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B2B Marketing in APAC

Pascale Smith
by Pascale Smith - July 14, 2017

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I attended a session at B2B Marketing Ignite (Europe’s biggest B2B Marketing Summit) on how our B2B Marketing translates in the APAC region.

We have had success in paid traffic (paid social particularly) in some of the emerging EMEA markets and so I know well the challenges we overcame and wondered what the take on APAC was.

What interested me a lot was how different the messaging should be.  There is a clear difference, which we are familiar with, between messaging to US markets (much more product-/ performance- and capability-based) versus the UK (we like our big, conceptual messages e.g. “This is the future!”).  The APAC region in general (very important to note that this is NOT a region which you should consider in bulk, there are clear cultural and behavioural differences country to country), consider global consistency important.

It is particularly tricky to have consistency given APAC region’s UX preferences… here all that white space that Westerners like so much doesn’t do so well.

I take an example from the B2C space. 

I give you Amazon UK (when not signed in). This is the ENTIRE homepage of the largest (mostly) internet based retailer in the world.

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Now let’s look at Amazon China.

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What seems chaotic and far too busy to me, is an expected user interface in China.

Equally, choosing platforms for paid social is also widely different.  You should never merely choose based on the user base, you have to also consider the mindset for these platforms.  This is something we have experience of - running campaigns across emerging EMEA markets for some of our clients.  For example, twitter is used in the middle east for political and news updates. So, that changes your mindset when forming creative campaigns – a chatty, light-hearted message may sit strangely, even though it would suit twitter here in the UK. 

In China, WeChat is big. Really, really big.  938 million active users (Twitter in the UK has 13 million by comparison). It’s Western counterparts, Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger match it in size, but not function.  WeChat isn’t just a messaging app – it’s also used for payments, corporate communications, HR management, business networking and retail.  One app to rule them all.

In Japan, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all hugely popular.  Singapore efforts should focus mostly on Facebook and LinkedIn.

So you can see how quickly a more fragmented, culturally-appropriate marketing strategy starts to emerge and how important it is to research and understand behaviour and adapt appropriately. 

We would love to talk to you about your marketing goals in EMEA or APAC, so please get in touch.

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