Jaslyin Qiyu: Empowering Brands with Strategic Transformation

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In the dynamic landscape of marketing, where every business seeks to carve its unique identity, Mad About Marketing Consulting stands out as a beacon of innovation and strategic prowess. Founded by the visionary leader Jaslyin Qiyu, this consultancy transcends conventional marketing boundaries. With over two decades of experience in both B2B and B2C realms, Jaslyin has navigated diverse industries, leaving an indelible mark on brand building, client experience management, and multi-channel performance marketing.

Mad About Marketing Consulting is the brainchild of Jaslyin Qiyu, a seasoned marketing and communications professional. Her transformative roles in global MNCs have consistently pushed the envelope, going beyond the “typical marketing remit.” Jaslyin’s insight? Everyone has an opinion about marketing, but not everyone can deliver results. Mad About Marketing Consulting steps in as an ally for CMOs, Heads of Marketing, and C-Suites, maximizing marketing potential through strategic transformation. Whether it’s people, processes, or platforms, Jaslyin’s team solves problems with empathy, ensuring better business and marketing outcomes.

Let’s accentuate on the interview highlights between Business Leaders Review and Jaslyin Qiyu:-

Introduction to Mad About Marketing Consulting:

Mad About Marketing partners with the C-Suite, especially CMOs and Heads of Marketing to elevate the role and perception of marketing through transformation, change management and advisory services around Brand, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, MarTech and Social Brand Identity and Profiling.

Unique Selling Proposition:

Having been on both the agency and client side throughout the course of my career spanning more than two decades and leading marketing transformation from ground up for the last decade, I know that there are a lot of innate problems around the 3Ps – people, process and platforms existing within each organization that form the foundation of most resulting issues. Most of the agencies I have come across are better at solving problems at the marketing campaign or individual channel level.

These 3Ps issues are critical to solve as they have a downstream impact on the ability of marketing to partner effectively with the business to enable and fuel their sales and client strategy, which in turn further diminishes the role and potential of marketing. Based on my experience and innate knowledge of what these typical pain points are, I can be both objective yet empathetic towards their challenges and work with them on sustainable and cost-efficient ways to address them.

Client Success Stories:

There was a wellness and coaching firm that was trying to relocate its business from China to Singapore during the pandemic. It was the first time they ever worked or provided any services to the Singapore market, which is different from the China market in terms of consumer decision making, appetite for such services and therefore willingness to pay.

Initially they wanted to just plug and play using their current pricing model, localize their brand name and logo and write their web content so they can launch quickly. Concurrently, the founders themselves were unsure if they should be targeting the exact same customer segments, which were the young, single ladies and the married expats wives.

As I deep dive into the fundamentals of their core purpose and value proposition, including what makes them unique, they realize that Singapore is slightly more mature in terms of wellness and coaching, which means consumers have more choices. 

Even though they initially had a defined target customer segment, I persuaded them to do a persona remapping and validate that through a small survey, to better gauge if there is actually demand amongst that target group. During the process, we discovered that the specific group is over targeted and there is actually an alternative, under targeted segment that they can explore by changing their messaging, approach, and having a more structured and scientifically backed framework of different modules that would differentiate them from their competitors.

Challenges and Solutions:

For clients that are new to the market, they often simply don’t know how to define and articulate their value proposition and weave it into their offerings in a compelling manner. They also struggle with carving out a content and engagement strategy to both acquire and retain their customers.

For clients that are established, they face quite a lot of issues with the 3Ps, that in turn present challenges in the quality of their campaigns, customer retention and engagement strategies.

I call it the moss effect where a lot of the issues they have today is from years of just letting the moss (issues) roll on and on as they often have this mindset of “I can always solve it later”, “Someone else can solve it” or “It’s too hard/late to solve it now”. 

Common challenges are around processes that are not conducive for certain implementations and creating unnecessary layers in order for something simple to be done and worse, companies spending even more money just to replace a specific tool, platform or product because it is “not useful” when they don’t realize the problem is actually with the process and the people. 

Another major challenge is simply the under-valued role of the marketing function, being often reduced to a creative, copywriting or events production team when they should be a valued business partner to work on the strategy together with product and sales.

It creates a vicious cycle and marketing budgets plus headcounts are the first to get cut when a planned campaign or product launch doesn’t go well not because marketing didn’t get the brief but they either got it too late, didn’t have a chance to provide their inputs or weren’t listened to because “business knows best”.

Mad About Marketing helps to redefine the working engagement model between marketing, sales and business, including suggesting ways of restructuring the marketing team, their roles and responsibilities, redesigning new processes and tools, and introducing new MarTech platforms to support the enhanced way of working.

We also help them rediscover their value proposition, brand purpose and narrative that will in turn translate into more compelling customer engagement campaigns, content and social brand identity.

Marketing Trends:

With the advent of MarTech and Gen A.I., it calls for the need of more strategic marketing and communications practitioners who can strategize and plan more than just doing and producing. Even for CMOs, they need to know the potential, capabilities and limitations of these tools even if they don’t actually know how to use them. This is so they can advise their C-Suite strategically the investments, resources and adoption process they need in place to support the implementation of these tools well ahead of time instead of just leaving it to Tech, Data or Business.

I have also introduced some of these MarTech tools to my clients based on their needs, what they currently have and what works best for them based on their desired future state.

Mad About Marketing has been tapping on the use of a few of these Gen A.I tools for agile and scalable design and production, especially when we are lean on resourcing. As the founder, I prefer to spend most of my time working with the clients to solve their problems and less so on the production of the creatives needed for the promotion of my own business.

In 2019, I learnt about the digital business and platforms economy at MIT Sloan School of Management and I am a huge believer as well in the partnership and platform approach to better scale my own business. Thus, I work closely with a network of reliable agency partners, including for creative, media, social and content when it comes to the execution work for my clients once they are happy with my recommended solutions and strategy. In fact, I also work with their existing resources on the execution if they don’t wish to switch agencies or hire more headcount.

Technology and Innovation:

Being a lean business and not actually having hands-on design experience beyond having a knack and appreciation of a good design, I rely heavily on the Gen A.I design software to develop things like my logo, core creatives and promotional materials and other marketing collaterals.  

As I do quite a bit of content marketing, I rely as well on a research tool like Perplexity to validate some of the statements as it comes with the source and references. During the course of working with my clients as well, I will also rely on this tool for my research on them and their competitors.

In setting up my website as well, I decided to go with a plug and play headless CMS platform so I can get it up and out to the market without needing to know how to code for example. 

I decided as well to tap on my broad network of social contacts garnered over the years on LinkedIn to start my own Mad About Marketing Newsletter before officially launching the business to share my own perspectives of how marketing should work.

This was to pave the way for the official launch of my business once I was off my garden leave with Citi in April 2024. For B2B marketing especially, it is often a long sales cycle and consideration process so I wanted to start generating that awareness with the newsletter, create a need with the content and hopefully turn that into actual demand for my services.

Business Growth:

Before I set up Mad About Marketing Consulting in 2024, I was working on these client projects on a seasonal basis when I have time since 2013, starting with two modest clients. It has given me sufficient mileage and confidence to set it up as a proper business to have more legs.

First and foremost, I pride myself as being a values-based business where I enjoy helping clients who are in the service of doing purposeful and meaningful work for their own customers. I have rejected working with clients who are in it purely to make money because that goes against my own values.

I don’t see that changing any time soon and similarly, I choose to work with partners that share the same values. I also hope to be able to groom a small pool of high potential marketing consultants who share the same passion and values as me to work somewhat independently on smaller projects and grow with the clients as they progress. For such an approach, I would be treating them as more of a business partner rather than an employee.

Company Culture:

We are people centric, driven by our passion to solve problems, think with empathy and act with integrity at all times.

These are to a certain extent my personal values in how I approach work and life all this while, so I think it should be working well to bring me to where I am today!

Client Relationships:

I see my clients as not just someone who pays for a service but I like to understand them and the people who work in their organization as people, first and foremost. 

I like to almost picture myself as an extension of the company, so I can empathize with their issues while still bringing a level of objectivity to the problem-solving. 

This means as well that I have a sense of loyalty towards my clients and want the best for them in terms of outcomes beyond just selling a once-off service. I do that by spending time talking to as many of their team members as possible just to unpack and immerse myself deep into their issues. 

It’s also critical that I have periodic check-ins with them to see how well they are progressing and adapting to the new solutions and if they need a re-tweak in their approach to adapt to changing trends. Many have actually become friends I connect with socially as well over the years.

Measuring Success:

Ultimately, it depends on the channels I’m using and for what purpose. For example, when I’m promoting my video content on YouTube, it’s more for engagement, education and awareness of my services and value proposition, so it would be a success if it interests them enough to visit my website to learn more.

Similarly, if it’s a very high level conceptual digital ad promoted on digital or social media, it is a win if it interests them enough to visit my website. For these, I will do retargeting for further engagement with more content to invite them to contact me.

If it’s a very specific ad on a certain service I’m offering, beyond just going into my website, it would be a win if they drop a note to contact me requesting for my service. For such cases, I would normally do an A/B test as well in terms of the journey when they respond to the ad by having it go to the website or going direct to a contact me form to see which fares better

For events, I will usually have targeted activities meant to drive leads through contact forms as well as increase awareness of what I offer.

Looking Ahead:

I foresee more projects coming outside of Singapore in the financial services, FinTech and FMCG space as a whole. As companies are downsizing their marketing teams and budget, they need more senior level expertise on a project basis who can advise them on their strategies and work with their existing resources to execute them. This is precisely what Mad About Marketing Consulting can offer without breaking their budget.

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