Top Business Strategies to Win the Hearts of Asian Customers


Thriving and evolving as a prominent economy ever since the 1950s, the Asian market has been contributing to the global business ecosystem prolifically. Though the Asian Marketing and Business Industry suffered a heavy blow after the arrival of the COVID Pandemic, the regional growth forecasts for the last quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 have been optimistic. At present, many entrepreneurs, as well as experienced business stalwarts, are contemplating the adoption of innovative business strategies for Asian customers to establish a sturdy base for their businesses across the competitive Asian market. Amidst the ongoing impacts of the slowed-down economy, this might be the best time for businesses to enter the Asian market, invest in some significant marketing tactics for Asian consumers and explore some solid entry points into this market that will lead them to success. Establishing a business across the Asian region entails a thorough knowledge of local markets and culture, which is unparalleled in any other part of the world. To ensure that your business establishes a firm grip over the Asian Market, you must understand the importance of localizing and reframing/restructuring your content to resonate with international as well as local consumers. However, your business will be competing with the ardent players in the Chinese, Korean and Thai markets, which are considered to be the world’s biggest and highly-competitive markets. To establish a long-term presence amidst such tough competitors, you need to come up with a unique as well as customized marketing campaign, which remains aligned with the ongoing customer demand and present-day industry trends.

This article explores a few business strategies that international business leaders or entrepreneurs can implement across their operations to ensure a firm grasp over the Asian Market.

Localize Your Business

Being unaware of the local cultures and customer preferences all over Asia, which tend to vary from place to place, it can be a hectic task for business owners or marketing leaders to find a way into the hearts of Asian customers. The normal marketing strategies won’t work in Asia, and to reach your target Asian consumer, business executives have to go to the grass root level to figure out what they are dealing with. The customer base of Asia is communal, social, multicultural, multilingual, and family-centered, along with huge ethnic pride and sentimentalities, which makes it distinctive from other international customers in every possible way. So, what works for an average buyer from London or New York who will not work in Shanghai, Seoul, or Tokyo? Apart from that, your marketing campaign should be more focused on a ‘City’ or ‘Town’ instead of the ‘country’ because the complete region is unique and multifaceted.

Therefore, while crafting your marketing campaign, ensure that the language, products, offerings, pricing, and payment method, are impeccably highlighting your understanding of the local market and culture. When the South Korean consumer electronics company LG first stepped into the Indian market, it soon realized that to make a mark across the domestic market of India, it needed to convert its product line to favor an average Indian buyer. Manufacturing refrigerators in brighter colors, large washing machines for Indian joint families, Televisions with better speakers as Indians love to listen to music on their TVs, and so on; LG soon became an unrivaled player in electronics and hardware segment across India.

Mobile-friendly Approach

China ranks first in the world in terms of the highest number of Smartphone users worldwide, followed by India and the US. Using this knowledge to launch their business in the Asian market with a mobile-first approach, SEO practices in Thailand, China, Japan, and other Asian countries also encourage this trend. According to Motoko Hunt, President, International Search Marketing Consultant at AJPR, “Consumer behaviors in Asia are more mobile-friendly. They tend to stay on their phones during a large part of their purchase process and often consider their devices as full-scale communication machines.”

Apart from being mobile-first, businesses also need to focus on android because the top three Smartphone manufacturer giants in Asia – Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi, are all Androids. As the average Asian consumer is financially conservative and looks more at affordable options instead of opting for big brands, the premium electronic gadgets manufacturing brand Apple has not been able to gain a strong footing in the Asian market as. This report was forecasted by consumer insight research published by the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Therefore, your application should not only be android friendly but also a little reliable for consumers with low-level data plans to access your service easily.

Reach Out to Local Social Networks

As a marketer, you need to remain aware of the fact that your regular social media networks will not yield comprehensive results across the Asian markets. One of the major reasons behind this is China - the biggest consumer market in Asia has banned Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Apart from that, Asian markets have their local social media platforms, such as WeChat and Sina Weibo in China, and Line in Japan, giving tough competition to various global platforms. In South Korea, the local search engine Naver is widely adopted and quite popular. Naver is a Q&A-based search engine where people can ask any question they have in mind, and experts answer the question in minute detail – free of charge. The spirit of helping each other drives the growth and popularity of Naver, and it has managed to beat Google in the search engine battle in South Korea by creating Korean-language text.

Wayne Lee, a Woori Investment and Securities Analyst, shared to Choe Sang-Hun, New York Times, “Despite Google being a powerful search engine, it doesn’t have enough Korean-language data to satisfy South Korean customers.”

Hence, to reach your targeted Asian consumer, having fair knowledge of the local social networks is necessary. After that, only you can come up with a plan to promote your products/services according to the demands of the Asian market.

Multilingual Marketing

With different vernaculars, enunciations, and linguistic differences that make the country problematic to penetrate with a single, unified language approach, the Asian market is diverse and multifaceted. Therefore, your marketing approach needs to be multilingual – both in terms of written and oral, covering your online ads, online videos, print ads, and every other form of marketing and communication. This multilingual approach to penetrating further into the market will enable you to interact pragmatically with your audience. Attracting more Asian consumers will enable you to stand apart from your competition with a dedicated client base.

To succeed in the Asian markets, you need to unlearn what you have known about marketing so far concerning a western market and relearn it all to get an insight into what your average Asian consumer’s demand is. You need to understand their purchasing behaviors, expenditure habits, customer performances, and various other factors that may influence the marketing strategies that you are going to implement in one way or another. Following a template is not going to work for Asian consumers. Rather, you would have to write a whole new handbook.

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