Marketer sweats for his cause
When pursing his BBA (Hons) degree in marketing at the City University of Hong Kong, Steven Wong Lok-wai was offered the chance to help Otsuka Pharmaceutical HK – makers of the Pocari Sweat drink, among other food and beverage products – carry out a consumer study. In the end, it helped him land a job with the company.
“I did the study as my final-year project. My team and I built a good relationship with the company through working on the project and were later offered job interviews. With the knowledge of the company’s background and its products, I got the offer,” he says.
As a marketing executive, Wong needs to develop strategies to stimulate consumers and their needs in order sell food and beverage products. He does this by studying the market and consumer behaviour, formulating effective marketing plans, and executing advertising, events and PR initiatives.
“One unforgettable encounter was the first time when I hosted a school health seminar with about 1,000 people,” he says. “I put a lot of effort in beforehand studying all the related health information to ensure that my presentation was accurate and informative. I wanted to make it perfect because I was representing my company.”
Wong likes the fact that his company’s mission is the enhancement of human health. “My company doesn’t just manufacture food and beverage products, but also helps people better their health. We have conducted a lot of research to develop unique and creative products with specific functions to improve health. I feel satisfied every time I see consumers benefiting from consuming our products,” he says.
One of his biggest challenges is studying consumer behaviour, as most Hong Kong consumers have limited knowledge of health issues. “We have to put a lot of effort into educational work and conducting research when developing new products. It is also not always easy to fully understand our customers’ needs and implement good strategies to stimulate their wants. With the market flooded with product information and advertisements, it is getting harder to draw consumers’ eyes,” he says.
Wong advises those who want a career in marketing to be good observers and to study how marketers in different industries do their jobs. “Good ideas always come from twisting existing ideas,” he says. “Pay attention to market changes – you can easily access information for a wide range of interesting marketing campaigns around the world through the internet. You should also and be creative – try to lead the market, not just follow.”