The empty13 team interview Paul Mottram, Executive Vice President, Asia Pacific of Bite Communications to see how next year is shaping up across the other side of the globe.
In the more developed markets across the region, mobile access to data is going to accelerate demand for content, whether social or more traditional published or broadcast content. That’s really exciting for just about everyone except traditional marketers, who will need to similarly accelerate their transition from interruptive, campaign-based marketing to ongoing, engaging communication.
In developing markets like India and China beyond the middle classes in first and second tier cities, mobile penetration will become effectively complete in the very near future. Already, across the region as a whole, penetration had reached 74 percent in 2011. By 2017, Pyramid Research forecasts it will be up to 109 percent. The changes, challenges and opportunities for marketers arising from this increase in connectedness are huge. But they are dwarfed by the implications for those societies themselves in terms of economic and political development.
Content must be channel-neutral. Brands with great stories to tell will find customers telling those stories using their own choice of channel. But marketers are going to have to ensure that their content is packaged appropriately for the right channels.
Responsiveness and restraint. When the customer is always on, the brand needs to be ready to respond. A degree of speed is necessary, although not always sufficient. Increasingly savvy and demanding customers place a premium on substance and authenticity. Of course, it’s going to be tempting for many marketers to bombard their always on customers, with always on sales messaging. A little restraint is clearly required. A real challenge for marketers in the coming year will be to balance the hunger for the immediately measurable transaction (whether a purchase, a like, or more simply a click), with the more elusive but far more valuable online relationship. The Banksy graffito says it all about customers’ evolving attitudes in developed Asia as in the rest of the world: “the joy of not being sold anything”
Any brand that is trying new ways to use content to engage is preparing well. In an environment evolving so quickly – in terms of both channels/platforms and consumer behaviour – there is no one single right way. Brands that are willing to engage will quickly gain not only the experience, but critically, also the data to unlock insights for greater effectiveness and outcomes.