SINGAPORE, AUGUST 15, 2012— XM Asia Pacific today launched its new Consumer Experience Lab, which utilizes cutting-edge Tobii eye-tracking technology, along with heuristic techniques and usability metrics, to pinpoint how Asian consumers view, absorb and use information they see on websites, digital ads and traditional media.
XM Asia, a JWT company, has strategically built out its usability consulting practice over the last five years, offering clients tangible, data-driven insight into how to develop or improve their digital presence to better engage consumers. The Consumer Experience Lab, designed as a regional center of excellence for consumer research and human behavioral studies, will allow the agency to take that specialty to the next level. This investment further cements XM Asia’s position as one of Southeast Asia’s largest and most comprehensive digital agencies, and a leader in consumer experience diagnostics and research.
“We felt we needed to move beyond usability to understand the cognitive process that influences consumer decisions, especially by focusing on how information is represented, processed and transformed beyond the brain and machines,” says Hema Thiagarajah, XM Asia’s User-Experience Director. “By developing human heuristics, we will better understand how people interact with ads, products and services, and even banners and websites. Simply put, we want to create a cerebral ‘sat nav’ framework for marketing that will optimize consumer education and transaction.”
Combining traditional research, heuristic techniques and eye-tracking methodology, XM Asia will aim to identify digital marketing tools and usability features that are best positioned to engage and influence consumer decisions. Clients will be able to choose from small, bespoke pilot audits and prototyping to enterprise-level projects.
“While data continues to be a talking point, we feel that next generation brand experiences will always drive how clients grow their customer engagement,” says Vince Lui, XM Asia’s Managing Director. “The Lab will allow us to identify these trends and build more meaningful utility into the innovations we create next. These days, there are so many theoretical models so we decided to go ‘old-school’ and actually build a bricks & mortar facility within our office”
Moving forward, XM Asia’s Human Heuristics Lab will support projects across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Thailand and Hong Kong.
Most of the research on website usability that utilizes eye tracking technology has been done in the West. Those studies, which conclude that consumers look at websites in an “F” shaped pattern, guide digital products and marketing worldwide. It’s never been proven however, that Asian consumers read digital information the same way.
“We don’t think any agencies in South-East Asia have this facility within their organization, so as part of our commitment to innovation, we decided to build it first,” said Paul Soon, CEO of XM Asia Pacific. “The Lab will provide clients the confidence to see first-hand what works and what doesn’t. And we will create our own Asia data and metrics instead of relying on US and European models.”
Born in 1995, XM Asia (www.xm-asia.com) is one of Asia’s first and largest digital agencies. XM has created effective, innovative and award-winning strategies for companies across Southeast Asia for over 16 years, and continues to serve as a pioneer in the digital marketing space.
The agency’s mantra is to deliver optimised digital experiences and strategies that enable their clients to build deeper consumer conversations with maximum ROI.
To accomplish this, XM delivers a full range of proven digital marketing and technology consulting services. These range from business intelligence to platform development, consumer insights to user experience, rich internet application development to social media management, as well as data analytics and channel optimisation.
XM clients across the region include Ford, MasterCard, HP, Economic Development Board of Singapore and the Singapore Tourism Board. XM Asia is Adobe’s first and only business partner in Asia.
XM Asia is a JWT company, and part of the WPP group.
About JWT APAC
JWT opened their first offices in Asia Pacific in 1929. JWT APAC, headquartered in Singapore, has more than 3,000 employees spread across 18 countries.
Not only are we recognized as one of the largest and most experienced agencies in APAC, but also one of the most creative. In 2011, we captured Mainland China’s first Cannes Grand Prix Lion and first Grand LIA at the London International Awards. We were also named the number 3 Network Agency of the Year at Spikes Asia. Our long history of firsts continues with Lo Sheung Yan, China Chairman and Northeast Asia ECD, being appointed as Cannes Lions first ever Jury President from China.
In addition to working with JWT’s prestigious multinational clients, JWT APAC works with some of Asia’s largest brands including Haier, Indosat, Bharti Airtel and Korea Ginseng & Tobacco.
JWT is the world’s best-known marketing communications brand. Headquartered in New York, JWT is a true global network with more than 200 offices in over 90 countries employing nearly 10,000 marketing professionals.
JWT consistently ranks among the top agency networks in the world and continues its dominant presence in the industry by staying on the leading edge—from producing the first-ever TV commercial in 1939 to developing award-winning branded content for brands such as Smirnoff, Macy’s, Ford and HSBC.
JWT’s pioneering spirit enables the agency to forge deep relationships with clients including Bayer, Bloomberg, Cadbury, Diageo, DTC, Ford, HSBC, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, Kimberly-Clark, Kraft, Nestlé, Nokia, Rolex, Royal Caribbean, Schick, Shell, Unilever, Vodafone and many others. JWT’s parent company is WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY).
Asia Pacific Director of Corporate Communications