Questions to ask if you think you have the 'shiny new toy' syndrome

Are you a victim to the "shiny new toy syndrome"? If you are, you're probably not alone. Given how quickly the marketing world is changing, trends and technology never seem to stay still. But before leaping at the chance to try out the next sexy tool in the marketing scene, marketers should head back to the basics - crafting their business goal statements clearly, and writing it from the view of the customers and their business goals, Nicco Tan (pictured), vice president of marketing at Resorts World Genting said.

"First remove IT thinking. Don't think [in] channels," Tan, who is a speaker at A+M's upcoming Digital Marketing Asia conference in November, said. Some of the questions marketers should ask themselves include

  • What part of the value chain marketers have a business issue with that they are trying to solve?;
  • Can the issue be resolved without new tech implementation, and how would it look like without tech?;
  • How do consumers discover [my] product and how are they consuming it now?

Thereafter, zoom in to the areas where the issue lies.

Subsequently, Tan said marketers should ask themselves if the problem areas can survive without the implementation of the technology and if yes, will other parts of the value chain survive as well? Otherwise, what is the role of the specific problem area in the entire value chain and if it can be absorbed into other parts of the value chain? Another question to ask is whether it makes sense to invest in technology in the long run in place of the current set up. He added:

Assess your tools based on these basic guidelines, and I am sure you will have almost 80% of what you are looking for in helping you weed out those shiny tools that are unnecessary to your business.

Join us on a three-week journey at Digital Marketing Asia 2020 as we delve into the realm of digital transformation, data and analytics, and mobile and eCommerce from 10 to 26 November. Sign up here!

COVID-19's impact on Resorts World Genting

Unfortunately, being a titan in the hospitality industry, Genting Malaysia, the parent company of Resorts World Genting, also saw global revenue for the second quarter of this year dipped 96% year-on-year to RM115 million. 

But quick to get back up on its feet, Resorts World Genting reopened its doors on 19 June 2020 to positive reception. The brand plans to leverage domestic demand to drive visitation and revenue, actively manage its cost base, and focus on completing the movie-inspired theme park Genting SkyWorlds, which is targeted to open in mid-2021.  Meanwhile, Resorts World Genting also resumed operations of its cable car and Genting Express buses.

Genting Malaysia said in the presentation that the full extent of the pandemic's impact on the group's operations remains uncertain. However, it will focus on business efficiency to align cost structure with the new operating environment. 

When asked about the pandemic's impact on Resorts World Genting's marketing strategy, Tan who has been with the company since 2015, explained that the impact is "not as severe as others would have thought ". In fact, the company has been building its resilience through tech, overhauling of key processes, hiring the right people and upskilling the right talent for several years now. Tan added, "A health scare will always bring out either the best or the worse of us. We hear stories of people changing behaviour whenever they find out that they have some sort of a terminal illness. Similar to our experience today, people are more health aware. COVID-19 changed the way we interact with each other and fuelled the adoption of technology.”

According to him, some changes in consumer behaviour he has witnessed include rising expectations on faster and affordable internet speed, the demand for bandwidth, the maturity of the connected citizen, and the acceptance of owning and trading digital-only products. Modern customers, in Tan’s view, also seem to prefer dealing with chatbots than human customer service agents, and there is also a willingness to exchange personal data and to be tracked by companies for something as minuscule as a free report. The former marketer with Mudah and LivingSocial added that moving forward, personal data will become a currency in the new normal, which will also be contactless, personalised, always on and always monitored.

As the company presses on, one aspect Tan wished he knew before COVID-19 hit was the importance of upskilling an ageing sales and marketing organisation. 

"I can't stress enough the value of learning modern day skills and knowing how to use it and turn it into a competitive advantage. One thing I noticed across the industry is the slow response to mitigating the impact of COVID-19 and the unfortunate downsizing and closure of businesses," he explained.

Building the relationship with IT

According to Tan, moving into a tech economy, more business teams need to understand the link between the tech investment, the effort and time needed for development, and the business performance. He said: I have witnessed several instances where business briefs were written as clear as mud - briefs that have so many fluffy words in them but holds no value to an IT person.

“When the project does not perform up to expectations, the immediate culprit is the IT fellow and there is no accountability at all from the business side,” Tan said, adding: "This is a vicious cycle I see, and little effort has been made to correct this."

He explained that self education is key and marketers should not be afraid to "look dumb [in front of] an IT person as it is not [their] job to fix IT-related problems". It is, however, a marketer's job to have a macro understanding of the technology so they can better explain to IT their requirements and its importance to the activities that will strengthen the commercial heart of the business.

It is better for the business people to educate themselves first about the tech they want to use and understand the basic principles of how they can link it to their business issues.

He added, expecting IT to solve the business issue without business intelligence and management support will end up having IT drive the business. IT is an enabler, not the driver of business - unless you are selling IT products and services.

Join us on a three-week journey at Digital Marketing Asia 2020 as we delve into the realm of digital transformation, data and analytics, and mobile and eCommerce from 10 to 26 November. Sign up here!