Simon Dang

Name: Simon Dang
Chinese Name: 邓世民
Title: Vice President, Inline Strategy
Company: Weber Shandwick
Years in China: 5
I consider myself to be a digital native because:
I was a geek in the '80s coding on commodore 64s and Apple +s, and learning HTML in the 90s.
My career highlights:
As a broad-reaching digital veteran, I’ve worked across many different fields in digital including search, social media, and display advertising. I started in digital building and designing websites in the 90s in New York, then opened my own agency that combined beautiful non-flash CSS-based websites with technical SEO strategies. I continued further working at an industry-leading SEO firm, Business Online, where I helped build a paid search division. With Microsoft In 2005, I was among an elite team of six employees that opened the New York office for Bing Search (then MSN adCenter) and subsequently helped grow the team to over 100 employees and eventually transitioned the business to Yahoo in 2010. I spoke at the international Search Engine Strategies conference in China 2006 representing Microsoft alongside Google and Baidu. In 2008, my team was awarded first place for exceeding all search ad sales targets across the US Market. I was awarded “Best of the Best” manager for the East region. In 2010, I was a global director of search at Mindshare overseeing the SAP and Unilever accounts. I managed a global team that created and executed digital campaigns across digital, social, search and TV. For Unilever I was invited to serve on the North American Digital Innovation Board where I served as an advisor for all Unilever brands on search and digital. Our Twitter social campaign for Magnum ice cream during the Royal Wedding was among the most successful paid social campaigns for the day netting the brand a significant uptick in follows and engagement. Today I oversee growth of integrated digital strategies for Weber Shandwick China. I work with client agency heads for full cycle proposal generation: competitive research, analysis, creative “big idea” generation, campaign execution ideas, budgeting, and contract negotiations. Leading the new business team, I’ve increased our win rate by 10% helping 2012-2013 become one of the most successful financial years for the agency. When not involved in driving new digital business and organic growth, I am the lead digital strategist on key clients for the food practice (Ocean Spray, CA Walnuts, EU Agriculture, etc) and the Unilever CLEAR global planning account (managed out of China). I am responsible for creating and defining the global social media planning and strategy for all top global markets (Ex: China, Indonesia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Vietnam, Thailand, etc).
Professional mission:
Don’t settle for mediocrity. Have fun.
The best thing about my job is:
Diversity and working with really talented and passionate people.
Personal mantra:
It’s about a passion to pursue and using your heart and soul to face the challenges of life. Enjoy life.
My proudest achievement is:
Best of the Best Manager for Microsoft MSN 2009
The secret to my success is:
Perseverance, and finding the right mentors.
The trends I'm watching in China are:
Mobile (WeChat), payment systems, tech accessories (Google glass, smart watches), and the internet of things.
The most significant development in China's digital scene is:
Rapid assimilation and innovation of technology.
What technology do you consider most important and why?
Mobile. It’s already here and 81 per cent of all of China access the internet through mobile devices.
My favourite digital campaign is:
Paper Mate , World’s most stolen pen: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/165213/paper-mate-launches-most-stolen-pen.html
Challenges I'm seeking to overcome this year:
I think it’s important to stay on top of all the local cultural differences. It’s not enough to just understand and speak the language but also understand the nuances and what’s the latest buzz and trends in China.