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Metaverse Could be the Next Big Thing in Marketing: Aw Beng Teck

Our new blog series, #WhatMarketersDo, gives you a glimpse into the lives of marketers and provides you with useful tips on how to excel in the role. Thus, you get the latest trends and best practices firsthand from marketers in different industries.


This series has been conceived by marketers for marketers and its primary objective is to encourage sharing in the marketing community.


We’re really thankful to all the marketers who took the time to share valuable insights with us. If you’d like to contribute or know of any marketers who’d be kind enough to share their insights, please contact us at TeamSG@clickacademyasia.com.


Now, without any further delay, let’s move on to today’s post where we have interviewed Aw Beng Teck from NEC Asia Pacific Pte Ltd.



1. Please share what is your current role at NEC & a summary of your career leading to this role.


I am currently the Regional Marketing Director at NEC Asia Pacific. My role is within the ambit of our Regional HQ based in Singapore. We support our country affiliates in six key countries in ASEAN. For me, this involves driving corporate and regional agendas from a marketing and communications angle. We also help strengthen the various countries in their local marketing efforts.


Prior to my current position, I was the global head of marketing for NEC Global Safety Division, covering the public safety sector. I have previously worked in a think tank specializing in the political economy of East Asia. I was also a journalist covering the environmental and resource sectors.


2. Share with us some difficulties you face in your role & how you overcame them.


There are two challenges. The first one is related to my role as the Regional Marketing Director. What kind of value do I bring to the team in each of the countries we are in charge of, where there is in existence a local marketing team? This eventually became clear through many rounds of communication and working together on regional-led projects, the demarcation of roles, and the value each party brings to the table. However, that took us almost 2 years.


The second challenge is to align the expectations and aspirations of various stakeholders. This involves adapting corporate messaging to the region and local environment, aligning the speed to market between the product development team and the GTM/sales team, and balancing the requirements of the local team with the agenda of corporate HQ. Again, communication at various levels is critical.


3. What are the key trends in marketing that you see emerging in the next 6 months?


I think there is much hype in the marketing circle about the metaverse. I believe many, especially the ones in the marketing industry, are jumping onto this bandwagon. NEC is no different. To us, the metaverse is also significant as we are in the Digital Identity business. In the metaverse, verifying and authenticating the identity of avatars will be critical.


Another trend is the democratization of the content. Increasingly, we are seeing many so-called “homemade” or “reality” videos going viral, especially on Tik Tok. I think more and more, video content will move in that direction: short, raw, and authentic. This means it will become more challenging for corporate-type videos to gain traction in this sea of content. For corporates, we will have to think about how this trend will impact our corporate CI and established templates.


4. What do you think are the top 3 factors that are critical for the success of Digital Transformation?


Tech talent is critical for digital transformation, and that’s why there is now a great demand for such professionals, without which it would be very difficult to digitally transform.


Second is the ability to identify what aspect of our business needs to be digitally transformed. If a non-tech solution works just as well, then there will be no incentive to transform digitally.


Lastly, once the talent and the reason are in place, we will need the political will to drive the transformation. Like many changes and disruptions, there will certainly be pushbacks and we need to anticipate them and handle them sensitively.



5. What advice will you give to people taking on a similar role?


There are two things we need to keep in mind for someone playing a regional role. The first is to have a very clear understanding of what our role is as regional marketing vis a vis that of the local team. We need to be able to clearly articulate the role and to actively evaluate and seek out the gaps in how we relate to each other as an individual entity as well as being a part of a wider community of marketing practitioners. By de-duplicating the efforts, we can save a lot of time and resources.


The second thing to bear in mind is for regional teams to be able to articulate the value they bring to the table. If this value is clear and real, then we will be able to work effectively with our local counterparts. And only then will it make better sense for local teams to work closely with us. If not, we risk the danger of dis-intermediation, where the regional team becomes irrelevant.


Thank you Beng Teck for taking out time from your busy schedule to share these wonderful insights with our audience. These will be immensely helpful for budding marketers.


Wrapping Up


That is all that we have for you today. Keep a lookout for our next blog as we continue to share what marketers do. We aim to cover marketers from different countries to get global coverage of what marketers do. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any marketing inputs to share with our audience or if you know someone who’d enjoy doing that.


We’ll soon be back with insights from another marketer. Till then, stay tuned!


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