After the pandemic, marketers have seen a shift in how they reach customers in APAC. The expectation of consumers is that brands will engage with them more personally. However, brands are trying to find the right customer insights from first party data in order to create the next personalized connection. There are also privacy and regulation concerns that must be considered when working with data.
How can brands in APAC manage this digital transformation in such an uncertain world? Partnering with agencies to share the load. To share the burden, agencies can partner with organizations.
The changing landscape of partners
There is a growing network of partners in APAC that can support marketers and provide solutions to help them engage with consumers.
These partners offer new consultative and collaborative support for brands who feel left out, compliant data privacy products, specialist knowledge, and improved processes to organizations that have limited time, budget and knowledge.
Partners typically play three roles for APAC clients:
We will be discussing six tips for marketers to use when engaging partners.
6 Tips for Creating Value with Partners
1. To work together, form a trusting circle of partners
Partners are motivated to provide the best solution possible for clients and often collaborate with other agencies or organizations. Some of the most successful agencies have created an open ecosystem of partners that they are able to collaborate with. Use a variety of partners and ask them for collaboration.
Encourage both agencies to collaborate if your brand has one responsible for media planning, buying, and the other responsible for on-site analysis.
Nissan Motor Asia Pacific, for example, has partnered with MightyHive (a Google Marketing Platform data analytics partnership) and Nissan United to create audience activation strategies. MightyHive collected first-party data from Analytics 360 and used machine learning models in BigQuery to analyze the data. Nissan United used first-party Analytics 360 audiences in Display & Video 360 media campaign to personalize creatives and evaluate the impact of its campaign on test drives and dealership registrations.
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2. 2. Align ambitions, incentives, and goals
Sometimes, data-driven marketing requires accurate measurement of media performance. This can sometimes result in higher fees. Be creative — agree on goals that you can share with your partner, and set performance indicators that allow for experimentation.
Partner are usually open to working with clients on project-based agreements, hours based scopes of work, or paid-for training. We’ve seen APAC partners help brands move its media buying in-house. This allows for cost to shift from a percentage to an hour-based model that allows the marketer to use them as often or little as they need.
3. Establish a long-term vision and short-term milestones
Partner can help prioritize short term wins based upon implementation, value and technology capabilities. These priorities can be set up over a period of three to six months as milestones along the way to a larger multiyear initiative.
Let’s suppose a retailer has a vision for its digital presence. It has two years to do so. Partner companies can assist with key short wins, such as the implementation of an app analytics tool and a website. This can provide valuable customer insights that will be useful in future decisions.
4. Don’t be afraid to share your limitations and challenges with the world beyond marketing topics
Partners who understand your challenges, organizational constraints, stakeholder dynamics and other factors can help you incorporate difficult business imperatives into your approach. They can even help marketers overcome internal obstacles with the benefit of an aerial view. Tell your partners what you know about your limitations, including technology, processes, organizational capabilities and whether you are open to change.
Many companies keep data in silos and preserve legacy processes that could hinder their ability to move forward. While brands may desire to connect marketing analytics and customer relationship management software (CRM), it is sometimes not possible. Be open about what you can or cannot do. Partner can then assess your baseline and provide practical steps to accelerate the transformation.
5. Do not be afraid to offer constructive criticism
Listen to your partners’ insights and learn from them. Partner insights and learnings can be challenging. This could involve challenging your team to clarify their goals and objectives or examining whether the alignment of key stakeholders is necessary for this project’s success.
6. 6. Treat your partners as members of your internal project group
From the very beginning, involve key partners in your thinking. Partner involvement is more important than being present during planning. It’s important for partners to get involved once the problem has been identified. This allows them to bring additional ideas and help you to execute.
Think about your partners as an extension and not just on an executional level. Participating in team events can help foster a closer relationship and a better understanding of your business goals.
For addressing unique business needs, it is important to have closer collaboration with partners, marketers, and technology platforms. Marketers can leverage their valuable experience and expertise to achieve true digital marketing transformation through this three-pronged partnership.
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