Now more than ever, there is no excuse for marketing teams to not understand, or be able to react quickly, to adding customer value and driving commercial revenue. Not only are there more metrics than ever to work with (possibly part of the problem, rather than being the solution), but technology that’s rapid and inexpensive now exists. 

At a time of increasing pressure on marketing budgets, every marketing director, CMO, or functional marketing leader should be putting customer insights and measurement at the top of their ‘we need a plan for this’ list for 2023.

But of course, this is easier said than done. With data and measurement being a cross-functional effort with analytics, insights, marketing research and technology teammates – how can marketing lead the way in being more agile and achieving more success?

In my experience as a CMO for a global organization with 90 marketers responsible for 100+ markets – our ‘unlock’ was agile marketing. Whilst not a new concept, McKinsey defines agile, in the marketing context, as “using data and analytics to continuously source promising opportunities or solutions to problems in real time, deploying tests quickly, evaluating the results, and rapidly iterating. At scale, a high-functioning agile marketing organization can run hundreds of campaigns simultaneously and multiple new ideas every week.”

I like to define it simply as a mindset of experimentation and team collaboration – with your customer deciding if your hypothesis is right.

While you can go ‘all out’ and adopt traditional ‘Agile’ processes like scrum masters and rigid sprint planning, in my experience, it is better to ‘steal with pride’ the parts of ‘agile’ that address your core problems which cause to reduce your effectiveness, vs simply adopting a process for the sake of it. Is your key issue speed to market? Is it putting the ‘customer voice’ into your decisions? Is it fear of getting things wrong? Digging into the heart of this will help determine which parts of agile are going to be most useful for your team.

Once you’ve decided how agile you might go, there are three pillars to agile marketing I recommend you put a plan in place for.

  1. People
    People, and a growth mindset, are a critical part of ‘working with agility’. And it’s not just the marketing department that needs to have a solutions-focused, collaborative, and curious approach to make things work – but they should take the lead. Engage your full marketing team first to get them excited and committed to getting the ball rolling before reaching out to your wider network of teammates.
  2. Process
    Agile doesn’t mean doing lots of stuff really fast, and hoping it works. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Agile process has many deliberate ways of ensuring only the most important and useful things are done. And the things that aren’t are deprioritised or stopped. Whether that is daily stand-ups to ensure the team is working on the same thing and having the same latest information, retros to improve the next time, or tools and systems to track tasks and workflow – they are all there to ensure less of your time is on the ‘how’ and instead can be put into the ‘what’ (that’s the fun marketing stuff!). 

    My main tip here is to find your ‘process champions’. I’ve found there are a surprising number of them in marketing and having them lead and coach others through change is a great way to ensure full team alignment and support.

  3. Customer
    Getting your internal system humming is a great start. But to be truly agile, you need customer data, insights, and feedback to inform your strategy and implementation. With an agile approach, you need that input to be rapid and regular. There are a few ways that brands can do this effectively, each with its own pros and cons.
    • Your own customer panel or ‘green room’: your own panel is great for getting deep expertise from a group of ‘super-users’, and it can also drive engagement and loyalty. However, if you’ve had a customer panel before, you’ll know they are quite a bit of work (and cost) to maintain, and they may also not be representative of your entire customer base.
    • Focus groups: running focus groups is great for in-depth and qualitative feedback. They allow for exploration of topics and can generate new ideas. The downside is that they are typically slow to organise (and expensive) and again the group of 6-8 people may not represent your target market well enough.
    • A/B tools: tools like Optimizely or testing tools within Meta and TikTok’s Ads Manager platforms are great for getting live, quantitative results. They do, however, assume a level of existing knowledge or experience with the elements being tested to know they appeal to and motivate your customer to take action. What does this mean? Unfortunately, ‘garbage in, garbage out’, is a key risk here. If your creative or message is not appealing in its individual elements, no matter of creative arrangement is going to fix that.
    • Testing and insights platforms: specific online platforms are now available to provide rapid customer feedback on your messaging and campaign ideas. These tools often run as short surveys or user tests via access to a large pool of participants to help businesses make data-driven decisions. The downside is that many use databases or panels of respondents which can make it harder to reach hyper-localised areas and audiences based on behaviours and interests (rather than demographics alone). 

Some audiences are also simply slow and expensive to reach. One platform that has overcome this is Stickybeak, which uses social media-powered targeting and recruitment to gain rapid feedback (effectively tapping into 4 billion people globally). Starting from a few hundred dollars per survey or test, the platform is changing the game for how many APAC marketers get insights early and frequently into new product and campaign development, specifically testing messaging and creative concepts. 

My recommendation for running a truly agile marketing approach is to adopt an online testing and insights platform across your wider team to have regular, directional feedback from your target customers to inform execution. Without this, speed to market will be very difficult to achieve as too often debate, meetings and differing opinions stall delivery. Or worse, the wrong messages and creative have thousands of dollars invested into them and achieve poor results.

In summary, implementing an agile approach (vs ‘Agile’) is critical to improving marketing effectiveness. I encourage you to make a start by going on a discovery journey and reading articles and testing different tools to find out how you can implement improvements of your own.

This article is written by Anna Henwood, CEO of Stickybeak.

Singapore – Ever since Google unveiled its plans of having third-party cookies deprecated in the Chrome browser in 2021, the digital advertising world has been subject to a frenzy. Two years after – and a number of delays later – the industry is a bit more relaxed owing to an ongoing conversation on the possible workarounds for such a dilemma. 

As we enter 2023 and are presented with a fresh opportunity to answer to emerging opportunities and challenges in the marketing arena, bringing ourselves up to speed on the developments in the cookieless strategy is of utmost importance. 

Last February 28 and March 1, 2023, MARKETECH APAC, the digital media for the marketing and tech industry in APAC, pooled together industry leaders and marketing professionals from top brands in the region to mount its first-ever 2-day hybrid conference, What’s NEXT 2023: Marketing in Asia Pacific. On Day 2 of the said event, which was held virtually, it touched base on navigating the cookieless world with first-party data strategy. 

With Toni Juhani Ruotanen, panda ads’ director for advertising & partnerships in foodpanda APAC, at the forefront of the conversation, the leader brought us back to the pivotal events that led us to today’s impending loss of the use of third-party cookies, alongside the possible strategies that were put forth, and ultimately — how retail media is showing itself as a viable response to stricter privacy in the digital world. 

First of all, Ruotanen reminds us that the cookieless state of affairs is, in fact, not entirely new for us. Apple’s Safari and Firefox have been there and done that – even way back in 2019. But why still the scare? Aside from the fact that Google Chrome is the top and most widely-used browser, the tech giant joining the crew undeniably augments the limitations of advertisers in targeting its consumers in the digital arena.

Watch the full presentation of panda ads’ Toni Ruotanen here.

Ruotanen walks us through the present lay of the land where third-party cookies, whilst partial to privacy concerns, have been immensely helpful to serve highly relevant and personalised ads to consumers. Cross-site tracking, retargeting, and ad-serving are some of the capabilities that third-party cookies have made possible. So how then can brands recuperate once these faculties are foregone?

The marketing leader similarly goes over the top defensive strategies that have been a consensus for the industry for quite some time — Universal IDs, Contextual Advertising, and First-Party Data Strategy

The first one allows companies to identify users across different websites and devices and can be created with first-party data, thus, offering targeting whilst respecting privacy. Contextual advertising, meanwhile, is the approach that targets potential customers by relying on context, such as that of a webpage, location, or weather. And of course, needless to say, the first-party data strategy, which is looked to as the ideal of them all. The said approach banks on consent-based advertising by obtaining users’ informed consent before collecting their data. 

Then there comes the burgeoning strength of Retail Media. 

“We know that retail media has been growing aggressively since 2022 and it’s expected to grow further in 2023,” said Ruotanen. 

By entering direct relationships with large publishers and retail media networks such as foodpanda and top e-commerce platforms Lazada and Shopee, brands are able to hop on an opportunity to leverage consent-driven marketing. 

For one, when a consumer lands on a retail platform, the intent to be there at the certain moment, with their data being shared with the website, can signal that there’s consent from the visitor. Aside from this, which could probably be considered as the most advantageous factor of working with such a platform, is that a brand’s ads already have higher chances of driving conversion as consumers that pay them a visit are already pre-conditioned to purchase something.

Higher purchase intent and clear signals of intent, direct response and branding opportunities, and seamless consumer experience are just some of the advantages of drawing consumers already in ‘shopping’ mode. 

How, then, can brands maximise opportunities within a retail media network? Ruotanen offers a three-step strategy. 

First, you must find the right platforms for your brand. According to Ruotanen, you ought to vet the fitness of a platform by asking who the audience of such and the behaviours their consumers are exhibiting. Next, it is also important to assess what type of consumer insights you stand to gain and if you’re able to drive traffic away from the platform. 

Second, you must evaluate whether a certain platform is able to afford you an opportunity to build a full-funnel campaign and allow for a holistic brand synergy. Essential questions to ask are, what stage of the funnel are you trying to address? and what brand assets are available? These then will give you a clearer picture of whether to go for placement with a certain platform. 

And lastly, to discern a platform’s alignment with your brand, you must size it up against whether you’re able to leverage audience-targeting initiatives within it. You must find how diverse the cohort of consumers you are able to attract and determine whether you can maximise your ad placements in such a destination to its full targeting power.

In a digital world that is seeing unprecedented fluidity, it pays to be overprepared for the oncoming drastic shifts that threaten to widen the distance between brands and consumers. With the phase-out of third-party cookies, it would be much more challenging for brands to reach their consumers – but by opening their eyes to the innovation around them – it’s not an impossibility to overcome and even thrive amidst the uncertainty.

“Marketers still have a lot of work to do this year to be able to become ready and prepared for the new cookieless world for marketing in 2024. The question is, [is] your organisation ready for this change?” prompts Ruotanen. 

He concluded, “If you look at the bright side, the coin has always two sides. The death of third-party cookies can also be an opportunity for advertising innovation. Today, there are alternatives for marketers to look at, adopt, and consider.” 

What’s NEXT 2023: Marketing in Asia Pacific is the inaugural 2-day hybrid industry conference of MARKETECH APAC which was launched last February 28 and March 1 as a culminating event under the multi-platform series, What’s NEXT 2023. 

The conference, which saw an attendance of more than 200 in-person participants and more than 100 virtual attendees, set the stage for future-oriented conversations on different marketing disciplines such as brand engagement, growth marketing, influencer marketing, marketing and technology, digital advertising, and CMO decision-making, amongst many others. 

Aside from Ruotanen, marketing leaders that graced the hybrid conference include those from Boost, Carsome, Colgate-Palmolive, Globe Telecom, Home Credit Philippines, Kaspersky, ShopBack, and many more. 

panda ads is a proud Gold Sponsor of What’s NEXT 2023: Marketing in Asia Pacific. panda ads is foodpanda’s integrated advertising solution that helps brands connect with foodpanda’s audiences and unlock growth through in-app advertising, digital marketing channels, and partnership programmes.

In the past year, growth through acquisition has become more expensive as Cost per acquisition (CPA) increased across most channels, attribution became opaque, and cookies became less reliable. Furthermore, in the past 6 months, the financial outlook has drastically changed, and with an increase in the cost of capital, it has become less prudent for companies with limited runway to spend large sums on acquisition. 

Additionally, as Cost of goods sold is increasing and customers are not ready to absorb additional price increases due to the higher overall inflation, there is additional pressure for lean operations and reduced spending. Acquisition investment as high as 10% of total revenue has now become a challenge to maintain due to lower overall revenue and even smaller margins; hence, the focus of e-commerce operators and investors has shifted from the growth rate to operational efficiency, bringing about a big change in direction from the last few years. 

Focusing on retention and keeping your existing base engaged

Over the last 3 years, e-commerce saw an outpaced growth rate during COVID that is now becoming more stable. The question we are all trying to answer is whether it pulled the growth forward by a few years or actually changed customer behaviour. I would argue, like most things, it’s probably a bit of both, but companies who assumed that the growth rate will be maintained will face a challenge as they may have over-leveraged for growth that is now going to take a few more years to materialise. 

Most companies have to make a hard choice, whether to raise prices to maintain profitability or reduce margins to keep their base growing! I think the third less obvious option is to focus on retention and increase the profit per customer. By focusing on creating a relational e-commerce experience that delivers value to what customers deem as necessity and accepting that customers will cut their overall spending, companies can ensure that they don’t lose their existing customers and can, therefore, increase overall revenue by increasing the Share of Wallet (SOW) of existing customers. 

Brands in e-commerce that look to unlock this path will likely invest in owned channels that would keep their existing base engaged, developing automated programs to lead customers through the lifecycle from onboarding and growth to rescue to advocacy. Meanwhile, many companies use their CRM strategy as the only part of the business to engage existing customers, however, most CRM systems are not able to go beyond the basic e-commerce tools of engagement such as abandon browse and repurchase and reactivation type campaigns, unless paired with a comprehensive source of customer data. 

Leveraging data to boost brands’ customer experience

To create effective engagement, brands in e-commerce must bring together all the sources of data to create a contextual understanding of their customer’s needs and habits. Brands are able to collect zero-party data as customers engage with the site and triangulate their profile info, purchase habits, on-site browsing behaviour as well as the customer segment definitions to create a comprehensive view of their current customers and predict potential behaviours of future customers.

Brands can also use this data to identify which portion of the customer SOW is necessary and will likely continue and, on the other hand, which the customers will decide to curb spending on. This will allow them to optimise inventory, pricing, and promotions decisions for a financial downturn. For instance, one company may use points and special offers to discount categories that customers may be hesitant to spend, and on the other hand, drive orders of the essential categories to maintain profitable operations. 

Additionally, without a doubt, the best way to improve the retention of existing customers is to provide an excellent customer experience. The next few years will set a new standard for what customers expect from e-commerce platforms in terms of customer service, delivery speed and refund/return policies. To protect their market share, said platforms will compete to stay ahead of the customer’s expectations and their competitor’s capabilities. 

Hitting the home run in relational e-commerce experience

Brand recognition will also play a big part as advertising budgets shrink. The best brands will focus on customer experience and brand values rather than splashy advertising. This approach helps them to stay top of mind, bringing existing customers back to the site and focusing the smaller acquisition budget on truly new customers who are highly aligned to the near-future growth strategy of the company, and likely in categories that are less recession-affected. 

Finally, to fully leverage site traffic, e-commerce players must focus on increasing the conversion rate by reducing friction in the buying journey and focusing on increasing the basket size of customers. 

It is worth noting pricing competitiveness is still quite important as we go through a financial downturn but has historically been a smaller contributor to longevity over the brand and customer experience. Many successful brands in e-commerce will use loss leaders to harness demand and drive retention and lifetime value. 

The most successful brands provide exceptional relational e-commerce experience rather than a transactional one by knowing their existing customers better and aligning their strategy to where the customer expectations are going. 

In 2023, brands ought to focus their strategy to balance Customer lifetime value and Cost per acquisition to ensure sustainable growth without the need for constant injection of acquisitions cost. To navigate this complex plan, they must bring together teams from multiple disciplines to allow coordination of data modelling, customer engagement, and customer experience to best engage and grow the SOW of existing customers. 

This article is written by Negar Mokhtarnia, Director of Product at Pet Circle.

The insight is published as part of MARKETECH APAC’s thought leadership series under What’s NEXT 2023What’s NEXT 2023 is a multi-platform industry initiative which features marketing and industry leaders in APAC sharing their marketing insights and predictions for the upcoming year.

If you are a marketing leader and have insights that you’d like to share on upcoming trends and practices in marketing, please reach out to [email protected] for an opportunity to be part of the series. 

“Sell me this pen.”

When I first came across this line in ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’, it resonated with me so much for one simple reason – the salespeople in the movie that were tasked with selling the pen were all making the same exact mistake of highlighting the product specifications and benefits. 

“This pen looks beautiful.”

“This pen has an excellent grip.”

“This pen can last you for 3 years.”

That was exactly what I was facing with my sales team at that time. Sitting in those meetings, it was evident that the customers were not keen on taking our products simply because they were carrying other brands that already had the same quality as ours. Then I realised that the marketing materials accompanying the intended sale were no better – it was still all about promoting the quality, the specifications, and nothing else. Ironically, both sales and marketing were aligned and singing the same tune – but we were not just touching the customers at the right places.

Unfortunately, that same scenario in a movie that is almost 10 years old still applies to B2B marketing today – companies still shout on the rooftops how good they are but never truly showing customers that they understand them and their needs. 

Nobody cares about your products and services except you

At present, the sales and marketing dynamics have changed, but it is evident that some B2B marketers are still hanging on to the idea that they should continuously talk about how ‘good’ their products and services are.

The simple insight to this situation – no, you don’t have to.

The truth is – nobody cares about your products and services except you. 

There is a reason why your competitors are called “competitors”. Simply, they offer the same products and services as you and they target the same customer pool as you. This means that whatever you can do, they can do the same equally or even better. Thus, what is the point of telling your customers that you have good products and services?

With the market being so competitive nowadays, you need to ask – what truly differentiates you from your competitors when both offer the same quality and price?

Understanding your ‘B2B’ customers

The biggest misconception about B2B marketing is that we are only marketing to businesses. Well, technically, that is not wrong; however, let me offer you another point of view with this question: who makes the decisions for the businesses? 

That is correct – the key decision-makers of these very companies are still humans. These ‘humans’ you are trying to market to will be the ones to decide whether your products and services ‘make the cut’, and they will do that through a litmus test of these three questions:

Are you able to: 

  1. Take away their pain;
  2. Improve profits;
  3. Achieve their business objectives. 

Once you realise this is the case, you are en route to success!

Winning the hearts and minds

Because we are still marketing to people, we need to target two important areas – their hearts and their minds.

This refers to the roles that both emotion and information play in connecting with your customers. They think with their hearts when they resonate with your products and services and they think with their brains when they know they are achieving their business objectives with them. 

For example, in the decision-making process of a B2B customer, it is clear that while he/she does consider rational reasoning like price and quality, emotional factors do indeed play an equally important role.

You are here to provide a solution, not a product or a service

Your customers know what their problems are and want to find someone they know they can trust. As such, it’s vital that you spend time with your existing customers to find some common answers – and then craft the best marketing communications from there: 

  • What is your biggest challenge?
  • Why is it important that you have this solution now?
  • How difficult is it to have been trying to solve this challenge?
  • What are you looking for to make this challenge go away?

When you’re able to deep dive into the intent, you’re able to speak their language and, thus, resonate with them. They will be able to see you as one of their own: a trusted partner who is here to provide, not a product or service, but a solution. 

The winning ways

Famous business speaker Simon Sinek has created an excellent framework known as ‘The Golden Circle’ which comprises 3 pillars – the ‘what’, the ‘how’, and the ‘why’. 

Traditionally, B2B marketing follows the same exact order just given. Take, for example, a company that sells services to a building owner: 

  1. What – We have security, cleaning, and a wide range of services to look after your building;
  2. How – With a workforce of 1,000 strong, we will be able to help you look after your building;
  3. Why – Choose us because we look after over 50 companies and we have 20 years of experience.

But if we start using the framework where the ‘why’ ultimately drives your proposition and messaging as well as in showing your customers that your products and services are ‘solutions’, it now becomes this:

  1. Why – It takes a lot of effort and time to look after your building. We understand you need to free up resources and time to focus on the more important aspects of your business. With over 20 years of experience helping over 50 building owners maintain their priorities and focus, we are here to help;
  2. How – We first start with understanding your key objectives and priorities. Then we personalise a solution meant to help you achieve it and share insights with you on how to overcome these challenges. Lastly, our 1,000-strong workforce is one of the largest in the country and that helps us dedicate the appropriate amount of personnel to work with you.
  3. What – We have a wide range of security, cleaning, and other solutions for you to pick from and customise according to your needs. You will also expect a host of benefits such as minimising costs by up to 20%, optimising workflow efficiency by up to 15%, etc.

In this way, your customer now has an idea of how you can help them solve their pain points.


For a B2B customer, the buying journey can have a longer gestation period, therefore it makes even more sense as the B2B marketer to take the time to understand your customers, understand their pain, and give them solutions that help solve their problems. 

Uncover your ‘why’s’ and you will find the purpose in your marketing – that you are not here to simply market your products and services; you are here to be a partner to your customers and support their journey towards achieving their business objectives.

This article is written by Donovan Chee, Head of Marketing & Communications at BUREAU VERITAS for SEA.

The insight is published as part of MARKETECH APAC’s thought leadership series under What’s NEXT 2023What’s NEXT 2023 is a multi-platform industry initiative which features marketing and industry leaders in APAC sharing their marketing insights and predictions for the upcoming year.

If you are a marketing leader and have insights that you’d like to share on upcoming trends and practices in marketing, please reach out to [email protected] for an opportunity to be part of the series. 

Singapore – In the recently concluded webinar, What’s NEXT 2023: Events in Asia Pacific, marketing leaders from different industries came together in a panel discussion to touch base on event marketing as we move forward from pandemic-induced social restrictions. This was joined by Amit Wadhwa, CEO of Dentsu Creative India; Milca Javier, head of marketing of Generali Philippines; and Razlan Manjaji, director of global events at South China Morning Post. 

Moderated by Sophie Ahmed, the SVP for market strategy at Hubilo, the panel discussion saw the industry leaders agreeing that while the innovation of digital made it possible for brands to continually serve events in the virtual form amidst the pandemic, nothing can replace the engagement brought by in-person events.

“Events were means of physically interacting with the target audience, actually making the brand [be experienced] As senior vice president of marketing, physically. And I think Covid has taught us that nothing can replace that,” said Wadhwa.

“What’s interesting in the times that we’re living in, events…of course it is about physically interacting with the brand, physically interacting with the philosophy of the brand, [and] physically living the brand, but I think, more importantly, the events actually lived much beyond the physical event, the event now can actually [move] to digital,” he added. 

When virtual became the lifeline for events, everyone thought it would now be an either/or situation between virtual and physical. But the sophistication brought by the former just proved that in-person events have just gotten better through it. 

“We all keep talking about how digital is booming, and how that is the new medium to be, but it’s not just creating content for digital,” said Wadhwa. “You can actually do something on-ground and then amplify it digitally.” 

What events are making possible for brands 

Despite the momentum of brand events held back for a period, the ‘show’ must go on for them as it serves many purposes on their engagement, brand message, and consumer retention. 

For Manjaji at SCMP, it is through events that they are able to bring together their most loyal readers and subscribers. 

“[Events are] a platform for us to engage our most loyal readers and most active readers…for you to be participating in an in-person event, those people are really invested in the story and journalism that you tell,” he said.

When consumers, or readers in SCMP’s case, are brought together in one shared space, it follows that the brand is able to engage and get to know its audiences better. 

“If you want to think about First-party data, for example; through events, you’ll get to know readers much, much more. Which event [did] they go [to]…who did they talk to – those data [are] actually gold mine for us, and we start to realise the power of events, virtual and in-person, to collect these data. So for us, we use events for that [purpose],” said Manajaji. 

In terms of events becoming a way to acquire relevant consumer data, Wadhwa agrees. 

“We are getting more and more richer [with] our insights with each event because of the data we’re getting, because of the understanding that we’re getting, which wasn’t the case earlier,” said Wadhwa. 

Meanwhile, for Javier that helms the marketing of insurance brand Generali, what events enable is the communication of the brand’s story and it becoming a platform to help consumers understand the brand purpose beyond the surface level. 

“Insurance, per se, is seen as very serious or very stiff, but events enable us, [provide] us an opportunity to tell our story, or to tell our purpose,” said Javier. 

During the pandemic, that ‘story’ changed for Generali Philippines – moving from the strong focus on the value proposition of ‘prevention’ to now strengthening the communication on ‘protection’, and Javier shared that events are what made it possible for them to transcend their initial branding. 

“Through our events, we are able to transcend that purpose, to transcend that story, and with that, this creates opportunities for us to create the leads,” said Javier. 

How to create events that stand out 

Now that we’re seeing in-person events getting back on its feet, the more important question is, how can brands make their events stand out and resonate well with the audience? 

For Manjaji, the foundation is important and that means continuing to treat content as king.

“[Connecting] the right dots is still fundamental; if you fail to do that, your event will be crap, [doesn’t] matter if you did it in a five-star hotel,” he said. 

Wadhwa, meanwhile, said that most of all, the event must sit right on what the essence of the brand is. 

Citing an example, he shared, “If I think music is entertaining, but music is not something that’s a pillar of my brand or is not connecting to my audience, I don’t just pick up music because it’s just getting popular.” 

“I think it needs to fit the brand philosophy; it might sound fundamental, but [a lot of] times, brands lose track of it. I think we need to bring that back,” he added.

In terms of dealing with specific challenges in event marketing such as a limited budget, Javier also shared her insights. 

For her, it’s all about prioritisation. 

“You know what is far more important [to] you when you create [a certain] event,” she said. 

Using ‘weddings’ as a microcosm for the larger event marketing organisation, she said you would need to think about which comes more important than others, whether that’s having grade A photography or whatnot. She shared that for Generali Philippines for example, they focus on the content they aim to give to the audience, which would mean the lion’s share of the budget goes to acquiring credible speakers.

Lastly, on the importance of curating attention-snaring and impactful events, Wadhwa shares that the event simply has to ‘feel real’ for the intended audience – events becoming a two-way communication. 

“[You] can absolutely make it exciting, [if] it’s through a celebrity, or through [a] performance…but [unless] I see myself in it, and I see myself completely engrossed in it, and I start living the brand, it almost becomes a two-way communication,” he said.

“And the moment it becomes a two-way communication, I think we’ve hit the bull’s eye,” Wahwa added. 

The webinar, What’s NEXT 2023: Events in Asia Pacific, also conducted a fireside chat with Ahmed, who discussed about the 365 community strategy in events. The conversation talked about how the strategy can be monetised and used for further personalisation of brands. 

Register HERE to get your on-demand access. 

If you know your customers so well, then why do you keep treating them like strangers? It’s a conundrum APAC marketers, brands, and retailers face every day – and a challenge they are desperate to solve. Let us deep dive into the economics of ‘messy data’, and how to unlock the value of personalised marketing efforts through the art of identity resolution.

In its simplest form, fragmented customer data is muddling marketing efforts to get a clear view of who customers actually are. Common critical marketing mistakes are sending customers promotional emails for products they already own, blasting them with ads for clothing they don’t like, or placing them on hold for 45 minutes as a customer service representative tracks down their details when they want to return something. 

And the impact to the bottom line is a lot higher than you may think – to the tune of AU$16 billion, in some cases. Meanwhile, according to the global Zendesk Customer Experience (CX) Trends Report 2022, nearly 70% of APAC consumers feel as though customer service is an afterthought for businesses. On top of this, 94% say they are willing to spend more with companies who personalise the customer service experience, and 71% reveal they would switch to a competitor after one bad customer service experience. 

Unlocking the value of your data with identity resolution

ID resolution is the process of connecting and matching different data points across multiple devices and channels to form a unified view of a single customer, allowing brands to connect the dots between fragmented data to form a complete picture of an actual person.

The goal of ID resolution is to identify the same individual within and across all data sources that contain customer information. Simple enough. But why, then, is it such a tough nut for brands to crack? Because a truly complete and up-to-date view of the customer must combine an individual’s transactions from multiple sources — point-of-sale, e-commerce, email interactions, loyalty data, mobile app engagement and more. It also has to include historical data as well as new data that are produced every day when customers interact with a brand. The scale and scattered nature of it all has kept effective ID resolution out of reach for most brands.

Consider this incredibly common scenario: your brand just received a new online buyer called Victoria. You send her your welcome series. At the same time, another in-store customer called Vicky hasn’t purchased from you in four months, so you send her discounts persuading her to shop with you again. Here’s the kicker — Victoria and Vicky are the same person.

Creating a new era of customer success

The benefits of getting ID resolution right are the cornerstone to any organisation’s success. With an accurate customer data foundation, all departments across the company have the same access to customer information in real time. This access ensures the customer will have a seamless journey at every touchpoint, whether that’s in-store, online or with customer service. 

Even more, quality ID resolution prepares organisations for a cookie-less future by building a hearty, privacy-compliant, first-party data set, providing a buffer against increasingly strict privacy policies that limit the use of third-party data. With deeper customer relationships, brands can speak to their customers on the individual level, boosting customer loyalty and increasing lifetime value. 

ID resolution improves marketing performance and ROI too. Smart segmentation allows brands to create highly targeted campaigns for specific customer segments, cutting down on redundancies. This gives brands the ability to react in real-time and effectively allocate budgets, cutting down on expenses. 

First-class ID resolution software should be powered by machine learning (ML). With ML, match rates and accuracy improve over time even when unique identifiers are incomplete, inconsistent or unavailable. At the same time, ML-based ID resolution uses probabilistic data linking, allowing human-like logic to catch inconsistencies that more rigid matching schemas couldn’t process. 

It’s also key for your ID resolution software to be transparent, providing a clear idea of the process. This builds trust and confidence versus ‘black-box’ processes that don’t show how an answer came about. ID resolution software should also provide a stable customer ID and allow for enterprise scalability – handling and resolving massive amounts of customer identities quickly and cost-effectively, regardless of the size of customer data volume.

Even more, the best solutions are flexible, allowing for simple updates and management and not ‘one size fits all’ to ensure they meet your unique business needs. Above all, expertise should be at its core, providing you with an implementation and support team with deep experience and know-how.

The right ID resolution platform enables brands and organisations to take control of their customer data, systematically improve customer relationships, foster brand loyalty and win.

3 reasons true ID resolution is solid gold for your brand:

A great ID resolution strategy takes ‘dirty data’ and turns it into value — forget about ‘garbage in, garbage out’. With true ID resolution, it’s ‘garbage in, gold out’. 

  1. Most marketing activation channels charge by volume, so having bad ID resolution wastes money in the form of duplicate marketing.
  1. Exceedingly simple ID resolution makes it impossible to accurately understand who the most valuable customers are, leading to bad customer experiences, incorrect analytics and inaccurate personalisation.
  1. The marketing technology landscape is cluttered with SaaS offerings that overly specialise in a subsection of data. Adopt a strategy that can handle all your data, otherwise, it will just reinforce silos and not truly solve the problem.

Find out more by downloading Amperity’s Identity Resolution: Connecting the Dots and Understanding Your Customer guide here.


This article is written by Billy Loizou, area vice president of Amperity.

The insight is published as part of MARKETECH APAC’s thought leadership series under What’s NEXT 2023. What’s NEXT 2023 is a multi-platform industry initiative which features marketing and industry leaders in APAC sharing their marketing insights and predictions for the upcoming year.

If you are a marketing leader and have insights that you’d like to share on upcoming trends and practices in marketing, please reach out to [email protected] for an opportunity to be part of the series.