Nicholas Goh (pictured), head of digital marketing at INTI Education Group, has not only had a taste of both the client and agency sides, but also delved into the world of creative and media. As such, he has amassed more than 18 years of digital experience in areas of web development, digital advertising and digital media.
He joined INTI in early 2014 and leads all digital marketing activities and day-to-day digital operations for the INTI brand across six campuses in Malaysia. Before that, he was at GroupM providing consultancy and digital media planning strategies to clients, working on brands such as Citibank, Sony, Colgate-Palmolive, L’Oreal, Shell, GSK, Nissan, U Mobile, Walt Disney Pictures and HTC.
During his time at digital creative agencies, Goh managed accounts and creative projects for brands such as Mitsubishi, Starbucks, Berjaya Hotels & Resorts, Hewlett-Packard, Astro, Petronas, RapidKL and Maxis. In this edition of Tech in check, Goh shares with A+M his first digital role and the challenges he faces with digital today.
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A+M: What was your first digital role like?
Goh: During the time I graduated, having your own website and domain was a cool thing and became a hobby of mine. Having learnt to create web pages and code on my own through books, I turned my hobby into my first full time job. I first started my career as a web programmer, developing websites and web applications for online billing systems. This is when I started to learn and develop my understanding on how the internet works.
A+M: What was your biggest tech booboo?
Goh: A few years ago, we launched a campaign for one of our clients. There were digital banner take overs and influencer engagements all planned on launch day. Banner ads were used to drive traffic to a microsite for a month-long campaign. The client wanted to know how effectively we were driving traffic to the microsite using the various online channels.
Unfortunately, we inserted a wrong piece of tracking code to track a portion of the microsite in order to give the client that information. It was only after the second day of launch did we figure out the error. We lost two days’ worth of data because of that error.
A+M: How did you overcome it and what did you learn from it?
Goh: Prior to launching any digital campaigns, always make sure you have a checklist or a task list of what is needed to be done.
Always include testing as part of that checklist. You can never do too much testing.
A+M: What are some of the common challenges you face with digital today?
Goh: The term “analysis paralysis” comes to mind. In today’s digital marketing world, we’re simply overwhelmed by the fact that there are too many data sources and too many data points to look at. There are also too many ways to cut the data and in turn, we tend to over analyse things.
However, digital marketers nowadays not only require digital marketing knowledge, but also the know how to analyse and make sense of data to be able to come up with actionable strategies. For me, this skillset is vital for digital marketers of the future.
A+M: Are there any digital trends which excite you or that you are wary of?
Goh: Definitely AI and machine learning. AI could help brands simplify marketing efforts and operations if applied correctly. We now live in a data-driven world where business decisions are made and driven by insights uncovered by data. Applying machine learning to help speed up the uncovering of those insights are definitely important.
A+M: Any top tips for marketers and brands embracing digital?
Goh: Digital is not as scary as it seems. Though initial investments can be a bit expensive at the start with but in the long run, the returns will definitely justify the cost of the initial investment, if you do it right. Think about it, which other media enables you to track and optimise your marketing investments in real time? The key is to start small and keep on testing new stuff to see what works for your brand and then scale upwards.
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