Interview with Echelon: Umair Wolid, CMO - Meta ASP at Roar AdX

Roar Global
Jun 14, 2023

Roar AdX, the first Meta Authorized Sales Partner (ASP) in Sri Lanka, has helped over 1,500 companies navigate the turbulent past three years using effective digital ad campaigns on the Meta family of apps. Despite starting operations amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Roar AdX's marketing experts trained 1,000 brands in their first year and continue to provide strategic consultation and local insights to an ever-growing portfolio of businesses struggling amidst Sri Lanka's economic crisis.

Three years and 5,000 brands later, Roar AdX is now expanding its presence across the APAC region and building new partnerships with leading digital platforms, including LinkedIn. Driving this growth is the firm belief that everyone should have access to the best digital marketing tools, regardless of company size, location and language barriers. 

In his interview with Echelon for its June 2023 issues, Umair Wolid, Chief Marketing Officer - Meta ASP, reflects on this journey.

Here are some excerpts from the interview.

On Roar AdX’s mission and goals:

“At Roar AdX, our mission is to set a benchmark for our ad reseller business, starting from Sri Lanka. We see our operations in Sri Lanka as an experiment for what a partner can achieve in an emerging market through excellent customer service and hyperlocalized solutions. We have been very successful in this so far; today, we work with 5,000+ brands and represent some of the world’s best digital platforms in countries outside Sri Lanka as well.”

“Our goal is not to just help optimize their ad campaigns but also to increase their overall sales and reach their business objectives. It has been inspiring to see some brands that started off earning just $100 in turnover making over $50,000 two or three years later.”

On the benefits of working with a Meta ASP:

“Our team members are experts on Meta platforms — we help brands understand everything about how they work. We provide consultation on a brand’s social media presence, campaigns and advertising activities, as well as in-depth knowledge and dedicated support.”

“We offer local currency billing. One of the biggest issues Sri Lankan companies, especially SMEs, face is liquidity. Being able to spend on ads in LKR is one of the key benefits of working with us. Also, everything we provide in terms of consultation, training, monitoring and support is free-of-charge.”

“We work with a very wide range of businesses across different industries and verticals, and to meet this, we have a team of experts who come from specialized backgrounds… This way, we can provide strategic and tailored solutions for businesses with varied pain points and objectives.”

“One of the most important services we provide as the Meta ASP is support and education in local languages. We run webinars and offline workshops and frequently share learning resources on our social channels and monthly newsletters in both Sinhala and Tamil… It’s an area we want to continue to invest in, in every non-English speaking market we enter, as we firmly believe everyone should have equal opportunity to take advantage of what platforms offer.”

On how small and medium businesses are outperforming larger companies in their ad performance:

“Some of our most successful clients are those who started their businesses during those tough early months of COVID. We saw some e-commerce and DTC brands build their businesses around the crisis and saw it as an opportunity to build inroads into the market. We were able to provide them with the insights and tools to be able to emerge during this time through advertising on Meta platforms. This, coupled with their entrepreneurial drive, has resulted in them growing exponentially over the last three years.”

“If you look at our top 10 clients who perform well on social media, they are not large or traditional companies that have huge advertising budgets. In fact, they are smaller brands that don’t have massive brand recognition or aren’t backed by large blue-chip companies. By working with the Meta ASP, they learned how to be smart in their use of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger to get in front of customers.”

On the latest advertising trends and features on Meta platforms:

“One of the most significant changes that have taken place across social media over the last four years is discovery commerce. It relies on the fact that most people don’t know what they aspire to be or what they want to buy. But Facebook and Instagram allow brands to showcase their offerings even to those outside their target audiences and influence their purchase decisions.”

“Previously, customers had to seek information on their own and online shopping was web-based. Brands invested a lot in building the best-looking and most sophisticated websites. But now customers are being presented with a personalized experience on platforms, where they can discover new brands and evaluate multiple options. For brands, these platforms have become a centralized place to conduct business.”

On working with LinkedIn Marketing in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh:

“LinkedIn is a great platform for B2B marketing, but in South Asia, we don’t see a lot of companies taking advantage of that as companies in other regions do. We are still at the early stage of this operation, but we have been working with selected companies that have an international clientele and stand to gain a lot by reaching business leaders and decision-makers around the world. It requires an approach that is different from that taken for Meta platforms.”

“We are very excited to explore these markets, learn how businesses in emerging markets can grow on LinkedIn and use these insights as we enter other countries across the APAC region, as an ad reseller for Meta and LinkedIn as well as other leading digital platforms.”

Read the full interview on Echelon here.

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