Interview with Michael Laps, Co-Founder and Director of Strategy at Yoghurt Digital

Who are Yoghurt Digital and what is their position in the Australian marketing landscape?

Yoghurt Digital is a Sydney-based digital marketing agency specialising in Conversion Optimisation (CRO), Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Paid Media (SEM). We were founded to provide companies both nationally and internationally with the best of both worlds – big agency experience, small agency hustle.

Our reputation in the Australian marketing landscape is as conversion specialists, and our track record in the Conversion Optimisation space is the reason many companies choose to engage us. Our work encompasses qualitative and quantitative consumer behaviour research, user experience design, personalisation and multivariate testing.

At our core, we’re a team of data lovers and number crunchers, forever devoted to intimately understanding our clients’ customers and their behaviour online. We balance meaningful insights with digital prowess to drive real growth using science over opinions.


Where did the name Yoghurt Digital come from? Is there a story behind the name?

We get asked “So why ‘Yoghurt’” at least 3-4 times per day – and rightfully so! I don’t know many other people who’d choose to name their digital agency after a delicious breakfast food, so yes, there’s definitely a story behind the name. It centres around the process of making yoghurt.

Very briefly, yoghurt is made by combining and cooking ingredients like milk, sugar, fruit (if that’s your preference), and – most importantly – yoghurt cultures. Yoghurt cultures are what ties all of the ingredients together to make the final product. Without the yoghurt cultures, you’ll end up with warm sugar milk.

Bringing that back to the world of digital, this analogy is reflective of how we see ourselves in relation to the companies we work with. Most of our clients already had many of the ingredients required for a successful digital marketing strategy, but they’re unable to tie it all together. Their tactics are usually isolated and thus ineffective. That’s where we come in.

We see ourselves as the yoghurt cultures – the key ingredient that helps companies pull all of their digital strategies and tactics together to make a delicious final product. We’re the dairy-based glue that brings your digital marketing to life, interplaying with your broader marketing strategy and aligning with core business objectives.

 

What is Yoghurt Digital’s point of differentiation from other agencies?

Our love affair with data. Today’s prevailing wisdom is that the lifeblood of a company’s success is data. That’s because data is, in its most distilled form, the voice of your customers. And with everything in the digital world trackable and measurable there’s more information about your customers than ever before. Therefore, a company that can successfully and consistently extract insights from their data has a major advantage over one that doesn’t.

We’re big believers in going small to go big. To build a truly effective digital strategy, we need to intimately understand what behaviours are driving your customers’ decision-making processes when it comes to engagement and, ultimately, conversion. Those answers lie in the data.

Our track record of building and executing ROI-focused digital campaigns is attributed to the discovery phase of our strategy planning. Discovery allows us to build a relationship with your website traffic. It’s our opportunity to analyse your existing website traffic and digital campaigns, seasonal behavioural trends, surveying both prospective and existing customers, and gaining insight into your competitor landscape. Once we understand how your users are interacting with your site, we can start to refine how we improve that experience.

Ultimately, we create a digital strategy based on data, not opinions – a digital strategy that’s focused on growth, personalised to meet the needs of both new and existing customers, and distributed in a way that’s synonymous with current user search trends and online behaviour.

 

You’re going to be hosting a roundtable session at the Summit. What are the key discussion points attendees can expect from Yoghurt Digital’s session?

One of the most common questions we get asked current and prospective clients alike is whether to optimise their existing website, or if they should build a new website from scratch. The problem with providing a blanket answer is that it’s such a situational question, with hundreds of variables and moving parts. It’s going to be unique to every business, which is why the answer, as always, lies in data.

The point of our roundtable session is to provide attendees with the tools and processes we use with our clients to not just help them figure out which path to take, but also create a strategic roadmap through both the rebuild and optimisation processes.

Specifically, attendees can expect to learn:

  • How to take personal opinions out of the discussion and use data to drive the decision-making process
  • Which consumer behaviour data they should be gathering and analysing to decide whether to optimise their existing website or build a new one from scratch
  • How to include customers in the decision-making process to ensure the project generates positive ROI and long-term performance growth
  • How to build a proper project scope using data for both a new website build or an optimisation program

We’ll also be demonstrating real-life case studies from our clients who’ve gone through a similar process.

 

What does the future look like for an organisation wanting to work with Yoghurt Digital?

Having a huge volume of traffic and a sizeable marketing budget won’t make a difference if you haven’t tailored your website to your consumer’s needs, motivations and behaviours. That’s how you convince consumers to buy from you instead of your competitors.

Organisations who want to work us can expect to learn how their customers interact with their website and what improvements they could make to generate significantly more sales without the need for increasing their marketing budget. Our goal as an agency is to use data to develop, deliver and implement digital strategies that consistently deliver results as measured against key success metrics. Any company who engages us can expect to be provided with the ability to track and definitively measure their return on investment from every dollar they spend with us.

We live in an era of engagement, but the form of engagement used and its timing can make the difference between winning or losing a customer. That’s why it’s crucial for any digital strategy we build to be focused on generating enormous visibility while delivering an outstanding, multi-channel user experience. Our objective is to take a client’s website and make it the focal point for all marketing campaigns, found easily through digital channels and tactfully structured to guide consumers through an effective sales funnel.

About Michael Laps
Michael has been in marketing since he spoke his first word. Working in both advertising agencies and digital agencies taught him how to appreciate a good single malt and a nicely tailored suit. He firmly believes that Coco Pops are awesome, even as an adult. During winter, he spends his hibernation researching digital marketing trends for ideas on how to make more money than Google. No luck yet.

Creativity in constraint – Why attention matters more than ever for video

Pete Nuchanatanon, Head of Marketing at Google hosted a roundtable discussion on ‘Creativity in constraint – Why attention matters more than ever for video’ for at the 2017 CXO Leaders Summit Singapore.

The focus of the roundtable discussion was on the future of online marketing and there being no place more exciting to be in than Singapore, the world’s video capital and gateway to APAC. The session did a deep dive into Google video, how brands look at online video and the building blocks to deliver business results.

Pete is the Head of Marketing at Google.

Turning data into insights into action

Stephanie Myers, Senior Vice President for Customer Experience at Prudential Singapore facilitated a roundtable discussion on ‘Turning data into insights into action’. with delegates at the 2017 CXO Leaders Summit Singapore.

The discussion focused on how brands are faced with a flood of constant qualitative and quantitative data from social, search and other digital sources. The discussion delved into how to use this always-on data to spot opportunities to engage with increasingly digital consumers and stay close to issues around brand or products or categories.

Other points raised put a spotlight on how other brands are transforming data – particularly unstructured social and search data – into relevant and actionable insights and what frameworks or processes are being used to go from insights into strategies and tactics and by using Google search patterns and social media word clouds real business value can be provided back to stakeholders.

Stephanie is the Senior Vice President of Customer Experience at Prudential Singapore. She is responsible for transforming HSBC’s approach to digital marketing in Singapore, with a focus on brand content, social media, mobile innovation and search. Stephanie is a dynamic leader with over 15 years’ experience helping global brands respond competitively to the realities of the new media landscape. After a career working with blue-chip brands at leading advertising agencies including J. Walter Thompson, FCB and Publicis, Stephanie will speak at the upcoming CXO Leaders Summit, 20:20 Customer Experience in Financial Services and the Asian Banking Forum. She was a judge for the 2016 Mob-Ex Awards and is a past contributor to industry publications including The Drum, Campaign Asia-Pacific and Marketing Magazine.

Creating experiences as unique as each customer

Navneet Nayyar, Assistant Vice President & Business Head South East Asia at Sterlite Tech talks ‘Creating experiences as unique as each customer’.

 

Navneet is a Senior Sales Leader with cultural acumen and a multi-million-dollar record throughout SEA and SAARC territories with extensive experience in championing end-to-end business cycle for a diverse client portfolio.

Signature Moments

Ryan Hart, Principal Analyst at Forrester hosted a workshop on Signature Moments and how they can be infused into the customer journey to delight and resonate with customers with delegates at the 2017 CXO Leaders Summit Singapore.

The workshop covered how customer experience can be thought of as the series of interactions a customer has along a given journey with a brand. The holistic brand experience looks at the sum of these interactions; in contrast, each interaction is made up of a series of micro interactions.

Ryan delved into how firms often overlook micro interactions, which is a mistake and precisely where companies have opportunities to localise and differentiate their customer experiences. These small-scale opportunities, when carefully tied back to the brand, give birth to what Forrester calls “signature moments.” The workshop further explored the what, how, and where of signature moments and how CX pros can carefully ideate and prioritize signature moments to infuse into broader customer journeys to delight and resonate with local customers.

Ryan is a principal analyst based in Singapore serving Customer Experience Professionals across Asia Pacific. He focuses on customer-centric service design, mobility, experience creation, localisation, branding, organisational transformation, and digital engagement principles to inform his research in the context of regional markets.

Ryan has over 15 years of experience in advising multinational corporations on customer acquisition and engagement strategies. His career spans corporate banking at the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ in China to sales and strategy roles in the private wealth space for HSBC in Japan. Diverse consulting projects thereafter have taken him across the globe, affording deep customer behavior insight into CPG, pharma, insurance, transportation, and telecom, among other verticals.

Customer Experience and Engagement: How to Build a Customer-Centric Brand

The panel discussion on ‘Customer Experience and Engagement: How to Build a Customer-Centric Brand’  2017 CXO Leaders Summit Singapore was moderated by Anna Gong, CEO at Perx Technologies and featured panellists Andrea Baronchelli, Chief Marketing Officer at Lazada Singapore, Miguel Bernas, Vice President – Digital Marketing at Mediacorp Ltd and Stephanie Myers, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience at Prudential Singapore.

The discussion, themed around how successful are brands at creating a consistent customer experience in a complex, omni-channel world?, explored approaches for diagnosing the current state of an organization’s customer experience, including how the voice of the employee fits in. They delved into the responsibility for customer experience and how it sits within the organization and how this ultimately impacts the ability to address customer experience issues at speed and scale. Lastly what it takes to achieve the sought-after single view of the customer was discussed.

The group also discussed:

  • What approaches there are for understanding the current state of your customer experience whether it be ongoing qualitative or quantitative feedback; journey mapping; surveys at the end of every customer interaction and how does the voice of the employee fit in.
  • Where the responsibility for customer experience sit within the organization and how this impacts the ability to diagnose and address customer experience issues at speed and scale.
  • What the greatest obstacles faced are when trying to create a consistent customer experience across all channels and when trying to create a customer-centric culture across the organization.
  • The single, 360-degree view of the customer being critical to being truly customer-centric and what barriers exist for organizations trying to achieve this.
  • Integrating customer experience metrics into a holistic view of business health and the link between customer experience investments and business outcomes.

Moderator:
Anna Gong, CEO at Perx Technologies

Panelists:
Miguel Bernas, Vice President, Digital Marketing, Mediacorp Ltd
Andrea Baronchelli, Chief Marketing Officer, Lazada Singapore
Stephanie Myers, Senior Vice President –  Customer Experience, Prudential Singapore

Anna is the CEO and Founder of Perx Technologies Pte Ltd, the leading mobile customer engagement SaaS company, backed by the co-founder of Facebook Eduardo Saverin and Golden Gate Ventures. Before joining Perx, her 5th start up experience, Anna was Vice President of Channels Sales for Asia Pacific & Japan at Infor where she’s responsible for the go-to-market strategy and execution of the channels sales business.

Miguel is the Vice President of Digital Marketing at Medicorp Ltd. He is a digital transformation business leader with over 20 years driving innovation and delivering business results.

Andrea is currently CMO at Lazada Singapore and is responsible for driving the growth of the e-commerce platform. Previously Chief Marketplace Officer at Lazada Vietnam, he spent the last 4 years developing eCommerce platforms across South East Asia, covering multiple roles within Lazada Group including co-founding and managing Lazada’s C2C platform Lamido, setting up Home vertical in key South East Asian markets. Prior, Andrea was part of the founding team of Lazada Crossborder Hub in Hong-Kong.

Stephanie the Senior Vice President of Customer Experience at Prudential Singapore. She is responsible for transforming HSBC’s approach to digital marketing in Singapore, with a focus on brand content, social media, mobile innovation and search. Stephanie is a dynamic leader with over 15 years’ experience helping global brands respond competitively to the realities of the new media landscape. After a career working with blue-chip brands at leading advertising agencies including J. Walter Thompson, FCB and Publicis, Stephanie will speak at the upcoming CXO Leaders Summit, 20:20 Customer Experience in Financial Services and the Asian Banking Forum. She was a judge for the 2016 Mob-Ex Awards and is a past contributor to industry publications including The Drum, Campaign Asia-Pacific and Marketing Magazine.

Crawl, Walk, Run with Cross Device

Alvin Wong, Regional Director – SEA and Matthew Joyce, Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand for DataXu talked to delegates at the 2017 CXO Leaders Summit Singapore about how to ‘Crawl, Walk, Run with Cross Device’. The focus was on the challenges marketers face when it comes to measuring mobile and its impact on their marketing strategy.

The pair discussed how DataXu’s OneView technology bridges the identity gap across devices and builds a single, comprehensive view of a consumer’s path to purchase and the benefits OneView technology provides marketers including a holistic view of each consumer and comprehensive targeting across all devices. They highligtes the results would deliver increased reach and scale, stronger performance through better targeting delivering better results and improved conversion visibility which measures results across all devices. As a result the path to purchase insights allow for an insight into the true consumer path to purchase.

Alvin is the regional director for South East Asia for DataXu and has more than 15 years of media and technology sales experience in print, broadcast and digital advertising across APAC markets. His extensive knowledge and broad understanding of both traditional and digital media, has enabled him to provide invaluable insights and advice to clients and partners he works with. At DataXu, Alvin is responsible for partnering with media agencies and brands to help them better understand their consumers through Marketing Analytics, and leverage DataXu’s Programmatic Marketing technology to improve marketing ROI and customer engagement across multiple channels and devices.

Matthew is the Country Manage for Australia and New Zealand at DataXu. He has a long career helping clients make the most of their digital marketing dollars, underpinned by education and a drive to make returns for his marketing clients. Since 2014, Matthew has successfully launched DataXu into the Australian market, helping many marketers and their agencies navigate the programmatic media space and find incremental benefits for their businesses.

Prior to DataXu, Matt founded and launched an independent data company in Australia and successfully ran digital departments at Australia’s largest Independent Agency and other major international agencies in both Sydney and Melbourne in the Australian market. He has a history of making strategic decisions that have heavily influenced the Australian Digital market. Matthews experience spans automotive, FMCG, Finance, Gaming, Telco and Travel.

Rethink your branding fundamentals

Bjorn Sprengers, Chief Marketing Officer at the PropertyGuru Group, hosted a workshop on Brand Performance: Rethink your branding fundamentals and cut the waste from your brand media investments with delegates at the 2017 CXO Leaders Summit Singapore.

The focus was on how CMOs are struggling to gain credibility in the Boardroom and the reason behind this particularly in Brand-related matters. With marketing perceived as a cost center that fails to demonstrate impact on the bottom line, Bjorn delved into how CMOs need to start talking business, get a grip on the waste in their Media spends and apply more advanced principles to increase effectiveness of media spends. As a case study, Bjorn shares how PropertyGuru, Asia’s leading Online Property Group has developed a unique approach towards achieving these goals along with the principles of the approach and the early signs of success.

Bjorn is a seasoned marketer and entrepreneurial business leader with over 15 years of experience across Europe and Asia.

At PropertyGuru Group, Bjorn is responsible for all facets of the company’s integrated marketing efforts towards Consumers, Real Estate Developers and Property Agents. Since joining, he has led a company-wide initiative to recast the Group’s reputation and positioning in the market, building Southeast Asia’s strongest marketing team. He drives the company’s branding, consumer marketing, trade marketing and lifecycle marketing disciplines and leads a team of approximately 80 marketing staff across the Group’s offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

Before joining PropertyGuru Group, Bjorn spent over 10 years at Philips. His last position with the company was Senior Director of Marketing/Marketing Lead for Philips Consumer Lifestyle Sector in Southeast Asia. Bjorn is also the co-founder of a series of start-up businesses.

Measuring the Success of a Loyalty Program

Chen Peng, General Manager at AIMIA, hosted a workshop at the 2017 CXO Leaders Summit Singapore on ‘Measuring the Success of a Loyalty Program’.

The focus was on the heavy investment of these Loyalty programs and how marketing teams are constantly under pressure to demonstrate the real return of loyalty programs. He explored the financial and non-financial measures defining success of a loyalty program and delved into the practical measurements in both areas.

Chen is the General Manager at AIMIA and a data scientist by training. He is an established marketer in the CRM and loyalty space with more than 15 years of experience building loyalty programs. Chen has worked on loyalty strategy for global brands like ExxonMobil, P&G, Samsung, PCCW and is currently focusing on developing the next generation loyalty programs for AIMIA in the region.

So you have the data. Now what?

Mac Bryla, Senior Consultant at Tableau Asia Pacific talks on ‘So you have the data. Now what?’

Mac Bryla talks to delegates at the 2017 CXO Leaders Summit Singapore about data and making sense of it. The key take aways from this being that technology alone cannot answer all our analytical questions when it comes to data. In this case technology should fade into the background and allow individual human brilliance to shine through.

Mac shared the approach requires a cultural change, an introduction to a culture of self-reliance, one where data plays a central role in every conversation, and where everyone can ask and answer questions of their data. The result of which is coming up with a new and creative approach to gaining insight from data and thus shedding the old way of thinking which ultimately limits recreating old reports using new tools and opens up the opportunity to reimagine your solution entirely.

Mac is a senior technology leader and is passionate about innovative technology, data, creativity and critical thinking. His career has focused on a blend of strategic thinking, marketing, sales and technical skills, sharing his mission to help organisations adopt the culture of self-reliance and analytics.

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