U Mobile's head of marketing services, Jenny Chin (pictured), has a total of 15 years of marketing and commercial experience. Chin has worked in the telco industry for most of her career and currently oversees marketing communications and digital engagement at U Mobile.
Prior to her current role, she was with TIME dotcom as head of brand and marcomm, overseeing brand communications for the group. Before that, she was with DiGi as a senior for segment marketing for the Malay market before moving on to the migrant market.
In this edition of Tech in check, Chin gets candid with A+M about her biggest tech booboo and the common challenges she faces in digital today.
(Check out the previous editions of Tech in check here:
Domino’s Pizza’s head of marketing Linda Hassan
Digi’s chief digital officer Praveen Rajan
McDonald’s Malaysia digital director Muhamad Zaid Hasman)
A+M: What was your first digital role like?
Chin: Overwhelming. For a start it sounded like gibberish to me as it involved a whole lot of technical jargons and new metrics.
However, after going past those mere words, and understanding what it’s meant to bring to the table, it became a lot more exciting, as it served as a platform open to imagination of expansion, and value creation from a data and customer understanding perspective.
A+M: What was your biggest tech booboo?
Chin: The biggest tech booboo I’ve had wasn’t as dramatic as some of the other stories I’ve heard (fortunately). It was during the time when I had a discussion with some partners about the early day concepts of DSPs and SSPs, and in my head I had them reversed. Over time, the conversations grew to an annoying state for me as I genuinely thought people just didn’t understand me, but it was a case of how I didn’t understand them. Laughable moments till today with some of the crew involved then.
A+M: How did you overcome it and what did you learn from it?
Chin: Clearly over the course of the conversation that I had insisted I was right, I was humbly corrected by team member over an SMS (I know… no one uses this anymore, but explains how long ago this was). Lesson to be learnt, understand the keywords in the sometimes-overwhelming terms, and you’ll never forget what their role is.
A+M: What are some of the common challenges you face with digital today?
Chin: New digital partners continue to emerge in the ecosystem, and while I value their ambition in trying to change and advance the way they view and measure achievements, it’s not in a uniformed structure that is easily adaptable to what’s already in the market.
New terms of achievement, derived from a proprietary methodology, is not easily adapted to and benchmarked against industry standards. It’s in these cases that I can really appreciate the innovative ways of thinking. The challenge comes down to ensuring that the proprietary measurements are standards that don’t merely stand alone or isolate a particular execution. They must be able to align with industry standards.
A+M: Are there any digital trends which excite you or that you are wary of?
Chin: The whole concept of making data more tangible, from collection through to execution. Coming from the telco industry, while it’s important that we use external data sources to help our campaigns, it’s extremely important for us to build strong foundations and an eco-system that allow us to be more agile in our communications, through live consumer data.
The ecosystem has to cater for that, and the outcomes from the insights, over time, can be very rich and exciting for the marketing of the category. The set up and build process of this ecosystem is tough, but I feel it’s worth the investment, and it needs to start now, if not already.
A+M: Any top tips for marketers and brands embracing digital?
Chin: Think beyond the results. The results of any marketing campaign is merely an indicator whether you’re doing it right or not. Look for opportunities in every digital campaign. The reward may not necessarily be immediate, but the gold mine is definitely in the consumer experience understanding that stems from their response to your marketing. It’s very much like dating, the more you hang out with your partner, the less errors you have in your gifts to them.
Tech in check: Fave’s co-founder Yeoh Chen Chow
Tech in check: Nuffnang Malaysia’s country manager Kausern Hieu
Tech in check: QSR Brands’ chief information officer Chong Chin Kan
Tech in check: Hong Leong Bank’s chief digital and innovation officer Shailesh Grover