4 B2B Marketing Trends in Asia for 2019 (That Aren’t AI or Blockchain)

B2B marketing trends in Asia for 2019

It’s almost time for planning season, and that means we should now start bracing ourselves for the annual tsunami of marketing predictions and forecasts that are bound to hit the Internet very soon.

In fact, we at Callbox are kicking off this yearly ritual a little earlier than most folks with our own pick of the biggest marketing trends in Asia to watch out for in 2019.

First off, though, you should know upfront that you won’t find anything about AI or the blockchain in this blog post. While we remain big fans of these two critical marketing capabilities, we think that other important developments also deserve to shine in the spotlight, without being overshadowed by AI or the blockchain.

With that said, here’s a quick look at four of the hottest marketing trends that will have a huge impact on the Asian B2B space next year:

1. Video becomes B2B marketers’ preferred format.

APAC B2B marketers make use of videos for lead generation

According to a recent survey carried out by LinkedIn, video is the preferred format for B2B marketers in the Asia-Pacific region, with nearly half of them using online videos to drive leads. The survey polled 309 respondents from Australia, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, and Singapore, and found that APAC marketers leveraged videos for:

  • Brand awareness (74%)
  • Product/Service promotion (49%)
  • Lead generation (41%)

The study also finds that B2B marketers in the Asia-Pacific region rely on the following metrics to measure video success:

  • View rate (58%)
  • Reach and impressions (52%)
  • Webpage traffic (52%)

Given that around 41% of APAC B2B marketers make use of videos for lead generation, this trend indicates that videos now increasingly impact sales. For example, Kate Mallard (APAC content marketing manager at LinkedIn) points out that videos at the bottom of the funnel (such as case studies or a product/service walkthrough) can help B2B companies increase the likelihood of winning a deal.

Related: What the Great Singapore Sale’s Turnaround Can Teach B2B Marketers

2. Digital channels contribute to bigger share of revenues.

digital channel used by APAC businesses

Deloitte’s recent Asia-Pacific Commerce Report shows an interesting correlation between digital’s share of revenues and revenue growth. Deloitte’s analysis draws on the findings of a survey of more than 1,000 businesses located throughout various APAC countries including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, India, and Singapore.

A key finding in the report suggests that a 5% increase in the share of customer purchases made digitally is associated with a 3.5% increase in revenue growth. This translates to roughly $525,000 in additional revenues for a company with a $15 million turnover. Moreover, the study also finds that, among the respondents:

  • 96% use emails and websites
  • 90% rely on word-of-mouth
  • 89% leverage social media
  • 77% make use of mobile apps

With digital channels playing an ever-expanding role in revenue generation, it’s no wonder that APAC business have outpaced their counterparts in other regions of the world in terms of digital marketing spend. Zenith’s ad expenditure forecast shows that:

  • 45% of APAC ad spend is on digital, compared to 40% in other markets
  • APAC companies’ digital ad spend is projected to grow 6.2% in 2018

Related: Monthly Top 5 List: Digital Marketing Tools and How to Use Them to Capture B2B Clients

3. The Google-Facebook duopoly continues to dominate the digital ad space.

Google-Facebook duopoly on a digital space

Quarterly reports filed by Google and Facebook earlier this year indicate a strong growth trend for both tech giants in terms of market share in the APAC digital ad space. Data compiled by Tom Simpson of AdColony show that:

  • Facebook’s and Google’s Q1 2018 ad revenues across APAC grew by 40% year-on-year, while ad revenues of other companies actually decreased by 20% for the same period
  • The net increase in digital ad revenues for APAC markets is $850 million (but this actually represents a $1.63 billion combined increase for Google and Facebook, and a $780 million decrease for everyone else)
  • The Google-Facebook duopoly accounts for 65% of all digital ad revenues in the APAC market, up from 51% in the same period in 2017

Putting these numbers into context, there’s still ample room for the Google-Facebook duopoly to grow in the APAC digital ad market. That’s because compared to the US and European markets (where Google and Facebook control 80% of the digital ad space), the duopoly’s APAC market share still sees rapid increases year-in, year-out.

Related: Enterprise Marketing Tactics That Will Win You Large Deals in Singapore

4. Every marketer will need to be in the “micro-moment”.

The rise of “micro-moments” as a marketing touch point continues to gain traction as more and more marketers realize the need to stay top-of-mind throughout the non-linear, buyer-directed path to purchase. Micro-moments are instances where a potential customer needs to learn, discover, watch, find, or buy something, then turns to the nearest available device to act on that need.

Writing for Think With Google, Karim Temsamani argues that micro-moments now matter more to APAC marketers than their counterparts in other regions. That’s because Asia has a wide lead over the rest of the world as a “mobile-first” area:

  • Asia has 5 of the top 10 markets in terms of smartphone adoption
  • 11 of the 21 countries in the world where smartphone is higher than desktop adoption are located in Asia
  • The percentage of smartphone owners that experience micro-moments in Asia is higher than in other regions

During these micro-moments, potential customers have higher expectation for timeliness and relevance. They’re drawn to brands and companies that best fulfill their need in the moment.

Related: Take Your Business to The Next Level with Omnichannel Marketing

Conclusion:  As most of us now start looking ahead to 2019, keeping these four Asia marketing trends in mind will help us put together a more robust marketing plan for the next year.