Marketers need to build structures that allow for as much digital self service as possible. Prospects continue to move incredibly far down the sales cycle before they have any interaction with the business itself.
This is further exacerbated by the fact that consumers will look at multiple offerings during this research phase and would have already made numerous comparisons with your competitors. Therefore, this trend, if done right, has the ability to be a key differentiator for your business.
The Self Service Approach: An Essential Business Strategy in the Asia Pacific Region
While this approach has been known since the formation of inbound marketing, where the trend becomes particularly pointed in Asia-Pacific is that there is such a vast amount of differences between each of the subregions and countries. This means individual plans need
to be nuanced and optimised to allow for country and platform specifics.
Ultimately, it is about building trust. To allow for this, marketers need to have a deep understanding of who they are targeting and importantly, how the business or solution can help fulfil their needs. This requires a highly planned approach with input from all levels of marketing, crossfunctional insight as well as market research.
The Role of Marketing in Digital Self Service
Interestingly, marketing’s role continues to be even more pivotal as digital self service becomes increasingly prevalent, as we are seeing the lines blur between postsales customer service and more top and middle of funnel activity.
An example of what this means is that from a content standpoint, marketing is now expected to help inform and shape technical content that reaches deep into the sales cycle. While this may not be the responsibility of marketing to produce this content, it is certainly a requirement to oversee and guide the technical, product and pre and post sales teams to align their content as part of the overall self-service journey.
By doing so, marketing is taking a leadership role and responsibility for helping not only take the prospect as far through the sales cycle as possible, but to ensure the business develops trust, is consistent in its approach and is able to highlight its technical competence.
In essence, this structure continues to reinforce the importance that global or centralised marketing plays with in-region marketing to provide content and programmatic support. Marketing’s role in the region will be to continually provide on-the-ground insight for what prospects and customers are saying, with a goal of feeding that back to centralised teams. Corporate marketing needs to provide the ‘muscle’ to help automate and scale the marketing function, while local marketing provides the country specific inputs.
What also comes with this, is the requirement to have quality levels of insight at each stage of the purchasing cycle so we can understand what is working and what may need optimisation. This again would be best approached via a cross-functional collaborative approach, with multiple members of the business understanding the insight and informing the decisions around it.