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28 October 2016
You may not know of Vincent Tsui (BBA 1999), but you have probably heard of his pseudonym — Tsui Yuen. Vincent’s primary job is marketing. He has served in marketing-related managerial roles for many leading companies, and is currently the Chief Marketing Officer of Next Digital Limited, with a side job as a marketing columnist. He has written for numerous media outlets and penned several books on marketing. Vincent stresses that he is not a successful person, only he is better at managing his spare time. It begs the question: How did he fully utilize his marketing ideas and create value by better managing his spare time?
Vincent is a university part-time lecturer in his spare time. He enjoys sharing knowledge with aspiring marketers. He poses with his happy students after class.
Vincent faced a tough question when he was in university: How could he utilize time spent walking to school? As a person who values productivity, he found walking against his principles because he could not read at the same time to broaden his knowledge. Fortunately he figured a way out. “I found that RTHK and the Ch'ien Mu Library each had a good collection of recording of Chinese history and speeches of philosopher Mr. Lee Tien Ming. It was like hitting a jackpot. Listening to them made walking more worthwhile.”
Vincent believes a good teacher should impart knowledge as well as inspire students to self-learn, and a university student should know how to make the right choices to use his time efficiently. In his university days, whenever he had to attend mundane classes to meet attendance requirements, he would switch on his self-learning mode. He wasted no time in self-improvement. Sitting in the far back of the lecture hall, he indulged himself in free copies of the Hong Kong Economic Journal and The Wall Street Journal Asia distributed at Leung Kau Kui Building or Chinese painting albums borrowed from Ch'ien Mu Library.
Vincent poses in full gown at United College to celebrate his completion of the BBA program in 1999
Vincent did not think marketing was a particularly sophisticated discipline when he was a student, but years of working in a marketing role for multinational corporations including British American Tobacco, Unilever and Mentholatum gave him a new perspective. “Marketing is about creating values. Addressing market needs by designing or improving products brings profits for corporations and also benefits consumers. It’s rather meaningful to society.”
In this spirit, Next Media recently launched a travel information platform, Next Journey. The website categorized more than 1,000 in-depth travel articles from Apple Daily’s supplements from the last two years. It has made information more user-friendly and accessible. It has also invited small travel agents that specialize in volunteer abroad programs to submit articles. The public can now learn more about this new travel style thanks to the power of the media. Other than profiting from advertising income, the website also takes commission from travel products and air tickets purchased through affiliated links. The new service benefits multiple parties by adding values to old articles, creating a new profit model for the company, and offering small travel agents a new channel to promote travel options besides dining, shopping and thrill seeking.
How does Vincent come up with such innovative ideas? He admitted, “I’m not any smarter or more creative than anyone and definitely not a creative genius. I’m just a bit more hardworking and well read. Many of the ideas weren’t original. I’ve just read about them somewhere.”
As a marketing expert, Vincent often gets invited to share his insights into marketing and the media sector.
On making good use of time, Vincent encourages people to turn their hobbies into side jobs in their spare time, and then turn these into full-time jobs they love. He believes that is the key to a happy life.
He points out that most people do not like their full-time jobs, which can be compensated by a side career. For one thing, the income from a side job acts as a buffer to offer financial security. It lends one the courage to say “no” when a full-time job presents struggle and unfairness. A much-liked side job gives one satisfaction and positive energy or even benefits his full-time job by expanding his personal network. Once it generates sufficient income, it can replace the full-time job and become the dream one has always wanted.
How does anyone find time for a side job? Vincent’s answer may be harder than it sounds: Don’t watch junk aired on a certain TV major channel. “By reducing one hour of such TV viewing a day, you’ll gain 3,650 extra hours in 10 years. With a side career you love, you’d have a clear idea of how to make good use of the spare time.”
Vincent has published several marketing-related books comprising different case studies this year, and hopes to explore case studies of advertising, public relations and marketing with readers.
Vincent also has a side job that he loves. Other than teaching marketing, he writes about the discipline under the pseudonym Tsui Yuen. He thinks luck is as important as hard work in life, and his career as a columnist is a good example.
He wrote his first column article for a writer friend, when a reader asked about tobacco marketing. It was the only article published under the name Vincent Tsui. He has since written under the name Tsui Yuen without revealing his real-life identity. Later on, he became interested in writing columns for print media. The opportunity finally came one day at a work dinner with Sky Post publisher Mr. Mak Wah-cheung. Before Vincent got to inquire about the possibility, Mr. Mak had extended an invitation to him to write for the paper and praised his writing. Vincent was surprised that Mr. Mak knew of his role as a writer. It turned out Mr. Mak had read his first article. Little did Vincent know an online article that had never been officially published could create such a ripple effect a few years later and land him a columnist job!
Vincent’s colleagues prepare a cake to celebrate his birthday and to wish him growing readership and social media success.
Vincent thinks success should not be assessed by money or honor but inspiration to others. Therefore, he encourages industry professionals to write about their knowledge and experiences. Hopefully their marketing insights can inspire readers to create more value for themselves and live life to the fullest.
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