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By: Paul Mottram
Across Asia Pacific, social media has become mainstream. In China, for example, there almost one billion users of WeChat, Tencent’s messaging service that combines messaging with social sharing, ecommerce and payments. Marketing resources – whether paid, owned or earned – are highly allocated towards social platforms.
Amid this shift, marketers are increasingly turning to online influencers, often known simply as KOLs (key opinion leaders) as an alternative to interruptive, frequently intrusive, and often ineffective banner-based advertising. The logic is simple: social endorsement from online opinion leaders or celebrities will reach and appeal to consumers in a natural and compelling way as they scroll through their feeds.READ MORE
At Allison+Partners, we wanted to look more closely at how influence really works. So, the latest installment of our Influence Impact Report, takes a deep dive into the dynamics of influence in Asia.
This October, we surveyed 3,065 consumers across the China, Japan and Singapore markets, looking in particular at the food & beverage, financial services, consumer electronics & mobile devices, and travel & leisure sectors. We wanted to understand what kinds of influencers have the greatest and deepest impact? How do consumers weigh the influence of KOLs against that of their friends, families and peers closer to home? And ultimately, how does influence translate into word-of-mouth buzz, shares, and recommendations for brands and products?
The research reveals some intriguing findings:
The report reveals the complex nature of influence in the region, and suggests a framework for understanding and leveraging it. Influencing word-of-mouth is the name of the game, and getting it right involves not only selecting the right influencers, but also appealing to the subset of consumers – we call them Engaged Enthusiasts – that has a disproportionate influence on their peers.
Facebook is trying to win over the influencer crowd with an app built just for them, and it connects to Watch for those influencers with an official show on the social network.
The Facebook Creator App, announced Thursday, will give internet stars a place to create and edit videos, film live, message with followers and track stats about their videos. The app is for people with a Facebook Page, not just a personal account.READ MORE
There is a powerful category of Asian consumers who have disproportionate influence in their ability to spread brand awareness and drive purchase decisions, according to Allison+Partners’ latest Influence Impact Report. These “Engaged Enthusiasts” are more likely to follow and trust social media influencers and key opinion leaders (KOLs), more receptive to marketing content across channels, and more likely to give recommendations to others. This makes them a critical target for brands seeking word-of-mouth buzz and preference.READ MORE
Making up 23 percent of total internet users in the region, Engaged Enthusiasts are defined by their openness to influence at large, and potential to influence the opinions of their immediate peers.
The Asia Influence Impact Report draws on original consumer research conducted in October and November 2017 among consumers in China, Japan and Singapore. It features data on general preferences and detailed information on consumer preferences about products and services in four key categories: consumer electronics and mobile devices; food and beverage; travel and leisure; and financial services.
“Influence comes from many interrelated sources and how marketers select and prioritize influencers for their brand is critical,” said Paul Mottram, managing director of Allison+Partners’ All Told group in Asia Pacific. “While reach is important, it’s not everything. Will those influencers be perceived as credible and an authority for your brand or category? Will consumers trust their recommendations?”
Finding the right influencers takes rigor and a proven process for identification and evaluation. To that end, Allison+Partners’ proprietary Influence Impact Score approach helps define the correct blend of influencers for a brand by quantifying and scoring the complex variables that determine potential impact.
“Influencer engagement programs should be both measurable and accountable,” Mottram said. “The Influence Impact Score gives marketing communicators a valuable new tool to help target and justify their programs accordingly.”
Other research findings in the report include an assessment of the brand attributes Asian consumers value the most. The top two factors that emerged overall are a brand’s social responsibility and the extent to which a brand’s visual style aligns with the consumer’s tastes.
“Asian consumers appear to value brands that not only do good, but also brands that look good – or make the consumer look good by being associated with them,” Mottram said.
The report also contains a wealth of insights and actionable advice on:
About the Influence Impact Report
The Influence Impact Report is an ongoing series that explores the dynamic forces that shape and drive consumers in an active ecosystem of influence. Allison+Partners compiled this report based on an online survey of 3,065 Chinese, Japanese and Singaporean internet users between October and November 2017 using the Qualtrics Insight Platform, which also provided the consumer panel. To download the Influence Impact Reports, visit http://www.allisonpr.com/what/influence-360.html.
Every year on Nov. 11, Chinese internet giant Alibaba Group hosts the world's biggest shopping event, called Singles Day. Chinese consumers fill their online shopping carts beforehand and stay up until the clock strikes midnight to click the "buy" button, trying to catch the best deals before they sell out.
Alibaba's event on Saturday—once an unofficial Chinese celebration for the unmarried until Alibaba rebranded it as a Chinese take on Black Friday—brought in $25.3 billion in transactions in 24 hours, up 39 percent from last year, which bodes well for Chinese consumer sentiment. Alibaba says 90 percent of sales during the event were on mobile devices.READ MORE
Lowe’s may not be the first brand to stage an escape room, but the stunt sure is a clever way for the hardware store to market its wares.
A new 17-minute reality-style ad puts four skilled craftspeople—an electrician, Moe; a contractor, Wes; and two YouTubers who run DIY channels, Bob and Grant—in a custom-built obstacle course with three rooms, a series of puzzles to solve, and one hour to make it to the ground floor. Each person got to pick one tool to bring into the maze, though more were scattered throughout.READ MORE
The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity will implement several fixes next year amid grumbling from the marcomms industry.
To reduce overlap among Lions, the festival will gut more than 120 subcategories and retire the Cyber, Integrated, and Promo & Activation Lions. It is also grouping related Lions through a track-based system. The PR Lions will sit within the "Reach" track, alongside Creative Data, Social & Influencer, Direct, and Media. Most of the creative disciplines, meanwhile, are housed within the Comms track.READ MORE