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It's Still All About Knowing the Customer

An evangelist of the power of digital even earlier the turn of the millennium, Mr. Mandel now heads Asia-Pacific operations of Buddy Media, a software company that connects brands with their clients through social-media networks, working with the likes of L'Oréal SA and Mattel Inc.

In the U.S., Buddy Media benefited from a $689 million acquisition in early June by cloud-computing company SalesForce, and previously this year was selected by U.S.-based advertising giant GroupM as its social-advertising partner globally.

Mr. Mandel: It is complete chaos out there with all the tools available, and this is the problem we are trying to solve for. You have these very large platforms, and people go to them every day, however it becomes a spaghetti mess for the stakeholders. A unified innovation is how you make sense of this—it is important to use some form of research to handle all the different networks.

WSJ: Is advertising on social networks for all that the best strategy, considering the performance of Facebook's IPO and the decision of companies like GM to pull their advertising out of the social network? Are we in a bit of a tech bubble?

Mr. Mandel: If you want to create the then massive Internet platform, Asia is the place to be—look at Indonesia and India, they are the world's biggest markets for Facebook. You are going to see a lot of companies looking to focus on Asia, especially start-ups. I think they already are. Growth is not going to come from America, and not Europe, considering the way things are looking now.

More information: Wsj
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