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Lazada Malaysia on a hiring spree as it looks to ramp up marketing efforts

Lazada Malaysia is on the hunt for four key roles to beef up its marketing team – vice president, consumer insights; senior manager, affiliate marketing; PR manager; and senior manager, project management and innovation.

CMO Diana Boo (pictured), who is three months into her role, told A+M in an interview that the vice president, consumers insights, PR manager and senior manager, project management and innovation will report to her. Meanwhile, the senior manager, affiliate marketing will report to Roberto Mata, head of online marketing at Lazada Malaysia.

Boo said the company is looking for individuals who are connected to the consumer pulse, in touch with trends and know how they can be strategically applied to business functions. She added that it is important for Lazada to stay one step ahead of consumer and know what they want before they know they want it. Effective communication is also important, especially in an environment where plenty of cross-functional collaboration is required to achieve objectives, she said, adding that Lazada also hopes to hire strong leaders to mentor and build great teams.

According to Boo, the vice president, consumer insights role requires an individual who is “obsessed with” consumer behaviour and data, using data to identify sources of real advantage and value creation. Strong analytical capabilities are also required, with the individual being able to see the big picture by finding the relationships between seemingly disparate arenas such as trends, learnings from other categories, patterns within or across data and the role of influencers on decision making. Boo added that the individual is also expected to be able to transfer insights to create informed business strategies and solutions to achieve business objectives. The skills would include storytelling and conviction.

Meanwhile, the senior manager, affiliate marketing is required to maintain and develop affiliate marketing programmes, recruit new affiliate partners, monitor affiliate practices and negotiate and evaluate affiliate advertising agreements. Knowledge in ad-serving technologies, experience in campaign management, proven negotiation and management of online media campaigns would be advantageous, Boo said.

Lazada is also on the hunt for a PR manager with a strong command in local media from offline media to online media. According to Boo, the individual should be able to use PR as a channel to drive relevant B2B and B2C story and creative thinking for PR-led new ideas. Another area that Lazada is also focusing on for this position is the individual’s ability to manage crisis and data or consumer insights that drive PR worthy stories, as well as being able to create captivating content and is skilled at building media relationships.

Lastly, the senior manager, project management and innovation role involves managing cross-functional eCommerce projects end-to-end from scoping to execution and the individual is required to have a strong sense of ownership to see through the project with keen eyes, Boo said. She added that the individual should have a holistic understanding of business projects, such as the rationale, value, design and impact. The role requires a leader who is able to work with multiple stakeholders to align the goals, clear road blocks, and ensure smooth execution.

“There is a need for the team’s culture to be fluid, agile and adaptable as the learning can be steep at times with a rapidly shifting eCommerce landscape, especially when introducing new features or products which have never been attempted before,” Boo explained. An open mind, creativity and a thirst for knowledge are also skillsets that Lazada looks out for when hiring. Boo said:

We work in a very flat organisation to encourage open communication and creative problem-solving.

She also described the company’s culture to be “very relaxed”, with features such as a pool table in the pantry, coffee machines and vending machines for employees. Free dinners are also offered to those who work late to keep the morale up during busy campaign periods.

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Disrupting the eCommerce scene

Boo told A+M that it has been an “exhilarating” experience at Lazada so far with various exciting projects going on. “There was some mild culture shock initially as the eCommerce business is a multi-layered, cross functional machine, which was somewhat different from what I experienced at my previous roles,” Boo explained.

Nonetheless, Boo is determined to disrupt the eCommerce industry and roll out initiatives that draw attention and are intriguing, while meeting the needs of online shoppers in Malaysia. She explained that Lazada is surrounded by “amazing leaders, creative thinkers and subject matter experts” and possesses a wealth of technology capabilities and resources through its shared ecosystem with Alibaba. This allows it to constantly reinvent the way Malaysians shop online, and to introduce new services and products.

Its shoppertainment approach, for example, has allowed Lazada to evolve from merely a shopping platform into a lifestyle destination.

With consumers demanding more social, rewarding and entertaining forms of shopping, Boo said the team decided to introduce the GUESS IT 30-minute in-app show for its recent Mid-Year Festival. The in-app show combines a gameshow concept with professionally-generated livestreamed content hosted by entertaining local personalities giving away clues for viewers to guess the price of products.

According to statistics from Lazada, approximately two million viewers tuned in for GUESS IT during the first week of July this year. Meanwhile, its “See-Now-Buy-Now” fashion shows live streamed on the Lazada app have also drawn more than 300,000 views in Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.

“Social commerce is the way forward. Key opinion leaders are expected to strongly influence customers’ online purchasing decisions particularly in the health and beauty, fashion and electronics categories,” Boo said. She added that there will also be an increase in curated video content from brands such as make up tutorials, product reviews and cooking demonstrations.

Another eCommerce trend that marketers should keep a look out for is that categories such as groceries, daily essentials or household products and digital goods and services are expect to become industry game changers in 2019. Boo said the introduction of loyalty programmes with rewards, promotions and discounts from top partners will also be made more available. Meanwhile, there will also be a convergence between online to offline shopping experience and the key here is to offer ease and convenience to customers.

“The introduction of multiple payment options, with the convenience of picking up and dropping off items at selected convenience stores, will result in an increase in online businesses enabling multiple touch points for customers to make purchases,” she explained.

She added that with artificial intelligence (AI) being all the rage nowadays, this new technology is also expected to reshape customers’ shopping journeys. Innovation in fulfillment centres and logistics warehousing systems will significantly reduce delivery lead time for local and international shipments, Boo said. She explained that the eCommerce boom will also create more opportunities for SMEs and other eCommerce supplying industries to flourish.

This will lead to the creation of value and jobs along the supply chain in areas such as logistics, young social influencers, manufacturers, designers and cottage industries.

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