CMO shifts from event management to tech firm

CMO Plc announced yesterday it is repositioning itself as a tech company from an event organiser.

The move came after the company secured Kitisak Jampathipphong as a major shareholder in place of Sermkhun Kunawongse, the company’s founder, over the last three months.

“We aim to be a high-growth company by changing our business and management structure as well as rebranding,” said Mr Kitisak, who now controls a 24.4% stake in CMO according to Stock Exchange of Thailand data.

He said the company is negotiating to acquire six strategic tech partners that can accelerate CMO’s tech capabilities. They comprise: Transformational Co, a digital transformation company; Brand Baker, a digital agency; Redex, an employee engagement platform; Social Listening Partner, a data analytics firm; Shopgenix, an affiliate commerce provider; and WeLink, a loyalty platform.

Deals worth 100-300 million baht each are expected to be signed in May, said Mr Kitisak. CMO will hold 40-60% stakes in these six companies, he said.

In implementing these strategies, CMO aspires to expand its footprint across Asia and the global arena, said Mr Kitisak. The company wants to increase total sales to 2.5 billion baht this year.

Of the total, 70% of revenue will stem from the event business, 20% from entertainment and 10% from tech. In 2023, the revenue contribution of the tech business will increase to 60%, with 40% coming from entertainment and events, he said.

“CMO’s robust foundation and swift turnaround led us through the Covid-19 era. The new executive team eyes a big jump with major tech business integration. The firm led the market in the 1.0 world [physical], then moved towards Web 2.0 [digital]. Now we ready to venture into the Web 3.0 era where blockchain and the metaverse take centre stage,” said Mr Kitisak.

Ariya Banomyong, the company’s co-chief executive, said CMO is shifting from an event organiser for the business-to-business and business-to-consumer market to a total solutions provider using creativity and technology.

He said the company wants to deliver a new experience through the 5E strategy: events, equipment, entertainment, end-to-end 2.0, and Experience 3.0.

For the event business, CMO plans to create homegrown experience brands and join forces with top tier business partners to host flagship events in Thailand, said Mr Ariya.

This strategy includes building world-class experiences, attracting international visitors and scaling up to expand overseas, he said.

In terms of equipment, the company wants to upgrade lighting, audio and visual to support domestic and international partnership deals, from events to studio films and concerts.

It aims to debut in the entertainment business by partnering with leading Asian and global entertainment agencies to bring in concerts from South Korea and the US. CMO plans to attract world festivals to Thailand and create original content under CM Entertainment, said Mr Ariya.

End-to-end 2.0 consists of newly acquired marketing technology firms, including digital agencies, social listening, influencer platforms, employee engagement platforms and customer relationship management, while Experience 3.0 covers new digital businesses and services of the future, he said.

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