Lessons from leading an award-winning Digital Martech Group: A Chat with Willy Lai, Co-founder and CEO of FIMMICK

Written by
Aaron Oh
Last Modified on
March 12, 2024

The world of digital marketing is being flipped on its head by generative AI, opening doors to incredible possibilities and uncharted territories. At the forefront of this revolution is Willy Lai, Co-founder and CEO of FIMMICK, a pioneering MarTech force. Willy pulls back the curtain on FIMMICK's success in this fireside chat, revealing a winning formula that transcends mere technical prowess. He shares how humility, a growth mindset fueled by constant learning, and a strategic embrace of multi-technologies have propelled FIMMICK to the top of the digital game.

Aspire: With your wealth of experience as both a startup mentor and serial entrepreneur, what are the most valuable lessons you've learned about building and growing successful companies, and how are you applying these insights at FIMMICK?

Willy Lai: It’s imperative for entrepreneurs to keep learning new things. Whether it’s through the internet or a chat with new people you’ve met along the way, you need to collect as much information as possible from different channels to discover new trends, customer pain points, and market needs. At FIMMICK, we’ve discovered there’s a need for more data to cope with the marketing calculus, especially in this AI era. 

Aspire: FIMMICK is known for embracing cutting-edge technologies like generative AI in digital marketing. What exciting opportunities and potential hurdles do you anticipate in this space, and how does FIMMICK plan to maintain its pioneering role?

Willy Lai: The huge challenge most companies are facing is leveraging new marketing technologies, especially in data and AI, to enhance campaign performance. In the past, collecting data from different channels was enough. But nowadays, especially in the coming years with GenAI, we need to have as much data as possible. This is why we focus on helping our clients leverage multi-technologies to collect data and then train their own AI model to address market needs. 

Another offering we have is our CDP (Customer Data Platform). By implementing it in your website and apps, you can track and collect your visitors' behaviours —what they’re browsing and what content they’re looking for. You can then segment different audiences based on captured intent and behaviour. It’s better for comprehensive targeting as well, leveraging multiple channels in the process.

If you can analyse what people are interested in or what content they're looking for, you can leverage external data and GenAI technologies to personalise applications at scale for a specific demographic. It can lower your advertising costs and increase your marketing performance. 

Aspire: FIMMICK has expanded its services into diverse sectors like digital marketing, AI, and data tech. How does the company foster synergy between these different units while staying competitive in each field? Any advice for businesses looking to diversify their offerings?

Willy Lai: Since FIMMICK’s headquarters is in Hong Kong, finding data and marketing professionals and setting up a team is difficult because we need to compete with other industries. If you are a startup company, be it in the technology or digital niche, you need to explore recruiting talents from other countries. You will find people who are very passionate about new technologies, especially AI. People are still exploring what GenAI can do. It’s still in the early stage but there are opportunities you can tap from overseas talent.

Aspire: As FIMMICK gears up for expansion into Singapore, how do you plan to forge strategic alliances and foster beneficial relationships within the local tech and business community?

Willy Lai: I think Singapore is similar to Hong Kong. They’re both small for a tech company. You can test your protocol there before expanding into other countries. Moreover, Singapore is a tech hub in Southeast Asia. Being fintech-oriented, I think there are good partnerships we can build as we explore how to set up a company in the country and enter the Southeast Asia region. 

Because our company is digital, I'm very aggressive on LinkedIn. I make sure my profile is interesting and I actively connect with others. I update my LinkedIn regularly and join groups and trips to get partnership opportunities. 

Another piece of advice for startup founders is to leverage social networks. Build your profile, join meetups, and gain new knowledge from different people.

Aspire: As someone who's been an early adopter of big data and new technologies, what advice would you give to aspiring founders and entrepreneurs without technical backgrounds on leveraging these tools effectively in their ventures?

Willy Lai: I think every aspiring entrepreneur should learn data tools. You should have a basic knowledge. The technology fields are quite wide and you cannot learn every technology in one week or month but you can still acquire a basic data skillset. Knowing how you collect your customer data, private data, and first-party data is very important because that’s your asset. It’s your edge against your competitors. 

For entrepreneurs who aren’t in the tech field, they should explore free tools. For example, if you’re doing an e-commerce business, you can use BigQuery to store your data. Google provides it and it’s free. You can also learn a lot of technical things on YouTube. There are plenty of resources you can leverage to learn something new. 

Aspire: What is the single most important factor that has contributed to FIMMICK's success?

Willy Lai: I think humility is very important. Even when we developed our company to be a market leader in Hong Kong, we stayed humble. Being humble means you know you need to learn things every day, you don’t think you are big enough and you still need to grow. And if you’re humble, you can meet a lot of new friends as well and learn something new through them. Staying humble is very important, not just for myself, but for the company as a whole. 

Leverage FIMMICK’s data-driven and AI-powered digital marketing solutions to propel your brand to new heights.

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About the author
Aaron Oh
is a seasoned content writer specialising in finance, insurance and tech industries. With a writing history at S&P Global, EdgeProp, Indeed, Prudential, and others, Aaron leverages finance knowledge and business insights to help businesses improve productivity and performance.
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