To start off, tell us a little bit about Daniel Ng, the man?
Daniel Ng is someone who is an end-in-mind person, a person who creates and connect dots to strive to understand the logic of life. He is also a person who is excited by ideas, regardless of how crazy it is. He multitasks, believe in work-life harmony rather than work-life balance and is impatient about inconsideration and illogical thinking. He loves food of all kinds, tries everything at least once and thinks everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
What about the Daniel Ng, the Senior Marketing Lead of MNCs in your roles?
I started my career as a Software Engineer, proud to have developed banking systems, and also the toll collection system for PLUS Highway, connecting Singapore and Malaysia. I went into Marketing almost by accident. I was said to have the gift-of-the-gab, especially for an engineer! I was offered a role to start Product Marketing thereafter and never looked back since.
In my 35 years of career, I have most times return to my ‘logical’ roots of programming and use my fundamental understanding of technology to leverage Martech in the development of frameworks, methodologies, strategies, processes, and of course fact-based data to build relevance to, the world we serve, different by region, countries and people in the pursuit of 1-to-1 marketing.
I have participated in the many eras of technology marketing, from the hardware of servers, storage and laptops; through software – open and proprietary sources, to the delivery of it all through on-premise, hybrid and public or private cloud.
I have been lucky to be in companies who define the market in each of these phases, rather than just address it. In all these roles, I have had the pleasure of helping MNCs scale up, as the scale out of the home country by building a team of professionals, position the company through all Go-To-Market channels – physical and digital – to build the value relevant to the focused market relevantly.
You are at the helm of Marketing in one of world’s, if not, the world’s fastest moving industries, what are the challenges you face?
Opportunities, rather than challenges; is to help focused markets understand the WHY of what the need in the WHAT and the HOW which often times they start with albeit wrongly.
What has the marketing strategy been for the companies you have served?
One is to simplify things. Two, to demonstrate through use cases and relevancy. Three, to align marketing with a business focus. Four, to connect products and technologies through value with the market. And five, to understand beyond immediate future and carve a niche for the company I serve.
You know, Marketing is about laying the track where business to head based on in-depth intelligence about the market, capabilities to deliver. Taking that insight, develop a strategy to build the brand and the value of the company to its target audience, that will translate into activities – digital and physical – to connect with the defined target audience. In a nutshell, Marketing must be present in the pre, proper and post stages of all plans to deliver different values to business.
In your opinion, 5 years from now, what can we expect to see as part of the industry growth?
Efficiency through leveraging Big Data for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning through Cloud to drive down cost and flexibility.
Marketing or Branding, Daniel; and why?
Branding is part of Marketing. Many assume Branding is running advertisements but it actually is what the company is seen as in every aspect of its activity – from how you treat its people, partners, prospects, customers, agencies etc. beyond flyers, banners and advertisements. A brand, when positioned well, is a reflection of the culture of the company.
A man of your stature, I am sure you are a mentor to many. When we talk about mentoring are there any specific areas in your industry that you stress more than the rest?
Building the next generation of marketers should be the remit of every Marketing leader. It is the sharing the examples of successes and also failures so that the next generation can be aware as they learn. Mentoring is not a one-way street. As willing as the Marketing leader wants to mentor, the mentee has to be willing to learn.
What is your top 3 wish list in terms of marketing this year?
First, a better understanding of behaviour through Sentinel Marketing. Second, connect dots between the Why, What and How. And the last one is to progress towards 1-to-1 marketing with data. The top of my wishlist is for Marketing to walk-the-talk of through the integrated marketing towards delivering customised value to customers in a 1:1 manner leveraging data.
You are much involved in philanthropy and charity, which is a great thing because the millennials are known to be fast gaining influence in this space and you are seen as a man to emulate. Tell us more about your involvements; is there a specific cause you are championing for?
Philanthropy stems from the mapping of what one can do to what one needs, and not done for show. Most times, it is beyond the contribution of money, but the contribution of the most valuable assets – time. Spending time with deserving children, helping them understand the trials and challenges of life, is one way. My personal focus is on enabling the next generation to have confidence in being leaders.
The best way to contact you.
Anything else you would like to share with Marketing In Asia’s readers, Daniel
I believe that Marketing is a Science practised as an Art. It is the best job in the world as you get paid and given funding to try out your ideas.