This article first appeared on The Drum
Consumer expectations begin to rise
With less than two weeks to go for the most auspicious month in the Islamic calendar, observers across Southeast Asia have already started preparing for the much-awaited occasion of Ramadan. As citizens across the region carefully consider what this Ramadan and subsequent Eid will hold for them, a clear sense of reassurance has emerged.
Previously tightened purse strings have now relaxed, with budgets opening up for purchases this Ramadan. After a muted 2021, the willingness to spend had increased a year later in 2022, with a significant rise observed amongst those who plan to spend between IDR 2m and IDR 3m this year.
A key consumer trend that will define this Ramadan in SEA is balance. Both in-store and online shopping will play an equally important role. In a mobile-first region such as Southeast Asia, smartphones will be natural companions for consumers this Ramadan, accounting for over 50% of all planned purchases.
How marketers need to respond
As consumers begin to straddle a fresh set of changes this Ramadan, marketers must be cognizant of netizen expectations. Ultimately, three Cs will redefine brand this Ramadan: context, creativity, and commerce.
Consumers expect uniquely personalized experiences, especially during Ramadan, when there is immense clutter in the advertising ecosystem. But it can be tough for brands today to understand their users. This challenge has never been more pressing than now. Brands must leverage deterministic audiences to drive immersive and personalized experiences at scale. A combination of key data sources can achieve this:
1.) In-app inventory, which gives device-level insights, location insights, demographics.
2.) Location trails, which help with insights into user movements helping brands identify customer journeys
3.) Third-party partners such as leading telcos and m-commerce brands, which give access to high-value data attributes, delivering the richest truth set.
When quizzed on the most preferred and influential platform on buying behavior this Ramadan, consumers across Southeast Asia consistently ranked mobile as the locus of attention. But when it comes to crafting experiences, mobile is often seen as an afterthought. Yet, with so much to offer, it’s time for advertisers to create for mobile, not just iterate after prioritizing other mediums. By following a simple three-step mantra, brands can inspire action with the right strategy:
1.) Tease – Spark curiosity by teasing users with product previews through immersive interstitials.
2.) Launch – Drive reach by embracing the power of video to help consumers understand what’s in store for them.
3.) Retarget – Embrace the power of sequential storytelling to nudge potential consumers down the marketing funnel.
While digital consumption has been accelerated by the pandemic, it is not a one-off phenomenon and is now a way of life for Southeast Asians and this can be extremely important during Ramadan. Some key insights to recall when planning brand strategy:
1.) Almost 70% of Southeast Asians use mobile to explore products and services.
2.) 70% of Southeast Asians look at smartphones as the medium to fulfill all their buying needs.
3.) Southeast Asians are now buying in a wider range of categories, showing a greater acceptance of the range of products that can be bought online. Southeast Asian consumers now buy across 8.1 categories vs. 5.1 in 2020.
By embracing commerce on mobile, brands can drive commerce with shoppable experiences that capture the action. Be it instantly shoppable in-app ad experiences that drive immediate action, or using mobile experiences to drive in-store visits and purchases, a brand must capture the power of the constant companion for Ramadan consumers this year: their smartphones.
As we embark on a new era of hyperconnectivity this Ramadan, consumers expect the convergence of context, content, and commerce on their smartphones. By bringing these three attributes together, brands can create experiences that delight, inspire and empower users. Connected consumers have embraced contextual experiences and equated them to thoughtful experiences, and this will make all the difference this Ramadan.
For more details, download the Ramadan report now. https://go.inmobi.com/sea-ramadan-2022/