The Asia Media Journal
April 16, 2014

October 27, 2008

Another Side To Media Inflation

Media space isn’t just more expensive in richer markets – it also looks like some campaigns need to be bigger to be effective in these markets too.

Omnicom Media Group has discovered how much quicker people in well-off markets are likely to make purchasing decisions, after carrying out a survey in eight Asian markets investigating the effects of media and advertising in driving people to buy the brands they do. Some markets are considerably faster. In Hong Kong for example it takes around two days to choose a baby product, compared to a regional average of two weeks.

The upshot for marketers? When consumers snap up goods quickly, brands need to splash out across different media to make sure they catch their intended target. “I need to make sure I will use multiple touchpoints and engage them to make it exciting, so when they think of buying they will only think of my brands,” explains Florence Oong, director of communication insights at Omnicom Media Group. “In other words, spending is very important.”

A lot of it boils down to how much disposable income people have, Oong says. But culture plays a part too; in wealthy Singapore, purchase times are nowhere near as rapid as they are in Hong Kong or Taiwan. The local mentality of “getting the best deal” could hold sway here, Oong muses.

Word-of-mouth weakens
The study, called Pathway, also showed that marketing campaigns in richer markets are less likely to get consumers talking too. TV ads remain powerful engines to spark word-of-mouth in the Philippines, Thailand and India. While TV has less of a clear lead over newspapers in comparable ability to generate buzz in Hong Kong and Singapore – probably mirroring similar shares of ad spend – media’s overall power to start a conversation in these markets notably diminishes.

Where it works, successful word-of-mouth adds a nice boost to a campaign at no extra cost. Marketers may have known it all along, but now they have proof. As markets grow richer, marketing budgets have to work harder than ever.

The window marketers have to make a sale varies by category, with longer consideration times allowing for a more refined and therefore cost-effective media plan. Hong Kongers may spend two days thinking about which baby product to buy, but they take 20 days to make up their minds about a credit card, and about seven weeks to decide on a mobile service.

Four times as fast
They’re still the fastest in the region across all these categories however. The regional average for credit cards is nearly four times as long, at 72 days, while for a mobile service, the gap isn’t so large but Hong Kongers have still made up their minds just under a month sooner than the regional average.

Media fragmentation is another important factor determining how widespread a successful campaign must be. When consumers get bombarded with messages, decision-making tends to lose a bit of pace, which is why while consideration times are fairly speedy in Taiwan, they are still slower than in Hong Kong.

“When we tried to establish the number of channels and touchpoints that consumers turn to for information, Taiwan takes pole position,” Oong says. “A lot of media impacts Taiwanese consumers.”

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