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  • Julie Cooper

Martech in APAC: Satya Upadhyaya reveals business growth tips

Growing your martech company in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is extremely challenging, so how can technology vendors get it right? We speak with Satya Upadhyaya, Partner and Chief Martech Officer at Lution, who was the former VP of Campaign Optimisation, Marketing Capability and Change at Citi. He demystifies the essentials for success in this competitive and dynamic regional market.

From the strategic essentials all companies eyeing APAC expansion must know to the power of relationship building and common mishaps to avoid, it’s all here. Let’s dive in.

How can companies grow in the APAC region?

It’s important to understand where the decision-making actually happens. Most of the multinational companies that operate in Australia, the decision-making actually happens outside of Australia — it could be in the US, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc. And that's one thing to be aware of.

Secondly, it’s important to understand the decision-maker. If you look at the US market, where a lot of tech vendors have been really successful, it's very transactional. If you do a great job, then you get the next one. In Australia, however, it's more about relationship building. So really having a key relationship means building right from the product to the initiation and delivery is important.

The third most important thing is about the lead time to market. For a martech vendor to really get a product in is about 12 to 18 months. It's a very, very long haul. And companies who are basically coming in for a short-term success may need to revisit that gestation period.

Also, Australia is a very small market. So if you have a big product that has a big price tag, Australia might not be the right market. For companies trying to break ground in APAC, these four considerations must be taken into account.

What are some common mistakes companies make when trying to break into the APAC market?

One of the things that strikes me is how companies will go through an RFP process and go into an organisation talking about their product and their history a lot as compared to the time spent on really understanding the client’s problem. So how does your product solve a client’s problem? Don’t talk about features, talk about benefits.

Secondly, you’ll sometimes see tech vendors coming in herds. And that’s overwhelming for a client. So try to reduce the number of people that actually come to the sales meeting. But more importantly, really understand the client’s problems and needs. Demonstrating how your product actually solves the client’s problem is a good head start.

In order to grow successfully, you need more than a great product and good sales team. What are your thoughts on soft skills, such as great marketing, PR, events and education?

I’m a great believer in learning and giving back to a community. My advice to vendors is to take stock of how much they actually give back. It’s not about the transaction, but in terms of their product. Are customers actually using your product? What do best practices look like? How do you influence and create a pathway? How do you ask challenging questions. That’s critical.

For example, if we look at the marketing landscape at the moment, there are roughly 11,000 solutions. It’s confusing. It’s complex. You have every platform trying to do everything on earth.

The CXO is looking at, what’s the capability I need? What are the skillsets? What’s the tool that basically helps me do my job? And when you say fit for purpose, it’s all based on my maturity as an organisation. What is the right tech for me now that will lead us into the next five years?

You need to be having those types of intelligent conversations along with customer success. All of those things are worth giving back to the community or the organisation that you work with.

Authored by Julie Cooper, Senior Content and Communications Manager at AZK Media.

At AZK Media, we specialise in helping global technology companies get noticed in new and emerging markets. We make driving your growth, our business.Contact us today to see how we can strengthen your expansion efforts.


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