SME Stories

Small Business, Big Dreams: Meet 'That Marketing Guy'

Katie Ash

Oct 6, 2020

Meet the man behind That Marketing Guy.

That Marketing Guy is an outsource marketing agency, who strategise, design, and actualise campaigns for clients who want to build brand affinity and engage with their audience in a meaningful way.

Swingvy recently sat down with That Marketing Guy’s Will Lee to learn more about his vision, the business, and his goals and hopes for the future. He shares insights to inspire other small and medium business owners and speaks of the challenges and opportunities he’s experienced on his journey.

Watch the interview:

The words of Will Lee, That Marketing Guy.

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

“That Marketing Guy started seven and a half years ago purely because I love doing what I love doing, which is marketing. And I love it so much that I want to do it for as many companies as I could. Effectively I started an outsource marketing department.”

“I believe that every business needs to exist for a reason, for a main purpose. And money should be a by-product of your love for doing what you’re doing. It shouldn’t be the main thing, it shouldn’t be your KPIs, it should be an outcome. So if you’re going to chase money, you will never achieve your dreams.”

“My first client was a vegan ice cream parlour, Fatboy’s was one of my first clients as well, and then we grew the business. Today we still have mum and pop outlets and shops here and there, the biggest clients are the likes of 7/11, MSIG, AIA, … Universal Music, Tower Transit, DSO National Laboratories, so it ranges, from various sizes to various industries.”

“Operationally when we first started I did everything. I roped in my wife, then girlfriend, [and] we did everything from design, to writing to pitching. Anything you can think of under the sun to make things work. We didn’t shoehorn ourselves into one type of marketing. We did what it took to reach the client’s objectives.”

THE VISION

“I believe that good marketing is the natural ability to connect and communicate with the people you want to connect and communicate with. To say the right things at the right time. For them to naturally want to do the things you want them to do. That is good marketing.”

“Every brand represents a purpose, every brand has a set of values that they uphold and they follow. People who have the same purpose, people who resonate with those values tend to center around those brands… It is because they believe in the cause and the message that that brand represents.”

TECHNOLOGY

“Technology has allowed us to automate the predictable so that we can humanise the exceptional.”

“When we first started it was all spreadsheets and work docs. I think today, with 14 employees it’s good to have an overview of what everyone is doing, what projects are at what stages, who’s on leave, who has submitted expenses.”

“Being a strong believer in technology we want to be as early adopters as possible. It allows us to grow painlessly.”

“That Marketing Guy uses Swingvy for a mural of things, most notably expense claims, we know each others’ birthdays, payroll, we’re also the first beta testers for insurance claims and benefits. The team at Swingvy has been really helpful when it comes to onboarding when it comes to answering some of our questions, it’s almost seamless. We almost didn’t need their help but they’re always there.”

“We choose Swingvy because of the value that it gives. It’s seamlessness and its user interface. It’s very intuitive.”

2020

“The current economic climate took everyone by surprise. That was a huge challenge for us. We were fortunate because a lot of our existing clients are providing essential services, so business as usual [for them]. The main challenge is acquiring new customers because of everyone having budget freezes, budget cuts and the like. That is the main hurdle for That Marketing Guy.”

“[The] silver lining is that we do have stuff in the pipeline. We are working really closely with smaller companies who are trying to digitise and automate their business processes. I wouldn’t call it a pivot in business, it’s just a natural extension of what we provide.”

“It’s a good time for me and for our management team to look inward, to take stock, and to address some of the holes that are left there when we transitioned from a small to a medium-ish company.”

…AND BEYOND

“Looking forward, say five years away, I’m looking to move more upstream, I’m looking to work with companies who have the desire to innovate, the desire to disrupt their own industries, to tear up their own business models and breakthrough with a new business model, and that’s kind of what we want to do.”

“There are many contributing factors to what brought us to where we are today. But to me, success is not a be-all end-all kind of thing. Success can only be measured in retrospect… It’s the constant change and the constant desire to change and evolve and improve yourself. That’s my definition of success, and we are still holding true to that today.”

That Marketing Guy utilises Swingvy to manage their HR operations. Learn more about the all-in-one HR platform built for Singapore SMEs.

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