International Spotlight: Charles Allard - Cybba APAC

Cybba is excited to announce its international expansion and Cybba APAC! This month, we spoke with our APAC office in Hong Kong, where managing director Charles Allard runs the show. In his knowledgeable and determined manner, Charles explained how he's getting down to business in 2018.

What are the key challenges facing digital marketers in the Asian market?

Digital markets in Asia face many challenges, but diversity and size are the biggest challenges. Here are some facts: India has dozens of official languages. The dominant ad networks in China, Korea, and Japan are all very different. Yahoo! is hugely popular in Japan. However, each of these markets has millions of consumers, and also many entrepreneurial companies who want to succeed. A clear, simple message and strong leadership can help cut through the multitude of service providers and sub-par product offerings. A flexible platform with responsive features makes market adoption faster, and market penetration easier across the different regions. This leaves a high quality, customer-focused team like Cybba with a clear path to market.


How can Cybba enable marketers to drive performance in the year ahead?

Asia is well known for its high touch and extra demanding service standards. There are so many options, you can always go somewhere else if you are not happy! Cybba has many strong points, but the work ethic, attention to detail, and customer focus from all our staff give us an edge that most other companies do not have.  Marketing is as much about the “tech” side as it is about telling the story of your product. We help our merchants tell their stories in a more compelling manner.


What is an example of how you provided significant ROI to a customer?

The ROI we provide to our customers is not only from the measurement of ad impressions or engagement scores. Crucially, it is the behind the scenes teamwork that deliver the extra touches which make a difference to our customers. Here are some examples: When our head of account management in Asia, Joyce Lau, flies to Taiwan to walk through a customer’s questions on implementation face-to-face; when our head of trading, Dan Lee, spends his off-hours creating sales support documents; when our head of finance for APAC, Daphne Phan, spends time to make sure we have all our legal and registration documents in order to service clients. These extra measures all add value to the quality of the services we deliver, and increase the return on the products we provide.


How much should a company adjust its internal processes for international success, and to succeed in a new market?

International is not an adjustment, but rather it is an addition to the DNA of a company. The US is a great market, but many other countries are also great markets. Using the ideas from our international colleagues can make our internal processes better. Let’s be open to new ideas that can improve operational efficiencies. Trying a new process or junking an old one can be beneficial, but it starts with an open mind. Fortunately, we have leadership at Cybba that fosters openness and mutual respect across cultures and boundaries.


What are the current growth drivers in MarTech and AdTech and what do they mean for the Asian market?

Prognosticating over an extended period of time is fun because no one remembers when you are wrong. Aside from the obvious buzz words, payment systems, fully mobile experiences, and seamless living are certainly big drivers in Asia. The payment systems in Asia lead the world, and are being integrated in a way that bends the mind of most North Americans and Europeans. Skipping the use of desktop has led to a dizzying focus on all things mobile. The most popular mobile phone in the world is Korean! And the ability for everyone to use this portable supercomputer means that offline stores and experiences are often integrated very tightly with the online world. The utter lack of privacy and complete acceptance of an integrated experience has helped. For Cybba, this means a focus and expansion of our mobile first and in app products to assist our merchants where they need it the most.


Charles Allard is the Managing Director of Cybba APAC's office in Hong Kong. Charles' expertise lies in improving consumer experience and enhancing online engagement. For any inquiries, contact him at

Lizzie Seibert
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