Social media now key element for brands in Malaysia – TNS

Brands in Malaysia are placing social media at the heart of their strategy as they strive towards 360 customer engagement, according to a study released by global insights consultancy, TNS.


The results from TNS’ annual Marketing Monitor study across Asia Pacific highlight the centrality of social media for marketers – it ranked as the top element guiding the planning process, as well as the top metric used to measure the performance of campaigns.

According to the study, businesses are using a variety of sources to inform their marketing strategy, however insights gathered through social media monitoring have finally overtaken more traditional metrics such as market share data and brand tracking to become the most popular component used by marketers.

Top five metrics informing planning:
1.    Social media monitoring
2.    Market share data
3.    What the competition is doing
4.    Focus groups
5.    Opinions of senior management

These findings echo the changes happening in consumer behaviour across the country. As people become more connected via digital channels, brands are focusing on how they can communicate with their customers in the online spaces where they are already spending time – social.

Zoë Lawrence, Digital Director, APAC for TNS said: “It’s no secret that social has become an intrinsic part of our daily lives – 99% of connected consumers in Malaysia use social networks, switching between Facebook, Instagram and Google+ as the top three platforms. This mass adoption of social provides marketers with an array of sources when it comes to developing strategies and evaluating the effectiveness of their marketing activity. As the digital ecosystem evolves, we will continue to identify new ways to build insights. However, whatever the metric used, it’s important to ensure marketers are monitoring the indicators that contribute to sales.”

The study also highlighted the top priority for marketing departments this year – customer relationship management. The Marketing Monitor findings revealed that marketers’ sphere of activity has now broadened, as they concentrate on how to deliver the best overall customer experience, ahead of the traditional aim of increasing brand awareness.

To achieve this, businesses are using social media across a range of disciplines. For example, 46% of marketers in Malaysia are using social media for brand communications, but in addition, the same number uses it to provide customer service. Social media appeared to be a big part of ecommerce strategy, with 50% using social media advertising and one in three (36%) using social media buy buttons.

Despite this approach to using social to support a variety of marketing goals, the results showed that businesses are not working as collaboratively as they could be, with only half (56%) of marketers in Malaysia partnering with customer service teams, one in three (34%) working with the digital team and a mere 10% working with the insights department.

Zoë Lawrence said: “With marketers using social for a range of marketing objectives, it is important that they are offering a consistent, coherent experience to the customer. Brands need to strive to break down the siloes in their organisations to ensure that they are realising the potential positive impact that an aligned, well-executed social strategy can deliver.”

APAC Malaysia
Top five metrics informing planning
1.    Social media monitoring 1.    Social media monitoring
2.    Market share data 2.    Market share data
3.    Brand tracking 3.    What the competition is doing
4.    What the competition is doing 4.    Focus groups
5.    Information from media agencies 5.    Opinions of senior management
Top priority for marketing departments this year
1.    Customer relationship management 1.    Customer relationship management
2.    Increasing brand awareness 2.    Transforming the marketing organisation in the digital world
3.    Transforming the marketing organisation in the digital world 3.    Increasing brand awareness
4.    Deriving value from data to inform decisions 4.    Identifying and converting new sales opportunities
5.    Identifying and converting new sales opportunities 5.    Deriving value from data to inform decisions
How marketers are using social media
46%: Brand communications 49%: Amplifying other marketing activity
43%: Customer service 48%: Providing insights to inform product development
38%: Sales channel  46%: Brand communications
37%: Amplifying other marketing activity  46%: Customer service
36%: Providing insights to inform product development 43%: Sales channel
27%: Mining for customer intelligence  19%: Mining for customer intelligence
Social media and ecommerce
47%: using social media advertising 50%: using social media advertising
30%: using social media buy buttons 36%: using social media buy buttons
What departments are marketers collaborating with? 
46%: customer service teams 56%: customer service teams
39%: business development teams 47%: business development teams
33%: wider sales team 34%: digital team
30%: digital team 28%: wider sales team
16%: insights team 10%: insights team
% using social networks
92% 99%
Top three platforms used daily
1.   WeChat Moments 1.   Facebook
2.   Facebook 2.   Instagram
3.   QQ Space 3.    Google+

The TNS Marketing Monitor study is based on responses from 2,250 marketing professionals across Asia Pacific. The study was carried out in July 2016. Marketers from across 11 countries were questioned: Singapore, Thailand, India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, Philippines, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea.

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