Omnicom Media Group promotes Daler Kendzhaev to lead Annalect in Malaysia

Omnicom Media Group (OMG) has elevated Daler Kendzhaev to lead its data tech and analytics division Annalect in Malaysia. Kendzhaev (pictured) will be responsible for Annalect’s growth in the market as well as building the division’s new capabilities in Malaysia by overseeing the increased adoption of Omni, OMG’s people based marketing and insights platform, across OMG Malaysia and its agency brands.

He will also spearhead advanced tech initiatives and build on global and regional partnerships while unlocking new local opportunities. Kendzhaev will report into chief operating officer Eileen Ooi, who was promoted to her role last month.

He was previously business director at PHD Malaysia and his remit also included head of Annalect for the agency. He first joined PHD Malaysia in 2018 and played a crucial role in accelerating its growth as business director where he managed diverse portfolios with local, regional and global brands including HSBC, Volkswagen, LG, Warner Bros and Singapore Airlines.

OMG explained that by marrying his hunger for fresh and innovative ideas with his expertise in Omni, Kendzhaev has been successful in driving several industry-first initiatives in Malaysia. These included selling Volkswagen cars through eCommerce channels, as well as achieving stellar performance results with HSBC through data partnership and Omni audience tools. 

In a statement to A+M, Kendzhaev said he hopes to improve marketing effectiveness and efficiency for brands, improve the digital availabilities of brands via eCommerce channels and platforms, and consult for clients on adtech and martech. He also seeks to reinforce OMG's current capabilities, and develop new ones in the area of advanced analytics, data, tech and marketing science.

"The more I think about the digital technologies the more I realise it’s not really about the technical factors, it’s about people. This factor, in my view, is vitally important not only to be ready for the upcoming challenges, but also drive innovative solutions," he said.

According to Kendzhaev, it is important to hire talent who are able to drive capabilities in the areas of what he calls the 5As of data: architecture, aggregation, access, activation and analytics. Citing a digital maturity study by Boston Consulting Group and Google, Kendzhaev said more than half the brands in Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, are in nascent and emerging stages. That means there is only partial use of owned data in automated media buying with single-channel optimisation and testing.

"In addition, when it comes to analytics, with current changes in the digital ecosystem, it is imperative for brands to move into advanced analytics, data science and cloud-based solutions," he explained. When asked about the data and tech trends marketers should keep an eye on in 2021, he pointed out that brands need to be prepared for operating in a cookie-less world as that fundamentally changes almost everything when it comes to digital media and handling customer data.

"We are literally witnessing new era of the digital advertising with implications on the businesses. So I would urge everyone to understand the changes and start getting ready for it," he said.

Separately, Ooi's promotion in February places her on OMG's list of female leaders in Asia Pacific which includes Singapore COO Chloe Neo, Thailand CEO Rochelle Chhaya, China CEO Claudine Kwek, and Taiwan CEO Kelly Huang. Ooi told A+M in a previous interview that she plans to double the business in the next three years and focus on expanding OMG into a holistic marketing solution partner, leveraging on Annalect, content agency Drum, and eCommerce hub Transact. She explained that these capabilities transform OMG into a more holistic marketing solutions partner beyond just media.

During her four years as MD of PHD, Ooi doubled the size of the business and built a balanced and diversified client portfolio across global, regional and local businesses. The brands include Warner Bros Pictures Group, Wipro Unza, HSBC, LG, Volkswagen, and SCJ.

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