HELPING BUSINESSES ENGAGE CONSUMERS
"Perx Technologies’ mobile customer engagement cloud solution enables conventional businesses to interact with their customers in ways that were previously unaffordable"
Perx was once a mobile loyalty app that rewarded customers through points. However, Perx reinvented itself when Gong took over the reins in November 2014. “Perx has a legacy dating from 2011. The company was founded by two Americans positioning Perx as a lifestyle loyalty app. I found that the business model was not sustainable and required significant work,” Gong relates.
“During my tenure, I led the company in a different direction. I focused on our ground-up efforts and invested money in research and development to create new offerings directly impacting our customers,” Gong shares.
Today, Perx Technologies is better known as a cloud platform with a software service subscription model. The company’s clientele includes large enterprises in the financial services, insurance, telco, travel, transportation and hospitality industries, typically with customers numbering in the millions.
Perx has added EZ-Link and Asia’s top banks to its burgeoning list of client portfolio by assisting in the collection of data points, then translating these insights into a tangible customer rewards strategy.
“With Perx’s technologies, EZ-Link is able to monitor data and power its mobile strategy to engage and appeal to its consumers,” Gong explains. “Perx creates novel rewards and customer engagement approaches for customers with the help of our proprietary tools. With the customer data distilled and translated, the creative team designs a strategy that aims to increase customer spend and activity.”
Conventional Advertising Technology (AdTech) companies provide services focusing on click-throughs, page views, likes and downloads. Perx takes a different route by offering a comprehensive and integrated marketing technology (MarTech) platform which leverages on insights and marketing automation. A brand can improve its customer engagement through user experience, customer data and analytics.
“The data and transactional records within Perx systems empowers Perx to analyse, learn and predict consumer behaviour effectively. Brands are then assured that the customer’s next interaction is engaged and personalised,” Gong shares.
Perx’s business model and solutions are disrupting the traditional methods of customer engagement. Gong asserts that this service is born out of necessity.
Entrepreneurs come up with ideas because there are no other solutions available for the problems in their lifestyle. For example, Airbnb was founded because the owners were couch-surfing. Uber was a solution for more convenient transport options,” she points out.
“My journey began when I was speaking with businesses and questioning which brand engages consumers in meaningful and proactive ways. The whole communication model is broken. Many brands have millions of consumers, yet these businesses hardly appreciate the current pool of customers and do not delve into monetising what they already have. Instead, price wars become the norm, resulting in heavy marketing investments for new customer acquisition. Do you know that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to engage and retain an existing one?”
As the CEO and prime mover at Perx, Gong is fully convinced of Perx’s potential to be the global leader in mobile customer engagement. In the process, Perx will be able to help organisations of all sizes acquire, engage and reward customers anytime, anywhere, with intelligent data analytics.
Gong moved to Singapore from San Francisco in 2009 and is now a Singapore permanent resident. Having spent 20 years in the industry, she is a veteran in the tech field.
“I enjoy working in technology that makes an impact on people, business and community,” she says. “I love being at the forefront with a start-up culture. You feel like a maverick in front of all these big corporates.”
Gong runs a tight ship and has completely turned the company around by restructuring the resources and instilling the company with an entirely new culture and DNA. Gong is also not afraid of rolling up her sleeves and working the ground. To increase eyeballs on Perx, she is a familiar face in the media and at events and conferences where she speaks on various topics from FinTech to predictive analytics mobile marketing and loyalty.
Gong is also a hands-on leader. She works with the tech team on product development and management, sales, marketing and strategy to ensure that the company’s services are innovative and in line with changing business trends. At the moment, her primary focus is on sales, talent acquisition and fundraising. Perx is backed by Golden Gate Ventures and Eduardo Saverin, a co-founder of Facebook. In November 2015, the company also completed a single-digit million dollar Series A funding round.
“We are at an inflection point where we are growing at 200 to 300 per cent every year,” Gong shares. “With our innovative business model, over the next two to three years, we expect to solidify our position as the MarTech leader in South-east Asia. In addition, we are also enjoying the first mover’s advantage. Unlike India or China which are more homogenous, South-east Asia has proven to be quite fragmented for many businesses. With our strategic partners and resources by our side, we hope to move faster to conquer the industry.”
With its cloud platform, Perx is able to offer its services readily in the region and even globally. The company has operations in Malaysia and the Philippines, with plans for expansion in Thailand and potentially Hong Kong, Indonesia, as well as India.
On the recruitment front, Gong looks out for talents who are self-starters and self-driven; people who do not need to be told to create a solution to a problem. “We want employees who are creative and driven to go above and beyond to deliver something amazing. My personal motto is to ask for forgiveness later. When there is a problem, focus on building a solution by adopting a creative and out-of-the-box approach. As long as the idea is legal and ethical, it is always welcome. While the Asian culture is based on high trust and respect, I hope to drive a more San Francisco culture, highlighting innovation, passion and purpose that is also fun and enjoyable.”
This is the drive that has propelled Perx to what it is today. “If you are excited and proud of what you do, you wake up and go to work with a sense of purpose,” says Gong. “For me, my passion comes alive when I stand in front of a board of executives to present what Perx has to offer. I get immense satisfaction from what I do and how my ideas help companies redefine their future.”