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  • 13 Dec 2018 17:14 | Patrick Mauser (Administrator)


    AI carries a huge potential in the digital marketing field, with the support of AI in providing great customer experience, targeted marketing and predictive analysis will surely provide a better ROI to enterprises.

    The relationship between Digital Marketing and AI

    In the past, marketers were uncertain about implementing AI into their strategies. But these years have witnessed considerable trust amongst the marketers with regards to application of AI. This is because of the decrease in the ambiguity considering the results as many sectors have already gathered important benefits.

    The world is changing, and technology is taking the lead. Today, everything is going digital -- entertainment, health, real estate, banking and even currencies. This is, however, understandable.

    With everything turning to digital, it means companies are also jumping online to market their businesses. And to survive the challenges of digital marketing, brands need to keep up with the latest trends. Successfully reaching one’s target audience is no longer just putting out TV and print ads. These days, social media is the new arena of digital marketers, as 3.3 billion people are active social media users.

    History has a tendency to repeat itself, and with digital marketing in particular, there is a pattern of disruption.

    After finding that B2B organizations are not getting the most value out of the old digital marketing playbooks, AFA decided to create digital marketing interactive platform under the brand of AFA-Gold.

    The prior framework includes websites, email campaigns, digital advertisements, basic social media management and basic blog publishing. It only focuses on increasing visits to websites but has no focus on lead conversion and proper online lead qualification.

    More Integrated Global Marketing: Inbound and outbound marketing should now be combined. In comparison to cold-calling, consider this "warm-calling." For example, after someone reads a blog article on your site, follow it up with an email sharing more meaningful content.

    A Cohesive Marketing Technology by AFA underpinned with the latest technology. No one software tool can save the day. Marketing is not about the creative aspect alone anymore. Marketing technology infrastructure needs to be designed and integrated correctly. One social media tool alone will not save the day.

    At AFA, we believe interactive, intelligent and rapid communication, delivering instant responses, linked directly to over 60 Web and Social Media Sites, is an excellent start. The main reason why  our technology is so successful is likely that it answers the consumers’ need for information quickly and accurately. AFA-Gold can also collect data about their users, which feeds into improving interaction with them at all times.

  • 28 Nov 2018 17:17 | Patrick Mauser (Administrator)

    Improving Global Innovation Performance Through Multicultural Collaboration

    As change and innovation are the key drivers in the global business environment, there’s the rush and excitement of creating and capturing new opportunities around the world. In order to achieve organizational performance and international market success, leaders and teams face the challenge of effective collaboration across functions and cultures. Whether public or private, international organizations face the growing need to connect local voices to global actions. So how can we facilitate global collaboration today and into the future?

    Living in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world provides the opportunity to learn and benefit from a wealth of diverse perspectives and practices. Yet this potential is not fully optimized within our communities and organizations. Time, power, distance, and misalignment contribute to failed collaborations. The outcome?  A lack of innovation, efficiency, performance, and results. Traveling around the world, it has been interesting to witness the collaborative needs of poor and wealthy communities who need to connect with a global network, solving problems as diverse as education access and professional development to customer solutions and international market strategies.

    There is a demand for more inclusion, transparency, and knowledge-sharing to make collaboration a reality. When organizations prepare for strategic planning sessions, there should be a co-creation process that allows for shared strategy-making. Engaging cross-cultural and cross-functional team members allows for a diversity of knowledge and ideas that enrich the dialogue. In evaluating research and practice, consider how global collaboration is enhanced through a focus on five factors:

    1. Inclusive Leadership

    In an increasingly networked and collaborative environment, there is a need for inclusive leadership that inspires new ideas and facilitates knowledge-sharing among diverse groups. Leadership is more about inspiring collaboration through behaviors that are empowering, inclusive, communicative, and directive. Leaders need to master the art of facilitation in order to promote open dialogue and knowledge-sharing in a complex multicultural environment.

    2. Participative Strategy-making

    The art of listening to local market voices requires openness and responsiveness in order to integrate and optimize diverse perspectives. There needs to be a dynamic interchange between global and local needs. Rather than pushing ideas and fixed strategies from global to local, there needs to be a co-creation or strategy-making process that starts with a local perspective in order to shape the global vision and strategy. Consider how recognition, responsiveness, and engagement can accelerate project collaboration for team members around the world.

    3. Global Innovation Culture

    Through research with multinational organizations, my findings consistently showed the necessity of three values for creating a global innovation culture in an organization: Cultural empathy through culturally diverse talent and teamwork; Creativity through ideas and initiative-taking; and Collaboration through transparency and open communication. How does the organizational culture nurture and support these values?

    4. Knowledge-sharing Structure

    There is the constant struggle to move beyond complex organizational structures and layers in order to effectively collaborate and create solutions in a more agile and responsive way. Organizations are building knowledge platforms and networks to simplify worldwide communications yet they are not optimizing technologies that nurture conversations from every location in the world. How can the knowledge platform and communication technologies facilitate local knowledge-sharing for global initiatives?

    5. Interactive Dialogue

    The world of social media and online technologies has opened many doors for communicating across borders. Yet when it comes to trust-building and collaboration, interpersonal communication and on-site team-building are ultimately the most effective in creating strong relations among diverse groups. Social networking, knowledge-sharing, and cross-cultural learning are key ingredients. Consider how to promote an interactive dialogue that can facilitate the sharing of local market knowledge, cross-cultural understanding and idea creation.

    Leaders, teams, and organizations have the opportunity to create an environment filled with inspiration and innovation. Multicultural collaboration brings new discoveries and insights through an open mindset, inclusive dialogue, and a continuous quest for solving problems that matter on our planet. Local knowledge and voices are essential for understanding international customers and succeeding in international markets. In navigating a turbulent and changing global marketplace, greater attention is required for creating meaningful change through leaders and collaborators that celebrate and optimize cultural diversity.

    We’re born into groups, we live in groups and everything of value is always in groups. No-one’s ever achieved anything on their own.” So says Maxime N.C.King Senior Partner AFA,  collaboration expert and founder of 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Foundation.

    It’s heady stuff. But his pronouncement, on the perennial value of humans collaborating or as Maxime N.C. King defines it: working with someone to produce something, will certainly ring true for businesses.

    For while collaboration might be as old as humanity itself it’s never been more important in the world of work, says Maxime. “I don’t come across many businesses these days where the CEO or senior leadership team doesn’t believe that the next stage of their growth requires a massive increase in collaboration,” he says. “A lot of senior leaders feel they’ve exhausted the gains they can get from driving change in a silo and squeezing out efficiencies.”

    The global, fast-moving, complex and service-driven world we now inhabit brings collaboration to the fore. But it also makes it more challenging.

    “Although teams that are large, virtual, diverse, and composed of highly-educated specialists are increasingly crucial for challenging projects, those same four characteristics make it hard for teams to get anything done,” they write. “To put it another way; the qualities required for success are the same qualities that undermine success.”

    Leaders must therefore help people get to know and trust each other, she says. On day one you may have brought together some marketing people and scientists, so it’s diversity of disciplines. By day two they’ve started to get to know each other and it’s ‘we’re the old guys, they’re the kids’. Now diversity is age-related and there’s a fault line around that. By day three they’ve started to talk politics…”

    The crucial element is time.. It takes time for at least superficially different people to get comfortable with each other. “If you have a crisis where you need a rapid solution do not pull out the 10 smartest people if they don’t know each other, “They won’t have time to form a relationship.”

    Maxime N.C.King

  • 28 Nov 2018 16:06 | Patrick Mauser (Administrator)

    Royal Household Brand Appoints AFA.

    To represent Royal Brand is pretty spectacular achievement as AFA gathers international attention. AFA-Gold will spearhead the development of https://champagne-heritage.fr/

    For information please contact me personally.

  • 28 Nov 2018 15:59 | Patrick Mauser (Administrator)

    AFA OFFICIAL SUPPORTER AT SHOP&STORE VIETNAM 2019. We see you in Ho Chi Minh City. https://www.shopandstorevietnam.com/

  • 28 Nov 2018 15:51 | Patrick Mauser (Administrator)

    We are pleased to announce, after successful meetings we are in advanced talks with leading Chinese Business Consultancy Wonganswer for joint venture collaborations. This development will further enhance our foothold in China and more so, assist Chinese Brands to Expand to New Markets. At afa we firmly believe the benefits of globalization cannot be reserved for a select few. Global Economies are fueled by the SME sector. We are the global voice of the Small and Medium Enterprises. 

  • 28 Nov 2018 15:42 | Patrick Mauser (Administrator)

    One of our most promising franchises Chigol Minam from South Korea is set for global expansion. An outstanding restaurant group with great franchise terms and flexibility.  THE BRAND TO WATCH IN 2019

  • 28 Nov 2018 13:09 | Patrick Mauser (Administrator)

    As the incomes and spending power of Chinese consumers have risen, the frequency they eat out and the amount they spend on this activity have also increased. Restaurants with special themes and those offering superb catering services or unique consumer experiences have become one of the major attractions offered by retail districts and shopping malls looking to bring in more consumers.

    Focus group discussions conducted by HKTDC on the mainland catering market, indicate that consumers are becoming increasingly demanding about their food and their appetite for high-end catering continues to grow. Theme restaurants and casual dining have become popular with young consumers in recent years. To cater for consumers’ diversified tastes, increasing numbers of restaurants are enriching their existing menus by bringing in dishes from different cuisines or introducing the concept of “fusion cuisine”. With the mainland catering market showing signs of segmentation, this would be a good time for Hong Kong companies to identify the opportunities available for successful expansion into the Mainland market.

    High-end Catering

    Consumers like to share their dining experience on social media.

    As the mainland middle class continues to grow in both size and economic strength, consumers’ expectations about food quality, restaurant atmosphere and service are becoming increasingly high. Their sensitivity to price, however, has become relatively low. Increased access to information via the internet has also led to mainland consumers becoming more knowledgeable about high-end catering. They are, for example, becoming interested in trying private kitchens and Japanese cuisines recommended by online catering platforms and KOLs, as well as restaurants listed in the Michelin Guide or run by renowned foreign catering brands. In the focus group discussions, respondents made comments like: “(I’d be) interested in checking out a restaurant after learning about it online” and “I used to think that fancy restaurants are expensive; now that my income has increased, I find them quite affordable.”

    Another factor driving this change in dining habits is the trend for mainland consumers to share experiences on social media. When people see images of their friends eating in high-end restaurants, they want to try it for themselves. In the focus groups, some respondents remarked that “food presentations in high-end Japanese and Western cuisines are all very exquisite and elegant, imparting a sense of tastefulness” and that “the foreign chefs or managers in high-end Western restaurants make one feel that the restaurants are very authentic”. Though few consumers have yet made fine dining a regular habit, spending on fine dining has increased markedly.

    Theme Restaurants

    The focus groups found that many young people are attracted to novelty when it comes to dining, and that they like to choose stylish restaurants when arranging a meal out with friends. Respondents said that they prefer small restaurants with stylish décor that make customers feel that they are not just in another standard eating establishment. They like places that appeal to the senses and have a special atmosphere or theme.

    An example of this might be a restaurant with lots of indoor plants and flowers around, where customers can feel as if they are in a forest surrounded by lush vegetation. In one of the focus groups in Shanghai, a respondent mentioned that a hotpot restaurant in Xujiahui is decked out like a garden. Restaurants designed around a specific theme not only make customers feel relaxed, their unique surroundings and ambience help to draw large numbers of prospective customers

    Another recent trend among young consumers is a preference for independent cafés with unique character over branded chains. One respondent said: “Some of the new independent cafés are decorated like a study. In contrast, the ambience and design of big chained cafés are just too commercial and old-fashioned. Furthermore, independent cafés often offer a wider range of light meals than chain cafés. They offer fashionable Western-style light meals and this, coupled with their foreign ambience, gives consumers a feeling that they are buying light luxury products.

    Beverage Shops

    In recent years, the number of beverage shops offering freshly brewed, freshly pressed or freshly crafted drinks has mushroomed on the mainland. Milk foam teas, vegetable juices and ground coffee are widely popular among young consumers. In 2017, beverage shops recorded a higher increase than any other type of catering outlet in terms of the number of orders received and per order amount

    The increase in demand for beverage shops appears to be down to changing lifestyles. As one focus group participant pointed out: “Previously, when we got tired from shopping, we would buy a bottle of soft drink and just sat and drank anywhere in a shopping mall. If you do that now, people would say you are not cultured.” Consumers like beverage shops that offer them the opportunity to rest and replenish their energy. As such, factors like consumer experience and shop décor are important in their appeal.

    Cross-over New-school Restaurants

    Beverage outlets are indispensable in large shopping malls. In the face of competition, traditional old-time catering businesses are embracing diversification, multiple formats and market segmentation. While some are building sub-brands and selecting renowned dishes to be marketed separately through the new brand, others are combining their popular dishes with dishes from other cuisines to launch “fusion dishes” through new-school restaurants.

    The new-school restaurants of these sub-brands target younger-generation consumers by adjusting their per capita prices, décor and menus. Most take up a floor space of 300-500 square metres; private rooms and spaces for large group dining are minimised and the design focus is on meeting the needs of small group dining. Fashionable dishes, tableware, and the design and décor are all used to appeal to young consumers.

    In the focus groups, respondents said that more and more restaurants are introducing dishes from other cuisines to enrich their menu offerings. For example, nowadays one can find typical Sichuan dishes such as “Sliced Beef in Chili Oil” and “Boiled Fish with Pickled Vegetables” in Cantonese cuisine restaurants. Though some respondents have doubts about whether the dishes in cross-over restaurants are authentic, they say there is no harm in trying them because all the dishes are quite popular.


    As their spending power has risen, mainland middle-class consumers’ demand for high-end catering has increased. Catering websites and KOLs are channels through which consumers access information on high-end catering. Knowing that consumers like to share their dining experience on social media, increasing numbers of theme restaurants are using cartoon figures and décors to attract young consumers. Consumers’ demand for beverage shops has increased significantly in recent years. Mainland consumers are also keen to try out novelties, so they are interested in sampling “fusion cuisines” and cross-over dishes offered by new-school restaurants. Businesses interested in tapping the mainland catering market should pay attention to these new trends in dining and changes in consumer lifestyles so that they can capitalise on the market’s growth.

    Interested to Expand your brand into China? Talk to AFA and let us assist you at every step of the way.


  • 24 Nov 2018 16:03 | Patrick Mauser (Administrator)


    We warmly welcome Chakela Hotels from Africa to the Asian Franchise Academy Group Portfolio. With some 120 hotels in the consortium https://www.chakelahotels.com/ is growing from strength to strength with an outstanding track record.

  • 17 Nov 2018 15:47 | Patrick Mauser (Administrator)

    At afa we very much enjoy providing our visitors with True Thai Hospitality. We welcome Mr. Maxime N.C. King with guests Mr. James Ngan and Family from Mauritius. 

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