Opinion

24 Hours with… Low Bee Yin, marketing director of Courts Malaysia

Low Bee Yin24 Hours With… spotlights the working day of some of the most interesting people in Mumbrella Asia’s world. Today, we hear about a day in the life of Low Bee Yin, the marketing director of Courts Malaysia.

6.00am. My alarm rings and I get out of bed almost immediately. I’ve always been a light sleeper, so it doesn’t take much to wake me up.

7.00am. Part of the morning routine involves dropping my daughter at school – she’s 14, but has grown wise beyond her years. We talk about what she’s up to at school with her friends.

Jalan Tun Razak

Jalan Tun Razak

7.30am. The commute begins. I’m on one of the busiest roads in Kuala Lumpur: Jalan Tun Razak. One of the benefits of getting in early is that the traffic isn’t as bad as it usually is. I arrive just in time at Courts Setapak – my office – ready to start my day.

7.45am. The best part about getting in early is having peace and quiet to sort out my schedule, clear my emails and have breakfast, which I’ve packed from home. 

9.00am. Although my colleagues are just coming into the office, I’m all ready for my meeting at 9.30am. There are a few latecomers, but I understand – it is tough having to battle the traffic to Setapak in the morning. But as long as they perform at work, I’m okay.

9.30am. The first order of the day is our weekly work-in-progress meetings, during which we review the weekly media ad campaign and CRM deliverables. This is the time I give the team feedback on the uptake of the content, so that they can revise it accordingly for a presentation at the Commercial Team meeting in the afternoon.

Tim Luce

Tim Luce

11.00am. I meet with the senior leadership team including Tim Luce, our acting CEO and our brand leads. Our schedule for June 2016 is packed. There is a lot planned including a media luncheon, the re-launch of our Megastore at Sri Damansara, and a Hari Raya campaign.

12.00pm. I do get to have laid back lunches with my team occasionally, but today is a working lunch to go over our weekly sales performances at individual stores, product categories and credit marketing. This is when we discuss promotions that are offered to regulate the sales performance. The Head of Buyers will also share on what hero deals and suppliers’ promotions for the week or the month are being planned.

1.30pm. The revised ad campaigns and CRM deliverables are presented to the Commercial Team. Once we get acknowledgment from all key stakeholders on the marketing support for the week/month, the team will send the plan to the respective creative agencies and vendors for execution, and to the media houses for placement the next day.

Lisa and Harith from Courts2.05pm. I stop for a meet-and-greet with our brand ambassadors Harith Iskander and Lisa Surihani who have been here since 1pm for a photoshoot with the team for our new brand campaign – Memang Senang (It’s Easy) and Raya.

2.20pm. A quick meeting with the team in charge of the digital front of our business – courts.com.myOur website is pretty new for us, since we launched it in November last year. There will be many more meetings with the team in the coming months, as they plan to seamlessly integrate both our physical stores with our online platform. With over 5,000 SKUs to be updated into the database, it’s even more crucial to get the backend system in place.

2.55pm. Back at my desk, I see a couple of eager faces waiting for me to review the visuals for our in-store product placements at the revamped Megastore in Sri Damansara. I make a mental note to drop by the store later for a check on the progress of the setup.

Ping! goes my phone and I look over to see an email from our PR agency, Ogilvy Public Relations, sending across several documents for the media luncheon we are preparing for. 

3.30pm. After a review with my team on the documents from our agency, I share my feedback and off it goes back for amendments. I check my emails again and lo behold – 27 emails already. That was fast!

3.35pm. The Head of Logistics knocks on my door and we meet briefly to discuss the ad that we are planning to put out, guaranteeing furniture delivery before the Hari Raya festivities or money-back for customers. This should help drive some traffic to the store, enabling the store team to push for more furniture sales. After some discussion, my colleague at Logistics and I finalise the ad.

Our deliveries have vastly improved, thanks to a special tracking device called the e-POD, which gives our customers (as well as us) an immediate status update on all deliveries. Additionally, we’ve even increased the number of delivery trucks for the festive season. This is really important for us, especially if we want to make sure that our customers receive all their orders in good time before the Hari Raya festivities.

4.00pm. Our brand campaign aside, it’s time to finally look at the final layouts for the third wave of our Raya campaign – Cepat Raya, Memang Senang.

Traditionally one of our busiest times of the year, Hari Raya is the most important season for the company, as we roll out our promotions as early as April to ensure that our customers are able to prepare their homes well for the festive period.

The campaign is an extensive three-month, three-wave campaign, so there are loads of collaterals for us to go through. Hopefully, this new catalogue packed with a bunch of deals will inspire homeowners to decorate their homes and grab some new digital gadgets for themselves for the festivities.

4.20pm. The Head of Buyers joins me to review the category leaflets and weekly press ads. This helps make the job slightly easier, although this can mean further amendments and changes based on their analyses of the previous week’s sales, available stocks and margins.

4.45pm. The review goes well and ends earlier than I expected, which gives me just a little time to join our social media agency, Starcom on a call to go over the social media plans for the month.

5.15pm. Half an hour was all they needed for the social media review, including our digital strategies for the media luncheon, the re-launch of the Courts Megastore and Hari Raya. There are a couple of interesting ideas for our fans on Facebook, which I’m sure will be sure to generate some positive conversations. Can’t wait to show off the new store.

Courts Malaysia6.10pm. Head to Sri Damansara and the new store. It took a little over half an hour. Traffic could be better in KL, but I’m glad I wasn’t trapped for an hour (it can be that bad sometimes).

The new concept design of the store overwhelms me and I feel a sense of pride; I recalled the countless hours we spent planning the entire store from top to bottom, the interiors, exteriors, communication touch points and visuals. 

As I walk among the shelf displays, wall displays and bulk-stacks, I try to imagine myself as a customer and so far I’m liking what I see. It’s hard to step back from the marketer’s point of view sometimes; I can see the new modular display systems and magnetic signage, which we’ve installed to help improve store productivity. Customers won’t realise what these new improvements are, but to me (and the rest of the store staff) it is designed to make setting up a showcase and promotions easier.

7.30pm. Time for the drive home and dinner with the family.

8.00pm. I’m home at last. The day has been incredibly productive and all the countless meetings and reviews have made time pass quickly.  One of the greatest joys is having a live-in maid to help get dinner ready for the family, which saves me the trouble of having to cook or buy dinner on the way back. 

8.30pm. After a shower and dinner with the family, I finally have the time to join them in the living room. My daughter shows me her homework, and my elder son is pretty independent doing his own work usually via Skype with friends from college, while my husband tells me all about his day. The TV is on, but no one’s really watching it.

9.00pm. The final item on the agenda is my MBA assignment, which is due in two weeks’ time although I’ve barely started. I’m just ploughing through reference materials at this stage, but it’s enough to keep me busy for the next two hours.

11.00pm. Finally, time for bed.  I manage to spend a few minutes catching up on my Facebook and Instagram, just before I turn off the lights and sink into my duvet, wrapped warmly around me. It has been a good day.

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