David Blecken
Jun 11, 2015

Brandwatch launches in Asia, appoints Christel Quek as VP

ASIA-PACIFIC – Brandwatch, a social media intelligence company based in the UK, has entered Asia-Pacific, appointing Christel Quek as its VP for Southeast Asia.

Christel Quek (photo: Sheila Menezes)
Christel Quek (photo: Sheila Menezes)

Quek, who was most recently content lead for APAC, MENA, Greater China and Russia at Twitter, is Brandwatch’s first staff member in the region and will continue to be based in Singapore.

Brandwatch provides social-media listening and analytics technology to help companies make informed decisions based on what their customers or potential customers are saying online. The company launched seven years ago in Brighton, where it is based, and also has offices in North America and Germany, with 300 employees.

A spokesperson for Brandwatch, Shahlia Nelson-Rogers, said the company had “ambitious growth plans” in Asia over the next few years and that a number of multinational clients had expressed interest in using its services in the region. She was not able to confirm which clients Brandwatch would initially serve in Asia, but its portfolio includes Sony Music, Dell, Cisco and British Airways.

Quek said her decision to join Brandwatch had been spurred by a strong interest in social intelligence and data, enthusiasm for the technology behind the platform, and the company’s prioritisation of Asia for growth. She noted that “data is the cornerstone of any good strategy” and that Brandwatch’s ability to filter online conversations in fine detail meant it could be guided in many directions to be “a great help to businesses”.

Giles Palmer, the company’s chief executive, said Quek was “an important hire for Brandwatch as she brings extensive experience and the skills and knowledge that will help us drive our expansion”.

“We’ve seen strong demand from existing and new clients and this new location will help us meet their needs and widen our global footprint," Palmer added. "It is the right time for us to make this next big step in our plans and broaden our reach for the benefit of our customers.”

Quek said her first priority would be to “get immersed in the Brandwatch culture and understand the different resources to make it a success in the region”. She said re-orienting studies that had been conducted in the US and UK for Asia would help demonstrate the importance of social data for business.

She added that she thought there was a “shortage of social media monitoring that’s actionable” in Asia, given limited ability from competitors to monitor Asian languages. Brandwatch covers a total of 27 languages. Synthesio and Salesforce are among other social intelligence providers operational in the region. In addition, brands' in-house social analytics capabilities are not as developed as in markets like the US, she noted. 

“In Asia I can count social media ‘command centres’ on two hands,” Quek said. “There are a lot of things to be done in that space. In the US, people really get the importance of it. We have to ultimately shift from just monitoring to actual intelligence.”

Quek joined Twitter in early 2014 and has also worked as regional social business lead for Samsung and global social manager for Havas Media. Campaign Asia-Pacific featured her as a ‘woman to watch’ in 2014.


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