Faaez Samadi
Mar 30, 2017

CRM, media strongest growth drivers in APAC: DigitasLBi

The agency’s regional CEO says clarity over Publicis’ positioning since the restructure has also started paying dividends.

Annette Male
Annette Male

Customer engagement and media are the two areas seeing the biggest traction right now at DigitasLBi, according to its APAC regional CEO Annette Male.

Speaking to Campaign Asia-Pacific, Male, who took over the CEO role from Roy Capon in June last year, said the agency’s digital core has helped it make significant strides into CRM and performance media.

“In APAC, media has become one of our biggest growth services,” she said. “Last year, we saw about 20 percent growth just on the media side.

“Our biggest traction at the moment is customer engagement and CRM, together with our data offering, as brands are trying to build one-to-one relationships with their consumers and driving more value for them.”

Male said the ability to produce creative media work that is underpinned by robust data is top of mind for budget-conscious brands in 2017.

“Clients are very focused on budgets, and demonstrating value and ROI,” she said. “They are having to go to their boards and stakeholders to demonstrate where the marketing budget is being spent, and if you can do it through work that delivers on performance media or CRM or personalisation, it makes it a lot easier.”

Male said a contributing factor to DigitasLBi’s APAC growth has been the exclusive partnerships brokered—both at agency and Publicis network-level with the likes of Tencent and ComScore, which has meant the group “getting data that no-one else is getting”.

In addition, getting clarity on Publicis’ positioning since the restructure has helped DigitasLBi and its sister agencies work out their own strategies.

“Over the last 12 months and even more recently, everyone is clear on the brands, positioning, and how to work together,” Male said. “There are still questions. If I was a client I would be asking them, and I appreciate how complex it might feel from a client perspective. Our job is to make sure it feels simple.”

To that end, Male says the “blended solution” DigitasLBi can offer clients, together with the other Publicis agencies, is being well received. DigitasLBi is already working closely with others for UOB, Shangri-La, Unilever and others.

“You just have to prove yourself through the team, and through making sure all the operational stuff is really smooth, because clients just want things to run effectively.” 

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