I’ve been meaning to make a few notes about IDG Connect’s recent survey on global content trends, specifically in relation to Asia Pacific. One thing I have noticed is that many global and local companies in this region are struggling to justify increased content spend, and when available, rely on global content.
The good news – compared to other regions, Asia Pacific IT decision makers are appreciative of global content, BUT the need for local content is strong and cannot be ignored. According to this survey:
- 74 percent of professionals interviewed want local content
- 79 percent are unable to find it
No one is ignoring the growth potential in this region because let’s face it – all eyes are on Asia. However, it is the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) getting the most attention, as combined, they are expected to overtake the US in GDP in 2012. For those of us in AP, we also see growth and development across some other very exciting markets, including Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, with Singapore as the central hub – so it’s definitely all happening around these parts.
But companies have to engage customers, and as I believe content is the ‘gold dust’ of social businesses these days, this research highlighted some great points marketing execs can take away and ponder.
- 72% of global IT professionals find whitepapers extremely useful – with specific sub-regions in Asia Pacific at 74 percent in Asia (North and South), 57 percent in ANZ and 64 percent in the Indian sub-continent
- Local content needs can be quite simple with “modest amounts of localisation” suggested to “enhance engagement”- I’d suggest include, at the very least, some local case studies within a global whitepaper for extra impact and breaking stats up by regions/countries
- Asia Pacific business/IT decision makers were most enthusiastic about vendor content with 94% wanting/needing/appreciating it – that’s the highest in the world and shows a hunger for knowledge/education
- While IT professionals in North America have a strong preference for thought leadership, it seems that currently in AP, analysis and statistics is the preference, although ANZ stands with North America in having a thought leadership preference
- ANZ has a strong preference for local content, whereas AP has a combined local and global preference – with that said, when asked for content preferences in all regions of the world, local content wins every time
- Engagement is a challenge, and this challenge can be met by giving audiences what they need – great local content
- Back to the BRIC countries – they “possess a striking appetite for vendor content of all types.” Their desire IS for knowledge on how domestic and global competitors are using IT, so delivering relevant global AND local content is vital for success. Professionals in the BRICs are frustrated because they can’t find relevant content. To engage them in conversation, great content is a smart first step
I found this research timely as it backs up a lot of what I and other professionals in this region know is true. The challenge I constantly see with the global players in the AP IT space is dedicating budget for local content development. For smaller regional businesses it’s a challenge of where to dedicate tight marketing budgets, as developing high value content can be expensive. However, it doesn’t need to be an extensive exercise. Integrating high value local content –such as case studies within whitepapers – is a really great and cost effective place to start.
Let’s face it: an IT decision maker at a hospital in the Philippines is hardly going to gain a lot of value from a case study about a hospital in Austin, Texas. But another hospital in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, or Indonesia is certainly going to be closer to the mark and more relevant to them.
How is your company going with its local content strategy? Has your business increased local content budget for AP? Let me know?
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Andrea is an award winning B2B communications professional with more than 23 years’ experience from around the globe, including 12 years exclusively in Asia Pacific. Focused principally in the ICT industry, Andrea has grown with the industry, and she has a proven talent to communicate with customers, prospects, stakeholders and influencers in a way that deeply resonates and gets results.
In her current role at Novus Asia, Andrea relishes sharing her passion for content marketing and its’ ability to fundamentally transform how businesses market to their customers. To be at the heart of this revolution in Asia, where every day she partners with inspired business leaders on their journey into a new era of business storytelling, is what drives her to achieve greater success. Additionally, Andrea understands that to succeed in content, professionals must be motivated and trained to build their personal brands to truly harness the amazing content being created for brands today.
Andrea was an early-adopter of blogging, authoring five very different blogs today, she’s a social media evangelist (a Top 100 Social Seller on LinkedIn in Singapore) and has had the great privilege to work around the world - EMEA, the US, ANZ and Asia.
Andrea’s core skill-set is communication excellence - she listens to and understands her customers, and is considered by many a positive disruptor in her field. She is constantly seeking to motivate colleagues, coaching and mentoring them to be more effective with their personal digital branding, as well as defining and executing communication strategies, content strategy, content creation, senior executive digital coaching, messaging and positioning, as well as a world-class business writer and story teller.
While Andrea’s career has been principally focused on ICT, she has also gained experience in other major industries, including defence, aerospace, government, travel & tourism, HR, environment, professional services, health, marketing services, financial services, and even the brewing industry. Andrea has been: Analyst Relations Lead for Microsoft Asia; Managing Director, SAJE, her own communications, content marketing & messaging agency; Director, Marketing Services for IDC Asia Pacific, Singaapore; Group Communications Manager for Baycorp Advantage, Sydney; Marketing Communications Consultant, ClearForest, NYC; Account Director with Text 100 International, Boston & London; a PR Consultant for various firms, London; Communications Co-ordinator, AeroSpace Technologies of Australia (now Boeing); and a Musician in the Australian Army, followed by PR representative for the Australian Defence Force PR Unit.
Andrea left Australia in 1995 to pursue her deep love of travel and archaeology, and she has a Bachelor of Arts from Monash University, majoring in music and archaeology.
You can follow Andrea on Twitter @AndreaTEdwards, her professional communications blog can be found at www.communicatingasiapacific.com, where she writes about global trends in content, content marketing, communications, social media and social business, translating global trends for Asian relevancy. And of course, you can find her on LinkedIn andreaedwardsasia.