Grow more with less: Leverage digital touchpoints to thrive despite challenges

July 09, 2021 | 10:37
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COVID-19 is here to stay, yet a digital-led strategy can surely help companies navigate successfully through the crisis.
Grow more with less: Leverage digital touchpoints to thrive despite challenges
Leverage digital touchpoints to thrive despite challenges

The pandemic has changed the world like never before, including the way we live, learn, and do business. In the new context, digital tools and platforms play a prominent role in bridging the gaps between people and helping brands and customers better engage.

According to Kantar COVID-19 Global Barometer, 70 per cent of consumers in Southeast Asia have increased their internet surfing in 2020, which means more screen time for making choices and decisions, ranging from entertainment to purchase. Higher demands increase pressure for marketers who have to plan with restrained budgets and fewer resources available. Hence, they are looking forward to solutions that are both impactful and value-for-money.

This seems a daunting challenge, yet at the fourth MMA CEO & CMO Summit: Pivot to the New Normal hosted last June, experts confirmed the possibility to grow more with less. Helping local C-suite executives navigate through challenges and embrace the digitising trend to reach, attain, and retain customers despite the pandemic, the representative from Kantar APAC has shined the spotlight on how businesses can achieve growth with digital touchpoints.

Television gives way to digital channels

Television has long been utilised in marketing and is considered the most powerful tool to reach audiences and influence choices. For the first time, however, digital channels have outperformed TV in helping brands reach more Southeast Asian audiences during 2019-2020, according to Kantar Cross Media Study Meta-Analysis.

Grow more with less: Leverage digital touchpoints to thrive despite challenges

More importantly, digital channels also outplayed TV when it comes to brand impact. In the meta-analysis carried out by Kantar and Facebook, examining 64 multi-media campaigns across 6 Southeast Asian markets (including Vietnam) during the course of 2016-2020, digital touchpoints have been emphasised as more important and impactful throughout the consumer journey.

Particularly, digital channels help brands reach more audiences (awareness), facilitate emotional connection and sense of preference for brands (association), and turn the audience into consumers (motivation). Especially during the pandemic, digital solutions showcase greater impact and value-for-money. While the costs for TV are notably high, platforms like Facebook and YouTube are proving themselves as two times more cost effective in driving reach. Overall, digital-led campaigns commit higher returns on investment (ROI), notably increasing motivation to purchase by 1.5 times.

Grow more with less: Leverage digital touchpoints to thrive despite challenges

Recommendations for C-suite: Digitising to thrive

At MMA CEO & CMO Summit 2021, experts have recommended action points for C-level executives to plan their next campaigns. Leaders of companies are encouraged to keep TV share of spends at most 50 per cent to not diminish its value, while investing at least 25 per cent of their budget on digital channels which are considered as more ROI-impact.

Grow more with less: Leverage digital touchpoints to thrive despite challenges

Amongst the digital channels, Facebook rises as the outstanding platform that helps brands achieve efficacy across indicators and optimise their budget. According to key insights shared at the recent Facebook Video Summit 2020, the time spent using social media in Vietnam has increased by over 40 per cent during 2013-2020. In light of COVID-19, 89 per cent of Vietnamese users admit that social networks help them engage more and better with businesses. Facebook stands out as the platform that helps promote association and motivation for brands compared to TV or other digital channels.

Bryan Vo, Marketing Science partner, Facebook Vietnam, commented: “Digital channels are now increasingly prioritised by brands, thanks to their high efficacy in driving brand and sales impact at a lower cost compared with traditional channels. At Facebook, we proactively research ways to help advertisers increase impact and save costs to recommend to our clients. For example, both our internal and third-party research confirmed that when Facebook campaigns were optimally executed at a 60 per cent reach level and 2-per-week frequency, brand metrics are lifted by up to 1.8 times.”

COVID-19 is here to stay, so instead of grieving for what’s long gone, businesses are now encouraged to adapt and accelerate changes from their side to grab new opportunities with fewer resources. In fact, with more investment in digital-led strategy, more and more companies have effectively responded to COVID-19 and achieved outsize revenue growth.

By Quynh Anh

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