Italian food company Barilla hands Artefact data and social duties in SEA

Italian food company Barilla has picked digital and data agency Artefact Asia Pacific to manage data and analytics and social media management duties for six months. The appointment covers three projects across Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and India.

This comes after a pitch held in April and May and Artefact will be responsible for content adaptation to analytics, website multi-variance testing and social media. Barilla did not work with any agencies on these areas previously.

In a statement to A+M, Elena Mirandola (pictured below first row centre), MD, Southeast Asia and Australia at Artefact said Barilla is keen to work with an agency that can help it gather data and valuable insights on the market via multiple channels. She added that Artefact was chosen primarily because of its expertise with data in the context of marketing.

Meanwhile, Reynard Laksmono, regional marketing manager said: “We are excited to embark on these projects with Artefact in this region.”

Separately, the agency was also recently named a Google Marketing Platform (GMP) partner in Malaysia, making it the fourth player in the market alongside Kasatria, Persuasion Technologies and DQ&A. Mirandola said this is an achievement because it now has an official endorsement from Google and will be able to win more new business as a result.

Currently, there are 15 employees in its Malaysia office and it looks to hire more specifically on the data analytics front, eventually doubling the agency size in Malaysia by the end of 2020. According to her, most of the budgets for Malaysia in larger companies are controlled out of Singapore. As such, Artefact’s strategy is to tap into the clients’ regional headquarters in Singapore and execute the strategies out of Malaysia.

Its recent JLL win is an example of this strategy as its regional headquarters is located in Singapore. Artefact liaises with the client based there but is executing SEO duties from Malaysia, Mirandola said. She added that 70% of its efforts are focused on regional while the remaining 30% are focused on local clients in Malaysia. The key sectors Artefact pitches for are real estate, financial services and travel.

“When it comes to analytics, 90% of the execution is done from Malaysia. Over the past 18 months, we have been working on building our Centre of Excellence in Malaysia, with our first hires joining at the beginning of 2018. This year, we have been focusing on business development and beefing up the team,” Mirandola explained.

She added that Malaysia has “plenty of great talent” and Artefact aims to nurture them. The agency seeks individuals who are knowledgeable on the analytics front and has expertise in coding, particularly HTML coding and tracking.

“Passion is also an important aspect for us. We are extremely passionate about what we do and while we are part of a big group, at the same time we feel like a start-up and are very motivated to grow the business,” Mirandola said.

She added that the team is “very happy to train fresh graduates” and are on the lookout for those with a computer engineering background and also has skills in HTML coding and development.

(Photo courtesy: Barilla’s Facebook page)