In our saturated and rapidly evolving media environment, knowing where to advertise is a minefield. Add in rising inflation, tightening Southeast Asia household budgets, and an explosion of digital channels, how can marketers make informed media choices to connect in the moment with shoppers? To make your investment and ROI work as hard as possible in these inflationary times, it is imperative to understand ad equity — the measure of your brand’s advertising's value to your end-user.
Google is leading the ranking in Southeast Asia, followed by Instagram. Interestingly, we see the presence of superapps in the top five in SEA, with Grab ranking third and Shopee ranking fifth. The rise of superapps is a trend that’s unique to our region. The ranking also shows how e-commerce and retail platforms are increasingly relevant from a communication point of view, for consumers in SEA as well as globally.
Remember, campaigns are seven times more impactful among a receptive audience
So how do you work out where to invest? Online platforms are increasingly important to communicate with consumers and marketers are continuing to favour online channels such as online video and e-commerce ads. These offer the strongest ad equity, meaning people are far more receptive to ads on these channels. Recognising the incremental impact of connecting with a receptive audience, more marketers are globally saying they will increase spend on online video in their advertising budget allocations in 2023 while three in five also plan to increase their spend in the metaverse in 2023.
Knowing your local market consumers is also critical when placing advertising across Southeast Asia
In Southeast Asia, superapps like Grab and Shopee are popular because they can provide a quick, convenient, and efficient way for users to do everything from ordering takeout to paying bills. They can be used to support people’s everyday needs and offer a wide range of services such as transportation, food delivery, online payment, and more. These one-stop platforms simplify the process of accessing the necessary services and can save users time and money.
Each app and platform plays a different role in consumers’ lives — for example, TikTok and YouTube are perceived as channels for entertainment and fun, while Grab and Google search are seen as more trustworthy, and Shopee and Lazada are seen as useful. These are three distinct functions that these platforms are fulfilling, which marketers need to consider when maximising the impact of content and media dollars. This means that we need to move away from just reach and frequency planning to more contextually relevant planning.
Your ad placement matters, because in advertising, context is critical
The region’s media landscape is ever evolving; the perceptions of brands shift just as quickly both among consumers and advertisers, agencies, and publishers. While positive ad attitudes are increasing among consumers, more exposure can highlight negative aspects. This means that the ad environment — everything from the platform to the channel – is a key media investment and ROI decision. Why? Because in advertising, context is critical.
When choosing a platform or channel be aware of the points of differentiation of your media partners. A platform known for fun ads could be the place to go if you want to convey something fun about your brand. At other times, you might need a shopping moment for more relevance or trustworthiness. No single ad platform is the best answer for all advertisers. The growth of agile, automated context testing solutions such as Context Lab on Kantar Marketplace
enables single ads and multiple executions to be tested quickly and easily, in the context of various platforms.
Some media environments are naturally more suited to your brand, comms strategy or campaign objectives, and some are not. Be mindful of this when planning your advertising and marketing strategies.
So, what should SEA marketers focus on when planning advertising in 2023?
The key to a successful communications strategy or new campaign is to start with fundamental knowledge of the media landscape in your market and factor in the different roles that each platform plays in the lives of consumers. Marketers need to move away from just reach and frequency planning to more contextually relevant planning. Combining media insights with other effectiveness data sources, such as in-context creative testing, will help to better target audiences and make the right media investment decisions.
Pablo Gomez, head of creative and media at Kantar, Singapore
Pablo is an expert at developing new research methods to drive media and marketing effectiveness and uncover key insights to help clients make critical business decisions.