Sharing knowledge with others and helping them advance is a great way to live your life. In many industries, knowledge is considered proprietary – kept separate from others to ‘protect’ it.
Digital marketers often share their knowledge and expertise – this is one of the key reasons for this Marketing Expert Series, after all.
In this issue, digital marketing trainer, Alena Chan, shares her story. Backed by years of B2B sales and marketing experience, Alena turned to training to help others grow their skills and overcome challenges.
Hi, Alena! Welcome to our Marketing Expert Series. Let’s start with your background, please tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get to where you are now?
I started my career with 20+ years of experience in B2B sales, serving in a leadership position for 10 of those years.
My marketing experience gave me the ability to transition to becoming a passionate and dedicated digital marketing trainer.
I am a firm believer in knowledge sharing to help my learners navigate this complex world of digital marketing, acquire new skills, and knowledge and empower them to achieve their goals.
So you spent more than 20 years in B2B sales and marketing. You spent much of those years in leadership positions. How did you go from that to digital marketing training? Tell us more about how you came to be a trainer and what your training is all about.
I always challenge myself to explore new opportunities in different ways. Operating a boutique marketing agency business together with my mentor has helped me gain sufficient expertise to transition into digital marketing training.
Training allows me to pursue my passions and do something that brings me greater happiness and fulfilment. My training typically covers a range of topics, such as Google Marketing (search engine optimization, search engine marketing and google analytics), social media marketing and content marketing. I also train people in skills in leadership, people management, presentation and effective selling skills.
In addition, I have the opportunity to teach in these courses: Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing and SG United Skills Program (SGUS). Successfully designed the entire curriculum for the Applied Degree in Digital Business course.
The goal of my digital marketing training is to help individuals and businesses build a strong online presence and drive more traffic, leads and sales by breaking down complex concepts into simple terms to help them succeed.
The world has changed in the last few years, with the Pandemic and the shift in the economy, how have you been impacted by these changes?
The Pandemic has led to a global recession, with many industries facing significant challenges and economic disruption. Many businesses have shifted to online operations and e-commerce has seen a surge in demand.
The marketing agency business has been impacted in some ways and many companies have had to cut back on their marketing budget, this has led to a reduction in the demand for marketing services.
This meant that I had to take a good hard look and think about what I wanted in life and my career. ‘Resiliency’ is the word to describe it.
How did the developments over the last few years affect your strategies?
The Pandemic was a challenging time for many people. However, it also led to unexpected opportunities for me.
I had to pivot my strategies to adapt to the changing paradigm, shifting my priorities from marketing agency business to training opportunities with a greater focus on exploring digital channels, personalization and building strong relationships with my stakeholders.
Tell us about some of the most effective digital strategies that you’ve implemented in recent years. Is there a strategy or campaign you’re most proud of?
In recent years, I have revamped and transformed a financial website from a traditional look and feel to a lifestyle website with a clean and attractive design to target the younger generations.
Optimizing the website content to rank higher in their search engine results by increasing traffic and visibility. Ensuring that the website is well-structured and easy to navigate, focusing a lot on user experience. Creating high-quality and engaging content that resonates with our client’s target audience. This has ultimately attracted more traffic to their site.
How do you stay up to date with the latest digital marketing technologies and tools?
I stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in digital marketing to ensure that my training is relevant and effective, such as following industry blogs, and publications. Joining online communities, and attending industry events and webinars.
As a digital marketing trainer, I continuously take online courses and certifications on various platforms to learn about the latest digital marketing tools and technologies. Networking with fellow trainers and other professionals in the digital marketing industry to learn about their experiences and insights.
In your opinion, what are some of the biggest challenges facing marketers and digital experts in your industry today?
Some challenges that marketers and digital experts may face in today’s industry are keeping up with evolving and new technologies and tools are constantly emerging. Knowing how to use them effectively can be a challenge for marketers.
Managing data and analysing it can be overwhelming as marketers need to have the skills and tools to effectively collect, analyse and make informed decisions.
In your experience, as a woman, are there any obstacles – glass ceilings and the like – for digital marketing trainers?
Gender-based obstacles and glass ceilings do exist in various industries. Despite in recent years, gender inequality in the workplace has been reduced, I do still face challenges as a woman digital marketing trainer.
Some studies have shown that women are often evaluated less favourably than men in performance reviews, even when we have similar skills and experiences.
Overall, while there are certain obstacles that women may face as digital marketing trainers, it is important to recognize that progress is being made towards gender equality in the workplace to address gender bias and support women in their careers.
Any advice you’d give to aspiring marketers and digital entrepreneurs?
Continuously learning, and keeping up with the latest trends and best practices is essential. Finding your niche by specializing in a specific area of marketing or entrepreneurship. This will help to build a focused brand and differential yourself from competitors.
In today’s digital age, building a robust online presence is essential for success. Your personal brand is your reputation and how people perceive you.
I embrace failure as I see it as an inevitable part of entrepreneurship. Learn from our mistakes and don’t be afraid to pivot when things aren’t working well.
Entrepreneurship can be challenging, but it can be incredibly rewarding. Have fun and enjoy the journey, and celebrate successes along the way.
What keeps you motivated? Do you have a personal motto/saying or something else that drives you forward?
My motivation is to learn something new every day, it helps me to gain new perspectives and insights. I often reflect on my progress and assess how far I can go. Learning is a lifelong process and it is important to continue challenging myself and seeking new opportunities to learn and grow.
Overall, my passion for learning and dedication to knowledge sharing are valuable qualities that I can inspire and motivate my learners to pursue their learning journeys.
Two-way learning enables me to learn with and from each other.
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Alena. How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more about you or your training courses?
I welcome people to connect with me via Whatsapp or LinkedIn.