Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

SEA advertisers doubling down on mobile gaming ads since pandemic: report

Singapore – A sharp uptick in the adoption of mobile gaming ads since the pandemic began, and about six in 10 advertisers only started to leverage mobile in-game advertising in the last two years, but 90% of respondents have now advertised for at least a year or longer, according to a report by independent marketing cloud company InMobi.

The report also found that as much as 98% of advertisers reported increasing their spends on mobile gaming in the past year – double last year’s figure year-on-year – underscoring the potential of mobile games as an emerging marketing channel.

Additionally, the same report revealed that the unique ad formats in mobile game advertising enable higher audience attention and engagement, thus drawing strong interest from advertisers. The most explored mobile gaming ad formats are rewarded video, playables, and interstitials. But blended in-game ads are also increasing in popularity as advertisers seek to explore advanced native experiences. 

InMobi said that the report also indicates differences in success parameters between respondents at varying stages of the adoption of gaming advertising. Mature advertisers tend to view brand awareness and attention as the primary success metric for their campaigns. On the other hand, relative newcomers that have adopted gaming advertising for less than a year tend to often evaluate multiple aspects including reach, brand safety, and sales lift. 

Rishi Bedi, managing director at InMobi, shared that with rapid smartphone adoption and increased internet connectivity further contributing to the mobile gaming growth in SEA, there is no surprise that advertisers have increasingly integrated digital advertising with mobile games to tap into the region’s vast market potential.

“We look forward to helping this space grow as it creates more opportunities for brands to capitalise and expand how they engage their audiences,” said Bedi.

The report also shared that over 50% of respondents label programmatic buying as their most preferred mode of media buying on mobile gaming apps, and the top three mobile gaming app formats listed by respondents are ‘rewarded videos’, ‘playable ads’, and ‘interstitials’.

Moreover, almost 90% of respondents deem the suitability of game content to their brands’ values as a major factor when adopting mobile gaming ads, and about 70% of respondents who are mature advertisers label higher audience attention and engagement as the most important drive for their gaming ad investments. And lastly, over 50% of respondents leverage brand awareness levels as a benchmark parameter for campaign success of gaming ads.

SME Featured East Asia

Lalamove HK offers exclusive promotion opportunities to SMEs amidst pandemic surge

Hong Kong – On-demand delivery platform Lalamove in Hong Kong has launched a new series of initiatives this February, aimed at helping the community in fighting against the pandemic.

The initiatives include the ‘Support Our SMEs’ campaign, which was launched last 14 February 2022. It seeks to support more than 150 SMEs by providing them with exclusive promotion opportunities. 

With this initiative, Lalamove has been leveraging its own and other promotional platforms to help SMEs promote their exclusive offers. These SME partners span across a wide range of sectors such as F&B, catering, lifestyle products, sporting equipment, and electronic products, as well as apparel. 

Shing Chow, Lalamove’s founder and CEO, shared that they have been inspired by the many unsung heroes working diligently to serve the community amidst a challenging situation. 

“Our team at Lalamove has focused on leveraging our strength and strong network in the instant delivery landscape, to help non-profit organizations and SMEs affected by the pandemic moving things that matter on their behalf. We hope to extend our support to grassroots families so that we can overcome this adversity together,” said Chow.

Meanwhile, another initiative is free logistics support for non-profit organizations, which was launched last 18 February 2022. Through this, Lalamove has received more than 50 requests from NGOs for logistics support, delivering epidemic supplies such as rapid test kits, medical supplies, disinfectants, and masks, as well as food.

And lastly, the initiatives also include the donation of 10,000 rapid test kits to help grassroots families who are dealing with the pandemic. To date, Lalamove has donated 10,000 sets of rapid testing kits to various non-profit organizations that have then distributed them to the homeless, as well as grassroots families and workers, hoping to lessen their burdens in searching for the precaution item.

Main Feature Marketing Southeast Asia

What’s NEXT: How the ride-hailing industry shifted gears to meet market demand

Businesses that have been receptive to the various shifts in market demand and have effectively pivoted their corporate strategies are well-equipped to ride the economic upswing expected in 2022. 

The ride-sharing industry in particular has had to contend with the massive setbacks that were precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. During the onset of the pandemic, a survey by market research platform Milieu Insight showed that 45 per cent of people in Singapore were spending less on ride-hailing services than usual, while a significant 36 per cent were increasingly concerned about the COVID-19 situation. Travel restrictions, compounded by lockdowns, circuit breakers, and stringent safety management measures, have and continue to disrupt regular consumption habits.

The ‘modern’ rider

Ride-hailing itself continues to be a viable service as consumers turn to mobility apps to book rides and avoid the crowds in public transportation.

The ability to move from one point to another, be it through private rides or small-group carpooling, proves to be a boon for those who prefer not to worry about braving crowds. A McKinsey report on shared mobility showed that during COVID-19, ridesharing is a preferred option to trains and buses, in which social distancing is challenging.

We believe that this is due in large part to the consistent emphasis on health and safety standards within the ride-hailing industry, even prior to the pandemic. Consumers have immense trust and confidence that they are more safe and secure when using ride-hailing services. With the onslaught of the pandemic, the industry has taken even greater measures to ensure the health and safety of its riders by committing to regular wipe downs and mandated mask-wearing.

These steps have further solidified the public perception that private rides offered by ride-hailing apps are safer than public transit. A Singapore Management University survey found that Singaporean commuters were more likely to opt for private-hire cars and/or taxis over public transportation. With the looming threat of the more easily transmissible Omicron variant, we expect the use of this service to grow in 2022 as consumers continue to prioritise their health and safety.

There is also a shift in mindset that we increasingly see in people today. Private rides are not a matter of luxury anymore, but rather about comfort, practicality and reliability. Discerning consumers are able to weigh the pros and cons of each viable option. While public and private transportation each has their merits, ride-hailing services offer the midpoint of being hassle-free and fairly priced.

Revving forward

With Singapore treating COVID-19 as endemic and the country’s gradual transition to a hybrid work arrangement, consumers could strongly benefit from the advantages of ride-hailing. As the daily commute becomes an antiquated concept for many of us, ride-hailing is now an attractive, stress-free alternative for the cost-conscious, given the irregularity of in-office work.

At present, ride-hailing providers have gone on to offer subscription plans that are a cost-efficient, practical option to those who need more of these services. Subscription plans not only come with discounts or cashback but also with bonuses and special offers that give consumers more bang for their buck.

As two of the major market demands from the industry currently are the incorporation of food delivery services and a safe, worry-free ride-hailing experience, subscription plans have likewise come to reflect these consumer appetites. In Singapore, several ride-hailing companies have started offering bundled subscription services that combine both food delivery and ride-hailing services in a singular monthly plan. This is made even more practical as riders can adjust these monthly plans in accordance with their consumption patterns. Through these subscription plans, ride-hailing companies are able to provide a convenient and reasonably priced alternative for working commuters who are currently adjusting to the novel idea of hybrid working.

As the practice of hybrid work and the demand for food delivery remains stronger than ever, subscription plans will serve as a strong foundation for the ride-hailing industry to grow in 2022. With more of these plans emerging in the future, it is up to service providers to offer increasingly more attractive, competitive plans that consumers could adhere to for a long period of time.

Riding into the future

It has been roughly two years since everyone had to do an almost complete overhaul of their routines. However, this also means everyone had two years to adjust and embrace this new environment.

The changes in consumer behaviour offered ride-hailing providers several windows of opportunity they can leverage on, and the continuous rise in the number of users and increased appreciation of the convenience and practicality of the services these companies offer are to be expected. We’ve seen that the ride-hailing industry, in particular, is not only in lockstep with the shifting market demands, but is also proactive and strategic in its handling of the distinct challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Ride-hailing companies changed gears as they saw fit, and the road seems well-paved for them to continue to do so in the future.

This article is co-written by Terence Zou, CEO and founder of Ryde, and Katrina Adrianne, PR & communications lead at Ryde.

The article is published as part of MARKETECH APAC’s thought leadership series What’s NEXT. This features marketing leaders sharing their marketing insights and predictions for the upcoming year. The series aims to equip marketers with actionable insights to future-ready their marketing strategies.

If you are a marketing leader and have insights that you’d like to share with regards to the upcoming trends and practices in marketing, please reach out to [email protected] for an opportunity to have your thought-leadership published on the platform.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

From Tokyo 2020 to ‘Shang-Chi’, here are the top Google searches among Singaporeans

Singapore – As we finally come to the conclusion of 2021, Google has released its newest review of the most-searched terms: from good to bad, that encapsulates what Singaporeans had in mind in terms of the latest trends and happenings for this year.

The Tokyo Olympic 2020 games were the top-search international news among Singaporeans, which also ranked 6th among the trending Google term searches. Meanwhile, the recently-released 2021 Marvel superhero film ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ ranked as top most-searched movies among Singaporeans, as well as 10th in the most-searched terms on Google.

Meanwhile, prevention of COVID-19 is still on top of mind among Singaporeans, ranking 7th in term searches. This is in fact reflected in the reality of Singaporeans rallying together to encourage the community, especially the more vulnerable, to get vaccinated. This includes programs like mobile vaccination clinics in the heartlands to ensure the elderly are protected against the virus.

The pandemic was not the only moment of adversity Singaporeans had shown unity to. These include local tragic events such as the Tanjong Pagar accident (#1 in Singaporean news) and the River Valley high school incident (#2 in Singaporean news). Singaporeans also showed concern towards international events such as the coup d’ etat in Myanmar (#4 in trending international news) and the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan (#3 in trending international news).

In terms of sports, Singaporeans’ love for sports have resonated through the top trending searches. It reflects the ability of sporting events as a platform to boost morales, where people cheered for the same teams and tuned in to major sports events such as UEFA Euro 2021 (#1 Trending Searches, #1 Trending Sports Events) and the English Premier League (#3 Trending Searches, #4 Trending Sports Events).

In addition, Singaporeans showed their support for Olympic swimmer Joseph Schooling’s (#1 Trending Singapore Personalities, #1 Trending Olympic Searches) by following his journey through the Olympics, together with other local athletes like table tennis players, Yu Mengyu (#2 Trending Singapore Personalities, #2 Trending Athletes) and Feng Tianwei (#6 Trending Singapore Personalities, #7 Trending Athletes).

In terms of travel, Singaporeans sought respite on cruises to nowhere with cruise lines like Royal Caribbean (#1 Trending activities and places in Singapore) and Dream Cruise (#3 Trending activities and places in Singapore). Back on land, Museum of Ice Cream (#4 Trending activities and places in Singapore) found its home in Singapore, and instantly became a popular photo spot for locals. Popular mainstays like the Singapore Flyer (#8 Trending activities and places in Singapore) and River Safari (#10 Trending activities and places in Singapore) also saw an uptick in local visitors, as well as checking in for staycations at the newly-opened Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore (#6 Trending activities and places in Singapore).

The full list are as follows:

Trending International News:

  1. 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games
  2. Gamestop
  3. Taliban takeover in Afghanistan
  4. Myanmar coup
  5. Suez Canal
  6. Evergrande
  7. Cristiano Ronaldo
  8. Aryan Khan
  9. Alec Baldwin
  10. Georgia Senate Race

Trending Singapore News:

  1. Tanjong Pagar accident
  2. River Valley high school
  3. SPH ‘Umbrage’
  4. GST Voucher
  5. Sylvia Chan
  6. Phoon Chiu Yoke
  7. Raeesah Khan
  8. National Day Parade 2021
  9. Budget 2021 Singapore
  10. KAWS

Trending Movies:

  1. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
  2. Eternals
  3. Black Widow
  4. Mortal Kombat
  5. No Time to Die
  6. Raya and the Last Dragon
  7. Suicide Squad
  8. Red Notice
  9. Godzilla vs Kong
  10. Army of the Dead

Trending Singaporean Personalities:

  1. Joseph Schooling
  2. Yu Mengyu
  3. Sylvia Chan
  4. Shane Pow
  5. more_vert
  6. Raeesah Khan
  7. Feng Tianwei
  8. Loh Kean Yew
  9. Quah Zheng Wen
  10. Kane Lim

Trending Searches:

  1. UEFA Euro 2021
  2. NBA League
  3. IPL 2021
  4. English Premier League
  5. Squid Game
  6. 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games
  7. COVID-19 Prevention
  8. Bitcoin Price
  9. iPhone 13
  10. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Trending TV Shows:

  1. Squid Game
  2. Hometown Cha Cha Cha
  3. Vincenzo
  4. True Beauty
  5. Mr Queen
  6. WandaVision
  7. Bridgerton
  8. My Name
  9. Loki
  10. Alice in Borderland

Angeline Leow, head of communications at Google Singapore, said, “2021 has been a year of healing, as Singaporeans find creative ways to recover and regain our momentum. Google searches are indicative of the macro trends in Singapore and give us a glimpse of the local and global happenings the nation cares deeply about.”

She added, “With more content and internet users online, there’s more need to organize information than ever before so we’ll continue to invest in AI to give people new ways to search and explore information through voice, images and videos while helping people better evaluate the credibility of information they find online.”

Platforms Featured ANZ

How to get vax cert, make face mask: Here are Aussies’ top Google searches for 2021

Australia – It’s that time again to review what has been – the good, the bad, and the exciting – in the year that’s past. What people are searching on the internet has always been a top indicator of the issues and trends that are currently keeping them on their toes, and in the case of vibrant and diverse Aussies, pandemic remains to be the top tenant of their mindspace. 

How to get a vaccination certificate and how to make a DIY face mask emerged as some of the leading searches in the ‘How to’ category, showing how the pandemic not seeing its definitive end this year continues to keep Aussies busy on making the best of the health crisis.

Aside from the pandemic, Google found four more emerging themes in the searches of Australians over 2021 such as sports, DIY projects, world events, and home cooking. 

Sports-loving Aussies can’t help to relish this interest with the top seven queries overall relating to basketball, footy, cricket, tennis, and the Olympics. Meanwhile, more time indoors made Aussies more comfortable exploring DIY projects where top ‘How to’ and DIY searches relate to curiosity in playing with candles, playdough, and paper boats. The pandemic dampening opportunities to meet people in person have made it up to themselves to break monotony day-to-day, showing keenness to explore classes in dance, pottery, piano, and even glass blowing. 

This year, Aussies were boggled with both local and world events, trying to be up to speed with the earthquake in Melbourne and the crisis in Afghanistan. The top searches also showed Aussies had been very interested in learning more about worldly concepts with search for terms emancipated, insurrection, and gaslighting leading the list.

On a lighter note, the domination of home cooking during the lockdown-heavy period didn’t leave Aussies behind. Aussies’ palate showed cravings for guacamole and tzatziki recipes with curried sausages coming up as an unexpected trend. Searches also demonstrated that Aussies returned to classic comfort food, craving gnocchi, lamb shanks, and minestrone soup, squeezing in their love for sweets with searches pointing to Anzac biscuits and rocky road. 

Overall, the top five searches by Aussies in 2021 were NBA, AFL, Australia vs India, NRL, and Euro 2021. 

Grouped per category by Google, here is the full list of the top searches in Australia for 2021:

Overall searches

  1. NBA
  2. AFL
  3. Australia vs India
  4. NRL
  5. Euro 2021
  6. Wimbledon
  7. Olympic medal tally
  9. Coinspot
  10. Prince Philip

News events

  2. Cleo Smith
  3. QLD COVID update
  4. Alec Baldwin
  5. Coronavirus Victoria
  6. William Tyrrell
  7. Bert Newton
  8. Christian Porter
  9. Afghanistan
  10. Melbourne earthquake

News events

  2. Cleo Smith
  3. QLD COVID update
  4. Alec Baldwin
  5. Coronavirus Victoria
  6. William Tyrrell
  7. Bert Newton
  8. Christian Porter
  9. Afghanistan
  10. Melbourne earthquake

Global figures

  1. Alec Baldwin
  2. Rita Ora
  3. Travis Scott
  4. Kyle Rittenhouse
  5. Adele
  6. Naomi Osaka
  7. Pete Davidson
  8. Simone Biles
  9. Tiger Woods
  10. Emma Raducanu


  1. Prince Philip
  2. Gabby Petito
  3. Bert Newton
  4. Brian Laundrie
  5. Sean Lock
  6. Michael Gudinski
  7. Sarah Everard
  8. Carla Zampatti
  9. Helen McCrory
  10. Larry King


  1. NBA
  2. AFL
  3. Australia vs India
  4. NRL
  5. Euro 2021
  6. Wimbledon
  7. Olympics
  8. Australian Open
  9. EPL
  10. French Open


  1. Gnocchi recipes
  2. Guacamole recipe
  3. Curried sausages recipe
  4. Anzac biscuits recipe
  5. Negroni recipe
  6. Lamb shank recipe
  7. Brussels sprouts recipes
  8. Minestrone soup recipe
  9. Rocky road recipe
  10. Tzatziki recipe

‘How to…?’

  1. How to get vaccination certificate
  2. How to tie a tie
  3. How to deliver uber eats
  4. How to buy dogecoin
  5. How to watch olympics australia
  6. How to book COVID vaccine
  7. How to watch euro 2021 in australia
  8. How to link medicare to mygov
  9. How to book pfizer vaccine
  10. Million dollar vax how to enter

‘How to make…?’ DIY queries

  1. How to make a face mask
  2. How to make candles
  3. How to make playdough
  4. How to make a paper plane
  5. How to make a chatterbox
  6. How to make a website
  7. How to make slime without glue
  8. How to make a paper boat
  9. How to make fake blood
  10. How to make oxygen

Classes and lessons

  1. Dance classes near me
  2. Swimming lessons near me
  3. Driving lessons
  4. Pottery classes
  5. Swimming classes for kids near me
  6. Art classes near me
  7. Guitar lessons near me
  8. Piano lessons near me
  9. Zumba classes near me
  10. Glass blowing classes

Meanings and definitions

  1. Emancipated meaning
  2. Insurrection meaning
  3. Gaslighting meaning
  4. NAIDOC meaning
  5. NFT meaning
  6. Omicron meaning
  7. Frigid meaning
  8. Narcissist meaning
  9. ROC meaning
  10. Sedition meaning
Marketing Featured South Asia

LinkedIn launches sequel to campaign that bares workers’ struggle of finding ‘balance’ this pandemic

Mumbai, India – Working from home, now coined as the famous WFH, for the most part, had been initially looked to as a positive working structure for many, eliminating additional steps from workers’ daily grind such as not having to bother with commute, taking the pressure out to dress up, and overall, having less expenses and just more focus.

However, as everyone cruised through the pandemic testing out new lifestyles and decisions, people soon found the WFH has its own downsides and struggles that take a toll on workers’ mental health.

Leading online professional network LinkedIn aims to take a lead in this conversation with an India-specific campaign, and in partnership with digital creative agency The Glitch, the network has launched the second phase of its ‘Find The Balance’ campaign.

While work-from-home has many pros, work now being closely integrated with home life reveals some unexpected repercussions, and the campaign aims to provoke honest conversations about such struggle – finding work-life balance amid the pandemic.

The story of ‘Vedika’ in the new ‘Find The Balance’ campaign

Being more immersed with work in the comforts of one’s home steals away some precious time with friends and family, and each of the three ad films of the campaign tackles this dilemma.

Specially intended for professionals in India, each 35-second film shows the WFH life of fictional Vedika, Andrew, and Gaurav, who is a sales lead, a data analyst, and a marketing manager respectively. Each narrative shows how the individuals, amid the busyness of work, find time and space to engage with their friends, children, and parents.

The story of ‘Andrew’ in the new ‘Find The Balance’ campaign

In the first phase of the ‘Find The Balance’ campaign which was released in September this year, the stories of each were subtly touched on in a single one-minute film. In the sequel, viewers will be able to learn deeper how each represents the struggles of employees sheltered at home this pandemic.

Sivaram Parameswaran, the head of brand marketing for APAC at LinkedIn, commented that the #FindTheBalance brand campaign aims to be a reminder for LinkedIn members to “hit pause” and reconnect with their family, friends, and colleagues, and “find a new idea of balance.”

“As the world of work continues to evolve, we are committed to fostering a sense of community for our members to connect, spark conversations, share ideas, and encourage each other to build flexible schedules and a well-rounded lifestyle,” said Parameswaran.

The Glitch’s Creative Director Lucille Pereira shared that what she loves about the campaign is the ‘mirror’ it holds up to people’s lives.

“In the last 1.5 years, working from home gave us so many new perspectives. It taught us to bond deeply with our family, giving us the advantage of having all meals with them, as opposed to a ‘rushed’ breakfast, and a ‘tired’ dinner. It showed us how to make time for family, or carve out time for self, whether it’s doing things we love or just a quiet coffee & sunset session,” said Pereira.

Meanwhile, Riya Lalchandani, associate business director at The Glitch, added, “Our long-standing relationship with LinkedIn has always paved the way for relevant and insightful work. The world around us has changed and many of us have experienced the blurring of our professional and personal lives.”

With an official hashtag #findthebalance, the campaign also takes in the form of social media engagement, where in LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter professionals are encouraged to rewrite motivational quotes to make them more relatable for the post-pandemic world of work.

By humanizing old adages, the agency said the campaign hopes to help professionals to adopt a mindset of building a healthier lifestyle with clear work-life boundaries that allow for rest and recuperation” without guilt.”

The new short films are now live on LinkedIn and LinkedIn’s YouTube channels.

According to the agency, the first phase of the campaign garnered six million engagements on Facebook alone.

Main Feature Marketing Partners APAC

APAC roundtable gathers region’s marketing leaders, discuss current state of consumer acquisition & retention amid pandemic

We know that the consumer is ever-changing but the fluidity of their behavior has taken an entirely different meaning this pandemic – with unprecedented changes that unfolded such as the constraint on physical interactions and the economic plunge of markets, this completely overhauled how brands and businesses engaged with their target consumers. 

Last September 21, MARKETECH APAC, in partnership with CleverTap, gathered marketing leaders from all over the APAC region representing different industries, for the roundtable “Business Growth Levers from Acquisition to Retention” to discuss how the pandemic has shaken brands’ current playbook on consumer acquisition and retention strategies. 

Growth and marketing heads from the edtech, grocery, TV, airline, fitness, fintech, fast food, and publication sectors each shared their unique challenges and how their teams adapted to emerging brand new cohorts, shifting priorities among consumers, with new desires and motivations at the front. 

Watch live the highlights of the roundtable and hear straight from APAC’s marketing heads the notable changes this pandemic on consumer acquisition and retention.

The rise of new consumer segments amid the pandemic

The areas of educational platform, publication, and fitness witnessed the arrival of new consumer personas borne out of the heightened digital lifestyle. 

Marisha Lakhiani, CMO of Mindvalley, a learning platform for self-help and entrepreneurship, shared that during the period, the platform suddenly attracted younger users, a group it didn’t predominantly draw in before. 

Meanwhile, for global fitness brand Les Mills International, it found that its main fitness consumer now favors a split between in-gym and home digital workouts.

“The consumer’s new normal is 60:40 in terms of live and digital fitness; so if they’re doing 5 workouts in a week, 3 of them they want to do it in a club, in a live environment, and 2 they want to do as a digital workout,” shared Anna Henwood, CMO of Les Mills International. 

As for publications, Philippines’ Summit Media saw these changes most evidently on how consumers shifted their patterns in finding and consuming content. Specifically for its parenting brand, Smart Parenting, Facebook used to be its biggest acquisition channel, but over the current period, the channel has not been giving the volatility that’s expected, according to its Growth Lead Iza Santos-Cuyos.

During the roundtable, David Lim, the vice president for marketing of grocery platform HappyFresh, pointed out that whatever strategies that may have served marketing teams pre-pandemic can now be officially considered bygones.

“As a marketer, whatever we have learned in textbooks, on websites, [and] on webinars can be forgotten in the past 18 months…because if you just look at acquisition, everything has changed,” said Lim. 

Lim adds, “I think when it comes to the topic of acquisition, everything has to be extremely localized. We have to look at each market on its own, we have to look at each cohort on its own, and then link it back to how they retain, how they come back month after month in a very granular [manner], much more granular than before.” 

For acquiring consumers, improving SEO and search strategies have been the common thread, while forging strategic partnerships showed itself to be the redeeming factor among marketing teams to both acquire and retain consumers in the current market climate. At the roundtable, marketing leaders also emphasized the importance of first-party data.

For Mindvalley and Summit Media, it has been the same go-to response – focusing and investing more in search and SEO. 

“We identified the customers that we are actually retaining and try to acquire them, so like micro-acquiring a particular audience,” said Mindvalley’s Marisha Lakhiani. 

Summit Media’s Iza Santos-Cuyos shared that as they bolster their search strategies, the publication realized that it is in fact attracting a different set of cohorts on search versus those coming from Facebook, bringing them to conclude that they cannot now discount Facebook altogether while focusing on search.

“What we learned from doing that is to devise a separate strategy for audiences acquired on Facebook versus those acquired on search,” said Santos-Cuyos. 

Brands forming strategic partnerships to cushion drastic market changes

The fast-food industry took one of the biggest hits during the pandemic, with the phased-out in-person interactions blowing the footfall for dine-in. 

In the roundtable, KFC Malaysia’s CMO May Ling Chan shared that partnering with food delivery platforms acted as a safety net, where within the e-commerce scene, the QSR sector has not been the fastest in adoption. 

“I think what happened during the pandemic was [the] growth of food aggregators. For us, I think that’s the biggest part of acquisition that we see,” said Chan. 

Online food delivery has seen an unprecedented rise in adoption by both brands and consumers. According to a report by Statista, in Asia, revenue in the online food delivery segment has been projected to reach US$223,372m this year. 

Singapore’s supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice echoes the same gameplan, where its convenience store Cheers inked a tie-up with top delivery platforms GrabFood and foodpanda in order to answer to the surge in need for on-demand and fast delivery of food products. 

Vivek Kumar, NTUC FairPrice Group’s director for strategic marketing & omnichannel monetization, cited ‘Supper moments’ which Cheers aimed to create through the partnership, where consumers can not only see product offerings in a snap but to “go ahead” and complete their transaction in real-time.

“Supper moments on food delivery platforms is quite a unique opportunity. [When] restaurants are closed and you [still] want your beer and your nachos and your croissants, and stuff like that, this is the place to go to.” Kumar said.

He adds, “We can’t wait for the customers to come to us. We can create the right occasion [as long as] we understand the customer’s needs. We must give them very friction-free shopping experiences where they can complete their mission – you can’t leave it midway.”

The fast-changing consumer patterns pressing the importance of first-party data

Global cross-border payments platform OFX was also one of the brands that participated in the roundtable and its Global Head of Digital Acquisition Shad Haehae shared that as the pandemic pushed the stronger need for brands to know their customers a lot more, this made the platform re-evaluate the quality of data it obtains.

“We’re a money business, and people send money for particular reasons, so those reasons have changed,” said Haehae. 

OFX previously relied on third-party data for insights, but Haehae shares that as a business, OFX figured that it needed to be smarter on this front.

“We adopted new partnerships, new types of technologies [not just] from [a] martech [and] adtech perspective, even from a data perspective. We’ve done a lot of consolidation on platforms and data.” 

The same is the case for TV and radio operator giant, Astro, in Malaysia. 

“So it’s a balance between providing value to the customers to [keep] them from churning [and] aggregating our first-party data with social data, and with data that we have in the network to go after customers a lot more aggressively than we have in the past,” said Norsiah Juriani Johari, Astro’s vice president of marketing. 

For Les Mills International, they eventually leveraged first-party data which it successfully included in its marketing strategy because of the direct-to-consumer journey it now has via its own fitness app. Predominantly, its consumer was a gym member which Henwood admits the brand had no prior visible data of as well as on how its products looked like. 

With digital fitness now ingrained in people’s exercise routines, Henwood shared that content has become its differentiator, which is what makes “people stay.”

“So how we film our content [in] the lockdown, how we do that more and more so it’s really engaging with the customer, and how we [connect with] different personalities through [our] content – that’s been a big part of our retention strategy,” Henwood shares. 

For Cebu Pacific Air, meanwhile, one of the Philippines’ leading airlines, answering to pandemic-induced shifts meant working inward and letting the team adapt to new ways of implementing marketing strategies. 

Alongside relying on new consumer segments during this period, Michelle De Guzman, the airline’s marketing director, said, “Even the ways of working that we have as a marketing team, it has changed as well when it comes to user acquisition and retention.”

She shares, “We have also developed agile marketing sprints – and that was not something that was done before, but [has become] very important on what we do now.” 

Consumer acquisition & retention in 2022 and beyond

While overcoming each of the hurdles in their industries, marketing leaders agree that staying on top of the game is all about being continuously aligned to the shifts – from the minute to the massive transitions – in consumer and market behavior. 

HappyFresh’s David Lim believes that we cannot apply the same methods of acquisition anymore, and in 2022, one of the beliefs and assumptions that their team has is things would not be the same as pre-covid.

“Every country has [its] own announcement, every country has [its] own waves of covid with different government announcements. I think when it comes to the topic of acquisition, everything has to be extremely localized,” said Lim. 

Building trust among consumers also remains a vital factor in the consumer engagement journey, says Katherine Cheung, CMO of edtech Snapask. 

“One key factor that we have in Snapask on user retention and how to retain customers to our platform is of course by building trust. We have to bear in mind that since the pandemic, people have so much more free time, as most of the regions are still experiencing lockdown and they are not allowed to go out from time to time. We have to bear in mind that users have so much more time to invest in your product,” Cheung said.

FairPrice’s Vivek Kumar’s advice to leaders, “As a marketing leader, we need to create that vision and then keep people involved in the journey, so that becomes their objective and their mission and not just [acting according to] marketing teams’ wishlist – the moment that silo happens, we have lost the battle.”

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.