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Driving Meaningful Advertising During an Uncertain Ramadan

Rishi Bedi
5 min read
Posted on May 04, 2020

Ramadan is a festival of peace, celebration, and purpose - a time to grow spiritually. The holy month for Ramadan holds significant importance in people’s lives and the celebrations significantly impact the way they shop every year. Close to 60% of the population in Malaysia and 87% of the population in Indonesia are Muslims and that accounts for 250 million people celebrating the festival.

Ramadan is a time for marketers to build meaningful connections with consumers and drive growth.  This year, Ramadan faces an obstinate challenge with COVID-19 bringing the global community to a standstill. Amidst these circumstances, brands must take necessary steps to respect community values and sentiments to help consumers feel a sense of normalcy.


Meaningful Marketing in Unprecedented Times

Brands must be respectful and sensitive to the times they are in – sharing valuable information, alleviating stress or core concerns, and most importantly, providing consumers with timely and relevant offers. And, insights on understanding consumer behavior and shopping trends are pivotal for brands to plan their marketing initiatives during the festive season. We handpicked insights from the reports: InMobi Ramadan Insights 2020 and How the Southeast Asian customer is reacting to the pandemic. These insights provide an eagle’s eye view for marketers to understand the pulse of the customers while promoting the spirit of staying connected to the faith and humanity during the festive season.

Curate Audiences for Meaningful Interactions

The festive shopping journey of customers during Ramadan is highly complex, and in these evolving times – building a deeper understanding of changing behavior is primal. Mobile provides marketers the opportunity to gain 5x faster insights, unlike conventional research techniques. These “Voice of the Customer” insights can be combined with location intelligence, app consumption patterns, demographic and purchase intent data signals to curate custom audiences thereby, creating messages that are more authentic and drive genuine responses from consumers.

What is the 2020 Ramadan Consumer like?

  1. Gen Z and Baby Boomers are most planned shoppers across age groups
  2. Impulsive purchases are the trend of the town in Asia with a significant drop of around 18% in planned purchases
  3. 1.5x impulsivity in purchases observed from last year to this year
  4. Women comprise a sizeable chunk of smartphone users (45%1), increasing the scope for marketing women-centric products

 

Reach Audience Through Mobile Apps

Today’s consumers are adept at smartphone usage and rely actively on apps, spending close to 3.5 hours a day on them. Prayer apps allow the festival-celebrating consumer to manage fasting schedules, networking, and prayers on their mobile device. On-demand video (OTT) apps and Gaming (especially casual games) are the go-to entertainment sources. News apps are their constant source of information – be it day or night; and even more so in these times. Apps are where the connected Ramadan consumer is.

  1. 48% of Indonesians use religious apps like Islamic calendars and Quran apps
  2. 40% use entertainment apps like OTT, music and video apps during Ramadan
  3. 32% use shopping apps to shop right from groceries to clothes
  4. 500% increase in usage of video and image editing apps during this crisis  has been observed than the normal times

 

Communicate Right at the Right Time

While shopping seems to be an integral part of all festivals, Ramadan stands out in terms of gift sharing and charity contributions during the entirety of the month. Brands need to consider the value they deliver during the season through timely communications and relevant creative messaging that build seamless customer journeys.

  1. 67% of respondents make their purchases two weeks or earlier
  2. 33% of respondents make their purchases during Ramadan

When we first surveyed 1800+ Indonesian smartphone users in February, we learned that 67% make their purchases 2 weeks earlier to Ramadan. However, post March when the pandemic hit Indonesia, buyers are now more inclined to make purchases during Ramadan. This allows brands to continue engaging with a larger population during this time. Retailers should engage shoppers with special offers and personalized content throughout the holy month to build brand relevance and drive impact.


Embrace In-app programmatic

As most consumers are restricted at homes during the lockdown, brands need to ensure that they are where their consumers are. In-App Programmatic proves to be an effective channel to help achieve this goal. Be it ensuring reach at scale with brand safety, precise targeting, or smart budget allocation, brands can rely on in-app advertising to deliver the desired outcomes and beyond.

As marketers balance the fine act of advertising responsibly during the crisis, they can rely on the automation that in-app programmatic offers and make major strides in understanding, identifying, engaging, and acquiring customers.


Reach Your Consumers at Scale

As the cookie becomes obsolete, in-app advertising allows marketers to reach a highly engaged audience via an always on device: mobile. In a world where consumer behavior is constantly evolving, programmatic advertising helps marketers stay nimble and optimize messaging in real-time.


Increase Conversions from Targeted Audience

Audience targeting enables brands to choose the precise sets of audiences who are really interested in their product. And, reaching these audiences is made easier through programmatic advertising. This will be especially key during this Ramadan, as new personas emerge during the pandemic. These include Young Professionals who are first-time Iftar cooks, Working Parents who teach their children during this month or Concerned Parents who double-down on their family’s safety. The InMobi Audiences Platform can curate these custom audiences based on hundreds of signals and allow marketers to build a better picture of the consumer journey.


Address Brand Safety Concerns

A brand safe environment is an inadvertent concern that brands are facing especially in a time where content focused around the crisis is constantly evolving. In-app advertising provides advertisers with a brand-safe environment along with advanced targeting and immersive experiences to solve for the “where” and “how” of capturing consumer mindshare during this unpredictable festive period. Transparency in the ecosystem gives full access and great control for brands to understand the process and outcomes of advertising thus instilling trust to confidently choose the programmatic approach.


Connect using Immersive Creative

As observers find ways to celebrate Ramadan together-but-apart, brands can help. By combining engaging creative formats such as interactive ads or video, with concepts focused on greeting cards or Zakat, marketers can help consumers form real connections this Ramadan. 

 

Build a Genuine Connect This Ramadan

Typically, during Ramadan, marketers leverage the surges in shopping trends to drive high-performance campaigns. The onset of COVID19 has made this Ramadan different, the marketer must be empathetic and thoughtful to the needs of the Ramadan observer by providing helpful information, identifying and addressing their core concerns, and most importantly providing consumers with purposeful offers.

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