An intriguing lead generation question was posted recently on LinkedIn’s Technology Marketing Discussion board by Don Shin. (Don’s the APAC marketing manager of Extreme Networks and from his profile, appears to be based in Korea.)
The actual question was generic to marketing but ‘specific’ to Asia-Pacific and read:
“How do you generate leads in Asia-Pac?
Where relationship-based business is characteristic, how do you generate leads?”
My response was:
“Asia-Pac’s a BIG place in time and space – from India to NZ there’s a full business day of time difference. Add in language and cultural challenges and, well, I suspect there’s no “one size fits all” solution to relationship based marketing strategies for lead generation.
That being said, the APAC region’s enormous scale and diversity means (Western) firms must be SEEN to commit for the long haul in each area/territory that they operate in.
Examples of these commitments include:
a) localizing online/offline marketing materials.
b) finding local resellers/distributors who have the contacts/experience to make introductions, set up targeted events (as Caryne has mentioned in her reply) and help cement the still liquid trust between outsider and insider.
This all takes time and money and does NOT necessarily conform to the quarterly reporting cycle beat…”
I saw something of this bootstrap marketing approach while working at 3Com Japan from 1994-97.
Initially, simply translating technical marcom materials produced in the US was a ‘foot-in-the-door’ starting point for the lead generation process.
However, localized case studies, press releases and industry-specific white papers were resources that Japanese Partners and VARs needed to build credibility with their prospects and customers.
I imagine something similar is happening with social media networking. Tweeting, blogging and FaceBooking in English might work for some Asia-Pacific countries (e.g. Singapore) but will mostly bomb in others e.g. China and Japan.
This point is especially true for those seeking to sell sophisticated enterprise and carrier class computer networking solutions.
If you’re on LinkedIn and have some experience with lead generation of technology prospects in the Asia-Pacific region, why not join their Technology Marketing Community and share some of your knowledge?
– Mark McClure
PS – (3Com was recently acquired by HP. For any HP marketing folks stopping by here, a gentle word in your ears… “white text on a dark home page background is sore on the eyes. Reminds me of that GoM oil slick. Have you split-tested black text on white background for the same content? Thanks.”)