Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Consumer sentiment on Charles & Keith rose sharply following trending TikTok of teenager calling brand ‘luxury’ 

Singapore – Following Charles & Keith’s response to the viral TikTok video of Singapore-based Filipino teenager Zoe Gabriel, it’s revealed by research firm YouGov that consumer impression and purchase consideration towards the brand sharply increased. 

In a recent trending incident, Gabriel was bashed online by several users after posting a TikTok video of her purchasing a Charles & Keith bag and sharing that it’s her ‘first luxury bag’. An additional caption read, “Thank you dad.” 

As a response, the brand invited Gabriel and her dad to its headquarters in Singapore and were given more gifts. Charles & Keith later on praised Gabriel for her ‘grace and humility’ despite the online bashing.

According to YouGov, the brand’s ‘Buzz’ score–pertaining to measurement of positive and negative sentiments of the brand in media–soared by 19.7 points: from 7.9 on January 8 to 27.6 by January 16.

Meanwhile, the brand’s ‘WOM Exposure’ score–which tracks the percentage of consumers who are talking about a brand in the past two weeks–also rose by 12.3 points – from 8.4 on January 8 to 20.7 by January 16.

In terms of consumer perception metrics, Charles & Keith’s net ‘Impression’ scores–which measure whether more consumers have a positive or negative impression of a brand–gained 13 points: from 8.2 on January 8 to 21.2 by January 16.

Lastly, the brand’s ‘Consideration’ scores–which track the percentage of Singapore residents who would consider buying from the brand when they are next in the market for a fashion product–increased by 8.3 points – from 11.5 on January 8 to 19.8 by January 16 – indicating that more consumers are interested in shopping for Charles & Keith products following the incident.

Following the incident, the trending topic also sparked quite a conversation within Singapore’s politics, with deputy prime minister Lawrence Wong using the incident as an example of questioning what is truly deemed as a ‘luxury’. 

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

What do Singaporeans think of Grab’s shortened grace waiting period?

Singapore – Superapp Grab in Singapore was under fire in recent weeks following its decision to shorten the grace waiting period. In the new decision, users will be automatically charged a waiting fee of S$3 per five-minute waiting block if they keep the driver waiting for longer than three minutes. Meanwhile, a S$4 fee applies if a passenger cancels a booking more than three minutes after accepting one.

This decision has angered some consumers, leading to Singapore’s Transport Minister S. Iswaran questioned in Parliament on the Government’s supervision over ride-hailing platforms.

This was evident with the latest data from the latest YouGov BrandIndex that shows that Grab’s Buzz, Consideration and Customer Satisfaction scores among Singapore residents who say they are very to somewhat likely to use transport providers all significantly declined shortly after its new grace waiting period came into force.

In terms of media metrics, net Buzz scores, which measure whether consumers have heard more positive or negative things about a brand in the past two weeks, fell from 17.9 on 18 July to -2.6 by 1 August, indicating that more consumers heard negative than positive things about the brand.

Meanwhile, Grab’s Consideration scores, which track the percentage of Singapore residents who would consider using the platform in the next month, lost nearly 20 points from 47.1 on 18 July to 27.3 by 1 August, while the brand’s net Customer Satisfaction scores, which measure whether Grab’s current customers are generally satisfied or unsatisfied with the brand, dropped 14 points from 27.4 on 18 July to 13.0 by 1 August.

Lastly, data from YouGov BrandIndex shows that Grab’s Buzz, Consideration, Customer Satisfaction scores all started on an upward trajectory in the days after the parliamentary statement. Notably, net Buzz scores returned to positive territory of 1.4 by 4 August. However, the platform’s net Corporate Reputation scores, which improved from 2-3 August, declined again from 3-4 August.

Main Feature Marketing Partners Southeast Asia

There is actually a definitive strategy that turns consumer insights into trailblazing marketing

Singapore – The business of marketing is nothing but a pursuit of innovation that seeks to replace ‘older’ problems with ‘better’ ones. While the internet has blessed us with an ecosystem that generates overflowing data, the ‘better’ problem now is how do we strategically and intelligently translate this marketing data at hand into solutions that are a win-win for both the brand and consumer?

In the recently concluded webinar by MARKETECH APAC and, the latter’s CEO, Julie Ng, gives a presentation to discuss the three things that boggle marketers’ minds the most in the midst of transforming marketing intel into groundbreaking marketing.

These are (1) Ensuring ROI, (2) Getting signals rather than noise, and (3) Conducting consumer research with minimal resources. At the heart of putting in place an effective ‘consumer insights system’ is this simple yet compelling framework which is called the Consumer Insights Loop.

The ‘loop’ is so straightforward that upon learning it, brands can go ahead and apply it right away in their most immediate marketing concerns.

 The Consumer Insights Loop consists of three steps: Feedback – Action – Outcome.

Julie said that the same strategy is being adopted and embraced by top Silicon Valley companies such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Uber. And what these companies have found as most effective is first, treating consumer insights as a feedback mechanism in everything they do (feedback). The second is directing that feedback to tie it to a new business action (action), and then lastly, to close the loop, measuring the outcome of the new action (outcome) and then repeating the process all over again – using the consumer insight extracted from the new action as the baseline feedback to start and develop a new business action.

As an example, Julie uses the case of a telecom whose objective is to look for a promotional campaign idea to increase roaming usage data.

As a starting ‘feedback’, the telecom found that roaming prices are currently a big hurdle to consumers, and that insight revealed that the audience, prone to sharing their experiences online, would use data 71 times more if charged at a lower rate. With this, the telco created a campaign that charged lower roaming tariffs and a messaging that played around the theme of ‘holiday spam’. When measured, the campaign had actually resulted in a 90% increase in the telecom’s social conversation volume and off-the-chart brand metrics.

In the presentation, Julie also shared insights on how to identify and acquire ‘signal’ from ‘noise’ in a trove of overflowing data. She said that in order to successfully distil a ‘signal’, you have to be intentional, targeted, and specific on the type of data you’d like to obtain. 

Furthermore, in order to confidently say that a consumer insight is indeed a signal that leads to an action and is not a noise, we need to meaningfully close at least one round of the loop. However, even if it is indeed a signal, you would need to close the loop at least twice in order to get meaningful business results. 

Learn more about what Julie has to say with regard to refining and optimising your consumer insights strategy through the on-demand webinar. 

The webinar, with the theme Consumer Insights Power-Up 2022, gathered marketing leaders in SEA to discuss how brands are building and implementing their best practices in consumer insights. The industry discussion saw Jia Nina, the Country Marketing Head of BigPay, and Tanushri Rastogi, the marketing lead of Popeyes for APAC gracing the panel, while Neeraj Gulati, partner at Accenture Song, joining the discussion for a fireside conversation. 

Register HERE to get your on-demand access.

Main Feature Marketing Partners Southeast Asia

SEA marketing leaders gather to discuss mobilising consumer insights into groundbreaking marketing

Singapore – MARKETECH APAC, in partnership with, recently gathered marketing leaders in the region to shed light on how brands can refine and fortify their brand and consumer insights strategy.

On July 27, brand and agency heads from Accenture Song, BigPay, Popeyes, and shared a space in the webinar ‘Consumer Insights Power-Up 2022’ to discuss how they are best leveraging consumer insights to deliver marketing and advertising that cuts across consumers. 

In the keynote presentation, CEO of, Julie Ng, revealed the ‘magic formula’ that materialises consumer insights into smart business actions. She also shared how to identify ‘signal’ from ‘noise’ in a goldmine of data that is available today, as well as the key ways to effectively gather these ‘signals’. 

Moderated by MARKETECH APAC’s Regional Editor Shaina Teope, the Country Marketing Head of BigPay, Jia Nina, and the Marketing Lead of Popeyes for APAC, Tanushri Rastogi, delved into a panel discussion in which each shared how their brands are uniquely building up and implementing their brand insights structure. In this panel, audience learnt how brands from fintech and F&B breathe life into marketing intel and realising it into campaigns that not only persuade consumers into action but also into products that elevate consumer experience.

To cap off the fruitful discussion, the webinar saw a fireside chat between’s Julie Ng and Neeraj Gulati, partner at Accenture Song. The two talked about how to develop an insight-driven marketing campaign, and how targeted and strategic consumer insights, in the end, help to ensure ROI. 

The webinar drew 153 marketing professionals out of 424 registrations. The attendees came from a variety of industries, including consumer products, telecommunications, tech, retail, banking, transportation, and consulting, and most hailed from the markets of Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore. Those who took part were from companies Astro, Beiersdorf, Boost Holdings, Globe Telecom, Heineken, J&J, L’Oréal, PETRONAS, Porsche Singapore, redONE Network, Rustan Commercial Corporation, Smartfren, Smartone, U Mobile and many more.

Shaina Teope, regional editor of MARKETECH APAC and also moderator of the panel, commented, “Marketers are in a continuous challenge of transforming an intangible but crucial asset as marketing data and shaping that up into something that would be deemed beneficial for consumers and revenue-generating for brands. This industry discussion is important because expert minds from the brand and agency side are given the platform to share tried-and-tested methods in doing just that so that brands need not start from the ground up.” 

Julie Ng, CEO of, remarked, “Many marketers know that consumer insights are important to drive growth, but not many know where to begin and how to elicit tangible and relevant results from consumer research with minimal resources. I hope my presentation not only answered these questions, but also inspired a growth and agile mindset: build a consumer insights system, not a consumer insights project because a system is something we will keep using, iterating, repeating and improving for our competitive advantage.”

Meanwhile, on the partnership with MARKETECH APAC, Ng commented, “Honestly, this is the first stress-free webinar I have partnered up with. I could focus entirely on preparing my presentation without worrying about everything else – project management, advertising and promotion, ensuring quality webinar attendance, and most importantly, transparent communication – because I trusted MARKETECH APAC would deliver. And deliver they did.” 

On-demand access to the webinar is now available. Get your access HERE.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

APAC consumers expect orgs to demonstrate higher ethical standards in terms of personal data collection: report

Singapore — According to a new report, on average, 66% of consumers reported expecting to be able to decline to share any personal data without compromising on the level of service received as brands will face increasing challenges in incentivising consumers to part with their personal data. The scope of the report spanned 14 Asia Pacific countries with over 20,000 respondents between the ages of 16 and 64 and aimed to showcase how consumers feel and respond to brands accessing their data. The report was conducted and shared by Dentsu Data Consciousness Project.

Another report finding was that 64% of the respondents are happy to share their health data for medical research and 58% are willing to have their carbon footprint tracked to help the fight against climate change.

Meanwhile, 72% feel that organisations will need to demonstrate higher standards of ethical behaviour as far as personal data is concerned. Additionally, 74% believe that the government needs to play a bigger role in regulating the use of personal data by companies.

The study also showed that people are likely to continue to be willing to share their data, including sensitive personal data, in situations where there are specific benefits to be gained or where there would be a positive societal impact.

For Gen X and Gen Y, discounts on food in exchange for food delivery history and travel offers in exchange for travel history were among the most valued benefits, while outcomes that advanced peoples’ personal sense of purpose were also consistently favoured. 64% are happy to share their health data for medical research and 58% are willing to have their carbon footprint tracked to help the fight against climate change.

Christine McKinnon, head of business intelligence of dentsu Solutions, shared, “Brands need to address 5 key variables: the purpose which the collected data will be used for, the benefit to the consumer in exchange for sharing that data, the consumer’s level of trust in the brand, how much control the consumer has in determining whether and what to share, and the perceived sensitivity of the data.”

The study also explored countries’ ‘data cultures’. It mapped markets according to their relative openness towards technology, and their attitudinal bias between ‘dataism’ and ‘humanism’. Dataism posits that only by being data-led can we advance further and faster. Humanism rests on the belief that we should never let technology lead in an unfettered manner. As an overall trend, a skew towards dataism went hand in hand with greater openness to technological change.

Regardless of nationality, concerns around the opacity of how brands use their data and potential misuse of personal data were significant across the board. 62% of respondents do not know how their personal data is being used. 72% feel that organisations will need to demonstrate higher standards of ethical behaviour as far as personal data is concerned. 74% believe that the government needs to play a bigger role in regulating the use of personal data by companies.

Conducted in Q4 2021, this is among the most contextualised survey done on attitudes toward data privacy in the region. Findings have direct relevance to multiple industry verticals as respondents were asked about their willingness to share their data in highly specific ”micro-contexts”.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Carousell Media Group, IAB SEA+India partner to unveil report on Asian consumers’ purchasing attitudes

Singapore – Carousell Media Group (CMG) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau Southeast Asia and India (IAB SEA+India) have released a new report showing a digital disruption spurred on by the migration of users from offline to online with the new stay-at-home paradigm.

The IAB SEA+India surveyed more than 61,500 respondents who use CMG recommerce platforms in Singapore (, Hong Kong (, Vietnam (, Malaysia ( and the Philippines (

This year’s regional research establishes the audience profile in each market, explores income, investing and spending habits, how respondents spend time online, streaming services to which they subscribe, their food and grocery shopping habits including use of meal delivery platforms, future purchasing plans, what influences their spending, and how and why they are shopping sustainably.

Regional CEO of IAB SEA+India, Miranda Dimopoulos, says there has been a seismic shift to online led by the Southeast Asia and Hong Kong regions, and on a scale never before seen.

“We’re seeing everything from mundane daily tasks to health and self development being enabled from your mobile device. We also see that CMG’s hyper-engaged audiences are prioritising sustainable shopping to protect the planet,” said Dimopoulos.

JJ Eastwood, managing director, Carousell Media Group, said, “It is also gratifying to see that our Carousell Group marketplaces are now synonymous with sustainability and social ethics, and we have seen a quantum increase in usage of our recommerce marketing platforms over the past two years.”

Eastwood further mentioned that this year’s survey builds upon research from last year, in partnership again with the IAB SEA+India, into Millennials and Sustainable Purchasing. “This year we drilled deeper into respondents’ financial habits which reveals that the largest spending category, both current and future, is local and international travel,” added Eastwood.

Commenting on the regional findings, Eastwood said, “We see a significant swing towards shopping sustainably to mitigate climate change and protect the environment, rather than purely to save money.” According to Eastwood, consumers are prepared to pay more for sustainably sourced or produced food and products.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

SEA consumers willing to pay more for sustainability, but affordability still most important: report

Singapore – Consumer data and analytics company Milieu Insight released the findings of its ‘Sustainable Beauty’ study, which aimed to find out their opinions of sustainability claims, and how receptive beauty product shoppers in Southeast Asia are towards sustainable beauty products in light of World Environment Day coming up on 5 June. 

The survey aims to find out opinions of sustainability claims, and how receptive beauty product shoppers in Southeast Asia are towards sustainable beauty products as the market of environmentally-conscious shoppers grow within the region.

New beauty brands have emerged in recent years to cater to a growing market of consumers – environmentally-conscious shoppers who are looking for beauty products that are good for them, and good for the Earth. Even large industry players are hopping onto the bandwagon, introducing sustainable products or product packaging and aggressively marketing them to be so.

The survey has shown that the majority of Southeast Asians are receptive towards sustainable beauty products, Singaporeans least so. Through a series of questions that asked Southeast Asian consumers about the likelihood of choosing a more sustainable option, they are generally receptive towards them with 93 per cent of respondents being very/somewhat likely to choose a chemical and toxic-free beauty product over one that is not. 

Meanwhile, 87 per cent are very/somewhat likely to choose products with 100 per cent recyclable packaging. Moreover, 84 per cent of the consumers are very/somewhat likely to choose cruelty-free products, especially Filipino consumers with 90 per cent votes on the category. 

The report also noted that 83 per cent are very/somewhat likely to swap to a refillable option if it’s available, while 73 percent are very/somewhat likely to try a water-less beauty product (eg. shampoo bar, bar soaps), versus conventional bottled products (eg. liquid shampoo and soap) 

Consumers are willing to pay more for sustainability, but affordability remains the most important. Affordability emerged as the top consideration in purchasing beauty products with 78 per cent., while 81 per cent of the consumers said that while they are willing to pay more for sustainable/ clean/ ethical beauty products, prices still have to stay within the comfortable range for consumers.

The report also found that consumers don’t blindly trust sustainability claims. About 67 per cent of respondents indicated that they ‘research more about the claims on my beauty products’ packaging to know if it’s really sustainable/ clean/ ethical’, especially consumers from the Philippines with 83 per cent and Malaysia with 72 per cent. 

Most agree that there should be more regulations to ensure that beauty products’ claims about being sustainable/ clean/ ethical are well-substantiated with evidence.” (88 per cent agreed that companies themselves also have to be transparent and clear in their communication of their products’ sustainability, well-substantiated with evidence. In addition, 86 per cent of the respondents agreed that ‘More should be done by companies to communicate to customers how their beauty products are sustainable/ clean/ ethical.’

Marketing Featured South Asia

Industry conference reveals India’s video market has grown 37% in the past year

India – The Indian video market grew 37% in the past year and stood now at U$S3.8 billion, according to the Future of Video India virtual conference organised by Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) in April 2022. 

Mihir Shah, VP of Media Partners Asia in India, one of the keynote speakers, opened the conference with an outlook on India’s video market, which showed a sharp rebound in the TV advertising market, after a depressed 2020. According to Shah, with a total video market worth US$12 billion and growing at 9% CAGR in the next 5 years to US$20 billion, the AVOD market was also predicted to remain buoyant and triple in the next five years, with SVOD tripling as well. 

Manoj Gurnani, CTO & head of strategy for India, Nokia, also one of the keynote speakers at the conference, shared that a new generation of technology was going to bring more capabilities and more efficiencies. With 5G bringing on fixed wireless capabilities, it was going to be a great enabler, which would lead to the enhancement of the quality of experience. 

Avinash Kaul, CEO, Network18, managing director, A+E Networks TV18 summed up the optimism for the industry in his closing keynote and said, “The future of video has always been bright and will continue to shine brighter and brighter.” With the online video ecosystem having opened up, funding and content had also poured in, with money coming into the ecosystem from all sources.”

Kaul added that having opened up the online video ecosystem, funding and content had also poured in. With greater investment in technology and data, content was also getting shaped because of analytics and there was also a new future for data driven companies to tap into funding.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Indonesians willing to switch to higher-priced eco-labelled products

Jakarta, Indonesia – The large majority of consumers are willing to pay a higher price for eco-labelled products, even if they are 50% higher than their old brand choices, according to data from market research company YouGov.

With the exception of gaming-related products, Indonesian consumers are willing to accept more than 80% higher prices for eco-labelled food items such as milk, rice, coffee, and tea, compared to other product categories. In contrast, at least one-fifth of consumers who would pay more for eco-labelled fashion and personal care products such as cosmetics and skincare, as well as clothing items, bath soap, oral care, footwear are only willing to accept higher prices of 10% or less.

When asked about food related items, around one-third of consumers are open to switching the brand of rice (34% of respondents), coffee/tea (33% of respondents) and milk (33% of respondents) they currently purchase in order to buy an eco-labelled one. While slightly more are willing to pay more for eco-labelled rice (35% of respondents), slightly less would be for coffee/tea (30% of respondents) and milk (30% of respondents).

Meanwhile, when asked about household appliances and furniture products, more than one-quarter are open to switching their current brand of home furniture (29%) in order to buy an eco-labelled one, while just under a quarter (24%) are willing to pay more.

Lastly, one-quarter of consumers (25%) are open to switching the brands of smartphones they currently purchase to buy an eco-labelled one, while slightly more (27%) are willing to pay a higher price for greener smartphones. But less than one in seven consumers would consider switching brands and paying more for eco-labelled cars (14%) and gaming consoles (5% to 6%).

Platforms Featured East Asia

Study finds majority of int’l buyers turned to virtual fairs for sourcing needs amid pandemic

Hong Kong – A vast majority of international buyers in the ASEAN market – 93% – have used online sourcing platforms since the pandemic began, with more than 85% attending virtual fairs to meet their sourcing needs, according to a study conducted by Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), a statutory body. Despite this, the study noted that 63% of most buyers surveyed said they would prefer to source via physical fairs or hybrid fairs which consists of 59% of buyers once travel restrictions are lifted.

For those that prefer sourcing online, the study found the top reasons to be 70% preference for searching for new suppliers and making enquiries (70%), wanting to compare products and prices (66%), and opting to identify the latest product trends (57%).

“In the wake of the pandemic, many industries are committed to organising virtual fairs to strengthen the connection between international buyers and suppliers. These events have been well received by the industry, with the survey showing that more than 85% of buyers surveyed had participated in virtual fairs in 2021,” commented HKTDC Director of Research Irina Fan. 

The survey also showed that buyers who prefer hybrid fairs were more likely to register a higher average spend per order (in the range of US$50,000-$100,000+) compared with counterparts who prefer physical or virtual fairs. This suggests that hybrid fairs could be well-positioned to facilitate more lucrative business opportunities.

Fan said,”The survey reflects that more buyers have been choosing to purchase online due to the pandemic. However, this makes it difficult to perform tasks such as product examination and evaluation as well as supplier authentication. We believe that physical fairs and hybrid fairs are the future, with the two complementing each other.”