In this exclusive “Masters of Media” series, Integral Ad Science (IAS) speaks to the Movers and Shakers of the Southeast Asia advertising industry, on all matters digital.
This issue, we speak with Jean Thomas, CMO at Pomelo Fashion. He is a veteran leader with a proven track record in driving hyper-growth in global and local companies that he has worked with. He’s an expert in Marketing, B2C companies, and eCommerce and has worked across Paris, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Melbourne & Sydney.
Integral Ad Science (IAS): Thank you for chatting with us Jean. Tell us about your digital advertising journey and what prompted you to join Pomelo Fashion?
Jean Thomas, Pomelo Fashion (Jean): I started my career in Hong Kong at a performance marketing agency, working with a variety of online travel companies that were beginning to shape the e-commerce landscape. I then led the marketing divisions for various e-commerce companies in Asia, most recently as CMO for RedMart and Lazada — which eventually led me to Pomelo. I joined because I genuinely believed in the business model and the founders’ vision for the company.
IAS: What are the key industry developments in e-commerce you’re excited about and what are the top key trends you foresee in 2020?
Jean: There are lots of possibilities for companies to explore innovative concepts to revolutionise the way consumers discover products. As companies continue improving their online platforms, we’ll begin to see a move towards more content driven, fully integrated digital services that are able to help businesses connect with consumers. We started to see the beginning of this in 2019, with live-streaming and AR being used not only for content marketing, but as ways to enhance the user experience through technology, and I expect this trend to continue through 2020 and beyond.
IAS: How will 5G technology impact the way we live and shop on-trend, online, on-the-go?
Jean: I think as 5G technology becomes more prevalent that it’ll transform businesses across different industries and improve the way companies interact with consumers; companies will invest heavily on rich media and video-based content to best utilise this technology. For us at Pomelo, we’ll continue to prioritise a seamless online customer experience, and 5G will definitely help us on this journey.
IAS: What are the key innovations your team is spearheading at Pomelo to keep in pace with its discerning shoppers in the region?
Jean: We recently launched in-app livestream to celebrate our SS20 collection event, becoming the first fashion brand in Southeast Asia to bring this technology to consumers. We have lots of other initiatives lined up throughout the year, including innovative loyalty programmes and driving technology developments to deliver an enhanced retail and omnichannel experience to consumers across the region.
IAS: What do you do in your free time? Any books or podcasts you’d like to recommend to our readers?
Jean: I’ve always enjoyed travelling in general, but since moving to Bangkok I’ve been exploring cities around Asia whenever I have the time. I’m currently reading The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership. I’ve found that sports leadership is a great analogy for effective leadership and there are a lot of examples that are applicable to management in a business context.
IAS: What is your advice to the fresh talent entering the industry?
Jean: I really value the experience I gained from doing performance marketing; it helped give me a clearer view of marketing overall. When you’re just starting out, my first piece of advice would be to become a specialist — pick something you’re interested in, and become the best in your field at that. If you’re interested in digital marketing in particular, there’s nowhere better to learn than at an e-commerce company!