What’s On

Marketers, get ready for your promotion

We are on the edge of a golden age for marketing. Those employed in the profession are likely to have more influence than ever before on how their company performs. Increasingly, the marketing chief will be called on for advice on which way to steer the company and will be able to provide the insights to support their decisions.

To some, this will be no surprise. In fact, a new report released by Marketo and The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), has shown that Asia Pacific marketers are already pretty savvy. Compared to the rest of the world marketers in this region are more likely to be involved in product management, customer retention and cross-selling and upselling. Most already have a sharp sales orientation and a focus on maximising revenue.

Marketing departments drive:  Asia Pacific Global
Customer retention 68% 57%
Product management 63% 58%
Demand gen/customer acquisition 61% 58%
eCommerce 56% 48%
Cross sell/upsell 58% 48%
Corporate strategy 53% 49%

This commercial edge isn’t matched, though, when it comes to customer nurturing techniques. In this, the region is a little behind the rest of the world. Perhaps it’s all been seen as a little too soft and fuzzy, without enough hard measures to track performance. Yet, it’s a crucial element of the customer journey, particularly if you have a complex product with a long sales cycle. It’s similarly important for B2C, where social media and other online content can influence a buyer’s behaviour.

 Marketing departments drive: Asia Pacific Global
Content marketing 47% 58%
Digital and social media 47% 58%
Customer experience/engagement 57% 62%
Advertising/branding 70% 75%

Marketers in the region understand the need to change. Almost a third of APAC respondents in the Marketo/EIU study placed acquiring appropriate skills as a top area of investment over the next 12 months, way more emphasis than placed in other parts of the world.

I’m sure our love of numbers has a lot to do with this. It’s one thing being creative and generating a warm fuzzy feeling for your brand, it’s quite another being able to measure the immediate influence. Marketing automation systems are making this possible by letting marketers drip feed content to audiences and measure the response in real-time. They can see the steps that ultimately influence a sale and continually refine their marketing strategies accordingly. All of a sudden the warm fuzzy stuff becomes a numbers game.

John Wanamakers famous line was that half his advertising money was wasted, he just didn’t know which half. Now, at last, his observation is becoming outdated, thanks to technology, and APAC marketers are embracing the change. In fact, we’re more likely than US marketers to invest in technology to manage advertising, mobile marketing, market resources and content marketing.

 Likely area to increase investment in technology (next 3-5 years) Asia Pacific N America Europe
Advertising management 30% 11% 18%
Social marketing 30% 38% 40%
Mobile marketing 27% 22% 37%
Marketing resource management 24% 16% 14%
Content marketing 24% 22% 18%

So, it seems most APAC marketers don’t need advice on how to stay relevant. They’ve already figured it out. It’s all about numbers. And as more companies start to embrace data driven automation the greater the influence of engagement marketing.

The changes will make the marketer’s job much busier. It requires a lot more analysis and thinking, but it will also see more marketing chiefs influencing the success of their businesses. Again APAC marketers recognise this: 80 per cent of those surveyed said they believe business owners will treat marketing as a revenue driver in three-five years, a significant turnaround from today, with 70 per cent still seeing it as a cost centre.

As we all know, there’s one sure way to increase your influence in your business – demonstrate how you are helping the company to make money. Marketers who grasp the opportunity will be a sought after commodity. Best of luck.

Aden Forrest

The author, Aden Forrest, is the Managing Director of Marketo APAC.