Datuk Lai Shu Wei answers some tough questions at The APPIES Marketing Festival

Datuk Lai Shu Wei, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer, Sime Darby Property Berhad was a panelist at The APPIES Malaysia 2022 Marketing Festival that was just completed on the 14th of July 2022. It was a lively session with much insights from industry leaders and questions from the floor.

For those who missed the session, we’ve highlighted some below.

How does data inform your segmentation strategy?
Data are just information points. We have to translate them into insights – these insights will give us a clearer understanding (and a story) to the consumers, the marketplace and competition. This is then grouped together (segments) and they are tested against a hypothesis or an expected behavior with our products and services

Would you hire someone with good people management skills or with good analytical/problem solving skills. Honest answers only ?
Different roles require different competency and skill sets. Someone who has good people management skills is good for roles which are more broader in nature and requires management of multiple stakeholders.

And a person with good analytical and problem solving skill may be more skewed toward a specialty. But I often hire a person who is self-driven, have strong fundamental and demonstrated potential.

In your opinion, what is the ONE biggest challenge that marketers face today and why would you say so?
A good marketer is a master of (almost) everything – hence it is important to have the right exposure and career movements have this balance. It’s about knowing how to and a strong implementation of the 4Ps in a marketer’s day to day (not just the principles and theories).

What is the one big change on marketing post pandemic
Post pandemic – challenging and questioning the status quo (pre pandemic), putting customers’ experience and journey first and going back to basics!

What do you believe in marketing will not change in 5 years.
Marketing is about the business of people. Consumer understanding will always be core, and ability to leverage insights into compelling proposition(s) and addressing of pain points will always remain (well beyond 5 years)

How to be a good marketeer?
Always be in tune with what is happening in your organization, the competitors and the market place while keeping your customers (present and potential) as the true North.

What are the key emerging marketing trends that will hit the roof in 2023?
Growth in virtual events, omnichannel adoption and the continue digital transformation whilst placing consumer at the forefront and emphasising the fundamentals.

Biggest challenge(s) as a Marketing Leader in Malaysia?
The ability to stay focus and faithful to consumers and the fundamentals in an environment where technology change is rapid. And investing and retaining talents.

What are your thoughts about growth rate of Marketing Exercises in Malaysia compare to other country?
Marketers in Malaysia are amongst the best in the World – in fact we work in a highly segmented (and diversified) market, that comes with multiple insights and considerations required.

Alongside we are amongst the leaders in the adoption of technology and innovation in our marketing mix.

What is the biggest challenge & opportunity to market a new product by taking media consumption is much diversed, consumer behaviors & sentiments have changed
It’s about staying focus to the target segment, the strategy and the goal and not be influence by what others are doing. Everyone has a view on what marketing is – but the ability to stay to the business and marketing plan is key.

How do you see marketing evolving and how should marketeers equip themselves moving forward?
Keep oneself up to date, try new things, be creative and innovative but never lose sight of the consumers and the fundamentals!

What will be a key attribute a CMO of tomorrow will require that they don’t have today.
Always be in tune with what is happening in your organization, the competitors and the market place while keeping your customers (present and potential) as the true North.

Business and marketing strategies are different. So should the persuasion lies heavily on marketeer or CEO?
The marketing strategy is derived from the business strategy. A good marketing strategy builds back to the business goals always. Hence it is vital the Marketeer and the CEO are always aligned. It always take two to tango!


The APPIES Awards Night is happening on Friday 12th August 2022 at Eastin Hotel Kuala Lumpur. For details and reservation, do contact Ruby at 03 7722 5712

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The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

This is the only event where Live Presentations meets Live Judging.

Similar to TED Talks, The APPIES is the chance for great presenters with outstanding work to show it off to some of the industry’s most important industry leaders.

This year’s winners will receive Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies for 21 categories, and 6 special Best of Best categories (red trophies) that require no submissions!

Campaign entries must have run between June 2023 to May 2024

Submissions Deadline
30th June 2024

APPIES Festival – Judging & Presentations
11th – 12th July 2024 (Malaysia)


Download Event PDF
Submit Entries Here

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