Content Matters 2014 - Asia-Pacific Research Report - Waggener Edstrom, Zaheer Nooruddin

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What is the Communications, PR and Marketing Impact of Digital Content for Brands in 2014? The role of communications and marketing professionals today, from PR or marketing manager to CMO, is to connect actions to outcomes. Today, in the marketing-communications industry across Asia-Pacific there is a general consensus that “content is king”. But how important is content really? How much does it create tangible value for brands and business? What is the value of digital content for Asian consumers? In 2014, B2C and B2B consumers will continue to – with more sophistication than ever – utilize the information made available by brands in the digital space – both via online and mobile devices that enable their connectedness in real-time. In this new proprietary research by Waggener Edstrom, you can discover all the latest findings about how digital content and brand storytelling impacts brands and businesses across 10 Asian markets. The results are fascinating.

Text of Content Matters 2014 - Asia-Pacific Research Report - Waggener Edstrom, Zaheer Nooruddin

  • A 2014 Asia-Pacific Industry Research Report

    Content MAtteRS2 0 1 4

    the IMpACt of BRAnd StoRytellIng onlIne

    Understanding the role of digital content on Asian consumer decision-making and business ROI

    PhilippinesIndia IndonesiaVietnam


    South Korea

    Hong Kong


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    1 Introduction 2 About Waggener Edstrom (WE)

    2.1 Asia-Pacific Network

    2.2 About WE Studio D APAC

    2.3 About WE Insight & Analytics (I&A) APAC

    3 Understanding Content Marketing 3.1 Linking Brand Storytelling to Business Value

    4 Methodology 4.1 Questionnaire

    4.2 A Focus on Social

    5 Content Marketing & Brand Storytelling 5.1 Brand Storytelling

    5.2 Brand Impact

    5.3 Our Approach to Measuring Impact

    5.4 Storytelling & Purchase Intent

    6 Results - Highlights across Asia-Pacific 6.1 Results Asia-Pacific Overview

    6.2 Results Australia 6.3 Results China 6.4 Results Hong Kong 6.5 Results India 6.6 Results Indonesia 6.7 Results Japan 6.8 Results South Korea 6.9 Results Philippines 6.10 Results Singapore 6.11 Results Vietnam

    7 Recommendations 8 Bibliography











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    Today, in the practice of integrated communications, we are inclined to think that content matters. There is general consensus that content is king.

    But how important is content really? How much does it create tangible value for brands and for their consumers?

    In 2014, B2C and B2B brand consumers across Asia-Pacific will continue - with more sophistication than ever - to utilize the information available to them online as a means to make more informed purchase decisions. The rapid proliferation of smart devices has enabled a greater level brand connectedness as consumers can now engage with brands and branded content in real-time.

    Discerning consumers will intensively research and filter information found at various digital channel sources about brands, products and services prior to purchase. Going forward there will be no single source of content that creates consumer decisions.

    The role of communications and marketing professionals today, from the PR and marketing manager to the CMO, is to connect actions to outcomes.

    Strategic content is the basis of strong corporate narratives and authentic brand storytelling.

    1. InTROdUCTIOnDoes Content Matter for Business in 2014? (And, If It Does, Then How?)

    With content informing consumer decisions more than ever important decisions around brand purchase, advocacy, and engagement corporate communicators and brand marketers are pressured into publishing more compelling content. The aim is to deliver to consumers the content that they seek about companies, brands, and products.

    But, just how impactful is content in terms of increased spending, brand advocacy, and engagement? Is there a tangible link between content and sales? Or is this link merely imagined?

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    Communications and marketing professionals face increasing pressure to measure the ROI of their campaigns and connect spending to bottom-line results.

    Today CMOs consistently cite marketing ROI as the most important measure of success. Unfortunately, measuring the returns of content marketing is no simple task.

    What are the outcomes of content marketing for businesses today and how do these outcomes differ across borders and business sectors? Furthermore, what do customers expect from branded content and how can it actually impact purchase behaviour. Indeed, these are questions that require a different approach to measurement.

    Given that brand owners are considering whether or not to invest more in content marketing in 2014, having the right answers to these questions have become vital.

    We believe that finding the answers to these questions can help marketing and communications practitioners foster a more practical and meaningful approach to understanding the ROI of content marketing while building successful digital marketing and communications practices.

    does content really matter and, if so, to what extent?

    How exactly does a brands content strategy relate to business success?

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    2. AbOUT WAggeneR edSTROM (We)Waggener Edstrom Communications (WE) is a global, independent integrated communications agency that has developed strategic communications programs for innovative and world-changing clients for nearly 30 years working to influence markets, inspire people and improve lives. WE APAC specializes in the Consumer, Technology, Healthcare, Corporate and Digital communications sectors. WE was recently named APAC Consumer Consultancy of the Year 2013 by The Holmes Report. In 2012, WE was named Mid-Size Network of the Year at the Campaign Asia-Pacific PR Awards for the second year running, APAC Technology Consultancy of the Year by The Holmes Report, and in 2011 Best Digital Campaign of the Year by The Holmes Reports Asia-Pacific SABRE Awards. The agency has more than 750 employees in 19 offices around the world, and its Global Alliance partners expand the agencys reach to more than 80 additional international markets. To learn more, visit The Waggener Edstrom mark, the Innovation Communications mark, the twendz mark, the WE Studio D mark and other marks used herein are registered or unregistered trademarks of Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the registered or unregistered trademarks of their respective owners. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.

    2.1 Asia-Pacific Network



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    We Offices

    We Affiliate Offices



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    2.3 About WE Insight & Analytics (I&A) APAC

    Waggener Edstrom Communications APAC Insight & Analytics (I&A) practice supports companies with the development of cost-effective, bespoke, and agile measurement solutions across a range of organizational requirements.

    Solutions include: Integrated ROI dashboards for marketing-communications Organizational/employee engagement evaluations Audience surveys and market insight reports around brand positioning and health Integrated media analysis and 24/7 reporting

    2.2 About WE Studio D APAC

    With more than 40 digital planners, analysts, content developers, and web designers, Waggener Edstroms Studio D specialist team delivers high-quality content, creative services, and integrated brand storytelling across digital, mobile, and social platforms.

    WE Studio D uses insight and measurement to power multi-channel digital communications for brands in Asia-Pacific.

    To learn more, visit accelerateinfluence.comServices include: Creative services Digital readiness training Community management Audience insights Content management (planning, development, distribution)

    Media planning Brand development Measurement solutions Integrated media reporting

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    3. UndeRSTAndIng COnTenT MARKeTIngContent marketing can take on many shapes and sizes. As far as marketing tactics go, it can range from managing a corporate Twitter handle to publishing regular eNewsletters. A list of common content marketing tactics include:

    Although this list can be helpful, it does not get us to the core of what content marketing is and why its important. In its most basic form, content marketing can be viewed as a way for brands to become storytellers. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) supports this notion as they define content marketing as the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling (CMI, 2013). Whats valuable with this definition is that it emphasizes the creative requirement (i.e. art) for content marketing to be successful, which is done through storytelling.

    More importantly, CMIs definition highlights the fact that content marketing should not be used as a direct selling tactic. That is, unlike paid media, your content marketing strategy should not be focused on generating immediate financial returns. This can be a scary prospect for marketers today, especially with growing pressures from the executive branch to prove the value and returns gained from their marketing and communications spend.

    3.1 Linking Brand Storytelling to Business Value

    Across industries and markets, communications and marketing teams are concerned with measuring the impact of PR, communications, and marketing activities at the brand level. The question, whats our financial return? is a frequent boardroom discussion topic.

    Our aim with this study is to create a measurement framework for content marketing in business and to better understand the ROI (or business impact) of the strategic creation and distribution of content for businesses across business sectors in key Asian markets.




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    4. MeTHOdOLOgyWe conducted a survey among 2,200 consumers in 10 cou