#AOTYAwards 2020 highlight: Narrators

 

Winning the silver award for influencer marketing agency of the year this year is Narrators . Birthed in Singapore, the Narrators product is a dual-sided influencer marketing platform fueled by a database of 1.5million influencers across Asia, the company claims. 

Narrators said it executed influencer marketing campaigns across eight Asian markets with more than 85 clients last year. Its regional business development team won accounts Abbott, Bytedance, Cebu Pacific Air, Circles Life, Grab, Heineken, H&M, Lazada, Nestle, Taobao, Unilab and increased spend with key clients such as Unilever, Johnson and Johnson, L'Oréal, Samsung, and agencies BBDO, Carat, DDB, Edelman, IPG, PHD amongst others. Overall, the agency had a 75% client retention rate.

Product

With the help of its customer success managers, brands and agencies manage their campaigns from its web dashboard. Built as a programmatic, performance ad-buying platform, features include brief creation and publishing; influencer and content moderation; real-time budget depletion and full campaign performance visualization and reporting.  Influencers’ user journey is entirely managed through the Narrators’ mobile app, from brief dissemination to content submission and payment to their digital wallets.

Besides detailed influencer data and a direct link to their social media accounts, its AI augmented data, offers in-depth socio-demo, geolocation, topics and brand affinity of our influencers’ active audience, allowing for influencer matching, campaign targeting and budget performance projections. The agency’s product went through a full revamp in 2019 to further improve user experience. It also expended service from Instagram and Facebook to include TikTok content creators and live streaming influencers.

People

With the continued expansion of the business into eight Asian markets, Narrators’ team grew from 38 in 2018 to 46 in 2019. With close to 70% of staff based overseas, it boasts a diverse multi-cultural team, representing 10 different nationalities and 14 different languages.

Supported by six functional leads forming the central management team, each market is led and managed by a market lead and a local operation team to optimise the service efficacy to its local clients. Nonetheless, to keep its teams close, monthly staff gatherings and team bonding activities happen in each market. Functional leads operate from Singapore, Phuket, Bangkok and Manila. On their second year of employment, the company offers each team member a share option plan for which it reserved 10% of its capital.

The team also has a buddy system for new hires to integrate them into the organisation and ensures fair  KPIs are implemented to appraise employees on a quarterly and yearly basis. Employees’ performance is recognised and rewarded with promotion and salary adjustment; internal promotion is preferred whenever possible. With a median employee age of 29, it enforces flexible working hours and work location to increase productivity and well-being.

Perspective

Since the launch of Narrators in 2015, the agency has always looked to stay at the forefront of influencer marketing, sharing the latest trends and strategy with clients and industry partners, improving its tech and community of content creators’ livelihood. A marketing discipline of its own word of mouth is arguably the most efficient form of marketing, simply because in making a purchasing decision, we trust who we know.

Narrators believes that brands and agencies need to approach influencer marketing with a holistic long-term strategic plan. But as much as marketers play a part in this, Narrators believes that industry players are also responsible to establish transparent and professional rules of engagement for our discipline. Its purpose goes beyond delivering on our brand and marketing efficiency promise.

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