Consumers open to social media marketing, reports Experian

Experian, a global information services company, today announced The Digital Consumer View 2016 (Asia) report, with research and analysis by International Data Corporation (IDC), to help businesses better understand digital consumers in Asia.

What does the report entail?

The report reveals how consumer behavior varies across the key Asian markets of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and China, based on surveys with over 1,200 digital consumers. It maps significant differences in how consumers research, locate, engage with and purchase products and services. These differences were measured across channels (SMS, app notifications, email, social media, chat apps), devices (smart phone, feature phone, Wi-Fi/cellular tablet, wearable) and content (ads in email, ads in mobile apps, ads in social media, video ads on websites, and search ads). The findings aim to highlight the complexity of reaching digital consumers in Asia across many channels. All the respondents were reportedly over 18 years of age, and owned at least one mobile device (smart phone, feature phone, Wifi/Cellular tablet, and wearable). Jeff Price, Managing Director of Southeast Asia at Experian, notes that while the region is fast-growing, consumer behavior in each market has unique disparities. According to him, businesses today cannot succeed without intelligent insights based on consumer data. Price said, “Asia is in the midst of a great digital revolution, with an explosion of smart devices, social media interactions and e-commerce transactions. The beneficiary of this interconnectivity is clearly the digital consumer, but also businesses serving them. While this evolution has greatly enabled and empowered both sides, it has also challenged businesses to be more effective and targeted in the way they communicate and market to this modern, digital-savvy consumer.”
“For companies to keep up with digital consumer behaviors – how they act on information – it’s absolutely vital to adopt and leverage what their consumers are providing them with every day – invaluable data. Businesses slow to act on this data will see their competitive advantage erode.”

Key findings include:

  • Search and discovery: Social media is the top channel in Singapore (31 percent), Malaysia (49 percent), Indonesia (67 percent) and Thailand (58 percent). It’s equally important as chat apps in China (47 percent); in Hong Kong, video ads (63 percent) trumps all.
  • Triggering product interest: Social media, once again, is the key driver in Singapore (28 percent), Malaysia (44 percent), Thailand (49 percent) and Hong Kong (25 percent). However, in Indonesia it’s SMS (62 percent), and in China it is chat apps (48 percent).
The Digital Consumer View 2016 (Asia) report
  • Triggering purchase intent: Email is the biggest driver of online to offline conversion in Singapore (27 percent); SMS tops in Indonesia (57 percent); chat apps in China (45 percent); social media in Malaysia (44 percent) and Thailand (51 percent); and video ads tie with social media in Hong Kong (23 percent).
  • Finding good deals: For unplanned purchases stemming from promotions, email leads in Singapore (34 percent); social media in Malaysia (50 percent), Indonesia (68 percent) and Thailand (58 percent); SMS in Hong Kong (36 percent), and social media in China (51 percent).
  • Brand engagement: Email is key for marketers to build engagement in Singapore (58 percent) and Thailand (60 percent); chat apps in Malaysia (62 percent) and China (70 percent); banner ads in Indonesia (56 percent), and SMS in Hong Kong (61 percent). While email is important, marketers need to be wary: more than 70 percent of consumers reported receiving too many emails, up from 52 percent in 2015.
When asked about the effect spams and redundant mails have on consumer behavior, Experian told Techseen that email is an effective medium but statistics demonstrate that consumer appetite for irrelevant content is decreasing with time.
“This could eventually drive consumers towards ignoring email messages or worse still, clicking these emails through to the spam folder resulting in lasting damages to a business’ email reputation, hurting future deliverability of email messages,” it added.

Key takeaways for marketers in Asia

  • Over-reliance on a single marketing channel will not work as it would translate into a lower likelihood of engagement with consumers, and this would in turn result in lesser product interest and purchase intent. Depending on the country and its current state of digital sophistication, marketers need to think carefully about the right mix of channels to employ.
Experian_The Digital Consumer View 2016 (Asia) report
  • Quality over quantity: Consumer preferences for receiving promotional material varies from market to market, and by specific use cases. On a broader level, more is not necessarily better. A relevant and targeted message will ensure better conversion. Too much, and consumers are inclined to unsubscribe, delete, or mark content as spam.
  • The quality and integrity of data is crucial for marketers to find success. A significant number of consumers across the region either knowingly or unknowingly provide inaccurate information, which in turn causes errors and inaccuracies in marketer’s data sets. Around 27 percent of consumers in China but only 10 percent in Singapore unknowingly input wrong payment details; 40 percent of consumers in China, and over 20 percent of consumers in the rest of the region provide a wrong address at online checkout.
  • Almost all consumers in Indonesia provide marketers with wrong details: name (93 percent), phone number (94 percent) and email address (95 percent).

A comparison of key learnings and insights by market

A comparison of key learnings and insights by market
  • The paradigm shift in consumer purchase habits has compelled companies which were once heavily reliant on traditional sales channels towards establishing and integrating their online and offline presences to achieve a seamless experience.
Shiv Putcha, Associate Director, Consumer Mobility and Telco Strategy, IDC-Asia Pacific noted that businesses and brands cannot afford to ignore Asia’s multi-trillion-dollar digital commerce market China alone is now the world’s largest retail market.
“The challenge lies in the fact that the region has extraordinary differences – language, economy, purchasing power – and consumer behaviors, especially with the digital generation. That uniqueness will not diminish over the next few years and may even increase, making it challenging for marketers not using data-driven insights to research, plan and execute effectively,” he said.
According to him, the Digital Consumer View 2016 (Asia) will hopefully serve as a valuable guide to deciphering some of these key trends, mapping the path forward for brands and their connected consumers. With this report, Experian aims to offer marketers detailed insights into consumer behavior trends relating to digital marketing channel preferences, digital marketing consumption, content relevancy, and data accuracy.

Abhinav Mohapatra

An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’ <!--more-->An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’, he has covered and explored multiple facets of the marketing, advertising

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