Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

SEA marketers to increase retail media spend within 12 months: report

Hong Kong – Almost all of marketers in Southeast Asia have said that they will be increasing retail media spending within the next 12 months, a new report released by Carousell Media Group and IAB SEA+India reveals.

In the report, around 87% of the respondents intend including retail media as part of their media plans within the next 12 months. Moreover, it is also worth noting that retail media advertising accounts for 1 in 5 advertising dollars spent.

It also noted that around 78% of the marketer respondents will use retail media data for off-platform targeting on new formats such as Connected TV (CTV), while 44% will advertise on a brand-suitable retail media network that does not carry their products.

Miranda Dimopoulos, regional CEO at IAB SEA+India, explained that around 44% of respondents say they will advertise on a retail media network even if they do not have any products listed on that marketplace. 

“For marketers, investing ad spend in a retail media network compatible with their own brand values, and those of their customers, is a major consideration,” she said.

Meanwhile, JJ Eastwood, managing director at Carousell Media Group, commented, “Retail Media allows brands to showcase their products to consumers who have specifically searched for that item, or something similar, providing a seamless consumer experience and, of course, a solid return on ad spend.”

He added, “The fact that 78% of respondents want to use retail media data for off-platform targeting, specifically on exciting new formats like CTV, indicates that Retail Media is moving up the funnel and can provide marketers with both direct response and branding opportunities.”

Eastwood will further be discussing the future of retail media at the upcoming What’s NEXT 2023: Marketing in Asia-Pacific conference. The panel, titled Digital Advertising’s Third Big Wave – The Rise Of Retail Media, will further explore how brands can tap retail media and leverage it to their advantage.

Carousell and IAB SEA+India had previously worked together in a report, where they tackled trends in the region regarding consumer purchasing attitudes.

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

SG consumer online spend on grocery, personal care items expected to rise this holiday season

Singapore – While Singaporean consumers are likely to be more pragmatic and price-conscious this holiday season in light of current global conditions, online spend on essential and personal care items like groceries and apparel this holiday season will still increase. This was according to the latest survey from Amazon Singapore, in collaboration with YouGov.

According to the survey, three in four Singaporeans make at least one online purchase a month, with pricing and sales discounts (50%) emerging as the top consideration factor among online shoppers looking to purchase items this holiday season, followed by product quality (15%) and trustworthiness of a website (11%).

The survey also found that more than half of online shoppers are likely to be more conservative with their spending this holiday season in light of current global economic conditions, with 57% of shoppers saying they will spend less or wait until there is more stability before making large purchases. This highlights the need for retailers to look at helping to mitigate consumers’ fear of inflation and offer budget-friendly options for customers.

On the other hand, almost three in 10 (27%) are optimistic that there will be no impact on their spending this holiday season. Online shoppers also say that the top categories they plan to spend more on during this period are apparel and accessories (38%), groceries (35%), and health and personal care (31%).

Around 53% also said they are keen to see more items from local brands on e-commerce stores, however 78% said that they will only shop from local brands if there are good deals and promotions. Meanwhile, 66% of online shoppers surveyed said that they will buy from brands that offer the lowest prices.

Lastly, while 68% of shoppers say they plan to purchase items online for themselves during the holiday, the survey found that around 37% of shoppers aged 25-34 years also plan to purchase items for their parents or partner’s parents, while around 48% of shoppers aged 35-54 years plan to purchase items for their children. This indicates that there is an opportunity for retailers with a target audience aged 25 and above to appeal to online shoppers looking to purchase items or gifts for their family and children.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Singaporeans most pragmatic when it comes to shopping sustainably, Carousell Group’s Recommerce Index reveals

Singapore – In celebration of its 10th anniversary, leading multi-category platform for secondhand in Greater Southeast Asia Carousell Group released the Carousell Recommerce Index (10th Anniversary Edition) revealing the sustainability impact its collective community has made by buying and selling secondhand items. 

Over the past decade, the Group’s users have extended the life cycle of millions of items, including: 76.8 million fashion items; 33.9 million electronics; 26.6 million hobby items and toys; 11.1 million home items and furniture; and 10.6 million babies & kids items. 

To further illustrate the impact, if we take the total number of used fashion listings on Carousell, we can provide every single person in Singapore with 13 outfits. Additionally, assuming all used electronics listed are iPhone Xs, the height when stacked together is the equivalent of over 23,500 times the height of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

The Recommerce Index also showed a study conducted by IAB and Carousell Media Group that Singaporeans topped the chart with 44% choosing “saving money” as their key motivations for buying secondhand.

The report also highlighted key trends in each market, specifically for Singapore:

  • Top 3 most popular categories to sell secondhand items are Fashion, Hobbies & Toys, Home & Furniture
  • Top 3 most popular secondhand category to browse are Fashion, Hobbies & Toys, Home & Furniture
  • All-time top 3 most searched keywords for secondhand items: Rolex, AG06 (Yahama Channel Mixer) and Road Bike

Recommerce refers to the selling and buying of previously-owned products, including both new and used in condition. The report covers data from 9 of Carousell Group’s family of brands across Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan markets — Carousell, Cho Tot, Laku6,, OneKyat, One Shift, Ox Luxe, Ox Street, and Refash.

Since its inception in 2012 as a mobile-first app to make selling and buying underutilised items easier, Carousell has grown from a C2C classifieds marketplace into a multi-category platform for secondhand goods in Greater Southeast Asia. To accelerate the next decade of recommerce, the Group has been working on additional capabilities to offer more features and services to users that make buying secondhand items as trusted and convenient as buying brand new items.

Ng Chee Soon, managing director at Carousell Singapore, said, “Carousell was founded a decade ago with the mission of making secondhand the first choice. The Recommerce Index serves as a crucial guide to help us better understand the motivations behind our consumers’ behaviour, especially amidst the post-Covid economic uncertainty. With 1 in 3 Singaporeans using Carousell monthly, secondhand is even more accessible to everyone and we are excited to fuel the shift and for Carousell to drive recommerce growth in the Greater Southeast Asia region.” 

The Carousell Recommerce Index (10th anniversary edition) is available for download here.

Marketing Featured APAC

Majority of APAC C-suite leaders under pressure to prove short-term ROI on marketing campaigns

Singapore – Around 74% of C-suite executives in the Asia-Pacific region are under pressure to prove greater short-term return of investment (ROI) on their marketing campaigns amidst times of uncertainty, according to data from social media platform LinkedIn.

According to the data, almost 98% of B2B marketing leaders in APAC said that improving the chief financial officer’s awareness and understanding of B2B marketing ROI will be vital for strengthening future marketing budgets.

The data also finds that 40% of businesses in APAC are financially preparing for tough times ahead, which is putting heightened pressure on marketers to prove business impact. 

At a global level, a third of CMOs globally are concerned that uncertainty will force them to operate more reactively (30%) and curb creative campaigns (31%).

In terms of marketing spending, around 58% of B2B marketing leaders in APAC are planning to maintain or increase spend in this area over the next six months. Furthermore, 82% of marketers in APAC believe companies that increase or maintain their marketing spend throughout economic uncertainty recover faster.

“With CFOs facing incredibly hard choices in the coming months, they will naturally be a critical stakeholder for CMOs and their marketing teams. Maintaining existing budgets and strengthening future ones is dependent on marketers’ ability to speak the language of the CFO and now, more than ever, marketers need to master the language of effectiveness.” the research stated.

Prue Cox, director of enterprise for SEA & ANZ marketing solutions at LinkedIn said, “While we know the economy is in a state of flux, it’s important that marketers continue to invest in marketing as by pulling back investment, they risk long term damage to their brand. As marketing budgets are often the first to be scrutinised and tightened in times of uncertainty, it’s important that senior leaders can show ROI to their stakeholders.”

She added, “Speaking the language of the CFO, to demonstrate an alignment of marketing metrics to business metrics, and pulling the right strategic levers, will help maintain existing budgets and strengthen future ones. By nurturing key relationships with important leaders, like the CFO, and using data as information, can demonstrate business impact and will put brands in a much stronger position now and in the future.”

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Topics on metaverse, social commerce lead social media conversation in SEA

Singapore – Social media conversation within the Southeast Asian region has been focused on topics on the metaverse, social commerce, as well as sustainability–according to the latest report from consumer intelligence and deep listening company Talkwalker and digital-first customer engagement software Khoros.

The topic of the metaverse is trending amongst Southeast Asian audiences with more than 5.9 million conversations recorded on social channels over the past year. Indonesia recorded the highest number of mentions and engagement amongst the countries monitored, accounting for 60% of all conversations and one-third of total engagements on the topic. This is closely followed by the Philippines, which accounts for almost 24% of mentions and 29% of engagements across Southeast Asia.

In addition, brands looking to launch metaverse campaigns need to stay on top of the latest conversation trends, and ensure that these new realities connect with consumers’ real-world needs.

Meanwhile, in Southeast Asia, the pandemic drove more shoppers online last year, with e-commerce and social commerce accounting for more than 50% of online purchases in 2021.This trend is set to accelerate in 2023 and beyond, with social media platforms set on making the social shopping experience more seamless for consumers.

Furthermore, post-pandemic digital growth and rising costs of living are driving an increased demand for affordability. Consumers are becoming more willing to explore new shopping channels such as social as a result. However, some countries are more ready to adopt social commerce than others. 

Lastly, brands are learning to speak the same language as consumers, as both increasingly use the same keywords to drive sustainability conversations. This indicates a unified vision shared by consumers and brands, and suggests that more brands are determined to integrate sustainable practices in 2023, in order to make a genuine difference to the situation. 

David Low, chief marketing officer at Talkwalker, said, “Marketers are constantly playing catch-up with consumers given the rapidly evolving digital landscape. This is particularly apparent in the Asia Pacific region which is home to some of the world’s largest populations of digital consumers, and which leads the way in online spending globally.”

He added, “In this new environment, marketers must focus on forging symbiotic relationships through a better understanding of online conversations and taking quicker action. It’s this new understanding that will help brands create meaningful experiences and become closer to their consumers.”

Meanwhile, Dillon Nugent, chief marketing officer at Khoros, commented, “As marketers, we know the value of data and the importance of listening to our customers. But, we need to be more action-oriented and use those insights more effectively. Consumers’ comfort level for doing things online—shopping, researching, socialising—is not slowing down as the world opens up.” 

She added, “They also care more about their communities—global, local, IRL, and online. Marketers need to tap into these trends and behaviours more deeply to personalise customers’ experiences and create more impactful strategies that empower your brand to stay connected to customers and grow your presence in the market.”

Platforms Featured East Asia

Net buying cost inflation of leading advertisers in China to be under 3% in 2023: report

Shanghai, China – New data suggest that net buying cost inflation of leading advertisers in China to be under 3% in 2023, with this year seeing a 10% to 15% cut in media budgets by advertisers, according to the latest report from media investment management company Ebiquity.

According to the data, traditional net media inflation will range from 0% to 2.5% while print media buying cost will witness a 4.2% decrease. Meanwhile, Chinese digital media net cost inflation will hover in the range of 3% to 3.5%.

The data also notes that 2022 has been a tough year for the Chinese advertising industry due to a restricted GDP growth of 3%. This was largely because of the Chinese government’s imposition of ‘Zero-Covid’ policy, where several key cities have experienced extended lockdowns.

Commenting on the forecast, Stewart Li, managing director for Ebiquity China said, “Several global economic institutions have lowered China’s 2023 GDP forecast from 5.3% to 4.5% in September. This has led Ebiquity China to predict another soft year for the advertising industry. Our recommendation for advertisers is to implement a proper media cost management program with their media agencies so that they can negotiate for a tough 2023 media buying cost and KPI.”

He added, “While the budget cuts from leading advertisers have had a significant impact on multinational media agency groups with some forced to announce layoffs in 2022, the impact has been severe for local agencies too. The top 8 locally listed advertising companies’ first half 2022 financial reports show that their revenues experienced negative or soft growth year-on-year.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

SM Retail retains crown as top retailer in PH

Philippines — Euromonitor International has released its latest ‘Top 100 retailers in Asia 2022’ report featuring four familiar players from the Philippine business sector in the SEA rankings. Leading the market is SM Retail, the retail giant with a portfolio of supermarkets, department stores, and specialty stores, which landed at the eighth spot for the whole region recording $5b in sales for 2021.

Meanwhile, the other three Philippine retail firms included in the list are pharmaceutical company Mercury Drug sitting at the 11th spot with $3.6b in sales; following closely at the 12th spot is the grocery retailer Puregold Price Club with $2.9b in sales; and lastly Robinsons Retail stands at 16th spot recording a $2.3b in sales. All four PH firms, including SM Retail, recorded an improvement in their SEA rankings.

For this year’s list SEA Ranking, the Singapore-based global consumer internet company Sea took the number one spot for the region. Sea is the parent company of Shopee, the leading e-commerce site for the region.

For the whole of Asia, Alibaba Group of China and, another Chinese e-commerce company, were named top firms.

According to Euromonitor’s report, the state of retailing in SEA is largely fragmented. SEA is home to over 500 million people that have diverse ethnicities, cultures, religions as well as diverse shopping habits.

“Conquering this market is complex. Regional e-commerce players must create localised strategies like search engine optimisation for respective countries and languages or product lines catered to various cultural needs,” said Euromonitor.

Furthermore, according to the general overview of retailing in the Philippines from Euromonitor, e-commerce has had a presence in the Philippines for a few years, but its sales hold a noticeably lower share of overall retailing than in its neighbouring Southeast Asian markets because Filipinos are strongly accustomed to shopping via in-store retailing channels. The experience of shopping in-store is something that e-commerce can not replicate, but the pandemic forced Filipinos to adopt e-commerce out of necessity.

Additionally, shopping centres remain the primary shopping destinations in the Philippines, despite being mandated to have limited operation during quarantine periods. Essential retailers like supermarkets and drugstores/para pharmacies remained open in shopping centres so they still experienced foot traffic in 2021.

On the other hand, customer experience when shopping in-store and customer safety when shopping online, in terms of delivery and handling of products, are chief considerations among Filipinos when shopping.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Telekom Malaysia takes after tech giants, unveils new insights hub

Malaysia – Malaysian telecom company Telekom Malaysia is making an interesting stride in content marketing with its newest insights hub – its Official TM Blog. The content destination will be providing direct access to thoughts and insights from the group’s top leaders and subject matter experts in the telco and technology sector.

Following the footsteps of some of the world’s biggest tech firms, the blog intends to become a one-stop information centre for key decision-makers, analysts as well as the media, allowing them to get the latest industry happenings, new ideas, analyses as well as trends in digital technologies and transformation, sustainability, organisational culture and various other exciting topics.

Written to engage and inspire an informed global audience, the articles are clustered into four segments namely Ideas, Trends, Achievements, and Insights.

The Official TM Blog is updated monthly, and is accessible from the main page of its corporate website.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

APAC travellers prefer group over solo vacations: report

Singapore — New preferences are surfacing as travellers start to emerge from the thick of the COVID pandemic over the past two years. Outbound bookings grew four times in May in APAC compared to earlier this year, signalling that the travel bug is stronger than ever, with overseas travel firmly back on the table, according to a report by travel and leisure e-commerce platform, Klook.

According to the latest traveller trends research, users in APAC prefer travelling with friends, with only 30% expressing interest in taking a spontaneous solo vacation. This is a far cry from pre-pandemic days when 79% of millennials polled were more eager to embark on a solo trip. The insights reveal that travellers are craving shared experiences, especially after the pandemic.

The insights also showed that users in the region want to be pampered. 60% would rather indulge in a luxurious trip than embark on a backpacking holiday. Concurrently, they are also keen on taking slower vacations. 7 in 10 seek a laid-back trip over a rugged budget adventure – Singapore users come in above this average at 80%.

The pandemic has undoubtedly challenged many people, and travellers increasingly seek travel moments that help them unwind and relax to the fullest. In Singapore, 60% of users expressed their preference to relax in the most pampered way possible – starting off with breakfast in bed followed by a relaxing spa day.

Locally in Singapore, research also shows that 60% of users are seeking to escape the sweltering heat with a preference for visiting a cooler destination, compared to the 40% of users who said they prefer a tropical one for their next vacation. Interestingly, Klook’s insights also reveal that 6 out of 10 Singapore users also have a preference to splurge and indulge in luxury.

Sarah Wan, GM of Klook Singapore, said, “Travelling now is more than just taking a mental break. It’s about discovering what brings them joy and reconnecting with loved ones. With travel back on everyone’s agenda, we are excited to bring back the wonders of travel through our wide variety of experiences anytime, anywhere.”