Marketing Featured ANZ

CHEP Network names Nick Jia as executive director of marketing technology

Australia – CHEP has named Nick Jia as its executive director for marketing technology. 

Considered one of Australia’s leading MarTech experts, Jia’s new role will see him supporting the growth of the marketing technology function at CHEP, supporting the increasing demand for sophisticated personalisation, cross-channel marketing, and customer data management solutions. 

Jia joins from Anchora as chief growth officer where he successfully built and launched their MarTech capability. Prior to Anchora, he spent time in software vendor roles at Adobe and Experian, in addition to technical consulting roles in a range of agencies across the country. 

Over the course of his career, Jia has partnered with leading brands including Bupa, IAG, Kayo, Singapore Airlines, Tabcorp, Velocity and more to accelerate their commercial performance through the application of new technology solutions. 

CHEP Network’s chief technology officer, Mark Gretton, said, “Since we launched our MarTech practice seven years ago, we have seen companies adopt a whole raft of solutions. [However,] the next wave of AI-infused, [cloud-based] tech is even more exciting. As Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey reports, CMO’s are now spending roughly 25% of their budget on MarTech.” 

“With the space continuing to grow and evolve, and our clients’ needs changing day-by-day, I’m thrilled to have a brilliant commercial, technical and strategic mind in Nick joining our team. He comes into a business with a well-established and mature MarTech function that I think he will only help turbo-charge with his deep data-driven marketing expertise.”

Jia himself commented, “I’ve worked in a number of different shaped businesses over the last 15 years and really enjoyed my time in all of them. However, there isn’t another services business in Australia that has managed to fuse together the full spectrum of creative, media and technology services at scale with the same coherence as the CHEP team.” 

“The benefit of this really shows in CHEP’s work in helping the biggest businesses in the region transform and innovate their entire end-to-end digital customer experiences. The highly collaborative, ego-free and positive culture has been something I continued to hear great things about. It feels like the business is about to embark on a whole new wave of growth and momentum, and I’m super excited to be a part of it.”

Technology Featured APAC

Report reveals customer reviews critical when choosing marketing software

Customer reviews have a huge impact on helping companies make smart decisions about which software to purchase.

According to a recent study by content management system (CMS) Storyblok, 75% regretted buying software without reading enough customer reviews first. About 26% spend one month researching software, and 56% read more than 20 customer reviews before purchasing it. 

In a global survey of 200 business leaders who purchase software for their 500+ employee companies, the report found that only 1% said customer reviews are of low importance when choosing software. All of that research pays off because 94% said customer reviews match their experience using the software all the time or most of the time.

“Focusing on the needs of our customers is at the heart of everything we do at Storyblok. We believe being recognised as the only vendor that’s a Customers’ Choice is a massive honor, but it’s also a responsibility we take very seriously. We’re committed to making sure our customers feel this way about us for many years to come,” said Dominik Angerer, Co-Founder and CEO of Storyblok.

Storyblok was recently named a Customers’ Choice in the March 2023 Gartner Peer Insights “Voice of the Customer”: Web Content Management. Storyblok was the only vendor named a Customers’ Choice in the report. 

As part of its efforts to continue providing an excellent customer experience, Storyblok also recently revealed a new ROI calculator to help businesses see the economic impact that’s possible with modernised content management.

Technology Featured APAC

Martech Xtend unveils AI-first engine for retargeting consumers

Singapore – Martech company Xtend has announced the launch of an AI-first retargeting engine. Alongside this, the firm has opened its global headquarters in Singapore. 

Built on a large-scale AI model, Xtend provides an algorithm that predicts based on typical user profiles instead of usual marketing funnels. It allows anticipation of a user’s next preferred engagement with a brand – whether via discovery, product comparisons, or a flash deal.

Furthermore, the martech will also incorporate a large section of owned and operated contextual e-commerce inventory, that will be tagged as ‘SHOPit’, to create a more native environment for users to interact with e-commerce offers outside of their core platforms. 

Through SHOPit, a platform agnostic plug and play solution, Xtend is able to accurately pinpoint lapses in the user journey and effectively help businesses retarget using unique and customised user scenarios, and AI Generated Content (AIGC) native creations.

At an event last 20 April, Xtend engaged its top existing e-commerce partners such as Tokopedia and Lazada for an exclusive preview of the new product. The company’s team of industry stalwarts will be supporting these companies to reach, convert, and re-engage their users.

The launch event featured an open discussion between key leaders of the industry on the future of marketing and the ability to identify and serve users with meaningful communications, in the absence of cookies and app user IDs, all expected to be deprecated by 2024.

“Industries like ecommerce, fintech, and food delivery apps acquired huge volumes of users during the pandemic. These users, many of whom were forced to come online faster than they may have, are behaving in unique ways, posing challenges to typical user models in the adtech industry, “ said Karam Malhotra, Xtend’s CEO. 

“Xtend is a pioneering innovation made by a global team with rich retargeting experience to meet the needs of our partners. It incorporates best practices of marketing technology solutions across both owned & operated and programmatic inventory. We are excited to debut amid a new AI generation, given every part of our engine and workflow is heavily integrated with AI, bringing efficiencies onto the table,” Malhotra further said. 

Xtend, which was soft-launched earlier this year, is made up of industry veterans and young-blooded executives coming from companies such as RTB House, Criteo, Tencent, and others. 

Across Q2 and Q3 2023, the company will be globally rolled out across Asia, EMEA, CIS, LatAm, and the U.S. 

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

SEA martech firm Involve Asia ropes in seasoned marketing chiefs to boost leadership team

Singapore – Involve Asia, the martech firm with a focus on Southeast Asia, has expanded its leadership team through the appointment of two senior marketing hires. This comes after its recent fundraising of over US$10m led by Bintang Capital Partners. 

Melissa Chan is inaugurated as vice president of brand and marketing, whilst Kylee Yap assumes the position of director of marketing services. With the new leadership, Involve Asia looks to continue expanding its product line and services to its network of clients and partners across the region. 

The company’s main value proposition is making affiliate marketing accessible and cost-effective, in order for individuals to small-to-medium-sized marketing companies to enhance their network with global brands. Involve Asia says Chan and Yap will be instrumental in growing its regional brand and marketing efforts and in leading the company’s team across content, brand, public relations, social media, digital performance, marketing, and design. 

Chan is most recently the CMO of iMoney Group. She brings with her 25 years of experience including working in teams across the startup and fintech industries. Her vast in-market knowledge spans financial product development, digital banking, loyalty programs, and customer segmentation. Prior to joining Involve Asia, she held key leadership roles at CIMB bank, HSBC, Hong Leong, RHB Banking Group, and TNG Digital. 

Meanwhile, Yap is coming off his position as the interim country marketing manager of Meta for Malaysia. Over a span of 20 years with companies such as Meta, Lazada, CtrlShift, Ogilvy Action, and Saatchi & Saatchi, she had been deeply involved in curating and leading branding activities across offline, online, and social media platforms. She had been exposed to many regional and global events which have honed her skills in creating tailored campaigns. 

With a holistic background in client management, sales, event management, and branding, the company says Yap will be aiming to strategically grow Involve Asia’s presence in Southeast Asia and enhance its service quality to existing and new audiences. 

Yap commented, “We are living in a world that is rapidly growing its digital presence, and the online marketplace is an indispensable staple for most brands and advertisers post-pandemic. Through the extensive network that helps it effectively bridge the gap between brands and audiences, Involve Asia’s platform is uniquely positioned to amplify returns in the marketing partnership space.” 

Meanwhile, on the new journey with the firm, Chan says, “Involve Asia has such a captivating story combined with a social purpose that needs to be told. Many brands this year have been reviewing their marketing budgets and are looking for cost-optimised solutions to meet their business and marketing goals. Individuals are also starting to supplement and increase their income by entering the gig economy. I look forward to elevating the experience of affiliate marketing and fulfilling Involve Asia’s missions.” 

Along with optimising current growth channels, the firm further shared that both will hold key responsibilities for the development of bespoke marketing campaigns to drive additional revenue streams.

Since the company’s establishment in 2014, Involve Asia has expanded from its Malaysia base into Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines, tapping into Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing e-commerce and digital ad market. The company says it is charging forward with ‘ambitious’ growth planned in the coming months.

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Involve Asia bags US$10m in funding, to acquire complementary tech companies

Singapore – Affiliate marketing platform Involve Asia has recently raised US$10m in funding, which the company will use to acquire complementary tech companies, as well as continuously invest in enhancing its platform and team.

As part of Involve’s plans to scale even more rapidly, part of its fundraise will be used to invest in companies that complement its business and leverage its network of clients and partners. In recent years, Involve has established a firm footing with influencers across the region which has driven strong results for advertisers. 

The company also plans to deploy a comprehensive suite of solutions that will increase the avenues for advertisers to leverage on influencers and their highly engaged audience. 

It is also expanding the team in line with its aggressive growth plans and hiring across many roles, with almost 50 positions open especially in business development, project management, product and DevOps.

Rene Menezes, president and co-founder of Involve said, “2022 marked Involve’s second chapter of aggressive growth. We’re not sitting around waiting for the global uncertainty to settle. We are in a position to invest and step on the gas while many are focused on consolidation and preserving cash. A number of industry-changing products are ready to be taken out of beta and will hit the market very soon.”

He added, “There is always a need for high impact, brand advertising but even more opportunity exists for marketers who adopt Involve’s platform with its focus on risk-free, highly effective returns on marketing budgets.”

The funding round was led by Bintang Capital Partners Berhad, the private equity arm of Affin Hwang Asset Management Berhad, with a parentage that includes leading global investment managers such as CVC Capital Partners and Nikko Asset Management. 

Technology Featured APAC

What’s NEXT 2023: The top 3 MarTech strategies for brands to address in the new normal this 2023

2023 will mark an exciting and transformative new phase for most businesses in the world as the economic environment and market situation evolves and enters a new normal. First-party data-centric solutions, online-merge-offline (OMO) services and applications, along with result-driven marketing focus with the emphasis on conversion and campaign result uplift, are set to help businesses build stronger resilience in a highly uncertain market environment. 

In the post-pandemic era, offline channels have been recovering steadily, but this does not mean that the influence of online channels will decline. Instead, with the nature of online marketing’s measurable effectiveness, the lines between customer acquisition, retention, conversion, and insight into the marketing funnel stages have started to blur, and this makes it more important to equip businesses with real-time first-party data collection and analysis capabilities to strengthen their online and offline data integration. Service providers with a strong AI know-how will continue to lead the trends of MarTech tool development and present more diverse applications to fit multiple scenarios. 

Following the incoming phasing out of third-party cookies, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a leading technology that provides better results for organisations, supporting them to enhance their campaign performances with limited data sources. In response to the economic slowdown and inflation, results-driven marketing solutions will empower businesses to turn their marketing investment into predictable returns and leverage a ‘turning AI into ROI’ customer-centric mindset to help enterprises cope well with the new normal in 2023. 

To prepare for the new normal in the post-pandemic era in 2023, the following three strategies can help companies seize potential business opportunities and make wiser business decisions:

Theme 1: First-party data centric solutions 

With the rise in the awareness of data privacy, businesses are seeking first-party data centric solutions for digital marketing. Real-time analysis and predictions from small data are two unique features of AI technology which can unify user profiles and extrapolate user affinity more accurately and realize personalised communication with limited first-party data, whilst respecting user privacy. Moreover, first-party data can also enable auto-piloted intelligent advertising to generate greater investment returns for customers. 

Theme 2: OMO application of online and offline data 

Digital transformation is a continuously evolving process. Although offline sales have gradually recovered in the post-pandemic era, online shopping trends that took hold during the pandemic have convinced brands that OMO is the key to sustainability and to coping with uncertainties. 

To adapt to the new normal in the post-pandemic era, enterprises are actively seeking solutions to integrate and connect data across offline and online channels. Brands that unify customer data across different channels such as websites, apps, and social media can then leverage smarter insights to create seamless and personalised customer experiences.

Theme 3: Emphasis on conversion and effectiveness with result-driven marketing focus

An ever-changing market environment brings formidable challenges to enterprises and brands. Brands are spending their marketing budgets more precisely to specify marketing targets. AI can incorporate natural language processing, computer vision, and conversational commerce to help businesses keep up with these changes in real time, gain insights that humans cannot perceive, and recommend businesses to take immediate actions driven by data. 

For example, AI can target high-value customers and make predictions beforehand, and optimize the effectiveness of advertising and retargeting. It can also be used to make creative decisions about ad materials to improve advertising effectiveness. Combined with intuitive visualisation to quickly display users’ feedback at every touch point of the customer journey, AI can quickly predict and understand marketing performance in real time and take immediate actions. 

AI not only improves the efficiency and effectiveness of customer acquisition, it can also predict purchase intent. After a user visits a website, brands can leverage the power of AI to deliver a personalised coupon to hesitant shoppers to stimulate the checkout process or increase customer transactions, enabling enterprises to maximise the ROI of their marketing campaign without sacrificing profit. 

Due to the impact of the pandemic and uncertainties in the market, AI-driven MarTech solutions have become an indispensable tool to help companies enhance their competitiveness. There will be more relevant applications to be introduced in 2023, and be adopted extensively in multiple industries. MarTech solutions will also become more data-driven and result-driven to help enterprises make advances in the face of adversity. 

This article is written by Hongchia How, Vice President of Appier for APAC.

The insight is published as part of MARKETECH APAC’s thought leadership series under What’s NEXT 2023What’s NEXT 2023 is a multi-platform industry initiative which features marketing and industry leaders in APAC sharing their marketing insights and predictions for the upcoming year.

If you are a marketing leader and have insights that you’d like to share on upcoming trends and practices in marketing, please reach out to [email protected] for an opportunity to be part of the series. 

Technology Featured APAC

Publicis Groupe, Playground xyz team up to implement attention measurement, optimisation solutions in APAC

Sydney, Australia – Advertising agency company Publicis Groupe in APAC has teamed up with martech company Playground xyz to implement attention measurement and optimisation solutions across Publicis Groupe APAC clients’ digital ad campaigns.

The project expands on an ongoing partnership that has seen Playground help Publicis Groupe APAC clients test attention-based solutions and build a clear understanding of the actual levels of consumer attention their digital display advertising receives.

Next stages of the partnership will look to test how Playground’s attention solutions can be applied to other advertising approaches and channels, including contextual targeting and YouTube video ads.

Playground xyz’s ‘Attention Intelligence Platform’ uses real eye-tracking data from an opt-in panel, fused with AI to deliver attention measurement and optimisation.

Sapna Nemani, chief product and solution officer for APAC at Publicis Groupe said, “Brands have always been in the business of capturing and converting attention. Yet, as an industry, we have found it hard to quantify this, until now. The ability to measure attention meaningfully gives us an accurate perspective on effectiveness, and this is a game changer.”

Meanwhile, Rob Hall, CEO of Playground xyz, commented, “We’re continuing to find that attention time is an incredibly reliable and effective predictor of brand outcomes. It’s capable of unearthing hugely beneficial insights that will undoubtedly help brands more effectively formulate their strategies. Attention data is the missing ingredient in advertisers’ quests to secure maximum ROI and we’re incredibly excited to be helping Publicis’ clients realise its potential.”

Technology Featured Global

CM Group gets recognised on MarTech Breakthrough Awards

Australia – Global marketing technology group CM Group has been recognised at the recent MarTech Breakthrough Awards as ‘Best Overall MarTech Company’ for the third consecutive year. Cheetah Digital, which CM Group had acquired earlier this year, was awarded ‘Best Overall Marketing Campaign Management Solution’.

Speaking on the award, Wellford Dillard, CEO of CM Group, said, “What an honor for both CM Group and Cheetah Digital to receive this recognition from MarTech Breakthrough. We believe our key differentiator is our ability to provide a home for every marketer, regardless of size, complexity or industry. The depth and breadth of our offerings and our ability to deliver the right solution to every customer allows us to address a broad range of use cases and sophistication.”

He added, “With Sailthru, Selligent, Campaign Monitor, Emma, Vuture, Liveclicker and now Cheetah Digital, we deliver specialised marketing automation, email marketing and personalization for startups, large enterprises and everything in between. Our goal is to deliver solutions that support our customers in growing and scaling their businesses.”

CM Group’s innovative solutions allow customers to gather first- and zero-party data and consent that’s critical to building relevant, meaningful consumer interactions at every point in the customer journey, all at scale.

Meanwhile, James Johnson, managing director at MarTech Breakthrough, commented, “Relationship marketing begins with the first interaction, where you create a value exchange by offering a rewarding experience. oth CM Group and Cheetah Digital help marketers build better relationships with customers by creating this value exchange, and that makes them our choice for ‘Best Overall MarTech Company’ and ‘Best Overall Marketing Campaign Management Solution.’”

The MarTech Breakthrough Awards honours excellence and recognising the innovation, hard work and success in a range of marketing, sales and advertising technology related categories, including marketing automation, market research and customer experience, adtech, salestech, marketing analytics, content and social marketing, mobile marketing, among others.

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

NexMind launches ‘Digital Partner Program’ to provide AI-based martech solution for marketers

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Emerging martech firm NexMind AI Sdn. Bhd., has introduced the Digital Partner Program, a marketing partnership program designed for its enterprise SEO solutions, including NexODN SEO optimization and NexWriter AI content generation. The new program is set to attract consulting agencies delivering digital marketing, SEO, content marketing, and advertising services around the world.

Francis Lui, CEO of NexMind said, “NexMind develops AI martech solutions that are competitive in the industry. Our technology automates SEO optimization and content generation tasks so users can achieve optimum results much quicker compared to when they do the work manually. We have introduced Digital Partner Program to invite marketers around the globe to experience a better approach to managing SEO and content marketing for their clients.”

Among the benefits of NexMind’s Digital Partner Program are partner-only subscription rates and first access to new product features when they become available.

NexMind’s automated solutions were developed to improve the efficiency of digital marketing activities especially for consultants overseeing large accounts with thousands of web pages to monitor for SEO purposes. With this capability, partners can scale business while operating in a lean environment.

NexODN SEO platform already supports 127 languages, and the NexWriter AI content generator now supports six languages, and the number is growing.

“So, it doesn’t matter if the consultants are taking care of SEO or content marketing for transnational corporations with websites in different languages or a single-language website in Arabic, Japanese, German, or French; our platforms can help them deliver the work effectively and efficiently,” Francis added.

NexMind’s Digital Partner Program provides proper support, including assigning a Project Success Engineer to each partner to help them understand how our technology works and help them reach their marketing targets in a timely manner.

Francis concluded, “Any partners joining us will be provided with support and guidance. It is a win-win situation.”

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Rene Menezes appointed as Involve Asia’s new president

Singapore – Martech platform Involve Asia has announced the appointment of Rene Menezes as its newest president of the organisation, where he will be leading the commercial development of the organisation and will work in tandem with CEO and founder Jimmy How to manage the company and its stakeholders.

He brings over 25 years of leadership experience to Involve Asia, including most recently as director for the Southeast Asian partner office of SimilarWeb, and as former CEO of ad tech CtrlShift.

In addition, he also brings an ethos of entrepreneurship with one of his first ventures as a startup founder, providing a low-risk model for the largest digital media companies to enter emerging markets, highlighted by a client list that included Yahoo!, MSN, Facebook, Waze, Spotify, BBC, ESPN, and Disney.

Speaking about his appointment, he stated that as a board member of Involve Asia over the past eight years, he has witnessed the growth of Involve’s business and value creation for both publishers and advertisers. He also added that he is excited to deepen his work with the team as they cement their position in e-commerce marketing in Southeast Asia.

“Involve Asia’s platform is already used by many of the largest advertisers, merchants, and publishers in the region as a reliable source of leads, actions, and sales. The time is now ripe to ensure that more companies are exposed to and leverage the power of our platform, its reach and our know-how,” he stated.

Menezes added, “Since the pandemic began, there has been a surge in e-commerce adoption across Southeast Asia. The market is going to see a more aggressive Involve Asia acquire new clients as the pool of potential customers which can benefit from our services has grown exponentially.”

Meanwhile, How stated, “Rene has advised the business since its inception and has been able to lend counsel through some challenging decisions and helped us take actions that had a lasting positive impact on the company. I’m excited to have him in the trenches beside me as we charge forward to build on our recent performance with far more aggressive goals for the short and mid-term.”