Manila, Philippines — Cebu Pacific Air, one of the Philippines’ leading airlines, operated a mobile game-themed flight to introduce Tencent Games’ PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) MOBILE’s newest IP, Phoenix Adarna. An airport and in-flight experience featuring Adarna-inspired costumes, trivia games, and merchandise giveaways made the flight the first of its kind in Southeast Asian aviation history.
PUBG MOBILE players will embark on a series of heroic missions inspired by the Philippine mythological bird Adarna, the fabled creature that heals all ailments. Players must complete missions within a time limit to unlock rewards or purchase in-game currency to become invincible like Adarna, and dress in eye-catching items such as Agent Phoenix Set backpacks, a frame, parachute and even acquire a buggy. Phoenix Adarna-themed items will be available for PUBG MOBILE for keen gamers only until June 30. The flight replicates the adventure a hero undergoes in search of this famed fowl.
Gaming video creators Rojean Delos Reyes and Dexie Diaz represented PUBG MOBILE and Cebu Pacific as official campaign ambassadors. Both known in their gaming circles as adventurous and passionate, the ladies embody the fiery spirit of the Phoenix Adarna.
Candice Iyog, CEB VP for marketing and customer experience, said, “We are excited to create this one-of-a-kind experience for our passengers, and the PUBG MOBILE gaming community. As a proudly Filipino carrier, we continue to look for fun ways to promote Philippine culture and tourism. We anticipated this to be the first of several collaborations with industry partners such as Tencent Games.”
Meanwhile, Benj Dalmacio, senior business development manager for PUBG MOBILE Philippines, echoes this excitement for this first-of-its-kind collaboration in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, “In PUBG MOBILE, we continue to make the game relevant to our target audience: young adults. The Ibong Adarna, our country’s very own phoenix, symbolizes hope and rebirth and holds a significant place in Philippine literature.”
Dalmacio adds, “We are proud for our platform to become a place of appreciation and learning of Filipino culture as well as helping in promoting the Philippine tourism industry. We are honoured to partner with the country’s leading airline as they recognize the growing gaming community and live up to their fun brand.”
PUBG MOBILE will blast a special seat sale exclusively communicated to the Filipino gaming community and raffle free domestic and international round-trip flights, courtesy of Cebu Pacific, in various community events throughout June.
Aside from Cebu, tourist destination favourite Boracay will be the venue of offline events, with the appearance of a pop-up gaming truck for a battle royale game with top PUBG MOBILE players and meet-and-greets. The island will also become the nesting place of Phoenix Adarna, with tourists spotting from afar tour boats, parasails, giant sandcastles, beach flags, kayaks, and gliders bearing the theme.
We know that the consumer is ever-changing but the fluidity of their behavior has taken an entirely different meaning this pandemic – with unprecedented changes that unfolded such as the constraint on physical interactions and the economic plunge of markets, this completely overhauled how brands and businesses engaged with their target consumers.
Last September 21, MARKETECH APAC, in partnership with CleverTap, gathered marketing leaders from all over the APAC region representing different industries, for the roundtable “Business Growth Levers from Acquisition to Retention” to discuss how the pandemic has shaken brands’ current playbook on consumer acquisition and retention strategies.
Growth and marketing heads from the edtech, grocery, TV, airline, fitness, fintech, fast food, and publication sectors each shared their unique challenges and how their teams adapted to emerging brand new cohorts, shifting priorities among consumers, with new desires and motivations at the front.
The rise of new consumer segments amid the pandemic
The areas of educational platform, publication, and fitness witnessed the arrival of new consumer personas borne out of the heightened digital lifestyle.
Marisha Lakhiani, CMO of Mindvalley, a learning platform for self-help and entrepreneurship, shared that during the period, the platform suddenly attracted younger users, a group it didn’t predominantly draw in before.
Meanwhile, for global fitness brand Les Mills International, it found that its main fitness consumer now favors a split between in-gym and home digital workouts.
“The consumer’s new normal is 60:40 in terms of live and digital fitness; so if they’re doing 5 workouts in a week, 3 of them they want to do it in a club, in a live environment, and 2 they want to do as a digital workout,” shared Anna Henwood, CMO of Les Mills International.
As for publications, Philippines’ Summit Media saw these changes most evidently on how consumers shifted their patterns in finding and consuming content. Specifically for its parenting brand, Smart Parenting, Facebook used to be its biggest acquisition channel, but over the current period, the channel has not been giving the volatility that’s expected, according to its Growth Lead Iza Santos-Cuyos.
During the roundtable, David Lim, the vice president for marketing of grocery platform HappyFresh, pointed out that whatever strategies that may have served marketing teams pre-pandemic can now be officially considered bygones.
“As a marketer, whatever we have learned in textbooks, on websites, [and] on webinars can be forgotten in the past 18 months…because if you just look at acquisition, everything has changed,” said Lim.
Lim adds, “I think when it comes to the topic of acquisition, everything has to be extremely localized. We have to look at each market on its own, we have to look at each cohort on its own, and then link it back to how they retain, how they come back month after month in a very granular [manner], much more granular than before.”
For acquiring consumers, improving SEO and search strategies have been the common thread, while forging strategic partnerships showed itself to be the redeeming factor among marketing teams to both acquire and retain consumers in the current market climate. At the roundtable, marketing leaders also emphasized the importance of first-party data.
For Mindvalley and Summit Media, it has been the same go-to response – focusing and investing more in search and SEO.
“We identified the customers that we are actually retaining and try to acquire them, so like micro-acquiring a particular audience,” said Mindvalley’s Marisha Lakhiani.
Summit Media’s Iza Santos-Cuyos shared that as they bolster their search strategies, the publication realized that it is in fact attracting a different set of cohorts on search versus those coming from Facebook, bringing them to conclude that they cannot now discount Facebook altogether while focusing on search.
“What we learned from doing that is to devise a separate strategy for audiences acquired on Facebook versus those acquired on search,” said Santos-Cuyos.
Brands forming strategic partnerships to cushion drastic market changes
The fast-food industry took one of the biggest hits during the pandemic, with the phased-out in-person interactions blowing the footfall for dine-in.
In the roundtable, KFC Malaysia’s CMO May Ling Chan shared that partnering with food delivery platforms acted as a safety net, where within the e-commerce scene, the QSR sector has not been the fastest in adoption.
“I think what happened during the pandemic was [the] growth of food aggregators. For us, I think that’s the biggest part of acquisition that we see,” said Chan.
Online food delivery has seen an unprecedented rise in adoption by both brands and consumers. According to a report by Statista, in Asia, revenue in the online food delivery segment has been projected to reach US$223,372m this year.
Singapore’s supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice echoes the same gameplan, where its convenience store Cheers inked a tie-up with top delivery platforms GrabFood and foodpanda in order to answer to the surge in need for on-demand and fast delivery of food products.
Vivek Kumar, NTUC FairPrice Group’s director for strategic marketing & omnichannel monetization, cited ‘Supper moments’ which Cheers aimed to create through the partnership, where consumers can not only see product offerings in a snap but to “go ahead” and complete their transaction in real-time.
“Supper moments on food delivery platforms is quite a unique opportunity. [When] restaurants are closed and you [still] want your beer and your nachos and your croissants, and stuff like that, this is the place to go to.” Kumar said.
He adds, “We can’t wait for the customers to come to us. We can create the right occasion [as long as] we understand the customer’s needs. We must give them very friction-free shopping experiences where they can complete their mission – you can’t leave it midway.”
The fast-changing consumer patterns pressing the importance of first-party data
Global cross-border payments platform OFX was also one of the brands that participated in the roundtable and its Global Head of Digital Acquisition Shad Haehae shared that as the pandemic pushed the stronger need for brands to know their customers a lot more, this made the platform re-evaluate the quality of data it obtains.
“We’re a money business, and people send money for particular reasons, so those reasons have changed,” said Haehae.
OFX previously relied on third-party data for insights, but Haehae shares that as a business, OFX figured that it needed to be smarter on this front.
“We adopted new partnerships, new types of technologies [not just] from [a] martech [and] adtech perspective, even from a data perspective. We’ve done a lot of consolidation on platforms and data.”
The same is the case for TV and radio operator giant, Astro, in Malaysia.
“So it’s a balance between providing value to the customers to [keep] them from churning [and] aggregating our first-party data with social data, and with data that we have in the network to go after customers a lot more aggressively than we have in the past,” said Norsiah Juriani Johari, Astro’s vice president of marketing.
For Les Mills International, they eventually leveraged first-party data which it successfully included in its marketing strategy because of the direct-to-consumer journey it now has via its own fitness app. Predominantly, its consumer was a gym member which Henwood admits the brand had no prior visible data of as well as on how its products looked like.
With digital fitness now ingrained in people’s exercise routines, Henwood shared that content has become its differentiator, which is what makes “people stay.”
“So how we film our content [in] the lockdown, how we do that more and more so it’s really engaging with the customer, and how we [connect with] different personalities through [our] content – that’s been a big part of our retention strategy,” Henwood shares.
For Cebu Pacific Air, meanwhile, one of the Philippines’ leading airlines, answering to pandemic-induced shifts meant working inward and letting the team adapt to new ways of implementing marketing strategies.
Alongside relying on new consumer segments during this period, Michelle De Guzman, the airline’s marketing director, said, “Even the ways of working that we have as a marketing team, it has changed as well when it comes to user acquisition and retention.”
She shares, “We have also developed agile marketing sprints – and that was not something that was done before, but [has become] very important on what we do now.”
Consumer acquisition & retention in 2022 and beyond
While overcoming each of the hurdles in their industries, marketing leaders agree that staying on top of the game is all about being continuously aligned to the shifts – from the minute to the massive transitions – in consumer and market behavior.
HappyFresh’s David Lim believes that we cannot apply the same methods of acquisition anymore, and in 2022, one of the beliefs and assumptions that their team has is things would not be the same as pre-covid.
“Every country has [its] own announcement, every country has [its] own waves of covid with different government announcements. I think when it comes to the topic of acquisition, everything has to be extremely localized,” said Lim.
Building trust among consumers also remains a vital factor in the consumer engagement journey, says Katherine Cheung, CMO of edtech Snapask.
“One key factor that we have in Snapask on user retention and how to retain customers to our platform is of course by building trust. We have to bear in mind that since the pandemic, people have so much more free time, as most of the regions are still experiencing lockdown and they are not allowed to go out from time to time. We have to bear in mind that users have so much more time to invest in your product,” Cheung said.
FairPrice’s Vivek Kumar’s advice to leaders, “As a marketing leader, we need to create that vision and then keep people involved in the journey, so that becomes their objective and their mission and not just [acting according to] marketing teams’ wishlist – the moment that silo happens, we have lost the battle.”
Philippines – One of the largest airlines in the Philippines, Cebu Pacific, has recently announced the migration of its loyalty program ‘GetGo’ to ‘Go Rewards’.
‘Go Rewards’ is a lifestyle and rewards program of the Gokongwei group that provides its members more ways to enjoy deals and benefits from Cebu Pacific’s many partner brands.
Through the migration, the ‘GetGo’ points earned before 1 January 2020 will be converted into Cebu Pacific Travel Fund. Members will be able to use this virtual wallet to purchase new flights, add-ons, and taxes, as well as fees on the airline’s website.
Meanwhile, the points earned from 1 January 2020 onwards are converted into ‘Go Rewards’ points. One point is equivalent to ₱1 and can be redeemed in over 2,000 retail stores.
Furthermore, under the ‘Go Rewards’, members from the Philippines can earn and redeem points from purchases in Gokongwei-owned stores such as the Robinsons Department Store, Robinsons Supermarket, and The Marketplace, as well as Shopwise, and Southstar Drug, among others. Members can also enjoy exclusive deals and coupons that they can discover via the ‘Go Rewards’ app.
“We are excited to be part of this new and improved loyalty program where we are now able to offer more rewards and options for our customers,” said Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific’s vice president for marketing and customer experience.
Cebu Pacific said that the members with ‘GetGo’ loyalty cards may exchange them for the new ‘Go Rewards Classic’ card by simply presenting the old ‘GetGo’ card in any Robinsons Retail store, and activating the card through the ‘Go Rewards’ app to easily view the points. In addition, the ‘GetGo’ members with existing ‘Go Rewards’ membership can conveniently merge both accounts through the ‘Go Rewards’ app.
Meanwhile, the ‘GetGo’ members who are new to ‘Go Rewards’ can merge their ‘GetGo’ membership by downloading the ‘Go Rewards’ app, selecting ‘Register’, and then linking their ‘GetGo’ account. After doing so, the ‘GetGo’ number will be deactivated, and the new ‘Go Rewards’ number will be the membership account moving forward.
Manila, Philippines – Cebu Pacific, one of the largest airlines in the Philippines, has announced that it will now be discontinuing its CEB PH call center, starting 1 May 2021, to make way for a more contactless and self-service customer experience.
According to the airline, the move to drop the hotlines is in line with its mission to speed up its digital transformation and to further accelerate the improvement of its overall customer experience.
Cebu Pacific has taken great strides in its customer service in the past recent years in specific touchpoints such as online booking, check-ins, booking management, and Charlie the chatbot.
In 2017, it was among the first airlines in Asia to invest in an integrated facility and technology for social intelligence and customer engagement. Then the year after, Cebu Pacific introduced its very own Charlie the chatbot which enabled passengers to receive real-time answers to common queries and transactions, and since then, Charlie has been continuously improved and is now able to respond to more queries, without the passengers having to talk to an agent.
The airline shared that by the first quarter of 2021, it has noted a total of 87% of passengers maximizing the Cebu Pacific website to directly book flights.
Candice Iyog, the vice president for marketing and customer experience of Cebu Pacific, said that the company is glad to have started its digital transformation journey even before the pandemic, as they have come to rely on it in the new normal environment.
“We continue to prioritize the safety and convenience of our passengers, that is why we have accelerated our digital efforts to support contactless and self-service processes. Rest assured Charlie, along with our Customer Care team, are online 24/7 to assist everyJuan. We continue to enhance existing processes as we remain committed to empowering customers and ensuring access to the information they need anytime, anywhere, without having to call the hotline or go to a ticketing office,” said Iyog.
Philippines – CellPoint Digital, a leading provider of digital commerce and payment solutions to airlines and travel companies, has partnered with Cebu Pacific, one of the largest airlines in the Philippines to implement a cutting-edge Payment Orchestration Platform across all its digital channels.
CellPoint Digital’s payment orchestration platform, Velocity, will enable Cebu Pacific to simplify the payment experience of its repeat customers by deploying stored cards in all its digital channels with a single sign-on.
Velocity is a PSP and acquirer agnostic and will enable the airline to build and orchestrate a bespoke network of acquiring banks. The intelligent routing module will dynamically optimize the routing of each transaction via this network, thereby maximizing the acceptance rate and lowering transaction costs.
Cebu Pacific will also have the ability to fast track the launch of new payment methods in new markets, by picking and rapidly activating new ones from CellPoint’s growing payment ecosystem, including over 40 local and global cards and over 350 alternative payment methods.
Based on CellPoint’s experience, stored cards will generate a double-digit uplift on the conversion rate and a payment acceptance rate exceeding the airline industry average. Customer satisfaction and the conversion is also expected to be boosted by pay-by-link messages that re-engage customers who leave at check-out. A multi-currency pricing feature offers international travelers the option to pay in their preferred currency.
“Our customers remain at the heart of our business – as such, we are constantly improving their customer journey with us. As we continue transforming processes towards a frictionless experience, implementing effective and secure online payment portals is critical. With this new development, we look forward to providing our passengers an omnichannel experience and the ease of one-click payments, along with localized options in all markets,” said Candice Iyog, vice-president for marketing and customer experience at Cebu Pacific.
Meanwhile, Kristian Gjerding, CEO of CellPoint Digital said, “We are delighted to partner with one of the most successful airlines in the Asia Pacific and support their impressive expansion and commitment to the best digital customer experience. Our independent payment platform will give Cebu the agility and control they need to optimize further their payment strategy and drastically simplify their customer payment experience,” Gjerding added.
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