Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Half of Filipino parents cite ‘freelance’ as top choice of work amid the pandemic 

Philippines – If there’s a cohort that bore the brunt of the drastic shifts in the pandemic, it would have to be those at the driver’s seat – the parents. Amid augmented health scares and a dampened economy, parents have to keep it tight as they continue to provide support to their families financially and emotionally. 

With this, parents are now becoming more open when it comes to finding a source of income. For Filipino parents specifically, work that offers a flexible arrangement is a top option, and within this favored setup, half of Filipino parents, or 53%, now have online freelance jobs as a top choice – those acquired through freelance platforms Upwork and the like – according to a study by digital platform for parenting, Smart Parenting. This was followed by online selling (35%) and online content creation on social media sites Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok (7%).

Filipino parents are scrambling financially with half, or 52%, were found to have not stashed an emergency fund. The rest have saved up for the rainy days, with the majority (39%) having built their funds to cover less than two years’ worth of emergency expenses. 

Within family income, funding for children’s education (24%) and paying off debts (24%) are top allocations followed by spending for the family’s house and condo unit (23%). Migrating abroad also takes part in Filipino Families’ plans where 7% said that income goes into making this a reality. Meanwhile, amid personal struggles, Filipino families still include in their priorities giving back to other people, where 8% stated income is spent on philanthropy.

The current life-threatening situation is taking a toll on the majority’s mental health. Because of this, families’ mental and emotional well-being has become a top concern for parents in the present. This is true for Filipino parents (66%), followed by worries about adding to their income and caring for their children’s emotional health and social skills (16%).

The Smart Parenting Pulse: 2021 Audience Survey surveyed 2,800 respondents in the Philippines.

Marketing Featured Global

Fitness fans favor 60:40 split between in-gym, home workouts post-pandemic

New Zealand – Global group fitness brand Les Mills has just released its global study on fitness consumers’ attitudes and perceptions post-pandemic, and interestingly, it found that even if social restrictions are gradually being lifted, exercisers won’t be dropping their home workouts anytime soon, where majority, or 59%, favoring a 60:40 ratio between doing gym and home workouts.

If there is one major shift in consumer behavior during countries’ lockdowns, it’s that everyone maximized their creativity to continue their daily activities within the corners of their abodes. The household trend has now become a phenomenon, and in the fitness world, enthusiasts and professionals alike leveraged today’s digital-heavy lifestyle to continue fulfilling their regimens with fitness brands pivoting to providing services virtually.

In the 2021 global report by Les Mills which examined the insights of over 12,000 consumers across five continents, it was found that majority has seen the benefits of home workouts and are planning to stick with it, where 80% of those that are gym members plan to continue using digital workouts post-pandemic.

The report now refers to ‘Omnichannel Fitness’, which is a blend of in-gym and digital home workouts. The said type of fitness engagement is tipped to gain traction as we emerge from the pandemic, notes the report.

Of those that are raring to go back to in-person fitness classes, the reputation of instructors has been identified to be the top-most important factor for gymgoers when choosing a live class with 28% favoring it, followed by quality of music (24%) and type of class (21%).

“Quality instructors are cited as a key component of the ‘live revival’, meeting strong consumer demand for added motivation and deeper connection in their workouts,” the report noted.

Les Mills Founder and Executive Director Phillip Mills, said, “After months of being stuck at home, people can’t wait to get back to fitness facilities and enjoy their favorite workouts with familiar faces.”

According to the report, gyms worldwide are making strong recoveries since reopening, with class occupancy at 120% of pre-Covid levels in markets where capacity restrictions have lifted.

After a year of enforced home workouts, appetite for live fitness experiences in groups is soaring, with 85% of gymgoers interested in trying live classes in their facility.

Amid inspiring accounts of fitness enthusiasts adapting to the current socially constrained situation, the lockdown has also given birth to a new group of fitness consumers, the ‘beginners’.

The new generation of fitness fans may be attributed to how the bandwagon of home workouts made it friendlier for those that aren’t into fitness before to take the first step to a workout regimen. According to the report, 27% of regular exercisers in this period describe themselves as ‘absolute beginners’.

The report finds that 82% of consumers now regularly exercise or soon plan to, while 75% of this group do gym-type activities, making fitness the world’s biggest sport. With the type of class, HIIT is the most popular favored by 32%, closely followed by indoor cycling (30%) and dance classes (29%).

“Much like bars, restaurants, and sports events, fitness is experiencing a real ‘live revival’, as people make up for lost time with a renewed appreciation for real-world social settings,” said Mills.

Main Feature Technology APAC

Beyond mobile: The other screen to turn consumers’ heads post-pandemic

Online video consumption reached new heights as a majority of people were forced to spend a greater amount of time indoors. According to Limelight’s State of Online Video 2020, viewers spent almost eight hours per week consuming various types of online video content.

In Southeast Asia, a majority of this growth is being driven by mobile video consumption. No surprise then, that mobile video advertising spending grew by 65 percent in this region.

Premium video advertising’s popularity continues to soar. According to Verizon Media’s Video Advertising Study in January 2020, two-thirds of marketers said that video will continue to offer a higher return than other ad formats.

OTT and short-form social video are the platforms of choice for a majority of video consumers today. But there is another platform that offers marketers with an avenue to reach consumers with premium video content outside of the internet: Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) media.

DOOH screens are now present across every possible consumer touchpoint outside the home. There are now millions of public screens installed in venues like shopping malls, transit hubs, bus shelters, office buildings, residential lobbies, and more. This is in addition to the roadside and building facade screens that have been replacing static billboards.

DOOH ads have not traditionally been considered part of video marketing budgets but it is now starting to achieve a scale of presence and automation that will enable it to challenge for a share of the pie. The following is a summary of the biggest shifts happening in this space.

More than Just Billboards

Enough has been said about the impact of pandemic-battling lockdowns on the outdoor advertising industry. One good thing to come out of this was that it pretty much forced the hand of industry stakeholders to embrace data and technology to change the narrative around DOOH media.

By embracing dynamic movement data, DOOH providers are now able to show the potential of audiences exposed to the site for upcoming campaigns. One of the trends that emerged during some forms of lockdowns was that people were still moving about but these journeys were taking place closer to home, where they would still come into contact with some form of DOOH screen.

This repositioning exercise showed marketers that DOOH screens are ever-present and that there are opportunities to reach audiences with video assets in contextually relevant environments like grocery stores.

Growing Availability of Programmatic DOOH Solutions

While DOOH screens have been available for quite some time now, it is only possible to consider them for premium video campaigns when the inventory is accessible at scale.

Advertising technology solutions that make automated buying and selling of DOOH inventory possible are now mainstream and the connected assets are available for buyers to activate from anywhere in the world alongside other digital video platforms.

Digital marketers are now starting to leverage the unique characteristics of DOOH as a video advertising platform. For example, DOOH ads are always 100 percent viewable and make a bigger impact simply due to its large physical presence.

For example, this Snickers Hunger Bars Campaign in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia amplified an online campaign by featuring real user-generated content on premium digital billboards.

Non-Traditional DOOH Screens Lead Shift to Impression-Based Buying

Large digital billboards, which basically replaced static billboards in the same locations, heralded the arrival of DOOH media as a marketing channel. However, it is the incredible growth of indoor digital screen networks that have helped it achieve the scale it has now.

Traditional billboard media owners were just that – media owners. Today, any physical establishment that has installed a digital screen can become a DOOH media owner. This could be an independent gym owner with one screen or a nationwide supermarket network with 10,000 screens across their locations.

The interesting thing about these non-traditional media owners is that advertising revenue was not the primary goal of their screen installations. They were installed to enhance communication with the establishment’s visitors or even engage them with entertainment content.

This is a medical supplier in Indonesia which installed hand sanitizers that now double up as ad screens

There is now a growing trend of these players partnering technology providers to equip their screens with programmatic ad-serving technology to make the space available to potential video marketers.

A smart vending machine in Singapore went with the same route with machines now displaying video ads

A recent example of this in Southeast Asia is a medical supplier in Indonesia who installed hand sanitizer stations in retail spaces that now double up as advertising screens. Another is a smart vending machine operator in Singapore whose screens can now serve contextual video advertisements when not being used to purchase a product.

Delivering Incremental Video Reach

Since DOOH screens are present outside the home, they don’t directly compete for audience attention with personal screen time. They are also non-intrusive as they are not consumed at the beginning or in-between other video content.

Cross-media planning tools can now ingest DOOH audience data and available inventory information to identify opportunities to allocate an effective portion of video spends to deliver incremental reach. With the growth of new screen networks, the potential DOOH media reach now surpasses broadcast and cable TV in some cases.

These critical developments – positioning of DOOH as a video medium, availability of data, and automation technology, along with the scale achieved by non-traditional advertising screens – could not have come together at a better time. As global markets reopen and screen-fatigued consumers start going outdoors again, DOOH will be more visible and impactful than ever. Now marketers have the right tools to run effective ‘video outside’ campaigns as well.

This article was written by Mehul Mandalia, Co-Founder and Head of Demand Platform at Moving Walls.
Main Feature Platforms Southeast Asia

The power of social media in a pandemic

The precarious Covid-19 hit the Indonesian islands in mid-March 2020 and has been creating havoc since then. The rampant pandemic brought social and economic consequences disturbing the entire economy. Out of the many policies implemented by the government such as PSBB or the country’s large-scale social restrictions, affected the socio-economic daily lifestyle of Indonesians in infinite ways. The fury of the virus hasn’t spared anyone and sadly, Indonesia is no exception.

In troublesome times like these, passing on vital information and keeping the commoner well-aware of the situation becomes imperative. When there is mayhem and uncertainty, the need for building social solidarity among people comes to the fore. That’s when social media comes into the picture. It is indeed a driving force behind the emergence of mass social solidarity.

This digital cohesion is created through various means on different social network sites (SNSs), including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. With the virus that is spreading at lightning speed, reliable information also needs to spread like wildfire. When masses have to be educated about the do’s and don’ts of staying vigilant, social media emerges as a clear winner that delivers every piece of information to your smartphone.

Digital cohesion 

Netizens help educate and impart psychological support in reducing panic through experiences, statistics, photos, and current updates and live coverages conducted by journalists. As per a survey conducted by Universitas Airlangga, 67.5% of the Indonesians who took the survey confirmed that social media has helped them stay informed during the pandemic. Meanwhile, 34.5% said that news and information on social media helped influence their behavior regarding precautions or safety against the virus.

If we talk of Twitter, it has been instrumental in helping people find reliable information, connect with others and follow what’s happening in real-time. By adding a new tab in explore titled ‘Covid-19’, it has helped netizens find help instantly and post a medical or financial requirement. Health experts and doctors also are banking upon the power of Twitter to pass on verified information for the benefit of people. Global Twitter insights reveal that there was a 45% increase in the curated events page for Covid-19 and a 30% increase in direct messages with respect to the virus information.

Besides spreading awareness, it gives rise to volunteerism through donation drives, online concerts, and interactive activities conducted by social agents, celebrities, and influencers who have a mass appeal. These are impactful and solve existing problems by raising large sums of monetary support.

Indonesians have benefitted from medical and financial aid received through amplification on social media, making it a particular savior of uncertain times. A clear example of successful volunteerism would be the fundraising campaigns conducted by Kompas TV and Narasi TV, which have shown tangible evidence in alleviating and assisting covid relief.

As per research conducted by GoPay Digital Donation Outlook 2020, the acquisition of digital donations increased by 72% due to covid. It’s a win-win situation when the community comes together to help each other achieve the end goal and fight their common enemy together.

Spreading digital literacy

Digital solidarity in the Covid times has also led to the strengthening of digital literacy as people realized the tremendous power and significant benefits of social media. As per reports, the number of social media users in Indonesia increased by 10 million in 2020-21, amounting to 170 million users. Facebook has the highest user base, with 57.33% of people using the platform as of April 2021 compared to 49.73% of Facebook users in April 2020.

Penetration of social media in Indonesia has been experiencing an all-time high since the breakout of the pandemic. Many regional celebrities and pivotal figures of the globe have a social presence that navigates through various levels of society. Both government and non-government entities accurately use social media to address and respond to the existing economic impact. It is remarkable how a medium of shared awareness has successfully turned into a joint action of sorts. It will not be wrong to say that when the world stands divided by social distancing, it is social media that unites.

This article is written by Devinder Sharma, Twitter partner director at Httpool Indonesia.

Httpool is an Aleph Holding company, representing leading digital media platforms across Europe and Asia. It supports their growth as well as drives business results for traditional and native advertisers across more than 30 markets.
Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Filipino shoppers trying e-commerce for the first time increase amid the pandemic: report

Manila, Philippines – Filipino consumer behavior during the pandemic has shifted to frequent use of e-commerce platforms and cashless payments systems, a new report from financial services Visa shows.

In the Philippine-centric report, Visa noted that 52% of Filipinos shopped online through apps and websites for the first time during the pandemic and 43% of them made their first online purchase using social media channels.

Online shopping activity behavior also rose within the period of past year, as the report showed close to 9 in 10 Filipinos have increased their online shopping activities on websites or apps, whilst 7 in 10 are shopping more on social media channels. 

More than half of the consumers are also more inclined to shop from large online marketplaces (53%) and home-based businesses (61%). These new shopping preferences might turn into habits that last beyond the pandemic.

As part of the growing behavior of online purchases, food deliveries also rose, as more than 9 in 10 Filipinos used home delivery in the Philippines and 67% of them increased their use of home delivery services during the pandemic. This can be attributed to the existing quarantine and lockdown restrictions being implemented by the government in the country.

“The pandemic has transformed the way Filipinos shop and pay. Based on the latest highlights from our annual study, we see adoption of new consumer behaviors including more Filipinos using digital commerce platforms and helping to accelerate the usage of digital payments in the country. We see double digit growth for e-commerce transactions for purchases on marketplaces and digital goods,” said Dan Wolbert, country manager for the Philippines and Guam at Visa.

Wolbert also noted that some of the initial purchases made by first-time online consumers include food and groceries, bill payments as well as pharmaceutical products.

Using physical cash as payment has dwindled by the offset of the pandemic, as best compared to pre-pandemic consumers averaged to 7 out of 10 payments made in cash, compared to mid-pandemic consumers who only averaged to 5 out of 10 payments made in cash.

Filipinos cited using more contactless payments (73%), perceiving cash as unsafe because of the potential spread of infection (54%) and more places adopting digital payments (50%) as the top reasons for carrying less cash. In addition, Filipinos see bill payments (81%), grocery shopping (71%), and overseas travel (68%) as the top categories where they would likely go completely cashless in future.

The study also showed that contactless payments had 66% increase in usage amongst current users due to the pandemic. In addition, 88% of Filipinos who had not used contactless payments stated interest in using this payment method in the future. Top benefits perceived by Filipinos for usage of contactless cards include not having to carry cash with them (88%), feeling safe from infection (75%) and being an innovative payment method (68%).

“We believe that contactless payments will continue to grow as Filipinos appreciate the benefits of contactless payments, including perceiving this payment method to be more hygienic due to the absence of physical interaction at point-of-sale. Even though we’ve made progress in digital payments adoption, there remains huge opportunities for us to encourage more Filipinos to embrace digital payments as we look to expand digital payments acceptance across the country,” Dan added.

The study was conducted on 1,014 Filipinos aged 18-65 years of age across key cities in Manila, and in several provinces.

Main Feature Marketing APAC

Messaging beyond the mask: Why your comms at the onset of pandemic may not be as effective a year after

The emergence of the coronavirus facilitated a massive pivot in both the business and the communications landscape. Much of what we knew was discarded, with new paradigms and thought processes rushed into place.

Brands have been blindsided

Rushed policy announcements and u-turns meant that ‘business as usual’ communications plans were flung out the window.

Many have turned to what we call ‘sympathy mode’, which are those irritating messages which start something like ‘Due to the pandemic’, as their key driver – forgetting that they need to take a ‘business as usual’ approach to communications and focus on their brand and the positives it can still contribute. We’ve seen an increasing number of brands even in the start of 2021 go back into these old ways again, ultimately degrading their brand perception.

Communication has gone increasingly online

As traditional print publications fail to retain or reach pre-pandemic numbers, online becomes the relevant pivot for them. The work-from-home (WFH) phenomena created less traveling time, which can equate to more screen time – thus, the chance to be a message recipient.

We are simply now consuming more online content. Not only that, we are consuming it through an increasing number of platforms where all are not credible and reliable at that.

New demographics are entering the landscape

Not so much the kids – but the older members of society who were forced online to do day-to-day activities because of the first lockdown – have become sustained users of platforms and are now a significant demographic for marketers to consider when developing their communications plans.

This means: more platforms, more audience, and more content, and also – more clutter – for your brand to try and differentiate themselves from.

“Due to the MCO…” simply doesn’t cut it, nor does traditional passive content. Shared experience and solutions for the shared experience stands out more – create a place in people’s lives, something they can personally relate to, in order to be seen in a stronger position.

Communications is a 24/7/365 industry – don’t ever let someone tell you it’s not

An active online presence is the very minimum to keep going, even if your brand store is shut – there are many ways to solve customer’s products. If you can’t do it physically via a shop, and you’re not sustaining communication online, you might as well close the doors permanently.

Some did give up though. That was wrong. Sustained communication is essential for brands. Your competitors are still communicating; and you don’t want to lose out. If you’re not active, you will be forgotten, and your loyal publics will go to your competitors.

Regular communication helps SMEs, especially the struggling ones

It keeps stakeholders in the loop. For some stakeholders, brands (and their communication) are a beacon of hope – so at the very least, by attempting to keep communication programs open, your brand could be inspiring or motivating others. This is a time to help your communities, not to put your head in the sand.

But, be strategic about it. The biggest ‘no-no’ is reminding people of the absolute predicament we are in. Using the C-word, reiterating lockdowns and pandemic advice – all bad. Early days it was considered ‘education’, but it’s pretty much been a year now, and education is not required.

The most important job for a brand is to let their publics know that they are there, they have solutions (i.e. products and services the customer needs), and that they have mechanisms to get these to their customer.

The sympathy vote is no longer viable and infuriates increasing numbers of people

Focus on forgetting the past and the blow the pandemic had on peoples’ lives and businesses, rather, work on solutions and support for your customers to access your brand easily and conveniently given current parameters.

Don’t drop the communication link just because you’re in crisis mode – now is the time brands should be enhancing their communication.

Alter your voice to be heard

Folks from public relations always advise to resonate with your customers; tell personal stories, show relationship to their everyday lives. Still do this, but adjust the narrative to suit the times – what is our ‘shared community experience’ today, and how can we engage with that?

It needs to be more sincere. That personal connection is now paramount. It needs less of the chest-puffing and the halo-polishing; we don’t care for that narrative anymore, and it won’t buy you any new fans. Don’t show off – harder times mean those boasting are seen in a more negative light, brands included.

As for that all-important internal communication, ensure it is open and honest. As simple as that. Keep everyone on the same page, and give as much heads-up as possible. Tomorrow is uncertain, both internally and externally, but doing our best to communicate with teams ensures that there is a buffer on surprises, and also showcases your commitment (or not) to them.

This is a crisis like no other

In reality, there are two crises. One, the pandemic. A public health crisis which is causing additional stress on entire societies. Two, a potential crisis with your brand. Not a crisis about your brand (unless you’ve done something terrible to contaminate people), but a crisis in your brands’ economic viability.

Your response needs to be about how you can still connect to your customers and make their lives easier during trying times.

You don’t need a CEO going on record to talk about their challenges (pity publishing is so 2020); you simply need to ensure you communicate what you can currently do, and how you can connect with and deliver to customers. Nothing more, nothing less.

As for the role of the agency, the industry itself has gone very WFH. The industry has taken on different roles with clients. Communications professionals are both strategists and business continuity advisors. You have gone from communications (and pretty predictable outcomes) to visionaries (more-so than before), and have gone from client-agency relationship to partners. You are more involved in brands, and you are a bigger part of their decision-making.

But nothing is set in stone. Pre-pandemic normality might hit tomorrow, and the rules of the game may change yet again overnight. Staying abreast of changes, public sentiment, and available technologies will help. But remember, you don’t exist if you can’t be heard – so keep that communication going!

Dr Craig J Selby Orchan
This article is written by Dr Craig J Selby, managing director at Orchan Consulting.

Orchan is a communications agency based in Malaysia that provides organizations and brands PR, crisis management, and internal communications.
Platforms Featured Global

New report shows pandemic woes changed landscape of consumer understanding

Singapore – The current state of the world in the mid of the global pandemic has changed the perception among industry professionals on understanding the preferences of consumers, a study by enterprise listening company TalkWalker and open review platform Trustpilot showed.

According to the global study, around 82% of industry professionals believe that the pandemic has changed their understanding of consumer conversation. In addition, half of the respondents (50%) said that access to insights from consumer conversations is still limited to a specific department within their organization, which is still some way to go for data democratization. Lastly, 18% of the respondents said that their organization monitors and analyzes conversations through a unified platform.

Some of the key channels affected by the pandemic in terms of consumer understanding include social media and community management, product marketing, corporate affairs, digital marketing, customer relationship management (CRM) and customer experience.

Social media remains the top source of brand interaction, with growing focus on review sites, blogs and call centers. Around 28% of respondents said that social media is one of their three top channels for brand engagement.

The report also stated that there is much to be done in terms of analytics training and education, with less than 44% of respondents seeing their brand as extremely data-driven; yet experts identify technology as a key to move forward in 2021 and to make sense of sentiment around their brand, their competitors or their industry at scale. 

APAC leads the charge in data democratization, with 41% of respondents showing such characteristics, followed by EMEA (33%) and the United States (28%).

“Most of the brands in APAC that are struggling with insufficient data and inadequate analysis, currently rely on manual monitoring as well as a set of different tools. To reduce these difficulties, companies should consider a unified platform that gathers all necessary data, and allows them to analyze conversations at scale,” the report stated.

As a recommendation, TalkWalker and Trustpilot notes that leaders must break down information barriers, and let customer and consumer intelligence flow from all channels, as over 50% of respondents admit that data siloes still exist within their organizations. 

The report also stated various industry case studies where brands can learn from, such as the automotive industry accelerating to green mobility to the finance sector’s adoption of digital banking, as well as the rapid transformation of the pharmaceutical industry.

“Today’s consumers expect brands to meet them where they are, with empathy, and a shared set of values. Conversational Intelligence is the key to unlocking meaningful customer relationships by understanding what customers are saying, where they are saying it and why,” said Cara Buscaglia, chief innovation officer at Talkwalker.

Meanwhile, Peter Simpson, head of enterprise and global partnerships at Trustpilot commented, “Listening to and understanding customers is key to building a trusted brand. This principle is core to the services of both Trustpilot and Talkwalker, making us natural partners for this report. The findings published here will help businesses better learn what consumers expect of them, and how they can position themselves to deliver.”

The study was conducted with the participation of over 1000 marketing, PR and consumer insights professionals across APAC, EMEA and the USA.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Malaysian digital growth in 2020: exponential online traffic means exponential opportunities

Malaysia – 2020 was a challenging year. Across the board, people have had to adapt to new styles of working, adapt to new business strategies, and even changed industries. It would be easy to write off 2020 as a ‘bad year’, but I believe that’s the wrong way of looking at things. In fact, there is a case to be made for 2020 being one of the most important periods in the evolution of digital marketing, all over the globe. Let’s look at the facts.

1. As a direct impact of the lockdown in the pandemic, specifically called Movement Control Order (MCO) in Malaysia, there has been a surge of online activity that was unprecedented. Everyone staying at home with no recourse for outside entertainment meant that users were highly more inclined to spend time online. Think about what that means in terms of your online audience, and compare it with the online audience of, say 2019.

2. With MCO, suddenly there are more people on social platforms than ever before. When users used to consume digital media when they were at home pre-COVID, now entire nations can (and do) consume digital media throughout the whole day. And it doesn’t end at media consumption. Over the course of 2020, users have also taken more decisive action to leverage digital platforms to fulfill consumer needs.

3. Where there have previously been large pools of users that were either unfamiliar or untrusting of e-commerce and online shopping, those groups have largely been converted. Where there was once a common mistrust, there are now entire generations of new believers.

4. Think about it, now your parents or grandparents have become somewhat accustomed to the online shopping process (at the very least, they understand how to browse and then ask for their children’s help with the purchasing process).

5. To illustrate the above point, Facebook recently reported that Southeast Asia as a whole has undergone an approximate 5 YEARS worth of digital ‘education’ in just one year of 2020. This means that what would have originally taken 5 years of digital education to achieve this size of audience with media consumption and e-commerce familiarity has only taken a year because – that’s right – new users have taken the initiative to educate themselves on how the process works. This in turn means great news for all digital marketers.

6. As marketers, in order to sell, you need a market to sell to. For digital, understand that your audience is limited to users that are on the digital platform. To grow your potential audience, an education process must happen to educate users about their ability to conduct purchases online. There is an overwhelming increase in demand for online consumption, and the supply of services is struggling to keep up. The climate is still fresh.

7. So what does this mean for you? Don’t worry, a rising tide raises ALL ships.

8. If you are a small business owner, you can pivot extremely fast in order to scale. You have an expanded audience to collect data and learnings from, and with the right automation tools deployed strategically, you can grow your business at an accelerated rate than you would have been able to just this time last year. Use this knowledge as leverage that you have an exponentially bigger audience to sell now vs. just a year ago.

9. If you are a larger scale marketer for bigger brands, you should also rejoice, as the digital market is bigger than ever, with so much more to play for. There is a bigger slice of the pie to corner, assuming you are willing to experiment with new strategies and pivot as you go along. With the power of scale, your analytics tools will be more important than ever in leveraging the mass amounts of data available. This is the time to run mass A/B testing and test out different audience sets as there is more data than ever, and there is a key opportunity here to actually help shape the market in these early days.

10. Come 2021: NOW is the time to make big, bold moves on digital. This is the time for taking bigger risks, and collecting learnings while the new digital climate is still fresh. For those that refuse to adapt…the market will not wait for you.

This article was written by Fadli Azali of iProspect.

iProspect is a digital marketing agency part of the Dentsu Aegis Network in Malaysia. It delivers integrated marketing campaigns such as performance marketing, search engine optimization, website, and app development, content marketing, as well as social media, and CRM.

SME Featured Southeast Asia

Dattel Asia to offer 10,000 businesses in Malaysia free consumer data and training package

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia – Dattel Asia, an ASEAN consumer data & analytics company, has recently launched UPLIFT Malaysia – an initiative to empower 10,000 businesses by offering them a free consumer data & training package. 

A total of RM 50M has been allotted for the program, where each free package’s worth equates to RM 5K (US$1,223). The package will provide businesses with actionable insights on the latest consumer behavior as well as exclusive training on how to grow one’s business with data. 

The company said the initiative was developed with the aim to help individuals who have lost jobs or businesses that are being impacted by the recent economic downturn to recuperate sustainably.

Businesses’ access to the package is subject to approval. Applications for the UPLIFT data fund are open to any individuals or companies on its website, especially those interested in consumer-facing business such as retail, fashion, and F&B as well as fitness, beauty, and health, or snacks.

Upon review, successful applicants will receive access to the package as well as weekly updates on consumers’ COVID-19 sentiment and behaviors. Access to the package is only limited to the first 10,000 eligible applicants.

Ashran Dato’ Ghazi, CEO, Dattel Asia

Dattel Asia shared that one of the inspirations for the program was when CEO Ashran Dato’ Ghazi met many entrepreneurs struggling with the abrupt shift in consumers’ behavior due to COVID-19 outbreak. 

“The behavioral shifts caused many consumer-facing businesses uncertain about how, or even if, they should respond to the changes. With so many changes happening at an unprecedented rate, companies do not have the necessary insights that are up-to-date and comprehensive for them to pivot their business or marketing strategy,” Dattel Asia said in a press statement.

Dattel Asia has partnered with several powerhouses in the industry for the program such as university network BAC Education Group, business process outsourcing firm Transcosmos Malaysia, and ZBRA Business Research & Analytics. 

UPLIFT has also gained the support of government-supported entrepreneurial capacity building agency Institut Keusahawanan Negara (INSKEN), business academy and venture builder Owners Circle, and the and the country’s Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) Kementerian Pembangunan Usahawan dan Koperasi. Dattel Asia hopes more industry players will come forward and contribute to the initiative.

Marketing Featured East Asia

Pandemic woes have varied consumer impact on China, Japan markets: report

London – The ongoing global pandemic has created varied consumer impacts and reactions within the consumer base within the Chinese and Japanese markets, recent statistics from consulting firm Ernst & Young show.

In their latest “EY Future Consumer Index,” the report showed contrasting behaviors on pandemic impact on consumer behavior and everyday life. Chinese consumers showed more optimism that the pandemic fear will fade off, as 46% of the respondents say the fear will only last about one to six months. On the other hand, Japanese consumers were less optimistic, with 66% of the respondents saying that the fear will last for about a year or more.

With a significant increase in consumers shifting to online shopping, Chinese consumers are very likely to show interest in online shopping, with appliances and technology-related items being the top shopping choice.

On the other hand, Japanese consumers’ behavior tends to lean more to a “normalization” perspective, which accounted for the top consumer trend in the country.

Andrew Cosgrove, EY global consumer knowledge leader, notes that such mixed consumer behavior means that the future of shopping means transitioning to online channels.

“This points to the risk of showrooming, with consumers going to stores to touch and feel the product for the experience but then making purchases online where products might be cheaper. Retailers and consumer product companies will need to ensure they have both seamless omnichannel experience and the stock and price point needed to make the sale,” Cosgrove stated.