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Geogy Ross

Get To Know April Tayson, Director Of Southeast Asia At Adjust

A Woman In Tech leading a mobile marketing company in Southeast Asia – the hottest region in apps today

Hey there, April. How’s it going? Thank you for joining us today on Marketing In Asia. Since it’s about getting to know you, share with us a little bit about yourself and your favourite pastimes.

I’ve spent over a decade in the digital marketing and advertising industry, working in different positions across the mobile advertising landscape. My forte has always been to grow emerging markets from scratch, and it has been a rollercoaster of a ride so far. It’s been incredible to see the growth of the mobile industry first-hand and play a part in bringing industry knowledge to the Southeast Asian market.  

Listening to slow rock, acoustic music and decluttering or cleaning are my best outlets for when I want to clear my mind. And with the current social distancing measures in place, it’s something I’m able to do a lot more of at the moment! 

Adjust is a leading company in mobile measurement, fraud prevention, automation and cybersecurity. Not only that, it empowers data-driven marketers to build the most successful apps in the world by making marketing simpler, smarter and more secure. Could you enlighten more on this for us who are not familiar with Adjust, and what is your role in it? 

Adjust’s primary goal is to help clients build the most successful apps in the world – and we do that by providing the highest quality analytics and measurement capabilities. Essentially, that means we help brands to understand where their app users are coming from, and how they interact with their product once the app is installed. In just eight years, Adjust has developed into one of the largest tech success stories in Europe, and today employs over 450 people in 16 offices worldwide. 

Along with measurement, Adjust’s platform includes fraud prevention, automation, cybersecurity and marketing automation products. Together, they make marketing simpler, smarter and more secure for our clients. 

As Sales Director for Southeast Asia, I lead Adjust’s efforts across the region. But really, I think of my role as more of a Solutions Provider, working with prospects and clients using a very consultative approach. This means helping them get the most out of the Adjust platform, providing best-in-class support whenever needed, and keeping clients up to date on new developments in the industry. 

Adjust has had a presence in APAC since 2014, and our APAC team counts close to 100 mobile marketing experts. We plan to double our headcount for Southeast Asia alone by the end of the year.  

I thought Adjust is a marketing partner for all major platforms and in total, more than 32,000 apps have implemented Adjust’s solutions to secure their budgets and improve performance. Now, that’s amazing. So, my question is, where does Singapore stand in the world of mobile marketing?

Singapore not only forms the nerve centre for regional businesses, but it’s also a window to other Southeast Asian markets. The ease of doing business and recent government-led incentives for digital industries has made Singapore and Indonesia a hub for leading mobile app advertisers across different verticals. As a result, we’re seeing huge success stories come out across verticals – such as Bukalapak, Traveloka, Telkomsel, Tokopedia, Grab, Ovo, Dana, and Tiket.com to name a few! 

What are the opportunities in the mobile marketing space that marketers should be leveraging on for their businesses in Singapore and the region?

Opportunity-wise, Southeast Asia is limitless. The region is a mobile-first market that’s seen tremendous growth in recent years: over the past four years, the number of internet users in Southeast Asia has increased by 100 million, many of whom are young, affluent, and digitally savvy. Recent Adjust data also shows that Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand are three of the fastest-growing mobile economies in the world, so the region is really fuelling the growth of the global mobile ecosystem. 

Southeast Asian unicorns, corporates and SME businesses alike are spending billions of dollars on digital marketing each year, and the figure will continue to grow over time. While there is no doubt about market potential, the diversity of the mobile marketing ecosystem brings its own set of unique challenges (or opportunities, based on how you view it). One-size-fits-all solutions don’t apply here. For Adjust, that means having a product that’s adaptable and customisable for each client and their needs. 

Over the next few years, we’ll see Southeast Asian marketers start leveraging more advanced technologies such as deep analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning. These advancements will give marketers more detailed insights into consumer behaviour, and from there, the capacity for greater personalisation. As a result, we’ll start to see a rise in hyper-contextual ads that will better serve users wherever they are in their journey.

Tell us April. In today’s world, what are the gaps and challenges that marketers face?

At Adjust we’re very excited about the potential that automation has to revolutionise the marketing industry, especially when it comes to increasing the scale of mobile marketing activities. Today’s marketers handle a huge amount of channels and networks simultaneously, so it’s no surprise that 80% of the average marketer’s day is spent on data management. Recent research we conducted also mapped marketers’ biggest pain points, discovering that the daily slog of campaign management was where marketers felt the highest burden. Mundane actions, such as merging disparate sources of data, individually updating bids and budgets, and keeping campaign data accurate were all cited as the most critical. But these are all tasks that can easily be automated. 

Automation gives marketers the capacity to implement and execute a whole range of campaigns and initiatives more easily and seamlessly than ever before. And by increasing the number of campaigns one person can manage, it allows smaller brands to compete with large companies with big marketing departments. Reducing repetitive workflows also lets teams focus on what really matters to them: creating the right strategies, and developing compelling content. 

What are the commitments that Adjust will take to further elevate its presence and offerings – and pardon me, I am not talking only in Singapore but also in Asia. Please, share with us.

Continuing to grow our market share in the region is our priority, and that reflects in our growing presence across Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. We are actively recruiting across various departments to join our team. 

We are also constantly developing our product to solve clients’ needs. We launched our latest tool, Control Center, to help solve the current issues marketers face around campaign management. Designed as a cross-app, cross-partner and cross-network dashboard, Control Center automates campaign management and allows marketers to view data across all their apps and campaigns and act on it.

At Adjust, we guide the market — not only in terms of the solutions we bring but also best practices in mobile marketing. To help keep our clients informed and up to date, we place a big focus on knowledge-sharing, and hosting educational events all around the globe. Under the current circumstances, many of our scheduled events are now being scheduled online as webinars instead. And for anyone reading who is bored at home, I can recommend our latest project, Best of Mobile, which hosts five years’ worth of talks from our Adjust-hosted conference Mobile Spree. Leading growth marketers from around the world discuss everything from incrementality to strategies for global expansion. 

If you get to choose only one – marketing or branding, April?

For me, they are inextricably linked and you can’t have one without the other. Brands can’t survive on the strength of their brand alone and need a degree of marketing behind it to survive and thrive. Similarly, investing in marketing is pointless without a strong brand image behind it to hold it up. 

For those who wish to get in touch with you, what is the best way? 

Working right across a diverse market like Southeast Asia means I have a lot of different messaging apps going at any one time – Whatsapp, Viber, WeChat, Line, Zalo, Skype or Telegram to name a few! But you can always reach me at april@adjust.com, or connect with me on LinkedIn.

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Geogy Ross is a content creator at Marketing In Asia. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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