Meet the WeQ Japan Team
We have many exciting plans for 2019, starting with the launch of our new office in Tokyo. Since APAC continues to be a top tier market for WeQ’s mobile advertising activities, we also have our sights set on expanding our footprint further within the region. With our presence in Japan, we aim to strengthen our existing relationships with local partners and expand our business reach. So, what better occasion to introduce you to the WeQ Japan division?
We chat to Aime Antonia Okamoto, who is based on the ground in Tokyo, and Nahoko Toyonaga, who operates from WeQ’s Berlin office. Our team of mobile experts is tasked with creating and launching mobile marketing campaigns for Japanese clients, both in Japan and abroad. The team works hard to ensure that our clients are onboarded smoothly and campaigns are set up and ran successfully, while keeping in constant communication with our partners. They play an essential role in keeping our clients happy and sourcing new business opportunities in the region. Today we hear from the team about their work and exciting projects ahead. We also share a few words with our Managing Director Sven Lubek about WeQ’s expansion plans for 2019.
Briefly introduce yourselves and your roles at WeQ
Aime: I have been at WeQ from the very beginning, since the company launched in April 2018 and as I am bilingual (German/Japanese), have been taking care of both the European and Japanese markets. I really enjoy working with clients globally to support their mobile growth and scale their user base on a daily basis.
Recently we have been increasing business in the APAC market so my main focus is for sure to identify new business opportunities in Japan and to build and maintain the relationships with our clients there.
Nahoko: I joined WeQ in 2018. I started my career working for a Japanese online advertising agency in Tokyo. I continued working in the ad tech industry in Canada and China taking care of the APAC market. I was taking care of English, Japanese and Chinese-speaking clients – from identifying new business opportunities to sealing the deal and growing their accounts – before landing in Berlin. It has always been my desire to help Japanese advertisers to explore and reach their full potential – especially in the gaming industry. It’s fulfilling to support international clients with their app’s growth in such a huge market like Asia and help to promote their game abroad.
In a nutshell: we see ourselves as the people in the company who make sure that our clients’ needs are heard and we are the ones coordinating the execution of the actual campaigns to ensure their goals are ultimately met.
Can you give us a summary of what your job entails and how you support our clients on a daily basis?
There is a strong consultation element, as we advise our clients based on the experience we have gained from previous campaigns in other GEOs. We enjoy sharing knowledge of GEOs and give them advice on how to run campaigns in Western markets and ultimately help them grow. We have a tailor-made and personalized approach at WeQ so we don’t just press some buttons: we are there on a personal level to help our clients develop mobile marketing strategies every step of the way, together, as a team.
We are also very hands-on. We set up campaigns for our clients but also have close communication as we are involved with every step of the user acquisition journey: from choosing what campaigns to run, to setting KPIs and metrics around the campaign for our clients, and also keeping an eye on metrics with constant optimization and performance evaluation.
What types of clients and which top verticals are you working with in Japan?
We opened our office in Japan to help agencies, app developers and networks to grow their apps. We want to work together to drive user acquisition and engagement via tailored mobile performance and branding campaigns.
We have already been running offers from diverse verticals including gaming, dating and shopping. In our experience the gaming vertical is the dominant one, with hardcore games winning the biggest share of the market. Dating is another vertical that has flourished over last year, which is also apparent in the number of dating apps that exist. As Japan is one of the global leaders in technology and number of mobile users, we believe that there is a high potential for verticals like finance, entertainment and lifestyle.
You are familiar with our clients and the challenges they encounter first-hand. Could you outline some of these?
One of the main challenges that Japanese clients face is to find the right traffic that will ensure they hit their ROAS (Return on ad spend) targets. As a lot of Japanese developers are targeting international markets, it’s crucial that they find local partners with the knowledge of the right channels and the market specific requirements. We also see an increasing need for compliance and transparency, not only for Japanese clients, but for the industry in general. In response to that, we are offering to our clients our compliance solution “WeQ SHIELD”. As trust is an important prerequisite in the Japanese business culture, we want to make sure that our clients’ interests are protected and their goals are reached.
What qualities are important to succeed in your role in account management or business development in this industry?
We juggle a lot of tasks, so it’s ideal to have a mixed skill set to feel comfortable in this type of role and not be overwhelmed.
You need to love working with people and handle all types of written and verbal communications. Strong communication skills are a must as we actively work with our partners and internally also collaborate with different teams. Also, we are a global company with clients around the world, so we bring an intercultural knowledge and know-how that helps us navigate different scenarios.
We find that the ability to identify opportunities is very important as it helps us know where to invest our efforts and ultimately supports our clients in reaching their goals. It’s about being able to see the long term goals. We don’t just focus on quick wins, we aim to work with our partners in the long run and to develop and grow together.
Lastly: flexibility. It’s a fast-paced industry so you need to be able to switch gears fast and stay on top of things: from mobile trends to regulations changing in certain GEOs.
What is the most challenging aspect of your role, and the most rewarding?
We value our partnerships, so we find it rewarding when our client does well on a campaign which we helped them scale! It’s exciting to build something together as a team and can lead to nice friendships. We also enjoy the variety of work across different products and verticals.
As for the challenges: so far, it has proved difficult to meet our partners in Japan face-to-face. That’s all set to change with Aime moving to Tokyo to open our new office, as we’ll get the chance to develop relations with them on a more personal level. Also, it can be tricky to manage the different requirements for our clients. Luckily, we recently launched our in-house proprietary BI tool (Cockpit), so it’s become much easier to manage campaigns on the operational front.
What WeQ core values do you feel your team embodies the most?
We can identify with being “Initiative Thinkers” as seen from the way our team works with our clients: we strive to be as proactive as possible. We enjoy bringing our ideas to the table and approaching our clients with new opportunities if we identify something, we don’t like to just wait for instructions from our clients.
We are also “deep divers” who work towards long term goals. Knowledge is key in this rapidly changing industry, and we have to bring the knowledge forth to our clients. While the saying “you never stop to learn” applies in many areas, it’s definitely true in ad tech! We never stop learning so we can stay on top of things and advise our clients on their mobile performance strategy.
What are the plans for WeQ in Japan in the coming year?
We are excited about the new office launch as we want to gain more traction in Japan and expand our business reach. We will of course, continue to offer 24/7 support to our existing Japanese clients. The “WeQ Japan” team will establish a stronger presence physically, online and in social media. We are super open to hear about opportunities and cannot wait to share our acquired knowledge in Japan, since one of our core values is “life is wonderful life is sharing!”
Sven Lubek, MD of WeQ, said: “We see Japan as a rapidly-growing market and are happy to have a footprint in the region. We’ve already tapped into the high potential of the mobile market by partnering with Japanese clients and and agencies. We’ll continue to strengthen our presence, in order to empower our growing customer base to reach their marketing goals.”
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