AdTech Singapore 2015

AdTech Singapore in my humble opinion is an absolute success story. The learnings I have taken away and the new friends I have made is enough to keep me happy for the next 6 months.

By means of my self-declared awesome eye-balling abilities, the event hosted a good 600++ delegates, many of whom flew in from all over the world. If there is any other event that can perform half as well as ATS and put all the major players across the industry in one room fuelled with engaging content, please let me know!

It is great to see Corporates taking the initiative to part take in discussions around programmatic, and exhibit a willingness to embrace change. I particularly liked the discussion around how clients could work at bringing/building an AdTech stack in-house. This is something that everyone should be clear about here. Clients are getting curious and investing in self-education. Hence, transparency does go a long way.

Overall, programmatic is the talk of the event. However, the subject of data took a deeper dive to show just how much importance it carries along with automation.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed. But the fact that AdTech has built a name for itself in the marketing ecosystem within a span of just 3 years (in Asia), I see a phenomenon of serious tunnel vision.

Technology seems to have taken over human touch. It has become so linear that binary and logic now seem to be the fundamentals of marketing.

I’ve always thought that AdTech is a subset of marketing, and eventually the collision between AdTech and Martech would take place. Great! More acronyms. How exciting! We haven’t heard much about the big boys like Oracle, IBM, Adobe. Guess what? We should start seeing a shift soon.

I’m glad this was discussed during ATS, as it makes total sense that silo players forge partnerships and make this eco-system a case of value giving, than monopoly.

After some intense jam packed content during ATS, I’ve finally been able to align my fragmented thoughts and put them in point form below.

Trends which May, Can or are Already happening 2015 – 2016

1) Lopsided effect (Demand vs Supply)

– New technology requires sales adoption. We have seen an influx of countless DSPs entering the market in hopes to grab a share of the pie. Internally, this means beefing up sales team, deploying them to approach ATDs and Direct Clients. Education of programmatic was rampant late 2014 – present. Traction across buy side gains momentum, but soon the realisation that the lack of supply could be a teething issue.

– This applies to organisations with fresh injection of funds that are looking to scale quick. Aggressive hiring of sales people, lack of vision that operations play an important role as well. 10 sales person to 1 campaign manager. Good luck.

2) Being Publisher centric 

– AdTech companies will evolve. DSP will not remain a DSP. Whichever way they wish to evolve, I’m seeing a shift in awareness for such platforms to get closer to the publishers. Self-serve platforms are already out there for Publishers.

3) Direct Deals

– Publishers and Brands are getting more educated and are investigating opportunities in PMP or Programmatic Direct. This pendulum effect where knowledge and activity shifts from agencies to in-house may happen very quickly.

4) Merger and Acquisitions

– We just got started. The $4.4billion deal between Verizon and AOL will trigger more to follow suit. Telecommunication companies are keeping their eyes wide open. There are already talks about AOL looking to acquire Millennial Media. Well, let’s see.

5) Branding could use Programmatic

– Programmatic is not all performance. For example, Cannes recently reported that Heineken is looking to use data to better understand its customers. Given that their business uses a three-tier system (Heineken sells to wholesalers, that sells to retailers and finally consumers), they aren’t exactly strong owners of first party data.

– However, working with data providers and AdTech vendors, they could essentially leverage on these data to better understand customers’ buying behaviour. Putting all these information together, generating a compelling creative and branding campaign could influence how well their brand awareness campaigns perform.

6) MarTech will emerge strong

– A one stop shop will present itself. A fully automated platform such as Adobe, Oracle, Marketo will continue to demonstrate capabilities in their technology, inching closer to clients.

As stated by Scott Brinker, president and CTO of ion interactive in his article on, the number of MarTech companies doubled to 2,000 in year 2015, from 947 in year 2014.

MarTech may form to be the foundation as a platform and allow AdTech players to integrate. With data being the core of it all, this brings us back to my first article about creating an Omni-Channel approach.

I don’t know about you, but i am still sticking to my earlier thoughts. Omni-channel. The market at present is going through a self-exploration stage. Eventually, data, programmatic, creative, out-of-home, tv, radio and every other channel we can think of will come together as one.

Seamlessly, creating great campaigns, paving the way for a better marketing ecosystem.

Signing off,


“Change is the only constant”

Alvin Lim is our Nakama Singapore Digital Media Consultant who specializes in talent management within the Programmatic Media and Performance Marketing space. 

He represents the major DSPs, SSPs, Trading Desk, Social Media Tech platforms and many other brands in the Advertising Technology space in hiring top tier talents in Singapore and across Asia. Alvin can be reached on +65 94501337 or


Meet our new NAKAMA Consultant

Get to know Jini, our new Sr Consultant in Singapore!
Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 9.41.25 am

Name: Jini Perera

Sector you recruit for: PR and Communications

What are you known for professionally? What do you have a knack for? Honesty and follow through.

Where can we find you when you’re not working? Running in and around nature reserves

What would be impossible for you to give up? Eggs – Done any way!

What gadget can you not live without? Surprise surprise – my mobile!

Fave tech trend for 2015 and why?  Apps that make life easier!

What do you love about working in (your city)? It’s one of the most convenient and safest places to live and work in!

Jini is based in our Nakama Singapore office and she can be reached on +65 9652 9850 or

Meet our new NAKAMA Consultant

Get to know Sarah, our new Consultant in Sydney!
Sarah King
Recruitment Consultant
Areas you recruit for: Sales, Marketing & PR
What are you known for professionally? Networking, Business Development and all round opportunist.
What do you have a knack for? Networking, Assertiveness & Creating Sales….So a psychometric test recently told me.
What would be impossible for you to give up? Blow Dries – The bigger your hair the closer you are to God.
Where can we find you when you aren’t working? Being a bedroom DJ, looking to headline in the kitchen later this year….Or of course having a Blow Dry.
What gadget could you not live without? Does a hair dryer count as a gadget?
What do you love about living/working in Sydney? London is hard to beat as it is undoubtably one of the best cities in the world…BUT you can’t go for an afterwork surf, coastal run, see dolphins or witness a shark alarm.

Sarah is based in our Sydney office. She can be reached on her mobile m: +61 (0) 412 277 135 or

Meet our new NAKAMA Consultant 


Name: Jonathan Yau

Title: Recruitment Consultant

Sector you recruit for: Sales & Marketing

What are you known for professionally? My ability to rationalise and relate to different people from different cultures and backgrounds

What do you have a knack for? I love meeting people, being able to find ways to relate to them and find out what a client wants from a candidate or what a candidate wants from a job.

Where can we find you when you’re not working? Playing badminton and squash and going out for the occasional drink!

What is your favourite app? My favourite app would have to be Onefootball. As a big football fan, it’s great to be able to check up on scores, follow my team and other competitions live.

What do you love about working in HK? Hong Kong is a fantastic place to work because of the mix between western and eastern culture. The work hard, play hard mentality is something that a lot of people have and this breeds success and a great place for personal and career growth.

What would be impossible for you to give up? A good pie!

Jonathan is based in Hong Kong and can be reached on +852 6623 2510 or

So you want to be a Social Media Expert?

Social Media

You already think Social media is the bees knees, you spend majority of your life on there, so heck why not make it a career for yourself…But wait how do I do that? How do I go from using Facebook and posting my awesome weekend pics on Instagram to making myself a full-blown social media expert with a fabulous career?

Social Media is quickly becoming a very trendy career choice, but a lot of eager and hopeful individuals are left unsure of how to actually crack into the industry.

First of all I think I need to state the fact that not everyone can be a Social Media Expert and create a successful career in this. Just like any other profession, this type of work takes skill, natural ability and above all passion. It requires expertise in many facets of business including human relationships, communication, marketing, technology, customer service and much more.

There are a range of positions within the Social Career spectrum ranging from Community Manager, Social Media Manager, Social Strategist and the list goes on. However I like to categorize the roles in to two main groups the first being the creative side of social media involving creating content, managing communities, liaising with influencers and acting as the social presence for companies and brands. The second group I would call the strategic side of social also known as the more serious side – which involves planning resources and accountability.

Generally a lot of people I meet in this industry have come from a background in writing, copywriting, PR or journalism. However I understand people who want to enter Social Media as a career come from all different spaces. It’s important to transfer as many skills from either university if you are a fresh graduate or from your most recent position.  The transferable skills to stand you in good stead will involve both creative and analytical thinking.

If you want to get your foot in the door of Social Media but lack experience, consider an internship if its a viable option for you and start throwing yourself into all social media platforms, learn all you can and keep way ahead of trends. Setting up a blog that you are frequently updating and sharing posts is a great way to gain experience on your own and improve your online presence. Lastly, never discount genuine passion and excitement about the space as it has the potential to put you ahead of other candidates with equal experience.

Consider your online profile and professional presence as your first step – networking, networking and more networking is fundamental. As a recruiter in this market I am always hearing feedback from employers that people must have a large online presence before being considered for these roles. And trust me these employers will definitely do their homework and check what you’ve been up to!

A career in Social Media can be so rewarding as you see the results driven through traffic right under your nose, and Social Media is now a necessary part of almost all marketing strategies. As the digital market evolves, Social Media is moving with it and while there are rumours that Social Media careers won’t exist in five years, they are more than present now and hold a large demand in the market. You will gain transferable skills in this role that will set you in good stead for the rest of your marketing or digital career.

One last tip to help on your journey: always keep up to date with this ever-evolving industry or you can very easily be left behind.

Michaela Kennedy is our Nakama Sydney Social Media & Digital Client Services Consultant.

If you’re looking for a new role, or for help resourcing your Social Media team, Michaela can be reached +61 (0) 432 220 289 or

Growth of SEO in Asia

Is 2015 the year for SEO to come into it’s own in Asia?

Over the last three years of recruiting within the Search function in HK I have seen huge growth in the demand for Paid Search specialist’s and not so much within SEO.  Why?  Because most businesses want instant results and immediate ROI, whereas SEO campaigns require more patience and generally require at least three months before beginning to see returns.

Investing in SEO has several benefits:

  1. The results are low cost (In comparison to PPC)
  2. Great way to increase traffic
  3. Brand credibility, people trust Google
  4. ROI  – SEO provides tractable quantifiable results
  5. Better usability

While SEO is still very much in its infancy in Asian companies, search-marketing strategies are adapting to more mobile platforms and technologies across Asia. I see 2015 as a huge year for the growth of SEO as there will be plenty of opportunities for companies throughout Asia to make credible gains.

In the month of January alone, I have seen an increase in demand for content focused SEO specialists for both digital agencies and e-commerce companies. But with Asia being a talent short market, where are the candidates going to come from?  In past I generally relied on bringing overseas talent to HK to fill SEO positions but with content and local languages being more and more important I am heavily relying on local talent being developed. Overseas candidates offer a wealth of knowledge and techniques from generally a more digitally advanced market and local talent offer their inside knowledge of the local market and of course language skills. But for businesses in Asia to have a successful SEO team I still feel they need a blend of overseas and local candidates.

If Asian companies can attract the right blend of SEO talent and get their strategy right, 2015 could be one of the most competitive years for SEO in Asia.

Adam Kennedy is our Nakama Hong Kong – Digital & SEO/SEM Consultant. 

If you’re a candidate looking for SEO work in Hong Kong, or a business looking to implement SEO strategies for your business in 2015, Adam can be reached at +852 34787248 or