In the most recent Stridec webinar, Stridec Managing Partner Bernard San Juan III was joined by Jason Cruz, ADA Philippines Director of New Business Development.

Jason Cruz is a digital strategist that focuses on how brands may succeed on the internet. Jason worked for McCann Worldgroup Philippines before joining ADA in 2020, where he rose through the ranks from social media manager to Head of Digital Strategy and lead for social marketing in Asia Pacific in less than eight years. Jason has worked on over 200 campaign executions to date. On his YouTube channel, Better Today with Jason Cruz, he is also a recognised educator and developer of work-life inspirational content.

Bernard and Jason talked about how to profile today’s new Filipino client, whose behavior has been impacted by the pandemic; which sectors or businesses have reacted swiftly; and how marketers should start establishing their own data sources on this customer.

The Customer Who Is “Always On” Is Ready To Shop Online

San Juan began the webinar by highlighting significant changes in the Philippine digital economy during the last five years. Between 2016 and 2021, internet penetration increased from 48 to 72 percent of the population, and Filipinos’ average online time increased drastically from 3 hours and 12 minutes (3:12) to 10 hours and 56 minutes (10:56). (10:56).

The country’s degree of e-commerce adoption, according to San Juan, was much more revealing.

E-commerce goods sold in the Philippines in 2016 had a gross merchandise value (GMV) of roughly US$2 billion. Philippine e-commerce GMV is expected to nearly treble to US$7.5 billion by 2020. According to San Juan, many businesses affected by the virus were “first-time beneficiaries” of the boom in internet business.

Cruz concurred. One of the most important lessons from recent Internet statistics releases (from Google, The World Bank, and We Are Social, to name a few) is that e-commerce has a large number of newcomers. According to Cruz, this is an indication that Filipinos are increasingly eager to shop online.

Despite the fact that he believes the shift to the internet was more “a result of necessity than technological transformation,” firms should regard it as a positive.

“If you’re a company and you’re wondering, ‘Is e-commerce right for me?’ Is e-commerce going to help my company?’ “There’s a good chance,” Cruz predicted.

He also pointed out that customers have had a year to become used to purchasing and buying things online, and that marketers have been intentionally targeting the 18-24 age group.

After all, why not? “If you get them early on, you have a better chance of maintaining them as devoted buyers for the rest of their lives,” Cruz said.

Congratulations To The Winners And Losers

According to Cruz, the pandemic has spawned “winners,” particularly in the digital payments sector, such as GCash, and insurance.

Supermarkets and restaurants that responded to online ordering; travel firms that offered armchair vacation experiences; and furniture companies that helped people set up their work from home offices, he continued, were among the businesses that flipped fast and successfully.

Meanwhile, according to San Juan, some fitness and leisure businesses have made the right decisions. Fitbit, for example, introduced new activities to its app and made some of its paid content available for free. He also commended Nike’s customer-focused training programmes.

Companies who were less successful would have been better suited investing in their own digital platform, Cruz ads.

“Whether or not you have a shop, whether or not you have a physical means to contact with people, the brands that survived, and arguably thrived, were the ones where the relationship and purchase component was unbroken.”

According to Cruz, Nike’s training app emphasizes the need of having a digital platform. “Important investments in your own customer data are critical since knowing your customers allows you to focus your efforts.”

Businesses without their own digital platforms tended to approach the market in a wide, “shotgun” fashion, Cruz added, when they should be concentrating on reaching clients via mobile and desktop.

“If you know who you’re targeting and the precise profile of your greatest consumer, you’ll have a far greater chance of communicating and cutting through the noise.”

Getting a Better Understanding of This “Always On” Customer

Knowing where to find this customer starts with knowing who he or she is.

Cruz claims that if you know your target persona or audience profile, the platform decision is chosen for you. Because a younger consumer is likely to be more “visual,” marketers should limit their options to “platforms that give those experiences.” He added that audiences might be segmented based on their attitudes or physical location.

Despite the fact that the Philippines is dominated by Android, San Juan questioned Cruz if marketers and advertisers should be concerned about Apple’s new iOS 14.5 update, which prevents other platforms, like Facebook, from collecting user data.

“They shouldn’t be concerned,” Cruz responded, “but they should take steps to lessen their dependence on one platform in particular.”

He claims that the more data sources a brand has, the better off it will be. “It all boils down to, ‘Have you invested in your own media, your own platforms, where you can acquire your own information?'” says the author.

San Juan agrees that having your own website is one of the finest methods to address captive consumer data – but not all firms are ready to construct or remodel their own website.

Cruz points out that, for the most part, certain brands have reached a certain level of digital maturity.

“So the question is no longer, ‘Should we establish a website?’ but rather, ‘What is the ecology that we can build around these channels?” Cruz inquires.

“Does [your website] provide a more comprehensive experience for your clients, particularly in terms of e-commerce?”

At Any Time, Communicate With The Customer

The fact that clients have become nearly completely sedentary has been one of the pandemic’s toughest obstacles. Cruz confesses, “the whole offline world experience kind of went out the window.”

While this makes long-term planning difficult for marketers, they should continue to focus on diversifying their digital data sources. He claims that a Facebook profile and Instagram stories are insufficient.

Both B2B and B2C companies should reconsider their strategies and timing. For example, B2C and FMCG brands may have sought top-of-mind awareness in the evenings or on weekends, when individuals are planning their food shopping errands. “Anytime would work because [your product] might be ordered right now.” And if you have a connection to a Lazada store or another e-commerce platform, you may complete the purchase,” Cruz explains.

Certain purchase paths, such as buying a car, necessitate an offline component, such as a test drive, to help complete the deal, according to Cruz. However, brands should make an effort to make online customers’ lives easier. For example, instead of waiting two hours for a response to a Facebook message, a chatbot may respond immediately, or salesmen can improve their email response skills.

The next challenge, according to Cruz, is to improve the customer experience by focusing on amplifying outstanding experiences that a business has already offered – whether that means enhancing the delivery process or minimizing the processes involved in completing an app purchase.

Please visit our Stridec page and watch the replay of this talk on the New Digital Customer to learn more.