Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Indonesia market tops F&B app downloads in SEA

Singapore – The downloads of food and drink apps globally have hit 1.7 billion during the last year, ending March 2022, up nearly 10% year-over-year (YoY). In terms of the app downloads in SEA, Indonesia saw the largest growth with a nearly 88% YoY increase as compared to the other three countries, which are the Philippines with over 48%, Singapore with more than 10%, and Thailand with over 25%, according to a report by global data AI company,

The report also found that time spent on food and drinks apps has grown 65% YoY globally in the last year. In Indonesia, the time spent on food and drinks jumped nearly fivefold to 423 million hours as compared to the past year. Besides Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines have also taken the sixth and seventh spots when it comes to the total time spent on food and drink apps across the globe, up 70% and 180% respectively.

Moreover, Malaysia with over 130%, Vietnam with more than 150%, and Singapore with over 145% have also made it to the list of top 25 global markets by time spent, signalling growth opportunities for the region as more Southeast Asians take their food and drinks ‘more seriously’.

The same report revealed the emergence and expansion of new local players and overseas competitors such as Grab, foodpanda, and McDonald’s, amongst others in the region, which allow consumers to easily access their favourite food and drinks stores. 

“Growth in Food & Drink downloads indicates the market is ripe for user acquisition, but competition is heating up. Growth in total sessions highlights that consumers are forming habits and relying on these apps more than ever to access appetizing food — restaurant-quality or home cooking ready — at the tap of an app,” said Lexi Sydow, head of insights at

Technology Featured APAC

Consumers from SG, HK expect brands to connect with them at a deeper level: survey

Singapore – About 80% of consumers in Singapore and Hong Kong want brands to connect with them personally, and 70% say that brands have deepened their relationship in the past year through positive online experiences, according to a survey by digital experience management software Sitecore.

The survey showed that seven out of 10 consumers have deeper relationships with brands, while the key to securing better experiences for consumers was to deliver quality customer service support and interactions, good customer experience when making a big-ticket item, positive initial interaction with a new brand, and through providing a relevant, helpful experience. The elements that trumped price were the high quality of products with 66%, reliability with 55%, and transparency and believability with 46%.

The same survey also found that consumers still greatly value the excitement of the in-store shopping experiences, with 36% saying they want to buy everything online, and 53% saying they ‘live for the experience’ and love to shop in person. Meanwhile, consumers place top priority on the ability to shop on mobile devices where apps or websites work well with 54%, and sites that remember their shopping preferences with 42%.

Joey Lim, Sitecore’s president for APJ, noted that consumers expect outstanding digital commerce experiences and they also expect online platforms and apps to work seamlessly, and their desire to shop in-store is very strong, however, the shift to digital is putting more pressure on brands to deliver quality customer service online. 

Lim also shared the survey showed that one in three consumers believe brands that show empathy and understanding will build stronger relationships with customers.

“Brands can pursue actions that build a stronger relationship with customers, such as illustrating empathy and understanding what they need at the moment. They can do this by providing insightful recommendations and deploying imagery and language that makes them feel represented by the brand,” she added. 

Moreover, the report revealed that loyalty changes frequently, as less than 25% of consumers are very loyal to their favourite brand store but consumer technology, banking services, and consumer goods deliver the strongest brand loyalty. It also found that consumers say that they have confidence in their favourite brand because it meets their expectations, gains trust, and guarantees satisfaction.

Meanwhile, discounts, loyalty programmes, and clear communications are highly valued when brands have to change prices, and more than 90% agree that brands need to prove that they treat their customers and their employees fairly. The survey also showed that while more consumers under the age of 44 are digital converts, most consumers love to shop in person for most of their purchases, and 40% say they chose to shop at brands with values that align with their own, as well as a third of consumers say that they have chosen to shop at brands with ‘real life’ vs. ‘perfect life’ experiences.

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

SEA advertisers embrace alternative ad targeting amidst new data privacy laws

Singapore – A growing number of advertisers in Southeast Asia are tapping into alternative ad targeting methods amidst new data privacy laws that have been implemented, according to the latest report from InMobi.

According to the report, around 80% of respondents have already started testing rules-based targeting that allows businesses to switch app experiences based on ‘rules’ such as user geography, operating system, browsers, device and more. Meanwhile, 76% of respondents identified contextual targeting as an alternative ad method to serve personalised messages to consumers based on demographics, preferences, and behaviours within the app.

Despite these strategies to move into alternative ad targeting methods, 44% of respondents highlight that a top concern on the phasing out of advertising identity is the inability to personalise and accurately target their ads. In addition, 51% of respondents expressed worry over the effectiveness and frequency of their consumer reach, resulting from having to rely on smaller data pools.

The report also noted that 38% of brands and 55% of media agencies in Southeast Asia are in the early stage of consumer data privacy management practice maturity, still trying to identify and understand the impact of consumer data privacy developments on their current mobile marketing strategy.

In addition, 81% of respondents comprising business decision-makers in Southeast Asia believe that increasing reach and conversion to improve profitability ranks as one of the top high-critical marketing priorities. This further links to privacy-related challenges where 60% of respondents acknowledged users’ ability to block their identifier for advertisers (IDFA) as a key marketing challenge.

Rishi Bedi, managing director for Asia-Pacific at InMobi, said, “The advertising ecosystem in Southeast Asia showcases matured levels of preparedness for data and identity deprecation. Publishers in the region are more advanced in their consumer data privacy practices than brands and media agencies who seem to be struggling to build a culture that values privacy and enforces regulatory compliance. Obtaining executive support for data stewardship and governance program can help businesses overcome this obstacle.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Thailand’s Central Retail Corp amongst top SEA retailers

Bangkok, Thailand – Euromonitor International, the global independent strategic market research provider firm, has revealed its ‘Top 100 Retailers in Asia 2022’ report, with three retailers from Thailand entering the SEA rankings, including omnichannel retailer Central Retail Corp with US$5.06b in 2021 sales, which ranked seventh amongst the other 25 retailers from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam.

The other two are conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group with US$4.44b in 2021 sales, landing at 10th place, as well as hypermarket chain operator Big C Supercenter PCL with US$2.53b in 2021 sales, ranking 15th. The list was topped by Shopee’s parent company Sea from Singapore, with US$16.06b in 2021 sales.

In last year’s report by Euromonitor, Big C Supercenter PCL was ranked 12th in SEA rankings, while Central Retail Corp and Charoen Pokphand Group did not make the cut. 

The ‘Top 100 Retailers in Asia 2022’ report found that retail performance in 2021 reflects the pace of channel shifts, and e-commerce players outperformed other distribution channels, especially in markets with lower online penetration. It also revealed that pricing, marketing, and customer service also need to reflect individual market dynamics. When well-executed, localised approaches give retailers and manufacturers a steadfast and longer-term competitive edge. 

“SEA is home to more than 500 million people with diverse ethnicities, cultures, and religions, as well as online shopping habits. Conquering this market is complex. Regional e-commerce players must create localised strategies like search engine optimisation for respective countries and languages or product lines catered to various cultural needs,” said Euromonitor.

According to Euromonitor, retailing current value sales in Thailand fell for the second year in a row in 2021, with the rate of decline accelerating into double digits. Due to lockdowns, non-essential retail outlets, such as department stores and variety stores, underwent closure for an extended period. However, retailing current value sales were supported to an extent by an increase in welfare payments and subsidies by the government.

This 2022, retailing current value sales will begin to expand again, with the rate of growth accelerated over the course of the forecast period. However, in constant value terms (2021 prices), retailing value sales will not surpass their 2019 level until 2025. Growth will be supported by an anticipated post-pandemic economic rebound, with a revival in inbound tourism playing a significant role in this.

Marketing Featured East Asia

dentsu China launches report on consumers’ buying behaviour in China’s EV market

Shanghai, China – dentsu China has released a new report, ‘The road to success in China’s Electric Vehicle Market,’ in partnership with MaLogic, a technology-enabled marketing group, TalkingData, a China-based independent big data service platform, and UnionPay Advisor, the profession services arm of Union Pay. The report provides an in-depth view of the consumer behaviours, sentiments and buying habits that shape this exciting opportunity for marketers in the interconnected era. 

The wide range of data analysed includes both conventional and electric vehicles (EV) and a great number of transactions. The report considers the challenges and opportunities in this already highly competitive electric vehicle market. It offers actionable steps for brands to successfully align marketing strategies to the unmet needs of prospective customers. 

Deric Wong, CEO, dentsu China, said, “The Electric Vehicle market is increasingly competitive and fast-paced. We are excited to team up with Malogic, to unlock consumption data to better understand the consumption choices, behavioural patterns and priorities of EV buyers. Our report also provides marketers with vital insights to connect with current and prospective category buyers, helping them pave the way for future success in an increasingly changing market.”

“Future success lies not only for vehicles with optimized battery management but also those that offer consumers a wide range of digital services. In addition to understanding the consumer behaviour, with deep analysis and simulation, we look at mobile data from TalkingData to identify criteria for precise customer targeting and optimized marketing strategies to meet the needs of future EV buyers,” Wong added.

It’s the younger generation that will drive future business growth in the automotive industry. The car has evolved from a ‘means of transportation’ to an ‘enabler of individual mobility’. Determining purchase factors such as consumers’ decision-making paths, EV brand impressions, and definitions of “premium” are continually being restructured.

Eliza Wong, CEO of MaLogic, shared, “Our findings indicate that the electric vehicle market still offers great potential, especially in the upper mid-range and premium segments. We have found that the spending behaviour of current Chinese premium EV brand buyers is equivalent to that of buyers of traditional non-premium conventional cars. We can therefore conclude that most buyers of legacy premium car brands are still looking for a premium EV offering that suits their needs. This is good news for traditional premium automakers as the EV market still offers them a tremendous opportunity.”

It is also noted in the report that the consumption power of EV buyers is up to 33% lower than traditional cars. It has been found that Chinese EV buyers are underrepresented in the eastern and southern regions and Tier 1 cities when it comes to their wallet share. All-category EV consumers spend up to 33% less than those who purchase conventional cars. This indicates a significant demand for bespoke EV offerings in geographies with the highest purchasing power.

Meanwhile, in terms of broader consumer behaviour, buyers of conventional cars seem to place more value on larger ticket purchases (e.g., real estate, jewellery, etc.). Chinese EV buyers are following a more pleasure and leisure-oriented consumption pattern, with much of their wallets being spent in service industry categories such as coffee shops, karaoke, cinema, sports activities, and travel. Similar behaviour, albeit to a lesser extent, is exhibited by buyers of conventional cars. With that, the service industry categories seem to be relevant for interacting with customers.

Buyers of Chinese EV brands tend to gravitate toward financial management apps (11 out of the top 15 apps), while buyers of conventional cars use a wider variety of apps. Overall, the average target group index (TGI), a measure of target group usage efficiency, is 80% higher among Chinese EV buyers (429 vs 236). This underscores the importance of precise targeting to achieve the best results. 

Platforms Featured ANZ

New Zealand amongst top countries in APAC most ready to travel again

New Zealand – Eight in 10 New Zealand travellers are set to travel in the next 12 months but are less willing to share their personal information for both safety and personalisation, according to a report by global online travel company

The data found that New Zealand was ranked fourth as the country with the most travel confidence. With India topping the poll, Vietnam, China, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Korea, as well as Taiwan, and Japan were also part of the ranking.

The same data also revealed that 79% of the surveyed travellers in New Zealand are most likely to travel in the next 12 months, while 49% consider leisure travel important during COVID-19, and 27% of the travellers would not postpone a trip despite the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, 41% are accepting anticipated travel disruptions, while 61% are comfortable with the reopening of borders. About 58% are also willing to share their personal information for safety, while 47% are willing to share their personal information for greater personalisation, and 58% have confidence with New Zealand receiving international travellers.

Moreover, the data shows that even with the resumption of international travel, a large majority of New Zealand travellers are likely to continue with domestic travel. Despite this, nearly half are likely to travel internationally in the next six months with the majority of travellers planning to travel within the APAC region. It also found that the pandemic has had some impact on the type of accommodation that travellers prefer with hotels emerging most popular, potentially due to a desire for more transparency around safety.

“The commissioned research polled 11,000 travellers from 11 countries and territories across Asia and Oceania between April and May 2022, combining this with the company’s proprietary data and insights as a digital travel leader over the past 25 years,” said

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Linear advertising takes lion’s share of ad spend in Vietnam

Vietnam – In Vietnam, linear advertising still accounts for 62% of the country’s advertising budgets, according to data from Mediabrands’ MAGNA.

According to the report, this year’s advertising revenues in Vietnam are increasing by 5% higher than anticipated due to the pre-COVID situation, which has caused pullbacks in advertising activity since 2021.

Meanwhile, TV advertising revenues are still a huge portion of overall ad budgets in Vietnam. Even though television ad spending is decreasing by -4% it still represents 58% of the total budget.

In other mediums, print ad sales continued to decline this year by -3%, and will continue by -4% in 2023, representing just 5% of total advertiser budgets. Furthermore, spending on print will represent just 70% of the pre-COVID total in 2019 by the end of this year 2022.

Lastly, as the economy recovers from the COVID outbreak in 2021, out-of-home (OOH) expenditure is expected to increase by 20% this year.

For digital advertising, the revenue is increasing by +22% and represents 38% of total advertiser budgets. Digital spending is led by social media advertising, which will increase by +36% and represent 48% of total digital advertising budgets. By format, mobile +30%, video +15%, and search +13% are leading growth.

According to the estimate, Vietnam’s advertising revenue will bring the market to VND 32.8 trillion ($1.5 billion). On a real GDP basis, Vietnam’s economy is expected to grow by 6.0%. Worldwide, media owners’ ad income will rise by over 9.2% this year, reaching around US$828 billion, or approximately 32% above the pre-COVID level of 2019. In addition, advertising revenues in the Asia-Pacific region are expected to rise by more than 7% to US$273 billion, or 35% higher than they were before COVID, thanks to an increase of over 12% in digital advertising.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Indonesian banks, insurers need to step up to serve changing local demographics

Jakarta, Indonesia – As the financial services industry in Indonesia is returning to a state of normalcy, local banks and insurers are encouraged to step up their engagement strategies amidst a changing demographic landscape in the country, new data from sales engagement solutions provider Vymo.

According to the insights, around 73% of consumers say a differentiated experience, not just an acceptable experience, is what it takes for a customer to remain loyal. Meanwhile leading banks and insurers will use relevant and responsible personalization as a key differentiator to create loyal clients, while dedicated advisors will be responsible for creating stronger brand loyalty for customers.

It also noted that financial service institutions will need to build a salesforce that can adapt, attract and retain the loyalties of Indonesia’s digital-savvy consumer class with considerable spending power. While the quality of financial products and services from data utilisation has improved significantly, customer expectations in terms of product relevance, personalised buying experience, and post-sales support are key differentiators in the digital landscape.

Rajesh Sabhlok, managing director for APAC at Vymo, said, “Previously, lifestyle insurance was based on life stages. Someone starts a family, you talk to them about the increased cover they need. They change their jobs, there’s a salary hike, you advise them to set aside a part as insurance. But today, you can’t meet them in person. Here’s where technology enables remote engagement with customers.”

SME Featured Southeast Asia

Viet MSMEs with B2C e-commerce export value expected to bolster by 2026: report

Vietnam – Vietnamese MSMEs with B2C e-commerce export value are forecast to grow from US$3.3b in 2021 to US$11.1b by 2026, according to a report by the e-commerce exports program Amazon Global Selling.

The newly released report found that if ‘B2C e-commerce’ were an export category, it could be the fifth-largest export category in Vietnam in five years. It also discovered that 88% of surveyed MSMEs in the country feel that e-commerce is critical for their ability to export, while some of them anticipated greater sales growth prospects overseas with 42% more than in their home country with 11%. 

Moreover, the survey has revealed that key challenges can be narrowed down to three categories, namely barriers in cost, regulation, and information and capabilities.

Meanwhile, more than 80% of surveyed local MSMEs yet admitted that they lack information on relevant regulations overseas, while 85% believe they lack the ability to compete with other sellers globally, and 81% admitted that they are unsure of foreign consumers’ demands and preferences. 

Gijae Seong, Amazon Global Selling’s head for Vietnam, noted, “Local businesses of any size can benefit from the report on Vietnam e-commerce export trends to update about export potential, the perspective of local MSMEs, and best practices to achieve that potential.”

Marketing Featured Global

Teads, Havas Media Group release research on link between content engagement, ad attention

New York, USA – Global media platform Teads and Havas Media Group have released the results of ‘Project Trinity’, a collaborative research study, which was announced in 2021, that explored the drivers of user engagement in publisher environments, providing metrics and analysis to create a virtuous circle for digital advertising that balances the needs of publishers, advertisers and readers.

The research found that readers pay more attention to advertisements when they are engaged in the content the ad is placed within, with articles generating nearly 600% more attention than subcategory pages and 160% more than homepages. Ads placed in the centre of the screen on mobile received 25% more attention than ads on the side of the screen. 

Moreover, the research has revealed that ‘ad clutter’ weakens attention, with sports sites delivering twice the quantity of ads per screen, but only generating half as much attention per ad when compared to news sites. It also found a 20% balance between ads and content optimised user attention and limits the perception of clutter, suggesting that one larger ad over multiple smaller ones is more effective in garnering reader attention.

Jon Waite, Havas Media Group’s global head of activation, shared that they are committed to delivering meaningful media that connects with audiences in a specific context where a brand’s message can be effectively delivered.

“Project Trinity validates our philosophy that meaningful media experiences start with great user engagement, providing analysis for brands to deploy media investment in content that engages consumers and for publishers to create a sustainable digital ecosystem where the presence of ads enhances the user’s experience,” said Waite.

The study used eye-tracking and behavioural data passively collected from more than 2,000 US and UK panellists by Lumen Research in 2018, measuring engagement with content by a user’s dwell time per screen and scroll speed. Comparing site categories, the analysis found that news, science and sports websites generated the greatest user engagement. The news was the best performing category for time spent watching ads across gender and age groups, validating brands’ ability to both support quality journalism and forge meaningful connections with consumers through their media investment.

Caroline Hugonenc, Teads’ SVP of research and insights, said that Project Trinity should be a clear marker that the quality of attention an ad receives is as much of a driver of advertising outcomes as the raw volume. 

“The user engagement with the content is clearly impacting the attention level on the ad and therefore creating value for our ecosystem. As we start to build out models for buying attention, it’s important that both buy-side and sell-side are aligning on delivering great user experiences that will benefit the full trinity of advertiser, publisher and user,” added Hugonenc.