Yvo Wonders: Key takeaways getting back in the Netherlands

From noodles, rice and Vietnamese ice coffee back to Gouda cheese, ‘stroopwafels’ and chocolate sprinkles. I’m back in the Netherlands! It took a while to acclimatize and settle back in, considering the huge contrasts, but I’m fully Dutch again. Having experienced a lot during my time in Asia, I already gave you a fraction of my learnings in the previous posts. The final blog in this series gives you my 3 key takeaways of all the combined lessons I’ve learned.

Earlier, I shared my journey to Asia and how I am trying to translate the inspiration I get from the cultural differences into new ways to look at marketing. This blog post is the fourth and last part of this series.

1. Discover & try something new

As I was riding my bike across Vietnam, I was constantly in discovery mode. Everything along the way was new: the people, the food, nature, everything. This state of constant learning helped me to let go of everything I already knew from back home and to open up to all the new things I was experiencing. It was a very valuable learning period.

I’m not trying to say that you should buy a motorbike and go to Vietnam, unless you want to. Though I would recommend you to try out this discovery mode. It can help you massively with your creative processes and to come up with ideas you would have never been able to come up with, while sitting at the desk you’re sitting at right now. Go out, be bold and try something new. You can start with going for a coffee meeting with someone from the other side of the office, to learn from and inspire each other. The next step could be to start a mindfulness class in your office, to see what the effects are on the creative minds of your colleagues. It can basically be anything you can come up with and might even lead to your next marketing breakthrough. Who knows?

2. Adapt

One of the many qualities of the culture in Asia is how they are able to adapt to change. In Vietnam there’s a clear change visible towards the market of tourism with more and more tourist attractions popping up and literally every single Vietnamese person under 30 learning English. Another example is the mobile movement, which I shared in my previous post (LINK). As this is the first device for most Asian residents, businesses make sure to focus their marketing in this direction. This goes hand in hand with the development of mobile payment solutions with China as the world leader.

The world is a constantly changing environment and only by staying on your toes, you will be able to keep up. Know what’s happening in your industry and don’t expect anyone else to take the lead. Jump in and it might even lead to successes you hadn’t expected.

3. Trust

Perhaps my favorite experiences were the meetings with new people along the way. People I had never met before became sudden friends and helped me with anything I needed help with. Truly heartwarming and a huge addition to the overall experience.

If there’s anything I would like to get across at all, it would be this: trust and help each other. The benefits are endless. Not only will this make everything a lot more pleasant, it also adds business value and creates a ripple effect. When you’re able to build a trusting relationship with your customer and partners, they will trust you and reward you with their best effort and loyalty. A great example is a very personal customer service. By helping out your customer wherever in their journey, they will be pleased. Use data to better understand your customers and build that relationship with them.

So my very interesting and informative journey has come to an end and I would like to thank you for reading this blog. If you have any questions about Asia, Marketing or a combination of the two, you can contact Oxyma through marketing@oxyma.nl

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