SalesTech Star

SalesTechStar Interview with Tom Furukawa, CEO at Logiq

What should marketing and sales teams be using more of to drive interactions with relevant prospects for their online stores? Tom Furukawa, CEO at Logiq shares some thoughts while taking us through some overall marketing and sales tips in this QnA:

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Hi Tom, we’d love to hear about your journey through the years. How are you spending your time since taking over as CEO at Logiq?

There have been two parts to my career. The first 11 years focused on software engineering and product management in the software project and systems management space. I went through an IPO that landed me at IBM via acquisition, and became skilled at building scalable, enterprise software and running effective teams.

I spent the next 16 years as a product and technology executive, working at Y!, KBB, Magnite, and MotorTrend. I founded a startup and then landed at Logiq via acquisition. Working on advertising platforms at Y! and Magnite and being a customer of those platforms at KBB and MotorTrend gave me a well-rounded perspective on both the good and bad of digital marketing technology.

As CEO of Loqiq, my first focus was the company’s vision and mission. I feel these are two of the most important things for a company to get right. They move everyone forward toward a common goal. At Logiq, our vision is a world where e-commerce provides a level playing field for any company to thrive based upon the merits of their offering and execution. It’s our mission to develop superior e-commerce technology for small to medium-sized businesses and offer them the guidance they need to succeed against any size competitor. At our essence, we connect brands to consumers by simplifying e-commerce.

My next key area of focus was building a world-class team to help realize and execute this vision and mission. The board of directors, the executive team, the management staff, and the individual contributors are all experts in the field of e-commerce. We’re gathering the best and brightest in the industry and are now poised for growth.

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How are you seeing digital marketing trends change for financial institutions, fintech and in general for SMBs catering to a growing online user base?

There are a few trends that we see as critical for SMB’s to observe and take strategic action. They are the rising costs of customer acquisition, the disparity of competition in e-commerce sales, and the rapidly changing set of regulatory and commercial policies around consumer data. 

A study by Profitwell showed that over the past 6-7 years, customer acquisition costs have risen almost 70%. For e-commerce retailers, this is the “live or die” metric of their business. 

Additionally, an eMarketer research study reported that in 2020 the top 10 U.S. e-commerce companies accounted for 63.2% of all US e-commerce retail sales.  This imbalance is problematic and unsustainable.

Finally, the impact for how 1st, 2nd, and 3rd party data can be collected, shared and activated is coming to another peak. With Google’s upcoming action to block 3rd-party cookies in Chrome, Apple’s initiatives across ATT, PCM and IDFA, and evolving regulations (both global and domestic), it can all get very overwhelming for businesses not staffed or resourced to understand the implications of this fast-changing industry. 

For SMBs, this all means they will increasingly need a strong partner to help guide them through the challenges of increasing e-commerce revenue while adhering to the evolving laws and new data processes. We formed Logiq to help SMBs address these challenges.

What best practices do you feel marketers of online stores need to embrace to attract the right audience and boost brand impact?

It all starts with data. More specifically, how to take first-party data and use AI-based technologies to surface the key insights needed to extrapolate into other audience pools and guide campaign conversion optimization events. In other words, how marketers should direct their marketing spend to the consumers with the highest probability to purchase. With this ability, marketers can more effectively learn how to find new customers across walled gardens, open web and CTV. And just as important, find them at the most effective cost of acquisition.

We’d love some first-hand thoughts and insights on Logiq’s latest acquisition of Rebel AI. What drove this acquisition and are there any others in the pipeline?

The acquisition of Rebel AI was very exciting as it marked a key milestone for our Logiq corporate strategy. We made a series of moves in 2020 to immediately position us as a serious option for SMB e-commerce marketers. We started with the acquisition of Push Int. to inherit a team skilled in lead generation, data activation and media buying.  

Following that, we acquired Fixel. Fixel developed an award-winning AI algorithm that determines a consumer’s level of engagement that marketers can use in a number of use cases, such as retargeting and lookalike modeling. 

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Finally, we came across Rebel AI and discovered a foundational platform that could unify our previous acquisitions. At Rebel AI, they built an advanced platform that powers data collection, identity resolution, segmentation, activation and media buying. It is truly an end-to-end e-commerce marketing platform that we wanted to acquire, rather than building in-house.

In terms of future acquisition, we’re always looking at what’s taking place around the industry. However, our primary focus is taking our current offering to market.

Tell us more about the Logiq Digital Marketing Platform and its key benefits?

Logiq Digital Marketing consists mainly of the newly acquired Rebel AI platform. A team of advertising technology veterans created this “all in one” marketing platform to answer the question “How would we build an ad tech platform if we were to do it over again?”. It provides agencies and brands the ability to ingest and collect data while making it immediately actionable for media buying. It does this through an ingenious container tag design as well as an extensive set of integrations with the top data services and media partners in our ecosystem. This makes for very easy setup and launch of new digital marketing programs for our clients.  More importantly, as maintenance and adjustments are needed, these can take place in a fraction of the time compared to the time it took for our client’s existing processes.

Finally, we allow our clients to get started without any spend minimums and we offer our clients a low-cost, completely transparent pricing model. Comparative technologies are out of reach for SMBs due to incredibly high monthly spend requirements.

A few thoughts on the future of e-commerce and how this space will evolve (technologies / user behavior).

A report attributed to Nasdaq cites a staggering metric. By 2040, 95% of all retail sales will take place online. Whether that becomes true or not, the future of e-commerce is only going to get more prevalent and competitive. Another study by eMarketer shows just how far e-commerce has to go in reaching that 95% level. It is also clear, however, retail is quickly moving to e-commerce. Because of this, a large measure of a retailer’s success will be based upon their ability to identify their customers online and build a thorough “identity graph” to support cross media targeting and attribution. This is not a revolutionary insight, but new approaches are needed to mitigate the fast evolving practices for how data can be collected and activated.

Another prediction is the convergence of ad tech and martech. Today, there is still a big chasm between digital advertising and measuring in-store engagement and conversions. To get it right, especially for SMBs, it’s important to tie and optimize these together.

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Logiq, Inc. (OTCQX: LGIQ) is a U.S.-based leading global provider of eCommerce, mCommerce, and fintech business enablement solutions. Its AppLogiq™ platform-as-a-service enables small-and-medium sized businesses worldwide to easily create and deploy a native mobile app for their business without technical knowledge or background. AppLogiq empowers businesses to reach more customers, increase sales, manage logistics, and promote their products and services in an easy, affordable, and highly efficient way. AppLogiq is offered in 14 languages across 10 countries and three continents, including some of the fastest-growing emerging markets in Southeast Asia.

Tom Furukawa is the CEO at Logiq

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