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David Ketchum

Ketchum finds new current in emerging tech marketing space

David Ketchum, the former president of Bite Asia Pacific, has revealed his latest venture, a new-breed of consulting services that aims to help marketers drive more value from data, contacts and content.

Current Asia launches with a team of five experienced consultants who will initially focus on the Hong Kong and Singapore markets, but with a view to expand across the region within years.

Ketchum, no stranger to the world of agency launches, founded and grew Upstream Asia into a network of five APAC offices, which was later sold to holding company Next Fifteen and renamed Bite Asia Pacific.

He also serves as chairman of the Digital + Direct Marketing Association Asia.

Backed by private equity and high-net-worth investors, Current Asia will initially focus on the B2B market and has stuck partnerships with Oracle and LinkedIn for strategic marketing opportunities.

Its services will also stretch into the quickly emerging areas of marketing automation, retargeting and newer CRM platforms.

Despite these early partnerships with Oracle and LinkedIn, Ketchum said Current Asia will remain technology and platform agnostic and instead focus on the evolving marketing value chain.

The agency has identified four key pillars to work within; People, Process, Content and Technology.

He said that after months of talking to regional CMO’s and CIO’s, there was widespread frustration about the process of implementing technology platforms, using social media as a data set, leveraging targeted content and even working across the CMO and CIO functions.

“Marketers are still doing things the way they always have, but it’s time to really take a step back and see what the new customer journey looks like today,” he said.

There’s also a sense of bewilderment among senior marketers about the right technology to use and integrating internal systems, he added.

“What if you lunged into this with the wrong thing? You’re left with orphan technology that doesn’t integrate with anything. Now is the time to take a deep breath and find out what that process is.”

At Current Asia, Ketchum takes on the role of founder and CEO and will be joined by former Bite senior executive Michael Zung, who takes on the role of senior partner.

Additionally the agency has secured Adrian Hoon, Regina Leung and Cavan Downes – all former senior executives from Epsilon International.

Hoon, who held the role of vice president Asia Pacific at Epsilon International, takes the role of vice president Asia Pacific for Current Asia. Leung, most recently VP of international marketing at Epsilon, takes the role of vice president, marketing platforms.

Cavan Downes, Epsilon’s former VP of professional services and marketing database solutions across Asia, has been named CIO and head of customer solutions at Current Asia.

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