Top marketing experts in Asia (and where to meet them)
The marketing industry is always evolving. To be successful, marketers have to constantly adapt to new trends in this hyper-dynamic field. A great way to boost your knowledge and skills is by learning as much as possible from marketing experts in the industry, and how they are driving impact for their brands. Get to know some of the top marketing experts in Asia and the regional events where you can meet them.
There’s a vast amount of resources available, from blogs to events, where marketing experts have been sharing their wisdom and experiences that will help you gain valuable insights that you can apply to your day-to-day marketing activities.
Whether you’re looking to deep dive into new industry trends, boost your knowledge on how to use data for marketing, or perhaps, get inspiration on how marketing leaders are recalibrating their brand communications strategies today – in a climate of crisis.
Check out some of Asia's top names when it comes to marketing – from CMOs to VPs and heads of marketing across industries – the names behind some of the top brands in APAC today.
Mary Zhou, Lazada
In June 2019, Lazada introduced their refreshed brand identity by launching a campaign “Go Where Your Heart Beats”. The company’s repositioning is meant to strengthen the Lazada strategy to marry the shopping and entertainment in one platform through their “shoppertainment” strategy.
“As Southeast Asia’s leading eCommerce platform by scale and by reach, we are capturing the heartbeat of the region by observing how they behave, engage with and respond to our platform. At the same time, we are contributing to the heartbeat of Southeast Asia as eCommerce pioneers constantly redefining the online shopper and seller experience through innovative features and tools,” - Mary Zhou, Chief Marketing Officer, Lazada Group (Source: Marketing)
Lazada continued to anchor their messaging on this campaign, which helps generate brand love and engagement.
Lazada campaign emoji cloud
Susie Wong, Fuji Xerox
In a recent interview with Mumbrella Asia, Fuji Xerox’s Susie Wong spoke about the evolving role of the CMO particularly due to technology. In the past, the CMO’s role was more about creative storytelling. Today, we can pretty much measure every marketing action and the CMO has “to be the voice of the customer in terms of insights” and I really liked when she said this line:
“We used to talk about 50% of advertising being wasted. But today with technology, you can tell which 50% is working – you can run, but you can’t hide.” - Susie Wong, Chief Digital & Marketing Officer, Fuji Xerox
On her Twitter page, Susie Wong also shared that she supports the APAC Effies awards to honor marketing excellence, particularly the convergence of technology and storytelling.
Lynn Huang, Honeywell
Multinational company Honeywell’s Lynn Huang also challenged the definition of “marketing” at a B2B Marketing conference.
The B2B customer journey is typically longer than that of B2C. B2B marketers often need to convince multiple decision makers and stakeholders in a company, and show them how the product or service will drive ROI for their business.
While sales teams can be defined by revenue generated from sales and HR teams by hiring the right talent for the company, the marketing function tends to be more complex. According to Lynn Huang, marketers should be defined by how much they know the customer. The marketing team can then share these customer insights with other teams in the company to help drive a ‘customer-centric’ culture.
“There should be a lot of interaction between marketing and sales, and marketing and innovation. Marketing is not a function – it is a way of doing business.” - Lynn Huang, APAC Head of Marketing, Honeywell (Source: Marketing)
Here’s a quick interview of Lynn Huang at a previous CMO Asia Summit:
Mohit Gupta, Deutsche Bank
Speaking of fostering more collaborations between different teams across the organization, Deutsche Bank’s Mohit Gupta believes that by working with sales, data/research, and customer service, marketing teams will have a clear understanding of the needs of the customer. Making customer satisfaction the shared goal can ultimately help them develop a strong content marketing strategy.
From a bank-perspective, “marketers are also bringing technologies together in a “martech stack” to create an integrated series of tools for data acquisition, email, social media, search engine optimisation (SEO), and more. These can allow banks to cast a wider net and build customer relationships across multiple channels simultaneously. - Mohit Gupta, Director APAC - Head of Marketing & Social Media, Deutsche Bank (Source: Marketing)
David Harling, MoneySmart
Personal finance could be a complex topic. Finance portal MoneySmart is investing in customer communications that are personal and targeted contextually. The company’s content strategy is to simplify and streamline huge amounts of information available to make personal finance less intimidating for its target audience.
“Through our easily digested content, we make personal finance an interesting and approachable topic for all our users and help them navigate and find the best products for their needs.” - David Harling, Group Chief Marketing Officer MoneySmart (Source: The Drum)
Grab a copy of this content audit checklist to find out how your current content strategy is performing.
Roche Vandenberghe, FWD Life
Another notable initiative from the finance world is from the Philippines’ fastest growing insurers - FWD Life, which launched its “Blaze a Trail in the Arctic” campaign for the 2018 FWD North Pole Marathon. The company is aiming to create fresh experiences for its customers and leverage digital technology to deliver easy-to-understand products.
“As a brand that continues to change the way people feel about insurance, we at FWD saw the North Pole Marathon as a unique platform to empower people to overcome extreme challenges, to pursue their aspirations without worries, and to ignite their passion for life-enriching adventures." - Roche Vandenberghe, VP & Head of Marketing, FWD Life Insurance Corporation (Source: FWD)
Manisha Seewal, Carro
Social media usage continues to rise year on year, and our social media behavior is changing with it. As the social media space becomes saturated, businesses are having to find new ways to increase engagement through creative content. According to online marketplace company Carro’s Manisha Seewal, video content should be a part of brands’ content strategies for social media this year. We’ve had the pleasure to get marketplace company Carro’s Group CMO - Manisha Seewal’s expert thoughts in our recently published social media trends 2020 eBook
“Just a year ago, search used to comprise 95% of our spend while currently, search accounts for barely 60% and the rest is made up by social media. In today’s environment, brands need to have a robust social media strategy, which includes generating engaging content and video.” - Manisha Seewal, Group Chief Marketing Officer, Carro (Source: Talkwalker)
With the help of video analytics tools, it’s become easier for marketers to gauge the reach and engagement of video content that their brands are creating as well as the ones that customers or third-party entities are sharing (earned media).
Let’s look at an example – this tweet from Formula1 had a prominent watch manufacturing brand Rolex without even mentioning it in the text itself - the video generated 9.2k in engagement and 3.8 million in potential reach.
Rolex brand mentions in F1 tweet (Source: Talkwalker)
Ravi Shankar, AirAsia
AirAsia’s #StillGotIt campaign, probably one of the brand’s most memorable campaigns, featured its global ambassador -- the football superstar Roberto Carlos in YouTube ads that played during key in-game moments during the 2018 World Cup.
In today’s generation of multi-screeners, consumers could easily be watching the World Cup Finals on one screen, while browsing social media networks on the other. The low-cost airline company understood this behavior so it doubled the frequency of its ads during the World Cup Final as a way to reach football fans in key markets in Southeast Asia, who were also engaging on YouTube during the game.
“In the past, it was a tedious and manual task to reach so many different markets in precisely the right moments with the right message,” - Ravi Shankar, Global Head of Digital Marketing & Analytics, AirAsia (Source: Thinkwithgoogle)
Sophia Ong, ST Engineering
Few days ago, ST Engineering posted a video on its Facebook account on how the company is continuing to bring their solutions and innovations to customers and partners to help fight COVID-19.
I thought the video serves as a good example of how the global tech and engineering group is adapting positive communication techniques for their company.
“Being mindful about the crisis and its impact, we looked at what content should be paused and what can be emphatically pivoted to help support our customers. We also looked at how we can lend optimism, hope and humanity through the voices of our employees.” - Sophia Ong, Vice President of Marketing, ST Engineering (Source: Marketing)
Cheryl Goh, Grab
Another great crisis communication response is Southeast Asia ride-hailing giant Grab making a commitment to support local businesses during COVID-19. Food delivery and e-commerce platforms are in a unique position to act as an “enabler” in a time when all business-to-consumer interactions have to happen digitally. This is exactly what Grab is doing with their food delivery arm - GrabFood.
“We are also launching a "local heroes" campaign to boost visibility and awareness for these restaurants across various digital channels. The campaign will begin on April 1st to hopefully generate more awareness for our small, independent restaurants.” - Cheryl Goh, Group VP of Marketing, Grab (Source: Cheryl Goh)
Level up your brand strategy with insights from the top marketing experts in Asia
Check out any of these digital marketing events (or simply download the calendar below!) to find more marketing leaders and industry experts from whom you can learn and take inspiration from. Don’t shy away from following them on social media and definitely catch them at an upcoming (online) event for more expert insights.