CtrlShift eyes expansion beyond Asia

  • Sees strong potential in Vietnam and China
  • To achieve goals by focusing on people, product and proposition


CtrlShift eyes expansion beyond Asia

CtrlShift, a digital marketing company, is eyeing to expand beyond Asia over the next few years, with US and Europe under its radar, as its hopes to tap on the growing demand for digital advertising. The company currently has presence in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. 


"We are now expanding to China and thereafter US and Europe. Within Southeast Asia (SEA), we are also exploring opportunities in Vietnam -  an emerging market where we see strong growth potential for its digital advertising market. By entering the market early, we will have a head start in tapping on the country's increasingly affluent and urbanised population as the market grows," said CrtlShift chief executive officer Deepika Nikhilender (pic above: first from right) in an email reply.


Deepika added that entering into the China market provides CrtlShift with the access to where the bulk of the demand of digital advertising is coming from. "Considering China is responsible for a huge part of digital advertising demand, expanding into China would make perfect economic sense. Currently, China is the second biggest digital advertising market worldwide with digital ad spend estimated to increase by 25.1% to hit US$22.4 billion this year," she explained.


Plans for next 12-18 months
Prior to joining the company, Deepika lead business planning for Mindshare Asia Pacific, and was also chief executive officer of Growth and Emerging Market Solutions (GEMS). As the company's new CEO, one of her goals over the next 1.5 years is to grow the number of clients who are keen on embarking on large projects.


"Our aim for the next level is to significantly increase the number of clients that do multi-million dollar business with us and to foster long-term partnerships with them," she said.


To achieve the goals, she said that she will need to focus on three key areas -- people, product and proposition.


"We want to ensure that we have a strong and cohesive team at CtrlShift, aligned to the company's culture, values and offerings. We remained focused on building skill sets in areas like technology, data science, trading and strategy," said Deepika.


In terms of products, Deepika said that the company will be focused on customising marketing solutions for clients to achieve results at an optimal costs. "We also aim to help our clients see how data-driven marketing can aid in securing their business objectives. Unlike large programmatic companies, we are independent and agnostic," she said.


"In terms of value proposition, we hope to provide value to our customers by harnessing digital data, and leveraging on campaign data to understand what works best for our clients' needs. Through these insights, we are able to tweak our execution of campaigns to see results that are more effective."


Competitive advantage

Deepika said that CtrlShift has been enjoying fast growth over the past 1.5 years.


Since it was launched in January 2015, the company has grown to become one of the largest independent digital marketing companies in SEA. In terms of staff strength, it has grown from 130 in 2015 to over 150 today.


Nevertheless, the digital advertising space is a competitive industry, with new players and incumbents wanting a piece of the cake. So, how does it set itself apart from the rest?


"Our basic roots set us apart from our competitors. CtrlShift was started to build the best technology that can continuously evolve to meet the needs of the industry rather than create a company or product with the purpose of cashing out. Large digital marketing agencies who have invested significantly into their structure are unlikely to tweak their solutions to meet business needs of each unique client. Compared to the bigger digital marketing agencies, we are independent and agnostic, which means we are able to provide customers with best possible outcome, adapt and be nimble.


"Also, our technology leverages years of experience and data in digital marketing. Our products and platforms outperform because they are powered, automated and optimised by predictive intelligence and data science," said Deepika.

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