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Get To Know Amartuvshin Ariunbold, Head of Marketing at TDBMongolia

Marketing is not about creating shiny things or top-quality video ads, it’s more than that.

Marketing is not about creating shiny things or top-quality video ads, it’s more than that.

You’ve got over 10 years of experience in marketing and made the leap from the mobile or telecommunication (MobiCom) to the financial services industry last year. What made you decide to get into financial services marketing?

In 2016 I took 2 years’ leave to pursue a master’s degree on information systems at The University of Melbourne in Australia because at that time I considered that on top of my business and marketing profession, the degree on information technology or system can be a good combination for my future career growth.

During my study in there, I did notice that banks hiring more non-finance graduates and preferring graduates with dual degrees or experience on both IT and businesses. This new trend seemed interesting to me and as an assurance to this I’ve also found a couple of articles about banking industry’s increased pressure from expanded operation from telecom companies to banking and financial market, as well as no predictable actions from tech-based fintech companies.

Back in 2016, Mongolian telecom operators were already offering basic financial services like mobile payment and microloan services. And there were great interests existing among telecommunication companies to step into the new banking and finance market because the industry itself is experiencing the fairly slow growth and reaching its saturation level with the mobile phone penetration of 140%.

So, it’s just matters of time that telecom operators will soon become the major rivals for banks, and in fact, it’s already happening with the announcement that branchless bank backed by telco company is going to start its operation soon in Mongolia. So, in terms of my work experience and marketing profession, all of these new changing trends like telecom companies becoming more like banks and banks becoming more like IT company feeling so exciting.

So, considering the above facts and thoughts, I’ve firmly decided to continue my marketing career in the banking industry. Also, another motivational factor me was that similar organisational structure and operation, so I felt a bit comfortable and confident to work for the bank.

It’s an exciting time for you at TBDMongolia, just completing your first six months in the role. What are your big marketing plans for 2019?

As same as other countries because of the rapid technological advancement and fierce competition, banks are now paying more attention to data analysis and sophisticated CRM system. I believe in terms of using a CRM system and CRM based marketing automation, Mongolian market itself is in its infant stage. Because back in the day, both telecom companies and banks were enjoying of their rapid customer growth but now it has changed and reaching their saturation level, therefore identifying of their valuable customers and keeping and retaining their customers are becoming strategically important. So, because of this my key focus will on exploring and using multi-channel marketing and possible marketing automation.

Another thing is that during my short period of six months I understood that banking is a fragile business, banking is fundamentally an industry of trust. Unfortunately, some populist parliament members in order to get some political points and gain popularity, they do talk negatively about bank’s operation and criticize their level of loan interest, this extremely toxic to the operation of any banks in the market. Plus, this year 2019 is a special year, because it’s a year before the parliamentary election, so there is expected more attacks from politicians, the unfortunate fact is that these politicians do not show any reasonable proof or well-researched data, so it creates a very unhealthy environment and public angriness toward banking. Therefore, our second focus will be on educating the public more about the banking industry and its role in the country’s economy as well as extending our “corporate social responsibility” projects towards this.

What Mongolian brands are doing great marketing and advertising work at the moment. Are there any campaigns that have inspired you?

In my marketing profession, I understood that marketing is not about creating shiny or top-quality video ads. It’s about timing, doing things logically and consistently in a well-structured and well-defined marketing operational process and hitting their business targets and doing things without any technical or operational errors. Also, I think people now more preferring simplicity.

I remember that when I was at MobiCom, together with my team we launched a marketing campaign some would say “odd” campaign because it wasn’t so attractive in the surface, simply stating the key benefits of MobiCom services and bundles, stating in 6-11 seconds only, it was like two persons gossiping about service. I believe this campaign was very successful because the initial idea of this campaign was to decrease customers complaints about the service condition and educating them as well as decreasing unnecessary customer calls to call centre. The short video ads were very simple and cost-efficient, and the message was straight forward, easy to understand. Advertising impact was very good too, at that time our monitoring reports showed that we collected the highest impression or GRP among our competitors.

In terms of brand, in my observation, I would say Candy brand of MobiCom is doing pretty good. Especially in the first stage, it’s very well positioned in the market through a good marketing campaign and good partnership agreements. Candy is a loyalty program of MobiCom with the purpose of retaining their customers, giving more value and increasing the shifting cost for customers. I believe Candy team did a great job for creating a good ecosystem, partnering with good external service providers and based on it giving good discounts to their customers. In terms of campaigns, there are a couple more like organising of staICT (information communication technology) EXPO in 2015 and 2016 but let me leave them this time.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I’ve been in most sections of marketing, like product development, research and communication and PR. My current job is more about PR and advertising, so my typical day starts off checking the email and checking the media monitoring report if there is any unusual or negative news about our bank. And then check the status of approved communication plans and their results.

I’ve been trying to create a friendly and creative environment in my department, I want my people to feel safe and confident when they talk about their ideas, so I do encourage the short meetings and brainstorming especially when we are planning our marketing or communication plan. As I mentioned, to do a successful marketing campaign it requires well-structured and well-informed marketing process and good collaboration with related departments. Therefore, our department is now becoming like the inspectors asking too many fundamental questions about the new product or promotion.  

For young people thinking of a career in marketing with you at TDBMongolia, what do you look for in new hire and what advice can you give to young marketing professionals looking for a job?

It depends on whether your niche interest is in the marketing section of product development, or marketing research or advertising and communication. When I hire marketing professionals or any, I do not focus on much on how did he or she performed at their university or school, I rather focus on their curiosity and their personal interest and their stamina for consistency. People who are naturally curious have more information, they tend to do more comparisons or study like voluntarily finding of more information about their rival company’s service condition or marketing campaign, and they try to do better than them which is very good quality for marketers, marketers must have some degree of jealousy

Secondly, marketing profession requires you to be multi-tasker like financial analyst, product developer, researcher, journalist or designer, therefore it’s important for the young professional to be prepared for this at least know the basics of designing programs or writing good stories. Soft skills like negotiation skill and skill of persuading others is also a key characteristic of good marketers. Another thing is that in these days, the digital and social marketing and knowing or using marketing automation platforms/software are becoming important knowledge and skill.

In your great career, what are the moments you’re most proud of?

During my marketing career, I had good opportunities and a chance to experience and launch the country’s very first classified services and products. If I remember it correctly back in 2009-2010, we launched the country’s very first GPON (gigabyte passive optical network) based home internet service, simply saying that we started offering the ultra-high-speed internet services to homes under the brand name of MobiNet.

Personally, it was an extremely exciting moment for me because I was young, and it was my first big project and I had a chance to participate in the project from the scratch till the official launch. To do this service, we established the new subsidiary company called MobiNet due to the regulatory requirement and state license. I remember that when we first installed our network in a small apartment with six entrances, we required to prepare brochures instantly, we were doing everything by ourselves no designer, no copywriter no industrial printing machines, simple brochures prepared by ourselves and we were distributing it by ourselves knocking every door of apartment, it was common for us to get we electrical shocks while knocking the door or clicking faulty the electric doorbells. After 9 years I am still loyally using the MobiNet internet at my home, so I guess this the proudest moment of my profession.

What’s the best way to contact you?

You can find me on LinkedIn

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Ariunaa Enkhamgalan
Written By

Ariunaa is the Marketing In Asia's Editor for Mongolia. She is also a Digital Marketing professional with various experience in the B2C and B2B environments. Connect with her via LinkedIn

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