The ‘connected’ Asian consumer

November 14, 2017 | By | Reply More

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AS the world becomes more and more “connected” as a result of modern innovation and digital technology, the consumer has become very “informed”. It is a challenging time for brands in today’s market, a complex environment, where brand owners need to keep abreast and go beyond the traditional rules of engagement or lose out and possibly “die a natural death”.

With that, we highlight the informational and interesting Tetra Pak Index 2017, its 10th edition which explores the world of digital and online consumers titled “The Connected Consumer”.

Said Tetra Pak Malaysia marketing director John Jose: “Consumers here are increasingly using their smartphones to not only consume content but also for activities such as mobile shopping. It is therefore essential for brands to rethink the strategies to woo the next set of power-spenders and engage with connected consumers to understand what drives them to ensure their efforts and investments can optimise and adapt swiftly to achieve maximum returns on their portfolio.”

The report also revealed the important role packaging had to play as a gateway to greater consumer engagement. From digital codes that improve transparency of traceability and offer information about the product and the source, to the multi-sensory experience packing designs provide – packaging is an effective way to build a brand and communicate with consumers. “Today, it has evolved into a key marketing tool used to capitalise on connected consumers’ love for deeper brand engagements,” Jose added.

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1) A world of consumer commentary
With blogs/forums, social media, consumer comments and reviews all on the rise, everyone online can have a voice. Brands can’t speak loud enough on their own. They need to engage proactively, cultivating user-generated content, partnering with bloggers and harnessing the power of Super Leaders to amplify their messages.

2) Mobile is king
The world is increasingly mobile-centric, particularly developing markets which often skipped PCs. China is notably advanced: a great place to study trends. Brands everywhere now need a mobile-first strategy. In fact, in the US, some are shifting to “mobile-only” to “keep pace with on-the-go consumers”.

3) Trust, tone & influence
With institutional “trust in crisis”, consumers increasingly trust “people like us” who share their values and outlook on life. Brands need to show that they share these traits too; to be more transparent and speak with greater honesty and authenticity, while leveraging “real people” as brand advocates.

4) Segmentation & Super Leaders
Online behaviour requires a new kind of consumer segmentation framework. The most active and most social group of all are the Super Leaders: comprising just 7% of connected consumers, they are the influencers, trendsetters and early adopters. Well connected and vocal, they are a golden source both of brand advocacy and market insight.

5) Where & how to engage
Super Leaders are very open to engagement: almost half have daily brand interactions on social media. They expect brands to respond to their reviews and comments, which tend to be positive, underscoring the importance of engagement.

6) Consistency is crucial
As channels proliferate and ever more links in the value chain interact with consumers, brands need to work harder to create consistent messaging and a seamless customer journey across multiple touchpoints.

7) From push to pull
Most Super Leaders search for information at least once on their purchasing journey, mainly before buying (81%) when they look at an average 4.4 sources. Social media has a strong role to play throughout, but the “traditional” brand website remains a vital information source.

8) In-store still pivotal
Food and beverages are still overwhelmingly purchased offline and stores continue to be a top source of new product discovery. Instore marketing remains critical to product campaigns. But digital is key here too, influencing more than half of all in-store purchases.

9) Rise of e-commerce
E-commerce is rising everywhere and is forecast to account for 10% of all food purchases by 2021. It is causing disruption across the value chain, with major players such as Amazon promising much more to come. Mobile is “firmly on the march toward becoming the online shopping tool of choice”.

10) Packaging matters
As consumers now look for personalised experiences from brands, unique digital packages, AR and custom printing provide new opportunities for brands to engage and deepen relationships – and, crucially, to connect directly.

Points to note:
▶ The consumer journey is shifting from a relatively linear process to a complex network of multiple touch points.
▶ Consumers today search for product information before, during and after buying.
▶ At least four information sources of pre-purchase are explored.
▶ Consumers expect a consistent experience and messaging across all touch points where they interact, especially on social media.
▶ Third party user-generated content is becoming ever more important with digital accounting for 65% of media time for the average global consumer.
▶ Independent customer reviews are the second most important marketing influence.
▶ In the Asian region, more than 1.5 billion people use social media monthly, with 95% accessing platforms via mobile devices – the highest ratio in the world.
▶ Malaysia is one of the leaders of mobile connectivity – close to 60% of Malaysians make up active mobile internet users.

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Category: Marketing

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