Main Feature Marketing Southeast Asia

Lifeline to normality: Singaporeans embrace applications but shun poor digital experiences

While Singaporeans have lived through fluctuating restrictions – like Circuit Breaker and heightened alerts – one thing that has remained constant over the last 18 months is the lifeline to normality that applications and digital services have provided. Whether it’s staying connected to loved ones, ordering food and groceries, work, study, or rest, the role that apps play in our lives has never been more prominent.

Tellingly, in the latest report led by Business Observability platform AppDynamics, a significant 95% of Singaporeans reveal that digital services have helped them get through the pandemic in a positive way. It’s clear that as life threatened to grind to a halt with COVID-19 putting the brakes on travel, entertainment, and work as we knew it, apps have enabled us to get on and continue functioning.

For many people, this widespread transition to the online sphere opened their eyes to the many benefits that digital services promise. Be it virtual activities for leisure, or access to essential services, many consumers have found themselves trying something they would ordinarily have never considered before. According to the e-Conomy SEA 2020 report, more than 1 in 3 digital services that consumers started using last year were because of the pandemic.

Realizing that a viable and convenient digital alternative is readily available to the traditional ways of doing things, consumers in Singapore are now likely to continue relying on these options beyond the pandemic. In fact, 83% of people in Singapore have already expressed their intention to use these services even after the restrictions imposed because of COVID-19 have disappeared.

This change in mindset and behavior will no doubt have implications on both consumer expectations, and how businesses must respond – not only in the short run but also in the longer term as we transition to endemic living.

Customers recognize the investment efforts from brands

Even people who don’t work in technology have witnessed the extent to which organizations across many sectors have innovated over the last 18 months. Launching new services to meet the evolving needs of customers, we’ve seen work and learning go virtual, as have banking, shopping, entertaining, and more. But of course, simply ‘going digital’ isn’t always enough for brands to win the hearts of their customers.

All over the world, we’ve seen organizations that have instead, quickly kickstarted and implemented full-scale digital transformation programs to improve operational processes and deliver apps and digital experiences that meet the needs of their customers. And their efforts have not been for naught. The same study by AppDynamics has discovered that consumers actually recognize and are thankful for the efforts that brands have invested into delivering these apps.

As people sought control and normalcy amid a most uncertain and challenging period, apps have been critical to empowering consumers during the pandemic. Almost 80% of those in Singapore say they are grateful to the brands that have invested in digital so they could access the services that they love. Those that have gone above and beyond with the quality of their digital services have also enjoyed the fruits of their labor, with 75% of people in Singapore feeling more loyal towards these companies.

It appears that creating and maintaining lasting relationships with customers increasingly rests on the delivery of seamless and faultless digital experiences. Brands that can ensure they make a positive impact on the lives of their consumers will have massive opportunities to forge these deeper connections and stay competitive.

Perfection is non-negotiable

As people of all ages across the globe depend on their apps for almost every facet of life, expectations have naturally skyrocketed. In particular, consumers increasingly seek the ‘total application experience’, which in addition to being reliable, secure, and personalized, is also simple, helpful, and fun to use. The bar has been raised forever and brands must now meet these expectations of performance and functionality.

But while consumers are showing more love towards the brands that meet their sky-high expectations with first-class services, tolerance for sub-optimal experiences has hit rock bottom. Indeed, expectations have changed during the pandemic and almost 70% of those in Singapore now expect nothing less than the best and will no longer tolerate poor performance.

As with most tech, digital services are susceptible to disruptions originating from various sources. And while slow loading pages, poor response time, and security lapses are often due to the app itself, other factors like internet connectivity, or issues with third-party plug-ins remain beyond the app owner’s control.

Despite the multitude of possibilities behind an app’s failure or technical disruption, most consumers believe it’s the brand’s duty to ensure their digital service always performs at an optimal standard. To 78% of the consumers in Singapore, it doesn’t matter what causes the poor performance. While external factors like a poor internet connection or weak mobile signal may be to blame, consumers expect application owners and the brands to take responsibility.

Consumers leave at the first sign of trouble

Although encountering problems with digital services is not a new phenomenon – with a majority of people saying they have experienced an issue over the last 12 months, what is increasingly worrying is how unforgiving consumers have become. No longer happy to just ‘try again later’ or continue struggling with an app, consumer patience has waned, and quickly switching to alternatives is now a norm.

Additionally, beyond simply deleting a poor-performing app from their device, consumers are also more vocal, often sharing and amplifying their negative experiences to others. With only one chance to impress consumers, brands and app owners need to go big and do right, as they can no longer afford even the tiniest blips in the digital customer experience.

To ensure issues are discovered and resolved before customers are affected, the ability to conduct full-stack observability that provides real-time insights, for instance, will be critical in today’s digital age. Filtering through the complexity and noise to identify and prioritize fixing issues with the greatest business impact is the only way for brands to create and maintain the flawless digital experiences that their customers have grown accustomed to and will continue to demand.

This article was written by Gregg Ostrowski, Executive CTO at AppDynamics.
Platforms Featured Global

Health, fitness app sessions increased by 31% in 2021

Singapore – The pandemic has paved the way for people to opt out utilizing digital experiences, including the usage of mobile applications. Under such categories are health and fitness apps, to which its digital lifestyle solutions have made their app sessions increase by 31% during H1 in 2021 globally, the latest insights from mobile marketing analytics platform Adjust shows.

The increase in app sessions are noted despite the gradual re-opening of gyms and fitness centers globally due to eased pandemic restrictions. Yet, health and fitness app installations have dropped by 24% during H1 of this year.

This is a large contrast with the previous Adjust statistics that showed that the aforementioned app installs of apps under that category saw a spike by 67% by March 2020, and sessions boosted by 48% during May 2020, an indication of online activity in these apps due to existing pandemic restrictions back then.

In terms of workout and fitness frequencies on these apps, the insights noted that Sunday was the most preferred day to workout during the week, with Friday being the least favorite. Meanwhile, in terms of peak weak performance, health and fitness global sessions were at peak during the first week of March last year, 9.1% above the H1 average.

“Although installs are not as impressive as last year, sessions are trending upward, suggesting that users are sticking with apps since adapting to taking care of their mental and physical health from home. The growth is expected to continue, but the key challenge for apps is to gain the competitive edge and acquire more high-LTV users,” according to April Tayson, regional vice president for INSEA at Adjust.

Platforms Featured ANZ

Study shows how a lagging app still ought to be blamed to brands

Sydney, Australia – As more and more brands are now migrating towards digital service channels to communicate their brand purpose and message, many Australian consumers are now expecting these brands to do better in their digital services, and this rate is furthermore increasing, new data from business observability platform Cisco AppDynamics shows.

According to their latest report, the number of apps consumers are using daily has jumped by 30% compared with two years ago. Over the last 18 months, Aussies have not only increased their reliance on apps and digital services to go about their day-to-day lives, but also raised their expectations for flawless and engaging digital experiences. And, when these experiences fail to deliver, due to an outage or performance issue, they take note.

In terms of data regarding customers and app performance, they note that 92% say they expect reliable and consistent performance, while 76% say it’s the responsibility of the brand to ensure that the digital service or app works perfectly.

“Whether it’s within the application itself – such as pages loading slowly, downtime, or security failures; or external factors like internet connectivity, slow payment gateways or technical issues with third party services—to the consumer there is no distinction and they will now place responsibility firmly on the brand,” the report stated.

Such statement is also supported by data across the Australian respondents, who noted that 58% of respondents say brands have ‘one shot’ to impress them with their digital experiences before they switch to another provider. In addition, 63% say their expectation of digital services has changed forever and they won’t tolerate poor performance any more.

Despite these statements, 73% of Australian respondents say they are grateful to brands that invested in digital during the pandemic so they could get access to the services they love and rely on.

For Linda Tong, vice president and general manager of Cisco AppDynamics, applications have become the lifeline to normality for people in every corner of the world and consumers are no longer willing to settle for anything less than a perfect digital experience.

“Technologists are now under more pressure than ever to deliver the ‘total application experience’ to users within their first interaction,” she stated.

Platforms Featured South Asia

DataBird, Bangladesh’s promising internet giant, raises $3M in bridge round

Bangladesh – DataBird, Bangladesh’s leading Internet group, has recently raised US$3M in funding led by Skycatcher, a global Internet and software investor. Previously, the company raised a seed round of US$4M in 2018, its founding year. 

DataBird is the parent firm of Bangladesh’s leading brands in online travel with travel booking platform ShareTrip and in communication with mobile typing app Ridmik Keyboard. According to DataBird, ShareTrip obtains about 50% of the market share in the country’s online travel, while Ridmik Keyboard is said to be Bangladesh’s most used app and adopted by the majority of all smartphone users in the country.

Kashef Rahman, CEO of DataBird, shared that the additional investment will go into expanding its ecosystem footprint with investments into fintech and digital advertising. With this, DataBird will also be continuing to invest and nurture homegrown talent in Bangladesh, with the company now having over 160 employees. 

Tanveer Ali, board member of DataBird, said, “We are in this for the marathon ahead so one of the most important objectives for us is to invest into our team members to expand their skillsets. The real opportunity in a nascent market like Bangladesh is the knowledge transfer that can happen by studying Internet business models globally. We are really proud of how well our team has executed in the past few years and our bar is world-class products.” 

The company said that building an Internet giant takes time and requires laser focus, and that it is inspired by the cultures of Asia’s leading tech ecosystem giants like Tencent, SEA group, and Kakao who operate with decentralized teams on building a product. 

Sadia Haque, CCO of DataBird, said, “We believe we offer a unique culture in the local context of Bangladesh and are always actively recruiting talent locally or diaspora from abroad who want to come to Dhaka and make an impact.”

Aside from its flagship online travel and keyboard platform, DataBird’s product portfolio expands to news, eReader, and lifestyle mobile applications, and that it is aiming to invest to more with the aim of accelerating the development of ‘Digital Bangladesh’, the country’s political vision of the country for the year 2021, the nation’s golden jubilee. 

Sia Kamalie, Skycatcher founder, said that together with DataBird, it is playing a different game and that the company’s investment horizon can be ‘forever’ and that plans will be in tandem with where the world is headed by 2030. 

“For us, it’s clear that Bangladesh Internet ecosystem will be exponentially bigger than today when you consider that it’s the 8th largest country in world by population, growing GDP at +8% for last decade, and we estimate smartphone penetration is only 40% today. In the next few years, we expect another 50 to 75m smartphone users coming online for the first time and DataBird will be there to serve all their needs,” said Kamalie.

Marketing Featured APAC

Marketer’s guide to online dating apps

The pandemic has interrupted face-to-face social interactions, but it did not stop people from wanting to have social connections. Tinder recorded more than 3 billion swipes on March 29, 2020, which sets the highest single-day record in the history of the dating app. For Bumble, video and voice call usage has increased by 21 percent during the pandemic. As people stayed indoors due to state-imposed lockdowns, users are leveraging the messaging and video calling features of online dating apps to meet new people and expand their social circle.

With the increasing internet penetration rate, the Asia Pacific (APAC) market is catching up with other regions in terms of dating app usage. According to market research, APAC will show the highest growth rate by the year 2025. While the opportunities for growth in the online dating industry are significant, companies within the sector must take steps to know what works for mobile marketing in this emerging and highly-competitive market. A strategy that focuses on user acquisition, monetization, and retention will play a vital role in determining the success or failure of a dating app.

Knowing the app users’ behavior is a critical step. Online dating apps should find the right technology and leverage the data that they have to reach their target audience, and provide a user experience that is fun, unique and responsive. Brands that make data-driven decisions are more inclined to see a remarkable difference in parameters such as the number of users, session lengths, and engagement.

Here are some tips for marketers to improve their online dating app’s overall performance:

1. Find the right time to engage with users 

Anonymized user data from mobile measurement company Adjust’s top dating apps for the year 2020 shows that installs and sessions are highest on weekends. Installs begin to pick up on Fridays and are seen to be at the highest on Saturdays. Time spent within the apps is also significantly higher on weekends as shown in the spike of session length on Saturdays compared to other days of the week. Finding the right opportunity to engage with the target audience and users is crucial in improving installs and increasing user retention rates. By looking at data, online dating apps can adapt a marketing plan that can help achieve the desired results.

2. Keep the interest high

Session length spikes early for dating apps, which suggests that users of the app start looking at matches and interact with potential partners upon download. When compared with gaming or news apps, the session lengths increase as the users become more familiar with the game or begin to appreciate the benefits of the news app. However, for online dating apps, the initial buzz can wear off quickly and session length starts to drop off towards day 30. Online dating apps need to consider this difference in usage patterns to improve user engagement. Personalized, impactful, and perfectly-timed push notifications are a tried and tested approach that encourages and motivates users to come back into the app. By leveraging data, online dating apps can effectively segment users and tweak the frequency of the message to achieve optimal results.

3. Understand what brought the users to your app

Subscription is the primary monetization model for online dating apps. Unlike gaming or news, dating app users’ motivations are very different since the goal is to find a partner and leave the app. Investing in event tracking can help online dating apps understand the user’s overall app experience. Brands can measure the entire subscription funnel and leverage this data to build accurate lifetime value models that increase investment returns. It is essential to analyze the entire customer lifecycle – from what brought them into an app when they have activated their trial and the detailed journey behind each subscriber until they cancel and even reactivate.

4. Protect your app users

On forums and social media platforms, users of online dating apps complain about having their experiences ruined by fake accounts. Using bots, fraud actors are generating fake accounts on a big scale to be used for fake likes, views, and comments, and lure users into scams. Fake accounts are also being used to spread spam linked to other sites. Bots can take automatic actions and stay active for extended periods in the platform, which can cause substantial damage by interacting with many users.

To protect users, online dating apps need to ensure that there is a function within the app to report if the users have interacted with a bot. By installing this feature, users are able to help out in cleaning the app’s user base. Behavioral biometrics is the gold standard for bot detection.

Machine learning models that analyze various biometric indicators are so complex that it is almost impossible for fraudsters to spoof. By separating the patterns and behavior of real users from those of bad actors, online dating apps can ensure that users are protected.

With the pandemic drastically changing how people interact and with the growing acceptance of online dating apps, the online dating industry presents numerous growth opportunities. Dating apps aiming to make inroads in a highly competitive market must invest in maintaining a positive user experience, as well as building and sustaining a good reputation.

The article was written by April Tayson, Regional VP INSEA at Adjust.

Adjust is a global mobile marketing solutions firm.
Main Feature Technology APAC

‘Add to home screen’: Is developing a Progressive Web App the right move for your platform?

We’re always finding ways to mesh the best of both worlds, and on the side of applications, there is such a thing called as Progressive Web App, or in short, PWA, which combines the benefits of web applications and native apps. 

First introduced by Google back in 2015, Progressive Web App is something you must have already gotten your hands on one way or another. If while browsing a mobile site, you have been briefly paused by a prompt that says ‘Add to home screen’, then that is exactly that. 

Progressive Web App uses web technology to deliver to users a native app-like experience. It’s the answer to the never-ending debate of whether to get a web app or a mobile app, but you’ll later find that it isn’t a black-and-white predicament and that PWAs enhance both rather than replace them. 

A PWA is developed using Javascript, and a major part of it is a service worker that enables features such as offline browsing and push notifications, experiences found in native apps. Right off the bat, the buy-in point is that PWAs need not be downloaded from an app store by users, while for developers, it is much cheaper to build and uses less sophisticated technology to implement. 

So a PWA sounds all good, right? But is it really the best move to go for your platform or brand? Let’s get to know more facts. 

Progressive Web App vs. native app

A native app is obviously platform-based, which means that its programming language is specifically built to work on either iOS or Android; so that would be Swift for the former, while Kotlin for the latter. And if one prefers to have the app run on all mobile platforms, then it further necessitates knowing all the different technologies, making its development meticulous and a much lengthier process. A progressive web app, on the other hand, simply runs on a browser and requires only common web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. PWAs are also responsive and are operational in different screen sizes. Compared to a straight-out web app, they are also able to work offline. 

When it comes to functionality though, PWAs are still half apps and therefore carry limited ability to deliver features. Such examples would be that it has no access to calendars and contacts. It also can’t access bluetooth, hence, the absence of indoor geolocation.  

The high cost of development for native apps, on the other hand, does reap its rewards as this exchanges for optimized performance. Since native apps are targeted at specific platforms, they are able to deliver a high level of performance. Native apps are also able to interact with other apps, and an easy example of this is when logging in to a certain platform, one is able to quickly connect credentials via Facebook or Gmail. 

Geofencing is also an advantage that comes with native apps. This enables the app to send alerts when a device enters a specific location. Those who opt for native apps are also able to enjoy the benefit of customizability, having more exploratory space when it comes to developing the interface and user experience. 

While native apps no doubt offer great performance, PWAs are still capable of serving many benefits, gaining higher engagement for one’s platform with a cheaper and faster development. They are discoverable through search engines, which have a larger audience than app stores and can still use push notifications to re-engage users. 

Each has its pros and cons, but being at a crossroads of which one to choose, or whether to add a PWA in the case that you’re already operating on a certain platform, there’s one thing that remains to be the most important factor–your users. 

What do your users want? 

In deciding what type of application to build, what the users and consumers of your platform want is a first-principle. In a number of ways, the more optimized experience that a native app offers weighs heavier, and users only veer off course from downloading an app for a common reason – reserving phone memory. Not everybody’s mobile device carries top-tier memory storage, and the usual workaround is to not install too many apps. 

With this in mind, rather than deciding between a PWA and a native app, in order to truly bring users a great experience, one can decide to have both, which could be said as an ideal strategy enabling the platform to be holistically available. This addresses the pain points of users, which can be segmented taking into account the continuous emergence of new digital channels and practices.

Being a fairly new type of application relative to others, early adopters of PWA use it ‘on top’ of their native app. Twitter for example has taken the user experience (UX) of its brand a notch higher through Twitter Lite, launched in 2017, where users are now able to add it to their home screens or even on ‘desktop’ on a PC. 

It definitely worked for Twitter, being obviously a highly text-based social media platform. The gratification point for Twitter users does not demand a bespoke native app, and a PWA, which is much smaller in storage size, is still able to deliver the same exact experience – a ready-to-use platform to publish and share bite-sized personal content. 

According to a case study by Google, the introduction of Twitter Lite has resulted in a 65% increase in pages per session, a 75% increase in Tweets sent, and a 20% decrease in bounce rate. However, what worked for Twitter does not mean entirely the same for your platform. 

An e-commerce platform, for example, has more pathways in its UX, and thus, majority of users might lean, in favor of a native app, or just go straight to the e-commerce site to browse and shop. 

However, mobile phone usage is tipped to, if it hasn’t yet, increase at a higher rate, where a Statista study forecasted that the year 2020 might clock in 2.87 billion users of smartphones worldwide. Such insight enlightens that with such a massive volume of users depending on mobile experience, it would gravely be a step behind not to consider the possible ways a user can land, and later on normalize your platform’s usage. Hence, even with the possibility of users giving higher preference to the holy grail native app, it wouldn’t hurt for brands and platforms to consider a PWA.

The makings of a good PWA 

So what makes a well-performing and converting progressive web app? As mentioned, the basic DNA of a PWA is that it combines both the operational maneuvers and features of a web and mobile app. Here’s a definitive list.

Easy to discover a PWA is by essence, a website, so it should be discovered by search engines, which is one of its one-ups over native apps, which still sometimes suffer in terms of searchability.
Linkable – taking after its parent application, a PWA must be shareable through a link.
Responsive – a PWA should be at all costs, responsive. It must be capable of being used on any device that has a screen and a browser such as of course mobile phones, and also tablets, laptops, and even TVs, and refrigerators that have in-built screens.
Network- and connectivity-independent – a PWA should have this characteristic so it works even in offline mode or amid a poor network connection.
Re-engages – a PWA to be re-engageable, can directly be achieved through push notifications – a feature that we borrow from native apps – to encourage users to reopen and reuse the app.
• Safe – it is vital that a PWA is hosted over HTTPS so that connections between the user, the app, and your server are secured against any man-in-the-middle attacks trying to intercept to obtain private data. 
App-like – we made this feature the last on the list to make a point –above all, it should feel and be navigated like an app. It may be a combo of a web and mobile app, but it is more of an extension of the latter and should look and operate like one.

Now that you are armed with a basic rundown of a PWA’s benefits, features, as well as its advantages, and shortcomings, it is best to always mind the ideal path that would appeal to and serve most of your users while adapting to what your platform and brand are able to afford at the moment when it comes to time and budget. This can be a challenging task but the fact that you are in the mid of assessment means that you are on the road to digitization–and that is already a beginning of bringing your brand one step further to better user reach and, eventually, leading the competition. 

The author is Adam Eastburn, CEO & Founder of Adaptis.

Adaptis is a global technology development company with presence in Europe and the Asia Pacific. The company offers experience design, digital development, and team solutions. Kempinski HotelsToyota, and Johnnie Walker are some of its global clients.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

About half of consumers across SEA are uninstalling shopping apps in 2020: report

Singapore – With more people relying on e-commerce during the pandemic, shoppers have also increasingly become more selective with the platforms they’re using, and in the Southeast Asia region, about half of consumers across markets were found to uninstall shopping apps, according to a report by e-commerce aggregator iPrice Group, in partnership with SimilarWeb and AppsFlyer.

Data from the report showed that in the first and second quarter of 2020, an average of half of the consumers in SEA countries Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia as well as Thailand, and Singapore ditched using shopping apps, with the group of consumers demonstrating the behavior with a slight uptick in the second quarter of 2020. The highest average uninstallation was led by Vietnam with 49%, followed by 47% in Indonesia, 41% in Malaysia, 37% of consumers in Thailand, and 36% of shoppers in Singapore. 

When it comes to app acquisition, on the other hand, there has also been an increase in installations, in tandem with data showing that some apps are being let go. With over 12.4 million installs analyzed, the report found that there was a 2% average increase of organic installs on iOS and android shopping applications from users in the SEA region from January to June in 2020. 

The report noted that among many things that led users to install shopping applications were lockdown periods, online sales, and app features, such as free shipping and discounts. E-commerce companies partnering with superstars, such as K-pop group Blackpink, actor Lee Min-ho, and footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, among others, have also become a factor in attracting consumers.

With web traffic among e-commerce sites, on the other hand, the report revealed that online shopping platforms across SEA markets gained a positive increase year-over-year from 2019 which can be seen most in Singapore, whichexperienced a surge of 35% compared to 2019, followed by the Philippines (21%), Vietnam (19%), Malaysia (17%), Thailand (15%), and Indonesia (6%).

Online department stores’ web traffic also experienced a 52% average increase from the first quarter of 2020, proving that most countries in the region flocked to online department stores instead of physical stores due to social distancing.

However, platforms that particularly offer cosmetic products showed a web traffic decrease of 35% from the first quarter to fourth quarter of 2020. Fashion and electronics sites also experienced a 14% decrease in traffic in the six countries.

With more visits to online shopping platforms, comes the increase in average spending. The same study revealed that SEA consumers’ average spending increased by 19%. Although fashion and electronics sites saw a slight decrease in web traffic, the average basket size for these categories significantly increased, as well as for sports and outdoor products.

According to the study, consumers in SEA spent an overall average of US$2 per order in 2020, which was 19% higher than 2019’s. Singapore recorded an average US$61 spent per order, while Malaysia locked in US$41, with both showing the highest average basket size in 2020 in the region.

“These unusual shifts have presented a sign of digital acceleration in online retail despite the global pandemic that is affecting consumers in the region,” noted iPrice.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

SG’s ComfortDelGro to launch one-stop mobility, lifestyle app

Singapore – Singapore’s multi-national land transport company, ComfortDelGro, has announced that it will be launching its one-stop app for mobility and lifestyle called ‘Zig’.

Through the app, Singapore residents will be able to connect and commute conveniently, as well as discover new experiences in and around Singapore. Its interactive map-based interface allows users to search for lifestyle services – from making dining reservations, placing click-to-collect orders at selected Food & Beverage (F&B) merchants, purchasing tickets at entertainment outlets and attractions, to finding great deals. Furthermore, each user experience can be customized to fit a user’s personal preferences – whether they are adventure seekers or creatures of habits.

“In a digital world, mobility is no longer just about simply transporting people from point A to point B. It is about bringing services to people wherever they are, whenever they need. This is the first time we’re rolling out such an all-in-one lifestyle and mobility app that we hope will provide our commuters with more choices,” said Yang Ban Seng, managing director and group CEO of ComfortDelGro.

The app will be partnering with restaurant booking platform Chope and travel booking platform Klook to offer users a combined network of over 1,500 dining options ranging from Asian, Mexican to Western cuisines, as well as over 300 entertainment deals such as hotel staycations and even kayaking excursions.

Zig is also aiming to convince users to explore “hidden gems” in districts and neighborhoods by partnering with local food and beverage joints such as MXG Classics, cake shop PIVOT, and Japanese eatery Gyu Nami.

“The user experience of Zig, with its fun persona and bold visual aesthetic, has been designed to give users a whole gamut of features to make lifestyle discovery fun, socially interactive, and most importantly, more convenient,” Yang stated.

ComfortDelGro will be adding more services to the app once it has been launched, including a rewards program slated for release in the second quarter of this year.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

MY’s Hong Leong Bank launches digital initiative on finance, environment literacy for children

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – The Hong Leong Bank (HLB) has launched a new digital banking initiative that encourages children to be conscious about the environment, while practicing money saving tips.

The initiative, aptly called ‘Earth Hero’, teaches children how their choices can have an impact on the planet. With tasks completed, children earn opportunities to plant virtual trees. For every 20 virtual trees achieved, HLB will plant one real tree. The child will receive a certificate with GPS coordinates of the real tree planted in their name. 

Furthermore, the newest initiative falls under the umbrella of mobile banking platform HLB Pocket Connect, a child-friendly mobile banking app which was launched last August. The new initiative is also linked to an eco-friendly reforestation mission targeting to plant 2,500 trees in Borneo in partnership with social enterprise APE Malaysia.

“We are cognizant of our role as a financial institution in creating and sustaining a vibrant ecosystem of communities and the environment. We are very proud to be the first bank in Malaysia and the region to steer the younger generation towards being financially savvy and environmentally conscious through HLB Pocket Connect. There is good traction in this app’s uptake and view it as a good opportunity to gamify financial education with tangible rewards that benefits the environment, with parental guidance and in partnership with an eco-social enterprise,” said Domenic Fuda, group managing director and CEO of HLB.

On the other hand, Galvin Yeo, HLB’s general manager for personal financial services for deposits and digital said, “Children are true native digital and technology users, and are interested to learn through an interactive mobile platform that gamifies engaging activities and tasks. Through HLB Pocket Connect, we are able to seamlessly incorporate an environmental literacy element, teaching children to cultivate the understanding and responsibility in taking care of the environment and the value of money, with parents’ help. More importantly, we are proud to think outside the financial institution box in delivering a truly innovative, fun and relevant digital banking platform for their lifestyle.”

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

App marketing Adjust joins Adobe’s exchange partner program to boost app’s CX analytics

Singapore – To improve app marketing measurements and fraud prevention for their digital advertiser clients, app marketing platform Adjust has joined the Adobe Exchange Partner Program to utilize client-inclined strategies for performance marketing online, through Adobe’s Experience Cloud.

The Adobe Exchange Partner Program is an ongoing partner program designed for technology partners, which include software and data vendors to integrate third-party apps to companies looking to diversify and analyze their digital reach impact.

With this partnership, current and prospective mutual clients will be able to build a more complete view of the user journey across all channels — augmenting their customer experience stack analytics. This is done with a combination of mobile app data and data collected from other touchpoints.

Furthermore, the partnership entails a combination of solutions for marketing, analytics, advertising, and e-commerce, and the inclusion of a suite of measurement, fraud prevention, and automation products to provide data integration between Adjust and Adobe.

“As a driver in innovation in mobile marketing, we’re thrilled to become a premier level partner in the Adobe Exchange Partner Program, bringing actionable analytics and measurement, fraud prevention and automation to leading businesses globally — and with a single platform approach Adobe customers are used to. We are excited to see the business benefits both our current and future clients will see from this new relationship,” said Andrey Kazakov, VP Partnerships at Adjust.

Cody Crnkovich, head of platform partners and strategy at Adobe Experience Cloud commented, “As customer activity shifts along with the pandemic, advertisers are facing greater challenges connecting mobile marketing spend to app revenue and customer lifetime value. Adobe is delighted to have Adjust as a business partner, giving advertisers the capability to see mobile data across all available channels, automate campaign reporting and protect ad dollars from fraudsters in one place.”