We wanted to dig a little deeper into the psyche of the digital mind and decided there was not better way than to quiz those leading the march in digital marketing in Asia. So welcome to the first in a series of digital thought leader/influencer interviews. On a quarterly basis we’ll be reaching out to our network and asking our chosen interviewees to answer three questions in just three minutes (give or take a few seconds). We know you’re all busy folk so we’ve kept it short and punchy!

In our first installment our Director for Greater China speaks to Elisa Harca, Global Client Partner and Regional Director Asia at Red Ant Asia (https://asia.redant.com/).

Where do you see the future of online shopping in China?

“China already is a very strong ecommerce market and Chinese consumers are very comfortable transacting online be in on web, mobile and in social. I see the future converging, where its seamless across big and small transactions online to offline.  Another important aspect of the future will be more personalised CRM programs. Chinese consumers, like most consumers, tend to brand switch regularly, but they are always keen on an offer, a something extra for their support. So, companies that can reward commerce through channel, and better target online will see more loyalty. I also see a lot more niche buying from specialist retailers”. 

What’s the biggest innovation you’ve seen in digital marketing or technology in Asia in 2015?

Mobile marketing and CRM via the power app WeChat has continued to be the most interesting innovation in Asia for me this year. There are lots of other innovations, but why I pick WeChat is that it has such power within it’s customer base, that every time it introduces a new feature, a new experience, it’s audience already trusts it and is ready to give it a try. I think the ability to drive commerce via the WeChat is very powerful and is an innovation that is practical and doesn’t need a proof of concept to show how it works. Whereas other innovations such as the Face Recognition technology being supported by Jack Ma is very interesting and will be very transformation, but this type of innovation needs some time to settle, to demonstrate proof of concept before it gets true adoption and for me, in the work that we do, an innovation becomes most interesting when we start to see true adoption.”

Since moving to Hong Kong what’s been the biggest learning curve as a business leader?

As I run an office in Shanghai and Hong Kong, the biggest learning curve has been being able to balance the time between the two offices to ensure I am able to create a collaborative one-company culture across two very culturally different environments. They are culturally different in terms of working style, work output as well as general culture. The two offices support each other and work together on a number of projects. And, although the teams communicate very effectively daily on we chat, Skype, email and sometimes face to face, the distance can still make them feel like two separate teams. For us, it’s critical that the Red Ant experience for staff & clients is consistent across offices, however, each does also have a slightly different flavour. So, for me it’s been key to find the time to assess the needs and manage them effectively. For example what motivates my Hong Kong team, may differ to what motivates my Shanghai team, but we need to make sure they align.”