Companies have been forced to adapt and innovate as a result of the pandemic and this behaviour is expected to continue as brands buckle up for uncertain times. The ever changing landscape of the marketing industry requires one to always keep abreast of the latest trends.
In this latest podcast episode, Selling Simplified's VP of sales, Asia Pacific, Wayne Wong, discusses the data-related trends and challenges clients in the region face, as well as how the pandemic has changed B2B marketing mindsets and budgets. Selling Simplified is a Platinum Sponsor for Marketing’s Digital Marketing Asia conference held from 10 to 26 November 2020. Wong will be speaking on “Predictive & Embedded Analytics: Extracting the right information to tailor the best content for customers” as a panelist on 19 November 2020.
Marketing: What are some of the data-related challenges you see that are unique to Asia?
Wong: I think that [the problem around finding] leads is quite universal. I think marketers around the globe are always looking for the [right leads] to fill their pipelines in terms of net new prospects. I will probably add on to say that the difference between APAC and US is probably the data sets.
For the US market, consumers are 100% reliant on English content or English-language data, but in APAC, things can be a bit complex. I mean, we're talking about countries such as Japan, Korea, or even China which are very reliant on the local language data. For instance in Japan, we know that as a layman, there is a native Japanese [language], but within Japanese itself, it has various types of writing. We are talking about katakana, hiragana, as well as kanji.
So if you have data that is in multiple languages, to normalise the data, to make sense of the data, and to standardise the data in the system, can prove to be a bit more challenging. So I'll probably think that, in terms of the challenges or the difference between APAC and the US, the language probably will be the main draw for that.
Marketing: So for a big global company with an Asia-wide footprint, the local language aspect must be quite a big challenge, isn't it?
Wong: The good thing is that some of the publishers normalise the data in English. But for us, we actually operate 100% based on the local languages. So I think the fact that we do have a Korean office, and we're looking to start a Japanese office and a China office in the later part of this year after the COVID-19 pandemic situation ease up, is a testament that the data that we have is not only first-party data or accuracy, but also local language data - which empowers advertiser to [delve] a bit more deeper in terms of having the right set of data for their campaign.
Marketing: Would you say that the importance of localised data is a top of mind concern for marketers?
Wong: I'll give you an example. So we do a client that came up to us and said: "My portfolio is Asia Pacific, which includes Japan, Korea, and China. But the content I have in my content library is in English. It's all coming from our US counterpart. Our US marketing team developed the content in English."
What we then observed was that Japanese, Korean and even Chinese consumers don't really read a lot of English content. Majority of these Japanese, Korean and Chinese audiences are still very heavily reliant on the local language content. So what the clients then learnt is that while they do have English content, one size doesn't fit all. That's where they struggle to get the local audience who rely heavily on local language to consume English content. So for any campaign to work, especially in Japan, Korea and China, I think the main fundamental is to have the local language content so that we can actually engage them because English content is just not going to work in this case.
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