Welcome to the latest edition of #MEETTHETEAM! Meet our new Director of Global Business Operations. Welcome to the team Elena!

Why did you choose Audience2Media as your next professional step?

I see my career path as a “series of software updates” – a term I have borrowed from an author Aliza Knox. My previous experiences cover Media planning, analytics and ad operations – these I would have grouped in “Elena 1.0” thereafter I may have grown to get my hands dirty in “business development, account management, strategic planning” – which falls under 2.0, and on then the client end in the 3.0 version of myself where I dabbled into brand marketing, digital marketing, retail marketing, every-marketing. So, when I was given the opportunity to work with Audience2Media, and seeing it’s vast potential to grow and contribute to a dynamic industry, I knew it was not just something I wanted to be a part of given the experiences I had – to share, to learn and to connect; it was also something I envision building for Elena 4.0 in the future.

Why do you think influencer marketing is so popular, particularly in Malaysia?

Influencer marketing is so popular here in Malaysia because we are all the connections that we make in this world we live in. Whether it’s the waiter this morning that you just called “bro” or the Grab Driver you called “uncle”. Putting human elements and voices into the ad space creates that relevance and warmth that all Malaysians are familiar with. The ad industry has grown from impressions, views and clicks, to creating, communicating and connecting – just so that we can “stick” better with audiences of the brands.

What in your view are the main challenges for agencies and advertisers working within the influencer marketing space right now?

I think one of the main challenges is finding a common ground between advertisers and agencies when it comes to sales, brand building, and creating content that connects with the influencers in the market. It’s like sitting a see saw, you can have so many eyeballs on one end (high), but if there’s zero affinity on the other end, it gives no feasible value to advertisers, agencies, influencers and everyone.  The balance is what is key and there is so much room to explore what works and what does not.

In your opinion, what do you think is important for a brand when creating a holistic brand plan?

Malaysians love a good story and experience. From the origins of our country to the flavour of our food. So, if I think about what is important in creating a holistic brand plan, it’s Structure. A brand can leverage on all sorts of media – be on the biggest billboards, have the clearest digital marketing strategy, have 3 different KPIs, engage with 50 influencers, come up with 4 eye-catching social postings on a weekly basis 12 months in a row. But without a proper structure, we would then fail to craft a story/message that sticks with the hearts of Malaysians.

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