She helps clients strike the right notes

Multinational companies are keen to tailor products to suit Asian consumers, who are a growing market. The Economic Development Board has been nurturing talent in the consumer business and professional services sectors, helping these companies to brand and market their products. Arti Mulchand profiles some of the people working in them.

All her life, she had wanted a piano. But Ms Jennifer Choi, 35, bought one only five years ago.

Another three years passed before she took lessons.

The reason, explains the director of e-commerce at OgilvyOne Singapore, was that she had been busy with advertising campaigns and helping clients hit the right notes with their customers.

At the same time, she was also running her fashion blogshop, Frockalicious.com.

Now, playing the piano provides respite from the fast-paced world of advertising.

"I find playing quite therapeutic, and I practise to unwind. It calms me," she says.

Ms Choi, who did her diploma in tourism management at Temasek Polytechnic, did not start her career in advertising. She took to the skies as an air stewardess with Singapore Airlines in 1999.

"Ever since I was young, I had wanted to see the world, but the farthest I ever got was Kuantan in Malaysia," she says, explaining her first career choice.

Three years later, she felt it was time to move on. Through a friend, she landed an internship with an advertising agency and instantly found a good fit.

"I had been fascinated with brands and the power of marketing and wanted to know how something could be created out of nothing," she recalls.

She then landed a job with Saatchi & Saatchi and, about 21/2 years later, she moved to Ogilvy & Mather. In February this year, she became OgilvyOne Singapore's first director of e-commerce.

"It was a dream come true. I love online shopping.

"I have always been fascinated by how it works," she says, adding that her desire to do more in this area also prompted the creation of Frockalicious.com in 2010.

In 2011, she drove the Economic Development Board's campaign, called Create 2011, to raise interest in engineering jobs.

This won an Effie - an advertising award - in 2012.

Today, the self-confessed techie is busy trying to help brands understand and navigate the e-commerce space.

"Anyone can put together a website, but there is a big difference between how it looks, and how it works.

"Are users coming to the site and is the journey smooth? If someone abandons a shopping cart, how do you bring them back?"

The aim is to create brand advocates, who have become increasingly important given that 65 per cent of Internet users are online buyers, Ms Choi says. Global e-commerce sales are expected to hit US$1.5 trillion (S$1.88 trillion) this year, according to market research agency eMarketer.

She says: "(Going) digital has changed the way we live, how we research before buying, compare prices, read reviews and shop globally from the comfort of our homes.

"E-commerce has revolutionised the business world and will continue to do so in the future."

This article was first published on May 19, 2014