"People from China who went through hardship realised that life is not about waking in the morning and waiting till the evening. Life is about solving problems. If every problem you solve is a step forward, one day you'll be ahead of other people. A lot of people don't get ahead because they evade problems. But if you confront problems, every solution is a knowledge game."
Jimmy Lai, Founder and chairman, Next Media which owns Apple Daily, the second most read newspaper in both Hong Kong and Taipei in a recent interview with Financial Times. Mr. Lai was born in China.
This is truer than ever in these dynamic times. The uncertain global macroeconomic environment demands that businesses adopt an entrepreneurial approach to capture growth opportunities. In support of this imperative, Marketing in Asia faces a new challenge — emerge as a visionary business partner that anticipates and addresses business demands to create strategic advantage for the enterprise.
Business leaders are looking for marketers who can provide solutions for driving growth. So what can we do to make ourselves such valuable "go to" persons? As marketers, are we happy to be just designing, word-smithing and creating brochures, websites and press releases. Or do we plan and execute end to end campaigns which are closely aligned with growing revenues-campaigns which will facilitate new conversations for our sales and business development colleagues leading to new opportunities and wins?
And we cant afford to stop there. The leadership is also expecting marketers to manage those leads-to help track them in a timely and regular fashion and provide oversight on whether the account managers are taking ownership of following them up so that none of them fall through the cracks. But, are we evading the immediacy of this growth challenge by focussing just on building brand awareness -the benefits of which come only in the longer term? Smart marketers are taking the challenge head on and driving campaigns that are closely linked to helping the business generate immediate demand. At the same time, they are also ensuring that this new demand is getting addressed quickly, closely tracking the revenues generated, measuring ROI of their campaigns and thereby reinforcing the value they are bringing to the business. I suspect that marketers who have the skills and the initiative to work with their colleagues to achieve these objectives, will be most sought after in these dynamic times.