Brands should focus their energies on targeting so-called ‘engaged enthusiasts’ online in Asia as they have a “disproportionate influence” on their peers in terms of spreading brand awareness and purchases.
According to Allison+Partners’ latest Influence Impact Report, 23% of total internet users in Asia qualify as engaged enthusiasts, people who are more likely to trust KOLs and other influencers, be more receptive to marketing content, try new products or offers and, crucially, give recommendations to others.
The report surveyed just over 3,000 consumers in China, Japan and Singapore in October and November this year. Regarding engaged enthusiasts, the agency found that 73% trust endorsements from influencers, compared to just 25% of other users. Similarly, 79% are likely or highly likely to make recommendations to others, against 34% of other internet users.
“Influence comes from many interrelated sources and how marketers select and prioritize influencers for their brand is critical,” said Paul Mottram, managing director of Allison+Partners’ All Told group in Asia-Pacific. “While reach is important, it’s not everything. Will those influencers be perceived as credible and an authority for your brand or category? Will consumers trust their recommendations?”
Engaged enthusiasts are an especially prevalent segment in China, with the report finding they account for 35% of those surveyed, compared to 21% in Singapore and a small but significant 10% in Japan. They are equally likely to be male or female, the study found, and are significantly more influenced by the channels most used by marketers, such as influencers and ads.
They are also more likely to amplify their recommendations on social media—41% said there are likely to post recommendations online against 21% of other users. As a result, peers often ask their opinions on which products, services or brands to use.
Mottram added that while influence is critical, having the right influencer is even more so, and as part of the research, Allison+Partners have developed a ‘influence impact score’ to help determine the correct mix of influencers for a brand.
“Influencer engagement programs should be both measurable and accountable,” Mottram said. “The Influence Impact Score gives marketing communicators a valuable new tool to help target and justify their programs accordingly.”