Pivoting during a pandemic: APAC marketing leaders discuss the importance of an experimental mindset
In times of uncertainty, it’s tempting to take as few risks as possible. However, industry leaders are learning that adopting an experimental mindset can often help their brands navigate through an ever-evolving landscape.
We spoke with four APAC industry leaders to learn how testing new strategies opened up new paths for their brands and allowed them to optimise amidst a pandemic. Watch as Shaifali Nathan, director of ads marketing at Google APAC, Matt Meisner, VP of performance at Luxury Escapes, Palson Yi, marketing director at Realme Indonesia and Clara Chang, business unit head at J&J Korea talk about the importance of experimentation and how a fear of failure may be holding back brands.
Hungry for more? Dive into these insightful quotes below:
Matt: By continuing to experiment and getting new data, you’re able to improve on the way you’re doing things.
As a marketer, how did you deal with a year of uncertainty?
Shaifali: For the first time as a marketer, I feel uncomfortable. Because I don’t know as much about my users or my customers as I used to. And so the question is, how do we make sure that we remain up to speed with the latest insights related to consumer behaviour in our particular field, in our verticals? This is where I think experimentation has a key role to play.
Matt: Our initial instinct was to stop marketing altogether. What we learned surprisingly is that people are very interested in booking travel even in this time of fear and uncertainty. And the only way we were able to confirm that was by experimenting and without having that real-time data come through, we would have been too slow to act.
How did you overcome hesitations to experiment?
Clara: I think in the old school way of marketing, we believed that we should be perfect before we execute anything. To be honest, experimenting has nothing to do with budget, resources, or time. It’s kind of a mindset.
Palson: By adopting an experimental mindset or a curious mindset means opening up to future possibilities and future excellence. We believe there’s no long-term failure, what really matters is the kind of things we learn from the experimental process.
Shaifali: So the whole idea is to just create this culture of experimentation and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. It’s okay to make a mistake. In fact, we celebrate that.
How critical is experimentation as part of your marketing strategies moving forward?
Clara: I personally believe that experimenting is going to be essential in everything that we do. As a marketer, as a business leader, as a professional. So don’t fear any failure, you can learn through failure. And do as many experiments as you can.
Palson: There’s no marketing strategy that you can use forever right? Because you are always exposed to new challenges. And also, if you do not evolve or adapt, you will be left behind by your competitors.
Matt: Without testing your assumptions and challenging the way things are done, you’re leaving opportunity on the table.
What advice would you give to fellow marketers for 2021?
Matt: I think the key for 2021 is continuing to stay nimble on strategy. So staying dynamic in what we do, being very predictive on how customers are behaving and engaging with the marketing we are putting out is going to be fundamental.
Shaifali: If somebody was really struggling with what changes they should be making to their marketing strategy, I would say to them — stop, scratch everything you know, and restart.
“Experimentation is a precondition of being creative. It opens up new doors so we can get new solutions, and that’s why experimenting is really crucial for every marketing process. Whether you’re from the PR team, the media-buying team or other teams, I think experimenting should be a core part of your team’s strategy.”
Palson Yi, Marketing Director, Realme Indonesia
“In order to fundamentally understand consumer behaviour changes — the why, what and how — it’s very, very critical for us to experiment. Experimenting gives us many more insights to become more agile and consumer-obsessed.”