Asia-Pacific Content Trends: Stay Local or Go Global?
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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?
Andrea Edwards is managing director of SAJE, a Singapore-based strategic communications consultancy focused on professional writing and content development, messaging and positioning, and high class boutique events. You can check out SAJE’s blog at http://sajeideas.wordpress.com