#Asia Google Vietnam’s Head of Marketing: Internet users in Asia drive changes around the world


At the recent DMS Asia 2016 conference, the rapidly changing Asian digital landscape –and how to deal with it– became the centre of the talks

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While it is widely known that consumers have changed rapidly in the past 20 years, Google’s Country Head of Marketing (Vietnam) Anh Nguyen stated that the changes are not just behavioural, but also geographical.

“If we look at 20 years ago, the innovations are coming out of the US to the world. Even in Japan and Korea, who had the fastest Internet in the world at that time, did not have any global level companies in tech like they have in Silicon Valley,” she said at the recent Digital Marketing Summit (DMS) Asia conference held in Singapore on July 11-15.

The conference, which was held online, showcased speakers such as Nguyen who revealed how, in the near future, Asia is going to define trends for the world the way American youth defined international trends in the 1950s.

“Asians have begun searching for selfies in 2012, way before the American market does it. The concept of taking photos [of one self] and share it to the Internet had been popular in Japan even before Instagram,” she said.

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It all begins with the rise of wealth in the region. Nguyen stated that by 2030, Asia will represent 66 per cent of  the global middle-class population with two-third of the world’s consumption will happen there.

“Asia is now the second biggest market for venture capital investment, that’s US$28 billion, five times bigger than in 2013 … Europe is only 10 per cent of that. It truly demonstrates the level of trust given to region,” she explained.

The three keywords that will drive technological changes in the future are: Mobile (with smartphone penetration being higher than PC in Asia), Connectivity (“We need to look beyond cell tower and fibers to do that,” she pointed out), and AR/VR (as a technology that strongly impacts marketers in the way they tell stories).

“What the consumers demand today is a transformation of everything, whether it’s services, products, companies, or interaction with brands … It creates consumers who are loyal to the needs of the moment — and that moment only. In Google we call it the ‘micro moments’,” she said.

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Noting the changes that are ongoing in Asian market, where should businesses put their main focus and extra efforts in? Anuj Jain, Chief Marketing Officer at Mobikon Asia, revealed the 15 focus areas that businesses can tap into in order to stand out within competition:

1. Businesses should begin by setting clear –and honest– goals as defined by their business plan and marketing mix audit.
2. Prioritise market entry decisions with available networks and data.
3. Overestimate your competition.
4. Segment the market and develop the personas.
5. Implement “beach head strategy” which is a technique to map key influencer brands and groups in a market.
6. Connect with a simple, well-crafted proposition.
7. “Think global, act local”.
8. Build an A-grade team.
9. Build relationships and trust with influencers and early-adopters.
10. Giving personal touch in a digital world.
11. Embracing inbound mindset.
12. Implement lead intelligence.
13. Integrating with social media.
14. Get on with social selling.
15. Continuous ‘hacking’.

“The Asian market is a heavy cocktail of everything. On one hand you have the first world countries with their high GDP and third world countries with their large population co-existing … All the juxtaposition of opposite forces present beautiful opportunities for business, though the challenges are also immense,” he said.

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The week-long event also provides other masterclasses such as the importance of WeChat as part of brand’s social media marketing in China, as taught by Aaron Chang, Founder & CEO at JING Digital.

“When it comes to growth, if you think of the classic hockey stick chart … WeChat sort of escaped the stick and just continued to go up,” he began by explaining the impressive growth of the platform.

The platform is a very China-focussed one with 90 per cent of users coming from the country. Consumers love it due to its all-integrated nature, where users can use it for everything from messaging, blog-walking to mobile payment.

One of the key strategies in utilising WeChat for your brand is to provide seamless O2O experiences. Chang gave an example of McDonald’s which uses QR codes in the platform for couponing, ordering food, and even “to design your own McDonald’s burger.”

It is also advisable to advertise on Moments (WeChat’s version of a Facebook timeline) and using KOLs to help spread messages. But the main focus, in the end, should be to produce great content.

“If it’s not good, then you’re going to see that every time you publish a content, you’re losing a fan,” he concluded.

The post Google Vietnam’s Head of Marketing: Internet users in Asia drive changes around the world appeared first on e27.

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