MBA Sundial Summer 2018
How is technology changing marketing profession?
Interview with an Outstanding Alumnus – Ben Wong (MBA 1994)
With more than half of the world’s population having access to the internet, the marketing industry is becoming increasingly digitalized. We invited Ben Wong, Chief Marketing Officer of Google Greater China, to share how technology is revamping marketing profession, what kind of attributes and skillsets required for today’s marketing professionals, and his career journey.

When asked how technology benefits marketing, Ben explained, “Technology and digital media helps us better understand customer intent, connect at the right time, and create more engaging brand experience. While AI and machine learning present tremendous opportunities for businesses and marketers to derive new insights from their data and new sources (such as unstructured text). We’re just at the beginning, but there is a lot of promise ahead.”
Ben attending Google’s AI Symposium in Beijing.

Ben mentioned one of the challenges he faced in his career move from FMCG to a technology-based company. “In the past, I worked on a lot of product design on the marketing strategies. But now, in the technology industry, engineering/product team are the lead on product design. As a marketer, I need to be much more proactive and put extra effort to influence engineers to make products more user friendly.”

Talking about advices to young graduates, Ben points out knowledge and skills in technology, such as coding and machine learning, in addition to the marketing know-how and business acumen, would be essential in increasing one’s competitiveness. A good starting point is free online courses such as Digital Garage and Machine Learning Crash Course (, while young graduates can also consider cross-discipline courses that consist of marketing and technology knowledge competitiveness.

“Be humble to ask and keep learning is critical.” Ben keeps learning from experts, maintaining good relationships with CMOs across industries, leveraging the knowledge with advertising agencies, and connecting with the younger generation. In addition, “User focus, creativity, and don’t be evil” have always been his philosophy. “Being a marketer, you need to be curious about what your users need and why; create unique experience and communications; and have integrity to earn the trust from users,” he explained.

Talking about the MBA journey, Ben found the knowledge acquired and exchange experience at UCLA most rewarding. He started his career in marketing from P&G. What’s more, the diverse alumni connections accelerate his career transition.
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