Just before the first half of the year ended, a big announcement was made that's bound to change how brands approach marketing in all aspects. Vietnam’s leading brand & creative consulting company and the technology-driven digital data platform have merged to become a pioneering consulting and solutions firm that promotes brand growth in the country and the region.
On June 29, The Purpose Group and ANTS Programmatic announced their merger and have since been a combined entity called PURPOSE.ANT — a marketing powerhouse fully stacked with creativity, data, and technology. PURPOSE.ANT’s goal is to design and deliver creativity-driven experiences, connecting full-funnel to grow brands for the future.
Founded in 2016 by Giang Nguyen Thanh, The Purpose Group’s strength lies in its creative and effective marketing solutions for leading brands and startups in Vietnam. ANTS Programmatic, on the other hand, already existed two years ahead and became the region’s leading agency in technology integration solutions and Programmatic advertising platform thanks to the leadership of Dr. Dinh Le Dat.
Between 2019 and 2021, The Purpose Group and ANTS Programmatic initiated the Omnichannel Playbook to share practical business experiences and introduce digital platform solutions on omnichannel to drive business growth.
Both firms have proven their value and cemented their names in their respective fields. And instead of following separate directions and steering their own vessels, two of Vietnam’s major brands bring together a new agency model seen for the first time in the country.
For a country like Vietnam, with a rapidly growing market, stronger economy, and popular destination for foreign investors, this alliance is not just an ordinary business move. “PURPOSE.ANT not only brings practical experiences and solutions to partner customers but also promises to promote similar shifting trends in domestic and regional markets, making strategic contributions to the journey. Sustainable growth of the brand in the era of data, technology, and digital.”
As Dr. Dinh said during the launch event, "Having customer data in hand is one thing, but whether a brand can process, analyze, and activate that data to understand customers is another challenge.” True to its promise of delivering results by maximizing the power of creativity and data and how thanks to technology, combining and deploying at scale and speed requires not as much effort as it used to, the PURPOSE.ANT will implement Antsomi CDP 365.
Antsomi CDP 365 is a regional marketing technology company with the ability to collect, analyze, and unify customer data from multiple touch points. PURPOSE.ANT confidently maximizes all advantages of strategic consulting, innovative solutions and platforms, and data analytics to increase agility in deploying integrated marketing activities that deliver quality dynamic brand experience for consumers at every touch point throughout their customer journey.
Serm Teck Choon, co-founder & CEO of Antsomi, said that for a brand to achieve and provide more quality experiences, the three elements of creativity, data, and technology must blend into a functioning or unified whole.
“Firstly, we will leverage creative messaging, images, and content to bring useful value to customers and build brand presence,” the Antsomi CEO explained. “Then we will use data to provide insights about the customer needs and behaviors to drive potential growth opportunities throughout the funnel. Combined with creativity and data, we will implement technology solutions to deploy performance marketing campaigns on a large scale."
New challenges for the marketers
While 2020 and 2021 were like no other, 2022 is the year where we all bounce back. As the world cautiously embraces the “new normal,” no one is as thrilled and challenged as the marketers. Makes us all wonder — how is marketing being redefined in this outrageously digital time and what can we do to help businesses grow faster in the age of COVID-19?
In Vietnam, technically (and basing it on the restrictions being lifted as months pass), the risks aren’t as threatening as they were a year ago. But notwithstanding the global pandemic, Vietnam’s total retail sales of goods and services in 2021 maintained a growth rate of ~3-4% vs. 2020. It means consumers were quick to adapt to shopping across different channels and platforms. Thus, brands needed to quickly come up with integrated marketing and commerce strategies (omnichannel branding and commerce).
Tran Nguyen Phi Long, Head of Retail Marketing of PNJ and a client of PURPOSE.ANT, said, “No brand wants to be late on their digital transformation journey in building omnichannel platforms to reach and engage customers effectively.” And while that remains a necessity for the brands, it continues to be a challenge for solutions companies like PURPOSE.ANT.
Speaking at the event, PURPOSE.ANT’s CEO Giang Nguyen Thanh talked about the difficulties of a present-day marketer. She addressed it specifically to the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of every firm, who is not only responsible for building market-relevant brands but also responsible for finding new sources of growth, staying ahead of market trends and tools, and working to build a consistent brand experience for customers at different touch points.
"The biggest challenge for brands today is that they have not found a really effective solution to overcome the existing challenges in marketing throughout the consumer journey, from several touch points on online channels to closing sales in offline channels,” she said. “The pressure for the CMO at the moment is to grasp the changing trends of the market, predict volatility and identify new sources of growth for the brand. This can only be achieved when the brand recognizes the importance of integrating creativity, data, and technology when preparing marketing plans from now on."
An expert in digital advertising, Dr. Dinh Le Dat is also experienced and an expert with the local marketing community regarding unified customer portrait solutions that have been successfully applied in the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.
According to Dr. Dat, it requires a lot of effort to apply the knowledge and information from the customer data to perfect the customer experience on omnichannel. “This requires a new organizational and operating model that is able to be agile in adapting to different needs of marketers in the new era."
During his session, he said when interacting with customers on digital platforms, “don’t just reach out when there’s something new, you have to interact with them every single day.” He added as a reminder that it’s important for brands to not just talk about their products and services but also their story.
With the enormous market growth Vietnam is gaining, it’s safe to say that brands (regardless of their size) have all the resources and advantages for bigger growth. They just need to work with the best people for it — creative, data-oriented, and tech-driven professionals.