[OUR LEADERS] Hiroshi Okada, Director of Cross Border Marketing Division

OUR LEADERS – FreakOut celebrated its 10th anniversary on October 1, 2020, and at the same time, implemented new medium-term management plan for next 3 years.
At this beginning stage, on our blog “Insight at FreakOut”, we interviewed the leaders of FreakOut global team about their reviews on work, career path, direction and goals for 2021.

FreakOut began its overseas expansion in 2015 with the launch of FreakOut Native, the first native advertising network in Asia.6 years have passed since then, the company has gained many talented people and local partners, and has been expanding and diversifying its business model.

In this article, we interviewed Hiroshi, who leads the Cross Border Marketing Division based in Taiwan, one of FreakOut’s new businesses.


What kind of career did you venture into before joining FreakOut?

I’ve been in the digital marketing industry ever since I started my business career.

In my previous company, I worked in Japan for two years and then I was transferred to the Taiwan office as a manager. After a while, I started to take charge of the Hong Kong market as well.

Why did you join FreakOut?

First, I was invited to join the company by Ken, who is CEO of FreakOut Taiwan and currently also the Executive Officer of FreakOut Holdings. As he told me about the company’s vision and future business direction, I completely understood what I was supposed to do there and decided to join FreakOut.

What is your current role at FreakOut?

I lead the Cross Border Marketing Division as director, and also involved in new product development.

What kind of business does your team do?

Since 2019, we have been providing marketing services to Japanese clients, especially e-commerce businesses, who want to sell their products in Asian countries (e.g.Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia…) .

Although FreakOut has its own advertising solutions, represented by FreakOut Native, our team is conscious of providing our clients with the best way among all marketing methods. To achieve our clients’ business goals, we propose and execute various marketing methods including display advertising, SEM, social media marketing, chat marketing, and live commerce with KOLs, which has been gaining attention ever since the pandemic of Covid-19.

Moreover, we have recently started to provide marketing support to clients in countries other than Japan, for example, Korean products to overseas markets.

If you have interest in promoting your product in Asia, let us support you!

Can you tell us about your team’s structure?

We have 8 members in Cross Border Marketing Division, mostly Japanese and Taiwanese. We are currently based in Taiwan, however our members have ever experienced in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, and the Southeast Asia markets. 

All of us speak multiple languages including English, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean, which is another advantage. We also get support from other FreakOut branches on a project basis.

Can you share the growth story of your team briefly?

In the beginning, we mainly provided our own native advertising solutions to our clients. 

However, through the daily operation of native advertising and reviews with clients, we were able to see deeper client marketing challenges and wanted to try the way that we thought would be most effective to address those challenges. At the same time, the quality of our operations and consultations earned us the trust of our clients, and we were increasingly being consulted about their whole cross-border marketing.

Therefore, we switched to a business that provides total support for client’s digital marketing, including not only our own solutions but also agency services.

This is the main reason why we continue to grow, but I think the point is not to start an agency business, but to continue to answer the needs of clients.

What kind of work do you find rewarding at FreakOut?

The most rewarding thing is that FreakOut lets me do what I’ve wanted to do.

Now, I’m working on developing products that can differentiate us from competitors by combining the products of our partners and investee companies.

Currently, our Taiwan branch that I belong to is glowing constantly, but because of the rapidly changing industry, I would like to try to develop services that cannot be imitated by other companies.

What is your best moment at FreakOut?

The best moment at FreakOut was when our team members, Annie and Serena won the global sales MVP awards.

What is your motto at work?

My motto is “To understand the essence”.

For example, the client says that they want to advertise on Facebook and we provide Facebook Advertising.This is correct in a sense, but it does not capture the essence. Thinking about what the client really wants as a result is to understand the essence.

Are there any challenges you want to take in FY2021?

We will take on the challenge of developing products that fit demand and market, including ourselves, investee companies, and our partners. We look forward to unveiling the product that will make the market freak out!

What do you expect from teammates?

Work hard, play hard. Don’t be afraid to fail.