Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Digital travel agency leads travel brand rankings in Singapore: report

Singapore – Online travel agency was revealed as the best-perceived travel brand amongst responsible travellers in Singapore with 21.3 scores, according to market research company YouGov.

The report also found that the fellow travel booking platforms Agoda with 18.7 scores, Expedia with 17.6 scores, and Klook with 17.6 scores were closely behind the top spot.

Meanwhile, hospitality companies Shangri-La and Marriott ranked fifth and sixth, with consideration scores of 17.0 and 15.3 respectively. This was followed by online travel agency with 14.2 scores, accommodation booking platform with 14.0 scores, and Airbnb with 13.5 scores. And lastly, the Luxury hotel Grand Hyatt rounded off the top ten with a consideration score of 12.8.

“The YouGov Travel Brand Rankings 2022 is aimed at understanding how travel brands differentiate in the eyes of responsible travellers – defined as those who self-identify as being wellness-focused, culturally minded, and caring about environmental impact. The rankings spotlight the brands that score higher in terms of consideration amongst this audience group, based on YouGov BrandIndex Consideration scores from July 2021 to June 2022,” said YouGov.

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.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

SMRT Trains amongst top ad spenders in Singapore for first half of 2022

Singapore – For the first half of 2022, SMRT Trains has ranked first in the top 20 advertisers/groups with high percentage of ad spend in Singapore, while services, such as airlines, banks, and beauty, amongst others, has topped first in the top 20 industries in Singapore with an estimated $262.9m ad spend, according to global information, data and market measurement firm Nielsen.

The report also found that Lazada was second, and the Ministry of Communications and Information was third on the list of top 20 advertisers/groups in Singapore.

Meanwhile, agricultural/industrial and commercial have secured the second spot in the top 20 industries in Singapore with an estimated $78.16m ad spend, while retail was in the third spot with an estimated $54.95m ad spend.

Arnaud Frade, Nielsen’s head of commercial growth for APAC, said that in today’s complex and crowded media landscape, audiences have access to more content across more platforms than ever before, and to stay ahead, businesses need reliable advertising intelligence to develop efficient media strategies and differentiate themselves from their competitors.

“According to Nielsen’s ROI Report, media spend needs to be between 1% and 9% of revenue to stay competitive. It is crucial for marketers to continue to turn to Nielsen Ad Intel for quality intelligence, to differentiate themselves from the competition and to carve out the best path forward for their brand or media property,“ Frade added.

The insights released are to provide a glimpse into the Nielsen Ad Intel solution available to help boost marketers’ ad strategies. In this release, Nielsen highlights the biggest 20 advertisers and industry spenders in ten APAC markets, including Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, and South Korea, as well Taiwan, and Thailand.

Nielsen Ad Intel reveals that while spending varies according to each market, the biggest advertisers are within consumer goods, retail, communications and food across the reported markets during the first half of 2022. In industry rankings, governments across the region boosted ad spending during the first half of 2022.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Instagram delivers highest engagement rate for Singapore’s public sector: report

Singapore – Instagram is the platform of choice for statutory boards and ministries in the first half of 2022 as it has the highest engagement with 0.85%, according to a report by customer experience platform Emplifi.

The report also found that YouTube overtook Facebook as the second most engaging platform in comparison to the first half of 2021, highlighting the growing opportunity for the public sector to tap into imagery and video through social channels.

Varun Sharma, Emplifi’s VP for APAC and Japan, shared that social media continues to be a key channel for the public sector to inform citizens on important topics from the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination programs, travel measures to floods and social initiatives.

“We also see an increased focus on reaching millennials and Gen Z through the growing use of Instagram and platforms like TikTok. We expect this trend to continue along with a greater mix of content types – videos, stories, live streaming – to appeal to the younger demographic,” said Sharma.

Amongst the top five campaigns that drove the highest interactions, The Ministry of Health (MOH)’s vaccination content ranked first, followed by The National Parks Board (NPB)’s #CityInNatureSG campaign, The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF)’s NS55 campaign, MOH’s COVID Protocols, and MuslimSG’s Ramadan and Raya content.

The same report revealed that three out of the top five campaigns saw Instagram and YouTube dove the majority of interactions. On Instagram, #CityInNatureSG gathered 47,251 interactions (66.74% of total interactions), while MuslimSG earned 27,359 interactions (82.79% of total interactions). MINDEF NS55 registered 15,380 and 17,674 interactions (combined, 80.42% of total interactions) on YouTube and Instagram respectively. 

According to Emplifi, this is not surprising given that 88.7% of Singaporeans use YouTube two hours daily on average while four out of five select the channel as their preferred platform to watch videos. As for Instagram, it continues to be one of the most popular social networks for millennials, allowing brands to reach about 86% of the population.

Collectively, statutory boards produced four times more content than ministries in the first half of 2022. However, ministries saw better engagement, with over one million total interactions versus over 988,000 interactions received by statutory boards. The National Environment Agency (NEA) has maintained its lead from the first half of 2021 regarding the number of published content, while the second and third top content publishers were MINDEF and GOVTech respectively.

The report also found that MINDEF overtook MOH in the first half of 2022 as the top government body that drove the highest audience interactions. Most interactions were from Instagram at 112, 981 versus Facebook at 90,946. MINDEF also saw increased engagement on YouTube, receiving three times more than in the first half of 2021. MOH received only 22.8% (234,138) of the interactions it saw in the first half of 2021 where content on COVID-19 and national vaccination programs drew more interest. 

Meanwhile, The Land Transport Authority (LTA), secured third place with 140,940 interactions in the first half of 2022 with mini contest posts, behind-the-scenes content, as well as news on the land border opening between Singapore and Malaysia.

Following the 2021 trend, users remained highly engaged with government agencies in the first half of 2022. Brand content made up about half (54.52%) of all content on government profiles, with 2.05 million interactions (97.21%). Separately, while user-generated content accounted for 45.48% of the content, it led to only 58,666 interactions (2.79%).

In terms of engagement and interactions in the first half of 2022, replies took the lead at 42.83%, followed by shares with 31.12%, and posts with 26.05%. Previously, sharing was the most popular and replies the least, which shows how users are increasingly conversing with government bodies.

“Social media is a key strategic tool for the public and private sector. The speed at which messages can be passed and shared on social media can’t be equalled by any other communications channel. Whether it’s for real-time updates, answering questions or simply to show their more fun side, Singaporean governmental organisations continue to make good use of social media to reach and engage with their audiences,” said Sharma.

Marketing Featured Global

Meltwater, Twitter launch fashion-centric report highlighting key fashion trends, discussion

Singapore – Media and social intelligence company Meltwater and social media platform Twitter have co-launched a report that highlights insights on how fashion is being discussed online, and how marketers and advertisers should care about in 2022 and beyond.

The report explores the conversation drivers around top-trending fashion topics on Twitter over the past year— including luxury fashion, meta fashion, handmade fashion, inclusive fashion, and retro fashion— as well as ways that brands can stay ahead when it comes to responding to these conversations.

According to the report, the past year has seen high-end fashion conversations flourish on Twitter, and have grown 16.7% between March 2021 and February 2022. With an average of 20,000 mentions per day, this category saw the largest increase in mentions compared to other verticals like athleisure, fast fashion, and street style.

In addition, conversations about meta fashion have increased more than 1,500% as the metaverse, VR, and AR have entered the wider cultural consciousness. Across 1 million conversations that reached more than 330 million Twitter users, meta fashion netizens focused on luxury and designer pieces like sneakers, particularly when involving well-known, high-end brands and celebrities.

Lastly, after widespread calls for more diversity in the fashion industry in 2020 and 2021, the conversation around inclusive fashion has grown 7% in the past 6 months — averaging 1,400 mentions a day. Our analysis found that about 77% of authors in this conversation are writers, editors, designers, creators, bloggers, and models. Together, they give voice to this customer base’s values: inclusivity and innovative style.

Meltwater’s VP of Partnerships and Product Marketing Johnny Vance, said, “The insights in The Fashion Industry’s New Era illustrate the value of social listening and analytics. Explore, Meltwater’s AI-powered social listening platform sifts through billions of data points each day and enables brands, marketers, and boardrooms to enhance decision making whilst ensuring their marketing strategies remain both forward-thinking and customer-centric.”

He added, “By leveraging this kind of market research, brands, teams, and organisations can improve their competitive positioning, ultimately enabling an agile marketing strategy addressing the real-time shifts in consumer behaviour.”

Meanwhile, Lauren Jenkins, head of the Twitter Official Partner Program, commented, “To create innovative and impactful marketing strategies, you must have a comprehensive understanding of your target audience. The Fashion Industry’s New Era report, developed in partnership with Meltwater, taps into the global fashion conversation on Twitter to identify meaningful insights and emerging trends within the industry. The insights shared within the report provide fashion marketers and advertisers with a solid foundation they can use to build out their future marketing strategies.”

Marketing Featured APAC

APAC brands reinvest higher percentage of media spend than other regions: report

Singapore – Media spend varies by region, with brands in APAC reinvesting a higher percentage than other regions, while brands in North America reinvest slightly less, but enjoy a much stronger payback, according to a report by global audience measurement, data, and analytics company Nielsen.

The report also found that media spend often needs to be higher to break through and drive returns. Nielsen shared that its ‘50-50-50 Gap’ states that while 50% of media plans are underinvested by a median of 50%, ROI can be improved by 50% with the ideal budget.

Moreover, beyond budgeting, the report showed key insights and recommendations to deliver higher ROI across multiple marketing areas, including full-funnel marketing, whereas adding upper-funnel marketing to existing lower- and mid-funnel marketing can grow overall ROI by 13-70%.

Another key recommendation is ad sales growth strategy, where comparing channel ROIs can help set pricing strategies. And lastly, audience measurement, where advertisers should prioritise measurement solutions that cover all platforms and devices, with near-real-time insights. 

Imran Hirani, Nielsen’s vice president of media and advertiser analytics, said, “Brands can’t afford to waste valuable ads on the wrong audiences. By investing wisely and having a balanced strategy of both upper-funnel and lower-funnel initiatives, brands can reach the right audiences and maximise their ROI.”

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.