To successfully grow in Asia Pacific (AP), you must excel at understanding customers’ needs, wants, and behaviors and have the capabilities necessary to transform this insight into improved customer engagement. But that’s true everywhere. What sets the AP region apart are the continued vast differences between markets. Appreciating these market differences, and the impact they have on customers’ expectations, is critical when sourcing enterprise marketing capabilities.
In my recent report, entitled “Consider Regional Factors When Evaluating Enterprise Marketing Software Suites”, I highlight key regional trends affecting marketing priorities and the likely impact on organizations’ marketing technology requirements, including:
- Mobile usage and geography sway expectations in Singapore and Hong Kong. Mobile usage is highly sophisticated but small geographies and dense populations mean that consumers still expect physical interaction. So while traditional capabilities in areas like cross-channel campaign management and customer data management (CDM) are still critical, you should also evaluate vendors’ capabilities in areas like real-time interaction management, cross-channel digital messaging, contextual marketing, and mobile analytics — capabilities that rely on successfully merging physical and digital engagement. Case in point: To help traditional retailers embrace eCommerce, Singapore Post augmented its traditional delivery services by investing $182 million in a high-tech warehouse that merges logistics and sorting into one assembly line.
- Prepaid still dominates in the growth markets of India and Southeast Asia. Consumers are still only gradually making the move from prepaid to postpaid mobile services. Customer expectations for sophisticated mobile engagement from their preferred brands will follow growth in postpaid mobile usage. You should therefore prioritize traditional marketing capabilities, as demand for things like mobile analytics capabilities and contextual marketing is still nascent for large sectors of the population.
- Brands in China are squeezed between the old and the new. Brands continue to deal with huge and rapidly growing addressable markets for their goods and services. Facing strong pressure to compete on price and expand brick-and-mortar operations in underserved lower-tier cities, brands continue focusing on customer acquisition via campaigns, marketing performance management, and marketing resource management. But at the same time, dominant Chinese Internet companies like Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent are driving disruption, so prepare now to embrace digital strategies and technologies to fuel customer engagement.
- Competition and disruption are increasing in Australia and New Zealand. These are mature markets with empowered customers ready and willing to seek alternatives if you don't meet their expectations. But both are geographically isolated, thinly populated, and have industries with few competitors. Take Australia's retail market, for instance, where two supermarket chains control more than 70% of the grocery sector. But digital disruption knows no physical boundaries, and a combination of global and local players are real threats to the status quo. While CI pros are typically skilled in evaluating and procuring enterprise marketing technology and have strong experience in traditional direct marketing, they're often shackled by a lack of urgency among senior business decision-makers. Act now to enable an omnichannel strategy ahead of growing compeition.
All CI and marketing pros should be actively seeking ways to expand marketing’s mandate beyond customer acquisition and enable true digital engagement. Leverage awareness of your customers' expectations as the first step to effectively source the required capabilities and optimize the value of marketing technology investments.