Welcome to Charles Lau dot Com

Charles Lau is a digital marketer, a web developer and a digital enabler. He is also a proud husband of Simin and a loving daddy of Faith, Zac and Dawn.
Read more about him here.

Digital marketing job

Digital marketing has been a very interesting job for me because it is a niche of its own which needs marketing communications, public relations, technological understanding of digital assets as well as an analytical skill.

Not many people out there has this combination of understanding, hence there is a need for an effective project management skills in order to fill up the gaps in the weaker areas. Some of them are from the Mass Communications background, some Public Relations background and others IT background. There is usually a core strength that the person is good at, but he will also have to be the window person to work with other experts in order to create effective digital marketing campaigns.

As I was looking at the various digital marketing jobs out there in different industries, I find that the job description is much more refined today when compared to the ones posted in 2012. More and more people can understand what to write about in the job description. However, there is a missing picture here where they are mostly looking for mass communications background. In order to work effectively in a digital marketing job, there is a need for some level of IT background. No doubt that the person should have mass communication background, but it can be trained if the person is willing to learn. On the other hand, I find that it is very hard to train a person in better IT knowledge because the entry level for them is very high.

Web browsers may be based on bytecode in future

I have been writing HTML codes happily since 1997.  In fact, I have been wondering why it is a script language where we can see how the codes work (to a certain extend when it is not minified).  In fact, this makes the browsers work harder because they have to understand the script before displaying on the screen.

Today, Google, Apple, Microsoft and Mozilla are finally teaming up to create Internet browsers which read bytecode instead of script.  This potentially improves the loading speed of the website by 20 times, while using the same hardware specifications.  It is still at the very infant stage for sure, and I am at the dilemma whether I am pro or against it.

The problem with bytecode will be the conflict with server-side scripting because they have to learn how to compile into bytecode on-the-fly.  This will also invalidate a lot of open-source web scripts out there such as WordPress.  The beauty of script language is that it is very flexible and reactive to changes because HTML codes are actually being generated on-the-fly by the server language.

Thinking about it again, it may not a good idea to use bytecode after all… Please do not change this as our devices are still good at interpreting the scripts.

Great gathering with the young entrepreneurs

It all started from my friend and his two other friends when they thought of inviting their own friends to gather somewhere for a casual entrepreneurial discussion.

So I was honoured to be invited, and I was asked to invite my own friends as well. I tried inviting one entrepreneurial friend of mine but turned out to be sick coincidentally. Then I tried to approach another friend who has been trying very hard to start up his own business and possibly found his niche now. He hesitated quite a while before replying me that he is busy, and when I tried to explain further, he seems to keep quiet. I guess it might be because he is thinking I am inviting him for some network marketing (also known as multi-level marketing) “opportunity” because I must say that the invitation pattern really looks like one suspiciously. Hahaha

So in the end, my friend invited all of us together to his house for a good dinner treat. It was great and he and his wife were very hospitable. I can see all of them look so young and full of passion in doing their own businesses. It was really a nostalgia for me twelve years ago. Talking to all of them, it brings me a lot of memories about my past and they were really attentive to listen to my story. These stories were not worth mentioning for so many years and yet they have been poured out to my heart’s content that night. Nevertheless, it was only a few hours of chit chatting so what I could only share are only the tip of the iceberg.

I also get to listen to many different people who are sharing their own life experiences and thoughts. It is quite a good refresher for me as I have not been doing business networking for years.

This is a good start for me to get in touch with the group of same frequency because I will usually can’t find anyone I can talk about my favourite topics and I can only share them here or to put my focus in working on my digital assets.

At the end of the day, it was pleased for me that one of the young chaps (sounds like I am really old) actually sent us home in the east side even though he stays in the west when we were supposed to take a lift to the nearest transport only.

Different frequency in project communication

project-communications

I have been on both sides of the table: Being an agency as well as being a client.

When working as an agency, you try to work out your client’s requirement as much as you could. But when it doesn’t work out after delivery, you start to wonder if your client is being too demanding.

When working as a client, you try to give as much information for your agency to work them out. But when it doesn’t look like what you wanted, you start to wonder if your agency is unsuitable to work with.

Sometimes, it is really true that the client could be too demanding or the agency could be unsuitable to work with.

At the end of the day, it is really the close engagement that closes the communication gap and ensure both agency and client happy. That’s also why account servicing personnel is an extremely important role.
1) He ensures that the frequency is the same throughout, instead of fixing it later.
2) He makes sure that miscommunication is kept to the very minimal.
3) He keeps the client happy because he makes sure that things are in progress even though the client is busy with something else.

So far, I see that the best account servicing personnel comes from a person with a strong project management skills. The others who are weak at project management are usually compromised by their strong interpersonal skills though it doesn’t last long.

There is another type of account servicing personnel: i.e. Dealing with the actual designer directly with no specialised account servicing personnel. This can be a double edge sword because on one hand, we will be able to communicate effectively to the designer, but on the other hand, this designer needs to manage the multiple feedback effectively since he or she is doing dual role here.

Lastly, there is a difference in work understanding and culture. There has been expatriates working in different countries. And their work culture is very different from the locals. For example, the Asian clients tends to expect agency with a personal touch to discuss tasks and problems, whereas the Western agencies may value DIY by asking their clients to read their knowledge base by themselves and fix themselves. Another scenario is where the Asian clients will want to meet face-to-face for first time meet up but the Western agencies think that conference call with clients is good enough to close a 6 figure deal.

Image Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture