David Ketchum - How a communications guy built a digital business in Asia

David Ketchum is an American in Asia for the long haul.  He came before Great Britain’s “hand over” of its colonial control of Hong Kong to China and, except for vacations in Maine, is committed to life in Asia. In this podcast he traces the trajectory of his experience, starting with multi-national companies who came into China with the promise of providing investment dollars and technology transfer and job creation in exchange for access to China as a market.  The narrative has changed with the fortunes of China, and David’s been there in the thick of it. His latest business is riding the hockey stick growth of digital with customers who seek help mapping their customers’ journey, a skill set David has built over his years of experience in Asia.  He describes his efforts as a Western entrepreneur working out of Hong Kong and how Hong Kong is morphing into a place that will soon be considerably different in many ways from what it looks and feels like today.   

We talk about all this and more, including what the Zhuhai bridge connecting Hong Kong to Macau and Zhuhai symbolizes for Mainland China from a social and cultural point of view and why the sheer size of commerce between the West and Asia makes it so important for us to keep the lines of communication open. 

David Ketchum Biography

David leads Current Asia, a business solutions company that deploys marketing technologies and campaigns to maximize the value of companies’ data and content.

As Chairman of the Digital + Direct Marketing Association Asia [D+D] he drives industry thought leadership and directs promotion and networking activities.

Previously, he was President of Bite Asia Pacific, after the firm Upstream Asia he founded was acquired.

He also served as SVP, Marketing and Communications for Calvin Klein Asia, and held senior positions with Burson-Marsteller and Hill and Knowlton internationally.

He’s also the author of BIG M, little m Marketing: New Strategies for a New Asia.