Win Shi Wong is a Malaysian born full-stack digital marketer living and working in Toronto, Canada.

What this means is that they do everything in marketing. This includes working a lot in spreadsheets, SEO, direct email marketing, social media, paid, content strategy, design in Figma, write JIRA tickets – you name it, Win Shi does it.

This episode is one of my favourite chats because we both open up about what it is like being Asian, growing up in a western environment, not seeing ourselves represented on the stage, and the challenges we have faced being Asian in the workforce.

In other words, I don’t hold back.

Interesting things about Win Shi.

  • originally from a city called Klang in Malaysia (1-hr away from Kuala Lumpur)
  • moved to Canada and has been living and working there for the last 11 years
  • in addition to English, Win Shi speaks a little bit of Cantonese, Hokkien and Hakka
  • is a full-stack marketer (meaning they do EVERYTHING) in their day job and is a freelancer
  • has done email marketing, SEO, built and designed websites,
  • built a community following of 2k in Neopets back in the day
  • first touch point into marketing was due to their father’s business

Specialisation often means more earning potential but it comes at a cost of boredom.

Win Shi mentions that their is at a career crossroads in their life. They can either choose to specialise in one particular area in digital marketing or continue to work across all streams.

“I feel like I’m able to find balance. I work at a second stage startup still doing all kinds of things but I also venture into freelancing. So I get to choose what I want to do.”

How Win Shi found their way into marketing.

“I wasn’t very book smart.” Win Shi says.

“My entire family is business people. As I grew up, my dad expected me to take over his business – which I have absolutely no interest in doing. I found myself on the creative side of things, creating business cards for his business, flyers etc and eventually I got to manage his company and ecommerce website.”

“That was how I was able to tap into that world.”

During their high school years, Win Shi got into Neopets. Win Shi created their own guild and managed to attract 2,000 people to join.

This then introduced Win Shi into the concept of community building and engagement. For example, how to get members to join, how to get them to stay, and how to get them to refer other people.

By university, Win Shi got involved into student organisation where they took over their social media accounts within student-focused events. They recount how they were able to access HubSpot due to their involvement in student organisations.

“I feel like this is where I got started. I got to view a marketing campaign and dig into attribution and see how things come together.”

When they first started there weren’t many marketers that looked like them.

On the topic of diversity and representation, Win Shi echoes something that all Asian marketers have experienced. That is, there are very few of us on the main stage in the speaking circuit.

Even today, their managers are not people of colour and it has been difficult for them to navigate this environment.

They recall having to ignore who the ‘influencers’ were at the time and focus on what they had done, tested, and what advice they had to share.

Thankfully, in more recent years, there have been more people who look like them showing up. These include Amanda Natividad (VP Marketing, SparkToro) and Chi Thrukal.

Connect with Win Shi.

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