Welcome to our Experts Interview section, By hasty insights. It’s a pleasure to take your interview. We would like to know how did your journey start in Marketing?
My first job out of college was in an Ad Agency, then I set up a layout design and printing company before returning to corporate where I did Branding and Communications for a company with property, hospitality, and F&B interests. I then moved to the FMCG snacks industry before my current role where I am happy and proud to be doing Marketing and Communications for Allianz in the Philippines.
What excites you the most about the Marketing industry?
Though marketing principles remains the same, it’s exciting to see how people’s psychology and types of interaction evolve, especially when influenced by modern media that’s technology driven. It gives insight into people, how communication affects them, and how they in turn can also communicate back.
What do you consider essential skills for a marketing team these days?
Creativity, an open-mind to think out of the box, a sense of insighting into people and how they are affected by changes and stimuli, and a willingness to constantly adapt, learn, and even re-learn. Frankly, these are good skills to have no matter what you do, in my opinion.
How do you see Digital Marketing evolving in the future? What are the top three trends do you foresee for 2020?
Difficult question. Forecasting and seeing into the future is quite a challenge. Not everyone saw social media coming, or how smartphones would change our lives (otherwise, companies like Nokia would have gone in sooner when they were on top of their game). But perhaps for the Philippines, we can expect the masses to eventually become “always on” just as the upper SEC is already doing. Perhaps down the road we can see more online integration into our lives (IOT – though more advanced countries will be ahead of us).
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Farther down the road, we may also see many people looking to get “offline” more, just to escape the “always on” mentality we have; that would make other forms of communication relevant. For the Philippines, I also don’t see Filipinos giving up on social media anytime soon; it seems that social media fits well into the Filipino culture.
What are two or three digital marketing/social media/management trends that impact your role as a manager, and why?
The Word Of Mouth or WOM plays a big part. With a high involvement product like insurance, having advocates who can spread good news about Allianz by WOM will help a lot. Of course, that can work adversely too if we don’t deliver on our promise, but Allianz always does its best to live up to our promises.
Another characteristic that affects the marketing role is the shortening attention span of the market. They want/need information delivered to them quickly, efficiently, easily. We need to make it as easy as possible for our market to get the information they need about our product (be it digitally or through more traditional means).
What do you feel are the most underrated skills in a marketing team these days?
This sounds old-school, but really, mutual listening and understanding of each other’s needs, frustrations, and delights is underrated. There’s a lot of talk about skills, know-how, thinking out of the box, etc., but really, a team that listens to and understands each other will work better together to achieve goals because then the members will look out for each other to achieve goals.
What do you see as the biggest challenges for marketing professionals over the next year?
Besides the ubiquitous Philippine traffic that remains a challenge for everybody no matter what field they are in, it’s really keeping up with the speed of how things evolve so fast in today’s world. Be it in content or tech, things are always changing fast.
Add to that the constant need to come up with appealing and relevant messaging all the time while all this change is going on, and you have quite a set of challenges. This requires quite a bit of agility.
What are the essentials of getting customers to think differently when you’re promoting a new solution to a market with established products?
That’s a good question, and it’s a real challenge to come up with fresh perspectives for customers to consider. Whether you’re providing a new solution or a tried-and-tested one, it’s that perspective that the market must find appealing, and it’s the marketer who must come up with that and find the best way to communicate it.
Would you do anything differently for B2B versus B2C when you promote a new brand?
It would depend on the product and the delights/anxieties of the target market. But for sure, if it is a new brand, whether it’s B2B or B2C, there’s going to be a need to communicate differentiating factors as well as deliver education on what the new brand has to offer.
Which are those sites that you would recommend people to read often to stay updated in the Digital Marketing domain?
A quick search for digital marketing information should turn up many sources of information, and there are many learning centers that offer courses now, but of course, Hasty Insights should be one of those preferred sites that can provide these updates!
Thanks a lot, Kenneth Yu for sharing your valuable journey.
We really appreciated this remarkable answers!