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Tapping into blogger networks in international markets is one of the best ways to create an ongoing research and development tool for your business. That’s the advice from strategic marketing expert Anne Lochoff, who knows the power of digital marketing from her two decades of experience in the field.

Lochoff chairs NZTE’s Beachheads programme for Southeast Asia, which connects companies with private sector advisors. She often advises firms on their strategies for entering the region, and says digital channels cannot be ignored.
“It’s key that New Zealand companies start looking at digital marketing as a part of their strategy for entering new international markets,” she says. “I constantly advise companies to invest in online communities. If you’re going to be in food and beverage, establish a foody blogger network that you can build up and also use as an R&D tool.”

Lochoff says networking with these online communities can be done from anywhere, and is a fast way to become known in a new market and receive instant feedback on products and services.

“This will be an investment in marketing where the asset is yours, and the online network will service you in market and out of the market because bloggers have extensive networks.”

Traditionally, Lochoff says marketing has been limited to one-off events rather than ongoing online channels that require investment.
During her career she has recruited, trained and led teams that developed electronic, print and digital campaigns for organisations such as MasterCard, Coca-Cola and Bluebird Foods. In the past five years, she has seen digital channels gain momentum in Southeast Asia and become essential tools for business success.
Based in Singapore, Lochoff’s role chairing Beachheads involves helping companies with their market entry strategies. One of the questions she is most commonly asked, is how to take a New Zealand business model into the region – because the potential scale of business there is a huge leap.

“Kiwi businesses really have to be focused on finding those niche segments, which are so big in Asia compared with New Zealand. That allows for growth and scale and that’s a massive opportunity.”
She believes companies cannot approach the region on one swoop: “It is many countries with many cities, with multiple cultures and considerations in terms of how you do your business.”

When Kiwi companies research their target market and customer, Lochoff says they need to be in the market building relationships with potential distributors and customers.
“In Asia nothing is done unless you have a relationship on the table. Right from the start it’s important to make the right impression and commit to coming to the region regularly.”

New Zealand Food Connection
The upcoming New Zealand Food Connection provides an opportunity for F&B businesses to network and showcase products to food service professionals, distributors, buyers and decision-makers within the food service industry in an exclusive New Zealand trade show format.

In May 2017, NZTE will host events in Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul.  

For more information email:
[email protected]

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