Samuel joined Meltwater in 2019 as a Media Analyst. He graduated from Durham University with a Master's degree in Marketing in 2018. In less than a year, he was quickly promoted to senior Media Analyst. With his previous experience at a digital marketing agency, he developed a passion in PR, marketing and Influencer outreach. Now at Meltwater, he gets to expand his creative sphere and leverage the power of data to advise his clients.
Q: I noticed you worked in a digital marketing agency before joining Meltwater as a Media Analyst. What are the differences working in these two fields or companies?
At my previous digital marketing agency, I was focusing more on executing clients’ requests and turning their ideas into detailed execution plans. Most of their clients had a clear vision of what they wanted. Though creativity was allowed, there was a limited creative sphere that I could venture out to as I had to stay within the client’s execution frameworks. However, working in Meltwater as a strategic consultant allowed me to explore beyond a tight rulebook. Here, we all maintain direct communication with our client’s PR departments, where we advise on their overall industry trends
and corporate marketing strategies based on our reporting services. We stand closely with our corporate clients by leveraging the power of data to evaluate their firm performance. We are also given a lot of trust and autonomy over determining what data we could use for analysis, advising on what type of insights clients should pay attention to.
Q: With differences, there must also be similarities. Can you share with us how your experience in digital marketing agency helped you adapt to the role of Media Analyst at Meltwater?
I was able to gain a lot of transferable skills from my previous position that can be applied to my Media Analyst role today. As both firms are in the social media industry, my knowledge and expertise in social media operations and public relations that I was able to acquire in my previous experience comes in handy. I would say it helped me to gain a better sense of how marketing activities are planned. For example, I used to be responsible for writing PR posts and reaching out to KOLs when I was working in a marketing agency. Joining Meltwater with these experiences gave me the foundation on how to analyse the effectiveness of KOL promotions, its paid and earned media, and increase in influencer outreach.
These experiences gave me a broader perspective when interpreting media data, and learned quickly and accurately about my client’s needs and their related industry. As an in-house marketer, you stand in the shoes of social media users; as a media analyst, you observe in the view of researchers. My work experience in marketing allowed me to gain a glimpse of what my clients want to learn about their business. Now at Meltwater, I get to deliver what I know to my clients and offer my comprehensive suggestions through data analysis.
As an in-house marketer, you stand in the shoes of social media users; as a media analyst, you observe in the view of researchers.
Q: While most people would like to stay with a company for at least a year, you decided to have a switch very quickly. What factors lure you to apply for Meltwater? Why does working as a Media Analyst match with your career aspirations more?
I used to work at a local marketing agency, but I’ve always wanted to work in a company with greater international exposure and colleagues from diverse backgrounds. Meltwater’s company culture is inclusive and diverse that allows me to leverage our global network and learn more about different marketing tactics through our clients across the world. I love working as a Media Analyst because it combines both my personal interests in data analytics and business intelligence. Big data is currently an emerging business trend and Meltwater offers a great opportunity for me to learn about the rising phenomenon of cutting edge technology and how it can be incorporated to address each client’s needs. By building up an
analytic model and delivering such insightful findings, it gives me a great sense of achievement. I could also take full ownership of a project and receive feedback from my clients, which accelerates my long term learning in social media strategy and develops my business acumen. Compared to a traditional marketing firm, Meltwater offers a more flexible career path within the industry, along with a competitive compensation package, promotion and salary raise. I could easily develop a successful career path according to my strengths and interests which gives me more motivation and opportunities to stay in the field.
Q: If you are asked to describe your role as a Media Analyst with 2 words, what would it be and why?
First word that comes to my mind is to “be mindful”. Our work is about finding meaningful insights through examining large volumes of data and we must be very careful in data cleaning to ensure that we achieve a high data integrity.
Another important word to describe my role is to always take the perspective of your clients: From the client's standpoint, how can we maximise their value using Meltwater services? For example, if they want to learn more about their competitors’ activities today, what research is required on the industry leaders? What are their marketing efforts and to what extent are they effective? What keywords and campaigns do they use? What can we help them look for during the marketing/social media strategy performance evaluation process? In this case, we need to compare client’s expectations to their area performance in each market. Then, we can see what product features their consumers preferences and identify areas of improvement.
From the client's standpoint, how can we maximise their value using Meltwater services?
Q. What are some of the biggest challenges that you faced when you just joined back then and now?
When I just joined, I had to quickly learn the analytical skills, business models as well as the media landscape and trends. I also had to start to take initiative in many projects across different industries which involved a lot of content handling within a short timeframe. In most cases among beauty and 3C industry clients, they emphasise more on customers’ immediate feedback, so update-to-date research and immediate insights are needed. I once struggled as a junior to gather all the information and present them to the client in a really short time. This is why time management was a significant challenge for me when I first entered the company.
While I’ve managed to polish up my analytical and research skills, people and project management became a greater focus as I’ve transitioned into my role now. I am no longer a junior awaiting for instructions on various projects but the one to take responsibility from on-boarding to customising dashboard templates. I have to first understand the clients’ needs before designing a standard template for others to follow in order to ensure a consistent service quality and effectively reflect our customer’s performance over time. Besides, I am always on the lookout for better ways to mentor my junior analysts to speed up their personal growth and expand their work capacity. When working in a fast growing tech company, it is important that the junior analysts can manage clients expectations independently, while the senior analysts can focus on client management and business expansion work. Eventually, everyone can drive significant business growth.
Q: Can you share with us a rewarding moment over your 2 years journey at Meltwater?
There are a lot of rewarding moments working in Meltwater, but nothing topped seeing my own client actually fully adopt the strategy I’ve suggested in their delivery report. My client was in the beauty industry based in Hong Kong trying to expand their customer base to the Mainland. Yet, they had little knowledge of China's social media landscape and struggled in competing with other brands on Weibo. Therefore, I led them to know more about the Weibo operation and offered our insight in media intelligence, which now became one of their monthly featured social media campaigns. Ever since then, I am always excited to present my new-founded insights to my client as I can see
how my recommendations are consistently adapted and evolved in their own strategies. It also makes me feel empowered seeing how data can help clients to understand their own performance and achieve their critical business objectives, take into consideration and get their desired results with our ideas.
Q: I also learned that you received a promotion in a very short period, would you mind disclose some of your secret to success with those who are interested in joining us?
Everyone here has a good academic background and are very open minded, so it’s up to you on how easily you can fit in and learn from others’ strength to be successful. At the Shanghai office, there is a pantry where everyone would gather around to share different ideas during lunch or after work. For me, I quickly knew the other teams via the ping pong games during noon and afternoon tea breaks. Company culture is one of the most important factors that impressed me and made me adaptable to the new environment to work closely with my teammates. Through frequent interactions with your colleagues, it gives you a better first hand insight into the company and your client’s expectations. For example, you can have a more comprehensive view on clients’ needs by talking to colleagues in the Client Success or Client Acquisition teams because they have frequent and direct communication with our clients.
Another thing I would like to mention is to step further. In Meltwater, opportunities are endless to everyone. In such a dynamic environment, everyone has equal chances to increase their knowledge and engage with other talents. It is up to you to proactively seek for learning and exceed beyond expectations. An average analyst only follows the instructions of others, but a high performing analyst creates impact to clients through new perspectives. I believe it is critical to delve into each content to search for new ideas at the perspective of your client, and it is this client centric attitude that makes you a successful analyst at Meltwater.
Q: Before joining Meltwater, what are your views towards the big data era? And now, after joining the company, what observations have you made and have your views changed over the years?
Before joining Meltwater, I had a limited understanding of big data but I knew it was a field that is growing exponentially with time. Everyone around me discussed big data as a world changing trend. Hence, not long after I entered Meltwater, I was truly convinced that big data can be utilised way beyond expectations. At first, I only expected it to help businesses make sound decisions, but in reality, it is highly integrated and applied in every decision making process in any industry. In the future, rising industries will be using big data to offer more specialised and innovative services, increasing the value of big data in the business world.