Staff Reporters
Jun 17, 2021

Asia-Pacific Power List 2021: Eugene Lee, McDonald's

Lee is a bright, young talent in the marketing world, one that delivers success by way of clear communications and hyper-localisation.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2021: Eugene Lee, McDonald's
SEE THE FULL 2021 POWER LIST
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers
#LeadersForGood
 

Eugene Lee

Regional director of marketing (Asia)
McDonald’s
Malaysia
Member since 2020

Eugene Lee is not part of the old guard. A bright spot in the marketing world, Lee’s career is proof that age and decades of experience are not requirements for success and meaningful brand outcomes. Following his promotion in February last year, he now manages 12 countries in the region, working closely with respective market CEOs and CMOs to craft their long- and short-term strategies and tactics, as well as develop local talent.

Lee also takes on an advisory role, using his on-ground experience and success in Malaysia to help market CMOs develop plans for localisation, menu excitement, value, and brand affinity. It doesn’t hurt that he also serves as the voice for Asia on internal global teams such as the Global Creative Council and Global Media Council, where key marketing leaders from across the world meet regularly to align their marketing vision and direction for McDonald’s. 

The pandemic was, of course, not always smooth sailing. Lee aided markets in Asia to pivot from sales-focused communications toward a more brand-focused strategy. These included comms that highlighted safety and cleanliness, obviously a key concern for customers, as well as guiding markets in localising content in accordance with local policy and interpretation. 

On top of that, Lee swerved the brand’s messaging from its traditional in-store-focused communications to content that prioritised drive-thru and delivery services. This resulted in delivery contributing to 50% of total sales, up from 5% pre-pandemic. As markets begin to open up, that figure has now stabilised at 30%. 

And of course, McDonald’s recent BTS campaign—the biggest and most far-reaching global campaign in the brand’s history—saw an overwhelming response in Asia with markets selling out within seven days despite plans for a four-week campaign. Regulatory challenges occurred when rolling out the campaign across several markets, but Lee’s delegation, quick-thinking and efficiency were instrumental in its phenomenal results. He’s certainly one to watch. 

SEE THE FULL 2021 POWER LIST
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers
#LeadersForGood
 

 

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