Have you ever wondered what our Marketing Art Director does? Let Mr. Edward Lum tell you more about it.
1. What are your key tasks as a Marketing Art Director at Innity Malaysia?
As a Marketing Art Director, my task includes the managing Innity’s brands across all marketing activities as well as leading both Marketing and Creative team in their functions across all our businesses.
2. What comprises a typical day for you?
This is how my typical day would be like:Get myself to the office
Check the list of things I need to deliver
Deliver what needs to be delivered
Coffee (lots of em)
Ciggy break(gotta be healthy… don’t be like me)
Lost in my thoughts
Food (enough for a hungry tummy)
Get myself home
All above in random order.
3. How did you land at Innity?
Navigating through a space-time wormhole in a ship from the future… Alright I wish that was the case as it is much more exciting but alas I would have to attribute it to a greater power of a mysterious concept called “fate”.
I was fresh out of college working in a well-known online entertainment publisher as a web designer before Innity (era of 2000, a lot of things happened then such as the millennium bug…)
Then the Dot Com crash and I found myself in the second batch of retrenchment list. (To my own consolation, at least I am not the first batch… lol)
As I was scouting for jobs, one of my cousins passed me a contact which he said has a spot for a web designer. I called them up and arranged for an interview not knowing that company’s name or background and that’s the story of how I became an Innitian.
4. What’s the best thing about your job role?
There was no predecessor before me in my role, so the best thing about that is I can be flexible and adventurous in experimenting with different kinds of methods and fine tuning the processes for all others to follow. And I honestly have to be thankful to my bosses for giving me the trust and guiding me whenever I face some blocks along the way. REAL FUN FACT: before I was titled Marketing Art Director; my boss was thinking of the title of Information Designer. (Boss, can I change my title to something else? Perhaps Marketing Samurai? Lol…M.A.D is making me loony..)
5. In your opinion, what are the differences between working as a Marketing Art Director in an ad tech company compare to other companies, such as creative agencies?
I don’t think there is an apple to apple comparison but in terms of Art Director, I believe we are somewhat similar. (Sometimes, my sales peeps would refer to me as their Creative Director… but titles doesn’t matter much) The difference lies in our alignment as a company. For creative agencies, they would basically want to be recognized as the most creative ones but for me, it’s much more logical with innovation constantly in mind. I need accountability and measurements for the work I deliver. So that being said, I believe the clear difference is the love for technology rather than just art. By understanding both, we can deliver the best possible solutions.
6. Following the above question, what are the challenges you come across while working in an ad tech company?
A lot of my challenges is dealing with the unknown unknowns. Technology today develops so fast that it goes obsolete as soon as you have just mastered one aspect. You just have to keep on tackling them like a newcomer. There is always room for improvement. The things you do right now may be wrong in the future.
7. Can you tell us about your passion for digital advertising and why you chose this industry?
I didn’t consciously choose this industry, but as like all relationships, love grows when you invest time and effort on it. At first when I started, my core passion was for the creative, as I evolved, my passion evolved with me, but my core was still to be creative in many ways and digital marketing media served as a platform for me to continuously remain true to myself.
8. How do you manage to keep up with the new trends of the industry?
I believe people are the main source of information (trusted or not…). You need to be involved with people in the industry in order to get the latest news, else you need to read, watch and listen to news related to your industry. I’m lucky that Innitians are people that are passionate about this industry and therefore I am able to keep myself up to date with the latest trends of the industry.
9. Any advice to give to those who are interested in starting a career in the Creative and Marketing Department?
I have a lot of advice in my head but well…, for starters, be passionate. Don’t simply follow your passion but bring passion into all the things you do. And most importantly is to know that sacrifice is needed to achieve greater things. Don’t be calculative and learn to spot opportunities in the face of adversity. You will learn more through mistakes than anything else. Be open- minded and adventurous.
We need people who do things right and most importantly do the right things.
10. As a director in your departments, how do you maintain a good working relationship with both of the teams to ensure everyone works happily and productively?
Honestly I have no proven method of ensuring everyone is able to be consistently happy and productive. I have to trust in their capacity to handle themselves as they see fit. I can only show them the path, but they need to walk it on their own.
I hope that more than being happy, they are able to grow themselves to be greater than myself, as I can only see potential in all my teams. Potential is limitless.
But aside from that, having them involved in improving operating procedures does help. Giving due recognition and gratitude goes a long way. Owning up to mistakes and being candour while treating them with respect is essential.
11. How do you maintain work-life balance?
Hmmm… Good question. Are we not living when we are working? What if we remove work out of the equation? For me the line has long been blurred when I stopped separating work with life but started accepting the things I do as part of my life. Some call it career, I like to call it living by the way I choose. But all things considered, I believe the key lies in the people around you. I’m blessed to have a family that understands that my line of work requires tolerance in terms of urgent situations and I have to balance that with spending quality time with them. So it’s not equal time but values in time that helps me maintain some sort of balance. No matter what, time stops for no one.
12. A must-read for everyone especially those in their 20’s?
For the ones seeking enlightenment, I would suggest 2 books, Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. If you seek self-improvement in career and business, Linchpin: Are you Indispensable? by Seth Godin. On company culture, have a go at Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh. If it’s about people and self-awareness; The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli. For processes and methods of a big giant brand, pick up Design to Grow: How Coca-Cola Learned to Combine Scale and Agility (and How You Can Too) by David Butler. And for the creatives, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull. The list goes on… but I am gonna stop here.
13. What is it like to be an Innitian?
Well having been of service to Innity for more than 13 years, I think of Innity as part of my extended family. I have the honour of meeting various Innitians from different countries and backgrounds. Innity has evolved countless times and we evolve together with Innity. As an Innitian, I truly believe that we got to learn how to be as agile as you can and courageous to go into the unknown. Work hard, play hard and never stop learning.