Complexity and fragmentation make it harder to survive as an independent in South East Asia but the scene is thriving. The Drum’s selected some of the top agencies from the region to profile in the coming weeks, celebrating independence.
M&C Saatchi Performance
Year founded: 2006
South East Asia HQ: Singapore
M&C Saatchi Performance underwent an important global repositioning in 2018, rebadging itself from M&C Saatchi Mobile to reflect the wider scope of its remit for clients, of which mobile is still a large part of.
That aside, the Singapore business also had a big year in terms of its own performance, growing billings by 80% year over year, staff by 30% and the launch of two new offices in Jakarta and Mumbai.
The growth has partly been down to new clients wins, according to the agency, with 11 new clients added in 2018. New brands added to the roster included Hotstar, Go-Jek, Viu, Swiggy, and Amazon Prime Singapore, while it retained relationships with clients including Zalora, Tokopedia, Sportsbet, Myntra and Redmart.
To help fuel the launch for its Mumbai office, M&C Saatchi Performance hired Sushant Tomar as country director in India, a country which the agency says is one of the fastest-growing regions for the agency globally.
Chris Steedman, managing director APAC of M&C Saatchi Performance, explained that the agency had also been focusing on issues such as ad fraud. “The agency continued its pioneering work in mitigating ad fraud for its clients which have earned them a number of awards and industry recognition. Innovative work such as live search API's and dynamic audience lookalikes for a number of clients have led to higher efficiency in performance marketing.”
A key to the agency’s success has also been in its staff thought leadership, with many speaking at events across the region, as well as managing partner APAC, Kabeer Chaudhary, being commended by Linkedin for his thought leadership and recognised as one of the top influencers in the industry.
The Drum’s spotlight on South East Asia’s independent agency scene comes ahead of a wider research project for 2019 in which we’ll publish a guide to the best independent agencies across the Asia Pacific region. To find out more, or to register interest for next year, email Lauren.Mccreath@thedrum.com.