Can a PR firm be the best partner for a BtoB company to conduct marketing activation in Japan?

Can a PR firm be the best partner for a BtoB company to conduct marketing activation in Japan?

When rolling out your products to the Japanese market, it is important to choose a partner that can properly plan and execute marketing activation in Japan. Many companies in Japan, especially in Tokyo, including marketing agencies, digital agencies, and PR agencies, offer their own services, but how do you choose the right partner for your marketing activation in Japan? This article explains what capabilities you should consider when choosing a PR agency as your partner.

Advantages of Choosing a PR Agency as Your Marketing Activation Partner

Japanese marketing agencies, advertising agencies, and PR firms all have different strengths, and the capabilities of the teams they can field vary depending on timing. There are also differences in the compatibility of the agency or unit with your product or service being activated and the industry being targeted. In this sense, it may be nearly impossible to identify the best agency. However, there are certainly advantages to choosing a PR agency as your first partner.

  • Local knowledge and cultural understanding: A PR agency understands the local culture and customs of foreign markets and can develop a communications strategy that is appropriate for Japan. This is even more important in early marketing activation when it is critical to take cultural differences into account in promotions.
  • Language and Communication Skills: A PR agency (that offers bilingual services) is fluent in the language and can provide accurate translations and localized communications. This reduces the potential for misunderstanding and confusion caused by language differences. It also gives you a competitive edge in localizing your main content in Japan for many years: websites, white papers, and sales materials.
  • Effective Storytelling: PR agencies excel at telling the stories of companies and products in an engaging way that better connects with consumers and customers. This leads to increased brand awareness and future loyalty.
  • Media Coverage and Credibility: PR agencies increase media coverage and third-party credibility about your company and your product. This helps reinforce marketing messages in Japan.
  • Strategic Advice from a Long-Term Perspective: In contrast to advertising agencies, which are often contracted on a spot basis, PR agencies can contribute to the overall marketing strategy by developing communication strategies that are aligned with the company’s long-term strategy.

The above describes the advantages of choosing a PR firm for marketing activation in Japan. Next, we will explain the capabilities to look for when selecting a suitable PR firm. We recommend that you make a comprehensive decision based on these points

  • Market research and identification of target companies and key people: Research the culture of the Japanese market, competitors, target company issues and investment plans, and the ability to identify key people and plan how to approach them.
  • Localized Promotion Strategy: Localize the content in line with the Japanese language, culture, and needs of the target company. Create localized content and advertisements that resonate with key people.
  • Marketing: Reach the target audience by conducting private seminars and utilizing digital channels such as print, internet, social media, and search engine ads.
  • Influencer Marketing: Research influencers and bloggers who are influential in the Japanese industry and build good relationship values with them in order to increase credibility and awareness of your products and solutions.
  • Conducting events or participating in trade shows in Japan: Research and compare trade shows and events attended by target companies and key people to create opportunities for direct contact with the target audience. It is essential to provide demos and speaking opportunities to convey the product’s appeal.
  • Local SEO Optimization: Improve your rankings in Japanese search engines through Search Engine Optimization. Optimize your content for keywords and search trends of interest to your target companies and key audiences.
  • Partnerships with local Media: Increase media exposure by partnering with Japanese TV stations, newspapers, online media, etc. Implement media approaches to communicate product features and benefits.
  • Provide specialized content: Provide solutions and insight into Japanese customer needs through the creation of content such as webinars, white papers, industry reports, product videos, company videos, and case studies.
  • Build Word of Mouth and Credibility: Utilize customer testimonials and reputation to foster an image as a reliable partner.

If you can choose a partner with a PR agency that can combine these measures in the right way, you will be well on your way to a successful rollout of your products in the Japanese market.

How to Select the Right Tech PR Agency in Japan” explains what technology companies should consider when selecting a PR firm in Japan. Please refer to it if you are interested.

About us

WONDERHOODS is a boutique/bilingual marketing communications agency based in Tokyo and Hokkaido, Japan, specializing in business-to-business PR, and helping foreign companies enter the Japanese market, create customers, and activate their marketing activities. Please feel free to contact us for more information including our capabilities.


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