Key Lessons on Advertising in Southeast Asia

Establishing a brand within the Southeast Asia market requires a high level of knowledge about the region. Less homogenized than Europe or North America, the East poses a challenge for all marketing and advertising strategies – how to best navigate the vast and vibrant cultures, markets, and environments they operate. 

Asia Pacific is one of the largest regions worldwide based on its advertising spending, second only to North America, with advertising revenue bringing in almost 200 billion USD per year. For a brand to effectively enter this market and make significant gains in both revenue and brand recognition in general, it is important to translate, localize and resonate with individual audiences in order to establish a long-term presence in the region. 

MultiVerse Advertising has a wealth of experience when it comes to advertising in Southeast Asia. We understand the specifics needed to get the marketing right for each market and what brands must consider when operating in such a highly-competitive market.

Keep it Mobile

From how you interact with audiences to how they interact with your brand, in Southeast Asia this dichotomy exists almost exclusively on a mobile device. The boom in accessible smartphone technology has allowed previously-excluded markets to have 24/7 access to the internet like never before. This transition has been so significant, that mobile advertising through online ads and in-app purchases in Asia Pacific is set to outgrow The Americas and EMEA within a few years.

Across Southeast Asia, apps are growing in prominence, mostly in the form of gaming. Ad-driven gaming models dominate the region and serve as a compromising market for advertisers and brands looking to reach new and effective target audiences. With many game apps offering watch-to-win scenarios, people who see advertising through such platforms are essentially ‘opting in’ – improving ad feedback, brand recognition and even conversions in many cases.  

Take Advantage of Social Media Obsessions

Advertisers and brands in Southeast Asia have a perfect opportunity to tap into the almost obsessive nature of social media usage in the region. Southeast Asia dominates the top ten leading countries based on Facebook audiences, with 140 million active users in Indonesia, 83 million in the Philippines, 68 million in Vietnam and 51 million in Thailand. 

In addition to active usage, people in Asia tend to spend more time on Social Media than any other region, with people in Thailand spending an average of three to four hours on social media per day, for example. 

Brands looking to connect with this large and growing audience in Southeast Asia have a great opportunity to reach a multitude of audiences instantaneously. However, brands must recognize that their digital marketing strategies must differ significantly from traditional methods. Simply adopting an old-style marketing strategy to Facebook is likely to be counter-productive. Instead, blending content into the content already found in the app’s newsfeed tends to produce better ROI and engagement overall.

Localization is Essential

Market strategies and Advertising plans require a unique, localized approach when entering the Southeast Asian market. Most of the time, if a product is successful in the West, and the brand uses the same techniques in the East, they will see it fail. 

With major cultural, linguistic and behavioural differences of each market in the region, advertising often needs more time and more investment to get right. Seeking the services of professional translators to ensure your copy is always accurate is key, as well as employing the services of agencies that understand the locale and how best to communicate in a way that resonates with your target audience. 

However, brands must also be careful not to generalize consumers based on their nationalities. Many countries in Southeast Asia celebrate a multicultural, multinational population – segmenting audiences by nationality instead of consumer purchasing behaviour will often bring unwanted expectations. 

MultiVerse Advertising offers a vast range of culturally sensitive and regional advertising guidance for brands looking to enter the region. We help both local and international brands make the most of this lucrative market through market-specific marketing strategies that work. To find out more, click here to browse our recent successes or contact us today and see how we can help you benefit from the key lessons we have learnt from advertising in Southeast Asia.

03 March 2021