to give female marketing leaders the recognition they deserve.”

Here are the key dates:

Entry Submission – until March 31, 2023

Judging Period – April 1 – 15, 2023

Virtual Awarding Ceremony – May 31, 2023

The nomination fee is US$249 (early-bird rate), applicable until February 28, 2023. After which, the standard fee of US$349 applies.

Head over to the official event site for the complete details. Interested parties can contact MARKETECH APAC’s team about the nomination process and sponsorship opportunities at [email protected].

Main Feature Marketing Partners APAC

MARKETECH APAC to discuss how to future-proof your influencer marketing in 2023 in its latest webinar this November

Singapore – Influencer marketing has now reached its maturity, but as we all know, the creator economy is very fluid, and even the tiniest disruption can create ripples to give birth to entirely new innovations in this area. For those that have influencer marketing as a key part of their marketing arsenal, this reality can be intimidating. 

As the digital media for the marketing and advertising industry in APAC, MARKETECH APAC has partnered with influencer marketing platform, Vamp, to lead this very important conversation for brands and marketers. To loosely refer to ‘creator economy’, in itself, hasn’t shaken its novelty off among us; when before, influencer marketing is looked to as a vain strategy or an afterthought, it has now swelled its importance and presence to have its very own ecosystem with players and stakeholders that aim to keep the brand-content creator interactivity alive and flourishing.

The webinar, What’s NEXT 2023: Influencer Marketing in APAC, will be focusing on what more can we expect from influencer marketing in the future – in 2023 and beyond. Aaron Brooks, the co-founder and president of Vamp, will be giving a keynote presentation on how brands can best leverage their position in the new creator economy in 2023. Brooks will be sharing valuable insights on what brands can do to successfully navigate current macroeconomic trends and what marketers can learn from other brands that have successfully used creator content to unify their digital and offline presence. 

Meanwhile, a panel discussion will be touching on the developing and newly-emerging trends in influencer marketing today. Together with Brooks, Jonathan Gerard, the head of production of VaynerMedia APAC, Ruben Ahmed, director of Marketing for HP Australia & New Zealand, and Isabel Falco, chief digital & marketing officer of L’Oréal Philippines will be gracing the virtual discussion to talk about how influencer marketing is evolving to change the imperative for content creation and strategy. Furthermore, the marketing leaders will be sharing their expert views on how influencer marketing is now being leveraged to achieve objectives that go beyond branding. 

What’s NEXT 2023: Influencer Marketing in APAC webinar will be held this 8 November 2022 from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm SGT. It will be conducted as part of MARKETECH APAC’s multi-platform insights-sharing festival, What’s NEXT 2023.

“As influencer marketing continues to mature as a performance channel, what brands want and expect from creators and vice versa will naturally evolve over time,” commented Aaron Brooks, president and co-founder of Vamp. 

He added, “For the relationship to be effective, it needs to work like a partnership, starting with building an understanding of the motivations of each side, and acknowledging the expertise each party brings to the table”

“Our role as a platform provider is to help facilitate this dialogue between creators and brands, to collectively drive the best outcomes. I look forward to sharing some of our learnings during the webinar,” said Brooks.  

Shaina Teope, MARKETECH APAC’s regional editor, commented, “Influencers, and the whole influencer marketing phenomenon for that matter, has been regarded only as secondary, for so long, to the budget-heavy and big-celebrity initiatives by brands. Its significance is changing now, and comes with this is the evolution and growth of how we must realise our strategies in launching and developing influence marketing campaigns today. Let this industry discussion help you step up and sustain your influencer game for 2023 and beyond.”

The said webinar kicks off its parent industry multi-platform series, What’s NEXT 2023. Through its four main content platforms – webinar, conference, interview, and article – we will be gathering the best in the industry to help the marketing community gear up and be ready for the upcoming year’s challenges, opportunities, and trends in marketing.

To join the webinar, What’s NEXT 2023: Influencer Marketing in APAC, register HERE to secure your spot.