Marketing Featured APAC

B2B tech marketing agency GetIT expands int’l presence with new Tokyo office

Singapore – GetIT, the B2B marketing consulting and solutions firm dedicated to brands in technology, IT, and telecom industries, has opened its office in Tokyo, strengthening its name in the international arena and expanding its already flourishing presence in the Japanese market. 

Group CEO & Director Anol Bhattacharya shared that Japan has always been a key market, where for over 20 years, technology industry leaders and telcos hailing from the country have been part of the many clients it served.

“Our experience with delivering solutions for our clients in Japan led to us acquiring local clients in the Japanese market. Growing our presence in Japan was a natural progression for us as we see a growing demand for Asia-Pacific marketers to venture into Japan and vice versa,” said Bhattacharya. 

With the new office, it will be bolstering its go-to-market solutions of content marketing, demand generation, lead nurturing, and account-based marketing to technology and telecom businesses in Japan.

Leading the charge in Tokyo is Kennosuke Saito as country manager. Saito is an industry veteran having been the country manager at Wunderman International and AdPeople Japan building a new marketing service agency business model focusing on digital and data solutions. Saito brings extensive marketing and sales experience. He had also been part of top global ad agencies such as Grey, Leo Burnett, Ogilvy & Mather, Wunderman, and MediaCom managing both B2C and B2B clients.

“I am very excited about GetIT’s Japan office, being a proud member of this growing professional organization. With the B2B marketing expertise and experiences GetIT has built in APAC, I am confident that we can expand our services to Japanese clients and help you develop effective and efficient marketing activities outside of Japan for further business growth. We are thrilled to be your best partner for your APAC marketing,” commented Saito.

GetIT is headquartered in Singapore. The firm commenced operations in Bangalore, India in 2015, and expanded its operations to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2019. 

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.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Globe counters digital piracy through AVIA team up

Manila, Philippines – Philippine Telco Globe has partnered anew with Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA), an association for the video industry in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, to launch a fresh #PlayItRight campaign, encouraging customers to fight against digital piracy.

The #PlayItRight campaign targets to benefit several industries, such as film, music, digital literacy, and education. It aims not only to safeguard original creative content through technology but also to protect copyright and enforcement through legislation as digital piracy keeps breaking the creative arts and video on demand industry. The campaign also seeks cooperation among stakeholders to defeat digital piracy.

The campaign was first launched in 2017 with three main pillars: to surface online dangers such as malware, illustrate the negative social impact brought about by piracy including loss of jobs, and instill that piracy is an illegal activity.

As part of the #PlayItRight campaign, Globe has been voluntarily blocking confirmed illegal piracy sites, making consumers aware that piracy websites can be hotbeds for illegal online activities, malware, and other cybersecurity threats. Globe notes that consumers themselves are also key stakeholders in the campaign, as consumers should no longer find a reason to consume pirated content.

Atty. Froilan Castelo, the corporate counsel of Globe, commented that the assertive voluntary agreements among stakeholders targeting digital piracy will make it much more difficult for online pirates to facilitate illegal content. 

“To complement this, we support legislation that will institutionalize the blocking of pirated sites such as the bill authorizing the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines to order ISPs to obstruct pirated websites,“ added Castelo.

Meanwhile, Neil Gane, general manager of AVIA’s Coalition Against Piracy, shared, “It is impossible to understate the severity of digital piracy. It is the single largest business issue facing the content industry and putting Filipinos at risk of downloading dangerous malware. We fully support the IP Code Amendment Bills which allow for a fair, balanced, and effective process to block egregious piracy sites and protect the video industry and consumers.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

JOLT Digital snares TPG Telecom account

Singapore – After six months of courting, JOLT Digital has successfully been appointed by Singapore telecommunications company, TPG Telecom as its digital media agency. 

The agency will be responsible for the planning and buying duties of the telecom across digital. The partnership, which is inked for the year 2021, will be led by its Strategy & Planning Director Jonathan Ng.   

“We relish the opportunity to partner with TPG Mobile, Singapore’s fourth telco, to establish their brand in Singapore as they deliver a compelling product offering while championing charity causes in the process! Their latest one is for ‘Causes for Animals’, and is a fun, crowd-sourced campaign across social platforms that really drives home their identity as a brand,” Ng said. 

JOLT Digital has initially crafted a campaign for the telecom, which goes in line with its existing ‘50GB for $10’ mobile plan

JOLT Digital started working with the telecom in December 2020 and has already crafted campaigns for its senior digital plan and the latest charity cause for animals targeted at the younger audience. 

Coinciding with its existing ‘50GB for $10’ mobile plan offering, the campaign is in partnership with animal welfare charity, Causes for Animals in Singapore, urging users to participate in an Instagram challenge where each post corresponds to a $10 donation towards the charity. 

JOLT Digital shared to MARKETECH APAC that during the pitching process, it proposed an approach based on its mission, which is to bridge the gap between traditional media agencies and emerging technology – a strategy it believes can help TPG Telecom stay ahead of the game to increase ROI and grow its business.

Sebastien Lepez, founder, and CEO of JOLT Digital, said, “We are very happy to work with clients like TPG that are a big name in their industry and have the potential to grow to a leading position like JOLT has as well.” 

At the helm of a digital agency, Lepez also shared his insights into today’s changing digital landscape. 

“First of all, it is important to put back the consumer in the center of the question. We need to realize that before impacting brands, the pandemic has impacted consumers massively and this resulted in changes on the brand side,” he said. 

“We have seen digital consumption by consumers increasing during the pandemic and not only for the usual crowd but also for groups that were less present there, like senior groups. The pandemic has accelerated the consumption of digital and subsequently brands that are agile and nimble, like TPG [which] have followed and strengthened their presence online to respond to this big digital thirst by consumers,” he continued. 

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Globe-owned digital marketing agency extends ad inventory on top PH digital wallet GCash

Manila, Philippines – AdSpark, telecom Globe-owned digital marketing agency, extends its ad inventory for none other than, another Globe-owned platform, top digital wallet in the Philippines, GCash. 

For merchants, non-government organizations, and other partner brands on the financial app, AdSpark offers diversified ad opportunities ranging from targeted media channels in-app, to direct broadcast campaigns and blasts. 

“We are committed to assisting digital transformation of clients and partners especially at this time when enterprises are exploring more meaningful ways to interact with their consumers. GCash has empowered merchants through seamless transactions, and now we want to help brands create holistic experiences for their consumers,” said Onat Roldan, AdSpark CEO. 

AdSpark shared that one of its clients Codashop App, a gaming merchant, was able to increase its monthly game item purchases to 181% through its partnership with GCash. Coda communicated several monthly promo and game launches including Mobile Legends, MU Origins, and their latest product One Punch Man: The Strongest game, encouraging redemption of game credits and in-game items through the GCash usage.

Martha Sazon, president and CEO of GCash said, “Through strong brand partnerships as a payment channel, and a tool for sustainability and impactful advocacy on the app, GCash has established a way of life, driving the market closer towards financial inclusion. We believe that by making our platform accessible to brands, we will be able to bring businesses and customers together and help in the recovery of our economy.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

BLACKPINK’s first spot with Globe is straight out of girl group’s playbook

Manila, Philippines – One of the biggest year-ender surprises for Filipino K-pop fans arrived in early December when the country’s telco giant Globe revealed that its newest endorser is the girl group and global superstars BLACKPINK. Almost a month after, the telco finally released the first installment of its campaign: a spanking one-minute spot with the message ‘Reinvent your world’. 

The campaign bled the girl group’s DNA, where the ad injected elements straight out of BLACKPINK’s production style in music videos. Its videos, which broke records, hovering around half a billion to a billion views on YouTube, have a number of them that showcase a nocturnal setting with strobing lights, and Globe didn’t waste any chances to demonstrate the same with the new campaign. 

The campaign wasn’t service-specific, instead, spotlighted the general features of the telco’s connection, such as its unlimited fiber internet and 5G and LTE-advanced mobile connection. 

With the main message of ‘reinvention’, the campaign aims to inspire one to transform into a better version of oneself together with an “attitude of resilience.”

“Globe and BLACKPINK’s partnership sends a strong message of reinvention – transforming oneself through powerful self-expression aided by digital technology with an attitude for resilience [amid] modern-day challenges,” said the telco in a press release. 

Issa Guevarra-Cabreira, Globe’s deputy chief commercial officer said, “We believe that Filipinos have the power to reinvent themselves in this new digital world. With Globe as their life partner, we will open up a world of greater possibilities we’ve never done before. BLACKPINK embodies the meaning of taking control and reinventing to achieve one’s dreams. We want to inspire our customers to be in control so they can do more and be more, especially with all the new technologies we have today.” 

The ad was launched across Globe’s social media and online platforms with a pre-show, announcing the extension of its ‘The Ultimate Stan promo’, the telco’s promo for ‘Blinks’ or BLACKPINK fans to win tickets to the group’s first live stream concert in January.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

PH telco Smart unveils mega raffle to grant weekly winner P1M cash prize

Manila, Philippines – To celebrate the season of giving, Philippine telco giant Smart Communications has announced a mega raffle promo, GIGAMANIA, which will offer a total of over ₱30M worth of prizes and freebies. 

The promo is season-long, which will run from December to April in 2021. Through the raffle promo, Smart will be giving a weekly winner ₱1M cash prize, for every week within the promo period. 

The mechanics involve earning ‘GigaPoints’, where the more GigaPoints one earns, the greater chances of winning. 

The promo is open to all Smart prepaid, postpaid, and its broadband service Smart Bro users, as well as subscribers of Smart-owned service TNT. Said users simply need to download Smart’s GigaLife app and register to GIGAMANIA. Users accumulate points whenever they subscribe to any GIGA offers or pay their postpaid bill through the app, where one point equals one raffle entry. 

By promo’s end, a total of 21 lucky raffle participants will become a millionaire, where Smart will also be running a grand draw to grant one lucky subscriber a mega prize of ₱10M cash.

GIGAMANIA is our giga gift to all our subscribers during this season of giving. We know this year has been challenging for all of us, and through this promo, we hope to give our customers not just a reason to smile, but a reason to hope for brighter things ahead.

Jane Basas, SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business, Smart

Aside from the cash prizes, other prizes such as smartphones and free data will also be given. 10 subscribers weekly will win a Samsung S20 FE (LTE), while the same number of winners will be granted 30GB data per week. 

Smart isn’t lying when it said GIGAMANIA is its gift to all subscribers. Within the duration of the promo, no one gets empty-handed, as Smart will be giving everybody instant weekly freebies in the form of SMS, calls, and data just by having the GigaLife App. 

The app is downloadable on Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Smart said it has announced further details on its website.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Singtel’s new short film casts light on seniors’ digital journey amid COVID lockdown

Singapore – Singtel launched its annual festive tribute today, an uplifting short film depicting the staunch determination of seniors who refuse to let COVID-19 upend their lives.

Titled “Seniors go digital too!”, the film tells the stories of three seniors as they head back to “school” to pick up digital skills to help them stay connected and overcome the social distancing brought on by the pandemic.

The weekly attendance of seniors aunty Lilian, aunty Shirley, and uncle Andrew at Singtel’s digital clinics under its Digital Silvers program are documented in the film. Through Singtel staff volunteers, the seniors learn the use of smart devices, to surf the internet, stay in touch with loved ones online, and make cashless payments. 

Held at Senior Activity Centres (SACs) across the country, the Digital Silvers initiative is designed to foster digital inclusion and help ease the sense of isolation that the elderly have experienced as COVID curtailed peoples’ ability to socialize. 

It’s been a tough year for everyone, but the elderly are one of the more vulnerable groups affected by the pandemic. While most of us can easily access the plethora of online channels and apps for communication and entertainment, the older generation may not have the requisite digital skills to do so. This is what we’re trying to address through our digitalization initiative

Lian Pek, Vice President of Group Strategic Communications and Brand, Singtel

In the film, viewers see the conclusion of the seniors’ digital boot camp, with all of them finding a new sense of confidence and purpose: Aunty Lilian learns how to further her singing hobby and learn songs with the aid of apps on her device; Uncle Andrew learns how to use Zoom to stay in touch with friends and family, and Aunty Shirley becomes a “messaging expert”, connecting with her children as well as learning to use the contact tracing app TraceTogether.

Singtel shared that moving forward, the Digital Silvers program will see S$1M worth of assistance go towards transforming SACs into digital hubs to help more than 10,000 seniors build confidence in using digital devices and platforms. This involves tech upgrades including Wi-Fi connections, Singtel TV content, and tablets to facilitate virtual engagement as well as digital clinics and one-to-one tutorials run by Singtel staff volunteers. 

In addition, Singtel has also set aside priority queues for seniors at stores and hotlines so that they can be given digital guidance and served more expediently. 

Commenting on the program, Jeannie Ho, head of social enterprise NTUC Health’s senior cluster network said, “We’re very heartened to see many seniors from our Senior Activity Centres excitedly pick up new skills in the past month, as they realize that going digital is not as difficult as they imagined. This program and the digital workshops by Singtel have greatly empowered seniors to become so much more comfortable with using technology, enabling them to remain connected with their friends and loved ones amid the pandemic and especially during the festive season.”

Lian Pek added, “Even before COVID-19 and the pivot to online channels and tools, digitalization was already happening at breakneck pace, and for the elderly left on the wrong side of the digital divide, this can be very overwhelming. We believe that seniors can benefit from the digital revolution and that the process of picking up tech-related skills, no matter how basic, can also go a long way in helping their active aging.”

The short film is the final film in Singtel’s year-long brand campaign encouraging Singaporeans to keep their spirits up in the current climate through the feature of the lives of ordinary folks. This includes “This Is The Year”, Singtel’s annual National Day film which paid tribute to the Majulah spirit, and “Keeping The Spirit Of Hari Raya Alive” which documented how the Malay Community kept the spirit of Ramadan alive during the circuit breaker period.

The six-minute film will air on Singtel TV and on various social media channels from 3 to 25 December 2020.

Main Feature Marketing Southeast Asia

PH telco Globe signs BLACKPINK as newest endorser

Manila, Philippines – A year-end surprise for Filipino K-pop fans – the telco giant in the country, Globe, has announced that it has signed on Korean girl group and global superstars BLACKPINK as its newest endorser.

According to Rappler, the announcement was made by Globe’s president and CEO Ernest Cu in a live stream media event Tuesday, December 1.

In a press statement released by the brand following the event, Cu said, “This year has brought unprecedented challenges for everyone, locally and globally. Despite this, we strive to provide customers better everyday experiences that they will enjoy.”

Globe is the latest in the country’s telco brands to partner Korean stars as ambassadors. In October, another Philippine telco, Smart, unveiled Korean actor Park Seo-Jon as an endorser for its new data bundle service, following the launch of Korean drama Crash Landing On You stars Hyun Bin and Son Ye-Jin as brand models earlier in the year.

Of the new partnership with BLACKPINK, Cu commented, “Having BLACKPINK join the Globe family is proof that we won’t stop bringing the world into our customers’ homes. BLACKPINK being one of the world’s biggest groups has a huge following in the country. We want to bring our customers nothing less than the best in entertainment.”

BLACKPINK, which debuted in 2016, is one of the most popular K-pop groups, comprising of four members in its all-girls ensemble: Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa. The group has a strong social media following and consistently broke records on YouTube. The group currently has 53.8M subscribers, with its latest music video on YouTube Lovesick Girls garnering 270M views.

Globe said more surprises featuring the girl group are to come soon.

SME Featured Southeast Asia

MY telco Maxis unveils digital readiness tool for companies

Malaysia – Continuing to help businesses accelerate digital transformation in the country, Maxis has officially launched the Digital Readiness Index (DRI), which is a first-of-its-kind online and interactive self-assessment tool that helps companies of all sizes across industries assess their level of digital readiness. 

At the virtual launch, Maxis’ Chief Enterprise Business Officer Paul McManus said the telco’s studies and continuous engagement with SMEs over the years have made clear the segment needs strong support to adapt to a rapidly changing landscape and to accelerate digitalization.

The DRI has the potential to generate actionable insights on the state of digital transformation of businesses and industries in the nation, including for government, particularly as a consideration for policy implementation and best practices for digital adoption

Paul McManus, Chief Enterprise Business Officer at Maxis

YB Dato Sri Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, the Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) commented, “For SMEs and entrepreneurs to grow in the domestic market and even expand into international markets, digital readiness will be imperative. Going digital is not an option but a necessity for survival. We, therefore, welcome the DRI initiative, which is in line with the Ministry’s vision to foster a holistic and conducive ecosystem of entrepreneurship in the country.”

Maxis’ collaboration with MEDAC

In conjunction with the launch, Maxis and MEDAC will be collaborating on several initiatives through the Ministry’s agencies – National Entrepreneurship Institute (INSKEN), TEKUN Nasional, and Co-operative Institute of Malaysia (IKKM).

These include incorporating the DRI into INSKEN’s ongoing targeted modules and trainings, exploring collaboration on Maxis’ Digital Entrepreneurship Workshop, and digital solutions for the Micro and SME segments. In addition, Maxis will also be sharing yearly updates of digital readiness in the country with the agencies through insights generated from the DRI to help them measure digital adoption rates in the country.

The DRI, which can be accessed through Maxis’ business website, analyzes three key pillars in business: customer satisfaction, employee productivity, and operational efficiency. A formula then determines the score for each pillar that tabulates a total score to gauge digital readiness – ranging from “Ready”, “Nearly Ready”to “Not Ready” and “At Risk”.

Alongside the general rating, the final report also provides competitor analysis, industry benchmarking as well as recommendations on the most suitable digital solutions for their needs. Companies can also opt to follow up with guidance from dedicated Maxis consultants. 

The tool had been piloted among 2,000 SMEs across industries retail, manufacturing, and transportation among others, where early insights showed that 58% of Malaysian SMEs are categorized as “Not Ready” in reaching its full potential in embracing digital technologies.

It also found that most SMEs are at the basic level when it comes to their customer engagement, where 61% are using email, while 40% use the holy grail social media as main communication channels. Meanwhile, only 26% of SMEs in the transportation, manufacturing, trade, and oil and gas sector track their company’s vehicles digitally.

Maxis earlier launched its “Retransformation” campaign in September, which calls on organizations in Malaysia to rethink and reevaluate their digital transformation strategies.

On the DRI, Maxis collaborated with multinational telecom company Vodafone which launched a similar Index in Europe.