The Year Of The Digital Consumer: Marketing Trends To Watch In Southeast Asia For 2018

The Y-gang of social savvy’s, tech-addicts and digital natives has been watching closely what’s hot and what’s not in 2017 and made their best predictions for the year to come.

One thing is clear: The digital world is ever-changing and this past year was a testament to that. We saw the introduction of the iPhone X celebrating 10 years of smartphones (feels like forever doesn’t it), Twitter moving from 140 to 280 characters and Google Home & Amazon Alexa invading our houses. Also, digital advertising toppled TV advertising for the first time.

With the new year taking off, there are a number of digital marketing trends to know and implement that can take any business to a new level. Strategies such as brand revival, social media video use, marketing automation, customer privacy protection, and other concepts can make big noise for the digital marketing world in the new year.

The Brand is the Hero

This year may be the year in which those who had a leg up on the competition can see a slow leveling of the playing field. Simply, marketing the brand as unique cannot cut it in 2018, it has to be purpose driven ingrained in the whole company.

The use of branding has made its comeback and is here to stay. The use of brand positioning, brand ideal and brand management is becoming increasingly important this year and the next.

Companies with a clear and concise brand ideal, personality and set of values, will be able to strategize on how it can market its story. In 2018, efforts in branding is becoming the way for businesses to once again possess a competitive advantage over competitors in Southeast Asia’s increasingly fast-paced marketplace.

Forget the TV – Tomorrow’s Advertising is Digital

With digital advertising spend toppling that of TV advertising in 2017, we are seeing how the internet and the always-connected lifestyle impact the world of marketing and advertising more than ever before. Video content has been hot throughout 2017, creating lots of engagement and conversion. In 2018, social media video engagement is projected to grow even more. With more than one billion hours of YouTube watched every day and a staggering 8 billion videos viewed by Facebook users on a daily basis, the potential for digital advertising – in terms of reach as well as segmentation and data analysis – is seemingly endless.

With livestreams and 360 degree videos becoming part of everyday social media user’s life, marketing teams have the ability to be flexible and creative, taking advantage of all these ways to market their brand and product, creating impacting experiences. 2018 will undoubtedly present new opportunities for digital advertising and being at the forefront with a dedicated digital strategy set-up and a backpack full of creativity, to make an engaging impact.

Marketing Automation

In 2017, companies invested billions of dollars on marketing automation, and this trend is expected to progress even further in 2018. Marketers are able to make highly efficient digital marketing programs that were unfathomable years ago. Improvements to chatbots, analytics, and machine learning seem to be the main ingredients for developing marketing automation in 2018. Technology is becoming more personalized, building on a consumer-centric approach, involving content recommendations, better predictive lead scoring, and the application of social media to reach out and connect with consumers with tailored content and offers.

Privacy Protection – A new competitive advantage?

New privacy regulations have been implemented last year and have to be complied all around the world in recent years. With a number of high-profile security breaches in 2017, privacy is becoming a major selling point to attract potential consumers in selected industries, a trend which we consider to be on the rise.

Trust equals loyalty, in life and in business. Due to the new regulations marketers will start using data security and privacy protection as a major value and benefit across industries. Also, China has implemented cybersecurity legislation in 2017, and the issue remains hot on the agenda for both businesses and governments alike, just as it is on the mind of the modern, digital consumer.

On a Bright Path

Businesses across the globe have been waking up last year, to the digital future and revolutionizing technology within the world of marketing. Not only has Southeast Asia been growing in terms of consumer spending power, also adaptation to new technology and marketing spend has accelerated. With digital advertising taking over the number one spot from TV, a medium that held the throne for decades, the world is waking up to the true power of digital, and Southeast Asia is no exception. On the contrary, it is leading.

As local and global trends and events affect consumer behavior, the ability to be at the forefront of this technological development is key. Quickly acting on these trends, with the brand as the hero, is the way to touch the leads and consumers where it feels good in their daily digital lives and is creating the competitive edge to make a difference. After all, you cannot solve today’s challenges with yesterday’s methods, and expect to be in business tomorrow.