Bessie Lee: ‘Agencies and marketers fear they’re not innovative enough’

by Lucy Aitken, WARC. 03 January 2018

Bessie Lee, founder and CEO of Withinlink, a China-based startup incubator and strategic venture fund, is judging the Effective Innovation category in this year’s WARC Awards. She talks to Lucy Aitken about the fear of agencies and marketers that they’re not innovative enough and why tech is the weakest link in marketing.

What prompted you to launch Withinlink?

In 2013, when I first took on the WPP job [CEO, WPP China] one of my responsibilities was to look for merger, acquisition and investment for B2B in China. I started building connections with the investment community so I observed that, while there are a lot of financial investors in China, there wasn’t a company that could help sustain startups. There was a market for a strategic resource that could help these companies grow.

Withinlink is a strategic angel investor with a boutique portfolio and an incubation model. We invest to help these companies steer their pitch to marketers and agencies to say how their solution can address pain-points. Because we know the market, we have insights into how it operates and what those pain-points are. We focus only on marketing and advertising technology because that’s the industry where we built our expertise and experience.

How do you define innovation?

Innovation is an overused term. Just like big data. Many years ago, big data was a hot topic but I’m not sure if most people know what big data actually means. Innovation is in a similar place. I haven’t actually got a term that I’m happy to replace it with, so I use ‘innovation’. My definition is that it can be original thinking but it can also be a combination of old elements applied in an original way.

Does innovation always have to involve tech?

Not necessarily. For us specifically to be happy to help grow companies, we would like the company to have a tech offering because our resource is centred around markets and agencies in this industry. We know that this tech-related area is the weakest link.

Why is it the weakest link in marketing and advertising?

There’s a combination of reasons. In the good old days, marketing didn’t require too much tech so it was not discussed. Media used to be simple: it was transmitted in a very traditional way so agencies did not have to hire any tech talent. But the situation started to change around five years ago when mobile took off. Consumers now have this little device that they spend a lot of time using and which travels everywhere with them. The engagement and relationship with that device has pushed a lot of the changes in the tech revolution as to how our device evolved. So ten years ago, when smartphones were introduced and when Apple launched the first touchscreen, customers could suddenly do much more with their devices.

That change happened so quickly and the implication for marketing was that it blurred the lines between creative/content/media and touchpoint. In the past, it’s been much more compartmentalised, so you have particular specialists in this or that because the line separating them used to be very clear and now it’s very blurry. Agencies and clients now need to realise that there are always some skills missing from what they can offer, and it took people a while to realise this.

Unfortunately, whether you’re an agency or a client, you’ll have a hard time attracting top quality tech people or programmers or engineers because their first priority has always been Google and Facebook. So that piece is still missing.

Do you think that, in the comms industry, there is a fear that marketers and agencies are not innovating quickly enough?

That fear is definitely there and it’s very real. I’ve seen marketers and agencies looking for quick solutions to tackle it but quick solutions aren’t going to solve the root cause to that fear. Agencies and marketers have that fear that they’re being left behind and are labelled as not innovative enough so everyone is suffering from this anxiety of not being innovative enough. That means they’re constantly looking for ways to engineer a very quick showcase or solution to prove to the world that they’re OK.

What would you like to see from the papers submitted to the Effective Innovation category?

I would like to see humble ideas that solve a major challenge. That could be a life challenge or it could be a major challenge faced by marketers. I like to see small ideas that have a great impact. I’d rather not see a very costly exercise trying to solve a small problem.

What advice would you like to give to entrants?

Try not to over-package. If your idea is simple and humble enough, if it solves an issue, articulate that clearly and the impact should come out very quickly. If you have to over-package, it means that something’s not good enough.

29 Powerful Women Reveal Their Success Secrets, Leadership Tips & The Awful Advice They Didn’t Take


Bessie Lee
Founder and CEO of Withinlink

Disregarding some cringeworthy advice early in her career to find a rich man to marry, Bessie Lee has always taken success into her own hands. The previous CEO of WPP China and the current founder and CEO of Withinlink, Lee is currently one of the most experienced and highly-respected individuals in China’s media industry. A proud mother and risk-taking business women, she confronts conflict head on, turning her biggest failures into triumphs.

What is the best advice you have given another woman in 2017?
”Fight for what you think is right. Bitch? You bet!”

It takes a lot more than hard work and dedication along the way to claim your power. In hindsight, what advice would you give your 22-year-old self?
“Don’t bother getting a master’s degree. Dive right into the real world and learn from real business people.”

Bad advice is worse than none at all. What was the worst advice you have ever gotten?
“You should marry someone nice with a steady job and lots of zeros in his bank account. Then start your own little family and support your husband in his career.”

Not every ambition turns into a result. It is sometimes hard to accept that. When did you fail and how did you overcome it?
“My biggest failure in my career was a USD 6billion mess of mismatched financial records. It was accidentally discovered by an outgoing CFO back in 2007 when I was GroupM China CEO.

WPP had to take aUSD10 mil hit at the beginning of 2008 ahead of the two-year reconciliation work. For three months after the discovery, I woke up every morning telling myself that this would be the day WPP would send someone to fire me. It never happened. I didn’t resign too as that would not have helped resolve the crisis at all. Instead, I chose to stay on top of it and worked diligently with the new CFO and the finance team to reconcile every single record. At the end of the two-year effort, not only did we not lose money, we actually had some financial gain.”

Can you tell us about the last time you were proud of yourself?
“ I was very proud when Central Saint Martin offered my 18 year old daughter a place this year, based on her art portfolio and without an interview. I am proud I am a very open-minded and unconventional mother when it comes to her education and her life, especially in a country filled with Asian Tiger moms. I always encourage her to try things even if they were not conventional or even provocative but felt were highly relevant to her, her friends and the community. My daughter’s art reflects the inspiration and life experiences she has gained as a result. I am a proud mother.”

Sheryl Sandberg
Chief Operating Officer at Facebook

Facing personal and professional setbacks on her path to success, Sheryl Sandberg never fails to inspire us with her resilience in the face of adversity. Currently the Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, and the first woman ever to be appointed to Facebook’s board of directors, her professional achievements are an equal match for her personal strength. A staunch advocate for women climbing the corporate ladder, her bestseller, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, shines a light on gender differences, and offers practical advice to help women achieve their goals.

What is the best advice you have given another woman in 2017?
“The best advice I gave another person – woman or man – this year has to do with cultivating gratitude. Two years ago, I lost my husband, Dave Goldberg. I thought that my children and I would never have another moment of pure joy again. A few months later, my friend Adam Grant, a professor of psychology, suggested that I start writing down three moments of joy every day. Of all the New Year’s resolutions I’ve ever made, this is the one I’ve kept the longest by far. Nearly every night before I go to sleep, I jot down three happy moments in my notebook. Doing this makes me notice and appreciate these flashes of joy. It’s a habit that brightens the whole day.”

It takes a lot more than hard work and dedication along the way to claim your power. In hindsight, what advice would you give your 22-year-old self?
“I would go back and tell myself, ‘don’t try to plan out your entire career.’ ‘Don’t do it at 22, and don’t do it at 32 or 42 or 52, either.’ In retrospect, it would have been especially fruitless to try to plan my whole career at age 22, because when I graduated from college Mark Zuckerberg was in elementary school. Computers were something you used in a lab. It was impossible to envision where I’ve found myself, and I think that’s true today, looking to the future, too.

“Instead, I recommend having a long-term dream and a short-term plan. I hope everyone — but especially women — will dream big. Even if the chances of achieving that dream are slim, that dream can still provide useful guidance when you’re making career decisions. We never accomplish something we don’t set out to accomplish! One way to challenge yourself is ask yourself my favorite question — What would you do if you were not afraid?”

Bad advice is worse than none at all. What was the worst advice you’ve ever gotten?
“I’ve gotten plenty of bad advice in my career. Nearly always, the person offering the advice had my best interests at heart. Some truly extraordinary mentors advised me not to take jobs at Google and Facebook, and those ended up being two of the most challenging and fulfilling roles I’ve ever had. It was my friends and Dave who encouraged me to take what turned out to be some of the most incredible opportunities I could have ever wished for. Often our peers are our best advisors.”

Not every ambition turns into a result. It is sometimes hard to accept that. When did you fail and how did you overcome it?
“One of my most painful failures was personal. After I graduated college, I moved to Washington, D.C., and I hoped to meet an eligible man while I started my career. My parents always emphasized marriage as much as they emphasized academic achievement. They thought that marrying early, before all the ‘good ones’ were taken, was wise. That seemed smart to me, so I met a great guy and got married at 24. But it turns out, I wasn’t mature enough to make that lifelong decision. By 25, I was divorced. It felt like a massive failure. For a long time, I worried that no matter what I accomplished professionally, it would always be dulled by the scarlet letter ‘D’ that I was sure was visible to everyone I met.

“Since then, I’ve learned that not all the ‘good ones’ get scooped up early (I met my husband Dave almost 10 years later). I’ve also learned that you shouldn’t let a fear of failure (something that was definitely on my mind all those years ago, looking for a husband right out of school) dictate your life decisions. At Facebook, we work to create a culture where people are encouraged to move fast, break things, and not be afraid to fail. We have posters all around the office that encourage people to take risks: ‘Fortune favors the bold.’”

Can you tell us about the last time you were proud of yourself?
“Since losing Dave, I’ve discovered that you can be really proud of yourself for the smallest thing sometimes. After Dave died, my confidence — both at work and at home — took a nosedive. Before I started listing moments of joy my friend Adam Grant (who I eventually wrote Option B with) recommended another list-making exercise: to write down three things that went well each day. At first, this felt silly — I would write things like, ‘Made tea.’ ‘Got through all of my emails.’ ‘Went to work and focused for most of one meeting.’ But there’s evidence that noticing and celebrating small wins like this really does help. It did for me.

“I ended up deciding to share what I’ve learned about facing adversity and building resilience — including tips like these — because I felt that if I could help anyone else recover or support a loved one through a tough time, then I would have found a meaningful way to honor and continue my husband’s legacy. I wrote a book called Option B, and now my foundation has started to carry this work forward. I’m proud of how we’re helping kick elephants out of the rooms and starting conversations about grief and adversity. I’m proud of the community we’re building online, which is already touching thousands of lives. And I’m proud of the fact that Facebook is now leading other companies toward smarter, more compassionate bereavement policies. There is so much we can do to help each other, and I’m glad to be a part of that conversation.”

Bozoma Saint John
CBO at Uber

Forced to flee her native home in Ghana and seek political asylum in the U.S. at just 5 years old, Bozoma Saint John is no stranger to confronting impossible situations with a badass attitude. An embodiment of the American Dream, she’s shaped her destiny through hard work, resilience, and a forceful creative personality. After a long, successful career in the music industry (holding executive positions at iTunes, Apple Music, and Beats Music), she was appointed as Uber’s first-ever Chief Brand Officer in June.

What is the best advice you have given another woman in 2017?
“Listen to critics.  They may tell you truths that your fans will not.  But take all feedback, from critics and fans alike, with a grain of salt.”

It takes a lot more than hard work and dedication along the way to claim your power. In hindsight, what advice would you give your 22-year-old self?
“I would tell my 22-year-old self… ‘You’ve got it, girl! Don’t worry so much!’ That’s because I would stress myself out about all the possibilities of any decision that needed to be made, and could be rendered immobile because of it. When I started going with my gut and threw out all of the pros and cons lists, I made better decisions that fit my life.”

Bad advice is worse than none at all. What was the worst advice you’ve ever gotten?
“When I was told ‘never wear red lipstick or red nail polish to the office; it’s too bold’ — not just because of the superficiality of the advice, but because it made me question how bold I could be in the office. It made me wonder if my voice was too loud and my personality too big.  What a mistake it would’ve been if I’d taken that advice and quieted myself. I would’ve made no dynamic contributions at all.”

Not every ambition turns into a result. It is sometimes hard to accept that. When did you fail and how did you overcome it?
“I fail a lot — in small ways and in big ways.  But if I don’t fail, I know that I’m not pushing far enough.  So every time I go for too long without stepping in some shit, I push a little further. There’s nothing like some caca on my stiletto to let me know that I need to step up my game.”

Can you tell us about the last time you were proud of yourself?
“On my daughter’s first day of third grade this year, I was really happy to be able to take her to school and get her settled. But, I also felt guilty because some of the parents were going to stay for the whole day and help out in the classroom. I couldn’t because I had make a mad dash to the airport to catch a flight for important meetings. While I was taking out her school supplies and arranging her desk, I overheard her talking to her classmates about their activities that day, and she was telling her friends why I wasn’t going to be there. She was so proud of me, and my heart nearly burst with pride at the sound of it. I’m proud that I’m able to be an example for my daughter, and that she finds me worthy to brag about.”

Demet Mutlu
Founder & CEO of Trendyol

Launching your own business takes passion, hard work, and persistence, but it all starts with a gut feeling and a great idea. After realizing the potential of launching a fashion e-commerce company in Turkey, Demet Mutlu dropped out of Harvard Business School to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams. Now at the helm of Turkey’s biggest fashion e-commerce site, she’s committed to helping others achieve their dreams by investing in her employees’ professional growth and advocating for their success.

What is the best advice you have given another woman in 2017?
“I think one of the biggest female barriers is the ‘perfection issue.’ Most women feel they need to be perfect. We are afraid to fail, and this is the biggest mistake. My advice to women is: Do not be afraid to make mistakes, fail, and learn from your mistakes.”

It takes a lot more than hard work and dedication along the way to claim your power. In hindsight, what advice would you give your 22-year-old self?
“When I was young, I was focusing on being perfect: perfect GPA, perfect internship, perfect hair, perfect dress. But perfect is the enemy of good enough. You should focus on always improving; you don’t have to be perfect.”

Bad advice is worse than none at all. What was the worst advice you have ever gotten?
“I really do not remember these kind of things. If it is bad advice, I move on.”

Not every ambition turns into a result. It is sometimes hard to accept that. When did you fail and how did you overcome it?
“First of all, I accept mistakes and failures, and I really treat them as learning opportunities. One of the biggest failures I had was during startup phase. I was working 18-20 hours in a day, damaged my health, and developed insulin resistance. I overcame it by talking with my mentors and taking their feedback seriously. You should always be open to feedback. I am surrounded by people who are not just part of the board of directors in my team, but also in my life. I ask them a lot about what I do well, and what I do poorly, and take their feedback seriously. This is very important to build that circle of trust.”

Can you tell us about the last time you were proud of yourself?
“I’m most proud of myself when I see my team is growing. There are people who’ve been at Trendyol for almost five years now, managing huge accounts and large teams. Most of the time when I am proud of myself it’s when I see the impact I’ve made on them and see them growing, doing things better than me. There are many instances which I say I could not do better than them, which is a great feeling.”

From corporate to startup

by Robert Sawatzky, CampaignAsia. Oct 2,2017

How Bessie Lee’s career has changed since leaving WPP.

Life is very different for Bessie Lee these days. After 27 years of corporate life, climbing the WPP ladder via GroupM to become the holding company’s chief executive in China, she gave up the C-suite to build her new venture startup firm, Withinlink, from scratch.

The corporate life may be hard to leave behind, along with its army of staff and resources, but one of the obvious benefits of starting fresh is the ability to affect change quickly and pounce on market gaps that open up to an experienced eye. “Running your company means that you can take on that opportunity right away, you can put together a JV… you can just make it happen.”

And Lee is doing just that. She founded Withinlink in 2015 but was only able to devote part of her time to it until she left WPP in May. After raising an RMB 55 million (US$8 million) fund, she just launched a US$30 million fund targeting US firms looking to break into the Chinese market. Now she’s already busy planning a second RMB fund.

Cultivating young companies

About half of Lee’s energies go into helping the 11 portfolio companies of investment arm Withinlink Capital. These run the gamut from mobile advertising to big data, social media and internet of things. In her first fund she explained Withinlink’s investment was for five years plus a two-year extension, with an exit strategy of either IPO or acquisition. Lee doesn’t interfere in day-to-day operations, but advises founders on larger strategy, connects them with clients and creates ‘horizontal’ collaborations between them.

The acquisition and incubation process at Withinlink is quite different from the one she left behind at WPP, which only bought mature companies with annual revenues of US$5 million or more. Those acquisitions were then thrown into operating companies to form another arm of that portfolio, whether for GroupM or Ogilvy.

“The theory is then you become that operating company’s responsibility to grow it,” Lee told Campaign. “But that in a way sort of limits that company’s growth to only clients that operating company is servicing. No other companies will volunteer to help you grow.”

From ad tech data firm Fugetech to AI-based creative platform Kuaizi to the mobile ad specialist Pingcoo, Lee sees a wealth of talent and technology that could be deployed. “If I would go in with all of our companies under our investment arm in a client pitch, I could probably put together an integrated offering without working with any agencies,” she said, underlining she does not want to build her own agency.

But Withinlink does have a consultancy service as well three marcomms joint ventures formed only this year that require hands-on management and assistance. These take about another 30 to 40 percent of Lee’s time and energy.

Bringing Chinese and US companies together

In the remaining 10 to 20 percent of her time, Lee travels to conferences like Dmexco and Spikes, where she was last week, serving as Innovation jury president. Not only does she want to raise awareness for Withinlink and its portfolio firms, but she also wants to see what non-Chinese companies are doing and how she can help them enter the Chinese market.

From her vantage points inside and outside of China, Lee sees the differences in startup cultures. In Silicon Valley they’re very fragmented and tend to go deep into their niches, while remaining open to collaboration with outside companies to move beyond their expertise. Chinese startups, in contrast, said Lee “tend do want to do more under the same roof and do more of it themselves”, an attitude made evident by the large omnipresent platforms of Alibaba and Tencent.

But while more mature Chinese entrepreneurs want to do more in-house, Lee sees a younger generation of startups led by 20-somethings who have a much more open attitude toward collaborating with other companies.

The old ‘made in China’ stereotypes are fading away by the pace and energy of new creative entrepreneurs. “I want to convey the message that there are a lot of original innovations in China… moving away from copycats to innovation that is leading the world already.”

Bessie Lee presented a President’s Masterclass “From Corporate to Startup” at the Innovation Stage at the Spikes Asia Festival of Creativity.

营销观察 | 广告业风向标李倩玲离职再创业,营销科技圈正在发生哪些变化?

2017-08-10 36氪 王雷柏





碚曦在两年时间里已经投资了10多家创业公司,并获得了不错的投资回报。除了财务上的投资以外,李倩玲还积极利用自己积攒的人脉资源,帮助这些公司对外发声。譬如在今年的戛纳广告创意节上,她就带着Gululu、筷子科技、兔展等三家创业公司的创始人在Lions Innovation(创新狮)的论坛上进行了演讲,获得了不错的反响。






















李倩玲:AI非常值得关注,很多人觉得这和广告或者创意无关,他们错了。AI和这个领域有非常多可以结合的地方。譬如当今天客户给你了一个brief(创意简报),创意人员做的第一件事往往是去翻翻书和上网搜案例来思考和找灵感,这件事情其实是机器学习能够替代的。因为人们能看的东西永远有限,如果机器能够帮你从更大的数据库筛选案例,这将缩短前期的时间,并让你拥有更好的案例质量。之前有一部电影Ghost in the Shell(《攻壳机动队》)的预告片就是IBM的Watson剪出来的,全部都是机器剪的,人工只是略微进行了检查、修改和微调。这件事挺触动我的,因为以传统方式去剪往往至少需要三到四天。这样的情况,也完全有可能在广告营销领域产生。




Original  2017-07-04  《中国广告》

——专访李倩玲Bessie Lee 碚曦投资管理集团(Withinlink)创始人兼首席执行官、原WPP集团中国区首席执行官

中国传媒界推崇备至的领军人李倩玲Bessie Lee女士,在今年4月份宣布卸任WPP集团中国区首席执行官一职之后,专注于碚曦投资管理集团(Withinlink,营销科技领域的新兴企业孵化器和早期风险投资机构)的工作。随着中国进一步迈入数字时代,发展势头已经从大企业转移到新兴企业和创业者,打破常规、积极创新、创办公司已是大势所趋,李倩玲Bessie Lee女士身体力行投身于科技革新的浪潮,为中国技术创新推波助澜。



● 以前是WPP的老员工,在看其它集团的分享时,会带着一种批判的眼光,觉得WPP自己也可以做到,甚至做的更好。但是,这次来就会比较中立的来看各个集团,在这个广告界的奥斯卡盛典上,都想要有非常强和非常好的表现,或者从那么多的参赛或者参加演讲的作品中凸显出来,比较中立的去看每个集团在做的努力或者是不努力。

● 也因为我是“自由人”的身份,所以我可以大方接受不同集团对我采访的邀请。比如昨天PHD在戛纳发布了这本《MERGE》的新书,在戛纳也找了不少人去做访谈,一起谈一些未来的事情。所以,如果以前WPP一员的身份,我就无法去参加这样的访问和交流。来戛纳之前,还去看了阳狮的VIVATECH,也可以跟不同集团的友方很自由的交流,“自由人”的身份真的很有意思。

您花了很多时间在health care和innovation部分,为什么对这两块那么感兴趣?有没有听到有趣的内容可以分享?
Lions Health(后文简称L.H)今年是第四次举办,但我还是第一次参加。我更加关注的几个方面:第一、AI和机器学习,我觉得L.H是一个AI可以很好发挥的领域,以往来我没有参与是因为还没有特别清楚AI和机器学习领域的专业词汇和知识,经过一年的学习,这次过来特别想看看自己所了解的科技的实际运用场景。也是这次才知道原来Classic Pass(普通通行证)不包含L.H,下一年再来的朋友也要注意了。还蛮庆幸自己upgrade了pass去听了L.H,我觉得里面有很多有意思的东西。

我一直认为中国在AI和机器学习领域应该算是处于一个领导地位,一是因为我们人口众多,代表每个人所产生的相关的数据量是很庞大的,AI一个很重要的基础就是要有非常庞大的数据量,所以我觉得中国在这个方面是有先天的优势的。还有,我在听health里面有一场分享,FCB world health的全球董事长的演讲,他说health care的整个市场潜力是banking的三倍,只是由于这个领域有很多方面的限制和行业规矩,才限制了发展速度。中国在这个领域没有太多的包袱,而且政府对医改是非常有决心的,所以在health care这个方面,中国应该会有很多有意思的领先创新和领先的变革。

在其他几场演说里我还听到,现在的health care主要关注在sick care。没有做到事先预防和保护的目的。因此,很多公司今年都开始往healthcare方向去发展,包括很多的大数据、基因的完整排序等。





我们关注的是广告营销领域跟科技的结合。L.H这块有很多公司开始往healthcare领域而不是简单的sick care发展的话,里面有很多consumer engagement的形式和机会,这个是很多品牌可以使用的,而且不止是跟health care有关的品牌,而是所有跟well being有关的品牌都可以去考虑这样engagement的方式。

从我个人来讲,2008年华扬联众不再跟群邑集团合作,“逼着”我去研究digital,从那时开始就很沉迷于在这个领域的探索,至今已经快十年了。我越看越觉得自己懂得越少,希望把全世界类似这样的会展都能够走遍。我觉得戛纳创意节的内容很有意思,几乎不会花时间在主论坛。以后来应该也会把时间花在L.H和innovation的四天专场,我还在观察entertainment的部分有没有一些科技的元素,我看到内容安排上有gaming的story telling,有VR在entertainment领域的运用等,我都会去听。所以,我的精力应该都会花在副论坛上。


我觉得他们的表现都非常好!演讲结束到了后台,我都想给他们每个人一个拥抱。他们三个人里面,Alvin Chiang(Gululu的CEO)对于戛纳是熟悉的,但是他好像没有在戛纳的舞台上演讲过,他应该有在其它的舞台上有演讲经历,所以我对Alvin不是很担心。但是Winder Chen(Kuaizi Technology的Founder)和董少灵(兔展的Founder和CEO),这个应该是他们第一个参加的国际论坛,而且不是用母语来分享。不要说是他们,就是我用英文在台上分享还是会紧张,因此也可以想到他们紧张的程度。我们之前花了很多时间跟他们去预演,我觉得他们自己也很努力。预演也就做了两次,到了台上这种氛围跟预演的时候还是有很大差别的。我觉得他们的表现真的是非常好,尤其是董少灵,我们一开始会担心他的英文,但是可以看到他的努力,这种努力是有好的结果的,他在台上讲的很顺。我们给他的建议他有听进去,有在修正他说话的方式,非常棒!


当然,我也看到了戛纳的主办方对于中国公司的态度转变。去年我们带着WeChat来,腾讯,是非常大的公司。经过努力,戛纳组委会愿意给我们主论坛这样一个位置,但是时间是放在活动开始的第二天,没有放到人流量特别大的周一到周三。这个比起之前更好,记得第一次来戛纳的时候,那是第一次的China Day。那个时候没有中国人在台上演讲,只是在海滩辟出一块地方搞了活动。我认为今年就有一个很成功的China Day,场地放在了主会场的THE FORUM,而且China Day的内容也是由戛纳创意节组委会一起来做的。同时,我们Withinlink的这场分享也进到Lions Innovation的主论坛,而且被安排在第一天下午最黄金的时间段,我看到开始变化。今年台下坐的绝大部分还是中国面孔,有老外但是不多。演讲分享后,我们也在反省,有可能我在title的设定上犯了错误。我们还是太强调中国元素,对于西方人,一看到很多中国元素,就会觉得内容跟他们的相关性不大,最后就不来听了,自然也不太花时间来了解。再有,我们的title和介绍描述的文字还是比较中规中矩。我们也发现,在这样的会议上如果不适当设置有趣和吸引人的标题,真的就很难有听众过来。

China Day


这次的中国日比起过去被提到了一个更加受到重视的位置,这个要非常恭喜并感谢中广协和腾讯在背后的推动。内容上,因为我都泡在了innovation和L.H,没能够听很多中国日的内容有点可惜,但是,我去听了一场Tony Chen和Baidu的那场,我觉得内容是不错的。分享的演讲者都花了很多心思去准备,那场的内容如果代表了那一整天中国日的演讲水平,我觉得中国日第一次在主会场内举办就能到这个程度,真的不错。





比如,Withinlink投资的公司“兔展”,他们通过海量的H5模版让H5创意变得更加丰富且容易使用 ,但是他最重要的是每一个H5是可以被追踪的,即使在微信上。所以对品牌来说,每一个发出去的创意可以被追踪的时候,不去追踪的话就没有任何的借口。追踪完了以后,庞大的数据必须被消化,消化出来变成什么样的洞察是非常重要的。所以我觉得单是这一个点,AI在市场营销领域的价值作用很大。只是品牌方还是做营销的公司,他们自己没有做AI的设备系统,但是,这次来听才发现IBM的WATSON其实是一个开放平台,任何人都可以到上面去使用。如果WASTONS已经可以剪辑电影的trailer了,我相信WATSON可以做的事情只会越来越多。但是如果只靠WATSON本身,就像我们要靠数据本身来赚钱,这是非常困难的事情,因为没有使用的场景。







后 记


Bessie Lee : “La Chine va devenir le champion mondial de l’IA”

Publié par Clément Fages le 19 juin 2017 | Mis à jour le 21 juin 2017 à 15:56

Ancienne CEO des agences de communication GroupM et WPP en Chine, Bessie Lee est aujourd’hui à la tête du fonds d’investissement Withinlink. Invitée aux Cannes Lions ce 19 juin et à la première édition chinoise de China Connect le 5 juillet, elle partage sa vision du marché publicitaire chinois.

En une quinzaine d’années, le chiffre d’affaires de la publicité en Chine a été multiplié par plus de huit. C’est aujourd’hui le deuxième marché mondial avec 78 milliards d’euros en 2015. Du haut de vos 27 ans de carrière dans le secteur, quel regard portez-vous sur cette croissance?
“Nous avons connu un ralentissement ces deux dernières années, mais le secteur connait toujours une croissance proche des deux chiffres et dispose selon moi encore d’un énorme potentiel: nous ne pesons qu’un tiers du marché américain, alors que notre population est quatre fois supérieure! Le marché a bénéficié de l’essor d’Internet et d’entreprises très dynamiques. L’absence de Facebook, Twitter, Google et YouTube a permis à des groupes comme Baidu, Alibaba et Tencent de se développer, mais aussi d’accompagner l’essor d’entreprises technologiques comme Huawei, Xiaomi ou encore Lenovo, qui sont des géants internationaux, mais aussi les principaux annonceurs du pays. C’est une des grandes différences avec les autres marchés asiatiques, où les marques internationales dominent les investissements publicitaires. Le digital représente ainsi plus de la moitié des investissements, mais la télévision reste importante, tout comme l’affichage. Ce support a une place assez unique en Chine. Notre pays est aussi grand et diversifié que l’ensemble des pays européens, avec de nombreuses mégapoles qui ont chacune leurs médias. Pour un publicitaire, le choix est énorme! L’affichage est donc un moyen de toucher efficacement une large partie de la population.”

En France, Google et Facebook captent la majorité de la croissance publicitaire. Les géants du Web chinois sont-ils aussi dominateurs sur le marché national?
“Oui, c’est une des similitudes entre la Chine et l’Occident. La Chine se distingue néanmoins par la prépondérance des réseaux sociaux comme vecteurs de communication. Les marques investissent énormément sur un canal comme WeChat, non seulement pour y faire de la publicité, mais aussi pour profiter de toutes les possibilités offertes par la plateforme pour engager le consommateur.”

Le poids du mobile est aussi un élément caractéristique de la Chine, avec un tiers des investissements publicitaires totaux! Pour quelles raisons le mobile et les réseaux sociaux sont-ils si importants?
“Le réseau mobile s’est rapidement développé depuis dix ans sous l’impulsion du gouvernement. Les opérateurs mobiles ont aussi beaucoup moins d’emprise sur leurs clients, ce qui a encouragé la naissance d’un écosystème très riche, avec au moins 300 entreprises des télécoms. Enfin, il y a tout simplement une très forte demande de la part de la population, qui n’avait pas toujours accès à un ordinateur mais désirait garder contact avec les expatriés et ceux qui voyagent… Et il faut prendre en compte les conséquences de la politique de l’enfant unique : pour plusieurs centaines de millions de jeunes, le mobile est ou a été le meilleur moyen de rester en contact avec leurs amis une fois seuls à la maison. Toutes ces raisons expliquent le succès du mobile et surtout des services de messagerie. Il y a 900 millions d’utilisateurs des réseaux sociaux en Chine… Les marques y répondent et investissant dans des contenus comme la vidéo, le live ou encore en collaborant avec des influenceurs.”

Compte tenu de cette prépondérance du mobile et du conversationnel, quelle est la maturité du marché chinois en matière d’intelligences artificielles et de chatbots?
“Je pense que la Chine va devenir le champion mondial de l’intelligence artificielle! La base de ces technologies est le machine learning, et nous avons assez d’utilisateurs qui génèrent assez de data pour faire de notre pays un leader. Regardez Meitu, l’application de partage de selfies : elle est rapidement devenue l’une des plus utilisées et donc des plus riches en contenu dans le monde.”

Un succès qui rappelle celui de Après les constructeurs, c’est au tour des services chinois de s’étendre à l’international? Quels sont leurs principaux enjeux?
“Ils doivent apprendre à manager une stratégie marketing globale. La plupart de ces entreprises sont exclusivement chinoises et l’un des enjeux est de nouer des partenariats avec d’autres entités qui vont les accompagner à l’étranger et leur faire gagner en crédibilité. C’est une opportunité pour des groupes comme Publicis Media, Omnicom ou bien sûr WPP. Huawei travaille par exemple avec Ogilvy pour la majorité de ses campagnes. Mais c’est aussi valable pour les entreprises occidentales qui viennent en Chine. Comme je l’ai dit, il ne faut pas penser le marché chinois comme un marché unique et il est préférable d’être accompagné par un acteur local pour s’y implanter…”

Ces partenariats intéressent par de nombreux aspects… La technologie est aujourd’hui au coeur de la publicité : compte tenu du développement rapide du marché chinois, les agences sont-elles prêtes à relever ce défi technique?
“Toutes les agences font face à ce défi, tant au niveau local qu’international ! Mais je pense que ces structures sont avant tout basées sur l’humain, plus que sur la technologie. Leur but est la connaissance des consommateurs. Avec le digital, la création, le média, la technologie et la data sont inséparables. Le défi des agences reste d’être créatives pour engager le consommateur. C’est leur plus-value vis-à-vis de leurs clients.”

Le partenariat entre Publicis Media et Chinaccelerator montre que les agences vont chercher ces compétences techniques chez les startups. N’y-a-t’il pas toutefois une opportunité pour les marketeurs occidentaux, plus matures sur ces sujets? La Chine a-t-elle le potentiel pour devenir la nouvelle Silicon Valley où nos startups vont lever des fonds?
“C’est difficile à dire. Je pense qu’avec une bonne idée et un proof of concept, vous avez toujours la possibilité de lever des fonds, n’importe où. En Chine, les levées se font principalement en yuan, or il est très difficile d’investir en dehors du pays en yuan, le gouvernement freine ces projets. Pour trouver ce type de financement, il faut s’implanter en Chine. Le pays recèle d’opportunités. Quant au partenariat que vous citez, c’est une bonne idée quand ils renforcent les startups autant qu’ils étoffent l’offre des agences. Ces dernières considèrent la possibilité de devenir elles-mêmes des accélérateurs, mais elles ont besoin d’aide pour détecter les startups et les sujets émergents.”

C’est ce que vous vous proposez de faire à la tête de Withinlink? Quelles sont vos priorités d’investissements cette année?
“Nous avons investi dans la publicité programmatique, la publicité mobile et l’analytics (avec respectivement FugeTech, Pingcoo et RabbitPre, ndlr). Nous nous intéressons aux martech, à l’adtech et aux startups et entreprises innovantes sur les contenus. Tout ce qui s’articule autour du marketing, en nous basant sur notre réseau et notre connaissance du marché.”

Vous intervenez aux Cannes Lions ainsi qu’à la première édition chinoise de China Connect cette année, avez-vous en tête d’investir dans des startups françaises?
“J’en serais ravie. C’est l’une des raisons de notre levée de fonds en dollars le mois dernier pouvoir investir par exemple dans une startup française et l’aider à s’implanter en Chine, où nous pouvons faire office de partenaire de confiance entre ces startups, les agences et les marques. Mais je vais principalement à ces événements pour parler de l’innovation en Chine et plus particulièrement à Cannes pour accompagner trois startups : RabbitPre, mais aussi Kuaizi Technology, une solution d’aide à la création de contenus et Chief Gululu, un Tamagotshi à portée éducative.”

戛纳直击 | 李倩玲:用创新成就下一个独角兽!

Original 2017-07-17 媒介360

“未来是人人都会编程的时代,我要学代码去!” 这是李倩玲在卸任 WPP集团中国区首席执行官专注投入碚曦投资的工作时发出的心声。两个多月后,作为投资者的李倩玲,带着三位创新公司创始人共同现身戛纳广告创意节,展开一场关于“中国创新”的讨论会。













痛点二:忽视基础财务岗位 难判断竞争力
改进方式:细节岗位甄选人才 触达准确信息




痛点三:年轻人不买账 开拓市场受限制
改进方式:让广告游戏化 提升品牌喜好度






秉持精品投资理念 孵化全球型公司


“我今天带来的这三个公司,将来都有可能成为全球型公司! ”李倩玲坚定地认为她选择的公司可能成为未来的“独角兽”企业。之所以能这么说,在笔者看来,是因为李倩玲秉持独到的投资理念,早已对营销行业进行前瞻式布局。



今年戛纳,李倩玲带来的是三家中小型创新公司,有研发儿童智能水壶的, 有做H5营销云平台的,还有利用大数据做程序化创意广告的。不同于单纯的财务型投资,李倩玲会基于资源和人脉给予战略性的咨询建议。




前瞻性投资方向: AI与营销的商业融合













“社会上的不确定性是推动这一批想要用创新的方式掌握自己命运的人的其中的一个动力。” 李倩玲说,“随着中国进一步迈入数字时代,发展势头已经从大企业转移到新兴企业和创业者,打破常规、积极创新、创办公司已是大势所趋,我也身体力行投身革新的浪潮。”






兔展 董少灵:在营销的语境下中国不乏尖端大数据和人工智能科学家,政府和社会资本投入也很大,在应用、智力、资本和应用方面,中国创新具备推动边界向前的条件。我所推崇的中国创新,是结合硬核技术和应用的创新,这类创新最终可以被海外借鉴,也可以由中国的企业国际化推广。
Gululu 江志强:创新要使新的产品和服务是要落地,用更新的办法去解决旧的问题,或是解决别人还没有解决过的问题。中国的创新对我来说,产品和服务不止是解决中国的问题,企业有机会走出中国,服务于更多人。
筷子科技 陈万锋:创新没有高低之分,只要真的解决某一领域的问题,然后可以商业化就可以了。我相信中国创新本质上就是面对多样化和动态化的环境不停的去进展和适配。

兔展 董少灵:在中国找到一个营销数字化升级之路,不是很容易。我们就是问题的解决者和数据营销基础设施营销云的开拓者。
Gululu 江志强:希望证明给老外看中国是可以做高质量、创新且精致的品牌。
筷子科技 陈万锋:我认为我一直是一个传道士,希望给国际市场带去中国创新的声音,也给行业探探路。筷子也挺适合的,因为筷子本来就是一个文化的符号,一个连接和嫁接的工具。

兔展 董少灵:尽量规模化的培养人,形成规模化的销售管道。让兔展、传播大数据产品斐波那契和营销云赋能更多企业。
Gululu 江志强:今年的目标是找到对的目标用户,要变成一个高端大众接受的产品。
筷子科技 陈万锋:人才。我们现在面临的问题是如何把人才和现在产品国际化的时候,建立一个有自身文化特点的体系,人一进来就能变成筷子的人。





2017年05月06日  《21世纪经济报道》  本报记者:申俊涵,陈黎明 北京报道

























方广资本则专注于投资IT工业领域,洪天峰表示,因为中国IT工业有很多机会,而且市场规模也很大。全球IT工业的规模超过4万亿美元,中国市场有2万亿美元。另一方面,IT工业的标准化程度很高,并且具有开放性,该领域能做起来的公司一定是全球化的。方广资本致力于催化中国世界级企业的诞生,自己曾在华为的工作经历也会带来一些心得和帮助。(编辑 林坤)

The CEO of WPP China Is Stepping Down to Run Her Own Startup Incubator

-By Angela Doland, Advertising Age, Published on April 20, 2017-

Bessie Lee, the CEO of WPP China, is resigning to focus full-time on a company she founded, a startup incubator and early-stage venture fund investing in areas like mobile advertising, big data, analytics and social media.

Lee founded China-based Withinlink in 2015 and has been splitting her time 60-40 between WPP and her entrepreneurial project. Withinlink recently closed an inaugural fund of 55 million yuan (about $8 million), with investors including media executives, wealthy individuals and government bodies.
WPP said Patrick Xu, the current CEO of GroupM China and a former marketer with Mondelez, P&G and Danone China, will add the WPP CEO job to his role starting May 2, after Lee’s departure.

China, a country of 731 million internet users, has a dynamic startup community that has attracted interest from international agencies; Publicis Media, for example, is a partner of Chinaccelerator, a startup accelerator in China operated by venture fund SOSV. While many agency execs inside and outside China are angel investors or mentors for startups, Lee’s move to set up an incubator and VC fund is more unusual.

Lee is among the most influential execs in China’s ad industry, which barely existed before the 1980s but is now the No. 2 ad market worldwide. Now she is starting an entrepreneurial second act to capitalize on Chinese strengths in the highly-competitive areas that are the industry’s future. And she’s not the only one. Thomas Mok, one of China’s first creative leaders, left his job as chairman of McCann Worldgroup China this month to found a hotshop called Match to develop young creative talent in China.

A native of Taiwan, Lee has spent 27 years in media; she headed GroupM in China for seven years before taking over in 2013 as CEO of WPP China, whose companies including affiliates generate $1.6 billion in revenues. WPP employs almost 14,000 people in China.

Lee launched Withinlink while still at WPP to test if the model of a marketing-savvy incubator would work. “We have never gone out to promote Withinlink because of me wearing two hats, I always tried to be sensitive about it,” she said. But there was interest, including from traditional Chinese advertising companies wanting help with digital transformation. That part of the business was unexpected, but Withinlink has four or five such clients now.

Ms. Lee, a 2013 Ad Age Woman to Watch China, sees a strong future for marketing-related tech startups in China, which has four times the population of the U.S. but is still a much smaller ad market. GroupM estimated U.S. ad spending last year of $178.8 billion, compared to $80 billion in China.
“I think there’s still a lot more potental to be realized,” she said. “Even though marketing tech in the U.S. might be slowing down a bit, in China I keep seeing more and more.”

China’s central government has actively promoted startups to boost the economy through innovation, and local governments are even helping fund them.
Withinlink has a staff of 12, including several former WPP executives. Its chief strategy officer is Annie Hsiao, former president of WPP’s Maxus China and an Ad Age Media Maven in 2015 for her successful outreach to Chinese brands.

Withinlink’s investments include FugeTech, a trading desk and data exchange platform, Pingcoo, which works on mobile advertising solutions, and RabbitPre, which tracks user engagement on digital creative.

Withinlink plans to raise a second, U.S. dollar fund to help Chinese companies and also U.S.-based startups whose offerings have potential in China. The existing fund is “not big” for the China market, as she says, but Withinlink’s staff all have marketing and ad industry experience, something many VCs lack. “We know how it’s done, the pain points, the pressures clients and agencies are constantly under,” she said.

独家|李倩玲创业 离开WPP !未来比想像更快!

Original 2017-04-20 媒介360内容中心 媒介360

4月20日,李倩玲宣布卸任WPP 集团中国区首席执行官一职,接下来将专注投入碚曦投资管理集团(Withinlink)的工作。



















戛纳中国专场实录:newEco innovative 新商业生态营销变革


高手谈 |WPP 李倩玲:VR将成为第一人称媒体


高手谈 | WPP李倩玲:融合 界限已经没有了界限