Getting to know the APAC Region
The Asia Pacific (APAC) Region is unique because it is vast. With more than 23 countries and 14 languages, there are more cultural and economic differences than one would realize just by looking at a map. However, with the extensive diversity comes one common goal—reaching new customers online through search engine marketing. This is where our team has entered the equation to provide paid search solutions for a sector that includes about one-sixth of the earth’s surface.
Having an English-speaking background provided us with a tough learning curve to learn and decipher what APAC is all about. For example, many of us did not have a clue as to how Chinese characters worked, what consumer behavior was like in South Korea, or any other consumer attributes that are common in the APAC region. The question is how do you go about breaking down a region that has so many variances among the member nations?
The answer is rather simple—define the similarities and differences.
Start with the Similar
Just like trying to break down any barrier, it’s important first to outline what you have in common. In this case—there are three elements that every business incorporates:
- Everybody communicates in some way
- Everybody has a consumer base
- Everybody has a geographic target where they provide products/services
Languages and Geography
This might appear like an obvious one, but once you start seeing a pair or groups of countries as one market area (rather than a staggering number of countries), it can make your view of the region a little simpler.
The languages that are spoken in the APAC region include:
- English—India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand
- Traditional Chinese—Hong Kong, Taiwan
- Simplified Chinese—China
What Is the Geography of the Target Audience in APAC?
- South-East Asia
- Greater China
- Australia and New Zealand (ANZ)
Defining the Purchasing Power—Consumer Volume
In this segment, we had not only to define the potential purchasing power of the consumers in APAC, but we also had to combat some hurdles. For example, many countries within the APAC region have varying sets of search volumes, which at times equates to a reduction in consumer purchase power. Using India as an example, it may have a high search volume for particular terms; however, it does not necessarily mean it has a high predisposition to purchase.
The reality is that it’s impossible to group the entire APAC region into the same tier of consumer purchase power and capability. Our solution is to categorize the region into tiers: Tier One (where we focus the majority of our search marketing) and Tier Two divisions within the region (as an emerging market with growth potential).
As you can clearly see—one size does not always fit all; especially when it comes to creating effective SEM platforms in a diverse region like APAC. But in order to fine-tune a plan, it’s critical to start with what you have in common. In my next blog, I’ll focus my efforts on fine-tuning the criteria to items that are dissimilar and that often create hurdles for us to clear—and some of the unique ways we combat these objections to fulfill our commitment to customers in the entire APAC region.