As a partnership Marketing Manager of Photobook Worldwide, Stella Ong will be the face of the organization. With that in mind, she will need to have a wide knowledge about the products she handles and a deep understanding of her business as she proposes partnerships with different brands. Not only will she need a thorough understanding of her company, but she will also need to understand her partner’s role, product, and business in order to pursue a partnership together. She currently handles 300 partners with various campaigns and over 50 sponsorships in Photobook Worldwide.
During the interview, we asked her a few questions regarding partnership and the brand, Photobook Worldwide.
- Can you tell us about your role and what you do at Photobook?
My role at Photobook Worldwide is basically identifying and working with other brands that coincide in values, industries & demographic. Mainly, my job is to work on cross-marketing campaigns that would benefit both parties, riding on each party’s base or followers to expand and increase the individual current base. Regularly keeping in touch with existing partners as well as looking for new brand partners is what I am doing as my daily routine. As an e-commerce platform, I work with different brands from online e-commerce companies to brands that have a stronger presence offline. One of the core reasons for working with brands that have a stronger presence offline is to bring the consumers that are offline to the online space.
- Can you tell us a bit about Photobook as a brand? It’s history and It’s brand values?
Photobook Worldwide was established in the year 2005. What commenced within the residing room of our founder, Mark Koay has currently grown into an e-commerce enterprise that has over 90 SKUs, turning in to over one hundred international locations. Photobook Worldwide now has 5 global offices located in Canada, Australia, Philippines, Thailand with the headquarters located in Malaysia. We always believe in turning your moments into beautiful memories and keeping them alive. What we provide to customers is a unique experience in having a product in hand which is personalized and designed by themselves with the use of our online software.
- What does it take to be a successful brand in Southeast Asia?
Being an e-commerce company, we ensure a strong brand presence digitally with the talent of our marketing and digital marketing individual. On top of that, our marketing team designs and curate campaigns and promotions to be driven out through our fantastic CRM team. Our team also works closely with affiliate partners, marketplaces and group purchase whilst I focus more on brand partnerships to carry our brand out to the marketplace. However, marketing is just one part of the business in Photobook Worldwide. To have a successful brand is to have functional departments across the organization. Without our IT team that continuously upgrades the system and software and our customer service team that is always ready to take on queries via the customers, this will not be made possible. Not to mention the production team that works hard to ensure a 7-day delivery to our consumers made possible with our shipping and logistics partners. We all work together in order to give the best service to our customers. Everything will not be able to go smoothly if any of the teams are unable to perform.
- How do you decide when to do a partnership? and which have been the most successful ones.
I identify brands and reach out to them mainly based on the demographics and industries. Sometimes, I go into the mass market as well when it comes to FMCG as they give me a stronger ground/offline presence. Photobook’s main consumer category is usually involved in the travel, weddings and baby category with a good 70% of our consumers being female and the highest percentage comes from the age group between 20-45. Besides that, I do also partner with brands that have a loyalty or rewards platform, for example, Grab Rewards, Celcom, Startreats by Star Media Group.
- How does your company carry out partnerships?
We do have an acquisition product that we use as the cost of acquiring new users. As we know in the e-commerce world, every download is equivalent to a certain dollar and cent. As such, the acquisition of new user download comes in a different way using a partnership. And with every acquisition product that I put out there, I do not just drive an additional download or lead but also negotiate on a brand positioning of Photobook Worldwide in the partner’s platform.
- If you could change one thing about the process of partnerships, what would it be?
To have brands be open about their expectations, what each other can or cannot offer at the beginning of the partnership so that both brands are more aligned on the expectation and delivery.
- What did it take to make Photobook a successful brand?
The e-commerce really did take Photobook Worldwide to another level, enabling us to open our platform to consumers worldwide. With our business growing in specific countries, the management has decided to have a local office to grow the business even further. As such, we have grown into having 5 international offices in Canada, Australia, Philippines, Thailand, with Malaysia being the headquarters. We are also hoping to set up an office in Indonesia. This was made possible with the leadership of our founder Mark and our co-founder Wee Jonn and of course a strong team that contributes to the success of the organization.
- How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
We always ensure that we’re running and keeping an eye on our competitors and their offerings. We have a specific product team that continuously research and creates new products that are interesting and we introduce them to the consumers. With a dynamic team and a focus on getting products that consumers love, we always strive to be ahead in the market.
- What is one interesting insight you have as the Partnership Marketing Manager?
As a Partnership Marketing Manager, I’m the face of the organization when I meet other brands out there. With that, it means the individual will need to have product knowledge wide enough to handle queries and a deep business understanding to propose partnerships. An interesting thing about the role is that, you do not just need to understand your own product and business, you would also need to have knowledge of your partner’s role, product, and business in order to work on a partnership together. This job allows you to grow in knowledge as well as your network of partners.
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