PETALING JAYA: Member companies of the Malaysian Advertisers Association (MAA), while acknowledging the difficult market conditions fuelled by Covid-19, are stepping up their engagement with customers as one of the ways to expand their market share.
With herd immunity expected in the fourth quarter, marketers are bullish that businesses would up their advertising expenditure to capture clients and deepen brand penetration.
Maxis Bhd head of brand and marketing Tai Kam Leong (pic) told StarBiz that marketers currently needed to think more about the emotional state of consumers.
How optimistic and purposeful the outlook people had, he said, would dramatically influence how they used, spent, grew, invested and lived.
As to whether marketers should increase their ad spend in the wake of the pandemic to have a stronger market presence when the situation improved, he said: “Ironically, the factors of emotional optimism and hope are not only a barometer for spend, but also a state that marketers can have a role in.
“When brands use their purpose to align with societal progress and sentiments, we create a mutually beneficial outcome.
“Marketers should spend, but when done right, it will catalyse recovery and reinvent the future.
“If brands are focused primarily on selling, it’s best to hold your budgets and restart from behind when the market picks up.
“I, for one, see brands playing a leadership role and actively serving the community to pick the market up.”
Tai expects the second half of the year to witness a flat level of activity as markets remain anxious about the consequences of the health, political, mobility and productivity fallout that affect the socio-economic well-being of Malaysians at large.
UEM Sunrise Bhd chief marketing officer Kenny Wong said for property development, the company’s construction progress had been severely inhibited due to the movement restrictions under the enhanced movement control order.
Nevertheless, he said this had not stopped UEM Sunrise from marketing its products and pursuing new launches, with the use of digital platforms. “It is also not so much the number of marketing activities but rather the type of campaigns implemented and the type of media used.
“Movement restrictions have greatly reduced marketing spend on out-of-home (OOH), radio, cinema and ambient marketing, and rendered physical events non-existent.
“Brands would ensure awareness levels remained high to retain top of mind market share so that when the situation permits, this can be converted to a bigger share of the wallet.
“In this regard, constant engagement with loyal and potential customers will be critical.
“To me, the bigger question is relevance and how marketers pivot to address the changing needs of customers as well as being more focused and granular in audience targeting and engagement,” he added.
Wong said there was pent-up demand for specific categories of properties in the industry despite the economic downturn.
And there are those who are unaffected by the loss of income and may be on the lookout to expand their investment portfolio or scout for good deals.
It is important, he added, therefore, to be focused on targeting to ensure better effectiveness for marketing spend.
“Content and product benefit-based marketing like addressing the evolving needs of customers, taking into account how lives have changed since the pandemic started like working from home, and the related impact this could have on the products we launch and sell, will probably be critical areas that will attract customers,” he noted.
Tune Talk Sdn Bhd chief marketing officer Joseph Lim (pic below) said as most businesses were in dire situations and raring to get back into the market, the company was also looking to reach out to consumers but in a more sensitive manner.
He said marketing activities in the second half of the year would be better than the first half due to the speeding up of vaccinations to achieve herd immunity by the fourth quarter.
He said the market was now more data-driven than ever, adding that Internet data utilisation had surged to new heights, especially when most people were homebound.
This, in turn, has changed consumer spending behaviour as well as advertisers’ ad spend, he noted.
“With data-backed analytics and insights, we are geared to increase our spend at the right channels targeting the right audience.
“For example, we will be expanding our presence in e-comms platforms as it’s one of the major booming tech sectors during this pandemic. Tune Talk’s first step will be integrating with apps within our group offerings, especially the AirAsia Super App which is gaining massive traction with various offerings.
“We at Tune Talk very much see ourselves as a digital lifestyle telco,” Lim said.
In order to gain leadership advantage, he said one had to be slightly more adventurous in trying out new media mix and internal development.
For Tune Talk, he said part of the ad spend had turned inwards, focusing on international research and development (R&D) on the company’s digital platforms.
Lim said Tune Talk was constantly improving its app in terms of its user interface and user experience journey, where it sees the efforts being paid off by the high adoption rate from subscribers.
MAA is the single body representing the interest of advertisers in all areas of commercial communications.
Founded in 1964, MAA has over 102 members whose total communications spend is in excess of RM11.6bil (based on rate card).
These include some of the largest, most influential and innovative marketers in the country across categories as diverse as travel, packaged goods, technology and healthcare.