What you missed and didn’t at iMedia Brand Summit – Southeast Asia, 14-16th Aug 2017.

By Raushida


Imagine a legacy business with traditional incumbents and conglomerates competing with a digital native, such as Alibaba or Netflix, that has disrupted the industry. Digital disruption covers the changes occurring in an industry, while digital transformation helps businesses navigate these changes effectively. Legacy businesses know where they want to be. They just don’t know how to get there and that’s exactly what iMedia Brand Summit (South East Asia) had to offer by bringing together brands and technology partners to help businesses embrace digital disruption, find ways to transform and stay competitive.

With a topic as stimulating as Digital Disruption, the summit was held at one of Phuket’s (Thailand) swankiest resort, The Slate, and was conducted in an intimate environment for senior brand marketers to converge, debate and discuss the major strategic issues they face.

There was an interesting mix of speakers from various technology solution providers like iflix, Singapore Press Holdings, Salesforce, Unruly, Adobe etc., showcasing solutions for different problems for different brands. Jason Monteiro, Marketing Director – Asia at iflix, kickstarted it when he said “Know your market, find the gaps, create value, deliver with agility, remain present and stay local – go global.”

The day was replete with interesting networking sessions and exciting outdoor activities that couldn’t be dampened albeit the adamant downpour (booooo!!!!). Speed-networking was a great opportunity to talk to brands 1:1 and more casually at the bar post sessions which was referred to as ‘fresh air.’ It was quite surprising to see a house-full for the morning session post the big night. After all, it was an interesting topic that revolved around “Why Social Listening will be critical to competitive advantage in the digital age.” Sakshi Prakash, Social Analytics Lead at Starhub (Singapore), demystified the perceptions and reality in social listening and how the data gathered from it can be inferred, deduced and then translated to actionable insights.

A few other sessions followed right after by Tai Morshed, Commercial Director, APAC at Adobe who defined martech & adtech and how the former could be fed into the latter to build an effective customer-centric approach for all digital marketing strategies. It was time to step out (for the not so relevant sessions) and of course to get some ‘fresh air.’ Unruly’s presentation was quite a highlight. Phil Townend, Unruly’s Chief Commercial Officer touched upon the evergreen topic and every marketer’s darling, VIDEO! “An opening with too much branding kills emotion,” he said in relation to the decline in consumer attention spans. He also shed light upon how intense emotional response resulted in a decrease with increasing number of instances a brand shows in the first 6 seconds.

That was quite intense to absorb all in one day along with quick fire sessions from Converzion, 90Seconds which called for well deserved fun activities! There were 2 main activities – a cook-off and ATV riding.

The cook-off made some shy guys come forward and interact with the livewires to ensure the food they cooked together saved face if not win them that prize hamper. The rest just waited for the amazing Thai food that was awaiting them at the gala-dinner that night. ATV riding one of the most popular outdoor activities in Phuket that was quite adventurous (and mucky too) for most of us. Not for the lighted hearted though, especially in rainy Phuket (did I mention it was raining there?). By that night, most networkers and brands had accomplished their mission – finding the right leads and partners.

The event was nearly over but the organisers made sure the last day wasn’t going to be a wee bit dull. It summed up with a highly engaging session between Simon Kemp, Global Consultant at Kepios and Marcelo Silva of Digital Transformations Scores, about demystifying the benefits of blockchain and marketing algorithms. Topics were dynamic from voice search to the concept of privacy and how it means different things to millennials and Generation Z, what value it provides and how it could prove to be a big shift for marketers.

All in all, the event proved to be a great platform to network, gain industry insights and learn to stay indoors and have fun in exotic beach destinations even when it rains!

Raushida Vasaiwala
Director, Business Development, INSEA, Celtra

Celtra is a Cloud-based Creative Management Platform for digital advertising. They have pioneered HTML5 authoring with integrated creative serving, designed from the start for mobile advertising. It is an agnostic solution enabling the most advanced video, display and native ad products with the greatest distribution reach in the industry.

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