Staff Reporters
Dec 13, 2022

40 Under 40 2022: Alex Goh, Naga DDB

From working on brand strategy to changing the agency’s way of working, Goh has transformed Naga DDB’s business into a rich experience for brands.

40 Under 40 2022: Alex Goh, Naga DDB
Proven leaders with path-breaking expertise 

Alex Goh 

Chief strategy officer
Naga DDB Tribal

As chief strategy officer at Naga DDB, Alex Goh has gone beyond just building brand strategy. He has also overseen the transformation of the agency’s business and creative effectiveness. His focus has been on three main areas: optimising hiring, streamlining the agency’s processes, and enhancing the use of data and technology. Goh helped develop a data and technology suite (NAGA360), bringing on broad data partners. He also improved the assessment process of finding best-fit talent and created and implemented a toolkit to improve ways of working.

Goh launched a series of projects encouraging teams to go out into the real world. He also initiated a pilot project called ‘Digital Youth Diary’, which enabled the team to understand the youth community in real life beyond surveys. He conducted a community marketing white paper project analysing over 300 global case studies across 22 categories to drive more collaborations and pitch ideation. In the end, it contributed to an 85% hit rate on new business acquisitions for 2022. 

Goh differentiates Naga DDB from its competitors by catering to the changing needs of existing clients and attracting new ones. He drove the client satisfaction score to its highest level in five years for core client Digi, and retained seven-year client KFC by winning a highly competitive pitch with deep local insights. Plus, a new breed of digital brands in industries like ride-hailing and cryptocurrency have begun to cooperate with the agency under Goh’s strategic stewardship.

He also endeavours to promote strategic thinking across the agency by launching a virtual training programme during the pandemic. As hybrid working models became the new norm in 2022, he expanded the programme from the screen to face-to-face practitioner training. Moreover, the platform has introduced the agency to potential collaboration partners locally and globally. 

Goh nurtures his team and cares about DEI, with 85% of the team starting a full-time strategy role for the first time, of which 70% are women. He contributes to ‘Adcademy Programme’, a seven-module training programme for mass communications students in cooperation with a local university, and also works as a global mentor through the ‘30 Minute University of Planning’ platform. 

As a key architect in defining the agency blueprint, Goh supports strategies for other investments of Naga DDB’s holding company, Foetus International Group, such as a new agency offering called Talon and consulting with the Group’s investment in startups. 

Goh started his advertising career at DDB International before his second return to the DDB network as CSO of Malaysia. He has also held senior positions at Mindshare, M&C Saatchi, and Digi. 

Proven leaders with path-breaking expertise 


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