3-in-1 merger marks CtrlShift debut

  • Merger spawns Asia-focused digital marketing platform
  • Comprises 130-strong team across five markets
3-in-1 merger marks CtrlShift debut

PROGRAMMATIC media trading platform AdzCentral, digital advertising services firm Better and ad-tech distribution company Asia Digital Ventures have merged to form CtrlShift.
The new independent marketing technology company, headquartered in Singapore, is intended to meet the increasing need for marketers to skillfully execute programmatic and digital marketing strategies globally, the trio said in a statement.

To be launched this evening (Jan 27), CtrlShift will deliver real-time media trading, technology and ad-platform services, premium publisher inventory, and digital business consulting to brands and agencies. Customer launch events will also be taking place next week across South-East Asia.
The merged company boasts significant operations across the region and will comprise 130 employees across five markets in South-East Asia, made up of consultants, media traders, data scientists, ad-tech product specialists, and software engineers.
Its expertise spans premium and programmatic media placement across all channels including mobile, video, search, social and display; big data; ad-tech platforms, and digital consulting.
AdzCentral founder and chief executive officer, and now CtrlShift executive chairman, Reza Behnam said the plan is to be “the No 1 independent programmatic, ad-tech execution and consulting partner for advertisers seeking to win across Asia.”
“We have joined forces to create an Asia-focused digital marketing platform that understands the complex task of executing digital initiatives across markets, channels and languages.
“The best way to reach digital audiences in South-East Asia, and the rest of Asia, is to have a deep understanding of each market and CtrlShift delivers that,” he added.
Behnam noted that innovation in the data-driven, automated marketing space is moving at breakneck speed, adding that brands need to be nimble and work with trusted partners to achieve their goals of increased revenue and market share in the face of strong competition.
Behnam was previously managing director of Yahoo! South-East Asia, as well as a founding member and vice-chairman of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in Singapore.
The CtrlShift leadership team also includes South-East Asia online advertising veteran and Asia Digital Ventures partner Peter Yoong, who will be its president; and Better’s Rene Menezes will be its chief executive officer.
“Advertising-as-a-service is the future. Brands must step up their game and use technology to better connect with their audiences”, said Yoong. “This is the era where advertising no longer is advertising; this is the era of delightful brand communications.”
3-in-1 merger marks CtrlShift debutKuala Lumpur-based Menezes (pic) has worked in the Asian digital industry for 15 years and was part of the team that launched that country’s first ad network in 1999. He was twice president of the Malaysian Digital Association.
Menezes said CtrlShift would provide independence, transparency, local market knowledge, strong relationships, and the full stack of digital marketing and advertising services.
“The corporate and consumer brands that are seeking true digital engagement in Asia want the best technology and support services, and we can deliver that requirement, wrapped in a consulting offer that is truly independent.
“You must offer services in addition to a platform as Asian-based companies demand it,” he added.
The company’s approach is to focus on audience management, software execution, and solution expertise, with Menezes adding that the digital communications landscape is “complex and flooded with obscure acronyms.”
The goal is to cut through the confusion and clutter that brands face, and help them run effective marketing programs.
"CtrlShift has the unique combination of years of experience working in the Asian digital scene, a fast moving culture, and strong relationships, with agencies, publishers and technology partners.
“We know how consumers behave and think in each Asian country, and how brands can improve their digital marketing mix and audience management strategies to actually get terrific results,” he claimed.
CtrlShift touts a large list of prominent clients, media trading capabilities across a dozen languages, and close relationships with Asian and international publishers.
It has publisher relationships and partnerships with LinkedIn, Spotify, MSN, ESPN, while its technology partners include Sizmek, Lotame, comScore, Phunware, and AppNexus.

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