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Sunday June 20th, 2021

ADA: enabling businesses for a digital age

Rozy Laxana ADA Sri Lanka Managing Director

ADA Sri Lanka is a data-driven performance marketing outfit that provides end-to-end digital marketing solutions to deliver real business outcomes.

As easy as it seems to do business on virtual platforms, it is becoming overwhelming with more products, producers and consumers entering this space. And targeting the right consumer is even more challenging.

ADA is a data and artificial intelligence company that designs and executes integrated digital, analytics and marketing solutions. It is a subsidiary of the Axiata Group, Malaysia (parent company of Sri Lanka’s listed telco giant Dialog Axiata Plc) and operates in nine countries. Since entering Sri Lanka two years ago, ADA Sri Lanka provides digital marketing solutions and strategies in a rapidly changing, expanding, and complex market space says ADA Sri Lanka Managing Director Rozy Laxana.

What can you tell us about ADA and its operations in Sri Lanka?

ADA stands for Analytics Data Advertising. At ADA, it all begins with data. Our passionate team of data scientists, digital marketers and growth hackers help companies drive their digital and data maturity.

We focus on providing insights, data enrichment and advanced analytics to make informed business decisions. We also design data-driven marketing strategies by delving deep into consumer behaviours and understanding mindsets to create individual personas across various audience demographics for optimal targeting. Our services include end-to-end marketing, growth hacking, funnel, and goal optimization.

Most agencies look at vanity metrices, which may comprise a particular demographic or target audience set, for instance. Whereas at ADA, we take several steps further: there is more to data than what meets the eye, and we delve deep and unravel more insights.

We aim to keep our analytics and data strictly aligned with the business objectives of our clients. It is one thing to find, for example, the age group of a business’ best consumers. But we do more than that: we can provide in-depth details about the brand and consumer preferences, lifestyles, and habits. Our client can then target the actual consumer segment that will give them growth. In this regard, we have partnered with over a thousand brands in all major industries to drive their data and digital maturity.

What makes ADA stand out from other digital marketing agencies?

Our vision is to deliver the future of marketing by combining the best of data science, technology, creativity, and content. We pride ourselves on providing solid data-driven strategies coupled with a strong execution leg to deliver results. That is part and parcel of what we do.

With our analytical capabilities, we try to go beyond the general demographics and deep-dive into understanding consumer mindsets. From the awareness layer to expression of interest, lead generation and the actual acquisition, we offer end-to-end solutions to optimise results for our clients. To achieve this, we work closely with our clients, understanding their business goals, and objectives that drive results.


What are the factors shaping the future of business in Sri Lanka?

COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of AI, automation, and machine learning by businesses everywhere as a means to drive productivity and reach consumers. The adoption of e-commerce and the digitalisation of services have increased, helping businesses to build new revenue streams. E-commerce is here to stay, but the market is nascent in Sri Lanka. Online spending is on the rise, making digital marketing more critical than ever before. Content marketing will dominate the advertising sphere. There is a growing trend of consumers trusting user generated content on product usage rather than sponsored ads. The role of content marketers and influencers will grow in importance and overtake traditional advertising formats.

How can ADA play a role in enabling that future?

We help clients embrace and evolve with digital’s rapid upheavals. We do not just look at ourselves as a digital media agency. Our expertise ranges from marketing solutions to customer acquisition, business insights and reach. We leverage technology to build resilient business models for companies.

Advertising on virtual platforms is no walk in the park due to rapid changes, and the scale of different portals and the diversity and size of the market. We help clients with the digital transformation, seamlessly navigate through complexity and unlock real value and growth.

The constantly evolving and rapidly changing digital ecosystem can be overwhelming to tackle. For instance, Google and Facebook are consistently improving and expanding their suite of services, and their frequent algorithm upgrades make keeping up difficult. With so much going on, businesses need to select the right platform at the right time and have the right message to the right consumer! Here is where ADA comes in because it is what we do best.

Can you tell us the role of culture, people development, and innovation behind the successes of your operations in Sri Lanka?

We aim to create a culture of diversity and inclusiveness and attract unique skills which can deliver value to the business. We provide on-the-job training, with mentorship and coaching to allow our people to grow professionally and personally. Learning from each other is particularly important to us, and our culture of diversity and inclusiveness makes this a rich and rewarding experience.

We started with a couple of traditional verticals and teams, but as we evolved, so did our capabilities. As business and client needs continuously change, we are relentless in scaling up our teams to stay ahead of the curve by re-skilling them and creating new job opportunities for these new growth areas.

More than hiring someone for their academic background, we try to identify the projects and roles they are passionate about and guide them through this journey. Our approach to nurturing talent has not only brought success to ADA Sri Lanka: offices across ADA’s regional network are constantly demanding our employees too! A proud testament to the level of commitment we have placed on helping our people grow and prosper in the new digital age.