NZTE is a fabulous partner when it comes to looking at partnership strategies, channel strategies, distribution strategies, which is crucial for New Zealand companies. But as a considered channel E-commerce really needs to be on your list of considerations. Five years ago that wouldn’t have been the case in South East Asia because the platforms were immature, they weren’t well developed; also from a logistics point of view they weren’t very well supported, but that’s all changed very quickly. You have the likes of [0.39] one of the biggest Japanese E-commerce platforms who have just sold off their country by country strategy and are moving to a regional strategy for South East Asia. That’s a massive move because you haven’t actually been able to service a regional E-commerce strategy in South East Asia at all and now that the big players are moving that way it's key that you actually start looking at that as a strategy for companies coming up from New Zealand.
I constantly advise New Zealand companies to invest in online communities and by that I mean actually if you’re going to be in food and beverage established a foodie blogger network that you can build up and connect with, leverage, talk to and also use as an R&D tool. This is a real investment in marketing where the asset is yours and you don’t actually take a once off approach to marketing where you do a campaign and then you exit out. A network like that or a community as we call it will service you consistently while you’re in market and while you’re out of market. And a lot of companies really prefer to actually run their marketing centralised out of New Zealand and this is one tool that really helps you be able to do that. But it also because bloggers are not just sort of based in one country because they’re readers and the people that get you is much wider, you can also start spreading the word a lot further if you just start setting up those communities and investing in those communities as assets for marketing.
Marketing firstly is sort of silo’d off as a once off activity and something that requires a lot of money; so there’s a perception that it requires a lot of money and that you only do campaigns or promotions. Whereas if you actually sort of look at it as a potential R&D tool that gives you access to your consumers and that you can actually build up these communities over time and do incremental investments into them. It's a far better way of actually approaching marketing.