CO - Markinnovation

Why Content is the true north of Account-based Marketing? – Final

Why Content is the true north of Account-based Marketing? – Final
We began exploring the four-legs of the content strategy tool, and uncovered just why context is everything. And I realize I cannot be speaking of either ‘localise’ or ‘optimise’, one at a time. They are essentially entwined and one always informs the other, and in an ideal state there exists a continuous feedback loop. The degree of localization needed informing the choice of ‘asset-type’ and the choice of channels best suited for optimizing your content distribution, especially across the emerging markets in Asia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

The reflections came thick and fast at the inaugural Sirius Decisions APAC Summit held recently, for Account Based Marketing or Content Strategy begins with an honest evaluation of your current state with regards to your marketing automation stack, maturity of the market demand and of your own content inventory, cultural fit and most importantly the alignment of marketing with your sales function.

For those of us who think, localization is synonymous with translations, they are in for a rude awakening, especially in Asia. Localization is a deeper understanding of the lexicon and personas coupled with a stronger appreciation for the cultural nuances of a particular country. And what therefore goes concurrently is optimization around asset-types (What) i.e. short-form/ whitepapers/ infographics/ video and around channels (How) i.e. LinkedIn/ Facebook/ Line/ WeChat and so on. And just why, it is absolutely fine as a marketer to say ‘no’ and withdraw from certain channels or ‘asset-types’ if you haven't localised or optimised enough. We may not all be ready to implement the Sirius Decisions ‘Demand Unit Waterfall’ in terms of our knowledge of the customer or our technology infrastructure. And that's okay, for it is a journey! It is best to pick a few ‘content battles’ and fight them really well instead.

One of the sweeping criticisms I find Design Thinking experts have of marketers in our region (and with good reason) is that we have too few ‘personas’ or in other words we make way too many assumptions and generalizations around our customer personas, in a way they end up being little more than the good old ‘customer segments’ but with more visuals. For instance, the CEO of one of the subsidiaries of a large family-owned conglomerate in, say Indonesia may be sharply different from the CEO of an Indonesian subsidiary of a large global multinational albeit the organizations being comparable in terms of industry, scale, background etc. Or they may be entirely similar in terms of how these two distinct ‘buying influences’ or personas consume content.

Fortunately in the realm of content marketing, there is great learning to be had from the ‘messaging-gone-awry’ from the advertising world. And just why we cannot overemphasize the importance of robust listening tools, coupled with ‘getting out there’, either by way of seeing our buying influences at trade events or accompanying our sales colleagues to client meetings. Back to the Empathy Map - what are our customers really seeing, hearing, saying and feeling?

This would enable to us to develop a good rich picture of our buyers’ choices and lexicon, and be able craft our content and content distribution strategy based on that rich picture. Gone are the days when the strong ‘halos’ of our brands alone would get our buyers to notice our content. “What does your global research on employee preferences say about the supervisors in my petrochemical plant in Cilegon in the Banten province in Indonesia?” asks a senior client executive at a trade conference in Seoul. Ahem! Localise, optimise, and localize some more.
  • Rahul Mudgal
    Rahul Mudgal
    Global Marketing Director, DOCOMO Digital

    In addition to Global marketing Director DOCOMO Digital Rahul serves serve as an advisory member of the APAC-leg of the CMO Council. In this role, he is involved with curating bespoke learning experiences for regional CMOs called #CMODisrupt. He was recognized by the World Brand Congress and CMO Asia as one of the top-50 'Best Marketers in Asia' for 2016. LinkedIn has also recognized him as a Social-Selling expert CMO.

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