Behind The Scenes Of Event Planning and Brand Building
At EventNook, we witness the start and finish of numerous events and the evolution of many brands. From business conferences to musical festivals, what is constant for these various events is the never ending hard work involved in its planning, much like the marketing efforts of different brands. How do you plan a successful event? What is it like to build a brand name for a company? We reached out to some of these professionals to share their stories.
Will Lee – Founder of That Marketing Guy
Will Lee is the founder of That Marketing Guy, a marketing consultancy that believes that all brands deserve good marketing. Founded in 2012, That Marketing Guy has since worked with locally known organisations such as NTUC, Tower Transit Singapore, Auston Institute of Management, Society for the Physically Disabled, Spa Esprit Group and Fatboy’s. As its Principal Consultant, Will is responsible for the internal brand development, marketing strategy, and the overall management and execution of campaigns. We spoke to him and asked him a few questions about That Marketing Guy, here’s what he said.
How did you come to name your company That Marketing Guy?
In my previous employment, I had a chat with the CEO during an internal “get to know you” session about how the company’s efforts at marketing weren’t successful. At the time, I was just a Junior Executive, but I highlighted what the company could be doing better and the CEO took note of it. As one of many employees, he couldn’t remember my name but he remembered my ideas. So from then on, when he needed to look me up he referred to me as “that marketing guy”. It became a name that fit perfectly with what I wanted my consultancy to be. We want to be “that marketing guy” for other companies.
What does your schedule of a busy day look like?
Every day is different! My schedule varies and each day has different levels of business as I don’t really follow the 9-5 schedule. I usually have meetings with clients (both prospective and current) or partners that go on throughout the morning and afternoon. After my meetings are done for the day I tend to emails well into the evening, before going to dinner, then home. It’s usually at night that I plan for the week and check on what’s been done or what needs to be done.
If I don’t have any meetings (which is very rare), you’ll find me in the office with my team, strategizing.
What are the important qualities you look for in your team members and the people you work with?
When it comes to team members, I look for people who can bring something to the discussion table; I’m big on diversity of skills, interests, and opinions. I like it when there are (manageable) conflicts within the team as I believe it’s these sorts of situations that ignite creativity.
When it comes to clients, I prefer down to earth individuals who have a clear idea of their goals and what they want to achieve. I look for clients who believe their company/business can add value to society, with making money simply being a byproduct of that value-add.
What do you do to help you generate fresh ideas for the companies you work with?
I always open myself to marketing ideas from other sectors, and I read a lot of news from other industries like PR, design, advertising, etc. and try and see how I could adapt their strategies for marketing. I also like to ask my team about their thoughts on campaigns to get different opinions on what works and what doesn’t. But no matter where I am or what I’m doing, I’m always thinking about marketing. Whether it’s a photo or a friend telling a story, I’m always looking at the marketing angle of things so I’ve always got lots of ideas brewing.
What was one memorable lesson you learned through personal experience during the course of your career? What happened?
It’s hard for me to choose just one lesson as I’ve had many important experiences that have helped me get to where I am today and there’s lots of little anecdotes. I guess it depends on who I’m speaking to. If a fellow entrepreneur asked me this, I’d tell them to just go for it. Whatever they want to do, just do it and if you fail, you fail but at least you now you know. But I guess what I’ve learned from my years in the working world is that SMEs need support because they don’t have access to the big bucks the way the big companies or MNCs do, so I want to help them with that.
If you were given time to do anything you wanted without work obligations, what would you do?
Honestly, I’d want to run a lemonade stand (or a cafe or stall, something small and cosy) and apply what I know about marketing to make it the best damn lemonade stand in Singapore.
What is your favourite quote?
“Believe and it shall become” — ‘nuff said.
What is one piece of advice you wish you had received when you first started out your career?
I would tell me 10 years ago that everything happens for a reason, so don’t get disheartened. No matter what’s happened, retrospect will show that it all makes sense.
What are the changes you’d like to make to the industry through That Marketing Guy?
I really hope that smaller businesses in Singapore can be kept alive; that they can survive in the face of behemoth chains and businesses. I think this can be achieved if Singapore embraces marketing more, and with That Marketing Guy I want to show that marketing is more than just design or PR or social media — it’s all of that and none of that depending on a business’ needs. I want to show that good marketing brings results, but you need to have a specialised marketing plan in order to be successful in it.
We’d like to thank Will Lee for participating. Please stay tuned for our upcoming interview series posts every week!
Event Management Software company, EventNook is an online event registration & ticketing platform where organisers can set up and customise their very own event page. Through it, organisers can collect attendees’ information and their payment using a real-time dashboard. Features such as Automated Email Confirmation and QR Code Check-In make the job of event organisers much easier and more efficient. Recently, EventNook launched an Event Venues Directory which provides information on more than 5,000 venues in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Hong Kong, making one of the best places on the web to look for venues in South East Asia.