Withinlink Martech Academy’s First Programme

Withinlink Martech Academy’s First Programme: May 30-31, 2020

The first MarTech training programme powered by the Withinlink Martech Academy took place in Shanghai on the last weekend of May 2020. We are pleased to note that most of the 30+ attendees who came to the two-day programme are C-level senior managers and decision makers from brands and agencies from all over China, including Hong Kong SAR and Taiwan, China.

Covid-19 has been the biggest wakeup call and disruption for the marketing industry. Under mandatory quarantine and lockdowns, marketing campaign communication, creation and production have no choice but to go online and be automated. With such conditions being a prime opportunity to pursue individual and professional growth, we realized that, with our expertise and resources, Withinlink can bring marketers and agencies together with our most innovative martech startups to learn and understand the efficiency gains Martech offers our industry.

Over the course of our two-day programme, a line-up of martech experts presented industry outlooks from international and China-focused perspectives, real-life case studies and interactive hands-on demonstrations of marketing technology solutions including AI programmatic research, e-commerce, ARVR applications, AI creative, social and cloud-based marketing.

We would like to thank the speakers who made our training program uniquely educational and highly interactive: Athena Chen, Marketing Director, myk+ at UniRetail; Shaohui Li, Founder & Chairman, Kuaizi Technology and Quick Decision Technology; Robert Kao, VP of Sales & Marketing at Kuaizi Technology; James Wu, CMO of Touch Virtual; Guo Wei, Founder and CEO of Fuge, Zhu Qi, Partner of Fuge; Shaoling Dong, CEO of RabbitPre and Qili Chen, Director of RabbitPre.

The team was especially touched and encouraged by the positive feedback and comments we received from attendees. One attendee, Mr Xie said, “The learnings from these speakers’ personal experiences were priceless and well worth my long journey from Inner Mongolia to Shanghai for the training.”

Another participant from Shanghai said “I worked in the communications industry for a long time and now I’m thinking about doing something different in my career. This weekend’s class has given me a new understanding of advertising and MarTech and definitely a new motivation to look beyond. Thank you.”

Grace Blue’s Inspirational Leaders: Bessie Lee’s Lessons in Leadership and Learnings on Covid 19

by Graceblue.com April 17,2020


As a continuation of Grace Blue leadership talks, we were delighted to talk with Bessie Lee (Founder and CEO of Withinlink, ex-CEO WPP China) to discuss her lessons in leadership and her learnings of the Covid 19 pandemic in both China and the UK.

Bessie has been living through the Covid 19 pandemic in both China in the UK. Bessie was living and working in Shanghai when the pandemic took hold of China and having travelled to London for business in late February, was in UK when the pandemic broke here, which is where she remains in isolation. Having been in both countries at the very sharp end of the pandemic Bessie has a unique perspective on how the two countries have responded to the virus. Of course, firstly she has witnessed the scale of destruction, misery and fear the Coronavirus has put upon both countries but she has also been a first-hand witness to the difference in the country’s responses. As well reported, China’s lockdown restrictions where severe and unwavering during the peak of the virus. She believes a large part of the reason the public were so responsive to the severity of the lockdown was due the infrastructures of the country. China, being one of the most ‘digitalised’ nations in the world were able to quickly adjust. Their advanced eCommerce infrastructure seamlessly adapted, and so businesses could provide groceries / amenities to the public, without websites crashing and production slowing. Wider business adapted too, again with the country’s advanced digital adoption, across generations and industry, businesses were able to innovate their offerings and/or products so even with the unprecedented disruption to the economy ‘business’, in the whole, was able to continue and evolve. This adoption of the ‘new world’ both personally and professionally is the main difference that Bessie identifies between the UK and China. For both country’s leadership will be absolutely paramount to how both countries navigate through this most challenging of times.

As we talked more around leadership it became clear that for Bessie, great leadership is a balance; at times leaders must be able to direct, inspire and take people on journey. Leaders, especially in business, must also have humility and recognise they are reliant their teams/ people around them and these individuals must be given the autonomy to also ‘lead’ and influence. She believes that teams and individuals will naturally have different skills sets and qualities and therefore these individuals will often be more skilled, experienced and knowledgeable in certain fields, than the ‘leader’ they report to. Embracing this rather than being threatened by it has been crucial to Bessie’s success as a leader. It’s not only allowed her to attract the very best talent into the organisations she has led, but perhaps more importantly it has allowed this talent to thrive and grow in those organisation, thus fundamentally changing the future of those organisations. Bettering the future of any business has always been fundamental to Bessie as a leader and as such another key focus for Bessie has been succession planning. Whether being a country CEO of within a global network or a founder of tech start up, envisioning the trajectory of that company and what the business will look like in 3-5 years’ time has always been vitally important to Bessie. Focusing on the future has meant Bessie would identify future leaders within her organisations who are equipped and capable of taking over from her at the appropriate time, therefore naturally evolving and moving the business forward. Again, this all comes down to being humble as a leader and understanding that for any business to evolve, the leaders must embrace, and allow, their talent to be fundamental in driving forward that future.

Looking forward to the future and what the world will look like post this pandemic, Bessie gives us hope as she talked about how China is now starting to stabilise and some form of ‘normality’ is slowing returning to the country. We are also witnessing this as our own Grace Blue team in Shanghai and our clients in China have been physically back in the office these past four weeks. And although we are seeing both ends of the spectrum through our teams in APAC (Singapore going into its full lock-down along with much of South East Asia and Australia) China although still very much living through the pandemic is starting to stabilise. It is ever watchful of a “second wave”, but offices are again open, people are flocking to outdoor parks, restaurants are welcoming back guests. The world has kept on turning, as it must for all of us, and China is genuinely emerging from the other side after over two months of stringent containment.

China is masterful at adaptation, innovation and improvement. It is country which has had the muscle memory to adapt and overcome throughout modern history. And in the past few decades, it is how it has made so many seismic leaps technologically and digitally to advance infrastructure. Commerce, and customer’s experiences. Its journey has never been linear and it uses challenging times to innovate and develop. So, on the other side of all this, it has shown us that not only can we get through it, but that the innovations, developments, lessons, meaning we take out, will hopefully give us a new type of future all over the world.

Catching a wave: scale-ups in China navigating the Corona virus

by Anna Fenko, Saleupnation.com, March 20, 2020

The general view is that scale-ups operate in a VUCA world – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. In current times that is more true than ever. So, catching the Corona shock wave, instead of being drowned by it, is now a key success factor. How can scale-ups use the lockdown to keep innovating and developing new products and services for the new world that will emerge after this crisis? ScaleUpNation has talked about it with Bessie Lee, the founder of Withinlink (Shanghai, China).

What are the implications of the restrictions on travel and face-to-face meetings for young, innovative, fast-growing companies?
If your company is young, innovative and fast growing, you should find it a lot easier to turn around compared to big corporations. Based on China’s experience, everything moving online wasn’t as bad as everybody had thought. It actually improved work efficiency for many. We have seen many of our portfolio companies enjoying strong revenue growth exactly because their solution does not require any face-to-face meetings.

Join forces
But what about those companies that rely heavily on physical contact?
We have seen many young and agile technology companies in China being very innovative in helping each other through this tough time. Those innovations included “staff sharing”: retail restaurant businesses seconded their staff to food and grocery delivery companies. Restaurant businesses were badly impacted by social distancing and mandatory quarantine. Their staff were idled. At the same time, food and grocery delivery service providers were short of people. The two industries coming together made the perfect solution.

“If your company is young, innovative and fast growing, you should find it a lot easier to turn around compared to big corporations.”

Disrupt the old model
Can you give other examples of how innovation can help scale-ups to survive this crisis?
One of the industries badly impacted by the virus outbreak was the cinema. Chinese New Year is normally the peak season for release of new movies. This mandatory shutdown of cinema was a nightmare. One movie producer/investor decided to partner with an online video platform in China and release his box office title on this online video platform. This is a smart way for the movie producers to recover their loss and for the online video platform to acquire new users and build relationships with their current users.

Every need is an opportunity
A lot of scale-ups are losing customers now as everybody tries to cut their costs to a bare minimum. Can scale-ups turn this situation and catch the corona wave instead of being drowned by it?
We won’t be able to survive this crisis without the profound change of everyday behaviour and the way the business operates. As people are changing their habits and ways of work, their needs are changing too. What do your customers need the most now? I have an example. In most Western countries medical experts and media discourage consumers from buying or stocking up masks to avoid shortage. On the contrary, the Chinese government encouraged and demanded people to wear masks, which created a mask shortage. The government urged manufacturers of all kinds to investigate if their production lines were able to be converted to mask production. Companies such as Sinopec, Shanghai Auto, Gree (large home appliances manufacturer) etc. quickly converted part of their production lines into mask productions.

INCUBATING INNOVATION IN CHINA WITH BESSIE LEE

by Berlin School of Creative Leadership.    September 04, 2019

Year after year, China is proving itself to be the next global stage for innovation and technology. But what are the cultural nuances of Chinese creativity and entrepreneurship that have paved this foundation? We spoke with Bessie Lee, Founder and CEO of Withinlink, a China-based start-up incubator and early stage venture fund, focused on Marketing Technology that supports China’s media communications industry. Bessie gave us an inside look at her work at Withinlink, and shared her insights on the trends and challenges of innovating, staying relevant and empowering change in large organizations.

 

Let’s start with a little introduction to the work you do at Withinlink. What new perspectives and value do you bring to the start-ups that you work with?

I started Withinlink in 2015. It was a chance to explore my own venture, while I was still CEO at WPP China. My team and I have all come from the marketing world. I think our insight on how the industry operates and particularly the pain-points of the industry and our clients, and also our connections with brands, advertisers and agencies are the kind of resources that a lot of Marketing Technology startups are missing big time. And not just in China, but everywhere. In China, there are so many financial investors, but not enough strategic investors who can help to guide the Marketing Technology start-ups through the industry and to help them find money to sustain their business.

 

What trends and challenges are specific to innovating and staying relevant in China?

Compared to a lot of other countries, China is still a relatively young country. We opened up to the rest of the world 40 years ago. Marketing and advertising-wise, it’s less than 30 years old. The country itself is still trying to innovate. I’m sure you can read in the press that much of our technology has skipped generations. Our consumers have leapt straight to mobile and skipped landline. We’ve skipped through credit cards and gone straight to mobile payment, and so on. Consumers in China are very curious about anything that’s new. So, for any company to stay relevant in China, you need to constantly come up with new ideas and new offerings to surprise the consumers. Otherwise, they are shifting all the time. That’s a huge challenge to any company, not just start-ups and tech companies, but to a lot of the big brands that have been around forever.

 

“Innovation” sounds positive, but it can be challenging to implement internally. What leadership challenges is an Innovation Officer likely to come up against and you what advice do you have for company’s who want to work past these challenges?

I think that the first challenge is in the title itself – ‘Innovation Officer’. Any company that has a Chief Innovation Officer is almost telling the entire company that the responsibility of being innovative lies only with that person. Everyone gets the impression that innovation is none of their business or not part of their KPIs. ‘Look to the Innovation Officer to come up with the next big idea!’ For a company to send a message like that is already a big challenge. It’s wrong. Innovation is the entire company’s responsibility. The second challenge is authority. If you have an Innovation Officer, usually they don’t have any direct authority in terms of hiring or firing throughout critical departments in the company, then that officer can only lead by influence. They don’t have true authority in terms of implementing changes within the organization. In this kind of environment, any proposal that an Innovation Officer comes up with may not be taken seriously. The third challenge for a big company is the system of silos within the organization. Oftentimes, innovation is not just down to one department or one team. It has to involve several teams and several divisions to make it happen. But if a company hasn’t found an effective way of breaking down silos or at least making sure that the silos can collaborate effectively with one another, then innovation is at risk of being diminished during the process of being broken down across these teams.

 

You must have witnessed some pretty inspiring acts of innovation and reinvention throughout your career. Is there a particular organization in China that you admire that has truly embraced innovation as part of their DNA?

It’s not a tech company, but I really admire Loreal China. They used to be my client when I was at WPP. Compared to Unilever and P&G, they’re a relatively new brand in China. Loreal surprised me because they really embrace that newness. The CEO back then, and now, would allow their teams to go out and try something new. And they put in place a tolerance of failure which is really crucial. Oftentimes, innovation happens in the ‘unknown’. You can only get acquainted with the unknown via trial and error. And when you try, there’s always a chance that you’re going to fail. Loreal learned to embrace failure in a way that gave their teams space to go and try new things. For example, in Loreal, the CEO set up a cross-discipline division which was given about five smaller brands to manage. Structurally, the CEO orchestrated to put marketing, data, and logistics management all under the same roof within that team. It was true integration. And the woman who was tasked to manage that team did a fantastic job at making sure that all these disciplines worked well and integrated together. As a result of that integrated team, marketing decisions were data-driven; e-commerce decisions were data-driven, and they were working together hand in hand. In the past year, we’ve all read about China’s economy slowing down and that mass-market brands are in decline. But in Loreal, this team was still seeing more than 100% in sales growth. Given the macro-environment in which other brands were in decline, their growth was not slowing down. That’s just one small example of what Loreal is doing. They’re very pro-active and they’re very hungry to embrace innovation in China. For a big organization, that is not easy. But to simplify it, the company just put action behind its words.

 

You’ve talked in the past about innovation and amplification. If an innovative company is looking to market their work and really speak to a new audience, what qualities should they be looking for in a creative partner or agency?

If a tech company chooses to work with an agency, – in its traditional definition, like a WPP or Omnicom – they should ask the agency to name the three most innovative changes the agency has made in their company in the past year. From here, you can understand if their interpretation of innovation is at the same level as yours. Otherwise, you might find that you’re not at the same wavelength and you’ll have mismatched expectations when it comes to being innovative for your own audience.

 

With this amplification idea in mind, what would you say is the role of good story-telling when it comes to driving innovation?

Story-telling is definitely important. But if you’re a technology company, and especially if you’re a 2C technology company, there is almost certainly a product offering that the consumer will want to enjoy. You need to make sure you’re telling that story but also that your product can deliver. Otherwise, there’ll be a mismatch of expectation versus actual delivery. In China, you will lose your audience very quickly this way.

 

Let’s bring it back to your day-to-day work. What is the fundamental thing that motivates you and gives you joy in your work at Withinlink?

I want to see changes through our investment and through our incubations that we can introduce to the old advertising world, and either disrupt that industry or help that industry to transform themselves – ultimately to come up with a new model. That is the level of change that motivates me and excites me every day at Withinlink. I think inch by inch, we’re doing that. Every day is a fantastic day for me, because I know we’re going to go out there and make small changes that are going to surprise people.

Former WPP exec Bessie Lee on start up investments and challenges faced by Chinese businesses

by The Drum.    September 09, 2019

Bessie Lee resigned as the chief executive of WPP China two-and-a-half years ago and since then the media executive has focused on investing in start-up technology companies through her business WithinLink.

Talking to The Drum, she discusses her search for marketing technology startups all around the world while she acts as an ambassador for Chinese business, in turn, advising on how external companies can grow their own ambitions within the world’s most populated country.

Lee responds warmly when asked how advertising has progressed since her departure from WPP, and explains her belief that the space she has made since leaving advertising, has given her ‘an objective and neutral view’ on the challenges it sector faces.

“I think the challenge in China is probably even more fierce because of the speed of change taking place there,” she adds. “Everything evolves so quickly, we have these walled gardens, it’s very disconnected from the rest of the world. If you want to do marketing in China, you have to do it the China way. A lot of the expertise you have elsewhere probably can’t be transferred to China because the platforms are different, there’s social media but WeChat is more than social media. WeChat has launched this thing called Mini Program which is an app within an app – you don’t have that anywhere else in the world. So, it’s that sort of challenge… everything evolves so quickly we need to build a lot of expertise, but we can’t turn to anyone else for best practice. We have to build best practice out of China. So that is even more of a fierce challenge for the holding group, as the local guys are far more-nimble.”

To those outside of China, it is well known that western brands have no been welcome, instead choosing to invest in local brand growth that contributes to its own economy. As a result Alibaba, JD.com and Huawei have begun to scale well beyond the borders of China with lessons of their own to learn, beginning with working with employees who do not understand the culture of the country with culture proving a major hurdle on both sides.

“I think a challenge for the Chinese brands is they know how to build scale, but I think the first challenge when they leave is what does managing a global portfolio mean to them? That could mean managing global by talent… because a lot of them will have never managed non-Chinese people before… The second of all is the consumer, consumers in these different markets are very different…These brands that grew up in China know their consumer, but once they leave it’s a completely new territory for them. So, what can they do to solve their problems as quickly as possible? The third thing is the lack of trust in Chinese brands. You know the Huawei case, and I’m not here to defend Huawei but in general, there is a lack of trust of Chinese brands. For example, 20 years ago when IBM came to China, Microsoft came to China, but back then nobody questioned well what are you doing with my data? But now, reversed, people are questioning ‘what is Huawei doing with my data?’ So, some of the challenges are the accusations of Chinese brands, and I think some of that trust is probably the biggest challenge that they face. They have to convince people that they’re just a genuine consumer brand wanting to expand.”

Lee has seen a softening of China’s stance to globalization, which she believes has been a positive move for the country as it has become more open to embracing different cultures.

“Believe it or not, yes we are 1.4bn people but there is always an end to growth. Alibaba actually faced that issue when online shoppers peaked in 2011. They still have new online shoppers joining but the numbers are getting smaller. And they’re the largest online shopping platform. So that’s why they’re being very aggressive in acquiring newcomer platforms outside of China. They also horizontally expanded into other sectors like entertainment, investing in movies; Mission Impossible, 007, Alibaba entertainment is one of the investors…They also invest in sport. That’s a sign of them needing to expand in order to capture new growth because they have hit the ceiling. The same as WeChat, when you have 1bn monthly active users if you want to grow where do you go? You have to go outside of China. So there is that need for China companies to become more global. But I think going global is still a journey that is unfamiliar to them. Even if you look at the Chinese government, they become such a big power over such a short time. How do you behave like a global-power nation? That’s also a journey. So, there’s so much for Chinese brands and Chinese companies to pick up going forward.”

Lee added that she believes the opening of doors in China will be that the country is looked upon by advertisers as being like another European continent, targeting its major cities such as Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzou where many wealthy business people reside, however, she advises a look away from the more familiar names and to also target people living in ‘unfamiliar’ Chinese territories too.

“I think they will surprise you with their growth potential,” she explains.

Asked about the companies she is seeking out to support and invest in, the advertising industry is still one that, for all its problems, is still one Lee had genuine belief in to deliver value: “If you look at the poor clients today, the channels are so fragmented, people are using so many different communication devices and things like that. And every channel will come to the clients and say; ‘pick me I’m the best’, but clients need a more trusted advisor who can stand in their shoes, see things from their perspective and give more neutral advice. Agencies these days haven’t changed the way things are done, it’s still very manual driven, and in every media pitch, the clients squeeze your fees so you have a lot less money to pay people and you’re always under-resourced. How do you have time to go out and find the extra resources, discover new technologies and make yourself tech-savvy? You can’t do that and so you lag behind. So what I’m trying to do with my investment is to bring these companies into the industry, educate agencies and also clients that there are things that can be replaced by machines, there are consumer insights that you can get from data and a lot quicker.”

A good investment opportunity for Bessie and her partners [she has around 15 who are all graduates of the marketing sector] is a business that challenges and is able to partner with clients of agencies to offer solutions, however in order to ensure that each investment is supported through their partnership to add value, the incubation portfolio of the company remains small and strategic.

Lee is a believer that technology will not replace people, but be a tool and an aid to make work simpler and solve problems, however, she admits that throughout her investments, the refusal of people to embrace technological change can become an obstacle to success, but is adamant that people will not be replaced.

“Art and science,” she replies when asked ‘why not?’ “Art is something that you cannot replace and a machine cannot do art. You need people, but those people don’t have enough time to do art, so they are trying to do science manually, which is wrong. So that’s what we’re trying to do, come up with a new equation that will make art and science work much better; first of all by growing science in the equation, because for the last 30/40 years it’s been all about art. But I think now science should be taking a more equal role to make marketing more engaging. So, what we’re trying to do is bring up that science element so that art and science are finally balanced and integrated.”

However, the potential of solving the ‘pain points’ of marketing continues to excite Lee after five years of working with start-ups. “In an agency you’re the middle man, you don’t own the data, you don’t own the technology, but in the last four or five years because I’ve been an investor because I’m a shareholder, I can have my hands on real data, real technology, to see them in action. That sort of excitement I didn’t get in my 27 years in the old model. That’s what excites me, I just want more people to see it.

专访李倩玲:坚守使命的戛纳营销科技布道师

Sorry, this entry is only available in 中文. For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in the alternative language. You may click the link to switch the active language.

by Topmarketing

作为行业内顶尖的国际盛日,戛纳狮子国际创意节(以下简称戛纳创意节)历来都是广告人心中的梦想之地。每年的6月,世界各地的业内大咖都不约而同的赶往这个南法小镇。5天的时间里,行业内最前沿的思想和创意在这里交织碰撞,产生多样的化学反应。

碚曦投资协作体的创始人李倩玲(Bessie Lee)用“朝圣”这个词形容戛纳在她心里的地位。从十余年前第一次作为群邑中国首席执行官受邀参加戛纳创意节的演讲到现在作为碚曦投资协作体的创始人兼CEO带领新兴科技公司参加论坛演讲,传播中国创新科技,李倩玲已经成为戛纳创意节的常客。在过去的这些年里,戛纳见证了她从广告公司到投资行业的转变,而她也一路跟随着这只狮子成长、蜕变。

 

 

第一次去戛纳,中国影响力初现

李倩玲第一次去戛纳时,戛纳广告节还未更名为国际创意节。与大多数广告人一样,“朝圣”的兴奋感和新鲜感冲淡了旅途的劳累,用她的话说,“戛纳创意节是一辈子至少要去一次的地方,”因为这是属于广告人的国际舞台,是行业的焦点。

而当时,中国在很多外国人眼里还是一个带着些神秘色彩的新鲜话题。国际影响力逐渐扩大的同时,“山寨”、“抄袭”、“劳力成本低”等偏负面标签也削弱了中国式创新在戛纳的存在感。很少有人注意到这颗正在冉冉升起的东方之星。

那一次,李倩玲受邀参加了某品牌举办的沙滩聚会。会上,她惊喜的发现很多人都开始讨论起了中国营销。那时,李倩玲隐约感觉到中国还有很多这样的“宝藏”待向世界展现。而这个念头也成为了她之后一直在戛纳践行的“使命”。

2012年,李倩玲登上了戛纳主舞台,与当时人人公司的CEO陈一舟共同探讨中国的社交媒体和移动网络对广告业的颠覆。

自此,李倩玲开始了她在戛纳的布道之路。

 

 

戛纳主论坛演讲的布道师

作为广告界的领军人物,李倩玲每年都受邀去很多国际创意节演讲,大部分主题都是关于中国的创新,她把这些观点的输出当成个人使命,因此和去其他地方演讲一样,去戛纳布道也是她的个人使命。不同的是,在戛纳,李倩玲会在创新的大主题下把营销的比重调高。

“中国有太多外国人不了解的,而他们又找不到太多愿意出去演讲的中国人,用他们懂的语言去把事情讲清楚,而不是老王卖瓜那种,”李倩玲讲道。

心怀使命感的人通常也有纵观全局的眼界与胸怀。

作为碚曦投资协作体的创始人,她也陆陆续续将自己孵化的新兴科技公司带到戛纳这个国际舞台,让他们有机会在这个舞台上展现自己的光彩。


2017年李倩玲带着三家新创公司登上戛纳舞台

 

今年,李倩玲就带着宾酷、芝麻科技、快决测、复歌科技一同前往戛纳“朝圣”。这次,她决定把演讲台交给这些新兴科技公司,自己则在一旁当主持人。宾酷、芝麻科技、快决测三家公司将共同讲述营销科技中AI的力量。复歌科技则与联合利华同台阐释媒介购买的透明化问题。这些创新公司都是第一次去戛纳做演讲。


今年碚曦投资协作体及孵化的四家新兴科技公司在戛纳演讲信息

 

谈起不远万里带这些公司去戛纳的目的,李倩玲认为创新公司里大部分都是年轻人,而年轻人必须要有国际视野。此外,戛纳是广告营销行业的主舞台,而这些公司在此演讲也是为了展示他们的技术已经非常成熟,因此结交更多朋友、寻求合作机会也是此行目的之一。

虽然AI已成为行业内热词,千人千面也已讲了无数次,但目前的市场应用与这些目标仍相差甚远,李倩玲认为主要原因是科技已经成熟,但行业拥抱科技的速度却很缓慢,而这很大原因都与“人”有关。

“因为很多科技对大多数人来讲都是未知的,因为未知所以人们不敢拥抱它。而不去拥抱的原因在于,绝大多数公司的企业文化里不鼓励失败,”李倩玲讲道,因此,AI技术也是她近年来的布道主题。

 

 

评审中的“Badass Bessie”

李倩玲曾在去年担任创新狮评审。与其他奖项不同,去年只有创新狮奖项的入围者会被邀请到现场做10分钟的提案陈述,与评审交流互动。而今年,钛狮(Titanium Lions)、玻璃狮(Glass: The Lions For Change)和创新狮(Innovation Lions)的入围者都将去到现场做陈述。

在此之前,戛纳的其他奖项也曾邀请李倩玲做评审,但都被她推辞了,“因为不想被关小黑屋,还要一直不断的看报奖案例视频,最后到了终审大家一直“吵来吵去”,”李倩玲笑着说。但当创新狮奖项发来邀请时,她果断说了“Yes”。

“因为之前是在电脑上去看参展描绘和影片,等到现场和他们(入围者)互动的时候,他们又会提供新的信息,然后我在问问题的时候还帮他们挖到了之前大家都没有想到的亮点,或者是发现不周全的地方,这个过程是非常有趣的,我很享受跟每位选手的交流”李倩玲回忆道。


2018年戛纳创新狮评审团合影

 

但享受的同时,李倩玲却不知不觉中成了评审主席口中的“狠角色”(Badass Bessie)。

与其他从事广告创意的评审不同,作为9位评审中唯一处于投资行业的人,李倩玲很注重商业模式,因此她抛出的很多问题都落于现实层面,很容易“问倒”这些创意人。

同组的评审还曾对她直言“还好我不是参赛者,因为你问的问题我都不知道怎么回答。”

这句话也使李倩玲察觉到了自己从广告到投资行业视角的转变,但她很享受这个身份,以及它带来的新思考。

而现在,作为一名投资者,李倩玲也在继续在一次一次布道中鼓励企业去拥抱科技,她希望扶植这些新兴科技公司,从而用技术推动营销产业的升华。“现在消费者的媒介使用习惯背后有越来越多科技的东西,我现在要做的事情就是带着这些项目公司一起把产业的技术因子放大,放大到和艺术相平等的地位,”李倩玲说。

“碚曦杯”首届大学生 MarTechHacks 营销科技黑客松大赛在沪完美收官

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孵化营销科技人才 赋能品牌营销活力

(2019 年 4 月 29 日,上海) 2019 年“碚曦杯”首届大学生 MarTechHacks 营销科技黑客松大赛于上海 杨浦造就空间完美收官。比赛历时两周,吸引了华东师范大学、复旦大学、上海外国语大学、上海交通 大学、上海纽约大学以及上海工艺美术职业学院-WPP 视觉艺术学院六家高校敢想、敢拼、敢创造的年 轻学子参与角逐。

(“碚曦杯”首届大学生 MarTechHacks 营销科技黑客松大赛选手及评委合影)

打破传统营销的条条框框,探索营销科技的无限可能,24 小时不间断封闭式黑客松成了他们挥洒创意的舞 台,目标在同等时间周期内通过营销科技的传播手段实现“品效合一”。由中国广告营销界领军人、广告主 和 4A 公司的知名营销人以及中国传媒大学教授组成的评审团,基于两周的成绩以及现场二十分钟提案环 节,根据营销技术的运用、业绩转化、营销创意和团队合作四个维度对参赛队的营销成果进行综合评估, 最终复旦大学成为双料冠军问鼎 MarTechHacks 2019 优胜团队并荣膺创意大奖,共获六万元现金大奖, 上海工艺美术职业学院-WPP 视觉艺术学院获最佳 ROI 效果大奖。

碚曦投资协作体创始人兼首席执行官李倩玲女士表示:”为帮助广告营销行业的年轻人适应日新月异的品 牌营销和技术环境,我们创办此次营销科技黑客松大赛,鼓励年轻营销人在实践与思考时发挥创意的多样 性,脚踏实地发掘艺术与技术结合的多种可能性。随之, 我们期待更多新世代借此机会认识和理解广告营 销的力量,探索更多学以致用的机会,与行业共同进步和成长。“


(碚曦投资协作体创始人兼首席执行官李倩玲女士致辞)

比赛中,选手们需要快速理解产品、技术、逻辑和流程,合理运用各营销科技平台进行数据收集、分析、 品牌传播并与消费人群产生互动、影响和转化。辉瑞制药个人保健部高级市场经理(媒体)Doris Liu 作为 此次大赛评委之一,在评审后坦言:“同学们所运用的都是顺应当下营销发展趋势的有效解决方案,我在他 们身上看到了未来营销发展的希望。“ 由数家营销科技领域领先的企业提供技术指导和支持,形成互补的 营销科技产品矩阵,来自筷子科技、快决测、它说、天乐邦、复歌科技、兔展、芝麻科技的技术顾问从大 赛训练营开始,全程帮助参赛选手学习、掌握、运用前沿营销技术。

参赛选手将运用各类营销技术,借助不同平台和技术的优势,使用大赛为每队提供的一万元人民币现金投 放预算,以源自丹麦的环保家居清洁及洗护品牌洣洣 myk+的各类产品为营销实践,在比赛规定时间周期内带动品牌知名度打造价值感的同时运用硬性及软性广告快速提升产品认知并激发首次消费尝试。大赛特 设“实时转化排行榜“对选手们进行营销数据效果的监测。与此同时,每支参赛队配有一位资深营销人作 为导师全程助阵为选手们答疑解惑,确保营销技术被正确合理使用,以及营销费用的透明性和营销数据的 真实性。

来自复旦大学的获奖选手感言:“碚曦投资协作体给了我们实战的机会, 在实践操作过程我们获得了完全 不同以往的体验,之前参加过很多营销比赛,但做的都是‘飞机稿’,有了以往经验的积累,此次拿到创意 奖和优胜团队大奖是组员共同努力的结果也是对我们学以致用的肯定,而我们也会在未来对 MarTech 和 全新的营销方式有更全面的思考。”


(碚曦投资协作体创始人兼首席执行官李倩玲女士为复旦大学获奖团队颁奖)

首届大学生 MarTechHacks 营销科技黑客松大赛,是碚曦投资协作体首次将孵化营销科技领域新兴企业 的理念延伸至人才培养,旨在为年青一代传播营销人才创造快速接触前沿战场,同时,为中国广告营销 行业注入生生不息的动力,赋能品牌营销活力。

碚曦投资协作体荣获”金V奖” 助力VR/AR产业发展

by Sohu.com

2019年1月15日,2019虚拟与增强现实产业年会暨“金V奖”颁奖盛典如期而至。2019年将是VR/AR行业重要的一年,下一代VR一体机和VR头显朝着高分辨率、内向外跟踪低时延、低功耗、低成本、广视角、可变景深、头手6DOF内向外跟踪、轻薄小型化方向深化开发。同时5G将迎来试商用,在其加持下VR/AR将迎来一波全新的浪潮。VR游戏、AR车载导航、全景直播、远程手术、虚拟课堂培训、即时VR内容创作、VR云等技术及业务都有可能得到质的飞跃。

2018年开始我们看到VR技术应用逐渐开始从B端向C端市场发展,HTC、Pico、小米、睿悦、大朋等企业纷纷推出高性能的VR一体机,强调轻便移动、巨幕影音、性价比的VR一体机正逐渐成为消费市场的主流产品, VR将在2019年迎来B端和C端市场的双重增长。除了VR我们还看到AR、MR等技术也在日新月异的发展,网易HoloKit、0glass、网易洞见、京东、蚂蚁特工等企业在AR领域也取得了优异的市场成果。2019年,5G移动网络将在中国迎来试商用,5G具有高带宽、大容量、低延时等特征,将大幅提升包括VR影视、VR教育、VR游戏等内容带给用户的综合体验。硬件+内容的生态组合将进一步推动行业的快速发展。我们非常有理由相信,VR/AR行业的春天即将到来。

2019虚拟与增强现实产业年会随后进行了颁奖,碚曦投资协作体荣获年度最佳投资机构奖的殊荣。获奖的其他资本有清研新一代人工智能产业基金、领中资本、第十区、VRAI基金、精准资本、中盟集团。

(右一:碚曦投资协作体首席人才官 李文海先生)

First group of Cannes Lions 2019 speakers confirmed

 by Cannes Lions . November 1, 2018

D2C brand founders, classic companies undergoing transformation, marketers from disruptive high-growth start-ups, creatives from across the new ecosystem, and future-defining thinkers are among the first speakers named for the 66th International Festival of Creativity. 

The founders of disruptive luggage company Away, mattress firm Casper and contact lens retailer Hubble are just three of the D2C challengers confirmed for Cannes Lions.

Jen Rubio, Philip Krim and Jesse Horwitz will join marketers from disruptive up-starts like HelloFresh and Farfetch to explore how new players are thinking about communications differently.

In addition, a double Academy Award winner will be making an appearance. Dr Mark Sagar is the CEO and Co-founder of Soul Machines. He was involved with the creation of technology for the digital characters in blockbusters such Avatar, King Kong, and Spiderman 2. He’ll be joined by some of the world’s most innovative thinkers, including Tracey Follows from Futuremade, Adobe’s Jamie Myrold, Chinese tech community GeekPark and incubator founder Bessie Lee. Together they’ll explore what the future of society might look like and where communications sit.

Some of the world’s biggest brands will also be represented on stage. Marketers from Mercedes-Benz, OneMain Financial and P&G will all discuss how their companies are dealing with disruption and transforming for the modern world. Finally, we’ve confirmed award-winning creatives from Accenture Interactive and ServicePlan.

Advertisers get the technology edge

By Shi Jing, China Daily. August 13, 2018

Bessie Lee, ex CEO of WPP China, leads Withinlink’s investments in promising startups

Bessie Lee, 52, the first Chinese female CEO of WPP China, the communications group, quit last year to set up her own business. Fifty, she said, is just about the right age for career professionals with entrepreneurial ambitions to start up.

In 2015, even while working with WPP, Lee founded Withinlink, a startup incubator and strategic venture fund to focus on marketing technology for China’s advertising, media and communications industries. WPP allowed Lee to use 40 percent of her time for growing her own business.

Now, Lee has all the freedom to set the future direction for Withinlink. More importantly, she enjoys the opportunity to share with the outside world the exciting developments happening in China.

Having worked with the world’s largest communications group for 27 years, Lee has developed an ability to discern companies that could be good targets for investment. In less than three years, Withinlink has invested in 14 companies whose total market value has surged by over 10 times since.

“Our rule is to invest very selectively and seek deep incubation,” she said.

The investment choices made are somehow like “love at first sight”, for all of the invested startups have provided technologies or solutions that can directly address the industry pain points, Lee said.

Kuaizi, an artificial intelligence or AI-enabled creative platform under Withinlink’s portfolio, can provide advertisers with various creative plans based on users’ prefer-ences. Machine learning is adopted in Kuaizi’s solutions that can significantly reduce cost, which traditional agencies can hardly attain.

QuickDecision Technologies, the market research platform under Kuaizi, has also applied AI in its research, which can reach wider interviewees and come out with research results faster. Its efficiency has attracted even leading fast moving consumer goods companies to give up long-time partners. And QuickDecision managed to break even in less than one year.

To Lee, these are disruptive innovations in the marketing and advertising industry in China.

“Quite a lot of people still hold the stereotype that Chinese companies are copycats. But the fact is, China is now home to so much original innovation. While I was in WPP, I was so eager to share with the rest of the world this fact. However, there were limitations on public speeches. But now, I am not bound anymore,” she said.

Technological advancements in China have changed the landscape in the marketing and advertising industry in the country so tremendously that a large part of the market potential remains untapped yet, according to Lee.

One example is the over 25 billion yuan ($3.7 billion) advertising income that internet giant Tencent reportedly reaped from its social networks in 2017. This number is likely to reach 50 billion yuan this year. But, according to Lee, these numbers are not part of any report.

“Concerns have been expressed that the adspend in China has been contracting over the past few years. It might be true if it comes to the traditional channels like print media. But the surveys have not included the numbers in the digital area like WeChat Moments, where the future lies,” she said.

Smaller startups, rather than the large communication groups, are quicker in responding to the trend. So, large corporations should have the sense of an impending crisis to be able to respond better to the changing scenario, she said.

“It seems that the large market players are holding a defensive attitude instead of an open mindset regarding the changed landscape. But the truth is, the smaller ones will not die because of the bigger ones’ defense. Advertisers will eventually skip the large agencies and go directly to the smaller companies,” she said, suggesting that cooperation or even acquisition of smaller, niche players with specific expertise or specialization is the right way out for large corporations.

On her outlook for the companies in Withinlink’s portfolio, Lee said they might not grow into so-called unicorns as most of them are facing businesses rather than consumers,. “Small rhinos” is how she would like to describe the companies that Withinlink invested in.

“The rhinos are quite dashing. They are willing to team up with each other. I hope that our invested companies can work together and generate the power of a unicorn,” she said.

To be sure, Withinlink has ambition. Over the next 10 years, there will likely be further consolidation in the Chinese marketing industry, which will see the rise of an all-in group. And that could well be Withinlink, Lee said.