December 1, 2019

Report Presents a Number of Steps Companies Can Take to Appeal to Millennial Customers in Asia

The previous post on this blog focused on a report commissioned by the Singapore Economic Development Board that examines the ways in which the consumer behavior and digital habits of millennials in Asia converge or diverge from those in other parts of the world. The Economist Intelligence Unit's (The EIU) Asia's digital millennials: Opportunities for businesses serves as the second of a two-part research program that explores what Asia's accelerating pace of digital adoption means for businesses, with a look at their strategies and operations. "In this EIU paper, executives from some of the biggest tech companies in the region share their experiences and approaches, illustrating that whatever their size or pedigree, companies must challenge their own thinking about what works."

In terms of improving a company's relationship with its customers, the findings include:
  • Businesses must match their mobile presence with a physical one, building trust and awareness by giving savvy consumers a chance to see, touch and try their products.
  • Companies must engineer their mobile platform to suit the tastes and expectations of users who are likely to demand of e-commerce platform more than just shopping, including entertainment, social connectivity and foreign products they can't buy locally.
  • Companies must create friction-free customer experiences by incorporating local preferences for payments platforms into their online services.

In terms of improving internal workflows and leveraging a business ecosystem, the findings include:
  • Companies must use their marketing, public-relations (PR), retail and supply-chain teams as hyperlocal eyes and ears to better understand and take advantage of the unique opportunities Asia’s ecosystems offer.
  • In a motivated but skill-starved region, companies must build strong local teams with a digital mindset.
  • Companies must build partnerships to complement their strengths with those of others—even potential competitors.

"In general," the report explains, "companies must keep a close eye on what underlying consumer demands they are aiming to address so as to fully capitalize on what Asia has to offer. These demands might change as the region evolves, so companies must also pay attention and adapt."

Moreover, "To keep up with increasingly sophisticated millennial consumers in Asia, companies in the region must be prepared to make a number of changes, from hiring staff to the products and platforms they build, including overhauling their online and offline strategies and thinking differently about their internal processes and the overall consumer journey."

Based on my recent travels to Asia, I am able to attest that the "fast-growing and dynamic region" is "rife with change." How is your business appealing to millennial customers in Asia?

Aaron Rose is a board member, corporate advisor, and co-founder of great companies. He also serves as the editor of Solutions for a Sustainable World.

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