UK independent digital analytics agency Mezzo Labs has opened an office in Hong Kong, aiming to fill a gap in the local market where "companies don’t have the local expertise to get meaningful insight from their digital data".
Its new office in Causeway Bay was opened by Hong Kong managing director, Patrick Milburn, at the end of April. Previously, Milburn led the regional data team for Digitas for 3.5 years, overseeing five key APAC markets.
"I saw that digital consultancies in Asia were offering complicated and expensive solutions even though local companies often wanted something leaner to drive more immediate value," Milburn said, explaining why he quit Digitas and "jumped at the opportunity to build a self-sufficient services business" with Mezzo Labs.
The firm is bringing UK resources over to Hong Kong initially, focused on technical data analytics, optimisation and personalisation. Mezzo's UK office has more than 30 staff, and Milburn aims to grow the Hong Kong team to a similar size over the next couple of years, pushing into financial services, as well as travel, hospitality and retail.
In Hong Kong, Milburn said data has gone from a back-office reporting function to "finally being on the cusp of an essential tool in an executive's locker". In his view, the local playing field is split into three main types of data-services companies:
- Consultancies that drive business transformation
- Agency holding groups that help clients figure out, but not exclusively, marketing transformation
- Specific shops that deal in one or two data capabilities, such as a systems integrator focusing on one technology, or an analytics company that integrates and maintains a vendor's services for a client
"We are not competing with the first two," Milburn said. "We offer data services, but we’re unique because we offer the ‘services’ piece from auditing, selecting, implementing, utilising tools, integrating data from online and offline sources. We also offer training to upskill our client's workforce and recruiting to help them find data talent. We call this proposition ‘total analytics’ as it really is end to end."
The company's product Uplifter, which is in development by Mezzo Labs in the UK, seeks to identify changes in a client’s data, such as peaks or troughs in sales, and provide automated insights and recommendations as to how to act on those signals in real time.