A digital marketing professional for more than a decade now, Evangeline Leong admits that it would be an understatement to say this is her passion. Starting out at Purpleclick as part of their Marketing Team and picking up digital marketing strategies along the way, she moved on to take up leadership positions and finally set up Kobe Global Technologies in Singapore. Passionate about meeting and sharing on new updates in Digital Marketing – constant changes in the sector that keep her on her toes. CEO and Founder of Kobe Digital Tech, Evangeline Leong’s journey is an inspiring tale of fervency and diligence.
Evangeline’s definition of success is simple – it is to see people around her succeed as well. She believes that no individual is an island, and one is only as strong as the people surrounding them. To know that she can help someone reach their goal is what truly fulfils her.
She admits to being inspired by the people who she works with, sometime being taken aback by how her staff comes up with creative and fresh ideas. Her mentor, Leonard Tan, Chairman of Purpleclick, has also been a significant influence in her life. He is someone Evangeline has learned a lot from; his encouragement and support motivate her to step put and keep trying.
Aiming to build Kobe Digital Tech as a global brand – currently branched out in Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia; she wishes for her staff to grow as people, and not just professionally.
Ages ago, as Evangeline walked into a small wanton noodles stall in Macpherson, (suburb in Singapore) her inquisitive nature made her ask the store owner how he managed to keep the store popular even with other competing stores opening. His answer has struck her ever since. 我的口碑好 he said. When translated to English, it means “my word-of-mouth recommendation is good.” That is when she decided to name her brand, Kobe. His answer, simple yet meaningful, left a lifelong impression in her heart.
It made her think about how word-of-mouth publicity can be relevant to businesses everywhere. For almost ten years, Evangeline, having worked in the digital marketing industry, believes that the most effective tool for marketing remains word of mouth. Adding to the same line to thought, she says that social media has liberated the speed of word amongst consumers. One often finds their friends or families sharing about their latest experience at a restaurant or an overseas trip.
Evangeline finds the adoption of digital innovation, transformation as a concern. She thinks there is no lack of cutting-edge technologies in the market, yet the passage has always been slow. This is mainly due to the unfamiliarity towards something new and intangible. Naming Kobe after the traditional word-of-mouth Kou Bei, 口碑 was intentional; to help bring the understanding to conventional marketing what this means as a tool to her business.
Furthermore, she personally believes in and works to practice servant leadership – meaning one is always available to offer a listening ear, to provide help, and to be there for every single member of the firm. She feels that everyone shines in their way and her aim is to empower them, while they also help each other find their personal Ikigai – the reason for being.
Break the rules
Evangeline has had her set of challenges, but she doesn’t feel that they were gender – specific. “I don’t see why women will face specific challenges as long as they don’t make it personal.”, she explains. Although she thought people would undermine her capabilities because of her gender, all this learning has taught her that just a change in mindset was the breakthrough one needed.
As Evangeline shares her proudest moment, there is an ear to ear smile on her face. For her company’s first anniversary, one of her interns surprised her with a home-baked cake. The gesture touched her heart as everyone was busy with work, and she really didn’t expect someone to put in such a soul-touching effort.
A quote she lives by reads, “Goals without routines are wishes; routines without goals are aimless.” For budding entrepreneurs, she says one should set their eyes on stars, and put their feet on the ground. Setting a vision that is exciting and having the discipline to work and achieve that vision is something that one should keep in mind, she adds. The cycle goes on forever. Reviewing the concept, maintaining the discipline, and putting in the work is an endless cycle, but Evangeline emphasizes that this process is essential to become successful.