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Variety and diversity of digital marketing experience coupled with a strong head for numbers and finance sound like the perfect recipe for a successful marketing career. And it is. As we’ve seen throughout the Marketing Experts Series, digital marketers come in all shapes and sizes – from all walks of life and all sorts of backgrounds and education.

Minh Hien To is no exception.

With experience stretching across Australia, the UK and Singapore, Minh currently heads up marketing for Snaphunt. Join us for this issue of the Marketing Experts Series and learn more about how she and Snaphunt not only navigated the changes and challenges of the last few years, but came out thriving.


Welcome, Minh! Excited for you to join us on this issue of the Marketing Expert Series. Let’s start with something easy. Tell us a bit about yourself! How did you get to where you are today?

 Thanks for having me! And what a question to start us off! 😄

I am very lucky to have found my passion for marketing quite early on. I feel like there are two different sides to my brain. On one hand, I have always been good with numbers: I’m obsessed with analytics and problem-solving. On the other hand, I’m a storyteller: I love conceptualising and bouncing off ideas with people and eventually figuring out how to make that idea a reality. I studied Marketing and Finance at university and at the time they felt like completely unrelated fields. In retrospect, they are in fact very complementary to what I specialize in today, which is Digital Marketing.

I started my career in traditional marketing in an FMCG firm where I had the opportunities to be part of a spectrum of traditional marketing channels from visual merchandising, events, TV sponsorships, to newspapers and radio campaigns. Around 2014, when digital marketing was gaining momentum, I gained a great deal of hands-on experience from launching a new website and running my first Google and Facebook Ads with a big project I was spearheading. That was when I caught the curiosity bug and decided to delve deeply into Digital Marketing and make it my focus.

Looking at your career, you’ve worked in a variety of different industries over the years. How have your experiences evolved over the length of your career?

That same sense of curiosity and eagerness to learn which got me into digital marketing has led me to where I am today. I now have almost a decade of experience under my belt across Australia, UK and Singapore, working with some of the most innovative brands. I have also gone from FMCG and Retail to eCommerce to Technology. One thing that hasn’t changed though is my genuine enjoyment for what I do. As the Digital Marketing landscape continues to rapidly evolve, I get to try new tools and figure out better and more effective ways to do everything from SEO, Content, social, CRM to paid advertising. And yes, I’m still very obsessed with analysing metrics to optimize exposure and conversions while getting better value for our bucks.

I also believe that the ability to apply and transfer your skills and to adapt to different industries becomes increasingly important as we get further into our careers. I’m always up for a challenge – with every brand that I work with, I have always been invested in the brand story and found a way to relate to the customer persona. Once I’ve cracked that, soaking up information about the industries became a lot easier – it’s like once you have a sturdy foundation, you can always build on it layer-by-layer.

Is there a particular career experience that stands out for you? A project you enjoyed most or a challenge you’re glad to have faced?

I had the pleasure of working with 8020 Ventures which is an incubator for industry-first brands including Bootea, Third living, Cocowhite and Sneak Energy. It was a thrilling experience leading an in-house marketing team that acts like an agency, in a start-up environment! Each brand had its unique target market, a completely different tone of voice and strategies which meant that we had to be super organised, but also agile to be able to jump on opportunities and activate campaigns all year round. So no two days were the same and it was an amazing and stimulating playbox for any marketer! I was also able to experiment a lot with various channels from podcast advertising to gaming influencer marketing and target niche audiences from socially conscious millennials to hard-core gamers. I’m also super proud of what we achieved with such young brands in such a short amount of time, not only in terms of revenue but also brand loyalty and international reach.

Currently, you’re the Head of Marketing for Snaphunt. Tell us about Snaphunt and the work that you do there as the Head of Marketing.

Snaphunt is a leading remote hiring platform that helps companies find and hire the right talent for their teams, anywhere in the world. What has really drawn me to this role from the very beginning is the opportunity to make an impact at scale. With what we’re doing at Snaphunt, we give job seekers the chance to accelerate their careers internationally and the flexibility to choose the best job for them, no matter where they are based. At the same time, we’re helping employers reach their business goals by hiring A-players from their teams and removing the geographical boundaries when it comes to recruiting for talent.

As the Head of Marketing, I am in charge of both B2B and B2C marketing. My ultimate goal is to:

  1. Raise brand awareness and attract candidates and employers to the platform,
  2. Build the customer acquisition funnel and pipeline, and
  3. Drive customer engagement from both audiences. We do these through a range of organic and paid channels, from content generation, SEO, social media to partnerships.

I can imagine that the Pandemic has impacted how Snaphunt and its competitors have had work – has COVID-19 impacted your marketing strategies?

Funny story! I had worked at Snaphunt for exactly 4 weeks before the world went into lockdown. As a tech startup that depends on hiring, this changed everything!

There were a lot of uncertainties in the world which led us to take a supportive approach with our marketing instead of an aggressive sales approach. It came down to how we could bring value to our target audiences, build connections and help them navigate through this turbulent time. We hosted webinars for job seekers to guide them through the virtual hiring process, and guide managers on leading from home for instance. We also leaned more heavily on organic channels and partnerships rather than paid advertising to nurture leads until the market picked up.

Do you feel that there has been a change in the demand or need for hiring platforms like Snaphunt?

Definitely! I think the world had already been moving towards digitalisation prior to the pandemic but we certainly accelerated that process drastically over the last 2 years.

When it comes to the world of work, our perception of how work is done has completely changed and we’re seeing companies and people choosing remote work as a permanent option going forward.

Companies are a lot more comfortable with hiring virtually or remotely and it’s now a candidate-short market where companies need to expand their pool in order to find the right talent quickly. There’s definitely momentum that has built and we are seeing that traction first hand at Snaphunt. Last year we hit 10x growth and we are now helping thousands of companies hire remote and onsite talent in 90 countries.

Do you think we’ll be seeing more developments for hiring and recruitment platforms and their strategies as the world adapts to new normals?

With the opportunity of remote work, there are tools that help with not only hiring and employing global talent but also in employee productivity and engagement. There is also a lot of synergy that can be created between brands to provide end-users with comprehensive solutions to solve their problems.

How do you think this will impact your marketing strategies at Snaphunt?

I believe what we created and are offering at Snaphunt is pretty unique. We are riding on the waves of not only last year’s amazing growth but also the remote work momentum. On top of that, we’ve built an audience in APAC, which is arguably one of the world’s best tech and digital talent hubs.

This gives us the confidence to explore new channels for marketing to draw in new audiences while ramping up our customer engagement and retention strategies to ensure we communicate our values clearly and quickly to drive conversions.

Many marketers have reported a lasting impact on their lives and careers, how has the pandemic affected you personally and professionally?

As I mentioned, professionally, the pandemic impacted literally everything I do for work and navigating it continues to be a fun (and sometimes stressful) rollercoaster.

Personally, I really appreciated the reset. Working from home means I’m saving so much time from commuting, I’m also eating better because I can prepare my food daily and I can work from anywhere.

And finally, any advice you’d give to young and aspiring marketers? 

Stay open and continue to pick up new skills. There are so many aspects to marketing that it can be a little overwhelming at the beginning. And you don’t know what you don’t know! There are many online courses out there but I found I learn best when dealing with practical problems. So keep at it and give everything a go!

Thanks for taking part in this Series, Minh, and for sharing your experiences with us! How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more about you?

You can hit me up on LinkedIn – I’m always up for a chat or a virtual coffee/tea!


The Marketing Expert Series features marketing and communications experts from across every industry. Every month, 2Stallions will showcase the stories and expertise of marketing experts from around the world, join us as we explore how marketers navigate the challenges of the regions and industries they work in. If you’d like to be featured in a next issue of the Marketing Expert Series. Please reach out to us via email.

If you are interested in building your own company’s digital advertising, get in touch with us today, and find out how you can optimize your digital marketing strategies.

 

No one can argue that marketing has changed a lot in the last few years. There has been an influx of advanced technologies in the marketing space, including artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and automation.

The advancement in software development is a major contributor to this revolution. New, advanced, powerful software has reshaped what marketing teams can do–from understanding their target audience better to creating more effective marketing campaigns that can lead to business growth.

That’s why most businesses nowadays depend on software development for their marketing needs. But what are the technologies that are responsible for this growth? Let’s have a look.

Technologies That Are Shaping Software Development for Marketing Teams

Artificial intelligence, big data, and automation are at the forefront of the software development revolution.

Before you implement any software for marketing, make sure that the software has passed testing in the software development stage. This ensures that the software will work as intended and give you the desired results. You can opt for manual or automation testing. But, in today’s day and age, automation testing is the better option.

If you lack knowledge about automation testing, you can check out this automation testing tutorial. It’s specially created for beginners. It explains automation testing in simple, easy-to-understand language.

Now, let’s have a look at the impact of each technology in detail.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has applications in every business operation. In marketing, it can help analyze customer behaviour. Analyzing this data can help your marketing team to make informed decisions about the marketing strategy to be adopted.

For instance, Samsung leveraged AI for marketing its S8 model. It used social listening tools on social media sites to understand what its customers want. They then fine-tuned their marketing strategies. This helped garner attention to their product and led to increased sales.

Automation

Automation refers to the tools that can handle repetitive tasks and reduce human intervention. The software helps prioritize and carry out marketing tasks, resulting in increased productivity and time efficiency.

For instance, automation can help send emails to customers at a predefined time. With this technology, businesses can send new users automated emails to welcome customers. The emails can have special discount codes and can invite them to make their first buy, helping improve customer relationships.

There are many channels available that enable companies to collect, organize, and analyze customer data. The collated data helps businesses get a bigger picture of the customer persona and create more personalized marketing campaigns, increasing their sales opportunities.

Benefits of Using Software For Marketing

Here’s a look at the top six benefits of using software for marketing:

Adaptability

Software development companies can create custom software for any business. The best thing about custom-made software is that it’s highly flexible and adaptable. It can meet every business marketing need based on the current demand, including task automation, KPI measurement, customer data analysis, and more.

Reduce Repetitive Tasks

Traditional marketing methods involve a large number of mundane, repetitive tasks. These tasks result in a loss of time, money, and resources. AI-powered software can take care of these tasks seamlessly, allowing your marketing team to focus on other important work.

For instance, a chatbot can be implemented to handle customer queries on a call or text chat. Software with Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities can automatically reply to basic customer emails. The emails can be related to product information or order status, discounts, etc.

Measuring KPIs

Measuring KPIs is essential for business growth. It allows marketers to measure their marketing performance and its impact on the company and helps them make critical adjustments to optimize their campaigns for success.

Manual KPI measurement and analysis is a time-consuming and tedious task. Instead of measuring KPIs manually, why not automate them?. Marketing tools with automation capabilities can measure various metrics in real-time, trigger alerts, and detect marketing and sales opportunities.

Scalability

Did you know that investing in custom software development can help scale your organization easily? Custom software has the potential to expand and accommodate new requirements compared to pre-developed software solutions. It can grow automatically as your business needs increase.

Personalization

Personalized marketing is the future of marketing and guarantees a better return. It helps in addressing each customer in the best way possible.

For instance, businesses can tailor their marketing campaigns according to their customers’ data, such as browsing history, location, and average buy price. The best part is that the software takes care of data mining and analytics autonomously.

Quick Support

Most businesses have an in-house software development team, while others rely on popular software for their marketing needs. Whatever the case, round-the-clock support is guaranteed if anything goes wrong.

You can easily reach out to development teams for bug fixes, performance upgrades, or update any feature when needed, letting you get the best out of the marketing software.

Things to Consider Before Implementing Software for Marketing Teams

Everyone needs marketing software today. But before you use one,  consider the following things to make an informed decision:

  • Your current situation and marketing methods and how they are helping your business
  • The overall marketing strategy and goal you wish to accomplish by using software for marketing
  • The impact of software on your target audience
  • Current and future marketing trends involving software use
  • The urgency to use software

Parting Thoughts

Using software for marketing purposes provides a host of benefits. Businesses that fail to invest in software for marketing are bound to fall behind their competitors.

Before implementing any software,  you must assess first your current situation, future needs, and marketing goals you wish to accomplish with your team.


About the Author

Dan M. is an editor at TestProject.  He has been building teams and coaching others to foster innovation and solve real-time problems. Dan also enjoys photography and traveling.

Social media has turned into the most prominent platform used for connecting with friends, forming communities, networking, engaging with customers, and promoting a business. 

Through this tool, marketers and business owners can reach new audiences and engage with prospects. It also enables them to attract a wider, targeted audience by placing ad campaigns.

First, What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing, a.k.a. SMM, is the process of interacting with your target audience through social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and more.

SMM is a powerful way to build brand awareness, draw in potential customers, stay on top of engagements, and promote your products or services, among other things. This practice also includes creating and sharing compelling content pieces, including articles, images, and videos.

Social Media Marketing Glossary

Check out the list of commonly used social media terms to keep yourself in the know.

A-H

  • Algorithms – is a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.
  • Advertisement – short for ad, it is the promotion of a product, brand, or service to a specific audience. 
  • Brand awareness – is the level of familiarity consumers have with your brand. It’s often considered one of the main goals of social media marketing. 
  • Content marketing – is the practice of attracting and retaining customers through the creation and distribution of original, valuable content such as videos, whitepapers, guides, and infographics. 
  • Direct message(DM) – refers to a private message sent directly to a user’s social media inbox. 
  • Digital marketing – is a concept that uses the Internet and digital technologies such as desktop computers, mobile phones, and other d online platforms to promote products and services. 
  • Engagement rate – is a social media metric that tells you much about a post that motivates people to interact with it. It’s defined as (number of people who engaged with your post/number of people who saw your post) 
  • Follower – refers to a social media user who has subscribed to see your posts in their feed. Both personal and business accounts can have followers. 
  • Frequency – is a Facebook/Instagram advertising term that refers to how many times your ad was shown to the average user in your target audience. 
  • Hashtag (#) – is a way of connecting your posts on social media to other posts on the same subject or trending topic.

I-N

  • Influencer – is a social media user with a significant audience who can drive awareness about a trend, topic, company, or product. 
  • Influencer marketing – a strategy involving collaboration with an ‘influencer’ to promote a product, service, or campaign.
  • Insights – refers to the analytics and performance statistics you can see on your Instagram profile in the Instagram app. 
  • Mention – is the act of tagging a user in a social media message. Sometimes called @ mentions, these usually trigger a notification for that user and allow your audience to click through to their bio or profile.
  • Newsfeed – is the Facebook term for the screen that shows all the latest updates posted by people the user follows. 
  • Notification- is a message or alert indicating new social media activity. For example, if somebody likes one of your Instagram photos, you can receive a notification on your phone that lets you know.

O-Z

  • Objectives – are the results you want to achieve through your ad campaign. These objectives are used to determine which key performance indicators to follow and optimise ad spend.
  • Platform –  means the same thing as “social media network” or “social media channel”. However, a social media platform is technically the software behind a social network, including its API, backend, and markup language. 
  • Reach – is a social media metric that tells you how many people have seen your post. It differs from impressions in that even if a user sees your post multiple times, they still only count as one person reached.
  • ROI – short return on investment, is a measurement of how much revenue your activities on social media are generating for your company versus how much you are spending on them. 
  • Social media analytics – is an umbrella term used to describe both social analysis tools and the information those tools provide. 
  • Targeting – is a social media advertising term that refers to how you select the potential audience for your ads.
  • Traffic – is the number of users who visit a given website or page. 
  • Trending – is a subject or event that had a sudden surge in popularity on social media. 
  • Viral – is a term describing content that spreads exponentially on social media. This typically occurs when people share the content with their followers, then their followers share the same content to their followers, and so on, creating a snowball effect.

Benefits of Social Media Marketing

Iphone, notification, laptop, office, man

1. Build Brand Awareness and Recognition

Social media marketing helps build better brand awareness and recognition. Unlike conventional media, like TV or print, social media brings your business in front of customers more rapidly. The reason? It’s because half of the world now uses social media.

On average, people spend 145 minutes on social platforms. The fact that the average daily time spent on social media continuously grows means more exposure for your business.

Prospects might come across your social media post–and they might share it when they find the content handy and relatable. The shared post could attract more eyeballs and encourage engagement (i.e., likes, comments, shares), helping spread the word about your brand faster

Building online communities are one of the most effective ways to get your name out there. Here’s the good news: forming a community has now been made easier, thanks to social media.

Facebook, in particular, lets you bring as many people as possible together through Facebook Groups. Members can invite their friends, family members, or colleagues to join the community and share their stories, posts, and opinions.

Apart from creating a Facebook Group, you can also create a community by sharing meaningful content. Getting your social followers to tell their stories sparks conversation. It encourages others to participate in the thread, allowing your social media posts to appear in the News Feed.

When your posts show up in the people’s News Feed, you’re likely to prompt more discussion–and promote positive word-of-mouth. For instance, existing customers may recommend your products and encourage prospects to give them a try.

2.  Form Online Communities

Social media marketing helps build better brand awareness and recognition. Unlike conventional media, like TV or print, social media brings your business in front of customers more rapidly. The reason? It’s because half of the world now uses social media.

On average, people spend 145 minutes on social platforms. The fact that the average daily time spent on social media continuously grows means more exposure for your business.

Prospects might come across your social media post–and they might share it when they find the content handy and relatable. The shared post could attract more eyeballs and encourage engagement (i.e., likes, comments, shares), helping spread the word about your brand faster.

3. Increase Website Traffic

While social media marketing and search engine optimisation are two different concepts, the former plays a pivotal role in the latter. Social media allows you to scale up your SEO efforts in different ways, including:

  • Social media profile optimisation. Adding branded keywords to your social media profiles lets your business become searchable. It also helps to include links to your company website, products, or services.
  • Content distribution. Social media gives you access to a much wider audience than your website alone. Publishing and sharing content across your social networks helps attract more traffic to your site.
  • Link building. Building links is one of the many SEO techniques. You can incorporate links in the call-to-actions (CTAs) of your social media posts or link the product you’re promoting to a specific landing

4. Improve Customer Satisfaction

Social media allows you to establish direct contact with your target audience. You can engage with your audience consistently and respond quickly to their questions or concerns via the platform.

Since social networks provide you with opportunities to connect with fans and followers, building healthy customer relationships becomes easier. Here are a few ways to use social media in enhancing the overall customer experience:

  • Connect with customers who have questions, complaints, or feedback 
  • Keep followers updated on the new services and product offerings 
  • Involve prospects and followers in campaigns (i.e., polls, giveaways, share to win, etc)

Social Media Marketing Strategies

Like in other digital marketing concepts, you’ll need a solid strategy to succeed in social media marketing. Thankfully, there’s not just one but a handful of techniques you can implement to leverage the power of social media. Here’s how you can use the tool to its full potential: 

1. Personalise Social Media Content

According to a study, 81% of customers want brands to know them deeper and find the best way to approach them. Users crave personalised experience and respond better to content tailored to their needs and interests.

This is where crafting personalised content comes in handy. Personalisation can give your business a boost in social media engagement, not to mention customer loyalty and brand affinity.

Below are some tips to get your content personalisation right:

  • Segment your audience. Start by creating buyer personas, a profile of your ideal customer. Then, compare them against your existing customers’ data, such as age, location, language, interests, goals, and more.
  • Create content for each segment. Once you have your personas in place, produce content that’s most relevant to them. While blog posts and videos are the most comment content forms, you can also explore other types including:
    • case studies
    • product demos
    • product comparison guides
    • Keep personalisation offline and online. Investing in AI-powered chatbots is one way to facilitate personalised, real-time conservation. 

2. Partner with Influencers

  • Influencer marketing is another tried-and-tested social media marketing strategy.  Collaborating with ‘influencers’ (thought leaders, celebrities, other individuals with a large following) lets you expand your customer base and drive purchase decisions. 
  • A post by an influencer can have a much bigger effect than a post by an everyday user on the same platform. The reason behind this is either because consumers find influencers credible or they look up to them.

3. Run Social Media Campaigns

Social media marketing works hand in hand with social media advertising. Advertising on social networks is a sure-fire way to reach your target audience fast. So if you have more funds to support your SMM initiatives, consider placing ads on different platforms.

Types of social media ads include Facebook ads, video ads, stories ads, slideshow ads, playable ads, ads in Explore, and more. Whichever ad you plan to run on whatever platform, make sure to set marketing goals. A few objectives you can include are:

  • Obtain user input 
  • Create email marketing lists
  • Increase website traffic 
  • Increase overall brand engagement
  • Generate more sales

How to Measure Social Media Marketing Performance

The best thing about social media marketing is that it allows you to measure the performance of your SMM efforts. In short, it helps you determine whether your strategy is hitting the mark or not.

Here are four of the most important social media metrics:

  • Engagement. The engagement metric measures how users actively interact with your content. Engaged audiences interact with a post through likes, comments, shares, retweets, and brand mentions, to name a few.
  • Reach. This metric is influenced by two factors–timing and content. It indicates the number of unique users who have seen your post.
  • Impressions. This social media reporting metric tells you the number of times your content appears on someone’s feed.
  • Conversion. The conversion metric lies at the end of the funnel–it measures the number of leads converted to sales.

Evaluate & Adjust Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

By this point, you should have a clear grasp of your social media strategy.

You’ll never know how one campaign performed until you evaluate and compare it against your goals. 

The ability to take a bird’s eye view of your social media interactions can help you put things into perspective. Take a look at your best-performing content and modify your campaigns when your material isn’t working as expected.

Befriend social media analytics. Use data to track your social presence. React to your social media ads to keep the momentum and most importantly, maintain a laser focus on your goals. 

When things become overwhelming, go back to basics. Revisit this guide to start anew and come up with an even better strategy.

Do You Have Your Social Media Marketing Plan for 2022 Figured Out?

A well-thought-out strategy is insufficient if not carried out in the same manner as planned. You must design visual content so that the user is fascinated by the post even before they read information. 

It might be as simple as a designed social media post, a video, or even a picture of your product that has been professionally or artistically photographed. The goal is to catch people’s attention before they get interested in your product or service.

The goal of social media marketing is to connect with your target audience. So, put a strong emphasis on this to keep your business ahead of your competitors.

This article emphasised the fact that there are several parts to having a current social presence. Making your own doesn’t have to be time-consuming or a drag. If you create measurable objectives and follow each of the processes above, you’ll be well ahead of the game when developing a social media marketing plan for your company. 

Need help boosting your brand awareness, audience engagement, and online visibility on social media? 2Stallions got you covered! We provide social media marketing services that can help you grow your audience and business.

Learn more about our social media marketing services and process here. Wishing you the best in 2022!

 

In the marketing sector there’s a lot of overlap between roles, from marketing outreach initiatives to active business development strategies. Many marketers find their way into their roles through varying pathways. The thing with marketing is that it takes a certain skillset – communication with one’s audience, clear descriptions of products or services, etc. – that can be developed a variety of ways.

Joining us for this issue of the Marketing Expert Series is one such marketer. Pei Khoek is an experienced marketer and business development specialist. In this issue of the Series, Pei takes us through her journey, starting out as a journalist to her work now as business development consultant and marketer.


Hi, Pei, thank you for joining us in our Marketing Expert Series. Let’s kick off with a little background, can you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you get to where you are now? 

I love to tell stories; my first job is a feature journalist in Sin Chew Media Corporation. I was with Sin Chew for 6 years, my last position there as Personal Assistant to Executive Director.

I developed an interest in marketing when I was working alongside the Executive Director, who was managing several departments including Marketing Dept. The marketing activities fascinated me. To me, a marketing campaign is a series of story-telling activities that is creative and innovative. I want to learn more about marketing and its strategy for a successful marketing campaign. Once a day, my boss came to me and showed me a postgraduate students recruitment advertisement, next thing I know is, I was on the flight to Scotland for a marketing postgraduate course.

I didn’t work in marketing after I return from Scotland. When Cense Media (now OOGA X) started Kupikupifm – the first Sabahan community radio station was established, the founders invited me to join the team & be the Marketing Manager for the radio station. That’s officially my first marketing role. One year later they started CITYPlus – the first Chinese Business Radio Station in Malaysia, and my responsibilities expanded.

I spent 3 years with Kupikupifm & CITYPlus, it was challenging, yet fun. We have a bit more freedom to do things unconventionally and get to experiment with some of our ideas. Some works, some failed, but the experience and the teamwork are priceless.

I left the radio stations to explore something else, but now I am back with the radios.

You’ve been involved in marketing and business development roles for many years, what was it that attracted you to these roles?

What I like about marketing and business development are the challenges, and opportunities those challenges bring to you. I am attracted by the creativity I see in many international marketing campaigns, those ideas!

To promote a new product, to enter a new market is challenging, every breakthrough we seek in an existing market with existing products is even more challenging. Those challenges are priceless learning processes for me, they have shaped me to become who I am today. I have to be honest that I am not a very creative person, you need the creativity to design a good marketing strategy, but I have been involved in many ideations processes, strategies meetings, and I must say, teamwork always works the best.

Is there a specific thing you enjoy most about your work?

I enjoy the learning. Marketing and business development is constantly evolving, especially now in the era of digital marketing. I still remember when I learn about marketing 12 years ago, we are still talking about in-store sales events, newspaper advertising etc. Google SEO was new and upcoming. Now, Google is almost in everything we do, social media is more powerful than traditional media, KOLs are more influencing than a country leader.

I enjoy the challenge because every challenge brings new learning. It can really drain your brain to run a successful campaign. So, be innovative to achieve the result you want. That’s probably the reason I always take up a new role in a new industry, for learning and self-improvement.

Currently, you’re the Business Development Consultant at OOGA X. Please tell us about OOGA X and the work you do there.

The OOGA X brand is a holistic and complete communications platform that embodies our aspirations to be the ultimate media ecosystem partner in our (ever-growing) sphere of engagement. The O.O.G.A acronym itself stands for ONLINE, OFFLINE, ON- GROUND and ON-AIR. The “X” serves to remind us that our horizons and potential are limitless. The OOGA X brand represents an ecosystem that is built on multimedia and communications platforms that are beyond just radio or, audio alone.

Currently, I am helping OOGA X in hirings and restructuring the revenue team. We are a small team developing busin

ess opportunities with a different external partner, more than half of the team is new and never have media experience. Although there are challenges, I find that we are able to think out of the ‘media ads’ box because we are from different backgrounds. I enjoy seeing the team grow and bring results to what we are doing.

OOGA X owns Kupikupifm & CITYPlus, our on-air products are quite complete. As we said earlier, OOGA X is designed to be a holistic & complete communications platform, in 2nd half of 2021 we started to work with external business partners on developing more products and services for online, offline and on-ground, and I can’t wait to introduce the new products in 2022.

In 2020, you also founded Indeed Pilates. What drove you to start up a new company in the middle of the pandemic and why Pilates? How did you overcome the challenges?

I love Pilates. I am a certified Pilates instructor and have been teaching Pilates in my free time for some years. Before the pandemic, I have a Facebook group that I share Pilates videos with my clients, to encourage them to exercise every day, that Facebook group is called ‘Pilates Everyday’.

During the pandemic, fitness centres were operating on and off, many people’s fitness routines is being disrupted. It affects their health, physically and mentally. Hence, besides sharing Pilates videos on Pilates Everyday Facebook group, I started to conduct online classes for some clients, to keep them active.

After the first MCO, Yen Nee, who is also a certified instructor, my now business partner in Indeed Pilates and I met up for a coffee, and we ended up with an idea of creating an online Pilates website for people to practice Pilates whenever they want, wherever they are. A few months after that coffee session, we launched Indeed Pilates.

There were a few challenges, the greatest one is to change people’s habit of wanting physical classes. When we first had this idea of creating a Pilates website with on-demand workout videos and live online classes, I did a quick survey among my clients, only a small percentage of regular gymgoers are open to attending classes online, and most of them are reluctant to pay for on-demand workout videos. Because you can watch many free workout videos on YouTube, why pay?

To overcome that, we package our online classes and video-on-demand service in one subscription plan. Our core idea is to work out whenever and wherever. Before we can get people to change their habits, if we sell the video-on-demand service separately, no one will subscribe. Hence, we package it with online classes to allow clients access to the videos as an added value service.

We ran a social media campaign focusing on the importance of certified instructors and exercise whenever, wherever. The campaign objective was to educate people on knowing the instructor’s qualifications and to own a flexible workout hour. We also ran another campaign that gave free videos and classes access to 100 medical frontliners, to show our appreciation to the frontliners because many of them have back pain due to long working hours during the pandemic.

We received positive results from those campaigns, and some feedback too. When the lockdown continued in 2021, we increased online classes from 4 classes to 8 classes per week while maintaining an upload of 2 new workout videos weekly. I must say that we are lucky, the third lockdown helped the growth of Indeed Pilates because, after 2 MCOs, people are becoming used to attending online classes and workout at home. Even when fitness centres are fully operating now, there are people who have already been converted to online classes because they find it more convenient and time-saving.

We understand that to grow the business, we need to offer more services. When Selangor entered phase 4 of the national recovery plan, we started to conduct a monthly physical Pilates workshop for knowledge sharing and hands-on adjustments during workouts. We received encouraging business growth with that move.

In Jan 2022, we have a certified Yoga Instructor on board, adding 4 yoga classes to the online class schedule. We still upload 2 new Pilates workout videos weekly, but the number of classes increases to 12 online classes per week. Currently, we have more than 90 Pilates workout videos listed on the Indeed Pilates website, all by certified instructors, free access to Indeed Pilates’s members.

Pei in Bentong with CITYPlus team

Now, aside from your day job and Indeed Pilates, I understand that you’re involved in charity work. Can you share something about PeopleStories and what the charity does exactly?

I started to volunteer in PeopleStories in 2021, contributing my time and skill as a member of PeopleStories marketing & fundraising team.

PeopleStories is a 4 years old charitable organization that helps children in the Bakong district of rural Cambodia to access to schools. Besides scholarships, PeopleStories also give bicycles to students, to provide easier access to school. By 2021, PeopleStories started working on the Smart School Anywhere initiative that aims to bring digital learning to rural Cambodia in 2022.

Why is it so important to have entities like PeopleStories? What role do you see them playing in the future?

Pei in Bentong helping the flood victimsPeopleStoies operates fully on international & local volunteers, and 100% of donations go to fund education programs. It is a young charity passionate in creating greater access to education in rural Cambodia.

I am impressed by the result they achieved. The founder Victoria is fully committed to PeopleStories program, and she dreams big for better education for children in rural Cambodia. For the determination and genuine heart that she has, I believe PeopleStories is able to improve education quality, reduce school drop-off rate in Bakong, because I have seen PeopleStories latest initiative – Smart School Anywhere 3 years plan, it is developed and managed by a group of professionals from different countries; I am moved by the new STEM For Girls initiative – it is a scholarship to support girls in pursuing STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math); I have read inspiring & encouraging stories about the local students, they are hungry for knowledge and they too, dream big.

In 2022, you can help a student to have a bike to ride to school at USD60, or support a student’s education fee at USD25 per month – Pei Khoek • PeopleStories SchoolForLife 2022 (raisely.com)

What about you, personally, when this pandemic is over, what’s next for you?

I want to go on a pub crawl in Munich or a whisky distilleries tour in Scotland. I miss my friends in Europe and I really would like to spend time with them again. I have a 1-year-old niece whom I haven’t met yet, she is the cutest little creature on the planet, I am dying to cuddle her close.

I used to travel a lot before the pandemic, I will definitely travel again when the pandemic is over.

Any advice you’d give to young and aspiring marketers interested? 

If you want to be a successful marketer, you need to be creative & innovative, at the same time master in data analytics skills and be result orientated. Be open to new learnings, new concepts, new ideas. Always try something new in everything you do. Be persistent and resilient. Be a team player.

It’s been great to learn more about you and your work, Pei, thank you for sharing. How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more about you?

Thank you too. People are welcome to contact me via Linkedin I am happy to take questions and open to collaboration ideas.

If you thought you had it rough these last few years with a global pandemic on, try being smack in the middle of all of it. In this issue of the Marketing Expert Series we talk challenges and outlooks with Michael Teh, Head of Marketing at the Kensingston Green  Specialist Centre

A medical centre focused on the care of expectant mothers and children, you can imagine just how busy their lives have been over the last two years. In this interview, Michael gives us a glimpse at the challenges that he and his team have faced at the KGSC and just how their perseverance has paid off.


Welcome, Michael! Excited for you to join us on this issue of the Marketing Expert Series. Let’s start with something easy. Tell us a bit about yourself! How did you get to where you are today?

Hi, it’s good to be here, thank you for the opportunity. 

Actually, I was headhunted for this position. I was a layman working in property development for Sales & Marketing for 14 years when, rather unexpectedly, I made a switch to the medical industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. People had been telling me that healthcare is recession-proof, and I listened. The switch wasn’t just from one industry to another, I went from technical to clinical; it was totally different from what I have been doing in the past. This is one of the things I find most exciting and challenging having made the change. 

COVID-19 changed my life. The pandemic made me rethink my priorities and I realised I wanted to make a change. At the time, I was thinking to survive in a recession-proof industry, hopefully lasting me for the next two decades and leading me to retirement. I was extremely grateful to my former bosses and managers, all of whom helped prepare me, learning while growing with the company.

medical marketing expert, Michael TehCurrently, you are the Head of Marketing at Kensington Green Specialist Centre. Please tell us about the work that the Kensington Centre does and your role there.

Kensington Green Specialist Centre (KGSC) is a multi-disciplinary private hospital that focuses on O&G (Obstetrician & Gynecology), IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization), and paediatrics.

As Marketing Head, my role is perpetually challenging, at least, I think so. Working together with my team, my charge is to make things happen in accordance with what is best for the company. 

How has the Kensington Specialist Centre grown its marketing presence in the last two years?

Two years ago, we were still very new in the market, but we still had to field enquiries via social media and be able to share our location, specialities, packages, pricing, consultants, facilities, etc. in what is a highly competitive market. 

Along the way, we managed to address all enquiries and challenges. We stuck to our positioning – to serve the community and all the corporations around us.

By the time the border is fully open again, we will be ready to go regional market.      

What has it been like to work in the medical industry as Head of Marketing during the global pandemic?

It’s been a challenge every day. Over the course of the last two years, I’ve met so many doctors, specialists, consultants, business chambers leaders, business owners, politicians, competitors… 

We’re all in it together, but it’s not easy. We strive to deliver our best, all while leading the team, meeting our KPIs, planning for online and offline marketing campaigns. As Head of Marketing, my goal is always to make sure that everybody on my team is being nurtured and educated on how best to put in extra efforts to overcome all the many challenges that we face. 

How have you overcome challenges you have faced during the last two years?

Coming up with new ideas to overcome the challenges that spring up is always time-consuming; it’s a tough process. Persuading and getting all senior management to buy into my idea isn’t particularly easy either. Luckily, I have very a supportive senior management staff.

What about for you personally when this pandemic is over, anything excited planned?

After all that we’ve been through, I realize prevention is better than finding a cure, that’s why we roll-out so many screenings package. To be ready and manage what we can,  rather than to hope that something like a cure will just happen is more important, and far more practical. “Ever ready” is the keyword. Going regional market is our future direction.

Any advice you’d give to young and aspiring marketers, particularly those with a passion for the medical industry? 

I suppose, no shortcuts. The chances to strike the jackpot are very slim. Everyone must be ready or equipped with skills and knowledge to overcome any upcoming outbreaks or changes. Everybody starts from scratch and every picture tells a story. To know and understand the mechanism of the industry makes a lot of difference. Work hard, keen to explore, think extra, will help to elevate. What you know and who you know is very important as well. 

Thanks for taking part in this Series, Michael, and for sharing your experiences with us! How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more about you?

Via Linked in linkedin.com/in/michael-teh-99ba4858 or via email at Yeowheng.teh@kgsc.com.my, or micteh88@yahoo.com.

Content marketing has evolved from a revolutionary marketing concept to a critical marketing tool for virtually every company across every sector. The value of content marketing stems from its capacity to boost the amount of high-quality traffic to your company’s website. 

Many business owners do not realize that content reigns supreme in raising awareness and producing high-quality leads, both of which are necessary for healthy revenue growth. 

The truth is that well-planned and executed content can attract your target audience to your company’s website, where they eventually convert into leads and, finally, sales. Here is what you need to know about content marketing and why it is essential for your business.

What Is Content Marketing?

Traditional advertising involves letting your target market know how great you are at what you do. The same concept applies to content marketing. 

Content marketing is an approach that involves developing and sharing engaging and relevant online content, such as blog posts, articles, podcasts, videos, other material in trying to entice, connect with, and retain your target market. 

This method demonstrates your expertise, raises brand awareness, and puts your company at the forefront of people’s minds when they need to purchase what you sell. 

Why Is Content Marketing So Important?

If you aren’t yet convinced that you need to incorporate content marketing into your marketing strategy, here are a few reasons why content marketing is so important.

We Live in a Digital World

Because we live in a digital world and most of what we do as people depends largely on our online activity, your business’s future depends largely on content marketing. This is because your target market is online, and in order to reach them effectively, your business needs to have a strong online presence.

The bottom line is that your target market is online, and if you want to reach them, your marketing strategy has to concentrate on reeling in your audience through quality online content.

It Helps to Create a Trusting Relationship with Your Target Market

When you supply your viewers with interesting and relevant material, they are more likely to trust your business. You’re effectively developing a relationship of trust with your customers by connecting with them in this way and offering answers to their questions using helpful content.

Produce high-quality material on a regular basis to boost your brand presence and ultimately encourage loyalty, which can help boost your company’s revenue.

Establish Yourself as an Expert in the Field

Publishing high-quality content allows you to demonstrate your competence and expertise in your industry. When your videos, articles, blog entries, podcasts, and other material responds to your readers’ inquiries and help them fix actual issues, you establish yourself as an expert in the field who is worthy of their time. 

People are more likely to remember the brand or company that provides them with the information they require. Higher ranks for your site in search engine results are likely to follow once you have established your expertise in your respective field.

It Encourages People to Return to Your Site

When you provide your online visitors with quality content, you offer them a favourable experience and create a positive impression. This favourable experience is likely to reaffirm their opinion of your business and encourage them to read or watch more of your material in the future, which means they are more likely to return and more likely to make a purchase.

Good Content Increases Your Conversion Rate

The goal of any marketing strategy is to drive sales, and consumers today are a lot wiser nowadays. They do not like being bombarded with advertisements while enjoying their favourite show and are no longer hooked by catchy jingles.

In a world where information is readily available, audiences want to have their minds fed. Therefore, it is much easier to reach your target audience and encourage them to convert after establishing a relationship of trust through quality content.

Boost Your SEO Ranking

When they want to find the answers to a question, the first thing people do is pick up their phones and type in a search query on Google. If you want your brand to be seen by your target market, your goal should be to rank high on search results.

Google has made it mandatory for companies to generate only helpful content if they want to rank towards the top of users’ search results. Your organization can increase its online visibility and achieve greater SEO rankings by continuously creating high-quality content.


About the Author

Evestar’s Imo Bennard is a marketing professional who originally hails from Nigeria. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends by hanging out on the vast coastal plains of the southwest regions. Unless he’s on a mission of creating meaningful relationships with his business associates while ensuring that each client achieves their business objectives with each content campaign that was developed.

 

The future is already here. There has been a full-on video revolution year for marketers. 

Without a question, video marketing is one of the recent additions to our marketing toolkit. You may still have doubts. Is it truly worth it to think about using videos to market your brand? Do you have the necessary resources to generate video content? 

The answer is simple: Yes, it’s worth it. Video is one of the most powerful and successful digital marketing techniques available, not simply because everyone is doing it. Here are three reasons why you should start using video marketing now. 

1. Video Shows Great ROI

Given the fact that video creation is not the easiest nor the cheapest operation, it pays off. Furthermore, online video editing tools are evolving all the time and becoming more affordable. Even your phone is capable of producing great video content. 

Another plus is that your videos do not need to be flawless. It’s all about the content! People are most turned off by videos that do not effectively describe the product or service. It didn’t matter as much whether the product was of low quality or had a bad design. So it’s fair to say that content is like pizza – when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good!

2. Video Builds Trust

Through video marketing, you can attract customers’ attention, create interest, and deepen your relationship with them. . People are more likely to be engaged and have their emotions stirred by video than any other content.  

When it comes to the audience, YouTubers have emerged as the most potent social media influencers for promoting your brand. As a result, if you’re serious about content marketing, you need to also be serious about video.

Promotional videos can also help to build trust. Some customers are still wary of purchasing goods and services via the internet due to concerns about fraud and cheating. Effective marketing videos, on the other hand, showcase your items in a conversational way. Customers stated that videos provided them with greater confidence to buy online. 

3. Google Loves Videos

Visitors will spend more time on your site if you use videos. As a result, more exposure creates trust and informs search engines that your site has valuable material. Moovly provides us with numbers: If you have a video integrated on your website, you’re 53 times more likely to rank #1 on Google. Since Google acquired YouTube, the number of influence videos have on your search engine ranking has increased significantly.

Make sure to optimize your videos on Youtube for SEO. Make sure your YouTube videos are SEO-friendly. Make titles and descriptions that are intriguing. Include a link to your company’s website, products, and services. Provide a path for potential clients to take the next step. Also, to promote even more activities, look into the realm of interactive videos.

Bottomline 

Video marketing is becoming more popular and affordable. Video usage is increasing due to technological advances, but it’s also because it’s simple to share across the world. Creating marketing videos for your brand involves both creativity and an understanding of human psychology. The combination of these elements enables true advertising miracles at a low cost.

Emotionally charged, creative video advertising can be spread on the Internet in a matter of days, getting millions of views. And that is precisely the goal of video marketing!

Let’s face it, getting the attention of your target audience isn’t easy in today’s marketing environment. 

The concept of viral content is a modern enigma. It might appear as though videos of singing babies or fascinating deep-dive profiles of Instagram influencers suddenly gain millions of views. When it comes to viral material, there is frequently an unexplainable element of luck and timing, but for the most part, it boils down to planning, thinking, and attention to detail.

Here are four tips to create content that goes viral:

1. Know your audience

Successful content is entirely dependent on your audience and how they respond to it. 

The first step to “virality” begins with your audience. Understand why your followers follow you, understand their background, then deliver posts that fulfill what they’re looking for. It’s hard to grow an audience without first establishing your brand and deciding the sort of follower you want to attract. Determine your desired niche or area of expertise, such as industry expert, social media maven, or brand influencer.

It’s hard to grow an audience without first establishing your brand and deciding the sort of follower you want to attract. Determine your desired niche or area of expertise, such as industry expert, social media maven, or brand influencer. 

2. Find a great hook

When it comes to social media, people want to know upfront what they’re looking at. 

People will see your title and choose whether or not to click through. Include precise and actionable information in your headline to make it more appealing. Use a statistic in your headline or inform people how many tips they will receive. 

People actively seek out information that guarantees a reaction because we know that if we respond, others will most likely react as well, ensuring that your shared content receives guaranteed views and likes.

3. Create content worth sharing

Another way to create viral content is to write content that people can relate to. Once you’ve captured the attention of your audience, you must deliver on the emotion or content promised in your hook.

People watch silly cat videos on the internet because they feel something when they watch them – a sense of levity in a chaotic world, a connection to a cherished pet, or just the opportunity to chuckle. The video of a cat about to pounce isn’t life-changing, deep, or even somewhat significant, but it does evoke emotion.

The most current trend in internet content is toward authenticity, which acts as an emotional hook in and of itself. After the audience complained that they didn’t want to see picture-perfect versions of life, the Influencers or content creators are now sharing about their hardships, life lessons, and day-to-day lifestyle

Their content is effective because people can connect with and relate to it, and they believe that others in their networks will as well. This is how content becomes popular: the creator understands what their audience wants to see and delivers it in a way that encourages the audience to share it.

4. Make it visual

The packaging of everything needs to be pretty, isn’t it? Can you imagine the value of video if a static image is worth a thousand words? 

Many industry professionals propose producing video content across social media networks to promote engagement lately. You might believe that making a viral video is risky, but there are a few things you can do to help your content take off. 

To begin, keep in mind that longer isn’t always better when it comes to videos. The majority of individuals use mobile devices to access social media. This indicates that people are probably on the go or multitasking while watching your video. The key to a good video is to quickly hook viewers with an engaging title or thumbnail image, and then to end the video before they are bored.

 

Bottomline

In today’s oversaturated digital market, making viral content is more difficult than ever. A great social media post requires a combination of attention to detail, planning, and chance. A solid hook, good content, and an awareness of what your audience wants to see are the three components of viral content. 

How you approach social media now should be an extension of yourself — an extension of who you are. Don’t try to be something or someone you’re not. Don’t try to hack the algorithm. Just show up as your true authentic self and watch what happens.

 

For external to the sector, financial technology may seem completely alien. The truth is, however, that the world of fintech (finance technology) is not so far removed from our daily associations – we use it all the time, whether we’re fully aware of it or not. More than that, however, is that fintech leads the way in data-driven marketing, allowing for great strides to be made in this aspect. 

Joining us for this issue of the Marketing Expert Series, is the Head of Marketing for award-winning fintech company, Finology: Vahid Ebrahimi Fakhari. Passionate about data-driven digital marketing and the impact that it is making across all kinds of industries, Vahid takes us through his – and Finology’s – story.


Welcome to the Marketing Expert Series, Vahid! Thank you for joining us! You’ve done so many amazing things in your life, can you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you get to where you are now? 

Thank you for inviting me, it’s my pleasure. 

Originally from Iran, I’ve decided to pursue my studies in Malaysia for a Bachelor in Marketing and a Master in Business Administration (MBA). 

After graduating, it was quite difficult to find a job that fit my education qualification. So instead of just waiting for the mountain to fall on my lap, I took a job at a start-up called Loanstreet, (a financial marketplace under Finology) as an intern to kick start my career. I took this opportunity to sharpen my hard and soft skills. After much blood, sweat and tears, metaphorically speaking, I managed to get myself converted into a full-time employee as the company’s Digital Marketing Executive. 

Over the past few years, I have worked on multiple aspects of marketing and business development from campaign ideation to execution, developing marketing strategies, expanding revenue streams, and working closely with clients and partners on multiple projects. 

Fast forward to today, I’m Head of Marketing for Finology and leading Loanstreet our marketplace platform. 

What was it that drew you to this line of work? Was it something specific?

During my first year of working as a digital marketer, I found out that I enjoy creating data-driven strategies based on out-of-the-box thinking, and that’s what gives me fire. The fact that what I do requires both critical thinking and creativity made me pursue this line of work. It’s not just one thing or one set of skills to be good at: it’s a mixture of soft and hard skills and I realized I enjoy being a generalist and contributing to the holistic growth of the business.  

Currently, you are the Head Of Marketing for Finology. Please tell us more about Finology and the work the company does.

Finology is a FinTech company that specializes in enabling seamless access to financial and insurance products. Our mission is to simplify the process within the conventional financial sectors through our API services and market distribution channels. 

Our recent recognition includes being the Seedstars’ Global Winner of World Competition 2020/21 and Frost & Sullivan’s Asia Pacific InsurTech Entrepreneurial Company of the year (2020).

Data-driven marketing has been shifting the way in which many industries are approaching their marketing strategies. Is it the same for you and Finology? Why do you think that data-driven marketing is becoming such an important aspect of businesses?

Data is fundamental to marketing – always has, and always will be. 

Traditionally, marketers use data like market studies that were available at the time and their assumption of the target market to meet marketing objectives, which often requires a lot of trial and error. 

Today, where businesses are mostly in the digital space and with digital tools in place, the data that marketers get are in real-time. It means that marketers can now measure, analyse and improve their marketing strategies and optimise their campaigns in real-time by personalising the customer experience, targeting well-defined marketing segments, building long-term engagements that lead to customer retention while getting new customers.

Now, COVID-19 – the pandemic has had a clear impact on all sorts of industries; in what ways has it affected Finology and your strategies there?

We did feel the pinch. Fortunately, because of the diversity of the products and services we offer, we managed to tackle the situation. Of course, we had to re-strategise and shift the focus on the products and services that demand was spiking. 

For example, due to movement control orders, motor insurance renewal centres were closed and people had to renew their insurance online. This created a spike in demand. Finology provides online insurance renewal through API services by enabling distribution channels to provide this service digitally. This service is available on our very own marketplace platform, Loanstreet, as one of the very first movers in this sector.

Another instance would be that during this pandemic, we can see a spike in online content consumption. Since we also produce personal financial content via our marketplace, Loanstreet, we took this opportunity to refocus on increasing traffic to our blog.

Are you anticipating any long-lasting trends based on what the fintech industry has experienced during the pandemic?

The pandemic has accelerated the shift to online banking, advancing the existing trend by several years. Many people who switch to using online services during the quarantine will continue to do so even after things are fully back to normal. Customer behaviours have changed and financial institutions must follow it and work with fintech companies to digitise their services. 

What about you, personally, when this pandemic is over, what’s next for you?

I can’t wait to start travelling, meeting my friends and colleagues more often. As much as working remotely is a new normal, I believe meeting face to face helps ideas to thrive and build stronger relationships.

Any advice you’d give to young and aspiring marketers specialists? 

Don’t limit yourself to your job description. Learn from different aspects of your work and business. It’s always good to be very good at a certain set of skills, but also it’s important to know why you are doing what you are doing.  

As a marketer, you are the frontline of the company and it’s important to know other parts of the business. So you have to have good critical thinking skills to understand your business, products and audience, learn about your competitors, get insights from other teams, do A/B tests and make sure to prioritise your marketing efforts based on your ROI.  

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Vahid. How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more about you?

People can always connect with me on LinkedIn.

Digital marketing has taken a turn since 2020, expanding and growing into industries it hadn’t really touched before. Demand for digital tools like cloud computing and enterprise management software has increased. Marketing cloud software has never been more important. Growth and development in the cloud software industry have flown to the top of the list, with brands and companies clamouring for it to support their remote staff and clients.

In this issue of our Marketing Expert Series, we get to meet Elena Sanchez, Marketing Director for ASEAN at Infor. Join us as Elena shares her experiences and her passion for marketing in this truly motivating and inspirational issue of the Series!


Welcome to the Marketing Expert Series, Elena! It’s great to have you with us! Let’s start with the basics, tell us a bit about yourself! How did you get to where you are now? 

Thanks for inviting me!

About me in a couple of words: originally, I’m from Spain, I always have a big smile, and have strong values. I am a mother of two young kids so I run double or triple shifts!

When I was younger, I wanted to create “new things” so I became an Industrial Design Engineer. When I realized that engineers are normally stuck with plans and 3Ds I did a Masters in Marketing Management and started my marketing career in the lovely city of Valencia, Spain.

Then, Singapore…just happened! I was on a fun trip with friends through Asia and I felt in loved with the city so, a month later, I found myself a job… and it’s been almost 11 years!

Now I lead the ASEAN field marketing at Infor.

Cloud Marketing

What was it that attracted you to this line of work?

I am one of those people that really love what they do. I love marketing strategies, understanding the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ behind customer decisions and the beauty of tracking the intent through the sales cycle.

I love the art of testing and bringing the right content that will attract and convert through the right channels. I also love seeing how our customers improve their processes with our software and become brand advocates, that’s the best possible marketing you can do!

To me, in brief, marketing is the art of making the right impression on our customers’ minds so we can find, influence and win their trust to choose our products and stay with us.

The biggest reward for a marketeer like me is seeing our customers become more efficient and bringing that value to their own clients. That’s always the cherry that tops my cake every day.

Looking back at your career, it’s clear you have a lot of experience throughout the region across a variety of industries. Are there any specific experiences that believe helped shape your career?

Dozens of experiences shaped me into the person I am today.

Starting humble and grounded is a key one. My first job in Singapore was in a small local SI/Cloud Computing company. In this role, I learnt to be hands-on to the max and wear many hats, be versatile and work with a tiny budget. I was doing the end-to-end of the campaigns, from the strategy to the graphic design of digital campaigns – thank God, I had a design background! – to the managing of the platforms (google ads etc.) and data analysis.

I couldn’t afford fancy agencies, so I had to think “cheap” and creative and find partners with a budget! I even re-launched the company website and ended up coding meta-keywords, editing content and changing URL titles etc. myself. This truly paid off as most of our leads started coming inbound.

Later I joined the multinational world where I had more resources, proper marketing automation software, multiple stakeholders and teams that would support you and helpful agencies like 2Stallions that could help outsource and scale the campaign management.

In this environment I learnt to adapt and collaborate widely, it is a different ball game where communication is king to avoid siloed work.

Elena Sanchez - Marketing Cloud SoftwareCurrently, you are the Marketing Director for ASEAN at Infor. Can you tell us about Infor and what it is that the company does?

Infor is a multi-billion-dollar Cloud Software company. Our biggest value proposition is around the deep industry-specific design of our software as our Industry Cloud Suites are designed for the industry needs, so the majority of the functionality is there out of the box.

This fact, plus the ability to be truly on a multi-tenant AWS cloud – to save cost, upgrades, maintenance etc. – and combined with our elite customer support makes us a powerful software option in those industries we play in.

Infor is a massive, multinational company with offices all over the world and thousands of employees and customers. What is it like to be a Marketing Director at Infor?

Even if the company is big, you tend to work with the same 50+ regular people. It is a matter of good communication horizontally and vertically while orchestrating the show.

The culture is one of the big pillars for Infor, people here are nice and friendly and my team is just SIMPLY AMAZING! Super-efficient, pro-active and with a big sense of accountancy. I have a lot of love for each of them.

Only one thing to confess, I am a very social person so one of the skills I had to develop through the years in the multi-national environment was to control my long chit-chatting, sometimes you can’t possibly get the job done if you don’t focus and cut to the point.

Does the company’s size impact the way you develop your strategies?

Yes, it certainly does.

Bigger companies usually mean bigger budgets, bigger policies, more tools, stricter brand guidelines and messaging, bigger targets, more reporting, and a longer approval process.

All this impacts the campaign strategy and the timelines to put a campaign to market.

Now, COVID-19 – I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask how it has affected Infor? Has there been a change in demand for your services?

Every problem comes with an opportunity! For example, Supply chain software is in high demand, COVID has caused disruption in logistics globally. Companies had to deal with peaks on demand for certain products, source other materials and products etc. and certainly not all companies were able to cope with changes in demand patterns, track and trace their products through the chain or forecast as needed.

On the other hand, this tiny virus has caused quite a lot of damage in many of our targeted sectors and hence, many of our customers put their IT budgets for software on hold.

However, Infor is still growing despite the pandemic and we are seeing a big shift to “cloud” software. Many companies struggled to provide remote work-from-home work as they were not on the cloud before, or had no way to access it if not in their offices.

How has the pandemic impacted your marketing strategies?

We shifted to 100% digital, what else could we do? We had no other choice than to think digital and think creatively.

All those beautiful fun events in Thailand and elsewhere were converted to sitting in front of laptops at home. No packing and flight needed but also no afterparty with wine mingling with the customers. I never thought of running a large event 100% online, but it is possible! Even virtual wine tasting is possible too!

Where do you see the region as a whole going due to the impact of COVID-19, any lasting B2B trends you think the industry will show as a result of the pandemic?

In my view, 2022 will be a “more normal” year and some trends will continue:

  • Hybrid events with virtual and in person options.
  • Hybrid work arrangements to allow people to work partially or even totally from home as a default.
  • Also, more trust on employees working from home. Previous miss-conception of “work from home” is not efficient.
  • More cloud-based applications, less on-premises software.
  • Possibly some companies will reconsider the amount of travel they used to do and reduce it.

 

Elena Sanchez - Marketing Cloud Software

What about you, when this pandemic is over, what’s next?

  1. Party!!!!! big hugs and large catch ups.
  2. First stop: Spain to see the family.
  3. Make a bucket list of trips to do, get rid of my mask and continue smiling

Any advice you’d give to young and aspiring marketers? 

Recipe for success: listen to your audience, research your key competitors, dare to be different and add a pinch of creativity and lots of love. Test it out and make sure you know how to measure success, run pilot campaigns and scale up what works, analyze results and try again.

Most importantly: enjoy what you are doing and never stop learning!

Thank you for sharing your experiences and insights with us, Elena! How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more about you or Infor?

People are welcome to email me at elena.sanchez@infor.com

 


The Marketing Expert Series features marketing and communications experts from across every industry. Every month, 2Stallions will showcase the stories and expertise of marketing experts from around the world, join us as we explore how marketers navigate the challenges of the regions and industries they work in. If you’d like to be featured in a next issue of the Marketing Expert Series. Please reach out to us via email.

If you are interested in building your own company’s digital advertising, get in touch with us today, and find out how you can optimize your digital marketing strategies.

 

 

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