3AF 2016 Asian Marketing Boot Camp Agenda
June 1, 2016 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Koreatown, Los Angeles at The Line Hotel, Ten Grand Ballroom

(Click here to view the Marketing Summit Agenda)


Welcome Remarks by 3AF President Edward Chang

1:15 p.m. – 2 p.m.   Asian American Demographics

The 3AF Asian Market Boot Camp will begin with a broad overview of the “who, what, where” of the Asian American consumer. Topics include population, segment growth, geography, culture, diversity, acculturation, psychographics and general shopping behaviors.

Speaker:   Thomas Tseng, President, Sengo Insights

2 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.    Activating Asian Market Research:  Getting to Real Insights When Multiple Languages Must Be Considered.

Effective marketing requires actionable consumer insights. When it comes to Asian American marketing, there is little data available and limited budgets for research. How do you efficiently activate ethnic consumer research amongst various Asian American segments, in multiple languages, to enable more effective marketing? Sharmila Fowler, Asian American Marketing Director at McDonald’s and Iris Yim, Principal of Sparkle Insights will share case studies of how properly designed research conducted among Asian Americans have contributed to McDonald’s multicultural marketing efforts.

Speakers:   Sharmila Fowler, Director of Asian Marketing, McDonald’s; Iris Yim, President, Sparkle Insights

2:45 p.m. – 3 p.m. Break

3 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.   Case Study by Toyota and more

Toyota understands the importance of the multicultural consumer. It has been the best-selling automotive brand in the Asian American, Hispanic and African American segments for over 10 years. Multicultural consumers are more than just an opportunity segment. They are the driver of growth. Two years ago Toyota embarked on the path of Total Marketing. Called Total Toyota, T2, it leverages multicultural insights to help drive strategy and creative. Toyota will share a case study on the launch of the all-new RAV4 Hybrid in the Asian American segment, how the campaign came to life and how relevant insights help to drive a culturally relevant, targeted campaign for the Asian consumer market.

Speakers: Alex Du, Vehicle Marketing & Communications Manager, Toyota and Kay Sanchez, Vehicle Marketing & Communications Planner, Toyota

3:45 p.m.- 4:45 p.m.   The Evolution of Asian Media—Using Newspapers, Radio, Television and Digital Means to Reach the Asian Consumer

For more than 20+ years Rezonate/InterTrend has been planning and buying media against the multicultural segment for blue-chip clients. Today's Asian audience is more diverse, fragmented and dynamic from 20, 10 and even three years ago. Rezonate Media has addressed this while having to stay a step ahead.  Michael Vitug, Media Director, Rezonate, will share an overall view of the general Asian American media landscape with a focus on how planning has changed and how companies need to expand upon their current aperture to expand to reach this influential, technology-driven and affluent audience.

Speaker: Michael Vitug, Media Director, Rezonate


Speaker's Bios and Photos

Thomas Tseng
President, Sengo Insights

Thomas Tseng is President of Sengo Insights, LLC, a Los Angeles-based market research agency with global capabilities that extend from the U.S. to the Asia Pacific. With over 20 years of industry experience, Thomas is a seasoned marketing research professional and has amassed a strong, proven track record of success in delivering strategic, actionable consumer insights for a diverse range of clients spanning across the corporate, non-profit, academic, and government sectors.

Currently, a great deal of his portfolio is represented by clients in the healthcare/pharma space, where he helping many of them develop cultural competence around diverse patient health challenges—including that around Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, Type II Diabetes, and
other disease areas. Prior to Sengo, Thomas was the Principal & Co-Founder of New American Dimensions, where he oversaw business development, client relations, and project management for 12 years. During his tenure, the company became one of the leading
multicultural research and consulting agencies in the U.S.—with a client portfolio that included the likes of PepsiCo, State Farm, Disney, Wells Fargo, Johnson & Johnson, Toyota, Verizon Wireless, Nestle, U.S. Marine Corp, and many other Fortune 500 companies.

In addition to his corporate practice, Thomas has often contributed his talents to social research causes. His roster of public-interest organizations has included the Center for Disease Control, First 5 California, the World Trade Center registry, and many others. In 2010, he co-led a two-year longitudinal study for the Pew Charitable Trusts—investigating the linkages between mainstream financial account ownership and health outcomes in diverse, underserved communities across the greater Los Angeles region. This study culminated in the publication “Slipping Behind: Low Income Los Angeles Households Drift Further from the Financial
Mainstream” in 2011.

Moreover, Thomas’ interests have often crossed over into the academic realm. He is the lead investigator behind the biennial “Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs”, now in its 5th addition, which generates comprehensive rankings of all U.S. graduate programs in the urban planning discipline. Concurrent to his agency responsibilities, he was a past Research Fellow at the Davenport Institute for Public Policy at Pepperdine University, where he authored several widely commended public policy studies, including: “Rewarding Ambition: Latinos, Housing, and the Future of California” (2002) and “Growing Urban Villages: Cultivating A New Paradigm For Growth and Development in California” (2006). In 2006-2007, he was a Senior Fellow at UCLA’s School of Public Affairs.

In his volunteer life, Thomas is one of the founding board members and current Vice Chair of Zócalo Public Square—a non-profit Ideas Exchange that blends live events and humanities journalism. Since its inception in 2003, Zócalo has become one of the leading cultural voices and civic institutions in Los Angeles—putting on 50 live events and publishing 400 syndicated articles each year. He also currently serves on the board of the Emerging Markets Development Corporation and has previously served on the National Advisory Board for the First American Corporation, the Applied Research Center, and El Rescate.

A proud, native Angeleno, Thomas studied Economics and Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine and received his Master of Arts in Urban Planning at UCLA’s School of Public Affairs. He lives with his family in the Westchester neighborhood in the west side of Los Angeles.




Sharmila Fowler
Director of Asian Marketing, McDonald’s

Sharmila joined McDonald’s in April 2015 as Marketing Director, Asian Consumer Market where she leads all Asian American marketing activities for McDonald’s U.S. She is also active in McDonald’s employee business networks where she is serves on the Board of the Asian Pacific Middle Eastern Network (APMEN) Oak Brook Chapter and on the Steering Committee of the Women’s Leadership Network (WLN). Sharmila has significant experience in multicultural marketing, cultural diversity, international business, marketing strategy, and consumer research/insights. Specifically, she has over 16 years of experience in Asian consumer marketing and has worked with leading Fortune 500 companies, Asian American advertising agencies and Asian media firms in the areas of market research and strategy development. She has held senior level positions within the multicultural market research and intelligence industry at companies such as Geoscape, New American Dimensions and Phoenix Multicultural (formerly Cultural Access Group).

In addition, she has conducted numerous presentations as well as authored several reports and articles on multicultural consumers and cultural diversity. Regarding Asian Americans, her work includes a report on Asian Americans and the Food Industry for Promar Consulting in 2000, “The State of the Asian American Consumer” for Nielsen in 2012, and “The Asian American Market Report” (AAMR) for Phoenix Multicultural published in both 2005 and 2008. In fact, for the AAMR’s inaugural edition, Phoenix received the “Market Research Firm of the Year in Asian American Research” Award by the Asian American Advertising Federation (3AF).

Sharmila is also skilled in international business development and has a great deal of experience in developing growth strategies on a global scale. She has utilized her cultural diversity expertise to teach a course on International Management as an adjunct professor at North Central College. She is a former Officer and Board Member of the 3AF and also served on Nielsen's Asian Pacific American Advisory Council (APAAC) for many years.

She holds an MBA in Marketing/Strategic Planning from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania and has lived in the Naperville area for 20 years. She enjoys learning about new cultures, travelling, cooking, gardening, entertaining, skiing, and spending time with her family and friends.




Iris Yim
President, Sparkle Insights

Iris Yim is a versatile and experienced researcher with expertise in both qualitative and quantitative research.  Prior to Sparkle Insights, she was a senior project director at Phoenix Marketing International, working with Fortune 500 companies across many industries to better connect with multicultural consumers.   Iris has led market assessment, branding, ad testing and segmentation research projects.  She is a co-author for The Asian American Market Report (published in 2005 and 2009) and an Officer for the Asian American Advertising Federation (3AF).  She has also moderated extensively in English, Mandarin and Cantonese.  Iris has an MBA from the University of Michigan and an MA in public relations from the University of Southern California.




Alex Du
Vehicle Marketing & Communications Manager, Toyota

Alex Du is currently Vehicle Marketing and Communications Manager at Toyota, the #1 automotive brand for multicultural consumers for over a decade.  At Toyota, Alex’s responsibilities include launching and sustaining vehicle marketing, developing vehicle marketing strategies, and executing campaigns with Toyota’s T2 advertising agencies.  Most recently, he managed the launch of the 2016 RAV4 Hybrid campaign.  Prior to his current role, Alex worked on Toyota’s Multicultural Advertising team as well as other marketing and product planning roles.  A native of Southern California, Alex has an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management and a BSFS from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.