Sales / Marketing

With one click

by Mariejean Li

Catherine Fong, senior human resources manager, Yahoo! Hong Kong Limited
Photo: Edde Ngan

Virtual platform a solid ground for sales careers

From email to news and auctions to finances, the cyber world offers all kinds of information, supports any number of activities, and opens endless possibilities to the bold and innovative.

Taking advantage of the infinite business potential, Hong Kong's number one Internet portal Yahoo! Hong Kong has pioneered a variety of products and services that are linked to people from all walks of life. With an impressive global network, the company has also been offering a full range of business tools and marketing solutions for businesses of all sizes to send their messages to target audiences around the world.

The main factor contributing to the company's success is growth in online advertising. Today, Yahoo! Hong Kong's primary services include an array of advanced search marketing tools and banner advertisement packages aimed at individuals and businesses looking for effective and easy-to-ride promotional vehicles.

"Yahoo! Hong Kong offers a variety of search enhancement products, which increase the visibility of keywords and improve customised searches made by local users," says Catherine Fong, senior human resources manager, Yahoo! Hong Kong Limited. The company also continues to present original and compelling content, as well as both educational and entertaining experiences to its target user base making it popular with consumers, which in turn makes it popular with advertisers.

"Businesses that utilise Yahoo!'s marketing tools can expect to reach a mass audience, acquire new customers, increase brand awareness and even influence purchasing decisions," Ms Fong adds.

Talent challenge

Keeping up with changing Internet trends is not easy. It requires more than a talented engineer who has brilliant technical skills. What are really needed are quality sales executives who can achieve sales targets through original, stimulating promotional schemes aimed at existing and potential new customers.

Because of the company's position at the forefront of a dynamic industry, finding top sales executives who can develop the company's business, while staying on top of the latest local trends and understanding the needs of an increasingly sophisticated local user community, has become a growing challenge.

The minimum requirements for a new sales executive include a university degree, at least four to six years of experience in media advertising and excellent communication and language skills. Also highly prized are being team-oriented, having the ability to take initiatives, and demonstrating a capacity to thrive under pressure. A sales executive must understand, adapt and react quickly to the continuously evolving needs of the community. "In a fast-paced environment such as Hong Kong, we need to learn and adapt quickly to changes," Ms Fong explains. "We look for candidates who are proactive, self-motivated and result-oriented."

Yahoo! Hong Kong creates a lively, energetic and youthful work environment for its 200 staff who on average are in their early 30s. To attract top candidates the company offers competitive compensation, as well as tuition and sports allowances to those seeking the right work-life balance. "At the end of the day our staff are here because they have job satisfaction," she says.

When it comes to advancement in the company, Ms Fong says it is up to the individuals. The company offers an orientation programme for the newly hired to learn more about what it takes to succeed and further their career within the field. There are also regular on-site job training seminars and personal coaching for new recruits. "We do evaluations quarterly and promotion opportunities primarily depend on the person's performance and acumen," she says.

Though competition for positions in such a well-known company is fierce, Ms Fong says high-calibre candidates are hard to find. "Most of the time you cannot tell by just looking at the resumes. It's all about personality," she says, and encourages people who possess the talent, enthusiasm and personality to succeed to apply for a position with Yahoo!. "Of course," she adds, "they also have to be passionate about the Internet."


Taken from Career Times 08 June 2007
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