Gemma Purnell From PDS Consulting:How to do Business in S/E Asia

Hey You bloggers I am back again with something different this time . As part of our BloggersIdeas interview series, today I have Gemma Purnell from Thailand. Yes she is from Thailand and currently doing her business from there. She will be answering various questions related to digital media & other Internet Marketing stuffs . So lets start with the interview.


1) Hey Gemma introduce yourself to my folks. What you do and what are your expertise ?


I am a Digital Project Consultant covering all aspects of Digital Marketing including Website Optimisation, Google Adwords, Conversion Optimisation & Project Management.I mentor Digital Marketing Agencies around the world to help them achieve better results for their clients and consult for companies who are looking to become the market leader in their industry. I am also a Google Partner Academy Trainer and Digital Marketing Instructor at Web Courses Bangkok, Thailand’s first and only accredited web design school.

2) What have been the significant DM factors in 2016?

 2016 has seen many significant changes, some of the most important being the removal of Google sidebar ads back in April. This shook the Digital Marketing world quite significantly along with other changes to local search and the reduction in the impact of Google My Business.

3) What will be the most important DM factors in 2017?

2017 will see further shake up in local search results along with increased importance on website load speed along with mobile usability becoming an important ranking factor. Experts are predicting the separation of mobile and desktop search results in 2017, I would go as far as to say this is already happening, there can be huge variations in the difference between mobile and desktop results. Further developments in the Adwords platform will see an increased focus on paid search results, fewer small companies are able to get significant results in the organic search field as the market is being dominated by big players with unlimited budgets.

4) What do brands need to do to survive and do you recommend Facebook ads?

 Brands who wish to not only survive but thrive in these challenging times need to think outside the box and use a multitude of platforms to drive traffic including Facebook ads. If you use Facebook ads combined with specific demographic and interest targeting, the results can be very powerful and bring a considerable return on investment in a remarkably short time.

5) Which Social Media platforms do you recommend?

Personally, I only use Facebook and Linkedin regularly and Twitter very rarely. I am not a fan of some of the newer social media platforms and I prefer to stick with just the two for day to day promotions.

6) What is working right now for you in 2016?

Primarily long form content with a good internal linking structure and heavy promotion resulting in real engagement. I believe this is the reason that I have had so much success in a range of industries and locations this year.

7) Who are your mentors? Do you follow any experts in your niche?

I dont follow anyone in particular but I try to absorb as much industry related content as possible and make my own judgements to its validity in the current market. We shouldnt just blindly follow others but should use the information around us to make informed decisions based on our own knowledge and experience.

8) How should we reduce landing page clutter?

I use a very specific technique for creating landing pages which includes Header, USPs, reviews/testimonials, prices, CTA – any more information than this is not necessary and will just cause friction.

9) What kind of certification courses do you recommend for people to take?

Adwords and Analytics certifications are the ideal courses to take if you want to gain kudos with your clients and with other agencies. I also suggest taking the Hubspot Inbound Certification as it is a comprehensive course which will help you to build the required skills for ‘thinking outside the box’.

10) How easy or difficult do you find it to do business in S/E Asia?

I’ve been working in S/E Asia for 10 years so it’s almost like second nature to me now. But one of the most important factors is being genuinely outstanding at what you do, there are a lot of fake people in the digital industry but even more so in this part of the world.
A large part of my business comes from helping individuals and companies who have fallen fowl of some of these people and I help them to fix the problems with their sites and campaigns. In order to do this you need to really be able to build trust, this comes from complete transparency in everything you do and giving your clients real value in every interaction they have with you.
This often means going the extra mile, which many consultants or agencies are not prepared to do. When I agree to work with a client, I treat their business as my business and I will work as hard as I would to make it successful as I do for my own business.
Surprisingly enough, it seems that being female helps me to gain trust, with clients here. S/E Asia is still a primarily male dominated environment and I find that prospective clients warm to me much more easily than some of my male colleagues.
Speaking the local language definitely helps you to gain respect with both staff, suppliers and customers. As well as proficiency in your field of expertise and a willingness to help people succeed. All too many management positions are handed out to people who may not have the job skills of their subordinates and this often causes conflict in western countries, but even more so here in S/E Asia where pay grades can differ dramatically based on a persons looks and nationality.
If you want to make sure that your team stay engaged and motivated show them that you are the boss for a reason by supporting them and helping them to improve their skills. Keep clients engaged with clear effective communication and manageable goals and always try to deliver that little bit extra value.
Do you have any Questions to ask, Do you have more  Marketing Strategies to share. So go on share in the comments below !!!
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Jitendra Vaswani
This author is verified on

Jitendra Vaswani is a Digital Marketing Practitioner and renowned international keynote speaker who has embraced the digital nomad lifestyle as he travels around the world. He founded two successful websites, & Digital Marketing Agency DigiExe of which his success stories have expanded to authoring "Inside A Hustler's Brain : In Pursuit of Financial Freedom” (20,000 copies sold worldwide) and contributing to “International Best Selling Author of Growth Hacking Book 2". Jitendra designed workshops for over 10000+ professionals in Digital marketing across continents; with intentions ultimately anchored towards creating an impactable difference by helping people build their dream business online. Jitendra Vaswani is a high-powered investor with an impressive portfolio that includes Imagestation. To learn more about his investments, Find him on Linkedin, Twitter, & Facebook.

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