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10 questions with… Arnold Ma, chief executive of Qumin

Arnold Ma.

In an attempt to showcase the personalities of the people behind the media and marketing sector, The Drum speaks to individuals who are bringing something a little different to the industry and talks to them about what insights and life experience they can offer the rest of us. This week's 10 Questions are put to the CEO of Qumin, Arnold Ma.

What was your first ever job?

A paper round, then working at Game retail store. And if that doesn’t count, then my first foray into marketing and advertising was running our Student Union election campaign. The elections that year received more votes than any other student election in the history of the university.

Which industry buzzword annoys you most?

Inbound Marketing – it has been killed, brought back to life, then killed again, multiple times. Now marketers in China are killing it again.

Who do you find most interesting to follow on social media?

9gag.

Highlight of your career (so far?)

Winning a Drum Award for Best Interactive Content Strategy for our Manchester United campaign – the first Chinese campaign to win a British marketing award.

What piece of tech can you not live without?

My iPhone. On the odd occasion that I leave my phone at home, I find myself (like a true addict) reaching into my pocket to check for messages.

Who or what did you have posters of on your bedroom wall as a teenager?

Dennis Bergkamp holding up the FA cup when Arsenal won the double in 1998.

In advertising, what needs to change soon?

The separation of digital marketing and advertising. We need to truly merge the timelessness, charm and rigour of advertising principles into digital content and campaigns. How do we put people and cultures at the forefront without sacrificing the attribution and test-learn advantage of digital work?

What is (in your opinion) the greatest film/album/book of your life?

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. They were the first English books I read when I arrived in the UK in 1996, and they’ve remained favourites ever since. Particularly when answering the question 'the meaning of life' as '42'. I always thought it was Douglas Adams telling us that the meaning of life is what we make of it, that there is not an ultimate answer. I genuinely believe we are the masters of our own fate.

Which industry event can you not afford to miss each year and why?

There isn’t really a must-go-every-year event for me, but I’ve found YMS (Youth Marketing Strategy) quite interesting the past few years. Gen Z and Millennials are, arguably, the most interesting audience group right now and the opportunity for impactful, creative and unique work is huge.

What's the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Tell everyone what you are doing because you never know who may be able to help. The world is not short of ideas, it’s short of people who have the determination and the grit to turn an idea into reality.

For more installments of 10 Questions see here.

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