Growing your martech business in the APAC region — Azadeh Williams // AZK Media

In our first episode with Azadeh, we talked about the differences in the Martech business across different continents, the ways to generate early traction, and the things you need to avoid when expanding to a new region.
About the speaker

Azadeh Williams

AZK Media

 - AZK Media

Azadeh is the Founder & Managing Partner at AZK Media, which is a global media and marketing agency helping Martech, Adtech and vendors grow their presence in the APAC region.

Show Notes

Quotes

  • “Before starting as an agency, I was a marketing and technology journalist. I’ve written for the Sunday Times in the UK, and then I wrote for IDG’s publication globally, it’s a US-based company, also with CMO and CIO Magazines, PC World. I’ve interviewed over 300 CMOs, CTOs of martech vendors across the world so I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of pitches and marketing activity and I’m very passionate about this space and that’s why I started AZK Media and we help martech businesses gain their presence in the APAC region.” - Azadeh“I wouldn’t say that one region is necessarily better than the other because the martech landscape is so complex. We have 8,000 vendors and it’s just growing. So whether you’re starting it in Singapore, or India or US or UK, you just need to have the right solution fit for the customer base that’s in your region.”  - Azadeh“There’s no one size fits all in setting up the business and growing it in that particular region. We have a client in London and they have reached far and wide across the continental parts of Europe and they work very much in the retail vertical, the drink space, and e-commerce space, their business model of growth is very, very different from our US vendors.”  - Azadeh“We have a great EdTech company that we work for in India, they have very low overheads, great place to start but they have the challenge of getting the trust and getting the buy-in from the rest of the world. So while it is cheaper for them to start up and scale, it’s harder for them to get noticed globally.”  - Azadeh“One of the common mistakes when starting out is thinking, “Let’s get some media coverage and create some buzz around what we do,” and unfortunately with the media landscape as it is, it’s quite hard to get some sort of direct business value from just creating a buzz in the media. That’s one of the more common mistakes especially when trying to expand.”  - Azadeh“The mistake we see at the very start-up level or expansion level is that Martech vendors will invest in this massive army of salespeople and then give them little to no marketing support. Their marketing and social media presence and their overall ecosystem is dull, it looks dry, it looks boring, doesn’t stand out from the crowd and it doesn’t create the foundation to be able to really build that pipeline and generate the customer tribe that’s necessary to grow a MarTech business.”  - Azadeh“There’s also a different level of scale when you’re talking about marketing for Salesforce as opposed to marketing the early stage companies. I do agree with you that there is a blend of marketing, awareness driving activities, PR, and direct sales. You need that blend to drive that awareness, get that initial engagement, and actually drive someone through your marketing funnel and finding the balance in that blend can be difficult.”  - Ben “In the UK, it’s very difficult to get noticed. So when you do get noticed in the media and scale in volume of people reading your content, you will get a lot more traction and I think the same goes with the US because there is such a big population and higher readership of content that if you get media coverage, there’s more chance of you looking more authoritative, seeming more successful, and it gives you bragging rights in many ways.”  - Azadeh“A lot of companies in the US and UK think they’re gonna get that same level of street cred and bragging rights when they come to, say Australia. Australia only has 20 million people so you’re not just going to get that level of traction. It’s a lot more complex than that.”  - Azadeh“I think there’s something to be considered when you’re expanding to a different region. Let’s say you’re going to APAC, the geography is not only different but the volume is different as well. When I was getting into the space of early startups, it was very much like TechCrunch or bust. Now everything is a little bit more disintermediated.” - Ben “So you have to regionalize your outreach, come up with stories that are relevant to the market when you’re trying to expand.” - Ben “Interestingly what we say is don’t prioritize PR. It just forms part of the overall marketing mix. I would say instead that they have a look at their entire marketing funnel. Yes PR hits the very top of the marketing funnel, and like I said it gives you bragging rights and street cred but that necessarily doesn’t have to be your priority.”  - Azadeh“In Australia and New Zealand, it is very much relationship building exercise and it’s very old school. And I know there’s a big backlash globally and people aren’t doing as much event marketing but in Australia it’s very much relationship-building. You need to be across all of the local events to get noticed and build those relationships on the ground.”  - Azadeh“That’s an important thing to think about when you’re expanding in the new regions, internationalization is not just a language change. There’s also relationship-building exercises and some of the nuances that come along in moving into a new region. There’s different behaviors and you need to factor that in when you think about expanding beyond your geography.”  - Ben “A common mistake by global martech vendors when coming to the APAC region is actually not having a local-centric content on their global site, local landing pages, local customer use cases or anything that makes the local customer feel like the global vendor really understands them.”  - Azadeh

About the speaker

Azadeh Williams

AZK Media

 - AZK Media

Azadeh is the Founder & Managing Partner at AZK Media, which is a global media and marketing agency helping Martech, Adtech and vendors grow their presence in the APAC region.

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