2019.10.15 Report

Japan B2B Marketing Event – Report #5
4 core fundamentals in the career of a marketer

On August 2nd, we held our private B2B marketing event, Bigbeat LIVE. The theme of our 3rd event hosted by an advertising and marketing agency was “Go for it!” and marketers from all over Japan gathered in Tokyo for the event.

Did you know, that in Japan there is the 'lifetime employement system' (Shushin Koyo) where you work at one company your entire life. Although changing recently, the idea of working at one company in Japan is still a very prevelant mindset.

During the 3rd Stage, hosted by Motohiko Tokuriki, Agile Media Network Co., Ltd we talked about “establishing the core role of a marketer”, where we heard about the unique and different career paths of 5 successful Japanese marketers. 
After an introduction by Mr. Tokuriki, we heard presentations from our 4 speakers: Shuji Ueyama, DropBox Japan; Yusuke Yamaguchi, Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.; Akiko Nagahashi, Automation Anywhere Japan Co., Ltd. and Koichi Shimabukuro, Yappli Co., Ltd. 

The 4 fundamentals of marketer's career life

Mr. Tokuriki at Bigbeat LIVE (Marketing Conference) 3rd stage

“The 1st and 2nd Stages were interesting! However, a lot of you may have thought ‘These people are incredible!’, ‘I can’t do that!’, right? Today, I will be participating on this stage all day long. So, I want to make today’s theme unique.

The 4 people who will take the stage today have had a very career path, each one different from another. If you asked me to imitate them, I wouldn't be able to. However, I am sure that all of us can learn from their experiences.

The main theme for this 3rd stage was ‘Setting your fundamental points as a marketer" (Mr. Tokuriki). 

Mr. Tokuriki’s profile

After having worked for NTT Communications and IT consulting firms, Mr. Tokuriki has been a blogger at Agile Media Network, since its establishment. Previously he was the President and CMO Director, but currently is responsible of the corporate social media, as well as, the corporate Ambassador Program. At the same time, as a Note producer for A Piece of Cake Ltd., Mr. Tokuriki is promoting the use of social media and corporate blogs inside companies and by businesspeople. Moreover, on the personal side, he writes columns for Nikkei MJ and Yahoo! News. He is the author of the books “Customer-oriented corporate strategy” and “Alpha Blogger”. 

Taking the leap as a Businessman

The first speaker to get on the stage was Shuji Ueyama, Head of International Growth, at Canva. 

Shoe-G Ueyama at Bigbeat LIVE (Marketing Conference) 3rd stage

Mr. Ueyama’s Profile

Mr. Ueyama worked at Dropbox until June 2019. From August he left Dropbox and was hired at Canva (headquarter Sydney, Australia), where he started as the International Growth Representative. He is trilingual and he is fluent in English, Japanese and Spanish. Mr. Ueyama is also a BMX rider: starting in 1994, for 12 years, he has won 45 BMX races and, at the age of 21, won the Japanese championship race. He is into business and sports and he is currently working on the “Arienai Ojisan (Unstoppable Man)” project. 

During the Bigbeat LIVE event last year, Mr. Ueyama proclaimed that he would had become an “Arienai Ojisan (Unstoppable Man)”. He has gone from being a BMX rider to a businessman, then changing jobs this year and moving overseas. if you just take a look at Mr. Ueyama’s career path, you may find it to be unbelievable. Yet, he wants to be more unbelievable and unusual. 

Mr. Ueyama’s presentation began with a comparison of himself one year ago and now, then he moved to the main topic of his presentation: “taking the leap as a businessman”. 
Mr. Ueyama's slideMr. Ueyama had an amazing career in a very important company. Nevertheless, in 2006 he became depressed and felt everyday that he was not be able to do anything. However, at that time, thanks to his colleague’s encouraging words, he took his life back into his hands and decided that it was time to make changes. He started to attend business school and put into practice what he was learning every day. As a result, the quality of his work improved incredibly. While showing his life chart with its ups and downs, he explained that “Before you jump, you have to go down bending your knees to prepare for the action. But what I want to talk about today is not my story of my hard time, rather that the dark tunnel doesn’t last forever. 

Also, if you continue acting with a positive attitude, you will eventually that come across the right job for you. Mr. Ueyama explained that he realized that he was spending days full of energy and initiative, as well as experiecing lots of exciting things both inside and outside of work. Also, his work was gradually expanding.

From all of these experiences, Mr. Ueyama appealed to the audience: “Put yourself in a good environment. If you just wait, good things don’t happen. It’s important to have a strong mind and continue to act”. 

Mr. Ueyama’s Fundamental:
You must have a strong mind to continue to act
First of all, you have to figure what you want to be. Then, you have to act to become what you want to be. 

“Meddling” changes "Society”

The next speaker on the stage was Keisuke Yamaguchi, from Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.  

Keisuke Yamaguchi at Bigbeat LIVE (Marketing Conference) 3rd stage

Mr. Yamaguchi’s profile

After graduating, Mr. Yamaguchi was hired at Dai Nippon Printing Co.,Ltd., where he has been engaging in business for over 30 years. Since 2015, he was in charge of Marketing Planning, but this year he has become Head of Sales. Also, since 2011, he has been Head of “Human Development Division”, aiming at training 1200 people in the Packing Business Division. From 2019 to March 2019, he was also the Executive Director for changing working methods inside the company. Currently, he is the general manager of the Packing Division, Sales Division and Deputy Director of Sales Innovation Promotion Office.  

Mr. Yamaguchi was hugely influenced by last year's Bigbeat LIVE Event.

He has been working at the same company since his graduation, and during his career has been in charge of several divisions.
In his 40s, after having attended Bigbeat LIVE, Mr. Yamaguchi decided that it was the right time to tell people about his experience. So, he began to write a 40-page “testament”. The reason for this choice was to teach his new colleagues his knowledge of marketing which aquired as the Head of the Marketing Planning division for 3 years.

Then, while he was writing his “testament”, he was transferred to the Sales Division and had the chance to meet a lot of new people. The interest in his career path grew and he was continually asked to give lectures. His Business career widen. 

Also, during Bigbeat LIVE he was impressed by the following definition: “Marketing consists of all the activities that connect the values and the results needed by customers with the efforts of each company/employee”.  
According to Mr. Yamaguchi, “As definition of marketing, it made sense and it helped me connect everything in my mind”. (Mr. Yamaguchi)

Currently, Mr. Yamaguchi is in charge of “Human Development Division” and explained that “Marketing "and “People”, which support all of the activities, are the most important assets of a company. People are the ones who can think and act autonomously”. 

“When you think and act, the important thing is “defining your own identity”. This becomes the “fundamentals” of thought and action”.

Mr. Yamaguchi’s own identity consists of “meddling”.
Both in his “testament” and his lectures, as well as  his job as “Head of Human Development”, he tries to carry out a personal analysis on everything using a “meddling mind”. 

Mr. Yamaguchi ended his speech with the following quote:
Do. Or do not.
There is no “try”.

Mr. Yamaguchi’s fundamental
Meddling Mind
You won't be able to “meddle”  if you just think. Share with people, change and communicate. 
Give& Give & Give… & receive!

Face your beliefs and create your career! 

The third speaker on the stage was Akiko Nagahashi, Automation Anywhere Japan Co.,Ltd.

Akiko Nagahashi at Bigbeat LIVE (Marketing Conference) 3rd stage

Ms. Nagahashi’s profile

Ms. Nagahashi was hired at NTT Communications, one of the major telecommunication companies in Japan. Her career path covered roles like NW Engineer, Developer, Sales Planner, Iaas Product Market and finally as CX&Advocacy for a popular Business Chat “LINE Works”. In July 2019, she was hired at Automation Anywhere Co.Ltd., an American RPA vendor. At the same company, she is now the senior manager of Customer Marketing. 

Her hobbies are Yoga and Graphic Recording, a real-time translation of presentation and lectures into text and pictures.

Ms. Nagahashi’s career had its start in one of the major telecommunication companies in Japan, NTT Communications. After having experienced different roles in this company, she was hired at Works Mobile Japan, a startup at that time. Since this July, she has been at Automation Anywhere Japan Cop., Ltd. 

Not only on the working side, but also on the personal one she has experienced several changes. For instance, she moved from a big company working environment to a startup, she had a child and has experienced great changes in her personal life. 

In about 16 years of business career, Ms. Nagahashi has hit 2 career walls: the “Mommy Track” and the “Jack-of-all-trades Startup”. 

The “Mommy Track” is when a woman, after childbirth, goes back to work, but does not resume her previous duties, in order to have time to raise her child. The woman also no longer receives any promotions. Ms. Nagahashi said that she felt very frustrated because she was unable to produce good results and was forced to work in such a short time. Also, she felt very stressed about the so-called Mommy Track. 

The other wall was the “Jack-of-all-trades Startup”. After having moved to Works Mobile Japan, with the desire to do everything that seemed fun or lead to business growth, she was in charge of several projects. In other words, she ended up being the responsible of more than 3 teams at the same time. As a result, she could not understand which was her core role was.  

So, Ms. Nagahashi used the following 2 methods to overcome these career walls. 

“I couldn’t fit into the “Mommy Truck”. My motivation continued to fall. I wasn’t able to take any action, but I was patient and, eventually, I succeeded in being transferred into the department I wanted to work in”. (Ms. Nagahashi)

Moreover, she kept posting what she did on note (a popular Japanese online publishing platform similar to Medium) and Twitter. The biggest result was that she could meet a lot of people sharing the same challenges and interested in similar issues. 

“Even though it is very difficult being appreciated inside the workplace, it is reliving that, once you post something outside, you are appreciated and evaluated there. When you hit a career wall, you have to collect all your forces and try to overcome it. For me, this is “belief”. I mean, even if you have belief, you still may have days which don’t go as you want. However, posting outside, on an online platform, you can receive confirmation, meet new people and go beyond walls”. (Ms. Nagahashi)

Here, Ms. Nagahashi introduced the words of Haruno Yoshida, a respected businesswoman. 
If you change your Belief, which is your core, your behavior will change too. It is necessary that from now on, all the women pay attention to their own values and change their Belief in order to shine inside their work”. 

“Let’s do our best together!” Ms. Nagahashi left the stage with this encouraging message. 

Ms. Nagashima’s fundamental
If you have Belief, you can overcome any obstacle. 

Even if you change your job, it won't necessarily bring about your desired results. 

The last speaker of this Stage was Koichi Shimabukuro, Yappli Co.,Ltd. 

Koichi Shimabukuro at Bigbeat LIVE (Marketing Conference) 3rd stage

Mr. Shimabukuro’s Profile

In 2004, after graduation, he was hired at PARCO. In 2016 he moved to Kirin where he was in charge of Consumer Marketing through Digital Media. In 2019, before he has turned 40, he moved into a Startup company, Yappli Co.,Ltd. Currently, he is working as a Marketing Specialist in the same company. He is also preparing to become a Communication Specialist in Communication Department. 

Mr. Shimabukuro worked in the marketing departments of big companies like PARCO (one of the most famous fashion shopping centers in Japan)  and Kirin (one of the largest beer-brewering and integrated beverage company in Japan). “When I was working at PARCO, my work duties and the work locations in Tokyo, Shizuoka, Oita, Shiga were very wide. At that time, the fundamental and the core of my success was “Tenant Success”. 

Bigbeat LIVE (Marketing Conference) 3rd stageMr. Shimabukuro explained that the mission of Yappli is “Helping customers with Digital marketing”. Actually, the essence of work, as well as, “what you really want to do” has not changed from when he was at Parco and Kirin.

“At PARCO, I was working to support the growth of business for tenants who opened PARCO stores. At Kirin, even if I was managing the social media activities, in the end, I was just sending customers to izazakayas and convenience stores. At Yappli, I provided support and success to companies that introduced Yappli. Parco, Kirin and Yappli. Even if I change my workplace, the vision of what I want to do has not changed”. 

As the core does not change, even if you change your job, still continue doing what you want to do!”. 

Mr. Shimabukuro’s fundamental
“Customer Success”
-    The constant desire to support customer success is rewarding in any environment. 

In our next report, we will present a panel discussion between our host, Motohiko Tokuriki, and our four speakers. Stay tuned!

You can read the next part here!
Below, you can read another stage reports;

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