Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Martech Techsun launches in SEA, unveils new product for SMEs

Singapore – APAC Martech brand Techsun, which provides solutions for consumer marketing, consumer data, and marketing process automation has launched in Southeast Asia with a new headquarters in Singapore. In conjunction with the regional expansion, Techsun has also rolled out a new product built for SMEs.

The new product is an expansion of Techsun’s flagship product, Social Hub, a cloud-native customer understanding and engagement SaaS for omnichannel retailers and brands. It is an integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Customer Data Platform (CDP) solution and enables brands to have a 360 degree understanding of their customers by managing and analyzing relevant customer data across multiple online to offline (O2O) touchpoints such as transactions in-store and in-app, official and authorized reseller websites, social media channels as well as payment platforms. 

Deepening brand loyalty is also part of Social Hub’s value proposition via its omnichannel personalized customer messaging, automated precision marketing, and management of promotion initiatives and loyalty programs such as membership points and discount coupons. 

The expansion to Southeast Asia marks the martech’s first regional office outside of China and is considered as a stepping stone to the greater APAC region.

Ivan Zhou, Techsun’s general manager for APAC, commented that they see great potential for Techsun in the SEA region due to its growing regional economy and a strong business community. 

“With Social Hub, we aim to be the solution of choice for both the global brands and the large SME market in the region. We want to utilize the experience we gained working with numerous global brands in China and the APAC region and help businesses in Singapore as well as the rest of Southeast Asia,” Zhou said. 

Zhou added that its SaaS promises better value with less than 20% of what big companies are charging and is confident that it will go a long way in “uplifting the retail landscape in Asia.”

He also remarked on democratizing tech for SMEs, “SMEs may not be as prolific as MNCs but they are important engines of growth in Southeast Asia. Technology is a key competitive advantage for brands, especially in the new retail era, and we want to democratize access to the same cutting-edge solutions that big brands have been using for SMEs so that they can equalize the playing field.”

SMEs can sign up for a free 30-day trial of Social Hub on Techsun’s website.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

GroupM’s tie-up with PH’s Tier One to make advertising more inclusive in esports

Manila, Philippines – Tier One Entertainment, Philippine-headquartered esports talent agency for SEA, has landed a major partnership with media investment company GroupM with an aim to make advertising more inclusive in the esports industry, specifically to open up esports and gaming content to more mainstream brands. 

GroupM owns some of the top agencies internationally, such as Mindshare, Mediacom, and Essence, and holds global FMCG brand accounts like P&G, Unilever, Nestle, and Colgate-Palmolive, and Pepsico. Through this partnership, both GroupM and Tier One look to lead the way in extending advertising opportunities to more brands, and not just those that are esports-dedicated. 

Despite its rise as a phenomenon, esports and gaming largely remain an endemic sponsor-dominated industry, especially in Southeast Asia. Tier One hopes that with GroupM’s considerable network and resources, they can work to change this and bring more eyes to the industry and their talents.

Tier One is the first and only esports and gaming company GroupM has partnered with in the Philippines, and with this, the company will be onboarded into GroupM’s content platform INCA which streamlines the selling and buying of Tier One’s commercial inventory.

When Tier One launched in the country, one of its core goals is to bridge the gap between gaming and mainstream. The company said that GroupM is the perfect partner to enable them to pursue that goal more actively than ever. 

“It’s been a long-term goal of Tier One Entertainment to partner with GroupM. We are glad to have reached a point wherein our backend team can experience working with the best and brightest in the advertising industry. We look forward to a productive and meaningful working relationship as we bring esports and gaming to the forefront of mainstream advertising,” said Joanne Llavore, CCO of Tier One Entertainment

Meanwhile, Laurent Goirand, head of digital at GroupM, commented, “Seeing the growing interest for e-sports in the Philippines, it is naturally becoming a new venue for our clients to reach out to new customers. With our partnership with Tier One, we are able to have access to premium content and a team of experts, which will be highly beneficial to our overall proposition. We are already starting to offer this new content to all our clients through INCA, our Content Performance solution.”

Tier One shared that the partnership comes at an opportune time, as it looks to expand to more countries in 2021 and in the future. GroupM is believed to be instrumental in mirroring the model of success that Tier One pioneered in the Philippines to other countries across the region, with the partnership expected to allow Tier One to scale up at an unprecedented rate.

Tier One’s CEO Tryke Gutierrez said, “While we have made great strides towards bringing gaming and esports to more mainstream audiences, the fact that a company like GroupM chose us as a partner is a real game-changer. This shows that the advertising industry is finally confident and believes in the power of esports in Southeast Asia.”

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Globe partners with Grab, makes available prepaid internet products on platform

Manila, Philippines – Ride-hailing app in Southeast Asia Grab has partnered with internet service provider, Globe at Home, to offer another channel to customers in availing its prepaid internet services.

The team-up will enable users of Grab to choose and avail Globe at Home’s internet products on GrabMart, namely Globe at Home Prepaid, LTE-Advanced, and Xtreme Prepaid Wifi. The products can be shipped within a 10-kilometer radius and have them delivered directly to the customer. When customers make a minimum purchase of ₱900, they can also avail GrabMart’s unlimited free delivery promo, which runs until 31 March, with code UNLIFREEDEL upon checkout.

EJ dela Vega, head of deliveries for Grab Philippines, commented that being connected is more important now more than ever, saying that amid the shift to a work-from-home setup, a reliable internet connection enables productivity as well as to enjoy leisure time to stream movies and music. 

“It’s [also] a necessary instrument for online businesses to grow by reaching a wider audience. Most importantly, being connected allows us to buy groceries and other essentials in the comfort of our living rooms. The partnership between Grab and Globe at Home aims to give Filipinos the chance to enjoy affordable, and reliable internet connection when they need it,” said dela Vega.

Meanwhile, Vice President and Head of Broadband Business at Globe Darius Delgado said, “Globe’s home prepaid WiFi sets the bar for broadband not only because of its larger capacity, but more importantly for its affordability and accessibility. We decided to partner with Grab because of the shopping convenience it offers. Customers can order our budget-friendly internet solutions right in the comfort of their homes. All they have to do is browse through GrabMart and choose the package that suits their needs.”

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

InMobi, Gojek team up to help brands in SEA drive personalization

Singapore – Mobile ad platform InMobi has partnered with multi-service platform Gojek, in an aim to provide privacy-compliant personalized advertising, consumer intelligence, and identity resolution for brands in Southeast Asia – particularly to Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand.

Through the partnership, InMobi will also provide brands the capability to run surveys among Gojek audiences to unravel unique industry and consumer insights. The industry and vertical insights will be powered by InMobi’s AI-driven mobile-first consumer intelligence platform – Pulse.

Rishi Bedi, vice president and general manager for InMobi Southeast Asia, Japan and Korea, stated that through this partnership, brands can engage with Gojek audiences programmatically on InMobi Exchange via their preferred demand-side platform (DSP) platform.

Brands will have a unique opportunity to build a single view of the consumer by combining browse and buy patterns, category or brand affinity, location intelligence, and media behavior across the InMobi and Gojek platforms. Additionally, brands can also measure the sales impact of their online advertising across platforms using InMobi’s mobile intelligence, such as location and Gojek’s in-app engagement signals.

“With the deprecation of the cookie, identity resolution is becoming critical for brands across the globe and Southeast Asia to reach consumers in a relevant manner. By combining InMobi and Gojek proprietary intelligence, we will soon provide brands with a unique ID to drive contextual targeting and advertising in a cookie less world,” said Bedi.

Meanwhile, Vice President for AdTech, Data Partnership & Monetization of Gojek Pulkit Khanna commented, “Our partnership with InMobi will offer an actionable solution for marketers and be a key growth driver for their businesses, as we will be able to help them optimize their marketing spends via effective targeting. By helping marketers deliver the right content to users on the right occasion, they will be able to maximize impact and ROI. Users will also benefit from having more targeted and relevant content, in line with Gojek’s mission to remove friction from consumers’ daily lives.”

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Innity launches programmatic Shoppable Ads across SEA premium publishers

Singapore – Digital advertising solutions provider Innity has launched Shoppable Ads, a programmatic ad platform, as part of their Digital Commerce Advertising Partnership Program alongside premium publishers in the Southeast Asia region.

Through Shoppable Ads, Innity provides an end-to-end shopping experience for customers that streamlines the consumer purchases while providing businesses with insights to able reach purchase-ready customers easily. Furthermore, the platform also features a showcase of multiple products, complete with up-to date product details and pricing. When clicked, it takes them straight to the product’s checkout page.

“Shoppable Ads have the ability to reduce a user’s purchase journey substantially, taking them straight from awareness to purchase. The increase in efficiency will drive ROI and keep consumers coming back for more. With the rapid acceleration of e-commerce today, mastering the potential of digital commerce has become a core strategy that advertisers should no longer ignore,” said Phang Chee Leong, CEO and co-founder of Innity

With many marketing platforms using standard banners for advertising, little emphasis is shown on interaction. Hence, Innity’s existing supply side platform (SSP) allows marketeers greater viewability and engagement through programmatic and data-driven buys for high impact advertising.

“Since its inception, Innity has consistently led the industry with its commitment in developing high-impact, engaging ad experiences. Enhanced creativity is proven to drive impact and action. Our Shoppable Ads were developed to help solve the industry’s need for highly viewable, creative ad formats to break through the clutter to drive meaningful engagements,” Phang commented.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

IP Key SEA’s newest campaign a PSA towards use of counterfeit cosmetic, beauty products

Bangkok, Thailand – The Intellectual Property (IP) Key Southeast Asia project, an intellectual property rights (IPR) project in educating consumers, has launched a new public service announcement (PSA)-like campaign to promote consumer awareness against the use of counterfeit cosmetic and beauty products in the region.

The campaign is called #YourHealthIsPriceless, and encourages consumers in the Southeast Asia region to support the current cross-border cooperation on improving intellectual property rights (IPR) enforcement by informing other consumers about the downside of buying counterfeit cosmetics and personal care products from illegitimate sources.

“This IP Key SEA campaign aims to continue raising the public’s awareness of this issue, and initiate dialogues on intellectual property rights, including trademark protection,” said Tiago Guerreiro, IP Key SEA project leader.

“Trademarks protect consumers against confusion, deception, and misleading information, help them distinguish genuine products from counterfeit ones, and guarantee the products’ quality. An efficient trademark protection system can prevent people from being exposed to dangerous substances and could save their lives,” added Guerreiro.  

He also commented , “Local authorities in Southeast Asia are currently undertaking efforts to prevent the trafficking of counterfeit beauty products and protect consumers from the harmful effects that these products cause to their faces, skin, and holistic well-being. Through the IP Key SEA project, the EU fully supports this mission throughout the region.”

The campaign, which initially piloted last September this year, is funded by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). Users who have experience in using these counterfeit products may report it online through EUIPO’s social media pages.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Bud Communications’ SEA region expansion a response to tech client demand

Singapore – PR & marketing agency Bud Communications has expanded its presence in the Southeast Asian region by designating new appointments across its PR and digital content in Singapore, Jakarta, and Sydney.

The first appointment is Sherawaye Hagger (left of the banner picture), the agency’s new client director, and will report to Oliver Budgen (right of the banner picture), founder and managing director of Bud Communications. Prior to joining the agency, she had more than 15 years of integrated communication background and was a former practice director of H+K Strategies Singapore.

The agency has also appointed a new account executive, Virginie Cosentino, and a new account manager Maina Harjani, who was a former managing editor of Indonesia Tatler. Cosentino will overlook the agency’s digital offering, while Harjani will overlook the agency’s regional capability and editorial and content offering.

Stuart Edwards is the agency’s newly-included non-executive director, and will advise on operations and business growth and receive reports from the three aforementioned hires. Prior to joining Bud Communications, Stuart was the founding partner of the business advisory service Edwards & Cowas, was previously COO of Edelman APACMEA, and managing director and part-owner at MullenLowe Profero which was acquired by IPG in 2014. 

“As we dust ourselves off from a turbulent year that has rocked tech companies around the world, the response we’ve seen from our clients vindicates Bud’s journey in becoming Asia Pacific’s leading PR agency for challenger tech brands,” said Budgen.

He also added, “COVID-19 has shown us that as tech companies adapt to fit a changing consumer landscape, they’re increasingly looking for agile, kinetic partners that can offer impactful communications that deliver true strategic value. As a fresh, challenger agency we are extremely proud of how far we have come this year and as 2021 approaches we’re committed to continuing the momentum into the new year.”

Bud Communications’ team and regional expansion have been an effect of recent clients that they are working on, including OTT-revenue management platform, Evergent, electronics e-commerce company RS Components, entertainment marketing agency Culture Group, media intelligence company CARMA ASIA, and cybersecurity firm, White Ops.

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Ad-tech Adzymic brings creative solutions to Japan, Hong Kong

Singapore – With a goal towards a larger ad market target, Singapore-based ad-tech company Adzymic has joined hands with branding and ad-tech firms in Thailand, Hong Kong and Japan to bring its full suite of dynamic creative solutions to advertisers. This comes after the company’s  expansion to Australia and India in 2019.

One of the company’s flagship advertisement solutions is the ‘Dynamic Creative Management Platform’ which functions as advertising transformation of physical to digital media, such as banners, carousel ads and social display ads, allowing advertisers to create ads without the need for coding experience. The company also offers a ‘Smart Tag’ technology, which enables advertisers to create personal ads through behavior tracking, machine learning algorithms, and updates.

For Hong Kong and Thailand, the company has officially tied up with Maadtech Global, a programming integrator solutions company, while also partnering with another Thai firm Spikebrand, a branding solutions company. Meanwhile for its Japan expansion, a collaboration has been forged with Atlas Associates, a local-based ad-tech startup focused on social networking site (SNS) management tools.

“Asia is expected to surpass North America as the biggest ad spender globally by 2021. 4 Japan, Hong Kong and Thailand are very exciting for us, both from a creative and growth perspective. They are known for their incredibly creative ads, and together with our partners’ local knowledge and network, we will deliver high impact campaigns with brands and agencies,” said Kenniess Wong, co-founder and executive director of Adzymic.

Adzymic, since its founding, has been involved with large brand partnerships, including DBS, Sony Pictures, Toyota and Esplanade Singapore. 

Main Feature Platforms Southeast Asia

Malaysia taking the lead on SEA digital consumer growth, statistics shows

Malaysia– With many people shifting their marketing behaviors online, notable statistics have shown a significant increase in the number of digital consumers in the Southeast Asia region, particularly in Malaysia, a report from consulting firm Bain & Company shows.

Conducted in collaboration with social media giant Facebook, statistics noted that Malaysia clocked a total of 83% of digital consumer growth, making it the country in Southeast Asia with the highest concentration of online consumers, which are then followed suit by Singapore with a 79% growth and the Philippines with 74%.

Moreover, the report showed that the Malaysian demographic, those that are 15 years old and above have an average of 51% on their willingness to switch consumer brands from time to time.

In regards to trying out new and unheard-of brands, statistics for Malaysian consumer behavior stooped, from 43% in 2019 to 40% in 2020, showing reluctance to try out unique and new brands.

With COVID-19 restricting movement including physical shopping, statistics for purchasing demand across online channels for Malaysians doubled to 40% this year.

“Brands need to enhance their value proposition both online and offline, and be flexible and adaptable to change, now more than ever. Within the eCommerce space, we aim to ensure strong digital content, product availability online and a robust supply chain,” commented Phee Chat Chow, executive director for marketing, communications and innovation at Nestle Malaysia and Singapore

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

K-superstar Lee Min Ho to front as Lazada’s first regional ambassador

Singapore – Southeast Asia eCommerce platform Lazada has partnered with one of South Korea’s most popular leading men Lee Min Ho to become the regional face of the brand, ahead of its 11.11 sale.

Prior to the partnership, Lazada’s ambassadorship has been focused on local personalities from key markets. Lee will be the first-ever to represent the whole of Southeast Asia.

Lazada’s Group Chief Marketing Officer Mary Zhou said that the annual 11.11 shopping festival is its most anticipated and biggest one-day sale of the year, and they want to be able to capture the imaginations of their shoppers with a regional ambassador who can positively inspire SEA consumers.

On choosing Lee, Zhou said, “Lee Min Ho’s exuberant, optimistic, and encouraging personality resonates with Lazada shoppers. [He is] reminiscent of Lazada’s spirit and tagline Go Where Your Heart Beats and [the] signature finger-heart gesture.”

Lee gained a massive fan base when he starred in the television series Boys Over Flowers in 2009. Since then, his popularity grew all over Asia, and is now the most followed Korean actor on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Weibo. He most recently appeared in the Netflix-produced The King: Eternal Monarch.

Lee commented, “I’m excited to join the Lazada family for the 11.11 shopping festival as their first regional brand ambassador. Lazada is known across the region for its innovative and customer-focused approach to online shopping, and working with the Lazada team has been a really fun and creative experience so far. I look forward to introducing more fans and friends in Southeast Asia to the lifestyle platform.”

As part of the campaign lineup, Lee will be starring in a TV commercial which will showcase his online shopping routine. Another commercial will also see him joining the brand’s local ambassadors from the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Zhou shared that virtually bringing together both Lee Min Ho and the local brand ambassadors is Lazada’s way of connecting the community despite being geographically separated.

“As 2020 comes to a close, Lazada wants to foster a deeper understanding of the power of the commonalities that exist within our diverse community across Southeast Asia, and how we can unite to harness this strength to support each other through challenging times,” she said.