Renata Thiebaut | The Innovator 25 Asia-Pacific 2020

Renata Thiebaut




“Thinking holistically is crucial to generate awareness and sales.”

Renata Thiebaut has been a leader in furthering the cross-border e-commerce business, playing a major role in growing the sector in China through Web2Asia. Leading a team that went from 15 in 2014 to 200 today in the Shanghai office, Thiebaut has overseen the expansion of Web2Asia’s business (which includes digital marketing services as well as e-commerce operations) to Russia and Southeast Asia markets such as Aliexpress and Lazada. Thiebaut is passionate about helping vendors, too, running an incubation program that helped 30 brands open online stores on Alibaba marketplaces including Taobao, Tmall and — which she continues to counsel after program completion. She also has assumed responsibility for developing new retail in China, helping some of Europe’s largest retailers get a foothold in the country. 

How do you define innovation? 
Identifying and filling in current gaps that impacts the corporation negatively.

What is the most innovative comms/marketing initiative you've seen in the last 12 months? 
Social-commerce analytics

In your opinion, what brands and/or agencies are most innovative around PR and marketing? 

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider 'innovative.' 
Web2asia manages the online store and social media accounts of several foreign brands in China. I have decided then to implement a new system that aggregates data from all sales posts and social media channels to understand consumer behaviour. I also allocated points to buyers (i.e. returning buyers, price of orders would have higher points) to offer them coupon discount so they become our brands' advocates on social media. This product is called KOC (Key Opinion Consumer) index, as I believe the future of social media is to leverage from KOC marketing instead of KOL.

Who do you admire for his/her approach to innovation?  
Jack Ma

How do you get out of a creativity rut? 
Out of current company and brand needs

What advice would you give to the PR industry around embracing innovation? 
Thinking holistically is crucial to generate awareness and sales.

What would you be doing if you weren't doing your current job? 
I would be teaching. I have actually started dedicating part of my time to pass on to entrepreneurs the knowledge I have gathered in the past years through different Alibaba educational initiatives.

Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has helped you get through this year or provided inspiration? 
Pinduoduo's ecommerce podcast

What's your favourite time of day and why? 
10 am. It's when I sit down with my teams to follow up with tasks.