Southeast Asians the most influenced by online advertising globally : Nielsen

73 percent of SEA consumers influenced by ads on social media websites

74 percent of SEA consumers believe targeted advertising makes the content more relevant to them

MANILA, 22 August 2011: Consumers in Southeast Asia (SEA) are leading the world when it comes to being influenced by online advertising, particularly if the content is specifically targeted, or if their friends have also engaged with the product or brand, according to a recent worldwide survey by leading global information and measurement company, Nielsen.

Findings from the study reveal that close to three quarters (73%) of SEA consumers are ‘highly’ or ‘somewhat’ influenced by standard website advertisements on social media sites, with this number increasing to 80 percent if the advertisement has social context which shows which of their friends have liked or followed the advertised brand (see chart 1).

In addition, when asked how they feel about online advertising which was targeted at them based on previous purchases or websites visited, the majority of consumers in Southeast Asia (74%) said that this technique ‘makes their lives easier’, in comparison to only 58 percent globally. This opinion is significantly higher amongst consumers in Philippines and Vietnam, with 83 percent and 82 percent respectively agreeing or strongly agreeing with this statement.

“SEA consumers’ trust in and attitudes towards online advertisements, particularly with their positive sentiment towards targeted content, provides myriad opportunities for companies to engage with their target audience,” states Nielsen’s APMEA Region Managing Director of Advertising Solutions, David Webb. “As social media increasingly becomes a mainstream activity throughout the region, brands have been quick to ‘get on board’ with the practice of better understanding and connecting with their consumers when it comes to their advertising strategies, engagement and conversion.”

The Nielsen report found that 69 percent of SEA consumers have ‘liked’ or followed a brand or company, significantly higher than the global average of 52 percent and higher again in countries such as Vietnam (79%) and Philippines (75%), (see chart 2). Further, consumer generated media (consumer opinions posted online) is now one of the most trusted forms of media among Southeast Asian digital consumers. Overall, 54 percent completely or somewhat trust consumer opinion posted online.

“Today’s users of social networking sites in Southeast Asia are increasingly turning to social networking platforms to seek advice or recommendations, get discounts or special offers, or actively recommend products or brands,” says David Webb. “As local consumers increase in their experience of using the internet, and their levels of confidence and sophistication, so too do they value and trust online content as a source of information.”