MOI Global
  • APAC
  • digital

From tea and scones to Bak kut teh: Why regional ingredients give you the right flavour.

It’s common for enterprise marketing teams to centralise global programmes and campaigns with agencies that are headquartered in a different region from theirs. As the head of MOI’s Demand Gen practice in APAC, I often see marketing teams here use specialist agencies based in the UK and the US to deploy lead generation and ad campaigns in our region. We can thank technology for the capability to do that.

But deploying campaigns without the right regional knowledge, experience, and insight can have a significant impact on how they perform. Here, I’ll explore the benefits of partnering with a regional agency team over one located in a different part of the world.

Cooking without a recipe? Try localisation, not translation.

For content marketing teams, creating a connection with your audience and talking to them in ways they understand is more important than simply getting them to read your material. This is why localisation trumps translation. Localising content requires you to account for cultural nuances, understand regional market maturity, and appreciate the tone and behaviours of that market.

The challenge in APAC is that many agencies treat the region as a single marketplace. But oh, how wrong they are. Take Australia and India for example both countries are major economies within the region, but there’s a huge difference in their culture, maturity, and ways of doing business. Yet, most communications we see across APAC take a global (typically US-centric) approach, ignoring the nuances of individual in-region markets.

If your goal is to market to specific regional audiences, doesn’t it make sense to do so via relevant regional marketing teams? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have an agency in Singapore develop content for Singaporean audiences?

With marketing experts across Singapore and Australia who understand APAC markets, MOI’s knowledge and insight can go a long way to improving your campaigns’ success.

Too many cooks in the kitchen? Autonomy and expectations.

So, if you agree that speaking to people in a single way across an entire region doesn’t work, how do you determine a campaign’s success?

Should you apply a single set of KPIs to every market? Of course not. Take Japan, a conservative market where important business interactions are still face-to-face; should you expect webinars to perform there in the same way they do in Australia? Again, of course not. A regional marketing team can guide global marketers to identify relevant KPIs in their location and provide strategic insights into tactics that work on a cultural level.

A local/regional approach to marketing doesn’t only apply to campaign execution. Many APAC marketers report to or work with teams based in HQ, typically in the US, and, marketers are often expected to attend calls out of hours, start early, and finish late―throughout a campaign. I’ve seen this first-hand in Singapore and witnessed many people quit their jobs because they’re taking too many out-of-hours calls with remote teams. Working with regional agency marketers prevents this type of burnout, while also providing expert local support and building more responsive relationships.

It’s not authentic stir fry without a wok: Using the right tools matters.

A lot of marketing technology―think CRMs―is adopted by an enterprise’s centralised HQ and rolled out globally, without giving much thought to the needs of their regional teams. Many large tech enterprises have Marketing Operations (MOPS) people in place, but they’re

not getting sufficient coverage in market. Even though they tend to have a robust in-region marketing operations team, they’re typically so busy doing other things, they don’t have the time to focus on local markets.

MOI is changing all that. As an extension of your MOPs team, we can provide the in-region support you need, to deliver the focused attention your campaigns deserve while integrating with other relevant marketing tactics―all under one roof.

Try adding regional spices to your campaign management and deployment. It’s common to see digital marketing campaigns developed and deployed without a regional lens―and nowhere is this more prevalent than in search (SEM and SEO). Clients and marketing teams typically deploy Search campaigns with keywords that favour certain regions over others. But local differences in keywords, search patterns, and products need to be acknowledged. If your goal is to build genuine connections with your audience, they need to know you’re speaking both to them and for them―global content often misses the mark.

With a local strategy, campaigns are more likely to achieve higher ROI because they’re targeted to local audiences. And we all want higher ROI, right?

The same applies to ad campaigns that provide ‘air cover’ for local teams so they can focus on field marketing activities. When working on digital campaigns, it’s easy to centralise and roll out media globally. But this can mean local markets get overlooked. Buying media on a global scale may be more cost efficient on the surface, but if local markets don’t get the coverage they need, campaigns are at risk of underperforming and wasting budgets.

Running these programmes in-region allows you to focus on the needs of the local market, so the investments you make are prioritised solely to the markets that matter most to you.

And when it comes to essential support for your digital campaign, it always helps to have local experts. You don’t want to wait 24 or 48 hours for an answer to urgent requests―whether to confirm a budget or get approval on creative work. Partnering with a regional marketing team and a local agency ensures faster response times.

There’s no substitute for local ingredients: How MOI’s regional marketing teams can support your organisation

Marketing teams across APAC are generally small but expected to deliver big results. MOI is here to provide support as an extension of yours. As a global multi-specialist agency with 50+ MOIers in Singapore and Australia, we have the inside knowledge and insights to give your campaigns the regional lens they need to be successful.

If you’re looking for a regional partner who can support your marketing and revenue programmes, get in touch. We’d welcome the opportunity to give you a fresh, local perspective to unlock the answers to your biggest business problems.

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