Navigating the Age of Agility in APAC: Go the Distance With Brand

August 2, 2021

Illustration of New Age of Agility

Editor's Note: This is the second post in a five-part series that discusses key trends in tech marketing. It is based on the APAC edition of the Age of Agility, a research report that LinkedIn produced after conducting one of the world’s largest research surveys of B2B technology buying and decision-making. Country reports for Australia & New Zealand, India and Singapore are also available now. 

Of the many marketing lessons that the pandemic taught us, one that should stand out for most marketers is that a strong brand matters. 

General wisdom tells us that demand marketing is focused on selling something today and brand marketing is aimed at selling something tomorrow. In the Age of Agility, however, a full-funnel marketing approach that aims for fame in the customer journey takes on particular significance for tech marketers like us. Here’s why: 

Decision-makers are leaning into the earlier stages of the technology buying journey, most notably in researching solutions (52%) and shortlisting vendors (50%). Brand awareness gets us on their radar. 

We found APAC decision-makers are most active in the earliest stages of a new technology purchase (stages that include problem identification, vendor research and shortlisting) and that one-third conduct their own independent research before reaching out to a vendor. 

This signals the importance of top-of-funnel brand marketing to ensure that our brand has a shot at getting on that shortlist in the first place. We can’t emphasise this enough, especially when 70% of the technology buying decision is now influenced by non-IT functions. The very nature of brand marketing, which is broad-based and aims to reach as wide an audience as possible, can help us earn share of mind across the entire buying committee, IT or otherwise. 

Close to half of sales cycles in APAC (44%) extend beyond one year. Full-funnel marketing ensures that we’re building consideration and consensus throughout this long journey. 

By investing in brand marketing, we made it onto the shortlist. That's a fantastic first step but our job is far from over. In fact, the customer journey has really just begun. 

From research to renewal, the average technology purchasing journey is longer than many of us realise. Nearly half of the time, this stretches beyond 12 months in APAC (44%), Australia & New Zealand (55%), India (44%) and Singapore (45%). 

To win and retain business, our challenge is to consistently drive and hold attention throughout this journey. While this starts at the top of the funnel with memorable brand marketing, we need to sustain it with a full-funnel strategy that keeps our audiences engaged from consideration to conversion. 

In the Age of Agility, tech marketers are responsible for ensuring that our brand remains top of mind across the entire buying committee, for the entire duration of the customer journey. This means focusing as much, if not more, on building a strong brand—not just driving leads. 

For more research insights into the B2B technology buying and decision-making process in APAC, get your copy of the full report: 

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