It’s becoming increasingly difficult to achieve growth rates, forcing companies in Southeast Asia to take more drastic moves in the five modern digital marketing areas to capture potential opportunities. power.

Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted people’s lives and livelihoods across Southeast Asia, with most countries experiencing some form of social distancing.

While vaccinations are being rolled out across the region, there are still many risks, which has prompted consumers to change their behavior drastically. Online purchases have increased dramatically. Customer loyalty has changed as a consumer’s interaction with a brand becomes a multi-dimensional journey.

In that context, the importance of digital marketing and how it can drive engagement and sales cannot be underestimated. In Malaysia specifically, companies’ digital marketing strategies are lagging behind their peers in the ASEAN region, while consumers are spending even more time engaging and communicating. Online translation of products, services and brands. In an increasingly difficult world to grow, digital marketing offers an opportunity to capture the next wave of growth. Capturing that value is critical for companies to achieve growth as the pandemic affects consumer behaviour; Companies will need to take bold and decisive moves in the five areas of modern digital marketing to capture this trend.

Pandemic context and changing consumer behavior in ASEAN countries

As of June 2021, many ASEAN countries are still grappling with various forms of lockdown, with movement hampered and large-scale social restrictions still in place in some countries. The border closure in 2020 has contributed to an expected 5.6% decline in the Malaysian economy for the full year.

With travel restrictions, it’s not surprising that consumers are forced to change their behaviour. McKinsey’s Global Survey of Digital User Sentiment During the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020 found that 71% of users (first and often) plan to continue using digital channels in the US. similar or greater levels post-pandemic, with 25% of consumers saying they will increase to long-term levels. As they adapt to working and learning remotely, consumer spending patterns will change as well. In a similar vein, the surveys in ASEAN that we conduct throughout the year show significantly more customers shopping online during — and after the COVID-19 pandemic than in the past. In Indonesia, up to 60% of consumers indicated their intention to continue shopping online even after the pandemic.

At the same time, our surveys show that the pandemic has affected customer loyalty, as 68% of Thai consumers and 80% of Filipino consumers are trying out new brands. . Such a rebranding makes it increasingly important for companies to work to retain existing customers and acquire new ones.

Why from 2021 onwards digital is still a clear trend for consumers and businesses

In response to the rapidly increasing digital trend caused by the pandemic, there is also a subsequent shift in advertising budget spending as companies diversify their spending across paid media. money and ownership. Customers are now spending more time and resources on owned communication channels such as websites, mobile apps, and customer service channels. From a content perspective, conversion rates from customers also increased significantly, with digital and social video channels delivering the highest ROI.

These structural changes in consumer behavior towards digital and online make digital marketing more important than ever. However, effective adoption of digital marketing requires a mindset shift in how organizations interact and communicate with customers, which is more of a science than an art: it is driven by data and analytics; focus on personalization instead of a universal approach; offered through social media, as well as promotional media; interactive and “always available” rather than silent and recurring; and campaigns that need to be repeated over and over instead of running only once. For example, on this last point, Research shows that up to 40% of consumers use their mobile phones to consult product reviews and prices while in a physical store. Such behavior is symbolic of the larger changes taking place in today’s digital marketing arena.

In that context, digital marketing is now a growth engine for many companies across a variety of industries, with the potential to increase revenue by 5 to 8% within 12 to 18 months by attracting more traffic. online traffic and interact with consumers more effectively. Furthermore, some financial institutions have seen a 5x increase in digital sales, while telcos were able to reduce absolute disruption rates by 15 to 40% and retailers Retail sales can significantly increase sales. For example, Levi Strauss launched a Europe-wide digital marketing campaign using information gathered from AI models.

How companies can drive their digital marketing strategy

Building and executing a successful strategy requires the coordinated action of the five elements of modern digital marketing outlined below.

Double down on performance-based marketing with the goal of enhancing the customer experience

At its core, performance marketing focuses on continuously optimizing performance metrics, such as activations, downtime, and resale, along the customer journey funnel, leveraging the lever is actionable and fast acting. Performance-based marketing plays an important role in driving the customer experience, especially impacting the customer base at the bottom of the marketing funnel, such as digitizing interactions and providing feedback. Customer service response within an hour.

This will be incredibly impactful when implemented correctly and at scale. An ASEAN telecommunications company recently launched a digital attack service, which involved a social media campaign persuading target customers to sign up for a beta program, which was then used to identify customers. Realize marketing preferences and product features. The campaign yielded significant results: 28,000 customers pre-registered for the beta program, and the one-year customer acquisition goal was reached within six months.

Here, focusing on the most valuable customer metrics in performance marketing is also key. Often, however, companies are interested in frivolous metrics, such as share rates or traffic, or they pour significant money into marketing, the fact that they are “buying.” ” client. High performers often identify a “star index” as the most indicative of the success of their business.

A telecommunications company in Indonesia opening new business has found that the daily number of new customers from referrals is an important metric. Focusing on that metric, they prioritized their client referral program, and within a month, customer referrals accounted for more than 20% of total new customers daily. Success with this metric has dramatically reduced average acquisition cost per customer and has helped the business achieve its 12-month customer target in just seven months.

Moving from pragmatic marketing to modern technology stack marketing

The marketing technology (martech) landscape can be confusing to navigate, in part because the number of solutions has grown so quickly — we calculate that there were more than 7,040 solutions on the market by the end of 2019. Hence. Many organizations have fallen into the trap of investing in martech solutions before thinking carefully about how to use them, resulting in disappointingly low ROI.

In the martech system, the role of the customer data platform (CDP) is increasingly important. CDPs consolidate data from disparate sources to create a single, holistic view of each customer. But it’s more than just a data aggregator; it also divides customers into segments (thus determining what offers and content customers see) and presents the results in an easy to understand, intuitive way.

Deploying a martech stack is often less intimidating than imagined. Many components already exist and can often be replaced. And many components can be provisioned through the on-demand, scalable cloud model. For example, an ASEAN telecommunications company used existing components to launch its technology system in less than four weeks. The key here is to switch from a pragmatic to results-focused approach to building the first version of a viable martech stack.

Enable flexible operating models for marketing and technology teams

For a digital marketing strategy to be successful, the marketing and technology teams need to work step-by-step to continuously optimize the customer journey. Leaders need to elevate digital marketing to the CEO’s agenda to capture the interest of needed executives and energize the organization. They also need to establish transparency about the ROI of their current marketing and stop their efforts to fall below a certain ROI threshold (the lowest level in performance marketing).

One of the best ways to do this is to use existing, high-performing talent (or start the hiring process, if needed) to form two to three agile marketing and technology teams to target. Targets are the main performance levers. These talents must include expertise in growth marketing, search engine optimization, user experience design, HTML development, attribution analysis, broader campaign management, and content writing. They also work together to identify, prioritize, and enforce against research, product, marketing, data, and technology backlogs.

In a successful example of this model, a struggling Hong Kong-based retail bank with volatile growth in credit card sales mobilized a nimble team to developed a digital sales accelerator to support the expansion of the credit card program. They also work closely with advertising partners including Google and Facebook, resulting in a 23% increase in card applications and a 22% decrease in cost per action over a 20-week period.

Balance spending distribution between channels

Organizations continue to have a struggle between how much money is spent online versus offline. Spending allocation should take place at the individual micromarket level and be guided by micromarket characteristics. Geospatial analysis can help inform these decisions, as it combines detailed geographic data with other forms of demographic, connectivity, behavioral, and income data to generate micromarket patterns.

Companies can also get stuck with how much to spend in each subchannel. Organizations often have a “last-click” bias in digital ROI assessments, which can lead to over-focusing on certain channels. It’s important to remember that multipoint attribution, which looks at the entire customer journey to understand impact and ROI for each channel, is a useful — and underused — method for clarity. is against this bias.

Ensure responsible first-party data management

While personalization in digital marketing still exists, increased scrutiny of third-party cookies and new privacy regulations (such as those announced by Mozilla and Chrome) in 2019 and Apple in 2020) is what drives organizations to be first responsible.

Privacy is at the heart of trust between customers and brands. Therefore, an important question is how can first-party data be extended while maintaining customer trust and protecting privacy. As regulations evolve, organizations will need to be proactive and clear that they value data privacy. Transparency about how data will be used is critical, as is employee training, taking measures to prevent data theft, and continually improving engagement options with accountability. guiding principles.

Digital marketing is stronger than ever in 2021. Organizations looking to increase their potential revenue by 5 to 8% will need to be bolder and more assertive. And the time to act is now.


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