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SME Featured Southeast Asia

Credit bureau CIBI partners with ADVANCE.AI to give AI-driven biz intel to PH firms

Manila, Philippines – CIBI, a local credit bureau agency, has announced a partnership with AI and data company ADVANCE.AI to use innovative AI and computer vision technology to expand business intelligence support and services for local businesses in the Philippines.

CIBI, which was first established in 1982, provides data, credit reporting, and information management services and analytics for consumers and business entities. Meanwhile, ADVANCE.AI aims to solve digital transformation, fraud prevention, and process automation for enterprise clients.

Marlo R. Cruz, president and CEO of CIBI said, “As a forward-looking and digital-first organization, CIBI always looks to be one step ahead. This partnership with ADVANCE.AI facilitates our mission to give Filipino businesses easier access to a range of business intelligence services, including credit and data reporting through a more efficient internal system. This marks the beginning of more opportunities for CIBI, as our partners enrich our capabilities and innovations.”

ADVANCE.AI’s holistic suite of products covers three key areas: digital identity verification and eKYC customer onboarding, risk management and digital lending solutions. It is now expanding into markets such as Mexico, UK, Europe, and the US.

Meanwhile, Dong Shou, CEO of ADVANCE.AI, commented: “Our market-leading AI and computer vision technology will allow CIBI to expand its range of critical business data and intelligence reporting solutions, with the ultimate aim of better supporting underbanked and underserved businesses in the Philippines.” 

He added, “This is more important than ever in the current COVID landscape, as we help accelerate the digitalization of the economy, and in doing so, help millions of Filipinos and businesses gain access to new financial products and services.”

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Technology Featured South Asia

‘Who Ate My Cookie?’: Dentsu Data Sciences releases industry paper on privacy-centric world

New Delhi, India – The Indian arm of dentsu’s data services agency Dentsu Data Sciences has recently published a new industry position paper on the importance of privacy to marketers, publishers, consumers, and data brokers as they face both challenges and opportunities in maintaining their position in a privacy-first world.

Titled ‘Who Ate My Cookie’, the paper notes on the importance of computer ‘cookies’ having been for a long time the cornerstone of digital marketing ever since their inception in 1994. They have been the basis of digital advertising, with a goal to deliver more relevant ads to consumers, companies have amassed troves of customer data via third-party cookies, which eroded customer trust. 

This industry position paper aims to describe the shift and need toward a privacy-first world by demystifying ecosystem changes and attempts to provide guidance to marketers and publishers on navigating a “privacy-first” online world devoid of third-party cookies.

For Gautam Mehra, chief data and product strategy officer for Asia Pacific and CEO at dentsu Programmatic, the paper speaks by a matter of fact that “the digital revolution that [has] created so many new business and marketing opportunities is now driving the customer revolution.”

“Developing strong customer relationships has always been fundamental to building a successful business practice. This becomes more vital in a privacy-first world. Through our position paper, we endeavor to assist the industry in navigating through the fast paced ecosystem changes and provide guidance on a few possible solutions to strengthen customer experiences with privacy at its core,” Mehra stated.

Meanwhile, Nishant Malsisaria, vice president of product strategy for Asia Pacific at dentsu Data Sciences, commented that in order for organizations to succeed in a new customer-driven environment, organizations must be able to use consent-based information, technology, and analytics to deliver relevant customer experiences across channels.

“A privacy-first world promotes the need to develop first-party data sets in a far more secure and privacy-focused way. Future competitive advantage will depend on the ability of brands to have more control over their audiences in a trust-based world,” Malsisaria added.

The paper is written under the specialist consumer insights wing dentsu Marketing Cloud (DMC) Insights, which offers an expertise-led model to assist dentsu Data Sciences’ research and insights, consulting and practice teams in delivering differentiated values to their clients. A copy of the paper can be obtained through dentsu marketing’s site.

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Technology Featured APAC

CMS provider Magnolia opens Shenzhen, Bangkok offices

Basel, Switzerland – Content management system (CMS) provider Magnolia has announced the opening of its two new offices in Shenzhen and Bangkok, confirming its long-standing commitment to China and the Asia Pacific market.

Magnolia, whose main headquarters is in Basel, Switzerland, adds the two new offices in its already well-established presence in Asia, with three existing offices in Singapore, Vietnam, and Shanghai. The company also has certified partners serving customers in North Asia, India, Australia, and New Zealand.

Through the new offices, Magnolia looks to expand its offering of content management and digital experience technologies to the rapidly growing APAC market.

Tim Brown, CEO at Magnolia, commented, “Backing the expansion of our brilliant APAC team, partner community and our prestigious customers with these new offices is about the most obvious investment decisions I’ve ever had to make.”

Meanwhile, Don Lee, Magnolia’s managing director for APAC, said, “Having recognized a need for intensive personalization to provide unparalleled, unique experiences to customers, Asian brands are now investing in marketing technology designed to improve digital experiences.”

He added, “With Shenzhen and Bangkok becoming home to new local Magnolia resources and operations, together with our partners in APAC, we are now servicing brands in even closer proximity and helping them create amazing digital experiences for their customers.”

Magnolia was most recently recognized by global research and advisory firm Gartner on its annual report of top technology providers. Gartner uses a proprietary method Magic Quadrant to give tech vendors its competitive positioning, and for digital experience platforms (DXP) this year, Magnolia’s DXP Magnolia DX Core entered the quadrant, earning the status of ‘Niche Player’.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

TikTok SG launches first-ever educational series for aspiring tech talents

Singapore – TikTok in Singapore has launched its first-ever #JobTok educational live stream series, a lineup of shows that aims to equip youth aspiring for tech careers with knowledge of the jobs and skillsets of the future in the industry and to help them to make more informed career decisions in life.

The educational series will run from 31 March until 6 April 2021 and will be a hybrid broadcast, where one will be streamed on TikTok Live itself and on Facebook, and the other on Zoom.

TikTok invited home-grown tech talents from TikTok itself and Government Technology Agency (GovTech) to lead the live stream and talk about inspiring experiences working in the tech sector, and debunk commonly-held myths about the profession. Invited hosts will also be sharing actionable steps that undergraduates can take to transition smoothly into a technology-first workforce.

The first in the educational series is ‘Women Leadership in Tech’, which is a virtual grassroots dialogue session, to be hosted by Member of Parliament (MP) Tin Pei Ling, alongside female leaders from ByteDance Singapore, who will discuss how women can be empowered to thrive in the tech and innovation sectors, as well as the exciting job opportunities and career prospects that Singaporeans can capture in the rapidly-growing post-COVID-19 digital economy.

The educational series also includes ‘Adulting Advice From Young GovTechies’, which will be on 31 March at 8:00 pm SGT, and ‘The Faces Behind TikTok LIVE’, which will be on 6 April at 8:00 pm SGT.

The virtual dialogue with MP Tin will be streamed on Zoom and MP Tin’s Facebook Page on 31 March 2021, at 7:30 pm SGT. The rest of the #JobTok educational series will be broadcasted live on the TikTok app beginning on 31 March to 6 April 2021.

In addition to the series itself, TikTok will also be launching an #Adulting contest, which invites users to share their personal tips for youth entering the workforce, including interview tips, internship experiences, and how to ink their first job. The contest will run from 31 March until 4 April where participants will get a chance to win prizes collectively worth around S$1,200.

According to Joana Mikaela Liew, the head of talent development for ByteDance APAC and META, as the country emerged stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial to dispel uncertainty among today’s job-seekers and equip them with the relevant skills to be future-ready. 

“Our Jobs and Skills series aims to provide an insider’s look into the tech industry and spark greater interest among more young Singaporeans towards the new opportunities brought about by the digital economy. Additionally, through our meaningful dialogue with MP Tin Pei Ling, we hope to bring this conversation closer to the grassroots and address on-the-ground concerns of those who are either looking for job opportunities in the tech space or planning to upskill,” added Liew.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

PLDT taps Qualtrics for unified CX redesign

Manila, Philippines – PLDT Global Corp. (PGC), the international arm of Philippine-based telecommunications company PLDT, has announced that it has partnered experience management (XM) company Qualtrics to redesign its customer experience (CX).

PGC will be utilizing and standardizing the use of Qualtrics’ CustomerXM program in order to better understand and act on customers’ unique needs. Qualtrics will provide PGC with a single platform to capture, analyze, and act on experience data, enabling PGC to uncover deeper customer insights, scale and personalize engagements, and automate workflows to resolve or escalate customer issues in real time.

Furthermore, CustomerXM integrates with PGC’s existing CRM platform to deliver further value. Bringing together experience data from Qualtrics and operational data from the CRM platform aims to assist PGC in better understanding the drivers of its CX so the company can take targeted action to continually design and improve the experiences delivered.

According to Leah Garcia, VP for experience at PGC, Qualtrics’ XM service best serves the company’s commitment to bring innovative services across their customers and enterprise partners globally.

“We will be able to listen closely to the needs of our customers and rapidly respond, which will ensure PGC continually brings to market the products and services our customers want and deserve,” Garcia stated.

Meanwhile, Mao Gen Foo, head of Southeast Asia at Qualtrics stated that their service comes in response to the recent consumer behavior shifts by the offset of the global pandemic, which has also changed customer expectations significantly.

“It’s a reality that means being able to listen, understand, and rapidly act on the changing needs of your customers is a key competitive advantage. By standardizing its CX program with Qualtrics, PGC is well placed to unlock critical insights enabling the company to continually design and improve customer experiences that drive business outcomes,” Gen Foo stated.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

JOLT Digital launches new media planning technology

Singapore – Digital media agency JOLT Digital has announced the launch of its new media planning technology J-CAL, which allows marketers to create more effectiveness to their campaigns through calculated budget spend and expected return of ad spend (ROAS).

J-CAL is customizable to each client’s specificities and works for any size budget. It has been built using thousands of data points from campaigns over the past five years in Asia. Furthermore, J-CAL is not only focusing on campaigns that have a performance objective but also on branding campaigns. It is undeniable that branding is critical as it not only helps grow brand health metrics but also sales. 

“At JOLT, we think that allocating thousands of dollars deserves a scientific approach and that’s why we have created a technology, J-CAL, that predicts the most optimal budget allocation to each channel, as well as campaign’s return of ad spend (ROAS),” the company said in a press statement.

For Sebastien Lepez, founder and CEO of JOLT Digital, part of the reason why J-CAL was launched was due to the fact that most planners only rely on ‘gut feeling’ on how much a campaign should spend in order to be effective.

“After using J-CAL for some of our clients, we realized that something was missing. A campaign’s objective is not always focusing on performance. Most often there is also an objective of Brand building. That’s why we have incorporated a brand building dimension in J-CAL and in the calculation of the return of ad spend (ROAS),” Lepez explained. 

He also cited the recent news of Airbnb shifting their campaigns’ objective to brand building rather than performance as one of the inspirations for the media planning technology launch.

“J-CAL has taken nine months to develop and I think we have created a technology that is very unique and very robust. A lot of data, efforts and thinking has gone into it. We truly believe that it is going to game-change media planning,” Lepez stated.

He added, “Our industry is in need for a change and it’s been requested by clients for many years. After years working at agencies and clients, I had time to observe the gaps and now I am able with JOLT and with J-CAL to fill these gaps. J-CAL is going to game-change media planning and bring a more scientific approach to it.”

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Technology Featured APAC

ADA launches new end-to-end e-commerce solution in APAC

Singapore – Data and AI company ADA has announced a new business line in APAC that combines data-driven marketing strategies with end-to-end e-commerce solutions. 

The service is aimed at clients seeking comprehensive solutions to drive traffic, manage customer experience, optimize conversions throughout the funnel, and create engaging content on digital marketplaces as well as owned e-commerce sites.

“E-commerce is a strategic priority for ADA and our clients as businesses emerge from the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re excited to be expanding our footprint by bringing our unique heritage in data-driven marketing to empower the next generation of e-commerce champions,” said Srinivas Gattamneni, chief executive officer at ADA.

Anurag Gupta, chief operating officer and chief of agency at ADA explained that through XACT, ADA’s proprietary data management platform, and with the help also from first-party customer data, a global luxury skincare brand has adapted itself from an offline selling platform to e-commerce.

“The resulting campaigns far exceeded targets, with 490% growth achieved in e-commerce monthly sales versus pre-pandemic, 275% growth versus promotional months and 24.5% return on ad spend,” Gupta added.

ADA had noted a report from Google, Temasek and Bain & Co. showing that the e-commerce market in Southeast Asia continues to surge as COVID-19 accelerated online purchases, with gross merchandise value expected to jump to US$172B by 2025.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

InsightzClub rolls out new data discovery tool on insights dashboard

Singapore – Consumer insights tool InsightzClub has announced the rollout of its new data discovery tool for its existing insight dashboard, aimed at driving real-time automation of insights discovery.

Through the tool, InsightzClub allows customers to run self-discovery with the accumulated data with an accessible user interface (UI). Traditionally, to obtain cross tabulations involves data processing on statistics which are time-consuming and exhaustive.

The release of the tool comes after the launch of its passive embedded insights technology on its app last December 2020, to gather data behaviorally rather than survey-based data.

“The data discovery tool is a no-code, drag and drop tool aimed to support insights and marketing teams to have the power to explore the data. The addition of the data discovery tool to our real-time dashboard is also part of the end-to-end customer automation stack,” said Padmanabhan Ramaswamy, co-founder of InsightzClub.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

DX agency Bray Leino Splash appoints new UX director, unveils three more hires

Singapore – The Singapore arm of digital experience agency Bray Leino Splash has announced four new hires for its country operations, including a new user experience (UX) director.

Jaffry Jalal takes the helm as Bray Leino Splash SG’s UX Director, who has previously worked with TBWA\Singapore and Havas as its UX design lead, and most recently a lecturer at Singapore Polytechnic. He has previously worked with brands such as Singapore Airlines, MasterCard, and Michelin to help them create digital products and immersive experiences.

“I’m excited BLS continues to invest in experience design capability and I’m thrilled to be at an agency who has the technical chops to bring good design to life,” Jalal stated.

Other hires include Kein Wai E, who joins as the agency’s technical project director and is from technology company Deltatre; Stephanie Holzhuber, who is the agency’s new senior account director and is from advertising agency Cheil Worldwide; and Jamie Phua as the new account director and is from ad agencies Y&R, TBWA, and Digitas.

Speaking about their appointments, Kien Wai stated, “Joining BLS Singapore is like a homecoming of sorts as the marrying of creativity with technology is definitely something close to my heart and that I’ve missed in recent years.”

Meanwhile, Holzhuber commented, “BLS is an agency who are able to deliver truly seamless customer experiences for their clients by bringing data, technology, and creativity together. I look forward to our exciting future ahead.”

Lastly, Phua stated, “In the last few years, It’s become apparent to me that the pillars of UX and technology are critical if agencies are to really help brands create relevant solutions for present-day consumers, so being able to leverage these capabilities at BLS is what excites me the most.”

These new hires are welcomed by BLS Singapore’s managing director Joshua Lee.

“Each of these hires has ‘runs on the board’ when it comes to connecting technology, creativity, and business results for their respective clients. I couldn’t be happier welcoming such wonderful talent to the team. Not only are they at the top of what they do, but they are passionate and hardworking to boot,” Lee stated.

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Technology Featured ANZ

Adtech Cartelux pilots new marketing solution with Kia Australia

Sydney, Australia – Australian-based adtech company Cartelux has launched its centralized marketing solution, and it has decided to pilot it to the Australian arm of global automotive brand Kia, specifically in its dealer’s network.

Through the solution, Cartelux’s technology will assist Kia in driving local innovation by simplifying and automating ad creation, approval, and media buying process. This then enables dynamic personalization of creative assets by each dealer, while delivering a consistent brand campaign for Kia. 

For Nikolas Souliotis, digital marketing manager at Kia Australia, their partnership with Cartelux means achieving success in the digital age between the brand itself and its numerous dealers nationwide.

“The Cartelux platform offers an entirely new playground allowing better marketing alignment across national and local tiers through scalable video and data consolidation. This enables us to see consumers through the same lens and drive better results and greater efficiencies – it’s the future of performance-driven retail marketing,” Souliotis said.

Meanwhile, Randy Han, global lead for Kia at Google noted that Kia’s partnership with Cartelux means creating more engaging video content for the automotive brand, as Kia has been looking for simple ways to create dealer ad content at scale.

Patrick Doble, global general manager at Cartelux, commented, “Kia is one of the world’s most innovative and fastest growing brands. The program for Kia will commence with providing digital video advertising, which geo-targets campaigns based on the dealers primary marketing area.”