Anh Thịnh was one of my colleagues when I first came to HCMC. Over the years, he has grown as an expert and manager in Performance Marketing. But one thing that sets him apart from other co-workers must be his strategic approach to leverage his career, plus share his knowledge with others. Well, let's welcome him for this informative sharing of becoming a Performance Marketer and advancing further in this career. 

1. Hi anh, could you introduce more about yourself to the readers?

Hi everyone, I’m Thịnh, from a small town in Thanh Hoá. My hometown is the place where Bà Triệu – was a warrior in 3rd century Vietnam who managed, for a time, to resist the rule of the Chinese Eastern Wu dynasty. Despite its vivid history, it’s a poor town and has many points of deprivation. I have had access to the Internet since I was in High School. It was a world of magic back then. While other friends spent hours playing games at the Internet shop, I was there to find the materials which suited my learning needs. I was so glad that I had good teachers who inspired me to pursue the world of computers.

Fast forward to what I have been doing for the last 6-7 years, I have worked in Digital Marketing and performance marketing. I am good at marketing (laugh) and other technical parts like applying Python to the marketing automation.

In my free time, I focus on practicing my programming ability. Learning intensively and finding different use cases to apply my learning to save hours working. I have a hate-love relationship with Python (laugh) as I was not motivated enough to pursue learning consistently, I left my learning in the middle of nowhere. Then, this year our family welcomed our lovely baby. Therefore, I set a challenge to learn Python for ten days consecutively on the New Year 2021 before being a Dad. The learning path was demanding, but helps me to solve many problems now.

I am also keen on is Blogging at http://thinhvu.com/. I concentrate on technical aspects mixed between digital marketing and programming with the theory and applications in work. While the knowledge and materials in this domain are abundant in English, I rarely find adequate Vietnamese ones. Besides that, I am like other people, enjoying reading, watching movies, and teaching sometimes.

2. I know that you studied Business Administration at University, then chose to take a marketing role. Can you share further which were the main factors that led you to this role? 

When I took the entrance exam for university, I considered two majors: Electronic (Posts and Telecommunications Institute of Technology) and Business Administration (University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City). I finally chose Business since I could get exposure to many subjects that assist my work now, such as Accounting, Finance, Human Resources, and Project Management. It also paid the way for my Marketing Path. 

It is like connecting the dots every time I look back on my journey.

I started at VinGroup (Adayroi) as a Pricing Analyst. However, I involved on other projects like setting up our website or editing the creatives using photoshop. After that, Adayroi adjusted its organizational structure, and my manager referred me a vacancy in the Marketing team which favored an internal employee. He suggested I should follow that path as it was more compelling than my current role. I proved myself with an analytical mindset and always provided support for the Marketing tasks. So I was the best fit for that missing piece with the great support and training from my Marketing leader. It was a turning point in my career.

Working in a fierce environment forced me to self-learn and acquired a great deal of knowledge from others. Those things were like using add-ins to proceed with data or learning keyboard shortcuts. As I gradually figure out my path and understand myself better, I set 2-3 years’ plans. Also, one tip I do is searching for senior people on Linkedin or inquiry for senior roles in this path. I list out all the requirements for the openings and focus on learning suitable courses.

Anh Thinh & Pervorm team at Google Premier Partner Celebration Night (2019)
Anh Thinh & Pervorm team at Google Premier Partner Celebration Night (2019)

3. How have you seen your role as a performance marketer leveraging and leveling up over time? 

After over two years working at Adayroi, my next move was Pervorm (Acquired by Deloitte Digital). When I worked at Adayroi, sometimes they terminated marketing campaigns for 1 or 2 months. Those gap times let me pour my heart into self-study and level up my skill with data analysis and digital marketing, especially SEM. With that, it was an advantage for me to become a Paid Search Expert at Pervorm.

After one year and a half at Pervorm, I transited to App Marketing at AppROI. Here, I gained knowledge regarding App Business and growth strategies used for Application Marketing. This move assisted my transition to Luxstay as the Head of Marketing with much ease. The role inherited all the skill sets and knowledge accumulated after years working in Digital marketing. I was working closely with most teams from sales, data, products, and engineering to drive the ambitious growth target on the website and app. 

In my role, I could oversee the effort and impact of marketing activities in the digital space while being a bridge among teams to build an entire picture of the business.

I could relate to one case where we integrated a mobile measurement platform (a.k.a AppsFlyer) into our app to track a series of events. The task involved developers, marketing, and data. The engineering team, however, was not familiar with the tool. But they could not answer why they need to do it and what needs to be implemented in an orchestration. I was placed in the middle to help all of us figure out which events should be collected and how each data could provide us with a clear view of our marketing campaigns’ impacts, and thus we can get the most from the information tracked. 

Another use case was sending out email campaigns using an Automation Marketing Platform such as MoEngage, which required converting graphical design in PSD format into HTML code. In response to the effects of the Covid-19 in early 2020, the front-end developer responsible for that task has to leave. I found how to cover that task with my knowledge in HTML programming and training for team members with zero codings to do it.

If you wonder how expertise I am in various aspects to support other teams, I can say that I have a good amount of that technical knowledge. I’m always in search of optimal ways to do more with less effort. Therefore, I can reduce the manual tasks, concentrate on strategy, and increase working efficiency. 

So to map my growth in digital marketing, it would be starting from Marketing for Website → App → Website + App → reaching Manager role. The truth is that I was not born with leadership ability. However, I gradually figured out my strategy to get to the manager level. As I have acquired a diverse and deep knowledge in digital marketing and business, I play a reliable manager from whom my members can learn and gain support. I provide my members with learning opportunities, stimulate their interests, and thus inspire them to be a better version of themself.

4. Now we shall discuss further about your role as a Performance Marketing Manager at MoneyTap. Could you share further about your work?

Fintech has evolved quickly over the last three years. It has disrupted traditional banks and finance financial institutions with cutting-edge digital solutions. MoneyTap is a product of MWYN Tech Pvt Ltd (MWYN stands for Money When You Need). This company is a leading online credit service in the India Market. It’s a relief for people who need money, especially those with a not-good credit score that can’t apply for a loan from banks with equal opportunity access to safe lending solutions.

However, in Vietnam MoneyTap is new, and thus I have so many things to do. My work has entailed designing a marketing strategy aligning with advertising channels, converting users to customers, and measuring the success while allying with products to localize in Vietnam market. 

For this role, I have applied all inherited skills and knowledge of automation, digital marketing, data selection, and business. Reporting, for example, I have applied Python to schedule automatic reports. Also, I have utilized all the data from advertising platforms to use most of our information and data.

5. What do you like and don’t like the most about your work? (Or what do you enjoy the most about your current role?/What are some challenges & opportunities that you are having on your job? 

Well, I enjoy my work in general. It is simply the combination of passion, sharing, and other knowledge. Success would be hard to define, and thus I choose to pursue Happiness and balance many things. My road is covered with support and the right directions. 

Working in a startup is easier to prove the effectiveness and find the way to adjust it. However, working in a new industry, I have to grow my knowledge in lending/banking, understand the risks and policies. The highest risk is losing our money when we provide loans for customers who have no intent to pay back (laugh). 

The company also faces a big challenge when entering a growing market like Vietnam. We are continuing to leverage our scalability and trust in customers. Yes, the challenge comes with opportunity as our product is unique and almost does not have direct rivals. We welcome collaboration with other partners to bring added value to our customers.

Simple happiness to me
Simple happiness to me

6. Besides your work at MoneyTap, I do know that you are also having your own blog at thinhvu.com. Could you share with others more details about this website?

My vision for the website is sharing the journey in digital marketing and supporting others to enhance their execution ability, and thus increase efficiency. 

Now I am focusing on sharing my knowledge in Python with other applications to work. Digital marketers in the future shall have the skills with data analytics ability and digital marketing understanding. They should know at least a programming language which provides them with an advantage in the digital world and boost their productivity. Learning a programming language soon becomes popularized as knowing a foreign language. In this case, you use that ability to communicate with machines in the age of IoT and AI.

7. What are the key strengths or skill sets that you think are crucial for people who want to pursue a Performance Marketing role?

The first words that come to my mind are “Start small and build from there.” You can start with building your blog or grow social marketing channels for a local brand. You will see which domain knowledge you want to improve to support your work and future growth. Here are some of my thoughts if you like to thrive in performance marketing. 

  • Business understanding: At the end of the day, business leaders use marketing to solve a business challenge. You are supposed to gain a business mindset to solve the biz issue your company is facing. 
  • Problem-solving skill: You shall face multiple issues which require your ability to solve problems. The world changes unpredictably, and those who can solve new challenges using methodology combined with their accumulated understandings will survive. Eg., once you move to a new industry with less familiarization, you can use all your accumulated knowledge to solve new problems. 
  • Technical skills: Marketing (esp. Digital marketing) requires a diverse understanding of different tools, and these skills help you grow more effectively.
  • Data: data is crucial. So you can start learning Python, SQL (which I think will be more and more popular in the coming years). You can combine the tools you know from Power BI with Python to form a unique solution. 

8.What would you wanna share with others besides your work? Interest/long-term passion/sharing/quotes and so on.

It’s good if you have a clear understanding of yourself. If not, you can do many things to know yourself better, such as do MBTI, use five big traits, horoscopes or numerology. 

Another thing that helps me grow is that I consider that “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” I started with a simple role in VinGroup. I, however, always stayed curious, found opportunities to grow my skill set, and support our projects. With the accumulated projects you have taken, you can design your career suits you soon.

I want to re-share the Ikigai model where you can find yourself at the intersection of your passion, your ability, the world’s needs, your paid work. That would be a good start for you to think about your career path in a strategic way.

Thank you anh Thịnh for your time and sharing. I believe that this sharing was the most time-consuming article to edit but the most rewarding one. I hope you find his sharing as useful as I am. If you would like discover career in Digital Marketing, refer to the post https://trinhthai.com/tips-how-to-kickstart-your-digital-marketing-career-in-southeast-asia-2/