Achieve Premium Pricing, B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Expert Marketing, Increase Conversions

The Expert Marketing Formula – findings from 7 years of battling for B2B content marketing relevance (part 2)

Missed out on part 1 of this article? Click here to read it.

My area not only became the fastest growing product portfolio across the entire business but clients actively started seeking advice from myself and my team in their planning process. 

We were able to be part of strategy discussions earlier rather than joining the conversations once decisions were already made. 

What followed is history: In 2015 I decided to leave Fairfax Media to start a business offering the benefits of this approach to B2B brands. 

Andrew Birmingham, Paul Van Wensveen and I turned Which-50, a blog run by a single person, into a 7-figure media business with 12 employees that enables brands to share the expertise of their internal experts with decision-maker audiences. 

Over the last 3 years, Which-50 Media has been able to work with some of the largest B2B brands in the world while constantly iterating and improving the effectiveness of expert content.

This year I have started a new business, the Krueger Consultancy. What we do is embed this approach into marketing departments of B2B brands operating in highly competitive markets.

For the first time, we’ve given the approach a name: Expert Marketing. 

Let me break it down for you...

Expert Marketing definition

Expert Marketing is a content marketing strategy that enables B2B organisations to leverage the professional expertise of their staff to educate the industry, engage potential customers, drive revenue, and increase client retention. 

Brands that previously were able to differentiate themselves through their products now have to shift the focus to their second biggest asset, the knowledge of their internal experts helping clients to use the products they offer successfully. 

Expert Marketing enables B2B marketing departments to share this knowledge effectively as part of their existing marketing activity.

Who it is for

Expert Marketing is designed to help any B2B organisation that features a service component and at least one internal expert. The existence of internal experts is crucial since Expert Marketing can only amplify existing expertise. 

Expert Marketing is particularly suitable for organisations with limited local marketing resource attempting to gain more traction in the APAC region. 

How content is created

The beauty of the expert marketing approach is that it requires minimal involvement of the experts while maximising the market impact of their knowledge. 

Article and video content are the two key content formats in Expert Marketing. Both of them are created based on interviews. The aim is to ensure that internal experts continue doing what they are best at (delivering value to clients) rather than being distracted by content production. 

The difference between Expert Marketing, Content Marketing, and PR

Expert Marketing has a laser-sharp focus on maximising the expertise of internal talent in B2B marketing activity. Where content marketing might do this on occasion, expert marketing makes it the norm. 

PR agencies can support some of the aspects of Expert Marketing but where they regularly fall short is the integration with other marketing activity (such as ABM) and ROI measurement. 

How Expert Marketing is measured

Experts nominated by their organisation are assessed through our benchmarking tool. The questionnaire looks at 6 areas relevant to the expert status of the person taking the survey as well as the supporting marketing infrastructure. 

  • Industry profile
  • Expertise
  • Exposure
  • Business development
  • Marketing infrastructure 
  • Effectiveness 

This assessment then allows us to rank the nominated experts according to the 6 levels of expertise. The goal is to improve the ranking over time in order to improve the impact of associated marketing activity. 

To allow for ongoing optimisation of the program, KPI’s that are closely associated with the existing marketing funnel are put in place. 

Additionally, the Expert Marketing program can be used to attract and retain top talent. This will particularly resonate with young talent since they often are hungry for market exposure. 

Success on this front can be measured by monitoring the average tenure of experts part of the program vs other employees. 


Why Expert Marketing makes sense in the APAC region

Australia is not only one of the most competitive markets in the APAC region but in the world. The advertising spend per capita was only second to the USA in 2018 according to an IPG Mediabrands study. In such an incredibly competitive market environment, the ability to increase marketing impact determines who can claim the largest market share. Expert Marketing increases content marketing effectiveness while utilising experts as a differentiator. 

The other dynamic that makes Expert Marketing particularly suitable for the APAC region is the number of overseas brands entering the market. From my experience, many overseas market entrants assume that their generic existing content will suffice in the Asia-Pacific region. 

What they don’t understand that this content doesn’t deliver the results they are after. Localised content has a greater appeal and B2B decision-makers can smell repurposed overseas content from a mile away. Local relevance cannot be achieved by simply changing “z” to “s” but requires insight and context local buyers can relate to. 

What’s next for Expert Marketing

After having formalised the concept of Expert Marketing in collaboration with my industry network, we’re officially launching the program in September 2019. The number of launch partners will be limited to 3 as we want to ensure early success and the high service standards Krueger Consultancy is known for. If you are interested in exploring Expert Marketing for your organisation, please feel free to book in a time for a call.

Have you previously engaged internal experts in your content marketing activity? What has your experience been? Let me know in the comments below.


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Achieve Premium Pricing, B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Expert Marketing, Increase Client Retention, Increase Conversions

The Expert Marketing Formula – findings from 7 years of battling for B2B content marketing relevance (part 1)

The year is 2012 and B2B content marketing is in its infancy... Back then any B2B organisation that managed to produce high-quality content was able to differentiate itself in the market and drive tangible business outcomes. 

At the time I was a video product specialist at Fairfax Digital. Ad networks had not gained a lot of traction at that stage, Google and Facebook weren’t as dominant as they are today. 

Our clients were interested in what we had to say simply for the fact that there weren't a lot of expert sources providing them with advice and market intelligence. 

Only three years later the landscape had completely changed. Not only did the number of competitors increase exponentially but also the volume of content they published to attract, educate and convert clients.

Welcome to the new world

I found this out the hard way. While we still maintained previously successful communication channels to engage clients, the impact was notably reduced. The revenue of my product portfolio grew but it was well behind the market growth rate. 

My team did extensive analysis to understand what the issue was. Was it the audience? The products we offered? The sales team? 

We were able to eliminate all of these factors after speaking to clients that we had long-term relationships with. 

It crystallised that as the media landscape grew more complex, there was an over-supply of channels and products that achieved the same outcomes that we delivered. 

What became the differentiator in the marketplace was expert knowledge communicated through content explaining trends, operational stumbling blocks, and ways to make the most out of the solutions we offered. 

It’s safe to say that this realisation blew my mind. What a wasted opportunity! The people I worked with were some of the most knowledgeable people in the Australian media landscape. Yet we didn’t manage to capitalise on this expertise.

"68% of B2B buyers value specialised skill and experience the most when engaging vendors" - Inside the Buyer’s Brain (2019)

Pressure creates diamonds

Of course, changing the ways of the entire organisation at a flick of a button wasn’t realistic. We had to start small.

The only way forward was to change our approach and give the market what it wanted, preferably delivered at scale through content. 

At this point in time, our senior executive leadership were still dominating most of the content that was created to address the marketplace. While I knew what we had to do to engage the market more effectively, it was a challenge to change the ways of a large organisation like Fairfax Media. 

After a lot of conversations with our marketing team and ultimately the senior leadership team, we started making incremental improvements to the level of specialised knowledge (and value) we were able to engage the market with. 

We went from engaging market stakeholders infrequently with high-level information to a laser-sharp focus on content value and scale.

We created more educational content that we shared through presentations to larger audiences, started speaking at niche conferences, actively sought out media interviews, and started producing educational on-demand video content. 

The results of this focused approach to sharing highly specialised knowledge were astonishing... 

Click here to continue reading >>


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B2B Marketing, Satire

The Melancholic B2B Marketer Poem

Why does LinkedIn charge $6 per click?
Which Facebook audiences does B2B pick? 
Why does my CMO never talk to me in the lift? 
Is marketing automation a curse or a gift?

Has anybody read my 100-page whitepaper?
Was this really an ad impression or just a web scraper?
Why is there no transparency in my funnel? 
Why do clients always call when I’m driving through a tunnel? 

Why did I pay to put my logo on a coffee cart? 
How come writing good content so awfully hard?
Why does Marketo charge me an arm and a leg? 
Why don’t adtech marketers use their own tech?

Why does nobody click on my banner?
Have industry award shows forever lost their glamour? 
Is there any return on my press release? 
Why is this chatbot called Denise? 

Why does nobody in Australia laugh at my CEO’s jokes? 
Is the data coming out of Clearbit just a hoax?
When does my US marketing team finally respond? 
I’m sure anytime soon, they said we have a special bond…

As the sun rotates and the market grows bigger,
Suddenly I have followers on Twitter,
Leads start converting, and clients pay,
Business is good, today was a great day.

Do you ever feel like a melancholic B2B marketer? Krueger Consultancy enables high-performance B2B marketing departments. Start transforming your marketing from a cost into an investment and schedule a free 30-minute strategy call with one of our consultants.

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Artificial_Intelligence_Basics
Uncategorized

Artificial Intelligence Basics

Artificial intelligence has evolved to become one of the most overused and misunderstood terms in business while also offering the potential to be the driving force in business decision-making, automation, and scalability.

Now is the time to develop strategies that set your business up for success for years to come. This article attempts to shed light on the origins, definition, types, business applications, and how senior executives can approach introducing AI to their business.

Defining AI 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a broad term and describes technology’s ability to perform intellectual tasks typically only performed by humans. Technically speaking, a spreadsheet that helps calculate insurance rates based on a range of inputs can be classified as AI. 

Applied in a business context AI can describe what happened based on historical data, anticipate what is likely to happen in the future, and provide recommendations on what to do to achieve goals. 

The process that made AI the powerful technology it is today is machine learning (ML). It describes the ability of a system to analyse data, identify patterns, and make recommendations by processing data and experiences without explicit programming instructions. ML models adapt and become more accurate over time.

Examples of ML include: 

Talent management – organisations identifying which employee traits are correlated to high performance based on CV information and performance review data.

Pricing – ride share services adjusting pricing based on estimated customer propensity to pay a higher price.

Navigation – courier services planning delivery routes based on weather, traffic, and fuel costs.

The latest advancement of ML is deep learning which is a technology that requires even less human guidance and is more accurate than most ML methods. Areas deep learning have helped to evolve include challenging tasks such as image recognition, sound processing, and natural language processing. Google Assistant, for example, is a product of deep learning advancements. 

From Zero To Skynet In 200 Years

The fact that AI has evolved into the most disruptive technology since the introduction of the internet is based on the evolution of three major trends. 

Big data – The digitisation of our economies and the associated data volumes have been crucial in creating data sets required to effectively train machine learning algorithms. According to Globalwebindex, there are now over four billion people online globally generating vast amounts of data every minute of the day. 

Algorithms – Researchers have paved the way for AI by gradually improving algorithms. Theoretical work in the 1800s was brought to life when American scientist Frank Rosenblatt developed the very first machine learning model in 1958. 

Computing power and storage – Since Amazon has brought cloud computing and storage capabilities to the mainstream, the costs and ease of access have improved significantly. 

These three trends have led us to AI today, a technology so powerful that it already outperforms humans at certain tasks.

How It Works

The machine learning process roughly works the same in each case

  1. Business objective: The business objective is defined and AI might be identified as the way to achieve the objective.
  2. Data preparation: Training data is processed (cleaned and standardised) to make it suitable for the model.
  3. Model draft: A first iteration of the machine learning model is created.
  4. Model training and optimisation: Based on a training data set, the model is fine-tuned to generate better outputs.
  5. Business rules: Business rules are defined to do something with the output of the ML model.
  6. Model deployment: Once the accuracy of the model is satisfactory and the business rules are defined, the model is deployed, which means that “real-world” data inputs (i.e. not training data) can be used to return results.

Rule of thumb here is: more data –> better model –> higher accuracy.

A simplified example of a company going through this process could be a retailer wanting to increase the lifetime value of their online customers. 

  1. Business objective: Increase the value of products purchased online per transaction by 25 per cent.
  2. Data preparation: All online and offline purchase data captured via the loyalty program is standardised and transferred into a central database. This data includes customer gender, age, product, product category, and date of purchase.
  3. Model draft: The initial model is created to identify customer segments and the products they are likely to buy together each season.
  4. Model training and optimisation: The initial outputs are compared to the latest real-world data and variable tweaks are needed to make the predictions of the model more accurate.
  5. Business rules: When checking out, each customer should be presented with a last-minute product recommendation that amounts to a minimum transaction value increase by 25 per cent.
  6. Model deployment: The check-out product recommendations are now visible to each website customer and the system will optimise recommendations dynamically based on the latest customer purchase behaviour.

The People Needed To Make It Happen

Larger scale companies who are experienced in ML typically involve a wide range of personnel in projects. Here are some examples. Please note that the job titles and responsibilities might vary greatly across organisations.

Business Analyst – Understands the business needs and determines the outcomes to be achieved.

Data analyst – Defines and sources the data required to solve the business problem. 

Data engineer – Establishes the connection between the data sources and the database. She also defines the database structure to ensure efficient access.

Data designer – Defines database structure to ensure efficient access.

Database administrator – Manages the storage facility including performance and security backups.

Data architects – Is across the big picture of data flows and defines the data architecture in collaboration with the data designer and the data engineer. 

Data scientist – Uses statistical analysis and data visualisation tools to explore data and creates machine learning models based on findings. 

ML Engineer – Deploys the ML model and ensures that IT resources such as processing power and storage are appropriately allocated.

If you have not started introducing AI into your business and you don’t want to hire a whole team from scratch you might want to consider sourcing a vendor with AI capabilities.

Making AI Part Of Your Business DNA

Just like any other new technology, ensuring a widespread adoption within your organisation and its culture is a challenge. Considering AI is the most powerful technology known to mankind it has never been as important as it is today to create an effective adoption plan. 

The following blueprint for AI adoption can be applied to most businesses. 

Stage 1 – Discovery

This is the early stage of AI adoption most business will find themselves in today. 

Here it is important to make the most out of your existing resources. Start thinking about the problems you might be able to solve and what data may be required.

Engage some of your existing engineers and ask them to learn about AI and set up an AWS environment to experiment with model templates. Once they feel confident creating basic machine learning models, work with them on designing an MVP. Engage your most loyal customers to test the MVP and capture feedback. 

Now you’ll be able to communicate the value AI can bring to the business using the findings of your MVP experiment and align your key stakeholders. 

Stage 2 – Engagement 

Engage your key stakeholders to map out how AI can help achieve department objectives. Map existing processes to understand where AI can add value, which employee roles will change and how customer experiences can be improved. The existing prototype may be able to offer improvements already. If new AI capabilities are needed, create a data strategy that prepares the business for future advancements. Data partnerships will help to realise your data strategy faster.

Developing an understanding of how AI relates to other technologies is crucial to ensure future relevance. It may be the most powerful technology of them all but you don’t want to miss out on synergies with others such as IoT, VR, big data, and blockchain. 

Change management will be required to take your staff on the AI journey. There will be anxiety around job losses. Sure, some jobs may not be required anymore but AI and general company growth will create new ones. Offering transparency around the use of AI within your organisation and training to the roles likely to be affected by changing job requirements will ensure a smooth transition to the next stage.

Stage 3 – Execution

Consider how AI will impact your strategy. Adjustments may be needed now that you have broader buy-in and established capabilities. 

Engage your HR team to develop a learning framework so your employees understand current and potential future applications of AI in more detail. Use the fact that staff are now part of the AI journey to develop outstanding customer experiences, efficient business processes, and IT upgrades that set your business up for success for years to come. 

This overview is very brief and only covers the basics of AI. If there are any nuances of the topic you would like to hear more about or if you would like to share general feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me on LinkedIn.

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Content Marketing, Increase Client Retention, Increase Conversions

Prepare Your Brand For Content Shock

Ten years ago content marketing was in its infancy in Australia with little to no knowledge about the philosophy behind this new approach to marketing communication.

Fast forward to 2019 and content marketing is not only huge; it’s widely considered to be the saviour of customer engagement in times of declining tolerance for display advertising and banner blindness. While many marketing trends come and go content marketing is now firmly entrenched on the modern marketer’s arsenal.

Content volumes have increased significantly. Thousands of ‘traditional’ publishers have been joined by tens of thousands of brand publishers with no end in sight. It’s never been easier to hire content producers as traditional news outlets abandon the idea of a full time newsroom.

A growing number of distribution channels offer reach, even within niche audiences. Within the last three years, content produced for platforms like Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter has skyrocketed and research by the Content Marketing Institute indicates that this is only the start of a trend.

For instance 58 per cent of Australian marketers state that they plan to increase or significantly increase content marketing spend in the next 12 months.

Australian content marketing spend

And this precisely defines the problem we’ll be facing according to digital marketing guru Mark W Schaefer.  He coined the term Content Shock, a phenomenon described as “the emerging marketing epoch defined when exponentially increasing volumes of content intersect our limited human capacity to consume it”.

content shock theory graph

Graphic: The Content Shock theory visualised

Sure, there has always been more content out there than anybody could ever consume.  But now even niche interest areas which have been nurtured by digital media are now affected by this phenomenon. 

Today, we can access content when we want it, how we want it, and the hours of the day where we aren’t consuming content (on desktop PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, smart TVs, digital out-of-home screens, streaming music players, or eReaders) seem to be ebbing away, slowly but surely. (Triple-screening anybody?)

Let’s take a closer look at the Australian content shock symptoms: 

1) Australian marketers spend a lot of money on advertising

Australia has consistently occupied one of the top spots in the estimated per capita advertising spend over the last few years. While data outlining international advertising spend per capita for the last year is still being updated, 2013 and 2014 data shows that Australia remains in either the top spot or the second spot.

Advertising spend per capita 2014

2) Australian marketers love Content Marketing

Google Trends data shows that the interest of Australian marketers in content marketing related topics has seen a steady increase since 2012.

In fact, Sydney is typically one the top locations in the world for content marketing related searches of any city. This interest in the subject is reflected in the latest content marketing Institute research piece which reveals that Australian marketers allocate an average 30 per cent of their marketing budgets to content marketing and 58 per cent plan to increase their spend this year.

top content marketing searches

Graphic: Sydney/Australia typically appears very close to the top of “content marketing” related searches in the world (Source: Google Trends)

3) Brands invade the content long-tail

When it comes to content demand, we’re seeing that the long-tail, a space previously dominated by UGC (User Generated Content), is now increasingly penetrated by brand publishers. Brands with deep pockets invest in building their own channels or pay for the integration of their brand messages in content produced and published by influencers (previously known as bloggers). Facebook can be activated as a highly targeted amplification channel when required.

Struggling media outlets are left with commoditised mainstream broadcasting and unprofitable display advertising business models. Native advertising and attached content studios offer short term relieve but the costs of producing mainstream news still seems to be higher than the benefit of new monetisation models.

Content long tail

4) Australian content marketers don’t fully understand which content engages (but produce truckloads of it anyway!)

Despite any concerns about content shock, 87 per cent of Australian content marketers plan to produce more content while 69 per cent state that producing engaging content will be their number one challenge. Or in other words, most marketing departments have started investing money into content production without being able to define what success looks like and how to measure it. This “spray and pray” approach seems like a frantic attempt to fix declining display advertising effectiveness with a flood of irrelevant content as a side-effect.

The evolution of content marketing in Australia and the path towards content shock can be summarised by applying the key questions in the market to a timeline:

2013-2014 How do I produce content?

2014-2016 How do I promote the content I’ve produced effectively?

2016- How do I ensure relevance when all my competitors are investing heavily in content marketing?

There is no simple answer for Australian marketers on how to tackle content shock but there are a few starting points for the development of effective strategies.

Form strategic content partnerships 

Marketers should explore non-competitive partnerships with other brands who offer products/services that are closely related to the customer needs. Imagine a BBQ manufacturer and sauce brand creating an article series featuring BBQ tips for occasions such as Australia day, Christmas, Easter. Imagine a Tourism board and a car brand co-producing a video series about the best road trip destinations in Australia. The benefit for each partner are:

  • Shared production costs
  • Reach within the partner’s owned channels
  • Engagement with new potential customers

This concept is covered in all detail in Andrew Davis’s book Brand Scaping.

Offer value by curating content

Curation is a cost-effective way for brands to build relationships with customers by acting as a filter for crowded content topic areas. Channels for this approach can be social media or newsletters. Stay clear of posting links on your website as this has the potential to disrupt the website funnel you’ve painstakingly created. The traffic isn’t generated on owned channels but the benefit for the audience and, therefore, positive brand association remains.

Prioritise and master content distribution channels

Each content distribution channel comes with different attributes including content format, audience engagement, primary device access, consumption context ect. Brands with limited content resources are best off focussing on one key channel and perfect the content for this particular channel (e.g. Twitter) rather than stretching too thin by trying to service all channels the target audience uses.

Promote smarter, not harder

Budgets can easily balloon if content promotion isn’t optimised efficiently. It is crucial to run experiments in order to work out which creative/channel/audience delivers the right results. By treating each new campaign as an experiment, even small brands can out-smart major players in market.

Grow your subscriber base

Subscribers are the most valuable group within every audience as they have permitted the publisher (based on their detailed assessment around content quality) to connect with them on a regular basis. This can be happen in form of a “like”,”follow”, or newsletter subscription. Subscriber growth means a reduction of content promotion costs for marketers. Brands with the largest fan base will be able to save money and reinvest in the production of high quality.

Focus on content quality rather than quantity

Content quality is a synonym for content that best serves brand marketing objectives. There is an increasing number of tools out there that help determining content performance in the context of a (always-on) campaign. The challenge for most marketers is to effectively orchestrate these tools and make them work hard to support their objectives. Marketers who understand which tools help them to produce content that serves their objectives will be the winners of the content marketing game.

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business leadership in the asian century
Leadership

Business Leadership In The Asian Century

The 21st century is set to become the Asian Century if the continent’s political and cultural dominance continues at a rate anywhere close to what we’ve witnessed so far.

The economic dimension of this dominance is easily summarised in GDP growth rates which are according to the World Bank outperforming the English speaking world consistently over the last five years.

China being the golden child of Asia’s economic boom has produced nine of the 20 most valuable internet companies globally according to Kleiner Perkins 2018 Internet Trends. The fact that only two of the nine companies existed five years ago suggests that one can expect more Chinese giants to break into the global tech top 20 soon.

Source: Kleiner Perkins 2018 Internet Trends

While it is easy to dismiss the success of Chinese tech companies in the eye of population scale and an unfavourable market environment for Western competitors, it is undeniable that digital strategy and execution of these new tech giants have been world-class. It is crucial for Western executives to make an effort understanding the cultural differences of leadership, decision making, and strategic planning in the boardrooms of emerging

Asian markets if any of the following scenarios are a possibility over the coming years:

  1. Your company expands into one of the emerging Asian markets.
  2. You are in charge of making management hiring decisions in Asian markets.
  3. You expect Asian competitors to enter your local market.

While cultural nuance in leadership is an incredibly complex topic, some patterns can be considered by Western decision-makers as a reference point.

Historical And Academic Insights

Century-old textbooks about leadership and decision-making provide historical context and are an indicator of underlying cultural influences.

“On War” (1832) is one of many publications by Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz discussing his experience in formalising strategy. He advocates a dialectic approach of decision making, emphasising consensus and discussion to arrive at a conclusion. An approach that delays action in the interest of rational analysis with a strong focus on strategic goals.

Sun Tzu’s “The Art Of War” on the other hand is China’s most prominent publication in military strategy and dates back to the 5th century BC. Sun Tzu provides insights designed to allow for strategic situationalism, the ability to create momentum through improvisation on the battlefield. His focus are people and operating values with objectives being a secondary consideration.

This sentiment is echoed in “Chinese and Western Leadership Models: A Literature Review” which analyses academic research conducted between 1979 and 2014. The study identifies a significant cultural divide between China and Western countries. Chinese leadership culture is a reflection of China’s emphasis on community and family; a stark contrast to ongoing human rights controversy. Corporate Chinese leaders often follow a humanistic approach that puts people and ethical considerations first. Confrontation is avoided in the interest of social harmony.

While it is evident that both management cultures are increasingly adopting each others traits, the study concludes that “Western leadership models could benefit from increased emphasis on humanistic factors and reduced prioritisation of rationality, while Chinese leadership concepts can be expected to increasingly emphasize “scientific management”, including innovation.

The features of leadership styles are also reflected in the approach to the strategic planning process. “East vs. West: Strategic Marketing Management Meets the Asian Networks” is an article published by researchers at the Singapore Management University in 1999. The research outlines that the Asian strategic planning process is often “ad-hoc and reactive” with executives often seeking qualitative information supplied by their network of personal relationships. Speed is a key feature of this approach as the manager carries the decision-making burden without seeking broader consensus.

The authors reference the anecdote of an unnamed Hong Kong businessman who responded within fifteen minutes to an offer by Li Ka Shen, Chairman of the Hutchinson/Cheung Kong, to enter into a major joint venture. Li’s in-depth knowledge of the markets under consideration and his judgment were enough for him to make such a rapid decision.

Does Leadership Need To Evolve?

It is inevitable that globalisation will continue to blur the cultural borders of the world. Business leaders have now the opportunity to be proactive about this shift. Cultural awareness is no longer a buzzword to sell diversity to potential employees; it is a leadership strategy.

Self-awareness and the ability to switch styles based on the situation on hand will offer business leaders a competitive advantage, no matter if they operate in Asia, in Western markets, or both.

Our global digital economy has made uncertainty and disruption part of every-day business life. Faster decision-making, a greater focus on people, and stronger informal networks in addition to their analytical and results-focused approach might just be what Western business leaders need in order to succeed in the Asian Century.

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