Technology Featured Global

Surbhi Agarwal appointed as’s SVP of global marketing

Singapore – Total experience (TX) automation platform has appointed former Google Cloud’s Surbhi Agarwal as its senior vice president of global marketing, where she will be managing all of the marketing initiatives for across geographies to grow business in the US, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Pacific regions.

Based out of the San Francisco bay area, she will be actively expanding the company’s global footprint by building a highly impactful go-to-market team that would strengthen’s position in the market.

During her stint at Google Cloud, she led product and solution marketing for data analytics and cloud AI portfolio, including ‘Contact Center AI’. She comes with over two decades of leadership across product life cycle management, sales enablement, product marketing and product led growth in early-stage start-ups and large enterprises. 

Agarwal has also run product management and corporate strategy at Intel Corporation and McAfee.

Speaking on her appointment, Surbhi said, “ is at a pivotal point of entering new geographies with its proven product capabilities, making this a very exciting time to join the executive team. With’s driven culture, differentiated offerings, leadership and market potential, I believe the company is strongly positioned to define and lead the Conversational AI space. I look forward to building the best-in-class marketing organization at to increase our market share and achieve new heights.”

Meanwhile, Raghu Ravinutala, CEO and co-founder,, said, “We are thrilled to bring Surbhi onboard at as part of our executive team. This is a crucial appointment for us, at a time when we are sharpening our global strategy as a total experience (TX) solutions provider.”

He added, “As we scale our operations and expand our capabilities, Surbhi’s leadership will augment our efforts towards defining our brand and driving revenue. We look forward to her leadership and believe her experiences with global industry leaders will be invaluable as we grow across markets.”

Marketing Featured South Asia

Sony Pictures Television India, Isobar make Spider-Man fans ‘Tap Into The Multiverse’ on their phones

India — Sony Pictures Television India and Isobar, the creative experience agency from dentsu India, have launched a campaign to give the audience an experience of the Multiverse, a popular physics theory that Hollywood is experimenting with and a big staple of the latest Spider-man movie. Via this collaboration, the duo has created a Multiverse on mobile devices to bring the essence of the movie ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ to the fans before they buy or rent the movie on the BookMyShow stream.

Isobar India has developed a website titled, ‘Tap Into The Multiverse’, where a single URL – can be opened on different browsers to get an experience of different villain universes each time. The website is created to showcase the 2 universes belonging to the 3 villains – Doc Ock, Electro and Green Goblin. One villain can be accessed with each unique browser visit, while the URL remains the same.

Heeru Dingra, CEO of Isobar India group, said, “It is just not enough to give the audience a taste of a film like this through a trailer. A unique experience is what Spidey fans deserve, and it’s what they got with Tap Into The Multiverse.”

Additionally, The fans are further tested on their villain IQ with interactive questions for a more immersive experience. After this unique experience, the fans are given the option to purchase Spider-Man: No Way Home on BookMyShow Stream and enjoy extra footage that has never been seen before.

Talking about the collaboration, Sonika Bhasin, VP of sales and international distribution for Sony Pictures Television South Asia, said, “For a movie like this, the experience of the Multiverse just leaves you wanting more. It’s a prelude to an experience that’s completed by streaming Spider-Man: No Way Home on BookMyShow Stream. People want to not just watch, but also engage with the brand and experience it.”

Meanwhile, Aalap Desai, chief creative officer of Isobar India and Taproot Dentsu, commented, “An iconic franchise like Spider-Man calls for an iconic idea to promote it. A simple question we asked ourselves was, why wait for the movie to get an experience of your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man? Why not give fans an experience even before they stream it at home? That’s what we did with ‘Tap Into The Multiverse’.”

Fans can now experience the Multiverse right on their phone and test if they’re a true Spidey aficionado with the campaign by Sony Pictures Television India and Isobar. Afterwards, they can buy or rent the movie on BookMyShow Stream today to enjoy it at home.

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Amplitude launches Amplitude Analytics to expand insights deeper into marketing metrics

Singapore – Digital optimization software Amplitude, Inc, announced new campaign reporting tools with self-service insights into digital marketing investments. 

With the use of Amplitude Analytics, marketing and product teams can measure campaign and channel performance alongside downstream product metrics like user engagement and retention. Campaign reporting gives teams unprecedented visibility into metrics across the entire funnel, all in a single system. Additional new features include outcome-focused Metrics and Data Tables that empower teams to discover how their marketing programs and product usage meaningfully affect key business outcomes such as sales and revenue. Together, these tools empower cross-functional teams to quickly close the insights-to-action loop and make better business decisions.

Traditionally, there’s been a disconnect between product and campaign data. Organisations leverage product analytics for visibility into customer behaviours and product changes, but struggle to connect marketing performance metrics like attributing user growth to specific channels. According to Gartner, “digital analytics markets are colliding and converging as vendors blur the lines between categories such as product analytics and digital experience analytics (DXA) and branch into adjacent markets such as customer journey analytics.” 

Justin Bauer, chief product officer at Amplitude, said, “With these customer needs in mind, we’re doubling down on digital analytics and investing in new tools that will provide holistic product insights faster. The introduction of campaign reporting, outcome metrics, and data tables make it easier for teams to consolidate their analytics solutions while expanding the types of metrics they can track across the end-to-end customer journey.”

Marketing Featured East Asia

Soymilk brand Vitasoy undergoes rebranding 

Hong Kong — Vitasoy, the iconic soymilk brand rooted in Hong Kong City for more than 80 years, is making a substantial move to evolve its branding by reviving its plant-based heritage to resonate with modern consumers’ desire for a healthier and nutritious lifestyle. Through dentsu international Hong Kong’s ‘Planting Goodness Every Day’ campaign platform, Vitasoy aims to represent its wide portfolio of plant-based products everyone is familiar with.

The Vitasoy brand has been planting its goodness in Hong Kong since the 1940s to serve affordable and plant-based soy milk for everyone. Their long commitment transcended and transformed through time to now a heritage that shall be rejuvenated to sync with the needs of contemporary consumers and to remind them that greater goods are achieved through daily small practices, such as consuming plant-based food and beverages every day.

The ‘Planting Goodness Every Day’ campaign visualized Vitasoy’s genuine and wholesome brand personality showcasing its portfolio of products including Classic, Calci-Plus and VitaOat, from its most iconic range of Vitasoy classic products to its functional line of Calci-Plus range, to its latest new product, VitaOat.

The new brand equity stamp is a branding mnemonic device that holds the various stories and product strengths, set in daily moments including social gatherings, workouts, and home cultivation.

David Kim, group CMO at Vitasoy International, said, “We continue to be poised for growth at all times, including the future. We are happy to reintroduce what we have cared about since the beginning as a tribute to our past and bring forward our heritage so as to build a better future with our consumers together.”

Meanwhile, Simone Tam, CEO of dentsu international Hong Kong, commented, “Vitasoy is our long serving client. Knowing the brand has a rich and devoted heritage, we are happy to revive it and modernize it, so the brand stays relevant and connected with the young generation through its wide range of plant-based products.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

AppZaloot appoints GO Communications as partner agency

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – GO Communications (GO) has been appointed by AppZaloot – an up-and-coming SuperApp set to redefine community interactions – to manage PR, digital and influencer engagements, ahead of its official launch in the second half of 2022. As part of the 12-month contract, GO will facilitate all communications leading up to, during and following the launch in all Southeast Asian markets prior to its global expansion, by activating its regional network of agencies under the GO Group.

The AppZaloot platform, which has been five years in the making, will be first introduced in Malaysia prior to its regional and global expansion. The app combines social media interaction with a game-changing loyalty and rewards programme, which will utilise blockchain and crypto technology, benefitting individual users and businesses. 

AppZaloot’s Founder and CEO, Max Thomas, said, “We are truly excited as we are in the final stages of building the SuperApp, which will be rolled out in stages beginning later this year. Malaysia will be the first market to experience the platform, and we’re certainly excited to be working with GO Communications, leading up to our launch, not only locally but in the region.”

According to Thomas, the GO Communications team has an excellent track record of championing brands and products while developing some truly stand-out campaigns. “In this regard, we see them as the right fit for us, not only as an agency, but a critical business partner as we roll out the platform, which we are confident will benefit communities and small businesses around the world,” added Thomas.

Putting communities at the heart of its operations, AppZaloot has pledged to conduct business in a completely different way, channelling a percentage of its revenue back to communities, funding local projects, which are picked by members of the community. Users are also assured that their data and privacy will be protected at all times to facilitate a truly safe experience.

Speaking of the appointment, GO Communications’ CEO, Peter de Kretser, said, “We have no doubt in our minds that AppZaloot will be a true game-changer in the social and digital space, which will redefine social and community interactions. I would like to thank Max and his team for this honour of working with them, and am confident that with his vast experience and expertise, AppZaloot is all set to energise local communities and the social space.”

Marketing Featured ANZ

Amplify unveils new senior leaders, Canva among newly snared accounts

Australia Amplify, the global creative agency specialising in experience and culture has announced a string of senior promotions in a phase of strong business growth.

Amplify also announced its new roster of clients: Canva, PlayStation and Levi’s.

The agency will provide brand experience services to the three global brands with its promise to create authentic, meaningful connections. 

Coinciding with significant new business momentum, Amplify has boosted its team with three senior promotions. Former creative director Tim Baggott becomes executive creative director, after three years. Ex-business director Karina Munoz has been promoted to head of clients, following two and a half years in the latter position, and Claire Hewitt steps up to executive producer, from the senior producer role she held for three and a half years.

The internal appointments come on the back of six additional new hires across creative, production and client management.

Amplify’s Managing Partner, Gareth Davies, said, “We’re excited to partner with these iconic brands to deliver experiences that create authentic and meaningful connections. We’re equally thrilled to be able to strengthen our growing business by promoting from within our own ranks.”

Davies says that Amplify’s creative culture provides a home for exceptionally talented individuals like the recently promoted seniors. “These promotions will extend the impact and influence their thinking and craft has on our business and our work for valued client partners,” added Davies.

Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC Reels: Features leading industry brands’ withdrawal from Russia

Singapore MARKETECH APAC, the marketing-centric digital media for APAC, launches an in-depth feature on the brands and companies around the world that have decided to take action in line with the on-going war between Russia and Ukraine.

The special feature which is our pilot content under the new MARKETECH APAC Reels of MARKETECH APAC, features the conflicting history between Russia and Ukraine, and brands and companies who finally bid their goodbyes to Russia. 

In a televised speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared a “special military operation” in Ukraine on 24 February 2022, an ominous warning hours before the invasion of Ukraine. 

Soon after Putin’s speech, reports emerged of explosions around cities, including Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine and the capital Kyiv. The Ukrainian foreign minister called it “a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.” Russian troops and tanks had entered the country on three fronts.

The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), which represents marketers from globally known brands, urged its members to assess and reconsider their media and marketing expenditures in both countries.

“In light of the horrifying events in Ukraine, the global marketing industry must speak out. Every company will have to make its own decision but our recommendation is that media investment and marketing in Russia should end for now,” said WFA CEO Stephan Loerke.

Financial services and large consulting firms also put their operations to a halt. Other industries like retail stores, fashion, tech and consumer brands also pulled out from Russia after their intervention with Ukraine. 

The withdrawal of operations by largely well-known brands resulted in a huge blow to Russia’s economy and is currently creating a job crisis.

Main Feature Marketing APAC

SEA roundtable: Marketing leaders bare their best strategies in customer acquisition, retention for the post-pandemic

As we enter the post-pandemic period, we are now dealing with an entirely new consumer – desires, needs, and motivations that have transformed to adapt to the new phase of the ‘new normal’.

Last April 20, MARKETECH APAC, in partnership with Braze, gathered marketing leaders from brands Astro Malaysia, BigPay, bolttech, Hmlet, Philippines AirAsia, ShopBack, Zeemart, and Zenius. to discover how brands are implementing their customer acquisition and retention strategies in this period of unprecedented changes as well as how they are building a culture of experimentation and optimisation in each of their organisations.

Watch the highlights from the roundtable that roped in marketing leaders from brands Astro Malaysia, BigPay, bolttech, Hmlet, Philippines AirAsia, ShopBack, Zeemart, and Zenius.

Hybrid experiences to deliver high customer engagement 

When during the height of the pandemic, consumers and businesses were thrust to interact entirely in a virtual manner, the less restricted post-pandemic meant that brands now must take into consideration the dynamics of the engagement brought by the physical experience and integrating that with the uncovered powers of the virtual space.

Allenie Caccam, head of marketing of Philippines AirAsia, shared that in order to bring cohesiveness to your customer engagement, it doesn’t stop with what is done in the brand’s app or website, but almost always culminates with an on-ground activation or face-to-face interaction “to personify the brand as a lifestyle.”

“We do drive cross channel customer engagement by identifying the critical points of engagement and addressing it through hyper-personalisation and experiential marketing,” said Caccam. 

Priyanka Nadkarni, group marketing lead of insurtech bolttech, echoes this and says that it is important to follow your consumers offline, as in their case, the discovery process for insurance products doesn’t stop within digital bounds. 

“We need to remember that we’re not only digital anymore…for us, it’s really about where [do these] insurance and protection products really make real sense for the customer, and it’s not always online,” said Nadkarni.

Meanwhile, fintech BigPay also agrees with the same marketing direction. Jia Nina, country marketing lead of the brand, said that they don’t rely on the app alone, and remarked that marketing also goes beyond the app.

Raymond Muliadi, head of product at edtech Zenius, shared, “Offline will always be there. And we will not be able to dismiss online or offline. So we want to make sure that we build an ecosystem where the learning is complementing online and offline.”

Tapping into the fundamentals to effectively retain customers

During the roundtable, industry leaders were in unison about how it is to effectively retain customers in this period and that is to bank on the powers of the fundamentals – knowing your consumers inside out, and activating marketing that genuinely aligns what they want and value.

BigPay’s Jia Nina also shared her insights on this and said, “We really listen to customers… effective marketing is always a conversation, it’s not just you talking to people.”

Meanwhile, Astro’s Norsiah Juriani Johari, its VP for product marketing, believes that to keep customers coming back to your product, you have to be able to deliver authentic value exchange. 

She says that we now live in a world of transparency and that customers “can see right through you” and will know when a brand isn’t upfront about what it promised to deliver.

“Listening to the customers and really holding true to our core values at these challenging times has really helped us a great deal as a business and as a brand,” she said. 

Personalisation also came out as a top strategy among marketers for customer retention. 

Edward Tan, the associate director for growth marketing at co-living space provider Hmlet, says that personalised engagement is what is able to draw customers back to the product. 

“One thing we learned when it comes to customer retention, for locals especially, is to shift from purely selling them the co-living experience to the need for consistent and personalised engagement,” said Tan. 

When driving that cross channel customer engagement, he says, “The most important factor to us when it comes to cross-channel engagement is definitely reaching the right customers via the right channel at the right time with the right messages.”

Shopping and rewards platform ShopBack, which is currently an adopter of Braze’s consumer engagement platform, also shared to employ the same strategy, which is leveraging the best channel for customer needs and then finding the right timing and triggers for your communications. 

Its Head of CRM Scott Tan said, “For us, it’s creating a meaningful cross-channel engagement. It’s really about setting up your platform to make sure that you can (1) anticipate user needs, (2) [have] the right channel, and (3) find appropriate triggers and timing.”

Building a culture of experimentation and testing

Now that consumers have increasingly become more nuanced and that the staying power of trends is going away at lightning speed, these have put down greater importance on brands’ practices in experimentation and testing. 

For Zeemart, an F&B procurement platform, and a pre-series A startup, it’s about encouraging a positive attitude toward ‘failing forward’.

“I think the advantage of being a startup is that you’re always building, learning and iterating,” said Tan.

“Develop this attitude of failing forward, because no one really knows the answers…facilitating feedback, gathering results and going out and fixing it, and testing it again,” he added.

Meanwhile, bolttech’s Priyanka Nadkarni summed it up briefly on the topic, “To be a pioneer, own it, link together and think outside in.”

As we move towards the post-pandemic period, virtual and digital are here to stay–but only better. Consumer experiences are set to become even more ingenious and innovative now that the period has enabled us to once again bring back physical engagement and interaction.

Among the insights the industry leaders shared, non-negotiable principles of marketing stood out, agreeing that no matter what the changes, marketing will always be and should remain experimental. We don’t get to the bottom of the ‘AHA’ moment if we stick to what has already been successful or what is deemed to be the best at present, as the future ahead will only become unpredictable and challenging for marketers but also groundbreaking with the emergence of unimaginable digital interactivity. 

Watch the highlights from the roundtable that roped in marketing leaders from brands AirAsia Philippines, Astro Malaysia, BigPay, bolttech, Hmlet, ShopBack, Zeemart, and Zenius.

Take a look at Braze’s latest marketing report, ‘2022 Global Customer Engagement Review’ which shares the top three trends that are shaping customer engagement in 2022 as well as opportunities companies can seize for growth by industry and region. The report is free to download here.

Marketing Featured East Asia

HSBC launches new local campaign to support HK community

Hong Kong – With the COVID-19 pandemic’s fifth wave gradually subsiding in Hong Kong, financial service giant HSBC has launched a new local campaign to support the local community, conceptualised alongside Grey Hong Kong.

Eighteen designated HSBC branches will become Hong Kong’s photo-worthy spots. To spread positivity and unveil the city’s hidden gems, each branch across the eighteen districts will showcase signature landmarks and sights of the district along with a dedicated, inspirational quote. 

The HSBC Main Building in Central also recently launched the ‘Branching Out Our Support’ light show – urging the Hong Kong community to slow down and enjoy life while capturing new opportunities. 

Luanne Lim, CEO for Hong Kong HSBC, said, “HSBC has been supporting the HK community for 157 years. Launching the ‘Branching Out Our Support” campaign allows us to stay closely connected with the community, which we hope will continue to thrive.”

Meanwhile, Sonic Choy, creative partner at Grey HK, commented, “The people in HK have been making a concerted effort to meet with all the challenges posed by the pandemic. We want to give them the opportunity to experience some joy, and enjoy all the photo-worthy spots, accompanied with inspirational quotes.”

The campaign will be rolled out in HSBC branches and on social media for the Hong Kong market. In addition, HSBC has launched a check-in mini-game on Facebook and Instagram to encourage people to tour different districts of Hong Kong. They will also randomly select 40 lucky winners to each receive an HKD2,000 HKTV Mall coupon.

Marketing Featured APAC

APRW, PRHUB to launch ‘specialised’ start-up practice for APAC under IPREX

Singapore Singapore based integrated communications agency APRW Pte Ltd announced its partnership with India-headquartered PRHUB, a leading integrated communications agency, to launch a specialised communications practice targeted at start-ups looking to expand within and beyond the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. 

The new practice is established under US-headquartered IPREX. It will be led by Anu Gupta, director of APRW and Xavier Prabhu, regional president for APAC, IPREX and founder and managing director of PRHUB. This practice will serve burgeoning communications needs of start-ups looking to grow within and beyond APAC region by tapping upon deep communications expertise of IPREX partners. 

The APAC start-up ecosystem has seen unprecedented growth in the past few years. According to market intelligence firm Preqin, start-ups in APAC have secured US$152 billion in venture capital deals within the first nine months of 2021, matching the previous record of US$152 billion set in 2018. As per Statista research there were close to 200 unicorns in APAC with only the United States possessing a greater number of unicorns. The vibrancy and diversity of APAC’s start-up ecosystem indicates a strong potential for start-ups to expand regionally and beyond through targeted communication campaigns and strategies.

Commenting on the new practice, Julie Exner, IPREX global president, said, “Spread across India, China, Indonesia and Singapore among other countries in the region, there is absolutely no doubt that the start-up ecosystem in the APAC is one of the most dynamic and thriving ecosystems globally.” 

Exner commended that APRW and PRHUB are highly established partners with deep understanding of the ecosystem. “With their expertise and support from other partners in key markets, I am confident that the new practice will be a success and bring start-ups to greater heights,” added Exner.

Anu Gupta, APRW’s director, said, “I am thrilled to be launching this practice with PRHUB under IPREX. As a highly diversified & fragmented region, APAC presents an exciting multitude of opportunities and challenges. APRW has since expanded into Indonesia, which has emerged as a vital market for expanding start-ups, in 2020, as part of our commitment to better serve that market.” 

Gupta expressed that through IPREX, APRW is now able to build an expertise-led practice and offer strategic consultancy across key growth markets including China, Japan & Australia. “We hope to propel more start-ups to achieve greater success within and beyond APAC with this timely initiative,” added Gupta. 

In his comments, Xavier Prabhu, IPREX regional president for APAC and founder & managing director at PRHUB, said, “Many start-ups are looking to scale beyond their home markets and leverage the many opportunities that APAC has to offer. As they grow, they will require communication agencies who can provide holistic regional communications strategies to boost their visibility and strengthen their reputations.”

The specialised communications practice will provide a full suite of communications services for start-ups by leveraging IPREX’s global network of communication partners and tapping upon the expertise of Anu and Xavier. As communications veterans, both bring deep industry expertise coupled with strong understanding of APAC and the start-up ecosystem. They have also worked closely with several regional start-ups located in India and Singapore.