Marketing Talent Awards: Prudential's Goh Theng Kiat on talent diversity

Prudential's chief customer officer Goh Theng Kiat has more than two decades of industry experience and believes in recognising talent within the company and shedding light on the new ideas and innovations. He joined Prudential last year, moving from his CMO role at OCBC after approximately four years.

In his current role, Goh oversees customer segments, brand and marketing, data analytics, products and events. Before OCBC, he was with Akzo Nobel Paints (Asia Pacific) for over seven years, last holding the role of global category innovation director. Goh also worked at Imperial Tobacco Group, British Tobacco and P&G.

With hiring and talent retention a constant struggle for most marketers, Goh shares with Marketing his thoughts on how organisations can attract young talent and improve retention rates, as well as what he looks out for when hiring.

Celebrate and reward your star employees and teams at the inaugural Marketing Talent Awards 2019 and attract new talent. Entry submissions close on 10 May—start your entries now!

Marketing: As a judge what do you hope to see in the submissions for Marketing Talent Awards from the rising stars?

I would hope to see a diversity of people and talents from different industries and career backgrounds.

Marketing: What do you make of the awards?

Awards such as this are wonderful ways to recognise the talents in the company. Most importantly, awards bring light to ideas, innovations and raise the quality and competency of our marketing talents in Singapore.

Marketing: Why do you think talent retention is such a problem in the marketing/advertising community?

Talent retention in the last few years is not just an issue within the marketing and advertising community. Mindsets of today's workforce have shifted and one of the outcomes is a different perspective towards employment and what one takes out of employment. Shorter tenure with an employer is a new norm and employers need to adjust to this new norm.

Marketing: What do you feel has to change to ensure young talent stays in organisations, and you can attract young talent?

There are a lot of new ideas in organisations to encourage longer stays among young talents. What could be an interesting new thinking among organisations is re-employment. How do we embrace staff who leave the organisations and want to come back?

The manpower function could look at this group of people in a positive way and re-employment of leavers could become a new source of talent. This means that any staff who leave should be treated with respect such that there is always a chance to attract the staff back.

Marketing: What about the veteran marketers? What will you be on the look out for?

Who are veteran marketers? The marketing practice has changed so significantly which means every one of us needs to learn and adapt quickly.

I look out for talents who have the ability to adapt and learn fast. They should be bold, collaborative, and authentic.


Marketers who are more experienced and are in the position to lead people will need to adopt transparency to push creative boundaries of the team.

Marketing: What role do you think veteran marketers play in attracting new blood in the industry?

I would rather refer to them as "experienced marketers" and they should be there to inspire the new generation of talents. To inspire, they need to drive/encourage change and be open to learning. They should not be the ones carrying war stories and proudly showing war scars.

Marketing: One important tip for our veteran marketers?

Be grounded. Listen more. Learn with the troops. Have the courage to try new things.

Celebrate and reward your star employees and teams at the inaugural Marketing Talent Awards2019 and attract new talent. Entry submissions close on 10 May—start your entries now!

(Read also: Marketing Talent Awards: Judge Linda Locke on Singapore’s talent retention)