GroupM recently rolled out an influencer-marketing tech platform, INCA, in Southeast Asia. The company claims INCA (which it says stands for "Influence, Content Amplification", according to the company) connects brands to "the widest network of trusted publishers and influencers to create and promote content in social channels and beyond to drive brand engagement across digital platforms".
Initially available in Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia, INCA will be accessible to more APAC markets by the end of the year, allowing brands to target YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and TikTok, according to GroupM.
From Affable to Gushcloud to CastingAsia to Whalar, there's no shortage of platforms claiming to offer wide reach and intelligent connections between brands and potential influencers. GroupM clearly understand this, and its collateral about INCA is full of references to carefully interrogating available data to match brands with relevant, authentic influencers and publishers. The market is in search of "trusted and scalable solutions" that provide brand safety, which INCA claims to provide through a proprietary technology platform that has "unique creator and audience insights", fraud detection, workflow tools, content amplification, and detailed reporting.
We asked Dafydd Woodward, global lead for INCA, a few questions.
Influencer matching seems like a kind of a saturated space. Why is GroupM launching this now and what differentiates it from other offerings on the market? What particular specific advantages does it offer?
INCA looks at content creation more holistically, meaning that we work with social influencers but also more traditional publishers, when fulfilling briefs for our clients. We analyse billions of data points to ensure that we can identify not only the best brand-safe creators, but the best platforms and formats, for any given campaign. We also feel that advertisers should only pay for the provable results we deliver, which is why we clearly set out at the start of campaigns exactly the outcomes that we guarantee to deliver.
Is the system completely built by GroupM?
We have invested significantly in our proprietary platform and will continue to do so.
Like many offerings these days, you're referring to INCA as "AI-powered". What role exactly does AI play?
The AI element supports our planning process in identifying the best creators for campaigns. Our AI understands creative content, be it images and/or text across multiple platforms and languages.
Your materials about INCA mention brand safety a lot. Is this something competitors have fallen down on? Why do you think GroupM and INCA can do a better job of providing it?
Brand safety is at the heart of what GroupM does, and this is mirrored within INCA. Brand safety takes many forms. Some of which, such as clients retaining visibility over the content that’s being created and posted, are supported by the workflow we have in place, made possible by our technology solution. Other elements, such as ensuring creator compliance, are addressed by the great teams we have working on INCA campaigns, who have experience in running hundreds of campaigns.