Founder Spotlight: Quanta Digital CEO Tristan de Belloy on Business Success and Future of Performance Digital Marketing
by Jessica Baniaga
Tristan de Belloy, former Chief Marketing Officer of one of the biggest e-commerce companies, has ventured and founded a performance marketing agency - Quanta Digital.
Quanta Digital is a performance marketing company that helps businesses to be digitally visible while maximizing their revenues and spending it efficiently in marketing.
TechShake talked to Tristan about Quanta and here are his insights:
You have been actively involved in marketing of various companies for the last decade, have you ever thought [in your earlier years] that you will be engaging yourself in media and marketing?
No. To be honest, it wasn’t my plan. The idea came to me when I joined Lazada. I was in the commercial team managing electronics categories, toys and baby categories. So I started to work with Marketing because it was one way to increase the sale of my categories in Lazada. Then one day, the CEO of Lazada said, “Okay, I am changing the head of marketing and I want you to be there.” I took the opportunity and I’ve been there for five (5) years managing the whole marketing of Lazada. We grew a lot. So I learned a lot. We made a lot of mistakes back then. That’s why digital marketing was a wise key and now, we applied this knowledge and we made an additional company. Marketing, in digital especially, it’s a key-driver. For the decade, for the tools and performance of each company, everyone is into digital so we are in the right place, at the right moment.
Quanta Digital team.
You also have been part of the biggest e-commerce company and been one of the executives. What made you decide to start Quanta? What potential did you see in the industry?
It was not an easy decision to leave Lazada because I loved my time in Lazada especially at the beginning when we had so many challenges, when no one was trusting that e-commerce will work here. People are trying to say that the Philippines is a very offline country, but we have to fight well to convince a bunch to try. We have a lot of meetings for some but not [to launch] yet. But now, it's wider, better point where it is very established and bigger now — it’s a no brainer for brands to sell on Lazada. It's [becoming] a bigger and bigger company.
What I want to find again is the same development of entrepreneurship same as the beginning of Lazada. That’s why I decided to create my own. Overall, after we got acquired by Alibaba they taught us how the ecosystem around Alibaba was important. Like the Taobao Partner in China, we had to create a similar Lazada Partner in SEA to help brands and sellers to grow their E-Commerce.
I know what things work now to make a brand growing faster now, that’s why I built Quanta. So I decided to leave the executive position of Lazada to create my own and to create from scratch and be back [as an] active part of the ecosystem.
How did you go about the business development of Quanta?
It took me a bit of time. Because, as you can imagine, to be an executive in Lazada, it’s a great, growing company [and] with impromptu decisions, it's a safe kind of life, salary of some sort, so it is not easy. But I think it's the right moment so it took me some time. Also, when I was in Lazada, many brands were asking me to help them on marketing because they are struggling to get a good digital activation so I decided to create Quanta to support them. That’s why I said okay, this is we — it's the consumers.
Lazada asked and proposed me a different position, in regional, in other countries but I really wanted to go back to entrepreneurship — that’s why I set up Quanta. I think there is a lack in the ecosystem. There is no agency who is truly performance marketing/e-commerce in data and tech. This is where we are fitting in terms to get them.
The Philippines' e-commerce industry has been growing tremendously and there are new companies showing up. How do you work together as a team in Quanta? And what sets you apart from the other digital marketing companies?
So for me, especially for my kind of business, is the people. Because, as [being] a service company, we need to make sure that we get to invest in people. Digital, especially performance marketing, is very very new in the Philippines, so what I am focusing on is just where I care for people, I bring attention to people. And after, we (Sydney, my Co-founder, and I) spend a lot of time training them because none of the companies in the Philippines know what we are doing. I cannot just [say], “okay, I'm going to hire you from this company because of their experience.” It’s not the case. I'm focusing on getting clever people and training them, an intense training, and we work as a team or together.
In performance digital marketing, how does creativity work?
It’s a good question because it really goes together so that's why we own our internal creative team. Because the beauty of performance marketing is that by doing ads that are on you, I am already twisting data. For example, when we launch a banner. It’s very subjective because banners are great, it's creative work. But if there is no data behind [it], you cannot. So what we do, we use a lot of arbiters and monitor which creative is working best so we can take decisions based on data.
How can you encourage people to consider data-driven marketing?
So one thing of what we got from most of our clients is that we are data driven because we want to base all our decisions on data. Every time we speak with the client, it enables us much data and launch analysis. This feedback that we are getting and we like to back up to how we can impact their own business with our tool analysis. Before, some big brands were a bit scared to move to Quanta because we were a startup. But we are still certain where we are distinct to try our services. And now, as we go, there are success stories from some big firms. Now, we are also getting big companies willing to start and willing to try a new startup like that.
How do you see Quanta in the growing industry of technology?
We are on the outside of the Philippines. We already have a client across Southeast Asia -- Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand. So we are mostly in Southeast Asian agencies to support the clients but we are based in the Philippines. We are not considering ourselves as a marketing agency. We are a tech company working one performance marketing meaning everything we do, we automate it. We have also one technical team who finds ways to create tools for greater commission into creating reports, launching also some games for our brands, as well as Messenger Bot as Social Commerce is the new thing. So we are not engineers but we are really a tech company working in performance marketing. We develop quite a bigger opportunity coming from tech.
You are also a part of the French Tech community, how does the initiative of French Tech contribute to the startup community?
Again, in addition to my job at Quanta, I am also a board of director in French Tech. So French Tech is a community launched by French government to support entrepreneurs, to support startups once and for all and I'm working and managing it in the Philippines because the Philippines was a bit late in the startup ecosystem compared to its neighbor, Indonesia and so. But, it is starting to catch up very fast. During my first year, we were trying to create some kind of community where entrepreneurs can share their stories — you learn about their mistakes so you can avoid them in the future. We work on helping entrepreneurs to face their challenges. We put their company in contact with lawyers. We joined to do [something] systematic because again, there is a big demand. It is like you in Techshake, you are so useful because you share stories of entrepreneurs who are gonna like to get some learning and you can save a lot of time as an entrepreneur. I think the startup community needs to be very collaborative and we envision especially with COVID-19 situation. Many startups, same as mine, are struggling because we lose [our] plans. We need to create this community of helping each other. Because, we are gonna go together if we can share. We are ringing free digital support for startups. So we need to address digital performance and especially for startups where there is a financial kind community.
Click here to know more about Quanta Digital.