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Marketing Featured ANZ

Necessity drives Kiwis’ consumer spending this year as cost-of-living rises

Auckland, New Zealand – As the cost of living rises and household budgets are put under pressure, necessities drive consumer spending in New Zealand, according to JCDecaux New Zealand’s IRIS audience research.

According to the research, 58% of respondents are planning to stop buying everyday luxury items, and 47% of respondents plan to adopt more home brands. In addition, 40% of respondents will only buy trusted brands, and 77% of respondents claim price is the main consideration when choosing between similar products.

In terms of shopping behaviours, online grocery shopping is growing: it’s also more considered and less impulsive than in-store shopping. FMCG marketers must consider how they reach and influence online shoppers, who typically tend to be younger. In addition, People are thinking about upcoming meals while they are driving, and that large format OOH impacts audiences on obligatory journeys, when they are making mental shopping lists of the things they need.

For Victoria Parsons, senior strategy and insights manager at JCDecaux New Zealand said: they noted that 91% of respondents have their household budgets being stretched and a quarter of respondents reporting that they are actively cutting back. 

“For New Zealanders noting reduced disposable incomes, grocery shopping is an easy place to make cuts. Shoppers are increasingly paying close attention to what goes onto lists and intro trolleys. It is interesting to understand consumer perceptions as to what is a necessity and what is a luxury; we see consumers justifying brand purchases as necessary for quite personal reasons,” Parsons said.

She added, “Out-of-home can be a powerful platform to impact and influence in-store and online shoppers throughout the day while they are mentally planning their shopping lists. 83% of survey participants agree that brands that advertise on Large Format are quality brands, which is key for consumers to overcome price sensitivity and avoid replacement by home brands.”

Meanwhile, Gary Rosewarne, sales director at JCDecaux New Zealand, commented, “What consumers deem an everyday luxury is interesting. Respondents told us items such as coffee and tea, bread, self-care and dairy are non-negotiable in terms of buying favourite or quality brands, whereas for canned and frozen goods, and cleaning products, people are shopping the category based on price. Luxury does not mean premium, it means moments where you expect quality FMCG experiences and won’t trade down – you justify the price premium.

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Technology Featured Global

Only 26% of global marketers are confident of their audience data 

Singapore – From a global perspective among brand marketers aiming to seek priorities for brands this year, only 26% of global marketers are confident in their audience data. This is according to the latest survey from market measurement firm Nielsen.

This is despite the fact that the survey noted that 69% of marketers believe first-party data is essential for their strategies and campaigns, and 72% of marketers believe they have access to quality data.

Speaking of brand awareness, around 64% of respondents stated that social media is the most effective paid channel with TikTok and Instagram dominating spend. Comparatively, TV and radio spend is significantly less with an aggregate increase of 53% across global marketers. Customer acquisition is their second objective, showing that marketers must focus efforts on the entire customer journey.

Meanwhile, marketers’ confidence in measuring ROI of the full-funnel is only 54%. Remove online and mobile video and confidence in measuring ROI across all other channels is under 50% globally, and while nearly half of marketers plan to increase their spending on podcasts, their confidence in measuring the ROI of that investment is 44%.

In addition, the survey notes that only 36% of marketers still claim that data access, identity resolution, and deriving actionable insights from data is either extremely or very difficult. With the rise of connected TV (CTV) presents new challenges to traditional targeting solutions. CTV is a growing focus for global marketers, with 51% planning to increase their over-the-top/CTV spending in the coming year.

Lastly, the data shows that 55% of consumers aren’t convinced that brands are fostering true progress, despite global marketers saying their brands are emphasising purpose.

Jamie Moldafsky, chief marketing and communications officer at Nielsen, said, “This research showcased that marketers want to put money into channels to deliver immediate ROI, however we also see that they must be agile in the year ahead and work across the entire marketing funnel to reinforce brand awareness and acquire more customers. With the upcoming elimination of third-party cookies, it’s understandable to see marketers prioritising personalization and aligning their brand with causes their customers care about. Through our solutions – and this report – we’re continuing to help brands and marketers get actionable insights to make more informed, and quicker decisions.”

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Technology Featured APAC

APAC companies waste more than $137m in digital ad spend in Q1 2022

Singapore – As digital advertising expenditure reaches new records, advertisers continue to waste their ad dollars through the Asia-Pacific, with more than $137.4m set to be wasted in the January to March 2022 quarter, according to data from independent media agency Next&Co.

The report found that brands in the retail sector will report the most digital ad spend wastage, of almost $32m. It was followed by insurance at $28m, finance at $26.5m, real estate at $19.8m, education at $16m, and health at $14.7m.

Across digital media channels, the most digital ad spend will be wasted on Facebook at $53m, followed by Google at $45m, LinkedIn at $28m, and Bing at $10.7m.

The data was collected using the company’s proprietary media auditing tool Prometheus.

John Vlasakakis, co-founder at Next&Co, said, “It’s alarming to see what are unacceptable levels of digital ad spend wastage in the region, especially as digital spend is set to reach $4 billion in Southeast Asia and increasing to a third of all ad spend. Prometheus has now audited more than 500 brands across APAC, with all showing varying levels of wastage across industry categories – brands need to become more aware of the dangers of complacency breeds. Spending smarter and not harder needs to be the attitude amongst brands of all sizes as this is how scale and company growth can be achieved.”

He added, “Procurement also needs to provide more negotiating power to marketing. For example, the fact that one financial services provider had procurement negotiate the cheapest rate but allowed for a clause for the agency to never be audited during their three-year term gobsmacked me. If that isn’t a red flag, I don’t know what is. Digital marketing activity isn’t occurring above board, and they are now powerless to take action.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Vietnamese men more likely to buy beauty products online than women

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam – Amidst the growing popularity of online shopping, there has been a high demand for shopping beauty products online and interestingly, more men in Vietnam shop for beauty products online than women, according to new research by marketing research company Decision Lab.

According to their data, 58% of their male respondents say they have shopped online for beauty products while 49% of the female respondents shopped online for beauty products. However, female shoppers still dominate all purchases for beauty products, amounting to 69% of the respondents. This is in contrast to the 28% of the male respondents.

“Notable from the responses was that women’s love of the shopping experience – often described as a type of ‘therapy’ – was reflected in the fact that it was men who said they had purchased beauty products online more often than women, with just under 10% more male respondents saying they had done so in the past three months,” the report stated.

The data also showed that shoppers in Vietnam are more informed than ever prior to buying but that the channel of research or browsing activity – be it online or offline – does not always determine the channel of purchase. This is especially true when it comes to non-durable goods like food and beverage, where the vast majority of purchases are still made in brick and mortar outlets.

Furthermore, smartphones have continued to increase their role in the everyday lives of Vietnamese consumers. Thanks to the emergence of branded ride-hailing apps like Grab, the mobile phone now dominates short distance travel bookings and has an equal split with computers of purchases in categories like mobile phones, clothing, and footwear. When it came to long-distance travel and hotel bookings, the computer was still preferred.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Instagram most engaging social media platform amongst SG’s public sector

Singapore – Interactions made by Singaporean public agencies and government bodies were much more evident on the social media platform Instagram than any other platforms, with a 12.7% increase from 2020 and a total of 1.69m interactions, according to the latest data from unified customer experience platform Emplifi.

According to the data, there is a 1.2% increase in content produced by these entities, from 5,409 in 2020 to 6,219 in 2021. In comparison, Twitter accounted for the largest proportion of published content at 53.01% or 30,671 tweets. However, interactions were 2.16%, or 158,737 interactions. Facebook, which made up over 30% of content across platforms, received the largest share of interactions at 72.9%, or 5.37m interactions.

While Traditionally ministries and statutory boards have leaned towards Facebook and Twitter, social media platform Instagram emerged as the platform with the highest engagement rate (1.18%) and share-of-voice (70.7%). Conversely, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter saw declines in their share-of-voice.

Some of the campaigns that showed higher engagement include the National Parks Board (NPB) #CityInNatureSG, Gov.sg #IGotMyShot, MOH Covid-19 Vaccination, Gov.sg TestTraceVaccinate and MOE #OurSchoolStories campaigns.

Varun Sharma, vice president for Asia-Pacific and Japan at Emplifi, said, “Social media emerged as a crucial platform to keep people informed and aware during the pandemic. Now, as the world gradually eases restrictions, social channels continue to prove their effectiveness to initiate two-way dialogues.”

In addition, public sector agencies also used short-form videos, which were the best performing content pieces. For instance, Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) YouTube content skyrocketed in 2021, with a total of 32,683,601 views for the year, having released 157 videos.

Lastly, the data highlighted the rising popularity of user-generated content (UGCs) in driving audience engagement. In comparison to 2020, the audience was 8.9% more engaged with government profiles, with almost half (48.2%) of user-generated content published in 2021. Overall, UGCs from government profiles grew 1.4 times, from 37,621 content pieces in 2020 to 54,525 content pieces in 2021. The share of interactions on UGC also saw an uplift of 1.22% to 2.38% in 2021.

“There has never been a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to creating content for social media. This has led government bodies to innovate their social media strategies to ensure they are reaching the right segment of the audience, with the right message at the right time. We are now starting to see many public sector bodies moving onto TikTok, including STB, National Parks and NEA. We expect TikTok to become more widely used in 2022 as organisations become more comfortable with the format. The mix of social channels to drive public action and engagement is good to see and sets a great case study for marketers,” Sharma concluded.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Facebook gains momentum in Vietnam through e-commerce service: report

Vietnam – Popular social media platform Facebook has gained new grounds in Vietnam as an alternative to e-commerce services, according to data from marketing research company Decision Lab.

According to their report, Facebook Commerce grew by 2% and 4% for Gen Y and Gen Z respondents respectively during Q4 2021. In addition, around 31% of Hanoi citizens picked Facebook as their choice for e-commerce services. This figure marks a 11% points increase among consumers from Hanoi compared to Q3 2021. 

The report also noted that Facebook Commerce was also utilised by 9% more consumers from Ho Chi Minh City and other key cities such as Da Nang, Nha Trang, Hai Phong, and Can Tho in Q4 2021. In contrast, throughout the rest of Vietnam, Facebook commerce only grew by 2% points, standing at 24% in this time period.

Despite its popularity as an e-commerce platform, Facebook is losing ground as a social media platform in the country. The platform lost 11% of its position as Vietnamese’s primary app in Q4 2021–a continuation of a negative trend starting early 2021. Worse, Facebook seems to be losing Millennial and Gen Z users, who are increasingly favouring other platforms such as Zalo and TikTok.

“The general rise of Facebook as an e-commerce platform reflects Facebook’s push for commercial activities. In Vietnam, consumers can trade goods through not only Facebook Marketplace, but also Facebook groups, shops’ pages, and individual merchants,” the report stated.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Indonesia e-commerce market to grow by 20% in 2022

Jakarta, Indonesia – The e-commerce market in Indonesia is expected to grow by 23.8% in 2022, and will be valued at IDR420t (around US$30b), according to insights from data and analytics company GlobalData.

According to the data, e-commerce payments in Indonesia are forecasted to rise further at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.0% between 2021 and 2025, to reach IDR753t (US$53.8b) in 2025. Part of the forecasted growth’s reason is due to factors such as rising Internet and smartphone penetration, the growing middle class population, and proliferation of online merchants and payment tools.

In addition, the insights also noted that the rise in local e-commerce is also supporting the emergence of new payment models such as buy now pay later. The Indonesian buy now pay later market is crowded with several players including banks and payment service providers offering this service.

Nikhil Reddy, payments senior Analyst at GlobalData, commented, “Online shopping is popular in Indonesia, a trend that has become more prevalent amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The recent outbreak of the Omicron variant has further led to the resurgence of new cases, the highest in the last six months, which is likely to drive online shopping.”

He added, “The COVID-19 outbreak has accelerated consumers’ shift from in-store to online payments. The uptrend in e-commerce sales is likely to continue over the next few years, supported by government initiatives, growing consumer preference and improvements in payment infrastructure.”

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Marketing Featured East Asia

Young Japanese consumers discuss investment, asset management more than ever

Tokyo, Japan – Investment and asset management has become the norm for people to grow their money, and more and more young people in Japan are showing interest in these topics and discussing them more frequently with their peers, new research from comprehensive real estate service platform RENOSY shows.

More than 70% of the young people in their 20s interviewed say that they do discuss asset management with their friends while only 30% of the older generation in their 50s discuss it. In addition, around 60% of interviewees in their 20s said that they do not worry about the assets build-up arrangement they are doing for now.

However, around 80% of the people interviewed answered that they feel they do not have enough money to support their lives after retirement relying on pension only.

In terms of the average amount they are willing to spend on investing, the average amount of investment for the younger generation is about ¥50,000 per month, while the older generation responded to an average of ¥150,000 per month.

“Since asset management will become part of the new high school curriculum starting from April 2022, we are expecting to see the younger generation become more cautious and familiar with money,” RENOSY said in a press statement.

In terms of the woes of the respondents in regards to having enough money to support investment after their retirement, the company remarked, “As people tend to live longer nowadays, the issue of finance after retirement will become a more and more serious problem for most people. As a result, we could see from the research result that 87% of the people we interviewed feel anxious about the financial arrangement after retirement.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

What do Viets perceive of virtual influencers?

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam – As influencer marketing is continuing to grow in popularity, especially in Asia, there has been another rise of influencers: virtual influencers. More recently, more companies are playing with the idea of marketing through virtual influencers. These computer-generated public figures almost have a life of their own – reflected on their social media accounts – and even work with brands to promote the latest products.

In the latest survey conducted by consumer research platform Milieu Insight, it has found that 45% of Vietnamese consumers are very interested in following virtual influencers, while 44% said they are somewhat interested in, and 11% saying they are not interested.

In terms of credibility, 21% of respondents say that they trust virtual influencers more than their human counterparts. Meanwhile, 37% indicated that virtual influencers are to be trusted at the same level as human influencers, 27% said that they are less credible, and 14% said that they are unsure.

Meanwhile, in regards to local preference, 60% said that they want the virtual influencers they follow to look Vietnamese, while 16% say that they want them to look non-Vietnamese, and 25% said that they have no preference. 

On the aspect of how these virtual influencers communicate, 71% said that they prefer to be communicated in Vietnamese, 9% said they prefer someone not communicating in Vietnamese, and 21% said that they have no preference.

Lastly, in terms of gender appearance, 49% said that they want virtual influencers to look feminine, 20% want them being masculine, 14% want them to be androgynous, 2% have other options, and 15% say that they have no preference.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

Latest report unveils optimism among Hong Kong banks upon 2022 entry

Hong Kong – With 2022 already past its first month, banking institutions in Hong Kong, both the traditional and virtual ones, are optimistic about their venture into this year as they expect to implement higher interest rates to improve margins, according to the latest insights from consulting firm KPMG China.

According to the insights, banks highlighted the attraction and retention of talent as a key concern, where global demand across all roles, including digital transformation and ESG has been strong. Meanwhile, mainland banks, which have been a growing force in the sector for the last few years, have been focusing on stabilising their operations in Hong Kong. 

In addition, banks in Hong Kong have continued to increase their focus on digital transformation in all aspects, as technology is being used to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs, including in areas such as know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML). 

On the customer side, demand has risen for more seamless digital experiences and banks are being pushed to improve their offerings. Digital transformation, which is critical for Hong Kong to retain its position as a leading international financial centre, is expected to remain a key pillar of growth.

Meanwhile, virtual banks in Hong Kong have completed their first full year of operation. While a few have performed well, most are struggling to find a clear path to growth and looking for ways of customer acquisition at lower costs. These banks are also facing stiffer competition from traditional banks that have strengthened their own digital offerings in response to the arrival of the virtual banks.

Terence Fong, head of Chinese banks for Hong Kong at KPMG China, said, “Mainland Chinese banks in Hong Kong are looking forward to increased fee and commission income in 2022, particularly since they have a large retail customer base. While risk appetite has decreased over the last year, mainland banks will be looking to develop new income streams and increase the level of digitalisation and collaboration between their mainland and Hong Kong operations.”