Warc, the global marketing intelligence service, has released its Asian Strategy Report 2017, an analysis of the region's most effective marketing trends based on insights from the 2016 Warc Prize for Asian Strategy.
Lucy Aitken, Case Study Editor at Warc, comments, "We've scrutinised the data of more than 200 entries to the 2016 Warc Prize for Asian Strategy to establish an unparalleled insight into how the region's marketers are responding during a time of challenge and change."
She adds, "Several years of demographic and cultural change have offered new creative opportunities for advertisers. Smartphone adoption is soaring - particularly in India - and Asia's middle class continues to grow exponentially. As in the 2015 Prize, brands are continuing to invest in purpose-led campaigns, however new trends are emerging as a result of Asia's economic slowdown."
Warc's Asian Strategy Report highlights the following key insights and marketing trends in Asia for 2017:
Economic slowdown is challenging Asia's marketers: With Asia's economic slowdown creating uncertainty in many countries across the region, campaign budgets continue to shrink forcing brands to think creatively and do more with less. Sales metrics continue to drive campaigns although market share and customer gain have become increasingly more important as brands try to protect their position in challenging times.
Lower cost channels gain popularity: Asia's digital revolution continues at pace, with smartphone adoption and increased internet penetration offering marketers new opportunities. Whilst television remains the most popular lead media channel overall despite a 9% slide from 2015, online video increased by 10% and social media continues to be more widespread. PR and content marketing are enjoying more popularity as brands aim to derive more value from their marketing spend.
India's digitisation offers new opportunities: While India still relies heavily on traditional media to connect with mass-market audiences, the country is now the world's second largest smartphone market behind China. With millions of people coming online for the first time, India's marketers are capitalising on this: the use of social media in campaigns has overtaken wider Asia for the first time and online video is now India's fourth most popular channel behind TV, social and outdoor.
Brand purpose is a delicate balance: Brand purpose has been a hot topic among the region's marketers, particularly as a way to engage with the lucrative millennial demographic, who are more educated and less traditional than previous generations. Cultural narratives, in particular the changing role of women in society, are the most popular type of purpose-led campaigns. However, the struggle to connect core brand values to a relevant social issue story suggests that marketers may need to rethink how they approach brand purpose in 2017.