Jos Birken

Jos Birken

CEO at KatalystM

About me

Allround marketer and CEO/CMO, with a solid grounding in marketing thanks to Unilever as an alma mater; successful track record and wide experience in digital, mobile, and data-driven marketing; setting up successful companies in China, HK and Southeast Asia; and deep knowledge and widespread network in the marketing services industry and community across all main markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

Pioneer and early mover in marketing technology ("Martech") and cloud computing; founded several companies, all around data driven marketing: Claritas Netherlands (later Acxiom Netherlands); Consodata Korea; TNT Marketing Services (China); and Marketing Science.

Currently running KatalystM, a digital marketing agency specialising in marketing technology and customer engagement; publisher of AdAsia Magazine, the magazine for modern marketing and marketing technology; and several Board positions, a.o. at the Direct Marketing Association of Singapore (DMAS) and at the InterDirect Network (IDN).


Vice Chairman
January 2016 - Present (3 years)
The InterDirect Network (IDN) is an international network of direct & digital marketing agencies. IDN has one representative member per country or area, and is currently represented in around 30 countries worldwide.

IDN's members are amongst the market leaders in their respective countries in terms of modern marketing knowhow, with an impressive portfolio of campaigns and awards across a great variety of data driven and mobile media. The Network pools their collective knowledge on campaigns, strategy and local markets, and makes it in aggregate available to multi-national marketers and brands.

IDN has operated since 1988. Its members collectively employ almost 2,000 staff, with total revenues of around 300 million USD.
Singapore , Singapore
June 2014 - Present (4 years 7 months)
Taking over one of Asia's most respected marketing publications from a legend in the industry, Allein Moore.

We'll be taking the magazine in new directions, spending more attention on the things that are increasingly important in marketing: technology, the customer experience, personalisation, automation, and the new golden age of storytelling.

There is a looming information gap in between marketing and technology; marketing agencies and technology companies; marketers and technologists. And we intend to fill it, with interesting tidbits, promising developments, and juicy gossip alike.

Any talented writers out there with affinity to these subjects: feel free to apply!
October 2012 - Present (6 years 3 months)
Stepping in as CEO to explore new opportunities for the company, not only in mainstream marketing but also in mobile services, cloud based analytics, marketing automation tools, and social media marketing.

Transforming KatalystM into a truly modern marketing agency, on the cutting edge of marketing and technology. We help companies approach their customers and prospects in completely personalised and customised ways, and we allow them to do it at scale, even if their audiences number in the millions.

We prove that creating a superior customer experience and storytelling on a large scale, and automating these processes, not only can increase your revenues considerably but also that it can be done in a very cost effective way, with great results for Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI).

And most of all, we do this not as a technology integrator, but as a true marketing agency, bringing you modern, customer focused, effective marketing techniques, fully integrated with your marketing efforts and goals.

The KatalystM team has two kinds of people; tech-savvy marketers; and marketing savvy techies. If you fall into either category, feel free to apply - we always need good people.
Vice Chairman
April 2010 - Present (8 years 9 months)
Helping to shape the association into a full-fledged knowledge, networking and lobbying centre that is relevant to the fast-changing times, and addresses the needs of both offline, digital and mobile direct marketers. Taking an active role in the consultation process of Singapore's Privacy and Data Protection legislation.
Molblog (
January 2006 - Present (13 years)
Contributions on marketing, advertising, and privacy
CEO and Founder
Marketing Science
February 1997 - Present (21 years 11 months)
Built, capitalised and nurtured a series of marketing services startups across the Asia-Pacific region. Early mover on Software as a Service platforms for marketing services, analytics and segmentation, and data management. Pioneer in Martech: marketing technology.
Tijdschrift voor Marketing
February 2009 - December 2015 (6 years 10 months)
Confuciused, a popular tongue in cheek column with viewpoints and experiences on all things marketing and advertising, especially in Asian markets.
Honorary Treasurer
April 2012 - April 2014 (2 years)
Took on Honorary Treasurer position in addition to Vice Chair, for a statutory 2-year stint
Chief Marketing Officer
February 2011 - September 2012 (1 year 7 months)
Created a marketing department for two major Singaporean payment brands: EPINS and ez-link; set up a world class analytics team to help retailers getting the best out of their customer base; built a loyalty platform that's ready for the age of mobile and NFC; and helped shaping Singapore's most successful loyalty programme, the PAssion Card, into a finely honed marketing instrument.
Head, Asia-Pacific
Experian Marketing Services
May 2006 - April 2007 (11 months)
Set up and shaped Experian's Marketing Services Division for the Asia-Pacific region, by a combination of M&A activities; adaptation of Experian's delivery platforms to the Asian markets; and setting up Marketing Services offices in Beijing, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Created a division that now generates comfortably more than 100 million Euros in annual revenues.


Law Field Of Study Civil and Litigation Law

1976 - 1984 (8 years)
Activities and Societies: Chairman, Fysisch-Mathematische Faculteitsvereniging (FMF) Chairman of FMF (Physics and Mathematics Students' Society)

ISSI Field Of Study Computer Science

1975 (1 year)
Activities and Societies: Fortran Programming Course

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