Jeanette Ong, Partnerships Manager, is a hands-on Klooker who likes to execute and see her projects come to fruition (preferably in durian form). From limited-edition hot plates to Valentine’s day durian cruise, the products she dreams up for the Singapore market sell out in hours. Her secret? Know your audience and adapt fast.
Find out what working as a Partnerships Manager is like, how the pandemic affected her day-to-day, and how you can kickstart your own partnership marketing journey.
What does a Partnerships Manager do?
There are two main elements of my role at Klook. The first is the bank/corporate partnerships — coming up with user discounts and campaigns.
The other portion would be similar to "product innovation" which essentially is all about partnering with various brands to create an innovative experience for our users. For example, when the lockdown first started in Singapore and you couldn’t leave the house, we launched a durian delivery service. Singaporeans love their durians: we sold out in 24 hours!
What’s the process for coming up with these crazy ideas?
When I come up with ideas I always put myself in my customers’ shoes. When we were in lockdown, I was thinking ok, we can’t leave the house but what can we do? And that was the time when everyone was a self-proclaimed Master Chef. We were all cooking and baking. So I managed to get a partnership with a Japanese brand BRUNO for a limited edition Snoopy hot plate. It sold out in less than an hour.
Jeanette's #1 advice for sell-out products: put yourself in your customers' shoes
Trends come and go which means we have to adapt faster and faster. When some of the restrictions in Singapore were lifted during Covid-19, everyone was booking staycations. So we tried to mix it up. We partnered up with Uniqlo for a loungewear + staycation experience at the 5-star Capitol Kempinski Hotel. Let’s face it, most of us lived in our loungewear last year so why not embrace that while chilling in a luxurious hotel room?
Just recently, we launched a beauty-cation. We worked with skincare brand Anessa to curate the perfect beauty bag for the staycation (think face masks, sun block) so you don’t even need to pack your beauty kit. All these ideas stem from constantly asking myself: what would people want to experience now, especially in such a different time compared to pre-COVID-19?
Dogcation, beauty-cation... there's more to staycations than just the room
How did the pandemic affect your work?
It shifted my perspective. Whether it’s things to do this weekend or things to do on that dream holiday you’re planning. To be honest, pre-Covid I never knew we could do all these innovative things. Today, we have entered the staycation space and created innovative products like never before.
And even though travel has paused temporarily, our partners have been really supportive. To me that means we have proved our worth in the domestic space — I see us now owning both travel and domestic leisure spaces.
What are some of the most exciting projects you’ve worked on in the past year?
Durian cruise was a total hit with lovebirds in Singapore!
The Valentine’s durian cruise we launched last month was definitely one of my favorites. As you notice, I keep talking about durians cos I’m a huge fan! [laughing] Lunar New Year and Valentine’s day coincided this year but the restaurants were closed so I couldn’t bring my partner anywhere to celebrate. We created an out-of-the-box Valentine’s date idea by pairing up a river cruise, which is a very classic thing to do in Singapore, with a durian picnic on the cruise.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to get into partnership marketing?
As a manager myself, I’d look for someone who’s flexible. How agile are you? Can you think outside the box while adapting to new situations? The other important thing is to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. What I want to see from potential candidates is that customer-centric mindset. This is a lot more important than prior experience or qualifications, in my opinion.
What is the most exciting part about working at Klook?
Having an idea, starting it and rolling it out in a tight timeline. I still get to roll up my sleeves here. You plan, execute and see your project come to fruition. Of course, one thing is that we have a lean team so everyone needs to pull their weight. But I also want to be doing this stuff — it gives me a great sense of accomplishment to see my projects through to the end.
The team is very open to trying things. If something fails, we just think how to make it successful next time. The ability to try is really exciting to me, I hope we never lose that.
Want to bring your innovative ideas to life?
Posted by Klook Careers