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Member Spotlight: 5 Minutes With Ophenia Liang, Director & Co-founder Of Digital Crew

ACBC (NSW) Member Spotlight: 5 minutes with Ophenia Liang, Director and Co-Founder of Digital Crew



1. Tell us about your business and how you've leveraged your Australia-China connections to build your success in China?
Digital Crew is Australia's fastest growing multilingual digital marketing firm working with Australian, US, Japanese and Hong Kong companies marketing into China. The multi-award-winning firm established in 2014 in Sydney and now has offices in has offices Melbourne, New York, Tokyo, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. The digital marketing firm works with all industries including investment, finance, property, education, tourism, food and beverage, health supplements and pharmacies. It is working in the “Chinese money” market to include not only the growing huge number of middle class in mainland China, but also overseas Chinese in Australia, US, Canada and UK.
Digital Crew helps clients with research, strategy, digital assets development, creative concept, campaign planning and execution, social media marketing and management, search engine optimisation, media buying, KOL (Key Opinion Leaders) sourcing and management, analytics and conversion optimisation. All of the firm’s consultants are native speakers of two or more languages, holding various degrees in marketing from universities in China and Australia. It has one of the first Baidu Certified Senior SEM Consultants, and is a partner of Alibaba Cloud Channel, Tencent in Australia and Google. The firm’s copywriters are all Professional Translators accredited by NAATI.
Awards: Digital Crew is Winner of NSW Business Award 2017; Winner of City of Sydney Business Award 2017; and a finalist in the 2017 Australia-China Business Awards.
2. What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?
The truth is there is no “typical day” for an entrepreneur, isn’t it? Managing a fast growing firm, I believe every day is a new adventure. If I am not travelling interstate or internationally for business, my day usually starts with a coffee, I would spend 30 to 60 minutes sorting out emails from previous night from overseas clients and teams. The rest of the day usually fills with meetings and conference calls with Digital Crew local/overseas teams and clients. My work continues even after I leave the office, due to time differences, I am always on-call or on WeChat until bed time. I think I have perfected the art of holding a toddler while cooking dinner and talking business on the phone. At the moment, we are gearing up for Chinese New Year campaigns for a lot of clients.
3. What would you say are the five key elements for starting and running a successful business in/with China? 
I only have three.
  • Plan for long-term – don’t dream of being successful overnight, be prepare for a long journey, there will be ups and downs
  • Vigorous research – understand the regulations, know the target audience, build relationships with strategic partners
  • Adaptiveness – the market changes quicker than Australia, so be ready to adjust and readopt your marketing strategy
4. How do you go about marketing your business in Australia/China and what has contributed to this success?
We are a marketing consultancy firm, we are good at what we do starting from ourselves.
Be genuine, be honest with clients, be transparent, be ethical, treat people and clients well, business will come.
5. You have been very successful to date, but there have no doubt been challenges - what's been your biggest challenge that you have overcome in your business journey with China? 
Balancing motherhood and the business. Being a mother taught me a lot on people management, I learnt how to be patient and how to bring out the best of my employees and people. The foundation of my consultancy business is people, I have been applying the skills I learnt by being a mother to managing my team. This is one of the reason we named the company “Digital Crew”, because it is all about the “Crew”. Being an entrepreneur with a young family, means I need to be extremely efficient in time management.  My family needs me as much as my business does. We recruited a highly qualified team to work in the business; I spent most of my time in managing the business growth, training team member and delegating responsibilities to my team. This approach allows me to maintain a time balance between my young family and the business.
New immigrant and new business offering in the market. Being in Australia for less than 10 years, I always get questioned on my credibility and my local knowledge. Running a professional consultancy business specialised solving foreign market entry problems, the service offering was of novelty in the market. Educated in University of Melbourne, I had managed divisions for one of the biggest independent agencies in Australia (Reactive Media) prior to starting Digital Crew. I had managed large scale local marketing campaigns for brands such as Gucci, Nissan, Melbourne Airport, Cricket Australia, ANZ and more. Demonstrating professionalism and subject matter expertise are my responses to sceptics. The digital industry and our clients have been very appreciating of our ethics and knowledge of both Australia and China market.
6. What's your motto/mantra? 
Learn with an open mind, think critically, distinguish directions, persistence in actions.