Marketing to a diverse universe of clients and prospects can be a challenge even within the boundaries of a single national market. Effectively promoting products and services across Asia, with its different regulatory regimes, languages and customer behaviour, can be daunting even for the most sophisticated of marketing organisations.
Omgeo provides B2B technology for the global financial services market. Our products reduce operational risk and cost by automating crucial functions in the trading process. Our community of 6,500 users includes asset managers, broker/dealers and custodian banks.
I have been managing APAC marketing operations for a number of years and, if pressed to summarise my key learnings in this area, I would quote the importance of localised content, its effective and measurable distribution and, last but not least, the importance of internal communications.
Content is everything
Some of our clients are global in nature; others operate at more of a local/regional level. One of the main areas of focus for our Asia-Pacific marketing team is communicating a clear value proposition to local markets while at the same time ensuring all our communications are aligned with global standards and messaging.
In Asia-Pacific, we invest a lot of time and resources in what we call “content marketing”. In order for our brand to be consistently and enduringly perceived as a thought leader in our space, our marketing team is tasked with producing a steady flow of high-quality content pieces that are relevant to the region, ranging from white papers to case studies.
We are a small team and execute our marketing campaigns with the support of external marketing agencies. However, as thought leadership creation for a specialised industry like ours can be hard to outsource, we tend to produce most of our marketing content in house.
Measuring effectiveness online
Once the right content has been created, we typically distribute it through a number of marketing initiatives across multiple communication channels. Typical Asia-Pacific marketing communications include email campaigns, online advertising, events, PR, social media and, on some occasions, channel marketing through our extensive network of partner organisations. Events aside, the vast majority of our marcoms today are in digital format. We have invested heavily in this area and, while a few years ago we would distribute content through simple static PDFs, today we also produce videos, animations, and interactive infographics. They valorise our content and make it stand out in the very noisy environment we operate in. We also continue to build a global social media presence that, in the future, will play a bigger role in several Asia-Pacific markets. Last but not least, we tailor our communications to local audiences from both a content and language point of view. Over time, we have built a multilingual marketing team that distributes communications in several languages, including Mandarin, Japanese and Korean.
Don’t undervalue internal communications
One of the most obvious advantages of digital communications is that they enable us to track results relatively easily and at little expense. There are no excuses today for marketers not implementing a KPI dashboard across marketing programmes. Tracking and nurturing leads across their lifecycle requires discipline and an analytical approach to marketing communications, but the cost of the necessary software is not any more than a barrier.
We also find marketing KPI dashboards a great way to communicate to our business leaders the value that marketing brings to our organisation, and are continuously working to improve our metrics to enhance the journey from lead creation to contract closure.
Our clients are metrics-driven and so is our business. Marketing dashboards have proved one of the best tools for our marketing team to engage our senior stakeholders and internal clients in productive conversations across the region. After all, being able to articulate one client’s business priorities should be the core competency of any marketing professional.
Marcello Bertoli is global marketing director, Omgeo