Marketing Featured APAC

In a brave new world, trust is the most precious commodity in advertising

Pandemics, war, political dogfights and soaring inflation. You’re not imagining it – we’re being put through the wringer currently.

The recent instability we’ve experienced has only been exacerbated by the massive amounts of information being thrown at us every day. We’re being inundated – and when we’re trying to understand what our new future looks like, it’s important to have information we can rely on.

This is a major reason why news websites have seen surges in audience numbers lately. People need reliable and accurate information to understand the changing world around them.

There is no more room for misinformation. Not when we’ve all seen how dangerous it can be. Being able to trust the content we’re consuming is now one of the biggest differentiators in choosing which online platforms we frequent.

Trust has always been essential to advertisers, but it’s now more important, and difficult to achieve than ever. And with so many online media platforms competing for attention, it’s no wonder why customers are feeling a bit suspicious of the ads they’re seeing.

A recent global study by Outbrain and Savanta looked into the changing nature of trust, recommendations and advertising online. The research discovered that news sites are some of the most trusted online spaces, with 75% of respondents saying they trust the information they find there. That’s compared to just 54% who trust social media sites.

So while trust is harder to win, it can still be won with robust and accurate information. The more likely a website is to offer unreliable information, the more likely it will lose its audience. The said study found that 21% of people are planning to spend less time on social media in the next six months. Of that group, 36% are planning to spend that time visiting websites with editorial content.

This movement means it’s increasingly important that advertisers and marketers think more deeply about where brands appear online. Advertising needs to foster trust for both the page and the brand alike – it’s not just about ensuring the ad aligns with the general theme of the page anymore.

We can already see the effects of this shift in some major internet companies. Take Netflix and Facebook. Netflix had a widely publicised fall in subscribers for the first time in the first quarter of this year, and Facebook reported a drop in Daily Average Users in the last quarter of 2021.

These are both stalwarts of the digital space, and both are battling a content problem. Their trust exchanges are failing as their audiences no longer believe their attention (and in Netflix’s case – money) is being rewarded adequately. The situations aren’t unrelated.

In the new world, customers expect that in exchange for the attention they pay to your brand, they’ll be rewarded with helpful information they can actually use in their lives. Audiences cannot be taken for granted anymore. Any value your brand can provide needs to be established before they can expect to move customers through the purchase journey. 

So in the battle to win trust in the online arena, there are a few ways brands can ensure they’re targeting customers in the most effective and engaging way possible.

Native advertising is considered the least intrusive ad type, with only 20% of people considering it intrusive and 64% placing their trust in it. This is compared to 29% of respondents who say social feed ads are the most intrusive. People are either going online to escape or to find specific information – don’t disrupt that experience with a jarring ad.

Headlines and personalisation are also key ways to ensure you’re targeting customers in the most unobtrusive way. Most customers now prefer to see their recommendations personalised with headlines. Specifically, the research by Outbrain found that household decision-makers are significantly more likely to prefer personalised recommendations (59%) and headlines (58%) than non-decision makers.

These headlines need to be short, sharp and snappy – much like a news headline would be. They’re most effective for grabbing attention and pulling customers in to learn more about the topic.

Personalisation is also one of the best ways to achieve trust and provide a helpful experience online for younger age groups. These demographics resoundingly prefer an evolving experience unique to their preferences, with 53% of 18-24 year olds and 48% of 25-34 year olds choosing this option. To reach these groups, update your creative to highlight the products or services they’re interested in. Be smart about optimising your messaging to reflect where your customers are in their purchasing journey – if you get that wrong, you risk isolating them for good.

It may feel as if it’s all doom and gloom at the moment. But in a time of uncertainty, being trusted by your customer is invaluable – and can be the difference between your brand and your competitors.

This article is written by Ben Steel, general manager of Outbrain for SEA.

Marketing Featured APAC

Study shows native ads on open web beats those social media for brand favourability

USA – Advertising company Taboola, has revealed the results of an independent Multichannel Brand Impact study from Kantar, a data, insights, and consulting company. According to Kantar, video advertising in native environments outperforms social media for improving brand favourability and consideration, native video ads boost brand awareness by 26% as part of larger media mixes.

With more than half of marketers saying video is their most lucrative type of advertising, eMarketer forecasts that digital ad spending in the US will reach $270 billion by 2023.

The Kantar Multichannel Brand Impact study measured the effectiveness of video advertising within native environments against other environments, as it relates to helping reach brand impact goals. The study found that compared to social or video platforms, native video ads on the open web have a greater influence on brand consideration and favorability. When exposed to a native video ad, 59 percent of study participants showed brand favorability, as opposed to 50 percent on social platforms and 51 percent on video platforms.

It is also noted in the study that when incorporating native video ads on the open web into a marketing mix, brand recognition increased by 26%. Participants who saw native video advertising displayed a 33 percent top-of-mind awareness compared to just 14 percent of the control group. When native video ads were combined with social platform video ads, top-of-mind awareness rose to 49%.

Adam Singolda, CEO and founder of Taboola, said video ads continue to prove valuable to brands, especially as TV dollars are moving to digital.

“With industry estimates indicating that video advertising in the U.S. will reach nearly $50B this year, brands have a lot of opportunities to influence customers, as long as they’re choosing the right platforms and mix of platforms to relay their messages,” Singolda said.

Singolda added, “What the Kantar study and our client work spotlight is that native video ads on Taboola High Impact Placements (HIP) are an essential part of a successful media mix. We provide the editorial environments that people trust, on a massive scale, so brands can amplify their efforts with Taboola.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

PH’s Tropical Hut gets organic marketing boost–thanks to a viral tweet

Manila, Philippines – Tropical Hut, a long-time Philippine-based fast food chain, has seen a revival these past few days, causing a massive organic marketing boost brought by a slew of customers and food delivery riders. It was all thanks to a viral tweet that has since then catalysed the hunt for their nearest Tropical Hut branch.

It all started with a tweet from stock analyst JP Tanyag, who visited a Tropical Hut branch located in Escolta at the City of Manila. In the tweet, he exclaimed that he was the only customer there. Despite the business being slow, he also stated that the fast food chain has retained most of its menu items despite being faced against big fast food chains locally.

For context, Tropical Hut was first established in 1962, and served fast-food items, including rice meals and burgers. They also served fast food versions of Filipino dishes such as palabok and tapa.

As of this writing, Tanyag’s tweet has over 7,000 retweets and over 34,000 likes. Comments regarding his tweet have ranged from nostalgic tweets of them sharing meals with their parents to commenting how the price and food quality are ‘worth it’.

Numerous tweets have popped up online, showing how packed the Tropical Hut branches are.

There are also tweets showing how several food delivery riders flocked Tropical Hut branches amidst growing numbers of orders for the fast food chain’s items.

Even popular superapp Grab in the Philippines jumped into the trend to host a giveaway–which turned out to be a full-on Tropical Hut meal.

Following the surging popularity of Tropical Hut, the chain’s official Twitter account thanked everyone for the support, and also reminded customers to patiently wait for their orders, as stocks for popular items such as their burgers are low on stock.

Technology Featured APAC

Only half of Gen Zs say they have control over personal data

Belgium – Selligent Marketing Cloud, the omnichannel marketing and customer experience platform, has released a report unpacking the critical issues brands need to address to effectively engage Generation Z (Gen Z) customers.

Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2010) is finally emerging in the consumer marketplace. Having grown up with more access to technology than any other generation before them, Gen Z sees technology as less of a ‘shiny’ object and more of an extension of modern life.

As such, Gen Z’s relationship to data is also different, and privacy isn’t much of a priority. In fact, the report reveals that only half of Gen Z respondents say they have control over their personal data.

This generation is also rewriting the rules when it comes to consumer engagement in areas like technology, shopping, media and brand loyalty. The report finds:

● 75% of Gen Z respondents say they shop on smartphones, compared to 69% of millennials

● 49% of Gen Z respondents say they obtain news and information from YouTube, compared to 37% of millennials

● 55% of Gen Z respondents want to wait until technology is proven to work before they adopt, compared to 47% of millennials

Going forward, it’s vital marketers forge a new toolkit aimed at reaching and engaging with Gen Z exclusively. By learning and understanding this generation’s motivations, behaviours and preferences, they can better create strategies that drive this significant consumer segment to action.

‘Phygital’ retail experiences matter to Gen Z

For retailers, having a presence across digital and physical channels is no longer enough to reach the youngest generation of consumers. Gen Z expects technology to enhance their physical experiences rather than replace them.

Interestingly, this age group shows a clear preference for in-store shopping over millennials in several categories, including electronics (43% vs. 37%) and clothing (43% vs. 40%). Gen Z also visits physical stores more often than any other age group: 59% visit a store at least once a week, the report reveals

Retailers, therefore, need to reinvent the shopping experience, merging the physical (brick-and-mortar) with the digital (online/web) in a way that appeals to Gen Z – a process newly coined as “phygital”. This term often goes hand in hand with “digitalisation at the point of sale” – the fusion between eCommerce and physical stores.

An educated, skeptical audience wants more from media

Rather than turning to traditional media brands, Gen Z is more likely to seek information on social-media platforms than older generations. In fact, almost half (49%) say they are more likely to make a purchase after seeing a post or ad on social media than through any other channel (SMS, website or email). When searching for information, Gen Z turns to influencers on platforms like TikTok (23% – twice as many as other generations) or YouTube (49% compared to 37% for millenials).

“This generation was raised with social media and can, therefore, adapt to various formats and types of content more easily. For this reason, companies have a unique opportunity to merge advertising and content strategies for this audience, as well as create and integrate different touchpoints with their consumers,” said Anne Jarry, marketing director for Europe and North America at Selligent.

“In a trusted environment, delivering highly relevant messages, such as personalised videos embedded in a newsletter or a live-streamed event on TikTok, is much more appealing to Gen Z than other generations. This generation requires an entirely new approach and opens up opportunities to brands that are worth capturing,” added Jarry. 

“The Gen Z transformation is upon us, and marketers must be ready. Those who haven’t evolved their marketing strategies to connect with this consumer segment are already falling behind. Gen Z’s behaviour and motivations are different from their predecessors. They consume information, interact online and even shop differently, therefore, it’s critical for marketers to adapt. As a generation that desires control, brands need to empower Gen Z to effectively capture their unique preferences and form relationships, especially as third-party cookies phase out entirely, making personalisation even more vital to reaching Gen Z,” said Ramses Bossuyt, global VP of client success at Selligent.

Marketing Featured APAC

Ex-HubSpot Prasana William named head of APAC marketing at Sprout Social

Singapore – Prasana William, former regional marketing manager of HubSpot for Asia, has been named as the new head of APAC marketing at Sprout Social, the US-headquartered company that provides cloud-based social media management software. 

Based in Singapore, William will be responsible for growing the brand awareness of the company within the region, as well as running end-to-end marketing activities to expand its customer base and enable brands to maximise the power of social.

William is a seasoned marketer who brings with her seven years of hands-on experience in the Asia B2B tech space. She worked previously for fintech platform FAVE and email marketing platform GetResponse Malaysia. Prior to HubSpot, she also held the position of regional marketing manager for SEA at Singapore-based Ematic Solutions, a marketing and technology consultancy. 

On the appointment, William commented, “Sprout Social recognises and is committed to its growth across international markets. So when the opportunity to co-create their journey in APAC was presented, I couldn’t say no. Social media touches every part of our lives today and the impact it is having on businesses is invaluable, which is why I am thrilled to be at the helm of the company’s strategy and culture in APAC and have a seat on this rocket ship.” 

Sprout Social offers deep social media listening and analytics, social management, customer care, commerce and advocacy solutions to brands and agencies worldwide. As she steps into the new role, William shared that her main priority is to partner with General Manager for APAC, Amrita De La Pena to align Sprout Social’s sales and marketing functions. This is in line with the company’s goal to accelerate its international expansion. 

According to William, Sprout Social is further increasing its pace of hiring with a strong emphasis on international markets. The company also continues to expand its product roadmap and partnerships, including the announcement of its most recent integration with TikTok. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Prasana William to Sprout Social as Head of Marketing, APAC, based in Singapore. She brings incredible expertise and experience to her role and will have a meaningful impact on Sprout’s growth in the region,” said Marino Fresch, VP of acquisition & revenue marketing at Sprout Social.

Marketing Featured South Asia

WATConsult bags creative, social media mandate for CarDekho

India– WATConsult, the digital marketing arm of hybrid digital agency Isobar, has won the creative and social media mandate for CarDekho, India’s digital automotive solutions provider. The account will be managed by the agency’s Delhi office.

As per the mandate, WATConsult will be responsible for CarDekho‘s social media management, digital creative designing, and content marketing, as well as ORM.

Charu Kishnani, CarDekho’s SVP of marketing and content, commented, “We’re thrilled to partner with WATConsult as our creative and social partners. This engagement will help us elevate our brand presence with the right Strategy, Ideation and Creative thinking. We are looking forward to creating some good and memorable work. Welcome aboard, WATConsult.”

Meanwhile, Heeru Dingra, CEO of Isobar India, said, “CarDekho is a one-stop destination for new as well as second-hand cars. The brand’s auto and non-auto business is expanding, and we are so excited to embark on this journey with them.”

Sahil Shah, WATConsult’s managing partner, shared that they are happy to have the opportunity to partner with CarDekho and they cannot wait to build a dynamic brand presence for them. 

“Our strategy is to enhance the top of the mind recall that the brand has created by applying creative, new age thinking and a strong storytelling narrative,” said Shah.

Marketing Featured South Asia

Evergreen Club taps the written narrative to pay tribute to mothers

India – Evergreen Club, the online community for seniors in India, has launched a simple but touching campaign on social media for Mother’s Day. Through stories narrated on its Instagram and Facebook channels, it pays tribute to the incredible journey of motherhood and the one-of-a-kind love and service that only our mothers can bring. 

Through the campaign #AllMothers, the online community platform aims to create a no-judgement space where mothers feel cared and nurtured for, while they keep doing the same for their children. Stories featured are in fact from real-life experiences of ‘Club’ members. 

One of the stories shared under the campaign

“Every woman’s journey to motherhood is beautiful and unique. For some it could be a planned journey; while for others, it could be a winding, unexpected, sudden or even a short-lived experience,” said the club. 

One woman paid honour to her own mother now that she has her own family to take care of, while two stories narrated the journey of grief from different perspectives – one suffering from death in infancy and one from losing an adult son, but both showing the resiliency, strength, and grace of a mother. 

“These are the stories, we believe, we need to hear every day, and not just on an occasion like Mother’s Day,” said the club. 

Evergreen Club is an online community for 50+ older adults, where they are able to enjoy interactive virtual sessions curated especially for their diverse needs. The first-of-its-kind platform is aimed for the ‘young at heart’ to learn, interact, and engage with like-minded peers from the comfort of their homes.

Platforms Featured Global

Facebook shuts down podcast platform

Singapore – Social media giant Facebook has announced that it is shutting down its podcast platform, less than a year since it was launched in June 2021. While the date has not been specified for the discontinuation of the service, the social media platform stated that it is slowly removing parts of the podcast business in the following weeks.

“After a year of learning and iterating on audio-first experiences, we’ve decided to simplify our suite of audio tools on Facebook. We’re integrating Live Audio Rooms into Facebook Live and we will discontinue our other audio products. We’re constantly evaluating the features we offer so we can focus on the most meaningful experiences,” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement.

Some of those components that will be discontinued include Soundbites, Podcasts and the Audio destination on Facebook.

The company clarified that while the podcast platform will no longer be in service, they will be integrating Live Audio Rooms features into their Facebook Live product so that they can offer a comprehensive live broadcasting solution.

“In practice, this integration will make for a more streamlined experience so that, when using Facebook Live, you’ll have the option to go live with audio and video, video-only, or audio-only,” the company added.

Facebook’s podcast platform was launched in dedication to the platform’s growing number of online creators tapping into their platform for online reach. The company aims at growing a creator’s planned show through a social experience that drives discovery and fandom.

Marketing Featured Global

Elon Musk to acquire Twitter for US$44b

San Francisco, USA – Social media giant Twitter has announced that they will be acquired by multi-billionaire CEO of Tesla Elon Musk for US$44b, based on US$54.20 per share in cash. Upon completion of the transaction, Twitter will become a privately held company.

This follows after Elon Musk announced that he had previously bought a 9.2% stake in the company and invited to be part of the company’s board. However, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal clarified back then that Musk won’t be joining the board.

Speaking about his acquisition of Twitter, Musk said, “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”

He added, “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”

Meanwhile, Agrawal commented, “Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world. Deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work that has never been more important.”

The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the Twitter Board of Directors, is expected to close in 2022, subject to the approval of Twitter stockholders, the receipt of applicable regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

Bret Taylor, Twitter’s Independent Board Chair, said, “The Twitter Board conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing. The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders.”

Main Feature Marketing Partners APAC

MARKETECH APAC webinar discusses why now’s the time to go multiplatform in social advertising

Singapore – Last April 6, MARKETECH APAC, in partnership with, launched a webinar to discuss the current state of social advertising in APAC. The industry discussion, ‘Social Advertising Trends in APAC 2022’, gathered marketing leaders from brands like HappyFresh, KFC Malaysia, and Unilever Indonesia to draw their expert insights on the best strategies for social advertising today. 

Stewart Hunter, the director for customer success of for APAC, delivered the keynote presentation and shared why a multiplatform strategy stands to be the best plan of action for brands in this new period of social media. 

According to Hunter, a report showed that APAC brands are truly becoming social media-first where over 84% of brands in the region are spending over 50% of their advertising budget on social media advertising, which is the highest percentage globally compared to their North American and European counterparts. Of where they wish to direct this ad spend in 2022, the top social media platforms eyed were Facebook, followed by Instagram, YouTube, and then Twitter. 

Hunter said that 2022 is the year for brands to truly go multiplatform. 

“Your customers are already there, [and] are already across social media platforms; now the brands, the CMOs are really looking to make sure they are truly following their consumers and potential consumers,” said Hunter.

While there used to be fewer social media platforms for advertisers to focus on previously, now that more users have gone multiplatform, so should brands and advertisers.

In addition, in order to deliver effective social advertising today, Hunter said that brands must harness the human and tech resources needed for today’s social media landscape. As they adopt new multiplatform and multiformat strategies, social media advertising creation and delivery that still involve manual processes will prove to be cumbersome. 

As more brands and advertisers focus on social media advertising, they will need to attract talent, amid the growing competition for skilled employees. Hence it is key to harness the power of automation to drive campaigns across various platforms and generate the greatest results.

When it comes to talent, Hunter said this doesn’t necessarily mean removing talent, but rather, unleashing the creativity of their people to add additional value to the brand. 

“Within this year, how are people going to use automation to blend a range of processes [is important] so they can achieve creativity at scale,” added Hunter. 

On-demand access to the webinar, Social Advertising Trends in APAC 2022, is now available here.