Nick Jones shares his aspirations for growing a brand in Asia’s World City.
What do you find most interesting about living in Hong Kong?
The culture and speed at which the place moves.
What are the main differences between home and where you are now?
There are so many people in Hong Kong compared to Sydney, but somehow it all works. Regarding business you are much more connected to the US, European and UK markets.
What is your career timeline and how did you get to your current role?
I started in recruitment in 2008 after I had studied and worked within the marketing field for my early career. I spent five years recruiting marketing and communications in the Sydney market before transferring to Hong Kong in 2012. I have been in Hong Kong for five years now, and just started in my new role as Head of North Asia for Carter Murray.
What does your role involve?
My role is responsible for growing and managing the Carter Murray business within the North Asia region. We cover a range of marketing, communications, digital and commercial roles across industry sectors including professional services, financial services, consumer and technology. While managing the business I also have an active recruitment focus specialising in senior level marketing, communications and commercial positions.
What does a typical day look like?
It is different every day, which is why I enjoy my job. At the moment my key focus is on building and growing the business. On a daily basis I am meeting candidates and clients, planning marketing campaigns and events for Carter Murray, managing my team and working with the SR Group team in Hong Kong.
What are some details about big projects you’ve worked on recently?
There aren’t many big projects I have worked on yet. The biggest is the planning and preparation of launching the Carter Murray brand.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Management and building my team.
What do you find most challenging?
Hiring for my team. It is so important to get right and the talent pools in Hong Kong are small.
What are your observations of trends for the industry?
There is a massive focus on digital marketing and it is continuing to grow. Businesses are placing more emphasis on developing their digital platforms and digital communication with customers.
Corporate communications is also an in demand skill set within North Asia. Clients are very aware how important their messaging is to both the local and international markets
Generally marketing and communications is being seen as more important business function in North Asia. Typically this region is been behind the rest of the world, but they are no investing more into this vertical.
What about predictions?
Digital will continue to be the most in demand skill set with even more emphasis on social media, content and data. Digital marketing functions will continue to grow and become more structured with silos. Hong Kong will continue to be candidate short; clients need to move quickly on preferred hires.
What do you miss the most from home?
The beaches. I grew up on the beach, there are beaches in Hong Kong, but they are not the same.
Where do you see yourself in five years, both career-wise and location-wise?
In five years I see myself in Hong Kong leading the Carter Murray business across Asia with established offices throughout the region.
What advice would you give to a marketer considering a role in another country?
Be flexible and be realistic. Leverage your skills and the industry or product experience you have. Don’t try to move country, get a promotion and change sector all at once. Do something you have done before and know that you can do again even with the challenges a new geography and culture present. It will lead to faster succes