Story, Scale & Action: Our Takeaways from APAC's Biggest Content Marketing Event

Story, Scale & Action: Our Takeaways from APAC’s Biggest Content Marketing Event

by Esti Frischling

7 minute read

NewsCred recently made a big bet on APAC. We’ve invested in partnerships and boots on the ground from Sydney to Tokyo, because we see so much potential here for maturing and scaling out both enterprise content & integrated marketing programs. 

So when NewsCred was invited to speak at and partner with Content Marketing Summit (CMS) in Singapore, we were excited about the opportunity to hear from the region’s top brands about their marketing challenges and triumphs. At CMS, marketing leaders from Netflix, Intel, Honeywell, Cisco, Dolby, P&G, and more came together to discuss how they’re using content to transform their businesses.

Brands in Asia & Australia are focused on creating exceptional content that scales across large enterprises, and drives business results.

Summing this up perfectly, Rashish Pandey, the Director of Marketing Management for Cisco, explained his team focuses on three things:

  1. Storytelling
  2. Scale
  3. Action

These concepts popped up the programming throughout the day and fully align with NewsCred’s own mission to enhance the scale, visibility, and performance of content produced across enterprise marketing organizations. Here are our key takeaways as they relate to each of these topics:

1. Storytelling: “Don’t be Boring!”

If the crowd wasn’t fully awake after their first cup of coffee, they certainly were after seeing this message up on the screen in bold type. This slide came at the end of the first session of the day by Netflix’s head of partner marketing, Dipashree Das. While no one can accuse Netflix of having boring content, Dipashree’s warning rang true for many other brands in the room.

She asked us to consider, “What is the damn story? Why would [your customers or prospects] care?” Dipashree shared that their strategy at Netflix goes beyond buzzwords like “integrated channel plan” to focus on speaking to their fans like a fan. Take the below example of Netflix’s video announcing the TV show Friends was finally streaming in Singapore.

“Find what your audience is passionate about and tap into the zeitgeist,” Dipashree concluded.

Friends. Now streaming in Singapore.

While it might seem easy to connect with your fans when your products are fan favourites like Stranger Things or Orange is the New Black, it’s harder to not be boring when you sell something less entertaining, like washing machines. 

As Dalia Feldheim, the former CMO of Electrolux for APAC shared with us, the brand struggled to translate a product people associate with doing household chores into exciting content. Electrolux thought about what their customers are passionate about  or, in other words, are fans of. And while people might not be passionate about doing laundry, they certainly are about their clothes, especially in some countries. Dalia shared that in Australia, people spend more on clothing than anywhere else in the world. Based on this insight, Electrolux were able to speak to their customers like fans of their clothes, instead of fans of washing them.

[See how NewsCred helps brands create exceptional content]

2. Scale: “Think Globally, Act Locally”

Singapore is famous for being multinational and multicultural, and CMS in Singapore was a perfect microcosm of that. The conference began with recognition of India and Singapore’s recent Independence Days and throughout the day the audience was exposed to content from Israel to Thailand. It’s no surprise that a big question on everyone’s mind was how to scale their content efforts across different markets.

So much so that the event featured the following sessions:

  • How can brands scale their content marketing efforts?
  • Success stories for content distribution across multiple markets
  • How to manage local & cultural nuances?

One audience member asked Rashish Pandey at the end of his session, “How do you manage varied digital assets and deploy them across the globe?” Rashish spoke of the challenge at Cisco of content assets “popping up everywhere around the globe” with a lot of duplication. His team solves this through what he calls “forced collaboration” and extreme rigor around their asset library and tech stack.

With different teams demanding content, Rashish maintains that an enterprise can only be as good as they are enabled by their tech stack. By streamlining technology partners as much as possible in recent years, Cisco as an organisation has more visibility into what content it is creating and how that content is performing in different markets around the world.

Ashim Mathur, Senior Director of Marketing for Emerging Markets at Dolby Laboratories, whose job is to create global assets that function locally, faces similar challenges creating content for a brand that everyone has heard of but few people really understand. Dolby thinks about how it can tell the brand story in an interesting way by creating local content that taps into universal experiences. This is challenging when Dolby does not necessarily sell an accessible, consumer-facing product. Ashim shared a video that is extremely localised, but creates a relatable and globally relevant story  family and friends watching sports together.   

[See how NewsCred’s technology enables brands to scale their content marketing]

3. Action: “Show Me the Money”

Most people in the room shared a passion for storytelling but nodded along with Joseph Jones, Head of Content Marketing at Exness, when he said, “At the end of the day, your boss will say, ‘Show me what you’ve done.'” 

Roger Yuen, the founder and CEO of Clozette, agreed with Joseph. He added, “You have to be able to track in order to prove your efforts.” He continued, “[For marketers,] the challenge comes when you need to see some sort of return on your investment.”

Many other presenters were in agreement that CMOs and decision-makers should be focused on measurement and reporting:

  • Angelyn Varkey, Marketing Director of AON, noted that attributing sales to content is certainly something her boss cares a lot about.
  • Lynn Huang, the Head of Marketing for APAC at Honeywell, said “It’s all about the top line or the bottom line, especially if you are speaking to the C-level.”
  • Rashish Padney said his focus is on ROI, adding that “it’s hard to measure the ROI of content marketing.”
  • Fiza Hasan Malhotra, the Global Head of Marketing at Space Matrix, asks “How can you tell me what the most effective channels are and how can we drive sales?” when looking for content marketing agencies and partners.
  • Sophia Ong, the VP of Marketing at ST Engineering, spoke about using content to propel actual sales  the ultimate action. At her organisation, the question they are always asking themselves is, “if you are not tracking it, how do you know?”

Sophia drove this point home with a slide featuring Jerry Maguire famously repeating “show me the money!” 

The big takeaway for me from these conversations was that everyone was talking about ROI but no one knows exactly how to measure it.

I was given the opportunity to speak specifically about content marketing measurement because NewsCred has developed a robust platform and accompanying proprietary methodology. We always say that the goal is not to be good at creating content (although we are good at that); the goal is instead to be good at business using content. 

I shared how at NewsCred, we measure the content journey across the following framework, from a new visitor to a qualified lead in the sales funnel. Using our software and methodology, we are able to attribute an actual dollar amount to each piece of content we create.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 3.22.11 PM.png

[See how NewsCred’s platform and services drive business results for brands here.]

Key Takeaways

The audience at CMS came from a wide swath of verticals and industries — brands focused on everything from makeup to investment banking to aerospace engineering. They came from countries like Israel, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Australia. But while their products and backgrounds might be different, they shared common challenges and priorities around creating engaging content and measuring its impact on the bottom line.

Not only did this event give NewsCred an opportunity to connect with other leaders in our space, it validated our theory that APAC is a great fit for our emerging strategy for unifying teams and elevating marketing performance. The market’s maturity and enthusiasm make it the perfect place to launch the region’s first robust integrated content marketing tool.

If you are in APAC, please reach out to see how we can help. 

Additional resources:

Esti Frischling is NewsCred’s Regional Manager, APAC