30 November 2015

Finetune marketing strategies with native mobile strategies for Asia-Pacific

The right marketing strategy can help technology companies engage buyers earlier and more effectively, says Sinead Woodley, Managing Director UK, April Six, a digital marketing agency.

"Technology has changed the possible. Use it to your advantage," she said, speaking in Singapore at the official launch of April Six in Asia Pacific.

She described EMEA-wide campaigns for VMware, "marketing to people who don't want to be marketed to", or IT practitioners. April Six consistently surpassed the pipeline targets given, delivering better than 1:20 ROI (1 US dollar invested resulting in 20 dollars of revenue) each year, she shared, despite the stakes being raised higher in years two and three.

Some of the success factors for the VMware campaigns, Woodley said, included using a blended inbound and outbound strategy*, a single go-to-market strategy based on a year even though budgets arrived quarterly, aligning the approach to the buyer journey, and marketing automation.

Brad Harris, Managing Director APAC, April Six, said that April Six plans to bring similar campaigns to the Asia Pacific region, localised for the audience. He explained that April Six will work with Splash Interactive and DWA to deliver on campaigns in the region. He also shared that the company plans to move into Shanghai in 2016, and to Jakarta and Bangalore in 2017.

Aryeh Sternberg, APAC Head of Intent Marketing, DWA, a marketing agency, shared a list of marketing tips during the event:

No. 10 was "know your audience", as the more you know, the more you can engage them, while No. 8 was the related "look" to really see what the target audience is doing. No. 5 was also related, being about content that fits the individual, rather than assuming "one size fits all". No. 2 boiled down to relevance, also related, while in No. 1 was meaning and value. "You need to deliver something that people want. Remember, it is not about you, it is about your audience," he stressed.

He also shared ways to improve marketing strategies:

Extend rich content
Sternberg noted that many companies stop creating a single piece of content without thinking of repurposing it. A webinar, for example, can be turned into a podcast, while the transcribed text can be shared on social media.

Consider more channels
Sternberg shared that for one campaign it was found that the target audience read four magazines in different verticals. The key is to contact them when and where they prefer.

Dynamic messaging
A given audience is not homogeneous, so messaging has to change depending on who it is directed at.

Support mobility, and video
Mobile web and app platforms are still underutilised, he said, while video is popular.

Use data in new ways
There is technology today that shows which part of an advertisement a person looks at most, for example.

Kuok Ming, CEO, Splash Interactive, a digital marketing agency, echoed Sternberg in saying that mobility and video are important in the "mobile-first" Asia Pacific (APAC) region. Nine of the top 25 most mobile countries are in this region, with 600 million in China alone. Quoting eMarketer figures, he said Indonesia will have 69.4 million smartphone users by 2017, while Japan will already have 61.2 million smartphone users by 2016.

"User behaviour, expectations and access to the Internet are governed by attributes of smartphones and mobile data services," he said.

Kuok also showed a screen capture of a ZTE phone with 4GB of RAM on sale on local e-commerce site Lazada for just S$60 to prove how low prices can go today."The cost of entry is going down," he explained.

Kuok said the logical conclusion is to go for mobile engagements, agreeing with Sternberg. "Mobile video is the next big thing," he said, urging the audience to consider "mobile-first" customers when 84 million of the 100 million Facebook users in India use mobile to access Facebook, and over 60% of the purchases made on China's Taobao and Tmall were from mobile. "E-commerce is going mobile."

Another tip, Kuok said, is to add WeChat to a marketing strategy. The app has 570 million active users daily. "Official accounts are an unobtrusive way to engage," he said.

Pitfalls, Kuok said, include thinking "desktop-first", assuming the desktop work can be tweaked for mobile later. Such strategies completely bypass unique features of mobile, including location-based services and face recognition from the phone camera. "A mobile version is not mobile-first," he emphasised. "Mobile friendly is not native."


Read about VMware and April Six

*Outbound marketing refers to traditional marketing channels such as broadcast, print publications, direct mail, out of home advertising, and event sponsorships. Digital forms of these channels such as email blasts, banner ads, and pay-per-click ads are also considered outbound. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, provides content about a company through blogs, podcasts, a corporate video channel, e-books, e-newsletters, whitepapers, and search engine optimisation. SEO, physical products, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to attract customers through the different stages of the purchase funnel.