We spoke with Tan Wan Ting who is the founder of Weave Asia, a full-service digital marketing agency. She has She has 9 years experience in digital marketing and has managed more than 300 campaigns.
Weave Asia’s focus is Asia-centric with a global outlook. They help international clients weave through Asia’s social and marketing networks, specializing in cutting edge online marketing technology and digital marketing consulting services.
Tan Wan, how did you get started with digital marketing?
I got started with Digital Marketing when i was still studying in college. It was an opportunity to help a socks company to set-up their online store and manage their social media. I was 18 years old at that time when i got exposed to digital marketing and continued my passion in digital marketing when I joined the MarkeThink club in Nanyang Business School.
MarkeThink acted like a university based marketing agency helping corporate companies to manage their digital marketing campaigns. I was very fortunate to be involved in managing social media campaigns for the likes of Loreal Professional Singapore and other corporate companies at such a young age.
Eventually post university graduation, i rejected an offer from my dream company, Ogilvy & Mather Singapore to join a boutique Digital Marketing agency in Singapore.
What inspired you to start your own digital marketing agency?
Since young I always knew I wanted to start my own business, I never thought that I would start a digital marketing agency. I left my corporate job as a Regional Marketing Manager in 2016 with the intention to take a break and to travel a little while looking for another job.
Many referral opportunities for freelance work during my break led me to starting my own company, Weave Asia. We currently now have offices in Singapore, Malaysia & Hong Kong
In what ways is digitally marketing conducted differently in Asian markets?
The biggest consideration when marketing in different parts of the world is to understand which social media platforms and search engines are most widely used by the relevant target markets. For example, it would be far more effective to use Wechat reach audience in China compared to Facebook.
Aside from that, the other main consideration comes from understanding the nuances of the platform of choice once you have identified the right one. Take Baidu vs Google for instance where, differences in geographical adoption aside, both platforms seem to work very similarly and have similar interfaces.
However, if you ask a seasoned marketer such as ourselves, we could talk for hours about the differences in user experience and the underlying algorithms that go with it. As an example, it takes more effort and time to get ranked on the top page of a Baidu search results page than Google because of the nature and sentence structure of the Chinese language. The algorithm also tends to penalise you more heavily on Baidu as well if you are found to be trying to game the system.
What’s the hardest part of translating international digital marketing efforts into the Asian market?
I guess one of the more crucial points is understanding the target market & where they are digitally in the entire consumer journey Understanding the client services and products and the unique selling points. Localisation for ads is also important too for specific markets, with their own culture, language and styles
What digital marketing trends do you see having a major impact on Asian markets?
- Short video content the likes of Douyin (Tik Tok) and Meipai are a huge rage in China right now. As of January 2019, Douyin is reported to have over 500 million users that spend close to an hour a day on the platform. Asian markets outside of China are still primarily dominated by platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter but we are starting to see more short video content being cross-posted on these more mature platforms. We expect that 2019 will be the year when short video content becomes mainstream in markets outside China.
- Multi-attribution theory. Marketers now have a sea of choices when it comes to how best to reach their target customers throughout their day. Searching for a product on your desktop could lead to you seeing an ad for it on Facebook mobile or a mobile banner ad later in the day. Consumers can now be reached on multiple platforms and devices several days after initial contact with a brand. It is becoming less likely that a registered conversion or clickthrough tells the full picture of how a customer was ultimately acquired. Therefore it is increasingly important for marketers to understand the entire customer journey and to utilise as many touchpoints as possible in order to close a sale.
What future developments are there for your company moving forward?
For Weave Asia, we want to help more companies and business owners build strong businesses & brands through Digital Marketing.We want to build a community & platform of entrepreneurs, business owners, mentors, skilled professionals, digital marketers to help grow businesses and brands.
Future developments for my company will be to grow the team & talents and upgrade our skills and knowledge in the field.
We also want to contribute more to the society. We are currently helping non profit organisations by sponsoring their website design & digital marketing. We are also working with certain organisations to help to prepare youths and train them in the necessary skills to prepare them for the market.
What advice would you give amateur practitioners of digital marketing?
I am a firm believer of hard work, grit, consistency and givers gain. Being willing to learn, put in the hours and time needed to learn, practice, improve, relearn.
Always keep an open mind and know that no matter how many years of experience you have, digital marketing is always evolving and there is always new things to learn every single day.
Thank you Tan Wan for your time!
You can follow up with Tan Wan Ting at www.weave.asia