By Katie McQuater, Magazine Editor

September 6, 2016 | 2 min read

The Drum recently hosted a panel event on marketing in Asia, in partnership with iClick Interactive Asia.

Three industry experts took to the stage to discuss the opportunities and challenges of marketing in the Asia-Pacific region, with a focus on some of the most common mistakes brands are making and how to address the cultural complexities of the region's markets.

While Asia-Pacific has long represented a huge opportunity for Western brands – whether it's tapping in to China's economic powerhouse or the opportunity to be had in the region's developing markets, such as Indonesia – navigating the scale and complexity of the region throws up myriad challenges.

Discussing how marketers can navigate Asia by utilising data, Alan Ngai, business planning and operations manager at iClick Interactive Asia, said: "Whether it's first-party in-house data or third-party data from vendors, it will give marketers a headstart in understanding audiences, the demographics, the behaviour across different devices and what local partners to utilise."

To avoid brands losing their tone of voice in Asia or becoming lost in translation – for instance, consumers misunderstanding rhetorical questions – Ngai advises utilising partners on the ground to gain a greater cultural awareness and understanding of local audiences.

The rapid growth of platforms such as WeChat has marked the region as a hub for mobile and tech innovation, and as such the marketers' relationship with these platforms, as well as publishers such as Alibaba, is key. The panel discussed the role agencies can play in helping brands to stay abreast of these relationships, utilise tools such as Baidu, and stay ahead of the curve when it comes to innovation.

Marketing Singapore Asia

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