New York-listed FXCM has a long history in Asia. Its localization strategy, under APAC marketing director, Ashley Chun, has been vital.

ashley-chun-fxcm-300Introducing a well-known U.S. foreign exchange trading brand to the markets of Asia comes down to a strong localization and customization strategy, says Ashley Chun, director of marketing, Asia Pacific, FXCM.

For more than a decade, Chun has been responsible for FXCM's digital marketing strategy for the Asia Pacific region, especially China.

This includes search, display, customer service, targeted advertising for lead generation and segmentation of data for enhanced customization.

"When you ask, as a U.S. platform, how do you target the Chinese market – we don't, and you can't," says Chun.

"As a corporation, you do need to put in the resources to have your core products translated, fit to local level, and for [customers] to actually operate and then be able to become active participants. You should not have a hurdle for that," says Chun.


Another important factor is not replicating the strategy for the global market, but looking at what the needs of the local market are, what will make a Chinese customer more comfortable depositing money to trade online, for example.

For FXCM, that has meant offerings for Chinese clients such as online training courses, having strong "reachable" customer service, and being able to get customers fast responses to their online queries.


"In the beginning, not a lot of brokers were here, so we concentrated on that localization, and our feeling that customer support and the ability to have affinity with the clients at multiple levels was important," says Chun. "In return our customers have an appreciation for the transparency of our communication and what we have to offer."

Lead generation

Over the last five years, FXCM has seen its (Read more...) acquisitions double, and over the past 18 months, it has seen a 30 percent increase in business generation from digital campaigns across Greater China. Chun puts this down to more effective inter-department communication on pitches, better segmentation of data, and the ability to line up new product quickly to meet market demands.

"Search engine display has always been our key thing, and we have been redistributing budgets all across our digital campaigns and shifting around more often," says Chun. As an example, when there is volatility in the market, more budget might be attributed to that topic, to capitalize on the increased number of searches around it.

Here is a screenshot of a Baidu search for FXCM in China:


Once a lead is generated, Chun's marketing team works closely with the sales department to segregate the database for better customization. Clients are targeted with different content depending on where they are at in the marketing funnel. Clients who have already gone through the account approval process for instance, will no longer receive promotional emails. Content might be around promotions, FXCM company news, or promoting a nearby event.

"It's a different level of communication we have been trying to do, and it isn't always about selling. At these different stages – you establish with your consumers what your brand is, without particularly doing branding work," says Chun.

As an online platform, FXCM's success has risen with the Internet. 

"At the end of the day, my whole recruitment process – how I interact with my client, how I recruit them and how I onboard them and finally how I get them to deposit – this whole process needs to be online," says Chun. 

*Images courtesy FXCM

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