Traditional Marketing Strategies & Channels in Asia
Some traditional marketing strategies or traditional marketing channels such as out-of-home advertising continue to convert in Asia, but some are no longer relevant in marketing.
In Japan, almost every company heavily relies on traditional marketing because the country is still “the lost 20 years” or the period of economic stagnation in Japan following the Japanese asset price bubble’s collapse in late 1991 and early 1992. The country once leader in technology development is now hesitant to transition their businesses to digital marketing because traditional roots are embedded deep within each and every Japanese soul. Businesses still believe in basic advertising, from passing out flyers at university campuses and at populous areas to cashing in on some of the infamously absurd Japanese television ads, perpetually on display.
In India, traditional marketing is the most dominated medium and most of the companies allocate huge budget for traditional campaigns, specifically on national and regional television advertisements using influencer marketing in Asia.
In China, however, the shift from traditional to digital media is also reflected in declining spend on print and TV. Newspapers decline by 28%. Magazines decline by 9%. Television declines by 5.5%.
In South Korea, it’s different though. Celebrities in the spotlight, narrator models grab your attention, sexy still sells – for just about anything…
Why some traditional marketing channels continue to be relevant in many Asian countries
Geography and topography are the reasons why there are many mountainous regions in Asia that experience difficulty in accessing the Internet. These regions heavily rely on televisions and newspapers.
In other parts of Asia such as Japan, it is the typical Asian culture that keeps traditional marketing the most budgeted channel in marketing.
The evolving digital arena has been debated by digital marketing strategists and digital marketing consultants throughout Asia whether traditional marketing channels will be replaced by new channels or the so-called new media.
The evolving digital arena has been debated by digital marketing strategists and digital marketing consultants whether traditional channels will be replaced by new channels.
The answer is, none of these new digital marketing channels have been replaced, even as new ones emerge. Instead, these new digital channels are layering on top of existing channels, creating a richer tapestry of ways to connect with customers. The Internet of Things (IoT) adds even more possibilities for these interactions, be it through methods like email or geographically activated mobile notifications.
Here are five examples of this layering in action.
Ecommerce hasn’t killed the retail store
Retailers have long been concerned about online stores’ hassle-free shopping and wide inventory. But instead of the extinction of physical retail stores, traditional retailers are integrating the online and offline experience to provide one seamless customer journey, using tools like e-coupons, online reviews, and mobile services to drive customers to physical stores. Singaporeans largely use the Internet for research before they make purchases offline.
Similarly, e-tailers are also launching physical storefronts to offer customers an omnichannel experience. The success of ZALORA’s pop-up stores in Southeast Asia clearly demonstrates the power of real-life storefronts, and they are not alone. Local Singapore designers at Love, Bonito have also utilized a similar concept with great success. The integration of online and offline platforms to create a consistent, seamless experience for customers is the model that wins today.
Digital hasn’t killed print
Magazines, newspapers, and direct mail advertisements aren’t museum installations — they’re still part of everyday life. Even as digital media consumption soar, customers today still interact with brands across both print and digital platforms. In response to this demand, publishers like Singapore Press Holdings are offering readers bundled print and digital subscriptions, and have recently moved to jointly provide content and services like mobile data subscription plans to their customers.
As a result, marketers need to manage an expanded customer experience that spans multiple channels and platforms, all while delivering consistently information that speaks to each customer individually. The average journey today merges both physical and digital components, so to ignore print entirely would be a mistake.
Mobile messaging hasn’t killed email
LINE, WeChat, WhatsApp, and their contemporaries keep people in touch, no matter where they are in the world. With a wireless connection and a smartphone, colleagues and loved ones can connect in real time without any roaming charges. That immediacy and mobility has led some to foretell the death of email at the hands of mobile messaging.
Yet email remains the top channel for the majority of in-office dealings and brand-to-customer communications, and plenty of personal conversations, too. Mobile has actually reinvigorated email – in fact, nearly 60 percent of smartphone users in Singapore use emails on their phones. Mobile messaging and emails not only coexist; they give users more options to use the channels they prefer, which gives marketers more ways to reach them.
Instagram and Snapchat haven’t killed Facebook
The rise of newer social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat may make it seem like Facebook’s appeal is dwindling. In reality, Facebook is growing. e-Marketer records 2.9 million Facebook users in Singapore as of 2015, and estimates the number will grow to 3.4 million by 2019. Facebook regularly innovates with new features like live video for public figures to keep users coming back, and while the newer channels do the same, Facebook’s global growth cannot be ignored.
Facebook also increasingly serves as a preferred customer service platform for many businesses in the region, such as Grab and Singtel. The instantaneous nature of the platform makes it easy for businesses to provide real-time responses to customer queries, complaints, and other feedback, thereby improving the overall customer experience, especially for the social media-savvy Millennials customers.
It’s hard to imagine a company with a successful digital presence not having a Facebook page. There are 45 million active business pages and over one billion people visit Pages per month. That alone indicates the network’s potential for connecting with customers.
Ad blocking won’t kill great advertising
Apple’s iOS 9 introduced a new ad-free environment for iPhones, but ad blocking is nothing new to advertisers. While ad blockers are indeed becoming more popular and sophisticated, new ad platforms are also driving innovation for both customers and marketers. These new ads are emotional and entertaining storytelling vehicles that speak to customers – they are ads that customers have interest in watching instead of blocking. Coupled with the possibilities for super-targeted personalization, it is clear why the future of online advertising is bright.
Take for example Instagram’s video and photo ad formats. Instagram encourages brands to use fresh looking ads that fits the platform, and displays it in a more personalized, “in the feed” style. Such ads yield better results for marketers and are more engaging for customers.
In this complex world of customer communication, channels rarely die. Marketers’ ultimate goal should be marketing so good it looks and feels like customer service, and servicing customers so well it is marketing. A report on the Harvard Business Review agrees: “The new frontier of marketing will be service, not sales.” Today’s marketers have more channels at their disposal to serve customers than ever before.
Above all, marketers must create an integrated experience for their customers. Achieving that integrated experience will require every digital and physical channel, and allowing customers to pick which they prefer. That would mean including even those channels that people say are dead, and using them to build customer relationships that last.
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