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Main Feature Marketing APAC

Top Story: GetIT-Hotwire fusion answers to the call of integrated marketing

Just recently, Enero Group, the boutique network of marketing and communications agencies headquartered in Australia, has announced that it has acquired GetIT, the marketing agency in APAC that specialises in B2B technology. This is the newest acquisition by Enero Group where last year, the network was seen buying McDonald Butler Associates (MBA), a UK-based B2B sales agency.

The current move by the network is aimed at accelerating the growth of Hotwire in APAC, Enero’s leading global technology communications consultancy. In an exclusive interview with GetIT’s CEO Anol Bhattacharya, he shares with us how the team plans to seamlessly fulfil the integration now that the agency is moving onto a next stage of growth with new offerings and an expanded value proposition at hand. 

GetIT now a Hotwire company

When the news first broke out, we similarly spoke with Anol for a comment, and in a prosaic but spot-on answer, he said, “We liked the Hotwire/Enero leadership team.” 

Anol said that Hotwire’s decision to acquire GetIT goes beyond expanding the global footprint in Asia, but primarily to strengthen the vision of Hotwire’s leadership team to accelerate Hotwire’s reputation, relationship, and revenue services globally and provide a unique marketplace offering.

The acquisition enables Hotwire to support clients with long-term brand awareness and near-term sales result.

Anol Bhattacharya, GetIT’s CEO

Alongside GetIT, Enero Group, in fact, simultaneously accomplished its acquisition of North America-focused B2B digital marketing agency, RIO-DNA. Anol said that the two acquisitions will allow the teams to rapidly scale services to innovative technology companies in North America and APAC in order to navigate “complex reputation issues, building business-impacting stakeholder relationships, and delivering revenue growth on a larger scale.” 

The challenge that comes with expanded capabilities

In the interview, Anol bared that in beefing up its services following the buy-out, one of the challenges is attracting and putting good talent in place for these practices. Through the acquisition, GetIT is now adding reputation management, brand strategy, and public relations to its capabilities.

There will be some challenges ahead of us…as finding and attracting good talent is getting more complex everywhere in the world.

Anol Bhattacharya, GetIT’s CEO

But Anol said that all’s good in the hood as the Hotwire leadership, specifically Global CEO Heather Kernahan, and Australia MD Jamie Nelson is behind them in ramping up the hiring process “as fast as they can.”

Furthermore, Anol implied that the fusion such as that of GetIT and Hotwire’s is basically ‘written in the stars’ in the midst of an accelerated need for integrated services. 

“One of the key areas of expertise of GetIT is content, [and] content is the central and common differentiator for marketing and communication services.” 

“The rationale for integrating GetIT into Hotwire Group is easily explainable to the internal and external audience, following the narrative of integrated reputation to revenue.” 

He revealed that the process of offering this unique and integrated service offering is already underway, where the leadership team of Hotwire, Enero, ROI DNA and GetIT has kick-started the process in a face-to-face, rigorous workshop in San Francisco. 

The roadmap for cross-pollinating the unique attributes from every location of Hotwire, ROI-DNA and GetIT is mapped out, and we have a clear path ahead of us.

Anol Bhattacharya, GetIT’s CEO

When asked about what he thinks are the pain points of brands today when it comes to performance marketing, he jovially says, “Everything is performance marketing. Because the opposite of that will be non-performance marketing, and nobody wants that.”

But on a more serious note, Anol thinks the real issue of B2B organisations today is the siloed organisational structure where there are disconnected goals and KPIs for brand marketing, corporate communications, performance marketing, and sales.

He said that many companies now started the integration process to bring all marketing, communications and sales functions and even creating a new role of chief commercial officer or chief revenue officer. 

“Even if I don’t take that broad perspective, we need to realign all the silos in the marketing and comms department in one direction.” 

For Anol, if he were to classify B2B marketing and comms in two sections, it would be Brand and Reputation Marketing and Communication, and Field marketing or Revenue Pipeline Marketing. 

For the former, Anol said it must include brand strategy, awareness, reputation and brand association. With the efficiency of digital surveys and focus groups containing a large sample size, he said that both dimensions can be measured in the short term. 

While in the long term, he said “performance in profit and loss, market share, and the secondary market are irrefutable proof points of the effectiveness of brand strategy and communication.” 

Meanwhile, for field marketing, this would include lead generation, qualification, nurturing and contribution to the revenue pipeline.

“It’s mind-boggling that marketers and agencies still get away with presenting some vanity metrics instead of showing any real value for field marketing in the era of marketing automation and analytics dashboards.”

The fusion of Hotwire and GetIT

For reputation management, he says that the biggest challenge is that everyone has become a publisher, and that social media proliferation has changed the perspective of brand reputation management completely. 

Moreover, both B2B and B2C customers are now evaluating based on the sustainability and ethical values of the suppliers. On the other hand, public relations is becoming true to the taxonomy with time

Anol Bhattacharya, GetIT’s CEO

Meanwhile, the second biggest challenge, according to Anol, is to prove the ROI of brand reputation management initiative as many companies are struggling to connect the dots between their top-line growth and reputation.

Ultimately, Anol says that where the fusion of Hotwire and GetIT fits in is providing a unique, integrated platform to clients. 

“The goal of joining forces between Hotwire, GetIT and ROI-DNA is to provide a unique, integrated platform to our clients where they can not only serve as a one-stop solution for Reputation-Revenue-Relationship service.” 

In addition, at the heart of the upcoming new synergy is the aim to help clients align their aspirations and workflow beyond departmental silos.

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Main Feature Marketing APAC

Top Story: 8traordinary steers the digital wheel of Shangri-La’s rebranded loyalty programme

As travel is fast coming back to its feet, Shangri-La, the global hospitality brand, meets this rebound halfway, amplifying its loyalty programme to now be called the new Shangri-La Circle

With an incredible feat to rebrand both the creative and the marketing of the programme, the hospitality company rightly tapped its agency partners to fuse creative and intelligent hands and bring this transformation to the table. For the programme’s digital marketing and communications, digital creative agency 8traordinary was brought on board to steer the wheel. 

Watch the full interview with 8traordinary’s Jeffrey Lim.

The remit of the agency comes out as our top story for the month of July. To further learn about the behind-the-scenes and the craftiness put into the digital campaign, we conversed with Jeffrey Lim, 8traordinary’s founder and managing director

The agency’s scope included creative content planning, social media strategy, influencer marketing, and community management. 

Influencer marketing had been a huge part of the campaign and to make this happen, the agency roped in influencers around the region such as Nathan Hartono, Lennard Yeong, Erwan Heussaff, Zahra Lari, Goh Jin Wei, and more than 150 other key opinion leaders across different countries to spread the news about the launch. 

On the criteria they used in selecting which KOLs, Jeffrey shared that they try not to focus too much on the usual metrics which are an influencer’s follower count and number of likes as these are quite achievable through paid media. What they looked into instead is the individual’s ‘authenticity’ and the motivation behind why people are looking up to the personality.

One of [our] key criteria, when we worked with Shangri-La Circle, is we want to look for [a] personality or [an] individual who is authentic, and we want to look at how can they use their passion and their authenticity to influence

Jeffrey Lim, Founder, Managing Director, 8traordinary

In line with Shangri-La’s main message of ‘Live the good life’, he also shared that they looked into tapping as much as a diverse group of influencers and not limit to the popular macro influencers, as ‘living a good life’ can mean differently for each person. 

“We want to showcase to the world that whoever you are and wherever you are…there’s a specific ‘good life’ that we at Shangri-La can present to you in its own unique way,” said Jeffrey.

The full conversation with Jefferey is now live on MARKETECH APAC’s YouTube and Spotify. In the interview, Jeffrey shared more about the challenges that came with developing the campaign as well as his expert insights into how brands can stand out in a period where there is overflowing content presented to consumers.

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Main Feature Marketing Southeast Asia

Top Story: Home Credit PH’s radio program aims to boost financial literacy of the underserved

Personal finance is such an essential and crucial part of our success, and yet not everyone has access to content to help build one’s financial literacy. This is the goal of Home Credit, the consumer finance company, in the Philippines when they recently launched the ‘Payo Para sa Life’ (Advice for life) radio program. 

Together with Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC) and independent media agency PraXis, Home Credit launched an on-air radio program on local radio station DZRH that aims to share useful learnings and insights for financial literacy. 

Watch our full interview with Home Credit PH’s CMO Sheila Paul

Sheila Paul, Home Credit’s CMO in the Philippines, sat down with MARKETECH APAC to share more about its rationale and concept. 

The program airs at the very early morning timeslot of 4:00 to 5:00 am and this is because they are specifically targeting market vendors, farmers, fisherfolks, public transportation drivers, and security guards, who are already up and running at this particular hour. 

Why this group, Paul said, “At Home Credit, we really believe that we should focus on the grassroots level when it comes to financial literacy, [and] the same with financial inclusion, mostly these are [the] sectors that get neglected or [are] underserved.”

“Definitely, we want to focus on the class that is very hardworking. In fact, they [have] to get up super early in the morning to be able to do their jobs and travel somewhere, and that’s definitely when they have the time to listen to the radio,” she adds. 

At a time when newer media formats have sprung up–such as podcasts– some would say that radio is a slowly dying medium, but Paul said that it is about finding the right channel for their target audience. 

“Through our media studies, we still see that radio listenership is quite high, especially in the remote areas. And although digital platforms, as well as internet penetration, have expanded over the last few years, still, only 50% of Filipinos are able to access the internet daily, so their main source of news and information, as well as entertainment, is still the radio, especially in the said sector,” said Paul. 

Watch and listen to the full interview with Paul, which is now streaming on Spotify and YouTube.  

In the conversation, Paul further imparts her insights on the current financial industry, specifically the growth of BNPL services, and shares the broader state of the financial literacy of Filipinos and the role that consumer financial services like Home Credit play in their financial success. 

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Marketing Featured South Asia

The Indian Express’ latest campaign embarks on restoring fairness in journalism

India – The Indian Express together with Isobar, the creative experience agency from dentsu India has launched ‘News Beyond Views’ campaign, a modern-day solution for stories that get covered but remain undiscovered. 

According to the Indian Express, readers are unaware that they consume propaganda, gossip, and spicy scoops despite the fact that one-sixth of their day is spent browsing news. While 86% of readers clicked on a top stories, the same audience completely skipped other comparable stories in the same category. In keeping with their commitment to unbiased reporting, this national newspaper is now ensuring that no relevant story is left unread.

Through the partnership, The Indian Express and Isobar India, have developed a unique experience of discovering news that may have previously slipped through the cracks and past your view. Using a simple HTML innovation at the backend, the media house has embarked on restoring fairness in the journalism they believe in. So, on highlighting any top story, the user gets to read another story that would have otherwise lurked in the shadows.

Heeru Dingra, CEO, Isobar India group, said the fundamental objective of journalism is to serve the people with news, opinions, comments, and information on subjects that matter in a fair, accurate and unbiased manner. Any media house cannot afford to lose sight of this obligation. 

“This initiative by The Indian Express and Isobar India not only showcases their integrity towards the reader but will also inspire other news publications to follow suit,” Dingra said.

Aalap Desai, CCO, Isobar India and Taproot Dentsu, commented, “We believe that journalism is meant to be fair and honest, however, we don’t see this happening quite often. The responsibility then lies on our shoulders to make sure that every story covered reaches every reader. 

“Our commitment to that kind of responsibility drove us to develop News Beyond Views. The germ and the beauty of the idea is that it is simple and a modern way of doing our job as a news corporation. When journalism of courage meets the simplicity of innovation, no news will miss the spotlight,” Desai added.

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Main Feature Marketing Southeast Asia

Top Story: How airasia ride looks to disrupt e-hailing as it marks regional expansion

As airasia ride, AirAsia’s e-hailing service, approaches its first anniversary, it recently revealed news everyone’s been waiting for – its expansion outside its headquarters in Malaysia.

Finally, airasia ride is soon to be available in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand, and the launch is nothing short of pivotal as it meant shaking the competition that continues to be led by pioneers Grab and Gojek in the said markets.

As our Top Story for May, we sat down with Chiew Shan Lim, the regional CEO of airasia ride, who shared with us their vision and plans as the company expands the e-hailing to the region. 

Lim shared they’re not belligerent with the competition, but are eyeing to disrupt the market by filling in the gaps that current players are missing. 

In the conversation, Lim spoke of a common occurrence in ride-hailing today that he believes only puts us back to square one when we used to deal with traditional taxis. 

Usually, during peak hours, prices surge due to the scarcity of drivers, and Lim said this is a disservice to consumers. 

Why does the customer have to be penalised and have to pay more when you don’t have enough drivers. So we do not believe in that

Chiew Shan Lim, Regional CEO, airasia ride

“A driver should be compensated for the extra hour in a jam or the extra distance they need to travel for extra patrol and their time. But you can not [also] simply multiply the price just [because] there aren’t enough drivers [for customers],” Lim added. 

airasia ride is also turning the ecosystem on its head by decentralising the focus on consumers, and equally strengthening the commitment of the platform to drivers as well.

It recently launched the LadiesONLY ride which gives female passengers the option to ride with lady drivers–and vice versa. Lim said that, for drivers, the aim is to reduce the entry barrier for ladies to become a driver on the platform, where female would-be drivers continue to have reservations due to safety reasons. 

Watch the full interview with Chiew Shan Lim who shared with us the e-hailing’s disruptive goals through trailblazing plans for drivers as well as their foresight into each of the markets. Hear him also share his insight as airasia ride finally ends the monopoly of Grab in the Philippines.