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Marketing Samsung – Interview with Regional VP of Corporate Marketing

Name : Irene Ng

Nationality : Singaporean

Position : Vice President, Corporate Marketing, Southeast Asia and Oceania, Samsung Electronics


MI: When was your first time visit to Myanmar?
I have visited Myanmar for three times since 2015.

MI: How has your impression changed since your first arrival?

Myanmar people are very friendly, hospitable and eager to learn. The city itself is fast developing and the infrastructure has improved tremendously. There are better mobile communications and wifi facilities as well as office buildings.

MI: What are your role and responsibilities?
As the Head of Corporate Marketing, I am responsible for driving brand and marketing for Samsung’s consumer electronics, and mobile devices across Southeast Asia and Oceania.

MI: Can you tell me more about Samsung Love & Care Program Volunteering initiative in Myanmar?
As part of the Samsung Global Volunteer Festival 2015, Samsung rolled out its regional Love and Care program in Myanmar on 3 October 2015. Under this initiative, Samsung volunteers from all across South- east Asia and Oceania countries went to the Pann Pyo Let Monastic Education School in Bago Division to provide food, stationery as well as engage over 400 school children in interactive learning activities through technology.

This is the first time that Samsung is rolling out the Samsung Love and Care program in the region. The key objective of this program is to enable Samsung employees to share their knowledge and skills with these children through a series of interactive learning  activities and contribute positively to the local community.

During the program, Samsung volunteers teamed up with the children to play educa- tional interactive games using our tablets to improve their English language skills. Beyond that, they also encouraged the children to develop their creative side through engaging in art activities such as sand painting.

MI: What is the target market segment for Samsung in Myanmar?
The key target market segments for Sam- sung in Myanmar are generally the young working adults and Gen Y consumers for consumer electronics and mobile devices respectively.

MI: What can you tell us more about overall brand and consumer communications of Samsung in Myanmar? 

Identifying and serving the needs of consumers is at the heart of everything Sam- sung does, and hence our brand and marketing activities are highly focused around our consumers and their needs.

To ensure deep understanding of consumers from various countries and cultures, Samsung has established extensive global consumer research facilities such R&D Centers, Design Centers, Lifestyle Research Labs and Product Innovation Teams around the world. These teams operate as in-house incubators to develop market-driven tech- nologies and innovation. They study local cultures and trends, and the changes in the ways people are living and using technology – and deliver the insights to support prod- uct innovation across all Samsung product categories.

Based on our consumer insights, we understand that consumers in Myanmar love technology and hence, we have introduced a wide range of Samsung products here, rang- ing from our latest flagship smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, to our Curved SUHD TVs, and home appliances such as the Food Showcase refrigerator and activ dualwash washing machine.

MI: From a business standpoint, what do you feel are the biggest challenges facing you and your team in Myanmar in next 1-3 years?

Based on our research, we see that consumers here are very receptive and active on online and social platforms such as Face- book etc. Hence, one of the key challenges for us will be to explore how we reach out to  this growing group of online audience in a meaningful manner.

MI: What do you think of CSR activities in Myanmar?

It is good to see more CSR activities as long as they make a positive and meaningful contribution to the local community. As a company, we believe firmly in using our global network and innovation to create positive change for people everywhere, helping them to live a better life. The company is also passionate about creating a better future for people, utilizing its technology and solu- tions to provide better access to education and improved educational opportunities for young people around the world.

Apart from the Samsung Love and Care pro- gram, Samsung has done many other CSR and Citizenship activities in Myanmar over the years. Earlier this year, Samsung partnered with local NGO Myanmar Mobile Education Project (MyME) to launch mobile classrooms to bring learning opportunities to underprivileged children in Yangon, as part of its continued commitment to education outreach in Myanmar.

The mobile classrooms provide these children with the chance to learn basic literacy, math and computer skills in a safe and comfortable environment where they can gain self-confidence and develop critical thinking skills through innovative and interactive instruction. Working hand in hand with MyME, Samsung outfitted these mobile classrooms with Samsung tablets that allow students to access digital platforms and de- velop their technological skills.

Beyond education and most recently in Myanmar, Samsung also contributed over USD100,000 and 84 TV sets to the Myanmar Red Cross Societies (MRCS) for Myanmar Flood Relief campaign. Samsung had previously provided over 1,000 survival kits to the areas affected in flood in Ayerwaddy Division and Bago Division.

MI: What advice would you give to someone who is start working in marketing sector?
Passion for learning, understanding what consumers want and be willing to try new and innovative things.