Management Dialogue
Linda Chan: Putting Customers at the Heart of Everything 181
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    In 2016, Hang Lung set out a vision to transform the Company into a marketing-driven and service-centric organization to drive further business growth. How does the Company make this vision a reality? In this issue, Connections speaks to the Director – Central Marketing, Ms. Linda Chan, to understand how Hang Lung builds its business with Marketing.


    The mandate for change, although ambitious, is clear. The Central Marketing Department was set up about four years ago to create a "center of expertise" for the Company; to generate synergy across the whole portfolio, especially among those projects with similar positioning, and to source and introduce new ideas and new partners, national, regional, and even global.


    Crafting the customers' journey

    Given the complexity of the transformation typically involved on the journey to "customer centricity", the commitment to a more customer-centric approach needs to come from the very top. The Central Marketing Team is well positioned to provide strategic leadership for customer-centric initiatives designed to yield business results. Linda said, "We need to build our malls as destinations of choice in each city, each one with its unique DNA and personal bonding with shoppers."


    Linda elaborated that while our malls have a clear market differentiator, we need to better understand our target audience, our customers. They need to be the center of all our marketing campaigns. "The key is to understand your potential shoppers, what they like, what social media platforms they use, and what influences their shopping behaviors," said Linda.


    Know yourself, Know your customers

    Firstly to really understand different types of customers, a new initiative was put in place, dividing Hand Lung malls into three clusters: Luxury, Contemporary Fashion, and Lifestyle. Plaza 66 stands out with its luxury mall positioning, and through its example, the Company can mirror successes in similarly positioned properties. Linda said, "We have started to replicate initiatives that are successful in one project to malls with a similar shopper profile. The results are encouraging and help us to understand more about what makes the market tick."


    Secondly, addressing what customers want means communicating with them on their wavelength. Mainland shoppers are very technology savvy and socially engaged. Their shopping journey starts with digital, which is why our digital marketing initiatives need to take center stage. Linda mentioned the different platforms explored like WeChat, Mallcoo and external partnerships with large digital gurus like Alibaba, Dianping, and Ctrip. Our events need to leverage on the digital O2O (online to offline) element, from QR codes, AR, VR, shake & win, and e-coupons. It is only with such digital integration that mall events and promotions transform from being static installations to living experiences with which shoppers can engage and talk about until it goes viral!


    Lastly, to really get to know what customers want the Company has to invest time and energy into establishing personal relationships. A good CRM program forms a bond that helps us tailor services in ways unlike any offered in the market. "We are going to launch pilot corporate CRM program this year with the aim to serve and delight our top spenders. They can enjoy privileges and benefits across Hang Lung's portfolio that transcend the basic discount and redemption programs that abound in the market. Our focus on is service, recognition, and creating a unique experience," said Linda. Giving an example of the exclusivity of the program, Linda said that our top spenders will have a dedicated relationship manager to accompany them throughtheir shopping experience and to introduce special events and products to them. "We want to build a personal bond with our customers so we can truly understand their needs and aspirations, and find ways to delight them," Linda further explained.


    People always come first

    "In the journey to delight our customers, nothing is more important than our people in both local and central marketing teams," said Linda. 'One Team, One Dream' is the modus operandi, and Linda believes that people always come first. She is convinced that, with a shared vision, the team can drive innovation and at the same time create a tight bond with each other, as Linda enjoys sharing key moments in life with her team.

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