Fum Ai Yan
From editorial to marketing and sales, Fum Ai Yan’s journey at Elken has been a sweet one, literally. Ai Yan was part of the 2019 Elken Leadapreneur Accelerator Series (Cycle 3).
Not only did she come up with an exciting innovation that made a great impact to the company, Ai Yan was also crowned the overall champion of the Accelerator series at the end of her 16-week training.
The 37-year-old Assistant Manager chose to work on an online marketing campaign to improve the sales of Le Pont Cake, a premium product offered at Le Pont Boulangerie et Café. The French inspired café is the food and beverage (F&B) subsidiary of Butbo Group Sdn Bhd, introduced by Elken Founder and Group Chairman AK Tan.
The Le Pont artisan cakes were introduced a year ago, but the sales were average considering that the cakes fetched a premium price. Its market presence was also low despite their online delivery options.
Ai Yan wanted to increase the sales for Le Pont but had limited knowledge on sales and marketing. She then placed herself in the shoe of a customer to see what it is customers really wanted when they made online cake orders.
Armed with this basic knowledge and with a little guidance from Leadapreneur’s coach and her mentors, Ai Yan managed to convince her senior management to start promoting the cakes at an introductory discount for a limited time.
She started by offering a “low entry” discount of 30% to all new customers. She also created early bird freebies – a tin of Le Pont signature chocolate – and promotional codes to raise awareness on Le Pont cakes and create the urge to buy.
Not only did her idea take off well, Ai Yan also gained an all-rounder marcomm skills, something that comes very much in handy in her current role at Elken’s Corporate Communication division. This is because her little cake project pushed her to familiarise herself with mindful design tactics, strategic marketing and creative writing that will entice readers.
She knew that it wasn’t going to be easy to sell artisan cakes that already has ample competition within the same vicinity, so Ai Yan had to see the initial marketing through the conventional way by going down to the ground herself.
Ai Yan designed attractive pamphlets and distributed it to the public. She even placed little flyers on all the cars parked in the surrounding area and did a little hard selling everytime she was out for lunch by promoting the cakes to her friends and acquaintances. She then leveraged on social media by creating discount codes and ads that would help drive traffic to the Le Pont online delivery platform.
As a result, within 28 days, her campaign resulted in a whopping 582% jump in the number of cakes sold, 556% increase in orders and 488% of new customers.
In a nutshell, the numbers increased by five folds and Ai Yan didn’t just double, but tripled the sales revenue within just 1 month, recording a 317% increase in sales! And that, was how Ai Yan earned herself the nickname ‘Cake Queen’.
But her win certainly has a back story to it. She had initially wanted to market Elken’s popular product like Spirulina health supplement by mimicking the 11.11 Singles’ Day Shopping concept where they would have a one-day crazy price drop, but the idea was not well received due to the nature of Elken’s business. Being in a multi-level marketing field, the execution was complicated.
Ai Yan then thought of digitally marketing their FMCG products through the iElken platform, but she was once again advised against it due to several complications like cross-border delivery and high cost. Since the FMCG products were also not considered high ticket items, Ai Yan had to drop the idea.
When she was on the verge of giving up after her two ideas failed, it was a significant sharing by Leadapreneur’s CEO Jan Bartscht that turned things around for Ai Yan. She started prioritising the project by looking at other areas of improvement and finally came across the F&B subsidiary Butbo. After talking to a few people, Ai Yan finally arrived at her winning idea.
It wasn’t a breeze for Ai Yan who was already handling a heavy workload and her responsibilities as a mother of two toddlers, but when Ai Yan managed to see the project through, it gave her a great sense of satisfaction.
Referring to the Accelerator series as an eye-opening training, not only is she learning how to think out of the box and applying her newly learnt skills like designing, marketing and sales strategies to her day-to-day routine, Ai Yan realised that she is capable of achieving so much more as a leadapreneur.
More importantly, she has had the taste of pushing her boundaries when she puts her mind to it and knows that she can do it all over again, whenever she wills it.
Congratulations Ai Yan in becoming a Star of the Accelerator!