By this time almost everyone will agree that the novel coronavirus Covid-19 has devastated the global economy. From the South East Asian perspective major economies are badly affected with reduced business activities fuelled by devastated investors confidence and uncertainties, governments closing borders and limiting its citizens movements , forcing millions of businesses to close their offices .
Government policies to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus Covid-19 will result in a sudden change of consumers behaviour and purchase patterns , while most businesses that rely on brick and mortar operations are unable to cope with this sudden change, there are several industries maintaining their businesses as usual or scaling up their businesses .
Food and beverages
Countries around South East Asia are imposing movement control, each country vary in terms of the movement control restrictions but whatever degree of control it is, humans need to eat, and people are going online to make their purchases.
Food & beverage companies (F&B) benefited with the increase in food demand as citizens are staying home to work or waiting for the movement control to be over, while there are consumers who are willing to cook for themselves, a sizeable portion of the population is not and are more willing to spend money on food delivery.
Some traditional F&B business who did not embark on digital marketing before, took it upon themselves to market their products as best as they could without using an e-commerce system. From our team observation, there are several methods used such as WeChat marketing, WhatsApp marketing and Relying on Facebook engagement posts to spread word about their products offering – while generally it is effective in small scale marketing, using this method to scale up a business is generally ineffective.
All of our clients in the F&B industry experienced high growth since their respective governments started to impose movement control, especially clients in Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand – growth percentage varies but in the range of 200% to 1000% in terms of sales value with the ROI largely the same if not even higher.
Games & Other Entertainment
Since most of the population is staying home, one of the thing people will do besides working and eating, will be the need to entertain themselves. Companies in the gaming and entertainment industry are growing – primarily in mobile game and video streaming.
Our client in the games & entertainment industry are experiencing higher than usual sign up rates in countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia on average ranging from 100% to 200% growth – with an identical ROI.
It is worth noting that the large sign up rates is also attributable to offers such as free trials and discounts offered by these companies, and the average time spent and session per user has also increased substantially during this period.
Fuelled by the fear of the novel coronavirus Covid-19, a sizeable segment of consumers are turning to insurance companies to insure themselves or inquire about insurance that shields them from the unfortunate event of infection.
Even with the movement control imposed by governments in the South East Asian region, some insurance companies are still working from home with the telemarketing team operational at the employees houses. *This is one good example of how some companies are highly adaptable while some are not and choose to stay dormant.
The movement control also keeps the consumers attention span longer during a telemarketer subsequent follow up, resulting in better and faster response rates from the lead generated compared to the pre-movement control period with 80% to 95% response rate.
Our client who is an Insurance company is benefiting from increased inquiries and lead submission with 100% to 300% growth for Vietnam and Indonesia market with lower cost per lead submission and up to 100% lead accuracy.
Another obvious winner will be an e-commerce company, whether operating as a platform or standalone e-commerce website selling their own brand products only. As most people are staying at home, the need for products to satisfy their needs also increased substantially, further fuelled by more time available to spend on shopping.
Across the board, every one of our clients are experiencing growth in business transactions ranging from 100% to 500% growth in terms of transactions value operating in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam.
The sudden surge in demand also created another problem for the industry, on the logistic front. As some companies are unable to cope with the delivery demand created by consumers with a decrease in *logistic efficiency this translates into having more complaints and negative sentiments from the consumers towards the brand.
This also highlights the fact that logistic efficiency remains an issue and a challenge within the e-commerce industry and the domestic e-commerce logistic industry growth potential remains wide and has yet to reach its full potential.
Beauty & Massage Service Provider
The movement control imposed by the government, in some aspect, increased the stress level of some of the populace which lead to the desire for more recreational activity in particular the beauty and spa service providers , to be enjoyed after the movement control is lifted or partially lifted.
Some of our clients in the said industry are getting hundreds of sign up per day particularly in Malaysia and Vietnam, adaptable by quickly changing their marketing strategy to sell “Post Covid-19 offer” to maintain the client brand awareness and also most importantly maintain sales for the company by giving offering special promotion to the market.
While some in the industry choose to stay dormant, others are picking up the opportunity and demand vacuum to increase their market share and sales. This is another example of how some excel while some suffer even though they are in the same industry.
The novel coronavirus Covid-19 undoubtedly devastated many businesses in South East Asia, it also presented an opportunity for companies to take advantage of a large vacuum of digital media available, freed up as many advertisers pulled out. It is up to the companies to be creative and adapt to change and quickly switch to digital marketing to stay relevant and marketable.