ASEAN Plus Three-20
    Category: Column By : Hermawan Kartajaya Read : 560 Date : Monday, September 04, 2017 - 12:16:54

    In 1997, as the Asian financial crisis began, a meeting to form the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) was initiated in Malaysia. Two years later, with Asia recovering, APT was formally institutionalized in Manila between 10 ASEAN countries plus China, Japan and Korea. As ASEAN celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017, the APT celebrates its 20th anniversary. In this context, the third ASEAN Marketing Summit this year explores the theme of “ASEAN and Indonesia: New Opportunities from the East” from the APT viewpoint.

    In 2015, I established the first ASEAN Marketing Summit, and co-authored the “Think New ASEAN” book with Philip Kotler, the father of modern marketing, and Hooi Den Huan,  the Nanyang Technopreneurship Center director. Published by McGraw-Hill, it updated my earlier book “Think ASEAN,” published in 2007. The “new ASEAN” refers to the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which has shifted from a government-to-government (G2G) initiative to a B2B (business-to-business) and ultimately to a P2P (people-to-people) initiative.

    For “new ASEAN,” we have a new framework—a 3x3 matrix covering MNC strategy, tactics and value across global, regional and local scales. For this, global values in brand, service and process should be aligned with regional strategies in segmentation, targeting, and positioning, and aligned with local tactics in differentiation, marketing and selling.

    MNCs have advantages over their local rivals with their global brands, higher service levels and standard processes. Yet they must have a coordinated ASEAN strategy to be regionally successful. For many years, U.S. MNCs have established ASEAN regional offices or regional teams in places such as Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. These regional offices or teams must coordinate target segments in ASEAN countries.

    However, in a P2P-centric AEC, MNCs should empower local offices to implement local tactics in product, price, place, promotion and selling, according to local conditions. It’s paradoxical—while an ASEAN identity is building in each member country, local cultures have become stronger. Therefore, MNCs should never view ASEAN as one homogenous market, instead see it as many specific local cultures.

    The third ASEAN Marketing Summit will be held in Raffles Jakarta on September 7. The Chinese, Japanese and Korean ambassadors to ASEAN will deliver keynote addresses along with the ASEAN panels with MNCs. Awards will be given to the best Chinese, Japanese and Korean companies in Indonesia, selected by a judging panel from several ministries, including BKPM, and led by I Gusti Putu Suryawirawan, director for base metal industries at the Ministry of Industry. We hope to ensure that MNCs from China, Japan and Korea will help drive ASEAN development. The summit will also feature a session on Indonesian SOEs. The final keynote will be Jochen Wirtz, National University of Singapore marketing professor. I hope the third ASEAN Marketing Summit will inspire companies in the region to better compete in the New ASEAN.