SINGAPORE: Content marketing should focus on specific audiences, localisation and getting consumers to participate and contribute, according to a former GE executive.

“Co-creating with the customer was the most effective for us,” said Penny Shone, GE’s former head of global growth communications, at the recent ACMA Content Conversation event in Singapore.

“If they become part of the process… there is far more engagement, and what could be a better way to engage and flatter and inspire than to actually create something beautiful with your customer?” she asked.

For more on GE’s content strategy in different markets, read WARC’s exclusive report: Creating content in context – six insights from GE.

“One of my tasks, when we were building our global business in these different countries, was, ‘How do we build our brand in those countries?’” said Shone, noting that GE was not a huge brand in all the emerging markets that the company was targeting.

“The last six years, as we went with our customers on the journey, we chose to localise content in the big markets. We had platforms in the local language, and we would create content; great content with strategy,” she said.

“We have Africa GE Reports and they’ve been very successful because it was innovative there. There wasn’t very much happening online, and we could use a lot of the global content where it was related to innovation and coolness and sexiness because everybody loved it. An aircraft engine and a gas turbine don’t look very different from one country to another. You can just repurpose the video.”

Though some content was portable, local language capability and getting the online versus offline mix right for the market was key.

“We needed local language capabilities, so we need to be able to translate. We needed local websites, so we started off with the real basics… what’s the backend we need to create? What is the frontend we need to create, and what’s the master content we need to create? What’s the mix between online and offline that we’re going to do?” Shone said.

“What appeals to an Indonesian customer may not appeal to a customer in the United States. Do we care? No. If a customer is important to us, we’re going to work with that customer to make it work for them.”

Sourced from WARC