Online marketing rapidly growing in PH

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Television is still the dominant and most effective way to market products in the Philippines, but online marketing, especially through social networking sites like Facebook, is rapidly gaining traction, a market research firm said Monday.

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Anne Rayner, global head of communications research of global market research firm Taylor Nelson Sofres Inc. (TNS), said that brand marketing is shifting from TV to online along with the changing viewing habits of Filipinos, and that online marketing is the fastest growing medium in the country.

“In the Philippines, we’re increasingly seeing a shift to mobile. 49 percent of the population is connected online. Consumers are consolidating their connectivity in their mobile phones, and this is enabling Filipinos to watch videos through their smartphones,” Rayner said in a briefing on “touchpoints” being a part of companies’ brand strategy.

“Touchpoints” are the different ways or strategies of firms to interact with its customers — an example of which are brand marketing and customer service.

“In one year, from the most TV heavy market in the world, [Filipinos are slowly shifting] to watching online video. This is still a TV heavy market, but there is increasing use of mobile [devices]. Brands that are going to be successful are the ones who will embrace that,” she added.

Rayner cited the marketing strategy of skincare product maker Pond’s towards its targeted female audience, who are mostly millenials. She said Pond’s online teenage drama series titled “Face My Love” garnered over three million views in three weeks, and has reached a total of 5.6 million views, which is 75 percent of the total female teen target online.

Rayner also said that last year, 20 percent of Filipinos purchased products through online channels, half of which are done via mobile devices. She also said Philippine e-commerce grew 9 percent last year, which is higher than the average global e-commerce growth of 3 percent in the same period.

She said the Philippines has a “huge opportunity for e-commerce” growth, citing that brands should tap more into online marketing to broaden market reach.

But in spite of the potential of e-commerce, the TNS research head said there are certain behaviors of Filipino customers that hamper the local e-commerce growth.

Rayner said Filipinos’ inclination to buy “at the last minute” and their “trust issues” in online transactions are challenges to the growth of e-commerce in the Philippines.

Aside from online channels, Rayner said that companies should identify their product categories and their market, and “know what works for your audience and your brands” to be able to focus in brand marketing strategies that can reach wider audience.

A part of Kantar, TNS is a global market research and insights company of the WPP group that studies customer strategies, innovations, brand communications, and technology, among others.

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