A perfect partnership: My love affair with AI

By Alastair Turner, Global CEO

Exploring the transformative partnership between AI and humans, this blog highlights how AI enhances creativity and business innovation. It underscores the importance of ethical collaboration and envisions AI’s role in future achievements.

Eighteen years into a marriage that still sparks joy, laughter and the occasional electric touch, I’ve come to a realization: Partnerships, in their myriad forms, are the bedrock of human achievement. Whether it’s the love that binds my wife and me, or the amazing partnership that we cheer on the sports pitch, dance to at festivals and laugh with en masse at gigs, the essence of collaboration is unmistakable. But there is a new partnership in town and it’s unlike any other: my burgeoning romance with generative artificial intelligence (AI), aka ChatGPT.

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill dalliance. No, this is the kind of transformative union that could only be rivaled by the legendary synergies of yesteryear — think Edwards and John lighting up the rugby field, Torvill and Dean gliding to Olympic glory, or Jordan and Pippen dominating the hardwood. Each duo, in their respective arenas, while not always friends or even getting on, showcased the exponential power of collaboration. I have not a smidgen of their talents, but my relationship with AI is certainly helping me be better at my job and it doesn’t seem to mind if I steal the limelight.

AI and humans: A symphony of differences

The beauty of human partnerships often lies in the harmonious interplay of contrasts. Lennon and McCartney’s songwriting genius, the comedic timing of Laurel and Hardy, the strategic masterminds of Montana and Rice when the 49ers won Super Bowls — each partnership thrived on the unique contributions of its members. In the realm of AI, however, the dynamic shifts. Here, the partnership is inherently asymmetrical, with the scales tipped decidedly in my favor. AI doesn’t vie for the spotlight or seek recognition. Not yet anyway. There are no artistic differences and it’s never passive aggressive (not a refence to my wife!). Instead, it amplifies my capabilities, quietly transforming me into, I like to think, a more effective, innovative leader.

The unseen muse: How AI Enhances Human Creativity and Innovation

In the creative industries, the quest for the next “aha!” moment is relentless. AI, with its ability to sift through data and identify patterns invisible to the human eye, has become an indispensable ally. It’s not about replacing the human touch but enriching it, offering a palette of possibilities that were previously unimaginable. This isn’t just about making processes more efficient; it’s about elevating creativity to new heights, guiding us toward ideas that resonate more deeply and connect more authentically. Check out this Harvard Business Review piece for more fascinating insights into how generative AI boosts human creativity.

Building bridges, not replacing them

In the business of marketing and communications, relationships are currency. While AI excels at decoding trends and managing data, it’s the human element — our ability to empathize, to share a laugh, to forge connections — that turns these insights into meaningful strategies. This partnership doesn’t dilute the personal touch; it sets the stage for more impactful human interactions, ensuring that every handshake or shared joke is as potent as it can be.

A dance of complexity and ethics

Facing the labyrinth of modern challenges, the alliance between human ingenuity and AI’s computational prowess is our best bet. Together, we navigate the unpredictable, blending AI’s efficiency with human adaptability and ethical judgment. This is not about relegating AI to the role of a sidekick; it’s about recognizing it as a force multiplier, a catalyst that propels us toward a future we’re only beginning to imagine.

I find it compelling how many of our clients are flirting with AI, using generative AI tools, developing their own GPTs, or speculating about AI’s future in their thought leadership in the media. We hear our clients across our sectors discuss it, from financial services and capital markets to energy, industrials, and technology. Recently our client, a cloud solutions tech provider called Searce, posited that generative AI tools are going to change compliance functions. Fintech provider Clearwater Analytics predicted the proliferation of generative AI use cases in investment accounting and the broader financial services sector. And, global commodities intelligence provider ICIS launched its own generative AI commodities assistant called Ask ICIS.

To infinity and beyond

So, as I reflect on my love affair with AI, I’m reminded of the fictional dynamic duo of Buzz Lightyear and Woody from Toy Story. AI is not merely a dependable friend like Woody or a simple gadget on Buzz’s utility belt. It’s far more transformative. Imagine AI as Buzz Lightyear’s wings — it doesn’t just add to our capabilities; it propels us to new realms of possibility.

This partnership with AI is about embarking on a journey to uncharted territories, reaching for ‘infinity and beyond’. It’s not merely about solving problems or enhancing the way we do things; it’s a catalyst that launches us into a future brimming with unexplored potential.

In this perfect partnership, AI doesn’t just add wings to our aspirations — it fuels our flight toward a future ripe with possibilities, ensuring that together, we soar higher, reach further, and dream bigger… It must be love.

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Whitepaper – Marcom in Asia: A confident continent

Optimism, increasingly integrated, a sector ‘on the up’ and confident of aiding business growth. Those are just some of the clear messages from the Asia-based PR, marketing, communications, and branding professionals who took part in our recent YouGov powered survey: Marketing Communications in Asia: Optimism and Opportunities. 

Across generations and in businesses of many sizes a significant majority (78%) are positive about their own ability to capture and grow opportunities for their business or their clients. Furthermore, nearly half (48%) of respondents feel this is a sector on the up, building on successes and looking for new opportunities.  

While optimism is the common denominator, there are anxieties – be that understanding and making full use of all modern marcom channels, or properly combining traditional practices such as PR with newer, digital ones. A shortage of skill sets too, in areas such as UX/UI or SEO and SEM is an issue that must be addressed.  

All of this aligns with what we are hearing from our growing client base in the region, as we continue to expand our on-the-ground presence in Singapore.  

Asia is a dynamic and often complex marketplace, with brands competing to establish their identities all while jostling to engage with diverse audiences and adapting to evolving demands in consumer behaviours.  

We are delighted to be able to bring this detailed piece of analysis marcom professionals across the region. As well as detailed quantitative results that have been written to inform strategy, partnerships and provide detail on how to drive business goals we have also gathered the thoughts of some of the leading marketing minds in Asia.  

Koh Juat May President, Institute of Public Relations of Singapore believes this report will bring the value and awareness marketing communications to the forefront of what is a fast-evolving technological revolution.  

There is within, further commentary – for which we are incredibly grateful – from:  

  • Gwenne Chen, Head of Marketing Communications at AsiaNext 
  • Christopher See, Head of Marketing, SGX FX  
  • Lucas How, Marketing & Communications Manager, APAC Services, Sulzer Singapore  
  • Louise Veitch, Head of South East Asia, Aspectus  

We do believe you will take a lot from this document, be that evidence or insight into making strategic decisions on which marketing channels to harness for upcoming campaigns, enlightening data around current and future marketing trends, or information that had not crossed your radar regarding skill shortages or agency partnerships.  

Discover:  

  • The key to building trust and enhanced brand loyalty in culturally diverse markets 
  • Which communications channels are taking centre-stage in marcom strategies? 
  • Why tangible marketing results are pivotal to unlocking budget 
  • The skillsets the marcoms industry needs for the next era of marketing communications 

“Marcom specialists in Asia increasingly recognise the need to deliver sales-boosting results. Omnichannel campaigns can demonstrate achievements, often overlooked. Earned media and PR, known for enhancing brand awareness and sales, are hard to quantify. Integrating these into digital marketing campaigns provides concrete evidence of success.”

Koh Juat Muay
President, Institute of Public Relations of Singapore (IPRS)

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The Pursuit of Excellence

By Katy Galasinski, Chief Growth Officer


As our CEO, Alastair, said, at Aspectus, branding, marketing and communications is all about creating client success. And when we recently launched our new brand, we shared our formula for success, our X factor, our special sauce.


A key part of this is Excellent Execution. I want to let you all in on what that looks like at Aspectus. And what better way to do so than crowdsourcing intel from my talented Aspectus colleagues, whose endless energy, talent, and precision deliver success after success for the businesses and brands we call our clients.


“Clients don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” – Charlie Bonner-Davies, Junior Designer


Excellent execution for clients begins with striving to be an extension of their team. We count financial services, tech, energy, industrials, and capital market companies as clients. But in practice, our clients are not companies at all. They are people: the one, two, or three executives, heads of communications or marketing, or CEOs that trust us with protecting their businesses’ reputations and brands. This trust is something every team member at every level works hard to create.


Excellence for me means showing up every day as a safe pair of hands for my clients – making sure they trust us to get things done when we say we will, to a high standard.” – Nuala O’Sullivan, Account Executive, Energy


“In my eyes, excellence consists of many moving parts – stellar communication, insightful recommendations, valuable results and always putting your best foot forward, so we can build a strong and trusting relationship with clients.” – Ivy Gitarts, Senior Account Manager


It also means knowing what clients need before they know they need it. To do that we have to put ourselves in their position and adopt their POV. It takes time to develop this informed intuition with a client. We must immerse ourselves in the company’s marketing, sales, and business objectives. We have to fully comprehend the nature of their business, the marketplace in which they compete, and their offerings. And we must truly understand them, what their ambitions are, what keeps them up at night and how they like to work.


“Get a solid handle on your client’s objectives and your client’s boss’ objectives right from kickoff. Understand their obstacles and challenges and identify the gaps that you and your account team can fill.” – Christina Hong, Account Director


Once a client is confident that we have their backs, are in their corner, and consistently watch out for their best interests, they really do think of us as indispensable extensions of their team – integral partners in their business. Partners that support them from strategy to success in a way that creates meaningful business outcomes.


“No matter how good your strategy, in the end success always hinges on the execution. Ideas have to be distinct, relevant and challenging enough to change people’s hearts, minds and behaviors – or all your great thinking up front will go to waste. The reverse is also true. Execution is only excellent if it serves a brand’s big picture and takes it a step or two further towards success.” – Dan George, Associate Director


Different agencies undoubtedly treat their clients in different ways. For us, the term “client” doesn’t do justice to how we think about those companies who keep our lights on. And since each client point-of-contact has a unique personality and different workflows, and objectives specific to their businesses, we must be agile and adaptable.


“When I worked in-house, the agencies that stood out the most that we worked with were the ones who were able to proactively anticipate our needs, as well as reactively gauge when our needs or usual way of doing things had changed and switched pace accordingly.”
– Christina Hong, Account Director


So that’s what Excellent Execution means to us. As you can see there is nothing formulaic about it. It’s an attitude that runs deep here at Aspectus. An attitude that empowers our people to do their very best work for our clients, for Aspectus, and ultimately for themselves.

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Insight unleashed: rediscovering the real magic behind the buzzword and harnessing its value in a data-driven world

By Ellie Jackson, Chief Client Strategy Officer

‘Insights.’ It’s one of those words, isn’t it? You know – the ones that get thrown around rather liberally over a period of time. And then, almost without you noticing it, you realize its true meaning has been diluted. 

For me, a true insight comes at the far end of a spectrum where ‘information’ sits on the left-hand side and ‘intelligence’ in the middle. Information is simply organized data. Intelligence is what the information tells us. Insight is the ‘a-ha’ moment. It’s that intelligence cleverly applied to the wider context of the situation that gives us an edge over everyone else. True insight requires us to understand what others don’t so we can make moves they can’t see. 

An Axe (marketed as ‘Lynx’ in the UK, Ireland, Malta, Australia, New Zealand and China) campaign from a couple of years ago really brings this to life. They worked with Google to investigate young men’s online searches: that data is the information. Searches like, ‘Is it ok for guys to eat tofu?’ and, ‘Is it ok for guys to do their eyebrows?’ formed the basis of the intelligence: there is a high level of insecurity among this group about what masculinity really means. The insight therefore was that what men are searching for is reassurance that it is okay to be themselves. Thus, a campaign was born: ‘find your magic’. 

Here at Aspectus, we talk about ‘intelligent insight’ – that’s core to how we support clients. In many ways, the ability to offer insight is a central reason to hire an agency. It’s something we see as being at the heart of the value we can offer our clients. That’s why our sector specialisms in technology, energy & industrials, financial services and capital markets are so important to us. It’s only because we understand these markets so well, and from every angle, that we can truly understand different stakeholder motivations and concerns. And although every situation is unique, now we’ve grown to around 100 people globally without diluting our sector focus, that wealth of experience is a real goldmine for us – and by extension our clients – to draw on. The ability to see the full picture from the outside is one of major sources of value of hiring an agency, after all. 

Intelligent insights goes deeper at Aspectus, too. We have a specialist Brand, Insights, and Strategy team, which works alongside our sector specialists. We are firm believers in rooting our strategic decisions in evidence, and that’s why we preface all our brand and messaging projects with stakeholder mapping, audience research and a deep-dive into competitor/partner/client positioning. That basis ensures we have the necessary information to generate valuable insights. True creativity cannot exist without that insight to hang off.  Insights are needed to steer that punchy, possibly even provocative, idea that’s really going to deliver success. That kind of creative energy only delivers when it’s grounded in meaningful insights and real-world thinking. 

For clients, this approach might mean identifying trends in their own data that they would not otherwise have been able to pinpoint. Or spotting industry themes that can align with their messaging and resonate with their audience. Or hitting upon the perfect mix of channels to communicate with their stakeholders. It’s that neat idea that is usually so brilliantly simple that once you see it, you can’t imagine how you didn’t think of it sooner. Ultimately it means getting them to their communications and business successes.  

While all this value will remain, we are standing on the brink of a major shake-up of our industry. The increasing use of AI technologies will bring considerable changes – well-documented already by others – not least of which will be to support an insight-led approach. The ability to more quickly and  easily interrogate data will provide strong foundations of information and intelligence for insight-led thinking – the ‘human-in-the-loop’ layer where we add our value. 

Whatever happens, we’ll continue to focus unapologetically on insight-led strategies. And we’ll try to be strict with ourselves about only using the word when we really, really mean it. 

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What global markets can learn from Asia’s unique ESG approach

By Maddy Thirsk, Capital Markets

This blog examines Asia’s distinct approach to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing practices, contrasting it with strategies across Europe and the US. Highlighting cultural impacts and regulatory differences, it offers insights into how global markets can learn from Asian perspectives on ESG.

When confronted with a challenge, we often have two choices: brush it under the rug or tackle it with a new approach, if possible, drawing inspiration from others that have surpassed the challenge. When it comes to ESG, it is essential that global market economies opt for the latter.

Today, we are seeing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles, once regarded as the holy grail by many companies, forcing these same firms into a corner. What started as a retreat from these principles in the US is now gathering momentum in Europe[i], where doubts are surfacing over the prioritization of ESG investment principles.

Financial giants like BlackRock are leading this trend, strategically distancing themselves from the term by quietly scrubbing ESG from their marketing strategies. This shift, echoed by outflows from sustainable funds[ii], has garnered enough attention to earn itself a name: ‘greenhushing’[iii]. Driven in part by stricter ESG regulations, this trend could mark a significant turning point in the journey towards more responsible investing, with the concept increasingly drawn into the political sphere as the US presidential election approaches.

But against this fast-evolving backdrop, one region’s commitment to ESG remains as steadfast as ever. With its unique regulatory approach, emphasis on qualitative criteria, and cultural prioritization of corporate responsibility, Asia offers invaluable lessons for navigating the complexities of responsible investing.

During my trip to Aspectus’ recently launched Singapore office[iv] last month, I saw firsthand the region’s bustling sustainable finance scene, buzzing with energy and fresh perspectives. It got me thinking: what can global markets learn from Asia’s unique take on ESG?

Culture and politics: The age-old debate

During my time in Singapore, I witnessed a clear demonstration of both the government’s support for its people and citizens’ unwavering sense of commitment and responsibility. Take the daunting prospect of buying a house in London, for instance. I found myself discussing Singapore’s generous housing grants with a colleague, and it soon became apparent why Asia’s ESG narrative is one characterized by a cultural emphasis on corporate responsibility, rather than politicization.

In Asia, the notion of corporate responsibility is deeply ingrained in cultural values and societal norms. Businesses are expected to act as stewards[i] of the communities in which they operate, demonstrating a commitment to sustainability, ethical conduct, and social welfare. This cultural ethos fosters an environment where ESG principles are embraced not as political agendas, but as integral components of corporate governance and business ethics.

This cultural importance also came through in extensive primary research we conducted for an upcoming ESG whitepaper, where not even a fifth of APAC-based marketers said they do not care about ESG factors. More insights to come on this topic towards the end of May in our ESG whitepaper[ii].

In the US, on the other hand, investor interest in ESG is declining, possibly due to the way the term has been weaponised and used as a pawn in the never-ending game of political chess waged in Washington. Shareholder support for ESG proposals is decreasing amid rising divisiveness as we draw closer to this year’s presidential election. Investors are withdrawing from sustainable funds and managers are launching fewer ESG-focused products[iii], indicating a seismic shift in the American investment landscape.

Asia’s Goldilocks Approach to ESG Regulation

Increased regulatory scrutiny is a steadfast fixture in today’s financial landscape, but the approaches taken by different regions are telling. We are seeing divergence between the EU and US approaches to ESG regulation, with Europe imposing stricter requirements while the US rolls back planned regulations amid political opposition. Both strategies could conceivably lead to a notable increase in greenhushing. Meanwhile, Asia is taking a more nuanced approach, focusing on qualitative definitions rather than rigid classifications.

Across Europe, asset managers are struggling to adhere to demanding regulations[i] such as the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). Here, the regulatory focus is on classification[ii], with funds falling into distinct categories like Article 8 and 9 based on their emphasis on environmental or social characteristics. Meanwhile, Asian regulators prioritize defining ESG funds themselves, taking a different path.

On top of this, ESG now faces a regulatory pushback[iii] of its own, with the EU’s recent Green Claims directive cracking down on sustainability claims made by companies. To some minds, Europe has over scrutinized and overcomplicated the sustainable investment process and the way in which funds market themselves, which in turn could prompt firms to resort to greenhushing.

Therefore, it is worth considering that perhaps Asia has the right idea by focusing on qualitative criteria, offering a nuanced understanding that quantitative metrics often miss. This way, companies can convey their ESG efforts, sidestepping the pitfalls of mere quantitative metrics and evading the temptation of greenhushing.

Should firms across Europe and the US be given the benefit of the doubt, allowing more room for dialogue rather than continuing to crack down on classifications?

The US, caught in a political tug-of-war over ESG, isn’t offering much clarity. And Europe’s unwavering regulatory grip seems unlikely to loosen soon. But a peek at Asia’s playbook provides may offer valuable lessons. While we cannot presume an imminent change in the US’ politicization of ESG or Europe’s steadfast regulatory stance, it is still important to explore how other regions approach ESG if we are to successfully tackle greenhushing, rather than merely brush it under the rug.

About the author

Maddy is a senior account executive in the Capital Markets team and joined Aspectus after completing a master’s in international management at King’s College London and bachelor’s degree in international relations at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. Maddy is fluent in Italian and proficient in German.​

Maddy’s role involves being a day-to-day contact for clients, providing focused advice on media relations across the UK and APAC regions. She recently visited Aspectus’ Singapore office to strengthen media relationships in the region, gaining valuable insights that fuel this blog post. Since starting the role, Maddy has become ever more curious about the ways in which regulatory trends will shape the financial sphere and is excited to continue learning more about the capital markets.​

Key takeaways

Q: What is greenhushing, and how is it affecting ESG investing?
A: Greenhushing refers to firms downplaying or omitting their ESG initiatives to avoid regulatory scrutiny. This trend is growing, particularly in the US and Europe, as firms face increasing regulatory demands and political pressure.

Q: How does Asia’s approach to ESG differ from the US and Europe?
A: Asia emphasizes cultural responsibility and qualitative definitions of ESG regulation, avoiding the rigid classifications and political battles seen in the US and Europe.

Q: What lessons can global markets learn from Asia’s ESG strategies?
A: Global markets can benefit from looking at Asia’s nuanced regulatory approach, emphasizing cultural responsibility and qualitative measures, which provide a more transparent approach to ESG.

More from the industry


[i] https://www.ft.com/content/c3168f01-b918-48ae-9fe3-35902adb7874

[ii] https://insight.thomsonreuters.com/mena/business/posts/regulatory-approaches-to-esg-diverging-in-europe-and-asia

[iii] https://www.reuters.com/sustainability/sustainable-finance-reporting/comment-pushback-against-esg-has-hit-europe-heres-how-investors-can-ride-out-2024-03-14/


[i] https://www.greenwich.com/blog/esg-spectrum-investor-expectations-and-preferences-across-globe

[ii] https://www.aspectusgroup.com/insights/whitepaper-esg-comms-threading-the-needle/

[iii] https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Finance/Shareholder-support-for-ESG-proposals-crumbles-at-U.S.-companies2


[i] https://www.reuters.com/sustainability/sustainable-finance-reporting/comment-pushback-against-esg-has-hit-europe-heres-how-investors-can-ride-out-2024-03-14/

[ii] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-01-25/sustainable-funds-see-first-ever-global-quarterly-net-outflows

[iii] https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/greenhushing-esg-fund-marketing-names-20240325

[iv] https://www.aspectusgroup.com/contact/singapore/

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Webinar – Marcoms in Asia: What Businesses Need to Know Now

Aspectus invites you to join our webinar delving into key findings from our latest  ‘Marcom in Asia’ whitepaper, alongside some of the most influential leaders in Marcoms in this region.

What you’ll learn

Here’s a glimpse of what we’ll be covering


  1. Building brand loyalty in a culturally diverse continent
    How can you navigate nuances and seize opportunities?
  2. Digital first strategies
    Is the industry integrated enough or are we operating in siloes?
  3. Gen Z and the new workforce
    How do we leverage the talents of this dynamic cohort?
  4. Industry outlook in 2025 & beyond
    What trends are emerging that have the potential to reshape the future marketing & communications landscape in Asia?

Register now

Please register even if you can’t attend the webinar live, as we will share the recording after the event.

Meet the speakers

Rachel Kelly

Senior Presenter at MoneyFM

Webinar Host

Joyce England

Senior Communications Director

Panellist

Juveria Samrin

VP Marketing at TerraPay

Panellist

Su-Ren Neo

Head of Marketing at LinkedIn

Panellist

Koh Juat Muay

President of the Institute of Public Relations of Singapore

Panellist

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Money20/20 Bangkok: should you attend next year?

By Louise Veitch, Head of SE Asia

At the end of April, Money20/20 finally made its debut in Asia at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre in Bangkok.

The city’s strategic location, coupled with its rapidly growing economy and supportive regulatory environment, made it a perfect place for the fintech community to congregate on this side of the world. Bangkok’s 40-degree April heat and  gridlocked traffic also did an excellent job of keeping attendees and sponsors inside the convention centre at all times.

If you’re wondering whether to go in 2025, I have shared insights after attending in April that will either get you registering for next year’s event or deleting it from your calendar entirely.

Size matters

For those who have been to Money2020’s alternative regional events, or the latest Singapore Fintech Festival & Token 2049, like us, you might have been searching for another exhibition hall when you first arrived at the centre.

The event was much smaller, but arguably no less mighty. From speaking with clients and other sponsors, many felt that what it lacked in footfall, it made up for in the quality of attendees. It’s also important to understand that what works for one region, may not work for another, so comparing the money2020 events like for like will never be a useful exercise.

Immediate Return on Investment

A contributing factor to the size, was the cost of the event. It cost thousands to attend the event and much, much more to be an exhibitor. While this ensured that attendees were serious sellers or buyers, companies looking for an immediate return on investment will have struggled to get back in the green.    

Knowledge is power

Over the last 12 months for better or worse the fintech industry has been in the spotlight and while it can sometimes be a lucrative field, it is always innovating at a rapid pace. Money2020 Bangkok showcased the ideas and current thinking of the most influential people in this sector.  

The verdict?

Ultimately, our team will be recommending that some of our clients in Asia (and globally) attend and/or sponsor next year’s event while others should probably sit it out. Considering your business objectives and how this fits into your wider marcoms strategy is a huge factor.

For example, if you are looking to build brand awareness in front of a really relevant community, you can register for next year here. But, if lead generation is the watchword for 2025 and you have specific conversion targets to hit, we might recommend investing in alternative strategies to better support these objectives.

About the author

Louise Veitch heads up operations for Aspectus’ Singapore office, leading the expert team on the ground there as well as Aspectus’ network of consultants across Southeast Asia. She has spent the last decade helping clients in the fintech and traditional finance space to successfully grow their brand awareness globally. Louise was named PR Week’s 30 Under 30 in 2020 in recognition for her work in this space.

Key Takeaways

Q1: How does Money20/20 Asia compare to other fintech events in the region?

 A1: Though smaller in size than events like the Singapore Fintech Festival, Money20/20 Asia’s high-quality attendee base offered substantial networking and business opportunities.

Q2: What are the costs and ROI considerations for attending Money20/20 Asia?

A2: High participation costs mean companies should weigh the potential for immediate returns against the quality of interactions and long-term strategic benefits.

Q3: Should businesses attend Money20/20 Asia in 2025?

A3: Decision to attend should align with specific marketing and commercial objectives, considering factors like brand visibility and lead generation needs.

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How strategic communications can take the UAE’s fintech fever to new heights

By Astrid French, Senior Director based in UAE

With world-class infrastructure, business-friendly taxation policies, and significant industry expertise, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is continuing to show itself as a ripe destination for business – able to withstand economic downturns while many other regions around the world face an uphill battle.

We turn our attention to fintech to see a clear example of this in action. Despite dwindling global investment in fintech, the UAE bucks this trend with total investment soaring 92 per cent in 2023. Pro-fintech regulations and a high adoption rate of digital banking tools are creating an ideal habitat for the sector to thrive. As a result, firms are increasingly looking to the UAE as an essential market for growth.

But with great opportunity, comes great competition, and firms are vying to stand out against the growing crowd. Those who cut through this noise with smart, strategic marketing and communications will ‘own the night’ and fast put distance between themselves and others.

So, what is the size of the opportunity, and how can UAE fintech firms make the most of it?

Climbing the ladder of fintech success

The UAE is deeply rooted in its commitment to digital transformation, championing technologies such as generative artificial intelligence (AI) to foster entrepreneurship and innovation. Predictions indicate that by 2030, AI will contribute US$97 billion to the UAE’s economy, constituting nearly 14 per cent of GDP.

With the next wave of digitisation already in full swing, the UAE offers an optimal location for businesses to explore these possibilities and boost their brand visibility in a growing digital ecosystem.

For instance, the open banking market in the region is booming, projected to reach $1.17bn in 2024. By enabling financial and non-financial institutions to partner and share financial data with regulated fintechs, open banking is dismantling the walls that traditionally limited financial services, creating a connected financial community in the UAE. Opening up secure access to financial data offers firms a treasure trove of information, enabling firms to develop a rich array of personalised products and services and cater to evolving customer needs. Many firms in the region are leveraging strategic communications to showcase the UAE’s open banking prowess, helping to attract attention from investors and stakeholders worldwide.

Collaboration extends beyond the four walls of the UAE’s fintech community, too. The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has created an Innovation Hub, home to more than 700 tech firms, regulators, venture capital firms, and educational bodies, working to share knowledge and collaborate. Its FinTech Accelerator Programme offers networking and mentorship opportunities for fintech startups, concentrating on areas like open banking, AI, and automation in effort to enhance financial literacy. By communicating how these advancements are driving the UAE forward as a budding fintech hub, fintech firms can position themselves as key players shaping the future of finance.

The region is also building a growing voice on sustainable finance, and communications are playing a key role in spotlighting this progress. Policymakers and regulators in the UAE are using their platforms to stress the importance of technology to achieve sustainable finance goals, encouraging active engagement from fintech firms to materialise sustainability promises. Fintech organisations in the region are already harnessing AI and blockchain to enhance ESG reporting and transparency, as well as integrating sustainability into investment decisions. Events such as Fintech Abu Dhabi, hosted in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), showcase the advancements being made in sustainable fintech, attracting attention from media and key stakeholders. The ADGM has garnered worldwide recognition for its progressive regulatory frameworks and support for cross-border business activity – bolstering the region’s reputation as a trailblazer in using technology for positive societal impact.

Owning the narrative

So, fintech downturn? It doesn’t look like it in the UAE. It is a fertile ground for fintech innovation, attracting major players in the scene, best-in-class talent, and hefty funding rounds.

But competition will only grow fiercer. A strategic communications and marketing strategy is critical for firms to stand out in all the right ways. If you want to elevate your brand in the UAE, then talk to us at Aspectus where our Middle East specialists can guide you through your next stage of growth.

Q&A:

Q: What sets the UAE apart in terms of fintech investment despite global trends?

A: The UAE benefits from pro-fintech regulations, as well as a healthy domestic economy and growing consumer appetite for digital financial services. Consumers are increasingly seeking seamless, sophisticated banking tools, leaving many entry points for fintech firms in the region.

Q: How does the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) support fintech innovation?

A: The DIFC’s Innovation Hub serves as a collaborative space for over 700 tech firms, venture capital firms, and regulators. Through initiatives like the FinTech Accelerator Programme, it provides networking, mentorship, and support in key areas to enhance financial literacy and drive fintech growth.

Q: What is open banking?

A: Open banking is a process through which banks and financial institutions can allow third parties to access customer data, with their permission, through the use of application programming interfaces (APIs). This helps to create more personalised offerings, such as tailored budgeting tips.

Q: What fintech events are hosted in the UAE?

A: Some of the biggest events in the industry are hosted in the UAE. Fintech Abu Dhabi is held in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), attracting global attention. The Dubai FinTech Summit is another event pioneering the next wave of digitalisation in financial services.

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Four key considerations for capturing asset managers’ attention at TSAM

By Will Brook, Capital Markets

With investment houses under growing pressure to innovate, this blog provides fintech attendees of this year’s TSAM (The Summit for Asset Management) event with a host of tips and tricks to ensure they can capture the attention of the various asset management firms in attendance. These include suggestions around fintech marketing, merchandising, branding, social media, tech savviness and staff selection.

It is no secret that asset managers – particularly those operating in the UK – have had a difficult couple of years. A barrage of headwinds, including a slowdown in global economic growth, elevated interest rates, bouts of pronounced market volatility and increasing competition from ETFs, saw the UK fund industry suffer ‘record’ net outflows[1] in 2023. And so far, this year hasn’t offered much in the way of hope. Funds domiciled in the UK witnessed £3.34bn in net outflows[2] in February – and for the second time in 12 months, not a single asset class managed to attract net inflows.

But as the old adage goes, from adversity comes opportunity. As asset managers grapple with growing competition and squeezed margins, the deployment of sophisticated financial technology has perhaps never been so essential. After all, the integration of effective fintech can unearth a host of advantages for investment houses, not least reduced costs, stronger investment returns, and ultimately a healthier bottom line. Take the potential posed by robo-advisors, for instance. A recent study by PwC[3] suggests assets managed by these algorithm-driven and increasingly AI-enabled digital platforms will surge to almost $6tn by 2027 – nearly double the figure for 2022.

And this is just one aspect of their strategy asset managers will be looking to bolster with cutting-edge fintech over the coming months. Against this backdrop, The Summit for Asset Management (TSAM) in London on 1 May – which brings together leaders from the back and middle office departments of some of the world’s most prominent asset management firms – offers a tremendous opportunity for financial technology providers to capture the attention of fund houses.

Given the number of vendors set to attend and the hectic nature of these events, capitalizing on this opportunity requires careful thought and preparation from a fintech marketing and public relations perspective. Trust me, I’ve been to enough events to know that the unprepared will struggle to make a splash, even if they have an excellent piece of tech to demo. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of four key considerations fintech firms must take into account to give themselves the best chance of capturing asset managers’ eyes at TSAM.

Unique positioning of merchandise – including branding & visuals

Your booth and any merchandise you intend to give away are two of the most essential elements of large trade events like TSAM. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure your booth and merch stands out from the crowd. To do so, incorporate unique branding elements[1] and visually appealing displays that reflect your company’s identity and message.

Use bold colors, innovative design elements, and eye-catching visuals to captivate the attention of asset managers. Ensure that your booth reflects the essence of your fintech solution, if possible, conveying its value proposition at a glance. As for merchandise, this too should reflect the company’s brand identity, culture and values, while also being useful to attendees.

Be tech savvy with your stand

Utilize technology to enhance the visitor experience at your stand. Incorporate QR codes that lead to relevant resources, such as whitepapers, case studies, or demo videos. Implement interactive displays or augmented reality experiences to demonstrate the functionality of your solution in an engaging manner. Leveraging digital tools for lead capture and follow-ups is another aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked, helping to streamline the process for both parties and turn prospects into new business relationships swiftly.

It’s not all about the tech, be personable & make your stand interactive

While technology is important, it is imperative not to overlook the power of personal connections. Select subject matter experts that are approachable, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic about your fintech offering. These individuals can foster meaningful interactions with asset managers by initiating conversations, asking probing questions, and actively listening to their needs.

Incorporating interactive elements like games or quizzes to break the ice and encourage engagement is also worthwhile, but the success of these will depend on the spriteliness of those in charge of leading them.

Deploying social media throughout the event to maximise brand exposure

Harness the power of social media[1] to amplify your presence before, during, and after the event. Create buzz[2] leading up to TSAM by sharing teasers, announcements, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of your preparations.

Then, during the event, post live updates, share photos/videos of your booth, and engage with attendees using event hashtags. It is then much easier to continue the conversation after the event, by sharing key takeaways, insights, and follow-up content to stay front-of-mind with the asset managers in attendance.

Only by thinking carefully about your fintech brand from a marketing and PR perspective can you be confident in transforming the bustling environment of TSAM into a fertile ground teeming with potential business prospects. See here[3] for three further top tips for developing an effective technology event communications plan.

About the author: Will Brook, content specialist, Aspectus Capital Markets

Will is a content specialist in the Capital Markets team and joined Aspectus having spent nearly three years writing content for a wide array of global asset management firms. Since starting in his role in May 2023, Will has become ever more curious about the ways in which effective marketing and public relations can help innovative financial technology firms capture the attention of their target audience and transform capital markets for the better.

Key takeaways

  1. Embrace adversity as opportunity: Despite challenges in the UK asset management industry, fintech firms can leverage this adversity as an opportunity to provide innovative solutions. The integration of sophisticated fintech can offer advantages like reduced costs and stronger investment returns, addressing the industry’s pain points and fostering growth opportunities.
  2. Strategic preparation for trade events is a must: Attending events like TSAM requires careful planning and preparation to stand out among numerous vendors. Fintech firms must prioritize unique branding and visual displays to ensure their booth captures the attention of asset managers. Incorporating technology, such as QR codes and interactive displays, enhances the visitor experience and facilitates lead capture and follow-up.
  3. Balance technology with personal connection: While technology plays a crucial role, personal connections are equally important. Fintech firms should deploy staff who are approachable, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic about their offerings. Interactive elements like games or quizzes can enhance engagement, but the effectiveness relies on the energy and engagement of booth staff. Additionally, leveraging social media before, during, and after the event amplifies brand exposure and sustains engagement with asset managers.

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The Monzo Effect: How a fintech became a verb for Gen Z

By Mary Neale-Smith, Financial Services

Explore Monzo’s popularity among Gen Z, from its innovative mobile banking features, vibrant branding, and a strong social media presence, making financial management both trendy and accessible

Monzo has my friends and me exactly where it wants us. From university houses bill sharing, to spilling the cost of groceries on holiday, to requesting a mate for the pint they owe from last week, the phrase “I’ll Monzo you” is firmly cemented in our vocabulary.

According to GlobalData’s 2023 Financial Services Consumer Survey, 52% of Monzo’s customers belong to Generation Z (<27 years old) and two thirds are under 30 years old. So, what’s the key to Monzo’s popularity among Generation Z?

On Wednesdays we wear pink

Colours can have a huge impact on consumers’ perceptions and emotions towards a brand. Since the introduction of bank cards, companies have battled to balance staying true to their brand identity, whilst simultaneously trying to catch the eye of consumers. Historically bank cards have been blue, grey and green – colours that we regard as stable, calming, neutral and trustworthy. All the emotions banks want to evoke in customers.

So, when Monzo launched into the banking sector in 2015 it was among the first to challenge traditional high street banks, not only with its offering to consumers, but with its coral pink card breaking the norm.

The eye-catching colour of the cards make them a clever marketing tool. Before the brand was well known, taking the card out of your wallet would immediately get people to ask you what it is, leading to an inevitable conversation about how useful the app is, that not only helped word spread about the startup, but let customers back in the early days signal to others that they were early adopters of a trendy new startup.

And the bright coral cards were initially intended to only be a prototype, like how a car maker might show off their future design in bright colour. However, an unexpected wave of community support for the coral card convinced Monzo to keep it around, turning a marketing move into an iconic symbol for the brand.

They also used to run a smart referral bonus that gave £5 to both the customer and to the new friend who they managed to sign up for an account. This cash boost scheme was what originally drew me to Monzo. As a student, you’d do anything for free money – like signing up for 4 different student bank accounts to get various free rewards – and Monzo spread like a wildfire via referral codes and friendship groups.

You can’t force verb-ing

Monzo has nine million retail customers in the U.K. In 2023 alone, the company added two million customers. There are also 400,000 companies using Monzo for their business banking needs. It’s a fast-moving market and Monzo’s popularity among Gen Z isn’t all down to the flashy pink card and old referral scheme.

The ‘verb-ification’ of Monzo – where the name of a product is perceived as a performed action and becomes synonymous with it – has become a way for young people to describe sending money and is a symptom of the fintech’s success.

How did Monzo do it? By embracing its position as a modern mobile bank, Monzo hammered home its convenient and proactive tools to managing money. From easy account setup, to saving pots that automatically receive money from rounding up transition, immediate spending notifications and frictionless peer-to-peer transactions via phone numbers, Monzo capitalised on being at the forefront of mobile banking.

In 2015, the idea of banking solely through an app would have made many skeptical. Now, according to Which’s 2024 guide, four of the five top banks are digital and every major bank, from traditional to challenger, has skin in the mobile banking game.

Since Monzo started in 2015, banks and building societies have closed 5,908 branches. That’s roughly 54 each month as the sector has seen a rapid decline in the use of physical branches. This significant change highlights how the banking industry is moving towards a digital-first approach, signaling a future where physical branches may become the exception rather than the norm. It’s important to acknowledge, however, that this digital shift is controversial, particularly for elderly and vulnerable populations who may find digital services less accessible.

Not your parents’ bank account

But beyond the smooth user experience and handy tools to manage money, Monzo has also successfully tapped into the most effective way to connect with Gen Z – social media.

We’ve all cringed at attempts from businesses social media account trying too hard to be cool.

Monzo seems to have struck the right balance. Its jargon-free, inclusive tone of voice translates from the app to its social media presence, contrasting with the formal corporate speak expected of traditional banks.

Monzo embraces Gen Z and millennials’ self-deprecating tendencies. From resharing viral tweets from users bemoaning the app for telling them how much they’ve spent in a particularly expensive month to LinkedIn posts offering apologies for mistaken excitement over a notification from Monzo about a £0.10 TFL charge, thinking it was a message from a crush.

This approach not only showcases Monzo’s understanding of its audience but highlights the impact of digital marketing on success. It reinforces that when digital marketing is used effectively, it can strengthen and enhance consumer perceptions of a brand.  

Can you grow out of your Monzo?

Monzo’s current popularity with Gen Z is undeniable, but can it last? I recently read an article that labeled Monzo as “trendy,” using the term in the same mildly disparaging manner a grandparent might describe ripped jeans. The article argued that the platform’s abundant use of emojis made it resemble a bank for children.

While the criticisms in the article didn’t hit as hard as the author might have hoped – because really, who doesn’t love a good emoji? – it did raise a compelling question. As Monzo’s Gen Z users grow up, will they stick with the bank, or will it just be a steppingstone to a more ‘adult’ account? Will those students who were drawn to the digital bank for its notifications and spending pots decide to trust Monzo with their first paycheck, their credit card, and perhaps even their first home savings?

Monzo has been a key player in influencing the mobile banking landscape, making it easy and hassle free. The instant notification of transactions, spreading the cost of payments over time, separating money into pots to pay bills, shared tabs and virtual cards are all features that I never knew I needed, but now I can’t imagine going without them.

Through a combination of smart marketing, relatable ethos, and useful products, Monzo’s popularity among Generation Z is indisputable. Not only has it secured its place as indispensable in managing my finances, but Monzo is now absolutely necessary to ensuring my friends’ holiday plans make it out of group chat.  

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21 E-E-A-T Strategies To Supercharge Your SEO And Boost Brand Trust

By Oliver Wells, SEO Director

Estimated read time: 12 minutes 

Blog summary: In this blog I breakdown the importance of Google’s EEAT framework to modern SEO and business growth. I’ll focus on how to implement experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness on your website. Read on to learn how utilizing EEAT strategies not only enhances your organic search performance but also builds long lasting customer loyalty and trust; positioning your business for success in a digital-first world. 

EEAT as a measure of enduring quality

In this dynamic and now AI-influenced landscape of digital content production, Google’s E-E-A-T framework stands as a beacon of unwavering credibility. Born into the 2014 edition of the Quality Rater Guidelines as 3 simple letters: “E-A-T” (Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness) they have since been incorporated into updates both core and micro for as long as I can remember, and now also include a further “E” for “Experience”. We can now see and track the direct and wholly positive impacts of EEAT strategies in organic campaigns, but why is this the case?

“E-A-T is a template for how we rate an individual site. We do it to every single query and every single result. It’s pervasive throughout every single thing we do.”

Hyung-Jin Kim, Vice President of Search at Google, speaking at SMX Next

The value of lived experience

EAT was introduced as a quality concept in response to the growing need for authoritative and trustworthy online information. Fast forward to 2022, and the concept expanded to include ‘Experience’. This represents the value of firsthand, lived experience(s). This evolution wasn’t just an update; it was a statement. Google was championing content not just rich in expertise but also steeped in honest, genuine input. For users, it meant a more relatable, trustworthy and reliable online world, where information comes from those who don’t just know but truly understand the industry because they have lived it – and they aren’t simply writing content in order to sell you a dream. They want to help or guide you towards something, they’re willing to prove themselves to you, and they are happy to be patient.

EEAT as an influencing force

As goes modern SEO, Google’s E-E-A-T has emerged as a powerhouse. Its utilization in the March 2024 update is telling. It’s not just a framework; it’s how you connect with potential customers and website users. It’s how you show them why you’re the best option in a noisy and incoherent grey space of endless choice. By blending experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness Google is able to nudge content creators, business owners and marketing directors (sometimes forcefully and with some degree of resistance) towards excellence. Engaging with EEAT frameworks as they become even more essential, is now a case of when, not if; and there is some degree of urgency.

The focus revolves around rewarding those who know their stuff with resonance that is achieved through genuine experience and transparency – honesty with a dash of true and forthright passion for a craft and a business that wants to thrive. For SEO strategists, myself included, mastering E-E-A-T is not just about playing by the rules; it’s about crafting content that connects with audiences and converts because it is a natural full stop rather than a wrestling match.

Why you need to be using EEAT frameworks sooner, rather than later

So why should you care about SEO and EEAT and what does success look like for your business following continued engagement with these frameworks? The short answer is: online trust = increased business but garnered the right way, consistently and honestly, over time. In our challenging digital world it can seem like every blog and every site is designed to splice attention into consumable chunks, robbing businesses of feeling and websites of humanity.

Therefore, SEOs and Google know and understand that those who genuinely want to engage and talk about a topic are the ones who cultivate the greatest loyalties. Customer loyalty and brand trust being possibly the two greatest pillars upon which strong businesses are built. EEAT is a big thing. I won’t pretend like I am able to discuss it all in one blog post. It encompasses a lot of SEO with crossover into design, digital marketing generally, as well as brand positioning and content creation. But we are passionate about this. We believe strongly that EEAT is the best way to improve organic presence, but we also have an extremely strong feeling that these frameworks are formative to AI and LLM performance. Google may rely heavily on how trustworthy you are, how much authority you have; therefore success in EEAT may very well mean success in AI when AI becomes a major, dominant player in SEO and search.

So, lofty goals we may set, but attainable they are. We have compiled for you below, our top 21 EEAT elements that you must engage with as soon as you can if you want to become a trustworthy organic performance powerhouse.

Unlocking the potential of Google’s EEAT to achieve SEO excellence

Showcase Experience

  1. Use “I” and personal pronouns in your content. Address your audience and readers naturally. We’ve touched on this above but be personable. Talk about yourself as the writer and your experiences relative to the topic at hand and add value with your input. Don’t be afraid of anecdotes. Make your content relatable and authentic. De-mask the featureless writing machine and be “you”. 
  2. For reviews and UGC, try to promote and encourage your customers and users and partners to talk directly about their experience with you as a brand and a business. How did they find an onboarding process? Was their experience with your customer service team positive and why? The value here is in the depth of detail and creating a realistic expectation for others.
  3. Long-form and effusive testimonials are marketing gold-dust. This is a given fact. How you utilize them, once acquired, can be a difference-maker. Make sure you split up a positive review or user-story and inject its influence across your site, content, and marketing channels. You can quote a review snippet into a blog, create an image slider on social media, a testimonial-blast email and so much more. This gives users a great sense of your experience in the industry.
  4. A simple but effective approach is to include dates that relate to your own experiences. If you’re writing a blog, mention your credentials. For me, for example, I have 8 years’ experience in SEO and digital marketing. This one sentence lends credence to my insights and tells Google that my experience can be trusted.
  5. To expand upon the above, when writing meet the team pages or employee information sections on your site (which are a must do but we will get to that!) then include how many years’ experience they each have and where they acquired that experience. What degrees do they have, where did they study, and who are their notable client exposures. If your marketing team of 10, each have between 5- and 10-years’ experience in the industry each, that is a collective (roughly) 50 to 100 years’ worth of knowledge. That is a data point worth shouting about.

Highlight Expertise:

  1. It may seem obvious but one of the best ways to implement the expertise concept is to utilize experts on your site and in your marketing. This can take many forms. You can approach a topic-related industry professional or known quantity to write/author a blog for you. You could also ask for a contribution to a blog piece or you can ask them to provide specific input regarding your service and surface that prominently on your home or service pages. A blend of all is often most effective. Make sure you are displaying the expert’s credentials, qualifications, and experiences as best you can.
  2. Showcase topic experts. When writing content, it is vital that the author is shown. The method of showing also counts here. A one-liner is not enough. We need an author bio of 50-100 words that links the author to the topic. This is an SEO blog. The ‘about the author’ section in this blog talks about my SEO experience. Because I am an SEO expert. Ideally, we need a job title too, and an image of the author (designs coming soon…) You also need to work towards building a bank of content authored by your experts.
  3. Meet the authors. An often-overlooked strategic content piece. A page that showcases all your authors alongside all their subject specialisms and a link to “see content authored by this expert” goes an extremely long way to showing Google and your audience that you are a trustworthy business comprised of topic/industry experts. You can also go one step further and build out author profile pages on a specific URL for each person; allowing a user to deep-dive your experts, their experience, and the content they have written.
  4. Have you written more on the subject matter? Conducted studies, or research? Then link it. You can’t be an expert with a blog count of one. This blends into the final point of consistency. Experts, real ones, write a lot of content. My colleagues know my specialisms, but if I don’t write on the topic consistently then readers, and Google, won’t know or trust that fact. 
  5. Lastly, an expert uses the best sources. So do your research and showcase your findings. The very best blog articles out there link to studies, research, data, reviews and then some. A brilliantly written wall of text just isn’t going to cut it. Google uses these links to cement the content in truth. Utilize the words and insights of other experts to support and formalize your own.

Generate Authority:

  1. Authority can be hard to earn generally and may take some time as a challenger brand or start-up. For established businesses, you might already have authoritative voices in your company. If so, utilize them. You can begin this process with, for example, creating a meet the team page. Who are the people that make up your business and why are they authoritative (you can see here how constituent parts of the EEAT concept are interlinked). Later on, you can engage with actions such as conferences, community events, posting about your presence there on your site and social media channels; develop individual voices with multimedia creation such as podcasts – make the right types of noise in the right kinds of relevant spaces.
  2. Engage with digital PR. DPR is one of the best, quickest, and most effective ways to build your brand authority. We can get your CEO or a HOD listed in newspapers and magazines offering commentary or insight regarding world-events or current affairs. We can get you a full-post placement in an audience/business specific magazine or publication showcasing a new service, entrance into a foreign market or discussing the state of an industry and the potential issues that may (come to) plague it following the announcement of new legislation. DPR builds authority through direct audience recognition. It also may provide a backlink which directly and positively improves your site’s authority in the eyes of search engines. Furthermore, Google is now able to detect un-linked brand mentions and employ that detection as a measure of trust and authority. This identification is getting more and more sophisticated (a trend that will continue) as Google moves away from traditional backlinking as a potent measure of interconnectivity and moves towards more natural ways of testing a brand’s impact in press – especially as media backlink inclusion gets less and less commonplace. Hence the truly vital nature of digital PR.
  3. To be an authority, you need to understand a subject deeply whilst also developing your and others’ understanding of it at the same time. To do this, you need to create and commission studies, research and analysis that is new to market. You can survey your audience and publish your findings. You can engage a specialized agency to undergo rigorous testing on your behalf – utilizing the end product across marketing channels and media. This also goes a long way to establishing yourself as a thought leader in your specific space(s).
  4. An authoritative site is trusted by others. It is all well and good writing the best blog in the world but if nobody sees it, does it have authority? Following the publishing of a blog piece it is then important to conduct manual outreach to other sites, brands and businesses. You want those other sites to use your piece in their own insights and analysis as a hyperlink or reference. To go back to the above point, if you have conducted excellent research with fascinating end-product data, chances are, media and relative brands will want to use your findings. Thus, the cycle of authority and thought leadership is oft self-sustaining.

Delivering Trust:

  1. Of all the metrics and approaches, the notion of trust is almost certainly the most important as regards all-round business growth and efficacy of method. The first thing you should do is ask yourself the question “how can I prove myself and create a natural, genuine sense of trust between me, my audience, and Google?” Your first port of call should be to ascertain and/or showcase your industry specific business qualifications, certifications and accreditations. These are vast and varied by nature but can cover things such as health and safety, ISO specifications, quality control (QC) and even badges that show users how you encrypt data or ensure safe payment methods.
  2. Award wins and recognitions. If you have won awards for your excellent business practices, campaigns or for a specific project –shout about them! Winning awards and being recognized for your work is one of the best and quickest ways to build trust between you as a business, search engines and your users. If you haven’t won any awards just yet, start applying for some. If you’re in the tech industry, check out our list of the best tech awards to enter.  If you’re an energy company reading this, we’ve got you covered. Browse our comprehensive list of energy awards to enter.
  3. Case studies are key when it comes to trust building. The more descriptive you can be with your case studies the better. Offer insight and commentary on the work you did, the relationship you created, and the results you achieved. Breakdown data and statistics, be clear, up-front and honest about any challenges you encountered. It is important to include a testimonial from the client, a review snippet or a measure of insight from their side. You should also link to the website in question if applicable – cementing the relationship to search engines. You should also segment your case studies for clear access; utilizing menu grouping, unique URL paths and breadcrumbs. Grouping all of your case studies in a bunch together is hard to interpret but creating “SEO case studies” and “PPC case studies” groups makes life easy for potential SEO and PPC clients respectively. You want these case studies front and center, easy to read; concise and valuable.
  4. Fact check all content and keep it evergreen. Dated content no longer functions in our fast paced environment. I wouldn’t trust an SEO strategy blog dated to 2018, or even 2020, and I’m sure you wouldn’t either! Please also keep dates out of URLs, they don’t belong there! I believe it also goes without saying, but don’t include anything in your content or marketing that you cannot prove to be true.
  5. You can’t trust what you don’t know. An about us page is something that is perhaps arduous to create but is truly worthwhile. Users want to know who you are. Google wants to know who you are. Go further and showcase your history, the people that made your business, your mission statement, values and purpose – provide a timeline, or an interview with the company founders. Do all you can to show the world your business is made of real people with real passions that can be trusted by virtue of their openness and capacity for honesty.
  6. Engage with review sites across the web. EEAT is not just site-specific, its impact escapes and encompasses the entire web. Therefore, it is imperative that you engage with multiple review sites and aggregators. That means having a presence on e.g. Trustpilot, Clutch, Review.io, industry specific reviews sites and more if you can. Google reviews are perhaps the most crucial, but it does not mean that others should be overlooked. When it comes to review harvesting and prompting be sure to encourage (as stated above!) honesty and clarity on process. But also try to secure service specific language and deep insights into a product or experience. You want to create a sense of relativity, allowing your potential new audience to put themselves in the shoes of your current audience. Lastly on this, you must directly address all negative reviews, no matter how time-costly this is. This shows you’re a genuine, trustworthy business that cares about how people perceive it.
  7. A final but interconnected point on testimonials. Where possible, insert these into relative pages. Testimonials that extol the virtues and value of a service, placed onto that service page, will work wonders for your conversion rate and for the right reasons at that.

To conclude

As I said, EEAT is BIG. But it is worth getting your head around. It represents for me, and for Aspectus, the evolution of SEO and the future of AI and LLM performance. Businesses that fail at EEAT, will fail as we transition. But that ought not be a negative. EEAT means building connections with your audience. It represents a freedom and creativity to engage and to be exciting. It’s a celebration of authenticity and expertise; a showcase of your experience. It’s about showing the world who you are, what you do, why you do it and what drives you forward.  EEAT isn’t just the next big thing; it’s the foundation for enduring success on search engines. It’s an invitation to create content that’s as real as it is relevant, as personal as it is powerful. Get in touch with me today to discuss how we can help you achieve SEO success through EEAT implementation.  

Key Takeaways:

What is Google’s E-E-A-T?

Google’s E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness, a framework crucial for SEO success, emphasizing credible and quality content.

How does E-E-A-T impact SEO and digital marketing?

E-E-A-T directly influences organic search rankings by rewarding content that demonstrates genuine expertise, authoritative sources, and trustworthiness, along with the author’s personal experience in the subject matter.

Why should businesses focus on E-E-A-T?

Focusing on E-E-A-T ensures that businesses create content that truly resonates with their audience, establishing a strong, trustworthy online presence that drives organic growth and customer loyalty.

How can incorporating E-E-A-T into content strategy benefit a business?

Incorporating E-E-A-T into a content strategy significantly boosts a business’s online credibility and authority, leading to better search rankings, increased trust among users, and ultimately, higher conversion rates.

What role does ‘Experience’ play in the updated E-E-A-T framework?

The addition of ‘Experience’ to the E-E-A-T framework highlights the importance of personal anecdotes and firsthand knowledge in creating relatable, authentic content that resonates with audiences and demonstrates genuine understanding.

Why is E-E-A-T considered foundational for future SEO and AI performance?

E-E-A-T is foundational because it aligns SEO practices with the evolving capabilities of AI and machine learning, ensuring that content not only meets current standards of relevance and quality but is also prepared for future technological advancements in search algorithms.

About the author:

I have been working in SEO and strategic marketing services for over 8 years now. My experience is an even split between in-house roles at start-ups and agency roles at some of the UK’s biggest PR and digital agencies. I am based in East London having moved down from Essex 5 years ago. Professionally, I am a proud advocate for EEAT and SEO and the genuine business benefits of integrated service adoption. Personally, my heart is in the Lake District and nature. Podcasts are my jam and coffee is my addiction.

Bibliography

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