Our mission, at The Marketing Society, is to become the leading global network for senior marketers, with an aim to have a hub in 10 major cities by 2020. And since returning from sabbatical in mid-April, my role has been solely focused on driving the growth of our five hubs: Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, New York and New Delhi.
Also, since coming back to work, I've found that one of the benefits of being an international business, is that I get to travel to culturally diverse regions around the world and experience new and exciting business environments. It's also worth noting that the Society’s hubs are in vibrant marketing communities, where we can share best practice from across the world… and they’re located in some pretty cool places too, which is always a bonus.
So, over this past month I've been visiting our four Asia hubs where I have attended events, discussed inspirational opportunities with our regional boards and met with our Founding Members.
It's been a whirlwind.
Here are some of my key learnings, anecdotes and quite interesting facts I learnt along the way.
One of the stories of the last two decades has been Amazon.com’s relentless roll-out across the world, leaving delighted customers and despairing merchants in its swathe.
Traditional on-ground retail patterns have been disrupted. Christmas shopping isn’t what it used to be in the US, and won’t likely be so ever again. And these days, a month before Christmas, not that many line up outside superstores for super deals on Black Friday.
The pattern is being disrupted around the world too. Diwali shopping in India has declined and the footfalls in malls are just not spending that much. And the common wisdom is it's because people have moved online. China’s biggest shopping day is now 11/11, owned by another online giant, Alibaba.
The question has been asked often, in conference after conference – how does one stop this online juggernaut and make a fight of what was once a booming $10 trillion offline retail opportunity?
Pakistan, known for its expansive mountain ranges, fast fashion exports, and top-notch carpet weavers, is hardly the first place that comes to mind when it comes to high fashion. Enter Sana Safinaz, one of the nation’s biggest fashion houses, which was determined to grow its business internationally. Turning to the power of digital, Sana Safinaz used Google ads in an effort to drive more traffic to its website—and it worked. Web traffic from international markets, online sales, in-store foot traffic, and in-store sales are all on the upswing.
Enter new international markets
Leverage growing interest in digital while customers were mainly buying offline
Expand business and boost profits
Used display ads to raise awareness during new product launches
Ran search ads to connect with people looking for Sana Safinaz products online
Used banner ads to remarket to past customers
India’s beauty and attractiveness lies in its complexity and diversity. The complexity of the Indian society also contributes to the fragmented nature of its economy and markets. From a brand builder’s perspective, building successful brands in India requires an in-depth understanding of two critical (and sometimes opposing) factors: sporadic and unstructured growth opportunities, and the need for products that are attractive to wider demographic and social groups. India’s love for brands is unparalleled, but increasingly the criteria on which brands are judged, have become harsher.
Despite a landmark judgement giving transgender people equal rights in India they continue to be ostracized by society and are often forced to work as sex slaves for survival
Brooke Bond Red Label tea is committed to bringing people together
Building on the rich culture of music and dance in the country they helped create the 6 Pack Band - the first transgender pop group with a series of music tracks, videos and live performances on major TV shows
The campaign has reached over 25 million people with an earned PR media value of £1.5M
Today, both the EU and WEF rank Sweden as Europe’s leading country for innovation. Reasons for this include a historic tradition of inventors, a commitment to gender equality, and a strong belief in the individual.