Content360 2023
Lion & Lion continues transformation plan with ambitious strategy to expand organisation and capabilities

Lion & Lion continues transformation plan with ambitious strategy to expand organisation and capabilities

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This post is sponsored by Lion & Lion.

Lion & Lion is a Southeast Asian agency network that integrates data and creativity to deliver impact. It has three offices in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, and collaborates with clients in more than 15 countries world-wide. Since being acquired by Septeni Global in 2016, the agency has seen tremendous growth over the past couple of years and currently employs more than 110 people across its Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia offices.

Lion & Lion is now one of Malaysia’s most sought-after firms, having been named as the top fifth most creative agency in Malaysia by Campaign Brief’s The Work 2021.

This year, the agency concluded its final year of a transformation plan that was initiated in 2018. By strategically streamlining its organisation and developing a higher degree of specialisation, the plan successfully turned the company around, and moved it from a heavily subsidised start-up to a profitable and aspiring market leader on a regional scale.

Made-to-impact to inspire long-term growth

“We built a solid reputation as a digital marketing agency specialising in performance marketing soon after our founding in 2012,” says Fredrik Gumpel, CEO of Lion & Lion.

“However, a transformation and a turnaround was needed in 2018. To become an even more relevant partner for our clients, we decided to build fewer, but stronger and more strategic capabilities.

“Our objective was to rebuild the company around the concept of creating impact. Impact from our product – our solutions – that could have a sustainable and positive impact on everything connected with the company – our clients’ brands, businesses and consumers, but also internally for our people and corporate culture.

“I think we achieved what we hoped for and feel our strategic direction has been proven to the extent that we now want to continue on the same ‘made-to-impact’ path. However, with the positive change of making our solutions better and growing their application even bigger.”

Integrating data with creativity to deliver impact

A key component of Lion & Lion’s recent success can be attributed to the agency’s ability to deliver across multiple markets for its growing segment of regional clients. Lion & Lion now employs multi-market delivery via localised solutions pods that service clients internationally.

Each pod brings together the agency’s core offerings – strategy, creative, social and media – into a single team, supported by data, tools and dashboards, to produce cohesive data-driven creative solutions.

“Being data-driven is fundamental to being digital, but what distinguishes Lion & Lion is how we weave it across our offerings. Added to this, we are gearing to respond to the changes happening such as cookie deprecation, hyper personalisation and meta marketing,” says Krishna Kumar, group director of strategy, media and eCommerce.

Translating global brand narratives to local markets

In transcending traditional ways of thinking, Lion & Lion’s approach has enabled it to function and optimise with agility and flexibility, resulting in regional and global client wins – such as Kellogg’s, Mars Wrigley’s Doublemint, Mars Petcare, and Kodak Lens – to name a few.

“With the help of Lion & Lion, we were able to build and engage our online community across Southeast Asia and create sustainable communication through social media,” says Jessa Crisel Rena, Kellogg Company’s category marketing lead for Southeast Asia.

“Lion & Lion’s strong regional relationships, data-driven insights and creative thinking has helped us stand out. We look forward to continuing to work with them to further strengthen Kellogg’s brand recognition.”

Key hires and wins across the region

To support the agency’s regional expansion, Lion & Lion has added a substantial number of senior employees. Cheelip Ong, chief creative officer; Kumar, group director of strategy, media and eCommerce; Desmond Ho, group director of creative and digital experience; Ham Maghazeh, regional social media director; Jonn Dogra and Jimmy Sutanto, creative directors of Singapore and Indonesia; as well as Amelia Peng and Hendero Fin, business directors for Malaysia and Indonesia, respectively, are among the agency’s key hires.

With the elevation of Claudia Low as creative content director, and the promotion of John Campbell-Bruce to regional managing director of client service, the organisation has been able to fill new voids and drive progress.

Winning a silver at Advertising+Marketing’s Agency of the Year Awards for Social, another silver at the Marketing Excellence Awards for Excellence in Relationship Marketing, and a gold, two silvers and a bronze at the Hashtag Asia Awards, are just some examples of how it has successfully garnered multi-market recognition among industry peers and prospective clients this year.

Facing the future with optimism

Lion & Lion is now ready to capitalise on new development opportunities in the creative and digital spheres both locally and worldwide. Over the next three years, the newly announced expansion strategy will be carried out through enhancing existing competencies and making acquisitions.

“Our expansion grows with the formation of a new dedicated film production team with directing, motion graphics, editing and music development capabilities, to meet brands’ expectations for engaging digital film content,” Ong says.

Along with hiring more staff for the film production studio, Lion & Lion is also expanding a data and analytics division under Kumar, and growing a full-service department in Singapore, which will be overseen by Dogra and Fin.

“It is important for us to meet change as it happens to serve the evolving needs of our clients,” Gumpel says.

“With our successful transformation and the underlying economic growth in Southeast Asia, our investment plan is centred around doing more of what we do today – just better and bigger in terms of capabilities and business size.”

To learn more about how Lion & Lion can support your brand with tailor-made “made to impact solutions”, email [email protected].

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