5 Malaysia Digital Trends Predictions for 2019

The pace of how fast things are going makes the digital industry in constant fluid flow – adapting and improving at every chance given. Everyone is trying to seek out to be the new “Pink Unicorn”.

However with all the new technologies like like machine learnings, smart speakers, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and much more makes it a constant chase for people in the digital industry to stay a float.

So what do we have coming in 2019? These are my top 5 predictions for Digital Trends for 2019.

1. Growth in Live Videos Platform

Years ago when reality TV was introduced, it provided users with the concept for a more genuine and authentic experience when watching TV. That boom brought many new experiences and engagements to audiences.

Just like reality TV years ago, Live Video will change the way people consume information. An uncensored and authentic experience where no editing and cutouts are involved creates a video with the feeling of being there without having the need to be there (something the industry has been striving to since day 1).

The best part about Live Videos is that it’s capability to provide immediate gratification where it can provide a two way conversation in real time. In a generation who wants everything “now”, Live Videos opens new doors to its current younger generation.

2. Business Driven by Data Driven Decisions

Data Driven Decisions is nothing new and I’ve also created a number of videos back about it. However, last year we saw a lot of business (Both Digital and Non-Digital) began to collecting data and trying to make sence of what it can do. Some have began investing in their own Machine Learning and Data Scientists to make sence of the numbers and I believe this would only expand even deeper!

In 2019, with the help of all the Machine Learning and Data Scientist, I forsee businesses to be driven less by Demographic Data (Age, Gender, Location), but moving forward with Intention Data (Interest in a product, user behaviour and actions).

An estimate of 80% of Marketing is lost when focused on Demographic Data as it only encompass the group of people who fit within the demographic trend. The remaining 80% of users are scattered around the different demographics, but can be seen in their Intention.

3. Rise of Stories

Generation Z can be seen to be avoiding Facebook like a plague – after all, who would want to have photos of them as little kids uploaded by their parents – follow them around with their cool friends right? I know I myself would not want that.

Stories provide and an opportunity for users to have a 24 hour post without having it trail and follow them for life. This also give a very interesting consumption as users only need to consume tiny bits of content in each story and are required to consume it within 24 hours.

Despite the drop in Snapchat users due to Facebook+Instagram’s monster move to include Stories in their platforms, I do foresee all platform still would play an important role with different user base.

4. Micro-influencers Taking Charge

We have seen the past few years evolve from Bloggers to Video Influencers. The best part about being a digital influencer is that you can be one at any age, anywhere! Local universities have also start giving out scholarships to digital influencers by it’s following just like how we used to fight for them with A’s in our exams.

That being said, with the influx of digital influencers which are able to bring up awareness of a product, this also brings up the question of genuinity. Just like Live Videos, people are seeking a more genuine online experience without the need of being forced advertised content. This is where micro-influencers come in.

Micro-influencers on the other hand can be people around us – a friend, a friend of a friend, an uncle, a cousin… anyone! These people can provide a genuine-close to home influence which brings us through the final mile of products. Authentic reviews and ratings are going play a key role moving forward.

Won’t you rather buy something your friend vogues for?

5. Personalization of Products

Personalization of Product increases the enjoyment of the product and at the same time minimise time wasted on irrelevant content. A good way to look at it is Netflix, once you’ve clocked in enough hours, Netflix personalizes it’s homescreen to adapt to what you enjoy watching.

With the expansion on Data Driven Decisions, it is only natural for Digital Businesses to begin personalizing itself to its users.

 

As much as I would like to include Smart Speakers being the next trend in digital consumption, I do have a concern of its expansion in Malaysia, Indonesia or Thailand. A “plus one” I would like to include in this list would be Smart Speakers and for businesses to prepare to adapt to Amazon Echo and Google Home. Recently with Proton’s own release of the X70 with a subscription of 5 years worth of internet inside the car, I can only see amazing things coming with Smart Speakers.

Conclusion?

As we move to a more immersive experience online in 2019, I believe it’s only key for us to start using data to assist us in creating better decisions. Decisions which can build trust and improve the enjoyability of the product. Product which at the end of it all is Genuine.

The Dreamer, Realist and Critique

One of the toughest part of being involved in business strategy decisions is balancing being a dreamer, realist and critique. In generally each individual would tend to slide to one or the other.

Back when I was doing my NLP Practitioner certification, we were told how Walt Disney was an amazing Dreamer, Realist and Critique. He was one of the few people who could shift between hats when the situation needs him to be.

The Dreamer
Looks into possibilities and benefits of an idea. The worlds their oyster!

The Realist
Looks into the how and execution of an idea.

The Critique 
Looks into the flaws and risk involved. The devils advocate.

Over the past few weeks of having a number of upcoming products, I constantly find contradicting myself and jumping between roles.

In The Dreamer’s hat, I find myself open to ideas and very eager to explore. Many ideas would gather up and it is fantastic for brainstorming. A good night sleep the night before and a clear head is best to dream up ideas. That being said, it’s very easy to get caught up in the dream where we forget the execution and risks involved.

In the Realist hat, I do find it natural as a progression from dream to paint out the execution plan. The resources needed, the time frame for deliverables, the stakeholders expectations. Experience and subject matter plays a big role in the flow. Jumping into execution too early may create  gaps in the dream, hence do take time to dream.

The Critique is the one I personally struggle with the most. Often time comes out at too early or too late. Too early and it begins to shut down ideas, however I’ve learnt that too late (even a day later) can still be helpful. There were many times, I’ve reverted on an idea the day later because the critique hat only came in the night after the discussion. One of the biggest problem with the Critique hat is it being driven by emotions and not facts. Hence, taking a step back is an important step before putting on the critique hat.

I believe each hats wears differently on different people and I’m still finding my balance between hats. However, one thing I do believe is that each hat does carry it’s value and should be put on at the right time. Timing is key.

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Data Driven Decisions – Why Businesses Fail to use Data

When we were kids, we were told not to touch the hot boiling kettle. For some of us, we heeded those warnings from our parents, and for some of us… we went ahead and touched the hot kettle. We all learn and decide on our actions in very different ways. However, why is it that despite having these data; or warnings of the hot kettle,… we still proceed in touching the HBT (Hot Boiling Kettle)?

1. Don’t know what data is need. Often time when it comes to a business environment, a lot of things seems far more complex compared to just touching a HBT. Identifying what data holds ground in your decisions may fall into 3 categories –  Goal, Change, Growth.

Goal – Focus on learning data on driving your business closer to it’s goals.
Change – Define gaps and areas of business improvements.
Growth – Actionable and predictive data to build reach for Goals.
*More on this in a future post.

The key is to identify data needed to reach each of your business Goals; what gaps can be seen to build that Change and what action and predictive data can push you towards the Goals.

2. Data is not at hand when needed. When we walk into that meeting room, often times we don’t go in prepared with the data we need, and most likely, need for data might suddenly appeared during the meeting and we might not have it well prepared. It is very important to have these data at hand to get quick actionable data.

Years ago when I was in Product Marketing for a Japanese Consumer Product, we had yearly discussions about what product we would like to bring in for each country. We would prepare our past sales data to help us decide on our future product, however during each meeting there is bound to be something new – A new colour, a new feature. This lead to a lot of speculation on our side as we did not have data at hand when it was needed.

3. Data is not fresh.  The HBT won’t stay hot forever (unless you leave it on the stove). Data has it’s own validity period and often data slides on a lot of factors like period of time, events and individuals. Getting Data is just like getting a Hot Lead, it’s good when it’s fresh or relevant.

Trends can change in a blink of an eye. Towards the end of last year, Perodua released a new Myvi which had features worth drooling over for it’s price range. This release, shook up the whole lower price segment cars and also the imported B-segment cars which were in a far higher price range. The Proton took this as an opportunity, and started marketing their similar price range model directly to Myvi clients, pulling part of the Perodua’s attention back to Proton.

Another example for this is when looking at Car Buyers who are interested in buying a new car. One would like to assume that during festive seasons in Malaysia like Hari Raya, Chinese New Year and Christmas would bring in high number of sales. However, this is true partially as depending on the year and the economic situation, Hari Raya tends to has far more car buyers compared to Chinese New Year.

4. Assuming numbers are just numbers. The worse case to be in is having the numbers, but not knowing what to do with it. One of the biggest challenge to implementing Data Driven Decisions is the bring meaning to data. Sometimes it could be a simple as organising the data into bite sized chunks while other times it could be mixing and matching several data sets together.

Regardless of which, I believe it should always start with the Goal in mind. By placing the goal forward, it not only gives us direction of how the Data could be sorted but also gives us visibility to the gaps we need to fill.

 

Labelling that the kettle is always hot might not be the right way to go around it, nor should one person completely avoid touching the kettle at all because it is hot. But it’s about having data at hand to tell you how long it would take to cool down, where is the right place to hold the kettle and what can you make with the kettle.

We collect data all the time throughout our day. Making use of that Data might seem daunting at first, but it’s a good start to have.  At the start of the day, we all want our cup of coffee, and to get that coffee we need to pick up that kettle and boil some Data.

For more info for Automotive Data in Asia, do check out http://icardata.icarasia.com

You and Who You Want To Be.

There is this grey area which a lot of us fall into. We have aspirations and goals to be someone, achieve something or be known for our acomplishments.  There is this tension between who we are right now, and who we want to be which often times causes us to be blind to what we have achieved thus far.

Looking back at the past few months, time went by so fast that my mind still thinks it is early May, but in fact it’s coming to the last week of the month. There has been much changes; new tensions strings added, extra load added and a new higher horse powered engine added, however even after all that, I’m still in a state of tension of being between who I am and who I want to be.

It is only when we take a step back, stop for a moment to organise all these thoughts and look back at the journey we have embarked on we actually see how far we have left our grounds, but it’s only when we acknowledge are already here… only then we are who we want to be.

Acknowledging success is one of the most difficult things to do as often times we expand our aspirations and goals as we grow, but that does not mean you’ve not become who you’ve wanted to be.

If you are Early, you are On Time!

“If you are early, you are on time.
If you are on time, you are late.
If you are late, you’ll be left behind”
-Quantum Education Group

I think one of my biggest pet peeve is being late. Not only do I get very agitated if I’m late myself, but if others are late as well. Thinking of each minute that goes by being late just crawls up my spine and stabs me each second tick of the clock. Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration

One of my early job was with Quantum Education Group where I got that quote from, I find it very true.

If you are early, you are on time.
Being early gives you the time to prepare yourself before the meeting. Sometimes it’s just to get that cup of coffee before the meeting to chill, sometimes it’s setting up the projector before the meeting. However, being early gives you all those opportunities and sets you at the right state of mind before the start.

If you are on time, you are late.
If your meeting starts at 10.30am and you reach banging open the door at 10.30am, you are late. All the preparation time goes out the window and you’ll have to start immediately. There’s a reason why Google Calendar reminds us about our meetings 10min before it starts.

If you are late, you’ll be left behind.
Time waits for no man, and so should anyone. Everyone has 24 hours a day, and getting someone to wait for you is literally saying that your 24 hours is more important than theirs when they wait for you.

I do understand the current trend where employees believe in flexible hours, however maybe the old dog in me still believes in starting work early before time starts. Get ready for the work day and then start.

Data Driven Decisions: Power of Intent

In the era of Big Data and huge chunk of consumer information; making the most effective decision to reach the target customers of choice has never been this effective with Intent Data.

For a long time, marketing teams have been using demographics as a proxy for people who might have somewhat of an interest in products. However, research have shown that if marketing is done base on demographics, marketers are at risk of loosing more than 70% of their potential customers (Millward Brown Digital, 2015).

An example to look into is that if we were to think of foot ball customers. Demographics of which would probably look Male dominated and a fairly young age. However, are there females who like foot ball as well? will there be people of junior years interested in foot ball.  If we take a step back and look at intent instead, we look at people interested in foot ball regardless of demographics.

This is alarming because to date, many big organisation still rely on demographic data to make decisions.

In iCarAsia, we are currently working on building up our iCarData – Asia’s Automotive Big Data source which provides intent data on multiple stages of a car buyer. Knowing that car buyers take time in deciding a car, each stage of a car buyer portraits a different intent which needs to be fulfilled.

For more info about iCarData, visit: http://icardata.icarasia.com/

 

Why do you wake up in the Morning?

The question “Why do you wake up in the morning?” is a question toss up so frequently when asking someone about the self-purpose of an individual. However, 8/10 times people would say that they wake up because they need to earn a living. Not that the answer is given is wrong, but often times surface level reasoning does not dictate a person’s self-purpose.

When looking into our own self-purpose, it is often like peeling opening layers and layers of onions before you can find that sweet center.

Sure, we all want to make a living, but what do you make a living for? If that’s the reason you work so hard to earn a living, why is that important for you?

One easy technique created by Taiichi Ohno – the father of Toyota’s Production System which was built to determine the root cause and effect is the 5 Whys.

Why do you wake up in the morning? Because the alarm clock rang and I had to go to to work.
Why do you go to work? To earn a living and pay for my bills.
Why do you need to earn a living? Because the are other people dependant on me.
Why are people dependant on you? Because I want them to be able to live a comfortable life, better than what I had before. 
Why is that important to you? It’s something which I did not have in the past, but I believe I can create a better life for others.

It’s far more than just asking “Why? Why? Why?”, but is asking it purposefully until a self-purpose is found.

Looking at the surface answers can often be very demotivating. Nobody should wake up in the morning thinking that their sole purpose is only to go to work. Wake up because, you are creating something align to your self-purpose.

It is important to find out our Self-Purpose to not only give us a compass in our lives, but to give us the burning fire to live our lives to it’s best.

Late Night Swimming – 4 Lessons in Goals

Lately I’ve been taking a liking towards swimming in the evening. Something about the dark, cooling and quiet atmosphere which just gives a sense of calm and relaxation. Part of which, I do take time to count the amount of time I spend in the pool by the number of laps as well as bench mark it compared to my previous swim… and by all means, I’m quite poor at my laps.

However, that ONE lap seemed like an eternity when I first started swimming and I started wondering when it would end. Breath by breath I could only see what blur of a vision of what’s in front of me. I started counting each stroke as if knowing at stroke 100, I would have arrived at the end… hopefully still breathing.

But that’s the same thing in lift isn’t it? We all have life goals, aspirations and dreams and often times it seems so far fetch.

1. Pace yourself. The first time I got in, I wanted to be fast and killed myself half way through. Don’t rush through the process, but enjoy and learn from it. The reason that path is there heading towards your goals is so that we grow into our goals. Rushing creates friction, friction creates fire, fire can be good… just don’t burn out.

2. Small Goals. The big goal is a mile away, and we need smaller milestones to for 2 main reasons – 1) To make sure we are heading to the right direction. 2) Small wins to keep us motivated. Nobody wants to swim half way through to only know that they got nowhere.

3. Trust the 2 meters. We can’t always see far into the future. Most often, we can come up with plans and not always would the follow through. That’s just life and that’s where we always need our small goals and adjust accordingly as we move forward in life, but while in it… trust and move forward.

4. Celebrate wins. Always take time to celebrate a win, no matter how small it is. It could be just a rest to enjoy the view or a cup of coffee in the morning or go for that vacation you’ve been longing for. Life is too short to be always swimming, sometimes all we need is to just take a break and enjoy the breeze.

 

Since we were kids, there is always that BIG END GAME we would look forward to, may it be the UPSR exam or the SPM exam or getting the Degree, and it’s something somewhat engrained in us, and that’s where an extra…

5. There is always lap 2. Don’t worry that you won’t know what to do next after you’ve reached your goal. There’s always another mile in front and another mountain to climb.