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MARKETECH APAC’s Top 5 Stories for December: APAC content marketing agency bags top spot

We can’t believe we are now down to the last roundup of top stories for 2021! It has been a great year recognizing the most well-loved brands and stories in marketing and tech for the year.

Our monthly deep dive and conversation with the top brands resulted in the much-awaited regular MARKETECH APAC Reports, and this month of December is no less an exciting list of one-of-a-kind campaigns, inspiring new leadership appointments, and fresh product launches. 

This month, we saw a food delivery platform moving into an entirely new vertical of consumer electronics. This period, a philippine arm of a global communications agency also announced a new business director, while, a content marketing agency with a presence in APAC unveiled an expansive roster of new hires in the region within its client servicing, creative production, and editorial teams. 

For the month, a very interesting campaign from a BNPL service in Singapore has also entered the list for bringing back audiences to the golden age of advertising in the 80s. Meanwhile, our MARKETECH Spotlight episode on a digital agency in Malaysia also came out on top for walking us through behind the scenes of incorporating AR and VR in marketing campaigns. 

Learn more about the top stories that will be closing off our 2021 with a bang:

Top 5: MY digital agency Unicom Interactive Digital on MARKETECH Spotlight

MARKETECH Spotlight_AR_UID

For our Top 5 story, we have the MARKETECH Spotlight episode of Unicom Interactive Digital, a fast-leading digital agency in Malaysia. 

In an interview with its COO Jareth Eng, we learn more about how brands are incorporating the tech of AR and VR in their marketing campaigns, and the best ways to deliver such that would effectively engage audiences at the same time push brands be top-of-mind. 

Having helped numerous brands develop immersive campaigns since the start of the pandemic, Eng shared the agency observed that content remains to be the top determinant of a success of a campaign. 

He says content must above all be personalized and authentic. 

“More and more, let’s be honest, we start to get bored of the same stuff, and we start to look for authenticity in content, because there are so much paid advertisements today [and] so much paid endorsements, and we reach a point where we do not know what is being said is real or not,” said Eng in the interview. 

Eng also shared his thoughts on the role of digital moving forward in the pandemic, “The perks of adding digital elements to campaigns have proven themselves during the past year. Even as we head back to a norm that we were used to, digital elements will still play a part.”

Top 4: Mel Panabi joins Red Havas PH as new business director

Havas Ortega Mel Panabi

Havas Group’s media and communications agency in the Philippines, Havas Ortega, has appointed Mel Panabi, former vice president of marketing communications at energy tech business WeGen Distributed Energy Philippines, as the new business director of its global public relations, social and experiential agency micro-network.

Through his new role, Panabi will be developing new products and services that will further strengthen Red Havas’ position in the country’s public relations and brands landscape.

MARKETECH APAC spoke with Panabi to know more about the area he is looking to prioritize in the role.

“I will be prioritizing promoting the ‘meaningful brands’ concepts of the agency. The global Red Havas Media Group actually made a study called ‘Meaningful Brands’, and it showed that people are now looking at the collective benefits provided by a brand, and its role in society,” said Panabi in the interview.

He adds that he is eager to start Red Havas’ sustainability and thoughtful corporate responsibility conversation. 

“One other thing is that the United Nations’ sustainable development goal is something that the brands need a lot, which is a space we want to occupy. We want to be associated with that kind of ‘meaningful brands’ and sustainability conversation,” he said.

Top 3: BNPL service Pace launches 80’s themed campaign

Pace campaign I Got This

Buy Now Pay Later service Pace in Singapore enters our top stories for bringing a very refreshing and unique creative campaign that brought people back to the vibrant pop culture of the 80’s. 

Armed with a video and an OOH ad, audiences saw VHS effect shorts complete with authentic 80s fashion, while decals on platform doors at train stations were reminiscent of the classic shopping advertisements from the period.

Speaking with MARKETECH APAC, Daren Goh, Pace’s head of growth, said that while BNPL is an inspiring tool for people to be financially responsible, payments could be something boring and pedestrian, hence, the push for the one-of-a-kind creative. 

“We thought 80’s was great because it’s something that any generation can relate to whether you’re [a baby boomer], even to Gen Z folks who are interested [in] how it is like [in the] 90s and 80s,” said Goh. 

He also shared that stimulating the feeling of Nostalgia was the goal.

“[80’s] seem like simple times and just really great times. So I guess we could tap into so many different feelings and people also see that no matter what age they are from,” said Goh.

Top 2: foodpanda to now offer delivery for consumer electronics via tie-up with Xiaomi

foodpanda x xiaomi

The leading food delivery platform in Asia, foodpanda, will now move to offer a wide range of consumer electronics and appliances for on-demand deliveries in Singapore and Thailand.

Partnering with Chinese tech giant Xiaomi, foodpanda will be offering Xiaomi’s products ranging from smart devices, audio, and mobile accessories, to household appliances, and will be delivered to homes within 30 minutes.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Christian Urban, foodpanda’s head of marketplace of new verticals for APAC, shared, “Xiaomi is one of the great new vendors coming on board recently, and of course, a very popular brand and we are super happy about that. They are on board with hundreds of their products from their flagship stores across Singapore and Thailand.”

Regarding the platform’s new partnerships and offerings in 2022, Urban said that they want to enable more and more vendors to join their marketplace, helping them to digitize and get their goods delivered within 30 minutes.

“Our goal is to serve a large portion of essential and non-essential goods, and there is actually a strong demand for it. Hence, strategically, the goal is to go deeper and offer more of those goods to our customers,” he added.

Top 1: Content marketing agency Green Park Content bolsters APAC presence with new hire lineup

Green-Park-Content-APAC-New-Hires

For this month’s #1 story, we take a look at the expansive company hire move by content marketing agency Green Park Content for the Asia-Pacific region. 

The hires, which were made in November, span across three major work categories: the client servicing team, creative production team, and the editorial team. In addition to these new hires, GPC also announced the promotions of some of its senior leaders, including Que Ramli to the role of global social media lead, Martin Niens as head of operations, and Fe Husaint who was recently promoted to the role of creative and global brand head.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Marcelo Bittencourt, managing director for APAC at GPC, shared that ever since GPC started out in APAC four and a half years ago with only two hires, they have tested the waters of the business in the region and have since grown to provide various services such as search engine optimization and editorial content.

“The goal for GPC in APAC is [trying] to answer to our global FMCG clients on how we can be more localized, how can we have content that is meaningful for the local countries, because we are seeing a shift from budgets being centralized, and we are seeing how important it is, and how empowered are the local marketers are in the countries. So [we] want to be there with them because we are a part of a global [and] regional work lines and as close to their local operations we can be,” Bittencourt stated.

On his insights on content development, he said, “Content is about connection, content is about building a bond with the audience. You cannot do this if you are not ‘there’, if you’re not using slang, if you’re not understanding what is the environment that you have. This is the biggest goal for us: to be able to grow our local expertise in the countries in APAC, to be able to be that partner to our global clients., and be able to answer their strategies to deliver their brand purpose with quality and with trust.”

Rankings‌ ‌are‌ ‌based‌ ‌on‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Analytics‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌period‌ ‌of‌ ‌16th‌ ‌November to 15th‌ ‌December.

Watch our exclusive interviews with the brands themselves on the latest episode of MARKETECH APAC Reports, now live on our YouTube channel.

This is in collaboration with Malaysia-based media company The Full Frontal.

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MARKETECH APAC’s Top 5 Stories for November: A Disney veteran joins local Filipino live streaming platform

The penultimate year-end is not backing off on a lighter note. In its own right, the month of November ends with a bang with new marketing leaders inducted in the digital space, a launch of an industry-first partnership, and a massive contest marketing from an e-commerce brand.

In Singapore, a top e-commerce has unveiled its biggest giveaway yet for its campaign on 11.11. Meanwhile, in APAC, a communications firm has revealed in one fell swoop its new digital leaders for its different markets in the region. This month, a media giant’s creative agency has also announced its new MD for APAC. 

Still region-wide, a creative and communications network has specially partnered with TikTok to specifically build capabilities for brands to conquer audiences on the platform. 

Most interestingly, we have seen, this month, a veteran from the world’s favorite content creator joining a fast-growing live streaming platform in the Philippines.

Get to know more the top-read stories this month.

Top 5: Lazada launches massive 11.11 giveaway: An SG$1m-worth condo unit

Lazada-Singapore-PropNex-Condo-Giveaway

Regional e-commerce platform Lazada in Singapore, in a bid to further encourage 11.11 sales, has launched one of its biggest giveaways yet: a S$1m-worth condominium unit at the Normanton Park. The initiative, co-sponsored by real estate company PropNex, has concluded with a 70-year-old retiree as the winner, who interestingly just entered the contest with S$3.41 for Aloe Vera Gel and a digital voucher for a Nasi Lemak as investments. 

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Wook Kwon, chief marketing officer at Lazada Singapore, said that through these giveaways, they aim to reel in more customers to go back to their platform.

“The world of e-commerce can bring on an array of possibilities. So in this way, the latest giveaway, we strive to keep our customers going back to our platform, keep them engaged to go back to our sellers on the platform,” Kwon stated.

A major part of the campaign is gamification, where eligibility to enter and win is through collecting ‘golden keys’ on various missions in the Lazada app, and that more keys collected grant a higher chance of winning. 

Kwon added, “Gamification is important in customer experience. It’s the best experience that keeps our customers going back to our platform. Gamification is part of our ‘shoppertainment’ strategy to enhance the shopping experience.”

Top 4: Virtue appoints former MediaMonks’ Lesley John as managing director for APAC

Lesley-John-VIRTUE-Managing-Director-APAC

Virtue, the creative agency under media company VICE, has appointed former head of client services at MediaMonks Singapore Lesley John, to be its managing director for the Asia-Pacific region. 

Through her new role, John will be overseeing Virtue’s business and teams across the region including offices in India, Indonesia, Korea, and Japan from its Singapore hub.

Regarding her view on the state of content creation within APAC, John told MARKETECH APAC that there is diversity shown across the region, amplified by global cultural phenomena such as K-pop and J-pop.

“If you were to look at streaming platforms like Netflix, they’re starting to surface more cross-cultural content pollination,” she stated.

John also noted various cultural tropes that make the region’s content consumption unique, such as the rise of anime and idol content in homegrown platforms like Bilibili, or how a universal theme such as humor can vary from region to region, just like how Thailand’s approach to humor is ‘deadpan’.

When asked what advice can be given to brands when creating content for APAC audiences, she shared that the first thing is always finding an ‘interesting story’, and then finding the most compelling way to deliver it.

“Don’t be afraid to tap into emerging themes or subcultures if they’re relevant to the theme [or] story you want to deliver. Be authentic, reward your audience intellectually. I guess there’s always a temptation about going to the lowest common denominator, [and] that results to very bland, inauthentic, doesn’t feel like it’s coming from a real point of view,” John concluded.

Top 3: Edelman announces new roster of digital hires

Edelman-Digital-Hires-Lineup-Asia-Pacific

Global communications firm has unveiled the new executives that will be at the wheel of its digital business in APAC, namely the heads of digital for its India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, and Australia teams. 

Speaking with MARKETECH APAC, Matt Collette, Edelman’s APAC vice-chair for digital, shared that the new hires are the firm’s response to brands’ stronger commitment to deliver greater digital experiences over the pandemic. 

On the top challenge digital marketers are facing today, Collette specifically cited reduced ad targeting opportunities brought about by stricter privacy features from tech giants such as Apple.

“The implications for that…had been on the quality of data that companies are receiving with respect to how people are engaging with ads specifically; [that] has deteriorated significantly. What we’ve seen [is an] increase in costs for performance campaigns,” said Collette. 

Collette said that, hence, this is a major area the communications firm is helping out clients on today – figuring out what other strategies and tactics they can deploy to effectively build first-party data. 

“We want to make sure that we have digital teams across all of our markets in Asia-Pacific that are able to engage with the clients in a way that demonstrates deep expertise and knowledge of the digital space,” said Collette. 

Top 2: dentsu APAC, TikTok partner to help brands win on the short-video platform

Creative and communications network dentsu in APAC has unveiled in October a partnership that will see the network building commerce and media capabilities to effectively elevate brands’ presence in TikTok. 

Interestingly, within the tie-up is a program called ‘Test with TikTok’ which brings together the performance team from dentsu and product team from TikTok to test several performance and commerce hypotheses on the platform.

In an interview with Sunil Naryani, dentsu APAC’s president for product, commercials & partnerships, he shared that oftentimes, testings within the market ecosystem do not yield in valuable results and insights for reasons such as failure to establish a clear hypothesis on what must be tested and at times, tests’ misalignment to a brand or media’s objective. 

“This is what we’re trying to solve with ‘Test with TikTok’. It is essentially a structured way in which we are testing various TikTok products and solutions so we could unlock the full potential of the platform for our clients,” Naryani said. 

Naryani further shared that most of all, the whole objective of the partnership is to deliver differentiated value to brands. 

“The key discussion that takes place is what is important for our [clients] and we’re looking at the full funnel. At this stage, there is a lot of focus on the mid and the bottom funnel,” added Naryani.

Top 1: Former Disney exec Anand Roy joins kumu as SVP of strategy, international

Anand Roy Kumu

And our top story for the month of November is none other than live streaming platform kumu in the Philippines, with its recent appointment of Anand Roy, former regional director of music and live entertainment for SEA at Disney, to be its new senior vice president for strategy and international.

According to Roy, he first heard about the kumu platform from Open Space Ventures, one of the company’s investors, and at that time, was feeling quite unhappy with the state of social media generally. 

In a MARKETECH APAC interview, Roy shared what themes of online content will be the next big thing among audiences.

“One big seismic change which has happened in consumers’ lives for the past two years has been the realization that both work and study can happen online. This is a fact which has been brought to the surface because of the realities around the pandemic, and it promises to be an absolutely monumental change in the way people work,” he said.

Roy believes that over the next period, people will try to find balance between online image and research projection and offline detox and offline unwind.

Regarding his new role, Roy also shared the international plans of the proudly Philippine-made live streaming platform.

“The international strategy will be built on the authenticity of the platform. kumu stands for optimism, hope, positivity, and community; these are values which translate across the planet,” said Roy.

He added, “My endeavor would be to ensure that these fundamental principles get translated in every market we go to, and these guiding principles become the bedrock on which the platform is built.”

Rankings‌ ‌are‌ ‌based‌ ‌on‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Analytics‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌period‌ ‌of‌ ‌16th‌ ‌October to 15th‌ ‌November.

Watch our exclusive interviews with the brands themselves on the latest episode of MARKETECH APAC Reports, now live on our YouTube channel.

This is in collaboration with Malaysia-based media company The Full Frontal.

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Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s Top 5 Stories for October: Media and live streaming giants’ tie-up snares top spot

This month’s top stories are a mix of APAC-wide and local stories, but the region of Southeast Asia steals the spotlight for the month with announcements and launches from the region grabbing readers’ interest the most. 

For one, we have the Malaysia team of a digital-first agency unveiling its new business director for the country. A travel tech platform headquartered in Singapore, meanwhile, has also successfully raised funds in a seed round in order to expand operations to Europe. 

The industry of esports has also made its way to this month’s top stories with a feature on a Filipino super app’s business journey coming out as a favorite. 

In APAC meanwhile, we have digital platforms announcing exciting new business movements and partnerships. 

A global adtech has announced its new vice president for OTT business in APAC, while two giants in media and live streaming have unveiled a partnership that will see advertisers having more access to the region’s gaming audience. 

Get to know more about this month’s top 5 stories. 

Top 5: PubMatic names Vijay Anand Kunduri as new VP of OTT business for APAC

PubMatic Kunduri

PubMatic, the global programmatic digital advertising company, has appointed Vijay Anand Kunduri, former managing director of video advertising platform Unruly for Asia, to assume the role of regional vice president of OTT business for APAC.

MARKETECH APAC conversed with Kunduri to know more about the current landscape of OTT in the region.

“The consumers have been continuing to embrace OTT across APAC and this has led to the increased consumption of the streaming content, which could be attributed to the prevailing COVID pandemic situation,” said Kunduri in the interview.

Kunduri shared that adtech platforms have a very important role to play in seeing OTT reach its full potential, and are critical in ensuring better OTT experiences for consumers.

“What that brings us to is it’s important to have the right tech infrastructure, as it’s an important factor in ensuring the ad experience on OTT whether the people are consuming on a connected TV or mobile device,” he said.

While tasked to drive the growth of PubMatic’s OTT and video business across the region, Kunduri will also be consulting with existing publishers, creating new relationships, and further establishing PubMatic as a preferred platform for media buyers and publishers.

Top 4: Esports super app KALARO on MARKETECH Spotlight

MARKETECH Spotlight_KALARO_esports_superapp_Philippines

Esports super app in the Philippines KALARO has entered the top stories this month, gracing the latest episode of MARKETECH Spotlight.

At MARKETECH Spotlight, we take a closer look at different industries through the perspective of burgeoning organizations that are currently stealing the scene for their innovations and current industry achievements. 

For this episode, we sat down with KALARO’s Founder and CEO Jun D. Lasco as they finally release their public version 1.0 last September after a year into beta and delta testing. 

Since its pilot launch last year, KALARO has grown to be more than a platform for people to compete and enjoy in esports. Now, KALARO is truly living up to its name as a super app as it forges partnerships and launches features to answer to stakeholders’ mental and health well-being. 

From the interview, Lasco revealed that it has partnered with UnionBank, one of the top banks in the country to boost its financial offerings. He shared that on this front, a Visa card for KALARO and even an insurance offering is not a distant possibility. Lasco said crypto- and blockchain-related features are also underway.

Top 3: Lion & Lion appoints Wai Sim Liew as new business director for Malaysia 

Lion-&-Lion-Business-Director-Malaysia-Wai-Sim-Liew

This month, digital marketing agency in Asia, Lion & Lion, has announced the appointment of Wai Sim Liew as the new business director for its Malaysia team. 

Prior to joining Lion & Lion, Wai Sim’s experience expands working with agencies Publicis, Leo Burnett, BBDO/Proximity, and most recently, Ogilvy, where she was a client service director.

In an exclusive interview, we checked in with Wia Sim who shared with us her view on the current digital marketing landscape among Malaysian brands. 

While pointing out the current boom in e-commerce, Wai Sim shared an interesting observation on the growth of one product category in e-commerce. 

“I think one of the slowest categories for e-commerce adoption is Fast Moving Consumer Goods because I think [it has more stress] on quantity and you want to see the label, and you want to see the cooking instructions and whatnot.”

However, Wai Sim continues, “But now, you notice that actually, hey, people talk about live commerce even for grocery items.” 

“It’s interesting to see that way Malaysians have actually chosen to incorporate e-commerce into their lives,” she added. 

Top 2: Travel tech Vouch expands to Europe with US$1.1m seed funding

Vouch-Travel-Tech-Seed-Funding-Europe-Expansion

Vouch, a Singapore-based travel tech company, which has recently raised US$1.1m seed funding, is targeting a Europe market expansion, starting off with a new office in London.

The company’s guest experience platform allows guests to check-in, make room requests, order food and beverage and get instant answers to commonly asked questions, just by scanning a QR code on their mobile phones.

In an interview with Joseph Ling, founder and CEO at Vouch, he said that improving guest experience platforms are is not just for enhancing user experience, but also responding to the interest of hotels, now that travelers will look forward to checking in.

“We also recognize that hotels, the ones that we actually partner with, are going to want to capture the value [of these customers]. So we are really looking at how we build revenue-generating product features, and how we make it easy for them to cross-sell different things within the hotel to their guests.”

He also stated that they are also looking forward to expanding the use of their travel technologies towards other travel verticals, like tourist attractions and museums.

Ling further added that with regulations ever-changing to various industries due to the disruption by the global pandemic, it only makes sense that digitizing guest experiences in the travel industry is ‘inevitable’.

“Besides increasing productivity, you are giving guests a more comfortable and familiar way of interacting with the hotel, as well as opening up more opportunities, meaning that hotels could now understand the needs and preferences of their guests,” he concluded.

Top 1: GroupM, Twitch to tap diverse APAC gaming audience for advertising in latest tie-up

A partnership that opens up new opportunities for brands to tap into the gaming demographic: this is the number one story of MARKETECH APAC for the month, as media investment company GroupM has signed in a partnership with Twitch, top streaming platform, which gives advertisers access to the flourishing gaming demographic in the region.

Through the partnership, GroupM’s clients will enjoy access to insights on Twitch audiences in a fragmented Asia-Pacific region that stream Alpha, Beta, and Early Access games, as well as access to Twitch CTV. Moreover, an upcoming co-authored playbook by these two companies will be released in the future to aid FMCG advertisers to tap APAC gaming audiences.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, John Miskelly, APAC investment director at GroupM, stated that the reason they chose specifically to deal with FMCG brands for the playbook is that aside from their large heritage of working with these brands they also want to aid them in placing their advertisements across new channels, aside from traditional ones like television.

“If there is an area where we can reach 1.2 billion people, that’s definitely a space where clients would want to work on,” Miskelly said, pertaining to the large gaming demographic in the region, and the potential reach advertisers can get.

He further added that most of these FMCG brands are now migrating to e-commerce platforms, since most of them are present only in-stores, and don’t have the transactional data that they can use to bolster their e-commerce offerings.

“The gaming audience is important for brands in terms of reach and engagement. And obviously, with the potential engagement seen in this demographic, there is a highly immersive audience which can get a lot of attention [for brands],” Miskelly stated.

Rankings‌ ‌are‌ ‌based‌ ‌on‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Analytics‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌period‌ ‌of‌ ‌16th‌ ‌September to 15th‌ ‌October.‌

Watch our exclusive interviews with the brands themselves on the latest episode of MARKETECH APAC Reports, now live on our YouTube channel.

This is in collaboration with Malaysia-based media company The Full Frontal.

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Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s Top 5 Stories for September: BNPL in Thailand clinches top spot

What a great way to start the ‘Ber’ months this year with a list of high-flying stories which gave the industry a peek of the latest developments in the startup, e-commerce, and digital payments scene. 

This September, an Indian-born PR agency leading the way for communications in the startup sector has expanded its presence to Singapore. A Buy Now Pay Later platform is also ramping up its market in Southeast Asia with the announcement of its country manager for Thailand. 

Meanwhile, e-commerce makes another round getting into readers’ radar with a data-driven marketing firm in Asia unveiling its new leader for its e-commerce offering.

Stories from the Philippines are also in this month’s top spots with one career coaching firm in the country sharing its business story, and also, a report that saw the convergence of consumer products and social media snared readership for the period.

Take a look.

Top 5: PR agency Value 360 Communications expands presence with new Singapore office

Value 360 Communications Singapore

Value 360 Communications, the startup-focused PR agency in India, has announced that it will be expanding its market to Singapore to unlock growth opportunities in the country’s burgeoning start-up space.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Kunal Sinha, the founder and director of Value 360 Communications, shared that the company has been part of the journey of 15 unicorns in the market of India, where they have built communications from the ground up. Learning from the process, the agency eventually grounded its name and reputation in the sector. 

Working with a complex market such as India, Sinha believes, gives the agency a strong value proposition to bring to the start-up space.

“We are going to focus on providing start-up PR in the SEA region, and Singapore will be the core for us in extending our services to start-ups. We are also in a discussion with other global brands who have both India and Singapore presence, and we are looking to hire talents with specific experiences in start-ups,” said Sinha.

We have an internal training module where we will be able to help them learn and understand about the start-up space.

Sinha on hiring new talents

Top 4: MARKETECH Spotlight: PH’s Metamorphosis Group on disrupting career coaching in the country

Metamorphosis Group_Danica Octa

Entering this month’s top stories is one of the latest episodes of MARKETECH Spotlight featuring career coaching firm in the Philippines, Metamorphosis Group (MG). 

In an exclusive conversation with the firm’s Founder, President, and CEO, Danica Octa, she shared MG’s start-up journey which began in the pandemic year in 2020. Gaining more expertise and leadership into the current job and recruitment industry in the country, the coaching firm has now firmed up its mission of becoming an end-to-end employability solution for those seeking guidance on their career development. 

Speaking MARKETECH APAC, Octa shared how the firm sees its role in the Filipino workforce. 

Our role [in the workforce] is to be some kind of a learning partner [and] an accountability buddy.

Octa believes that above all, it’s able to help shape people’s career journey through its future-oriented thinking. 

“We are very forward-thinking, we understand the future of work, we as a company is very, very in touch with what’s going to happen 10 years later,” she said. 

Octa adds, “We have the intuition, we can give our market the information they need to succeed moving forward, of course, so that they can upskill and reskill to the appropriate job that they need to have, moving forward. So I think that’s the role that we take here.”

Top 3: Filipinos take to Twitter conversations around favorite consumer products

Twitter-Philippines

Twitter Philippines has recently released a report on the products Filipinos love to talk about on the platform. The data shows that there are five key trends in how Filipinos converse around food, beverages, and personal, as well as home care.

Chandan Deep, Twitter’s head of emerging business for SEA, shared that people on the app and the conversations that they create are what makes Twitter unique, and that 71% have rated it as a great platform for brand interaction, making it the number one among its peers.

MARKETECH APAC conversed with Deep, and she noted that when you looked at the top mentioned brands, which were listed on their CPG dispatch, you will see some good samples on how brands can engage with their customers on Twitter, to be able to drive more meaningful conversations.

Twitter has a diverse community so they can connect with people who like entertainment, gaming, or health, making the first move as a brand by initiating conversation and making your audience enjoy it.

Top 2: ADA names former Lazada CBO Sherry Tan as regional head of e-commerce

ADA ropes in Lazada MY’s Sherry Tan to become its regional head of e-commerce

ADA, the data- and AI-driven marketing firm in Asia, has appointed former Chief Business Officer of Lazada Malaysia, Sherry Tan to be its regional head of e-commerce. 

ADA has just unveiled its end-to-end e-commerce solution for brands in APAC, and for the new role, Tan will be leading a team of leaders who will support the growing demand for e-commerce in the region. 

In the interview with MARKETECH APAC, Tan shared the challenges that brands in e-commerce are faced with in this pandemic.,

“In the last 18 months right, the pandemic catapulted e-commerce retail significantly, and there are more users in the digital space whether it is the buyers or the sellers. Now, it has become harder for brands to attract customers because there are wider options available,” said Tan. 

According to Tan, besides having more choices, customers are gaining smarter as well and therefore, have higher expectations toward their shopper journey. 

Brands need to stay on top of their game to predict industry trends…and then they need to enhance engagement and attraction to their brand to build loyalty and retention.

On ADA’s e-commerce solution, Tan said, “Leveraging on our data and digital shelf, we are able to craft [an] e-commerce and digital strategy based on sentiment analysis, customer insights as well as [competitive] landscape. This data allows us to understand what consumers are interested in, where they have visited over a period of time, and ADA is able to target these audiences for the brand.”

Top 1: BNPL platform for Asia, Atome, names country manager for Thailand

Atome Poompong Tancharoenphol

For our top story for the month, we have Buy Now Pay later platform in Asia Atome’s appointment of its country manager for Thailand, Poompong Tancharoenphol Tancharoenphol was formerly Zilingo’s country head for the country. 

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Tancharoenphol said, “I think I have been fortunate to look at e-commerce both from AddVentures and Zilingo before. There [are] a few key factors in making an e-commerce company successful, namely the business model itself, whether it is B2C e-commerce, B2B e-commerce, and marketplaces, and there is [a] supply chain, marketing, and payment.”

He adds that with BNPL being quite new to the Thai market, it could mean either two things: it may be potentially good or something which the market may not adapt to. 

I think the direct value we offer to the retailers and e-commerce players is the increase in the market size. We were able to increase the market size to 30% more than any other payment method, and this comes along with increasing sales and conversion [afterward]

Rankings‌ ‌are‌ ‌based‌ ‌on‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Analytics‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌period‌ ‌of‌ ‌16th‌ ‌August‌ ‌to 15th‌ ‌September.‌

Watch our exclusive interviews with the brands themselves on the latest episode of MARKETECH APAC Reports, now live on our YouTube channel.

This is in collaboration with Malaysia-based media company The Full Frontal.

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Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s Top 5 Stories for August: Mobile gaming in Indonesia takes reign

For this month of August, we see a compelling lineup of top stories in MARKETECH APAC all coming from the area of technology and platforms. As usual, top stories from brands serve as proof of the changing consumer behavior in APAC amid the unprecedented wave of digitization. 

For one, a Hong Kong startup is responding to the beat of social commerce in Asia where purchasing through social messaging is growing more mature. With a platform that simplifies customer communications for brands across social messaging apps, the SaaS company sees its presence expanding to Singapore and Malaysia.

Another one is mobile gaming in Indonesia. Indonesia is fast earning its name as the market with the strongest mobile engagement in the Asia region, and a report that entered the list presents insights that turn gaming patterns on their head.

Two global adtech platforms have also inducted leaders into new positions of COO, managing director, and into a role helming partner development in order to bolster their presence in APAC. Meanwhile, a recommendation platform for the open web has also unveiled its string of eight new hires for the ANZ, SEA, and APAC region.

Take a look at the top stories this August. Rankings were based on Google Analytics from the period of 16 July to 15 August.

Top 5: SleekFlow expands to Singapore and Malaysia

SeekFlow, the Hong Kong-born SaaS start-up that provides an all-in-one social messaging platform for businesses, is expanding to Singapore and Malaysia. SleekFlow streamlines customer communications in social messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat through a single platform. 

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Henson Tsai, the founder and CEO of SleekFlow, shared that the company has always been eyeing to make Singapore its regional hub. Aside from Singapore being the headquarters of many brands and companies, the SleekFlow team also found that there are more people familiar with the SEA market in the country compared to those in Hong Kong, making it the “sensible move.” 

Tsai also shared that Indonesia is a target market, where SleekFlow found that 80% of people buy on smartphones with only the remaining 20% buying on desktop. 

“If you actually compare Asia with Europe or America, you realize for example, in China, that kind of behavior [which is] buying through social commerce is kind of very mature…clicking through products and paying through chat is a very mature behavior. If you look at Southeast Asia, people actually purchase more often on mobile,” said Tsai.

Eveyone has that kind of experience right where they buy something and want to talk to someone first. I think these kinds of feelings make you feel more privileged, you feel more [ advantageous] over your peers because you have someone to talk to.

Tsai on the behavior towards social commerce

Top 4: Magnite announces new leadership roster in APAC

Following its acquisition of video ad platform SpotX, global sell-side platform Magnite elevates its leadership to realize the combined capabilities of the two platforms. 

New leaders include Gavin Buxton, who has been appointed managing director for Asia at Magnite Asia, and Yogesh Sehgal, who will assume the role of head of partner development at Magnite APAC.

Gavin Buxton, previously the managing director for Asia at SpotX, will be holding the same position for Magnite Asia, while Yogesh Sehgal, Magnite’s former regional manager for the region, has been promoted to the role of head of partner development. 

Speaking to Juliette Stead, Magnite’s senior vice president and head of JAPAC, in an exclusive interview, she shared that through this fusion, Magnite will be able to solve the needs of publishers more holistically and ensure that they continue to deliver the services and the tech that everybody has already expected from both sides 

Magnite and SpotX have been doing so incredibly well for such a long time, and we want to bring that together, and make sure that we’re not just 1 plus 1 equals 2. The way we see it, we’re better together, and to provide even more for the publishers and buyers in the market.

Juliette Stead, SVP and Head, JAPAC, Magnite

Stead also emphasizes the concept of scale that the newly combined capabilities bring about. 

“All of these publishers across all of these platforms provide the buy-side with a scalable alternative to walled gardens, that’s also really brand-safe, and that has a targeting and addressable functionality.”

Top 3: Adtech Silverpush names new COO

Global adtech Silverpush, known for its AI-powered contextual video technology, has targeted bolstering its global senior leadership by promoting its current chief revenue officer Kartik Mehta to the new role of chief operating officer.

Silverpush, which currently has presence in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) markets of the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, and Thailand; targets to penetrate further into the contextual video advertising and moment marketing space.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Mehta shares that in his role, he will be driving the company’s vision that they have set for themselves, adding that they are also pushing their ‘3.0 Agenda’ or a strategy simply called as ‘Pi’, which stands for partnerships and investment which then leads to acquisitions.

“Essentially, all of what we do is going to revolve around these key things. You know, the digital media industry is growing, and we firmly believe that we need to be true to our vision on what we have set for ourselves, and to be considered as leaders among most-respected companies in the contextual advertising space,” he said.

Part of what Mehta also shared during the exclusive interview surrounds the question of ‘how could we invest in technologies?’, adding that they pose the aforementioned question in a bid to help companies in the region, such as in APAC, who have geographical advantage in their market.

Ever since we started in the adtech space and the privilege we had over the past nine years, we said that everything we’re doing doesn’t rely on any kind of personal identifiers. The technology, which is available today, are eventually what we have progressed hereon, is all very privacy-compliant.

Kartik Mehta, COO, Silverpush

He added, “In terms of APAC perspective, the region today contributes about 65% of the overall company revenue, which means APAC becomes very, very important market for Silverpush in terms of expansion, in terms of what we have to do in our strategy, and within APAC, certain key markets like Southeast Asia and India are going to play a pivotal role in terms of our entire growth strategy.”

Top 2: Recommendation platform Outbrain keys in eight new hires for APAC

In its efforts to bolster the company’s growth and presence in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) market, global recommendation platform Outbrain has signed in eight new hires to serve the diverse needs of clients across said regional market.

Outbrain operates under the premise of generating revenue for online publishers by displaying feeds of content and ads, or boxes of links to pages within a website, that lead to third-party content.

The new hires are led by the new director of sales for SEA, Jovary Jose. He is accompanied then by Nathan Jackson, head of sales APAC at Outbrain; Chermaine Koh, senior account manager at Outbrain; Calista Teo, sales manager for SEA at Outbrain; Daniel Littlepage, director of business operations for APAC; Greg Wood, head of Engage ANZ; Krishan Lal, sales manager for ANZ; Alanna Green, senior account manager for Engage ANZ; and Ana Carolina Garcia, account manager for ANZ.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC about the latest hires, Jovary states that the company has a strong business growth in the region, noting the latest hires significantly showing a 50% growth of the company’s presence in APAC, focusing more on sales and recommendation teams across the region to support the Outbrain team.

Personally, I’m happy to be involved in Outbrain and growing the APAC team. Coming from a publishing background, I’m thrilled to support quality content and connect advertisers and brands. Again, I love the fact that Outbrain supports publishers, and being from the publisher side for the last decade, the idea of continuing support of publishers like Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and MediaCorp really appealed to me.

Jovary Jose, Director of Sales, Outbrain

Jose also shared in the same exclusive interview that Outbrain is working on a new hire to work with premium publisher partnerships across the APAC region.

“We are excited to continue innovating and building the best native advertising products for publishers and marketers for many more years to come,” he concluded.

Top 1: Indonesia, rising powerhouse of mobile gaming in SEA: report

With pandemic restrictions largely disrupting normal human activities, it is no wonder that there has been an exponential rise of modern trends and practices among affected markets, including the prevalence of mobile gaming across a wider demographic.

It is no surprise that our top story for this month concerns the ‘powerhouse’ figure of the Indonesian market when it comes to mobile gaming activity and consumption.

In the latest report released by marketing cloud company InMobi, they have found that aside from the new 46% of respondents saying it is their first time venturing into the mobile gaming space, data also shows that 80% of Indonesian respondents say that they commit to playing mobile games at least once or several times in a day, in which interestingly, the 35-44-year-old bracket showing up as the age demographic with the highest commitment.

In an exclusive interview with MARKETECH APAC, Rishi Bedi, general manager and vice president of Southeast Asia, Japan, and Korea at InMobi notes that mobile gaming has seen a steadfast growth in the region from the one and a half years, adding that Southeast Asia alone has 215 million mobile gaming users, and in Indonesia alone, there has been ‘double the growth’ of mobile gaming users in the particular market.

If we look at the analysis of the data, one that we see is the behavioral patterns of the time of usage of the mobile games, which are very different from what it used to be earlier, now consumers are spending more time through the day, [even] as early as 6 AM. Second is that we have seen a shift in demographics, one per se is that the perception of mobile gamers is young men below 25 years of age, but that’s not the case. We see about 60% to 80% of these [mobile gaming] consumers are above 25 years of age.

Rishi Bedi, GM, VP, SEA, Japan, and Korea, InMobi

When asked for advice for marketers looking to tap into this huge online market of online users, he says that one should first leverage the scale and reach of mobile gaming in the target market, noting the transition of their market.

“There is a huge amount of segmentation possible in mobile gaming, there is diversity [where] you could target the right audience and the desired demographics. There are mobile offerings and a range of other elements that you can leverage that are very unique to mobile gaming, featuring elements like interactivity and augmented reality,” Bedi said.

Watch our exclusive interviews with the brands themselves on the latest episode of MARKETECH APAC Reports, now live on our YouTube channel.

This is in collaboration with Malaysia-based media company The Full Frontal.

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Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s top 5 stories for April: A data and AI company takes number 1 spot

This month’s top stories are all about game-changing old practices and breaking stereotypes in the industry. A new agency has just launched a new proprietary tech that aims to bring more science to the practice of media planning, while a popular short-video platform moves beyond its popularized brand of entertainment to launch a pilot educational series. 

Meanwhile, the world of gaming makes another comeback. Two companies have recently partnered to offer brands an inventory of a new type of advertising in the gaming world. An AI and data company has also offered a new solution to a marketplace that is of surging demand today – e-commerce; while this month also saw the appointment and elevation of one veteran in the area of loyalty marketing in APAC.

Rankings were sourced from Google Analytics from the period of 16 March to 15 April. Take a look. 

Top 5: Global platforms Anzu and Eskimi partner to offer in-game advertising to brands 

More brands will be able to better engage with gamers around the world and get their hands on a relatively new type of brand placement in games – in-game advertising – as two platforms have partnered to offer the said type of inventory to advertisers in Africa, Asia, and CIS, as well as Europe, and MENA.

Anzu.io is a global in-game advertising platform, while Eskimi is a full-stack programmatic and data platform. What Anzu offers are real-life advertisements that fit natively into games, and Yaniv Rozencweig, the director of business operations at Anzu, said that it is looking for a demand-side platform (DSP) like Eskimi that has a strong and agile tech team that is able to “make adjustments” in order to tap into its supply. 

MARKETECH APAC spoke to both Rozencweig and Monika Poškutė, the head of marketing at Eskimi, where both said that the partnership ultimately aims to solve the long-standing problem of intrusive ads. 

“Our mindset is very similar [and] basically the same, we believe that ads should not be intrusive, and they should not be a big distraction in your life. You’re supposed to have your activities online for the game that you’re playing on your mobile phone, and it is the game that you’re enjoying, it’s entertainment, [so] suddenly receiving like a pop-up [ad] is a distraction, it’s intrusive,” said Poškutė. 

They also said that the tie-up will be offering foremost the education to clients and brands on how to work around this unique type of advertising and how to best harness it to better connect to gamers which had already reached about 3 billion around the world. 

“You can find various user segments in this big gamer audience in a non-intrusive way, and we believe that by educating our clients about this new opportunity, we are able to offer new channels, [and] new engagement rates, and I could even say probably more loyal user segments,” added Poškutė. 

Top 4: JOLT Digital brings science to media planning through J-CAL 

Singapore-based digital agency JOLT Digital has recently unveiled its new tech for media planning J-CAL, or which stands for J-Calculator, which aims to turn the practice of media planning on its head by bringing more science to advertisers’ processes through econometric modeling. 

MARKETECH APAC spoke to the agency’s founder Sebastien Lepez, where he said that throughout his own experience in media planning, he found that most executives allocate media budget based on gut feel.

Lepez, a marketing veteran with over 13 years of experience in both the agency and client sides, shared that media planners usually use media metrics or the rate of likes, impressions, and views, and while, effective in its own way, still doesn’t integrate sales in the process. 

“We allocate the optimal media budget to the channels we have selected. Our tool is able to tell us exactly how many percent should be invested into each of the channels,” he said. 

In the development of J-CAL, five years’ worth of data across Southeast Asia was used to build econometric curves or what the agency calls response curves for each of the channels that are present on digital. 

“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 further said, “Our industry is in need for a change and it’s been requested by clients for many years. After years [of] 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.”

Top 3: TikTok Singapore launches first-ever educational series

While TikTok is most popularly known as an entertainment platform, TikTok in Singapore aims to showcase that such is definitely the case and that the platform is far more reaching than just exciting dances and singing. With this, it launched last 31 March to 6 April its first educational series which has its pilot theme on careers on tech. 

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

“We recognize the need to dispel the uncertainty among today’s job seekers and equip them with the relevant skills to be future-ready, so with that idea in mind, we decided to launch the first-ever ‘JobTok’ educational live series to equip all the users in the platform with the knowledge and the skill set of the future to allow them to make more informed career decisions,” said Doreen Tan, user & content operations manager at TikTok Singapore, in an interview with MARKETECH APAC

The platform has roped in women leaders in tech, tech executives from the government, and even its own engineers to shed light on some of the most burning questions of tech enthusiasts. Segments presented were ‘Adulting Advice from Young GovTechies’, ‘The Faces Behind TikTok live’, and ‘Women Leadership in Tech’. 

‘Ultimately, what we are trying to do here is providing an insider look into the tech industry and to just spark greater interest among Singaporeans to enter this fast-growing industry,” added Tan.  

Top 2: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts names new senior director for marketing and loyalty in APAC

Just recently, hospitality giant Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has consolidated and rebranded its Southeast Asia Pacific Rim (SEAPR) unit to now represent the whole Asia Pacific, and with this, it has elevated its former director for marketing and loyalty in SEAPR Lynn Poh to now take the lead as the senior director for the hotel’s rewards program, Wyndham Rewards, in APAC.

MARKETECH APAC conversed with Poh to know more about what her first order of business will be as she takes on the role.

“My first order of business is integrating the marketing and loyalty teams in Asia Pacific, and plus, developing a strategic marketing plan for both digital and loyalty that will support the needs of our hotels across the region,” said Poh. 

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is one of the biggest hospitality chains in the world with brands across upscale, midscale, and value segments. The APAC leg currently comprises over 1,500 hotels, and within the running quarter of the year alone, the region has announced new additions to its portfolio with a new property in India state Gujarat, and inaugural entries in Nepal and Cambodia.

With tight travel restrictions in the region still in place, how does Lynn plan to keep the rewards program on its feet when such depends on recurring bookings? She said it’s about leveraging digital channels and employing social media strategies that will keep the brand on consumers’ radar. 

“We have seen positive news of travel bubbles coming out of certain destinations, so while we’re still very focused on integrated campaigns, we are also taking a sub-regional approach that’s tailored to market needs,” she shared. 

“So I agree that bookings have not reached historic levels, but throughout the pandemic, Wyndham had been really present in social media and digital channels, and we’ve been driving this message of dreaming to travel again, reconnecting with family and friends, so really driving that top-of-mind awareness through our social media platforms,” she added. 

Top 1: ADA launches new end-to-end e-commerce solution in APAC

Nabbing the top spot for this month of April is ADA, a company that uses deep data and AI capabilities to provide brands in Asia actionable marketing insights and brand and communication strategies. ADA garnered the highest readership for the month for its new e-commerce solution, which is an end-to-end offering for brands.

Speaking with MARKETECH APAC, Anurag Gupta, chief operating officer and chief of agency at ADA, said that what the company found was that while e-commerce is a booming industry in Southeast Asia, companies’ current solutions for online brands are very siloed. 

“There are companies who are driving traffic to the e-commerce platforms or marketplace, then there are companies helping brands optimize the customer journey, then there are companies helping them do fulfillment, but nobody’s linking everything together,” Gupta said. 

Hence, its launch of the new solution. 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.

Gupta said that even amid the increase in adoption of e-commerce, it is still seen as vanity and supplemental channel, where about 90% of sales are still dependent on offline purchases. With the new solution, ADA also aims to help companies understand that with the right direction and strategies, it can be a major channel for a brand. 

Gupta cites one of the pitfalls for brands on the customer journey, taking into example cosmetics brands, where most of the time, customers will come searching on the internet to look for different types, for example, of lipsticks. If brands don’t take the difference of keywords in search seriously, a seemingly small detail would be a big problem on online presence, he said. 

“[E-commerce] is a major part of the digital ecosystem. We see that companies are going to accelerate their e-commerce investments, it is going to be a much bigger channel in their portfolio, and hence, we want to prepare companies how to manage this,” stated Gupta. 

Watch our live interviews with the newsmakers themselves on the latest episode of MARKETECH APAC Reports, live on our YouTube channel.

This is in collaboration with Malaysia-based media company The Full Frontal.

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Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s top 5 stories for March: Esports league in PH bags top spot

This month of March, we’re looking at a diverse list of the top 5 stories. The rise of digital experiences and online e-commerce amid this unprecedented period in the lives of both businesses and consumers is evidently shown in the stories that nabbed the highest readership for the month. As you will see in the rundown, brands, and organizations that took the top spots are those that launched new partnerships and announced new initiatives that are a response to surging online activity and adoption. 

This month, a Hong Kong-headquartered fintech has just partnered with a new Buy Now Pay Later payment channel. A global adtech has also expanded its services to Vietnam, while a Singapore-based agency hires a new UX director. 

Meanwhile two rising consumer ecosystems – esports and influencer marketing – grace this month’s list with a content platform launching a new community for parent influencers and a Philippines-based gaming league mounting a virtual event that engages music fans.

Take a look at the top stories. Stories were sourced from Google Analytics from the period of 16 February to 15 March. 

Top 5: Singapore-based Bray Leino Splash names new UX Director

As the number of brands adopting digital experiences increases at a faster rate amid the pandemic, Singapore-based DX agency Bray Leino Splash’s appointment of a new UX director comes at a rightful time. 

The newly named Jaffry Jalal has previously worked with TBWA\Singapore and Havas as its UX design lead and was 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. 

Jalal shared to MARKETECH APAC that as he takes the helm at the agency, he looks to start with the basics – straightening out and unifying the language of ‘design’ for the whole agency – in order to serve clients better and deliver an excellent UX.

“[I’m looking at] broadening the definition of design within the agency. That it is about moving something from its current state to a better-preferred state, whatever it is that we are doing. In creating that mentality internally, I hope we can transform where the whole agency becomes the design team for the client,” said Jalal. 

Jalal also shared what he believes to be one of the most important metrics of a good UX, and that is when people “talk less” about the UX, which means the agency has done its job in creating a seamless experience. 

“That’s the strange thing about UX design is that you won’t really notice good UX when it’s designed well. It’s transparent and invisible. The most effective experiences help the customers get the job done and they get on with their life; they come to a website or an app, they get what they need, and it helps them then they move on,” shared Jalal.

“This pandemic, as an agency, [we focus on] how we can help [clients] move from a current state to a preferred state [of digitization]; and [when] the whole agency can speak the language of design, then we can spot opportunities for our clients,” added Jalal. 

Top 4: theAsianparent launches VIP parents platform for parent influencers

Influencer marketing, with its relatable appeal to consumers as well as being a less cumbersome strategy for brands, has been all the rage with more brands and used-to-be consumers jumping into the ecosystem. Products and services targeted at parents are no different and this is what parenting-focused content platform aims to leverage with the VIP parents platform

In the platform, proactive parents are given the opportunity to step into the limelight and use their influence and voice for brands which also becomes an avenue for them to earn. 

Officially launched in 2020, the platform has already garnered a base of over 40,000 moms and dads. For brands, the platform serves as a channel to easily tap parents to implement engagement and brand amplification activities such as participating in surveys or polls, creating original and meaningful content, and even have parents review products and attend brand events. 

MARKETECH APAC spoke with the two Co-Founders of VIPP Heena Lulla Singh and Jessica Tremel to know more about the platform. Singh said that the parents on the platform are different from the broad influencer groups with their genuine experience and knowledge as their top edge. 

“What truly differentiates these parents from broad influencer groups is their parenting journeys, their experiences, and know-how, which actually enable them to provide authentic amplifications for consumer brands,” said Singh. 

Tremel said that VIP Parents is not just an influencer marketing platform, where the community also takes branded campaigns from posting on social media, reviews and reviews platforms, attending events, and downloading apps, and many more activities that parents can do for brands.

“Through our platform, these everyday parents to micro-influencers, have been able to deliver better engagement rates through the genuine feedback that captures audiences which leads to higher client conversion rates,” said Tremel. 

Top 3: Adtech Criteo partners with Vietnam-based MediaDonuts  

Digital advertisers in Southeast Asia country Vietnam are set to see a new solution provider in the market for their marketing and advertising strategies as adtech Criteo partners with Vietnam-based advertising and technology company MediaDonuts.

Criteo is a global advertising platform that provides a full-funnel marketing solution for online advertisers, retailers, brands, and agencies to serve relevant online advertisements. The partnership with MediaDonuts will take in the form of the Ad Sales Partner Program, which provides brands with performance marketing solutions aimed at driving profits and sales.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Mark Gubbels, head of commercial for SEA at Criteo, said that the company specifically chose Vietnam for the expansion being one of the fastest-growing markets in online advertising. 

“We see a great opportunity, especially in the performance-based marketing to work with local businesses in Vietnam and evolve their advertising and marketing strategies to gain a competitive advantage in the market,” said Gubbels. 

Gubbels also shared that part of Criteo’s offering to brands will be education and training on performance marketing. 

“While we are seeing great potential for market adoption within Vietnam’s industry, we still [see] that there’s a lot of room for growth, mainly in terms of education around performance marketing. As more Vietnamese consumers turn to e-commerce and seek an online channel experience, we really need to establish strong relationships with their customers both offline and online,” said Gubbels. 

The training and certification layer aims to provide and equip teams with practical courses to harness data effectively and to gain actionable insights to effectively manage and measure campaigns.

Top 2: Hong Kong-based AsiaPay adds Singapore’s Atome as Buy Now Pay Later partner

Hong Kong-headquartered Asiapay has announced a new partnership with Singapore-based Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) platform Atome, adding it to its current BNPL payment partners, to enable seamless, flexible installment payment options to online and offline retail businesses across the APAC region.

AsiaPay is a digital payment solution and technology vendor in Asia aiming to bring advanced and cost-effective electronic payment processing solutions and services to banks, corporate and e-Businesses in the worldwide market. Meanwhile, Atome partners online and offline retailers to increase conversions and grow average orders and customer segments.

Through the team-up, both companies intend to remove the complexity for merchants and retailers of all sizes, to benefit from greater BNPL payment convenience.

Atome has partnered with over 2,000 online and offline retailers in six markets such as Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Hong Kong with key merchant partners and e-commerce platforms in a wide range of verticals including Sephora, Agoda, Zara, and Marks & Spencer, and JD.ID and Sendo. Meanwhile, AsiaPay’s platform connects over 100 banks and a broad roster of alternative payment methods in 11 country locations. 

MARKETECH APAC spoke with Ernest Lo, AsiaPay’s executive director for AsiaPay, and he shared that the decision to tie up with Atome is due to the parallels between their business landscapes, such as being able to serve the same markets like Malaysia, Indonesia, and Hong Kong. aside from Singapore. 

“We see how Atome works in Singapore, [and] we want to work with a partner that’s aggressive with whom we can work out something together; we hope that our merchants in different countries can enjoy this BNPL product,” said Lo. 

Top 1: Philippine Pro Gaming League engaged music fans roping in MNL48 for a virtual match

For our top story this month, we have esports league Philippine Pro Gaming League in the Philippines. For a one-time event last 8 March, the Philippines Pro Gaming League (PPGL) managed by esports organization Mineski Philippines, hosted a virtual match, where it roped in Philippine pop idol group MNL48 to engage and play with fans for the popular mobile game League of Legends: Wild Rift. 

PPGL is the largest multi-game esports in the country, and has been running for about 3 years in partnership with Globe telecom. Before the pandemic, the league seasonally conducts its massive onsite grand finals where it directly engages with players, teams, and the gaming community, at the same time, serves as an opportunity to promote gaming to a larger audience. Come the pandemic, Mineski was finding a way to bring the same engagement and experience, and thus, launched the virtual ‘PPGL Takeover’, where it invites personalities, esports influencers and streamers, and TV personalities to connect with gamers and fans. 

Nadine Nora, campaign manager at Mineski Philippines, shared that it has been partnering with people from the music industry and that when it approached MNL48, the collaboration was a perfect match, with the all-girl group being gamers themselves. 

MNL48 is a Filipino idol group, originally established in 2018, known to be a part of the larger J-pop genre scene based on its mother group AKB48. They have since released a total of six singles, including ‘Pag-Ibig Fortune Cookie’, ‘High Tension’, and more recently ‘River’. The quintet comprises Cole Somera, Abby Trinidad, Sheki Arzaga, Gabb Skribikin, and Coleen Trinidad.

“MNL48 was very excited with the event as it is an added avenue for them to interact with their fans. [MNL48 and PPGL] just have the same mindset, we were both striving in engaging the community, and everything just fell into place perfectly,” shared Nora.

Watch our live interviews with the newsmakers themselves on the latest episode of MARKETECH APAC Reports, live on our YouTube channel.

This is in collaboration with Malaysia-based media company The Full Frontal.

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Main Feature Marketing APAC

February’s Top 5 stories: A consumer brand’s campaign takes reign

Jumping off the icebreaker of the year, the list this February is another group of brands showcasing innovation and over-the-top creativity. Three out of five are marketing campaigns hailing from Malaysia, with one region-wide; while stories of new leadership appointments, with new hires tasked to take the helm of an Asia-wide team, continue to inspire this month. 

Based on Google Analytics from 16 January to15 February, here are the top 5 stories for February.  

Top 5: SUBPLACE’s ‘Founder Story’ campaign 

When SUBPLACE launched in December, it became the first-of-its-kind, offering an all-in-one marketplace for products on a subscription-based service. In order to encourage merchants to hop on the said business model, it rolled out its ‘Founder story’ campaign

The unique proposition that SUBPLACE offers pushed it to similarly offer innovative marketing strategies. In the ‘Founder story’ campaign, it roped in the founders and CEOs of five of its partner brands to talk about each of their brand stories and why they chose the subscription model. The brands featured were probiotic drink Yakult, health and wellness retail chain store, Ogawa, and intimate health and aesthetic clinic, Clinic Rui, among others. 

SUBPLACE CEO Mak WH shared to MARKETECH APAC, “We invited our biz partners to be storytellers, to talk about why they chose to adopt the subscription model in these challenging times, and what their inspiration for doing so was. Through these short features, we also introduce the subscription business model to viewers and convey how this model differs from other business models through first-hand accounts from business owners,” said Mak.

Top 4: dentsu announces new chief growth officer for CXM

Global media and marketing network dentsu international is continuously bolstering its leadership, unveiling veteran hires from time to time; and for its customer experience management business in APAC, it has appointed digital and tech veteran, Rachel Ooi, as its chief growth officer.

Prior to joining dentsu, Ooi has worked for professional services company Accenture as managing director for Industry X.0, the firms’ digital and tech solutions for businesses; and for multinational conglomerate General Electric (GE) as general manager for the ASEAN enterprise sales, as well as leading GE’s Ecosystem Alliance for the APAC region.

For her role, she will be responsible for bolstering dentsu’s CXM regional footprint through new business and organic growth, working closely with the leads of the network’s Media and Creative divisions on integrated opportunities. 

In an exclusive conversation with Ooi, she said that the pandemic has turned the CXM landscape around, where everyone is transiting to a ‘Digital Genesis’ era. 

“In the past, database marketing is the way to go, direct marketing is the way to go. [Right now], we’re talking about leveraging not just on technology, data, but also enhanced creativity, working closely with the ecosystem,” noted Ooi. 

“Here in dentsu, even Merkle, we aim to achieve [and differentiate] by giving competitive advantage to brands and clients. We do that by having a different perspective, no longer just advertising, marketing in siloes, sales, and commerce; we look at it as a full perspective [on] how we can be a strategic partner to clients.” 

Top 3: Creative tech development company Adaptis appoints seasoned business development executive Joven Barceñas as head of growth

Joven Barceñas, former head of advertising and sponsorship sales at Lighthouse Independent Media, the publisher of Singapore-based Marketing Magazine, has been named as head of growth at Adaptis

Adaptis is a collective of digital development studios strategically located in Europe and Southeast Asia, providing experience-led technical capabilities to global clients. 

With the role, Barceñas will be responsible for growing the business of the firm through business development and marketing, as well as improving processes within the function. 

Having almost a decade of experience in media, marketing, and technology, Barceñas shared that he chose to further focus on the latter as the industry of technology keeps on evolving and that he aims to be in an environment that presents consistent innovative offerings to improve results for clients.  

“In my current role at Adaptis, I was very fortunate to have been working with very talented people in technology development, and I’m learning a lot about UX, UI, and how machine learning or AI works,” he said. 

Top 2:Kingdom Digital delivers 300 personalized digital ‘thank you’ cards for its 2020 wrap up

Social and content agency Kingdom Digital in Malaysia exercised its expertise in social media and digital creatives when it went the extra mile for its 2020 year-ender special, delivering and publishing over 300 personalized ‘thank you’ cards, to clients, media partners, and employees.  

In the form of 8-second clips, the agency curated a sincere and unique message for each receiver, all posted and published on its Facebook and Instagram Stories. 

Its Head of Strategy Edmund Lou let us in on the agency’s conceptualization process for the initiative, sharing that the team decided to push through with it, knowing how digital cards increased in popularity during limited physical contact at the middle of the pandemic. 

Lou said the team had to appoint designated writers and make use of a proprietary system, Digital Creative Automation (DCA), in order to pull off the moving banners which required 170 varied visuals and copy. 

Top 1: Colgate’s ‘Made for Greatness campaign’

The top story for this month can be considered as a dark horse in its own right–Colgate’s ‘Made for greatness’ campaign which was first released a little while back – in November 2020 – and coming through the ranks, garnering the most views for the month. 

The campaign is for its hardworking formula, Colgate Total, where it featured professional climber and Academy Award-winning documentary director, Jimmy Chin. The spot shows Chin climbing an arduous mountain, but succeeding in the end, bringing the message of strength and ‘greatness’ in tandem with the Colgate brand. 

In an exclusive conversation, Lyndon Morant, Colgate-Palmolive’s regional marketing director, shared that the theme of greatness came about in answering the question “Why did we make Colgate Total?”

“The answer is that we designed [it] for those people, for whom the highest grade [and] the highest performance in everything that they use makes [a] difference,” he said. 

Watch the live report of the top stories for the month on our YouTube channel, where we give you exclusive appearances from the newsmakers themselves.

This is in collaboration with Malaysia-based media company The Full Frontal.

Categories
Main Feature Marketing APAC

November’s Top 5: Stories that hooked you for the month

Holidays are truly around the corner and Christmas-related news has already peeped in to make its way to the top stories, where a global household production name warms hearts with its latest Christmas ad.

Another year-end special also entered the list for the month, with a rewards platform in Singapore announcing a new face for its brand on the 11.11 sale event. 

Stories from marketing tech platforms also turned heads, where two – a global and an Asia-focused firm – announced recent expansions.

Meanwhile, marketing leaders never fail to entice readers, with a feature on a digital head from a leading integrated marketing communications agency in the Philippines making it to the top 5. 

Based on Google Analytics from 16 October to 15 November, these are the top newsmakers for the month.

Top 5: Disney UK’s global Christmas ad puts Filipino family culture in the spotlight

Disney in the UK has released its latest Christmas ad titled “From our family to yours,” and to much of Filipinos’ surprise, the production studios decided to forefront the Philippines’ family culture and Christmas traditions. 

The ad is about a “lola” or grandmother who misses spending time with her granddaughter who has grown mature and has less time for the family. In the video, Lola and her granddaughter bond over making a “parol” or the colorful Christmas lantern in the Philippines. 

Disney UK said the ad is also part of its celebration of the 40th partnership anniversary with children charity foundation Make A Wish, where a portion of the sales from the digital purchase of the video’s official soundtrack “Love Is A Compass” and a limited edition vintage Mickey Mouse soft doll is donated to the foundation.

Both Filipino and international viewers loved the ad, where the video has currently garnered 2.7 million views on YouTube.

Top 4: ShopBack Singapore taps local comic veteran as first ambassador

The headquarters of rewards and discovery platform ShopBack has announced its very first brand ambassador – comedy veteran Kumar.

Kumar is an Indian Singaporean comedian, television host, and drag queen, who made his name performing in the now-defunct cabaret nightclub Boom Boom Room during the late 1990s.

The partnership between ShopBack and Kumar is set to run for a year, which already began in the 11.11 sale event of the platform, and slated to continue through the year-end and next year.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, ShopBack Singapore’s Head of Marketing Imran Mohamad shared what makes Kumar perfect for the brand. 

“We believe that Kumar has the same values as us, he’s all about love, authenticity, [and] inclusivity, and we tend to speak the same language,” he said.

He added, “Together with Kumar, we believe that sky’s the limit, that we could really reach out to Singaporeans young and old, to tell them, you are not left behind, and you can shop smarter, [save] more, [earn] more with ShopBack.” 

Top 3: Executive Director of MullenLowe Treyna’s digital arm on #MARKETECHMondays

Last October, Raffy Bariso, the executive director of Philippine integrated marketing agency MullenLowe Treyna graced the #MARKETECHMondays interview, where he shared some meaningful advice about leadership and his insights on the digital landscape in the pandemic. 

As cliche as it may sound during this time, Raffy said “the pandemic is the biggest disruptor.”

“There’s so much innovation to do, and needed during the pandemic crisis, and I can just imagine how everything sped up in terms of the velocity when the pandemic hit us. I’m already doing a lot in terms of digital marketing, [but] imagine, all of my brands pivoting double time for this season,” he shared. 

As heads of digital arm TAPS or MullenLowe Treyna’s Technology and Platform Services, Raffy spearheads services which is mainly the use of creative technology to answer clients’ marketing challenges, coming up with products that leverage the firm’s expertise in strategic narrative, content and media, PR, activations, and production.

As a leader, he believes in the power of “vision.”

“I had to set [a] vision for my team. [This] sets the tone and direction for everybody, and [from them], I have to sell that vision, [so that] I can build that trust, and they can get behind my goals,” he said.

Top 2: Global experience analytics platform Contentsquare expands to APAC

International-wide experience analytics company Contentsquare has recently announced its APAC expansion; and with new offices in Singapore, Tokyo, Melbourne, and Sydney, it has unveiled two key executives at the helm. 

Former senior head at Microsoft David Bochsler has been appointed as regional managing director for APAC, while former head of CRM Marketing for food delivery platform Deliveroo Frazer Adnam is tapped as country manager for ANZ.

Contentsquare’s platform captures every in-page interaction and micro-gesture to understand and analyze customer behavior. It provides teams a digital experience stack that supports the full cycle of digital improvement with available scores, visualizations, and recommendations. 

Sharing his insight on the state of user experience (UX), David said, “Increasingly, we are seeing a shift to brands wanting to deliver not just more sales, but a better online experience for their visitors, which in many cases is the only experience that the customer has with that brand. So UX is at the top of the priority list in 2020.” 

Meanwhile, new ANZ country manager Frazer said that what he likes about Contentsquare is its ability to locate revenue fast and at scale, and its ability to visualize data. 

“When I first saw the Contentsquare platform, I was just so excited about the technology. I was the decision-maker on the brand side that Contentsquare would have traditionally sold to. I thought, ‘this solves problems that I literally would have needed five people to solve,” he said.

Top 1: Ad-tech Adzymic enters Hong Kong, Thailand, and Japan market

The top story for the month comes from the same field of marketing tech – Asia-focused ad-tech Adzymic’s further expansion to Asia, with new markets in Hong Kong, Thailand, and Japan. 

Prior to the expansion, Adzymic has already been operating in countries Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Its flagship solution 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. 

Co-founder and executive director Ken Wong shared to MARKETECH APAC what made the company reach out to the new markets. 

“Programmatic media has become increasingly important in these three markets. Before the pandemic, we saw that many Thai and Hong Kong companies have already adapted to the digital and programmatic media platforms, [and] during this pandemic, they have diversified their digital presence even more rapidly. We saw that they already had some quick traction with the local businesses,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Ken said the company entered Japan because it has “always been an appealing market, which is one of the world’s largest advertising markets of the US and China.”

Watch the MARKETECH APAC REPORTS of these top five stories, with exclusive appearance and commentary from the newsmakers themselves.

This is in collaboration with Malaysia-based media company The Full Frontal.

Categories
Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s Top Five Stories For October

For this month of October, two of our top stories emanate from the gaming industry: a recently launched eSports platform by an all-Filipino team of developers and a recently announced team expansion in APAC of a streaming service for gamers. 

Marketing strategies were also in this month’s spotlight. With influencers continuing to share space with big-time brand endorsers in consumers’ attention, a forecast on influencer marketing trends is one of the stories that led readership. While another one – a marketing agency’s intricate review of Malaysian cinema brands’ engagement on Facebook also hooked readers the most. 

Marketing leaders also continue to inspire. The #MARKETECHMondays episode of ShopBack Philippines’ Country Head Prashant Kala, which was filled with meaningful advice on leadership and success also made it to the list.

Based on Google Analytics from September 16 to October 15, here are the top stories for the month.

Top 5: ShopBack Philippines’ Prashant Kala on #MARKETECHMondays

Every Monday, we take out an inspiring marketing leader and talk to them about the journey they’ve had prior to their current position. This month, our episode with ShopBack Philippines’ Prashan Kala got your interest the most. 

Kala is currently the country head of the said discounts and rewards platform, beginning in 2018, and before that, he was the vice president for sales of restaurant aggregator Zomato for three years in the Philippines. In the #MARKETECHMondays episode, he recollected his leadership experience and shared some very insightful advice on team management.

“You should not be a captain, you should be a coach. Don’t direct. A captain will tell what to do, but a coach will tell how to do it, and even if something goes wrong, a coach will fix it.”

Top 4: Influencer marketing trends in 2020 and beyond by INCA

In an article by influencer marketing solutions INCA, its APAC Client Development Executive Madeleine Mak shared the top ten trends that brands and marketers alike must be on the lookout for in 2020 and beyond. 

One particular trend that was forecasted is the showcase of audio-based content among influencers. It’s normal to see micro- and nano-influencers now serving the most appealing visuals, and making their way to engaging videos; but INCA says audio content, especially podcasts, might just be the next big thing. 

Further, Mak said, the potential popularity of such format comes from audio’s ability to hold listeners’ attention for extended periods, thus, allowing native ads to be easily integrated.

In an additional comment, Mak dove deeper into what might be in store for marketers: “We are seeing brands and audio platforms partnering with relevant influencers to voice audio ads and create branded podcasts. For instance, Spotify signed exclusive podcast deals with leading social media influencers like Addison Rae and Joe Rogan. The media giant also introduced the Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI) format that provides data on impressions, ad reach, and anonymized listener demographics to marketers. With data, brands can create targeted audio content that resonates with the growing number of young podcast audiences.”

Top 3: The three biggest Malaysian cinema brands on the Facebook engagement race

In a recent marketing insight endeavor, Malaysian digital marketing agency Webqlo found a convergence between two entities: Facebook and cinema brands.

With the help of its social media analytics platform Adqlo, the agency unearthed how the three biggest big-screen firms in Malaysia – Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC), TGV Cinemas, and MBO Cinemas – fare in Facebook engagement stats.

With people still carrying fears of visiting cinemas amid the virus, we reached out to Webqlo’s Head of Digital Cherrie Koay to tell us what can these firms do to their social media strategies to encourage footfall.

She spoke of 3 C’s: Community, Cleanliness, and Creativity.

“Community refers to the people who follow your brand, and also your customers. Get to know these people, talk to them, try to build a meaningful relationship with them rather than trying to sell them products, or push them promotions,” she said.

With cleanliness on the other hand, “Cleanliness is the most priority. We need to show people the efforts, and the measures to keep each other safe.”

Cherrie emphasizes that creativity, being the most “fun” part, is brands’ window to try new things and stretch their creative muscles.

“So go out there, try other things that work nowadays. Most of us are online, and with a lot of people now working from home, and staying indoors, social media has been the number one source for updates, news, and entertainment. So that’s actually a lot of things [you] can try and explore. So try to see the latest things that are trending, what your audience likes, and what they [don’t].”

Top 2: eSports platform Kalaro by Filipino-led The-Asiagroup.com Inc.

Almost making it as the topmost read story is the launch of eSports platform Kalaro, which had its roll-out in October in the Philippines, by an all Filipino team from software development firm The-Asiagroup.com Inc.

Kalaro, which means playmate in the country’s language, is an end-to-end platform that runs tournament management, one-on-one challenges, and team competitions as well as coaching, piloting, and buy-ins.

Such a well-placed time for the company’s launch with eSports becoming all the rage, but with other gaming platforms in the market, what does make Kalaro different from the others?

CEO Basilio “Jun” Lasco sheds light, “The main problem of this industry is that the applications or software, or technology available are usually quite old, and they’re not integrated, and they are mainly designed for the Western market. So that is where Kalaro will come in.”

“Kalaro is designed specifically for the Asian market. At the heart of it is a tournament management platform, wherein a team or even individuals can organize a friendly match or a nationwide tournament.”

Top 1: Amazon’s streaming service Twitch further expands APAC team

And for our top story comes news from Amazon’s streaming service Twitch. Between the period of August to October, Twitch has announced a number of key appointments, roping in industry veterans to lead its team in APAC. In August, it just named a new marketing chief, and then just very recently – two valuable leads: Sunil Yadav as Agency Development Lead, and Mandar Kambli as Programmatic Enablement Lead, both of which previously an international head at Dentsu. 

With Yadav and Kambli in the middle of settling in their roles, we wanted to know what are some of their priorities as they head on to manage twitch’s agency partnership and programmatic arrangement. 

Yadav shared that first and foremost, he wants to let brands and agencies know more about Twitch’s platform.

“Twitch has recently started building teams in the APAC region. Twitch is quite different from any other streaming or video service, delivering highly engaged connections with consumers for brands,” he said.

“Not many agencies and brands are familiar with all its possibilities at the moment. In this role, I will focus a lot more on driving education about it, as well as work towards building joint initiatives with all our key Agency partners.” 

For Twitch’s programmatic activity on other hand, Mandar said that amid the huge potential and increasing demand of programmatic in APAC, his objective is to ensure that Twitch integrates well with clients to deliver best in class results and build long term partnerships.

“Twitch is interactive, live, engaging and that’s what makes it so unique. Traditionally programmatic has been looked at as a performance channel, but that needs to be challenged. It’s the most efficient, data-driven way of buying media across the consumer funnel, including branding and awareness.”

“At Twitch we not only provide an immersive experience for brands to engage with users but also focus heavily on user experience. This elevates the brand value to a completely new level as users are a lot more receptive and engaged.”

Watch the MARKETECH APAC REPORTS of these top five stories, with exclusive appearance and commentary from the newsmakers themselves.