The Agency Interview: 19 Questions With Koyi Wu

February 15, 2017

The Agency Interview: 19 Questions With Koyi Wu

Koyi Wu is Head of Digital at OMD in Hong Kong. In the latest LinkedIn Agency Interview, Wu asserts that she prefers to view the world of media as multi-screen rather than just mobile, welcomes the era of personalized, one-to-one marketing, and shares her top-secret superpower and her favorite cartoon character. We asked her 19 questions. Here are her 19 answers.

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Sausage McMuffin with Egg at McDonalds’ – one of my favorite clients at OMD.

What’s the industry buzzword that annoys you the most these days?

“Mobile is king.” To me, mobile shouldn’t be singled out and treated as a silo media. People nowadays are multi-screen users across TV, smartphone, tablet, desktop, etc. Therefore, mobile is ONLY acting as the bridge, but it’s not the king. Multi-screen is the truth.

Where do you think the future of programmatic ad buying is headed, particularly for b2b?

The ultimate future is all about one-on-one marketing/personalized marketing, and the key technical driver of achieving this goal is through programmatic technology.” No matter whether it is B2B or B2C, the key challenge is how we find the right audience and serve them the right creative, at the right time, in the right channel.

What’s the last great book you read? Why was it great?

A book called “Worthy,” which is written by a Hong Kong pop artist, Sammi Cheng. She shared her real stories of going through a downturn in her life and how she overcame it. There are lots of inspiring books to share bright side of people’s success. But I particularly like to learn about some dark side stories. Life has lots of up and down moments, and the way we manage the downside could make us even stronger. I really like this book, which gave me lots of practical and spiritual inspiration.  

What’s the biggest change in the agency business since you started?

I’ve spent my fruitful seven years with OMD HK since 2010, and the agency business has changed a lot because of digital. Seven years ago, only the digital team was tasked to work on digital. Seven years later, we have the whole company to embrace digital, from top senior management to bottom junior people, from the traditional planning team and buying team to the digital team and specialist team.

How have you (and your agency) adapted?

We as an agency try to adopt a “fearless” approach, and the immediate focus is to re-shape our internal team structure and make sure everyone in the OMD family is clear with their newly assigned role & responsibility:

  • Planning team: Not just look after traditional offline media like TV, Print, Outdoor, but also evolve themselves to manage wider offline & digital integration
  • Buying team: Not just manage traditional offline media buying, but also evolve themselves to new digital buying like “paid social” (it’s also buying but with bidding focus)
  • Digital team: Still 100 percent dedication on digital, and yet take up the digital driver role to craft advanced digital strategy for our digitally savvy clients
  • Specialist team: Focus themselves on specialized areas such as programmatic, paid social and search, content marketin.

What’s your proudest moment in business?

I was luckily enough to be nominated and awarded as “Young Achiever of the Year” and “40 under 40” from Campaign Asia back in 2014. That was a signature milestone in my career.

What’s the most important way the rise of social media, from YouTube to Facebook to LinkedIn, has changed the way companies reach their audiences?

All of these leading social platforms changed the way that advertisers and agencies talk to our audiences. Each social platform has its unique audience data, and we’re able to make good use of this data and to find out audience reach size before we run a campaign. In other words, it helps us to move away from traditional “impression buy.” Now, we should talk about “unique audience buy,” but not “impression/CPM.”

Digital ad spending is poised to surpass TV ad spending. Is this a problem for agencies or an opportunity?

I think this is an opportunity, and I still believe an offline medium like TV still plays a strong role in communication. At the end of the day, we should look at which group of audiences we’re targeting, and their behavioral footprints will guide our investment between offline and digital channels. I’m sure that some categories are still TV focused; whereas some are more digital focus. With the increasing power of digital, some may even forecast that one day we may use programmatic way to buy TV spots, which is already beginning to happen in the U.S.

Is content marketing an evolution or a revolution?

I think is both. Influencer marketing is going through evolution. A few years ago, we just talked about bloggers, and now we also have YouTubers. In the meantime, content marketing is also taking an important revolutionary role: It’s heavily challenging the role of traditional display. Native ads are one of the examples how content marketing influences the changes in display.

How has the availability of data changed marketing (or not)?

Yes. By combining first-party data, second-party data, and third-party data, we’re able to better understand our target audience and to serve them the right creative, at the right time, in the right channels. Imagine, we can serve specific creative to those who have purchased our products and another new set of creative to those who have never purchased our products. Data is the key driver for us to pursue one-to-one marketing/personalized marketing.

How do you use LinkedIn — for networking? For content marketing? Searching for talent? For sales prospecting? For staying abreast of news?

I’m a big LinkedIn fans to be very honest, and I use this for various purpose like below:

  • Checkout hot digital news on my LinkedIn feed.
  • Look for potential digital talent who might be relevant to join my company.
  • Connect with potential digital vendors in town, be it in Hong Kong or nationwide.
  • Keep up with job changes, so I’m aware of who switched to which company

How do you use LinkedIn advertising for your clients, and what’s working well for them?

The key value for LinkedIn is the premium audience profile data. We can have our clients make good use of this data to talk to their potential customers. For example, we’re able to identify “frequent business travelers” from LinkedIn platform and to serve them relevant ads for our airline clients.

What is your top-secret superpower?

My name – Koyi and its secret core value behind. K stands for “Keep,” O stands for “Ongoing,” and YI stands for “A Smiling Symbol.” There are too many ups and downs in our life, and I always remind myself to “Keep Ongoing and be happy along my life journey,” and this defines who I am today.

If you weren't at OMD, what would you be doing?

I guess I will most likely be a digital marketing lecturer at universities in Hong Kong. Two years ago, I started my first part time teaching at HKUSPACE, and I found it really interesting. I love engaging with my students. Being teacher is one of my dreams when I was very young.

What is your favorite cartoon character and why?

James P Sullivan from Monsters University. Sully is the biggest monster and the main character in the movie. I like his easy-going character and how he gets along with his friend — Mike Wazowsk and the rest of monsters. You know what, when you like something, it’s hard to tell exact reason and what I can say to you is – I’m just loving it.  

Best movie ever. Go:

“The Intern”

What's your most annoying habit?

Impatience. I hate waiting, I hate inefficiency.

What jobs did you have in high school and what lessons did you learn from them that you still put into practice today?

I was the student helper for my school professor at City University of Hong Kong, and I learned about the importance of double and triple checking. This is something I still keep it at work today to make sure all work I sent out to my clients/colleagues are correct, and I would say this is the key foundation step to build mutual trust with others.

What are you most looking forward to in 2017?

The fight for “Digital Agency of the Year” for OMD HK together with our fantastic team!

You can see previous installments in the Agency Interview series here.

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