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10 APAC trends marketers should know to stay ahead of the curve in 2024

10 APAC trends marketers should know to stay ahead of the curve in 2024

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As APAC marketers plan campaigns for the year ahead, creating larger-than-life experiences to make memories is a top trend among consumers that marketers should take note of to stay ahead of the curve. In fact, 18% of those in the APAC region attended more live events in 2023 than they did pre-pandemic, higher than the global average of 12%.

Marketers should also leverage the potential for connected TV and podcasts to grow in the region, according to Omnicom Media Group’s (OMG) latest 2024 APAC Trends Report.

However, with the rise of deinfluencing where consumers look behind the veil of advertising to discern whether a product lives up to its expectations, OMG has narrowed down ten trends marketers should look out for in 2024. Below are the trends across consumer, media and technology that are expected to shape the new year.

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1. A desire for the spectacle

After being couped up in our homes during the pandemic, it comes as no surprise that revenge travel was one of the buzzwords post-pandemic with this trend expected to still go strong in 2024.

With Taylor Swift’s sold-out shows and the 2024 Paris Olympics projected to sell 2.5 million more tickets this year as compared to 2016, and people dressing up for Barbenheimer in 2023, consumers are desiring larger-than-life experiences.

To leverage this trend, brands need not create immersive vacations or earth-shaking concerts. Instead, they should create worthwhile experiences that are in line with their brand and the consumer’s desire to make new friends and try new things, according to OMG. 

2. The potential of connected TV

Through CTV's powerful ability that allows consumers to curate their viewing experience, connected TV (CTV) and smart stick ownership is growing at a five-year compound annual growth rate of 6.5%. In fact, 57% of APAC marketers are already shifting at least 40% of their ad budgets to CTV.

The focus on CTV in the region can be attributed to its 13% increase in attention index among viewers as compared to traditional TV along with a six-time increase in conversion from streaming ads as compared to those on TV.

Although the CTV landscape remains fragmented, brands and advertisers must keep tabs on this space as key players consolidate and streamline product offerings. CTV will also continue to shape the future of other areas such as shoppable media, and the way ads are bought and served on platforms.

3. Keeping track of upcoming tech regulations

As new technologies continue to shake up the industry, marketers are advised to adhere to new legislations to look out for consumers’ privacy and protect themselves from lawsuits.

More and more legislations have been introduced to encourage healthy competition, ensure the ethical use of consumer data, and enforce transparency.

For example, Indonesia now requires eCommerce payments to be done only on shopping platforms, and Beijing mandates companies to use ‘legitimate data’ to train AI models. Meta will also be launching paid, ad-free versions of its platforms by 2024 to comply with data protection regulations in the EU and India.

These legislations see more support in the APAC region with 60% of consumers backing government regulation of social media within their country, more than the global average of 49%.

4. The age of deinfluencing

The growing cynicism among consumers when it comes to ads has also seen the rise of deinfluencing where consumers demand more authenticity and transparency from companies and brands.

This means that companies must be ready to put their money where their mouth is and walk the walk by ensuring its branding and influencers employed are consistent with its principles.

For example, before talking about purpose and sustainability, companies should ensure they have clear and actionable plans on how the brand is going to achieve net zero targets.

5. Full steam ahead for Generative AI

While ChatGPT might have seen a 10% drop in users in June 2023, the hype for artificial intelligence (AI) is not going anywhere in 2024 after being the hottest buzzword in 2023.

More specifically, 90% of online information will be AI-generated content by 2026 and AI funding in 2023 increased 48% compared to 2022.

For marketers, 42% of them use it for content creation and 39% for brainstorming. With GenAI being adopted in the workplace, companies need to find a balance between efficiency and transparency in terms of how consumer data is being gathered and used.

6. The potential for podcasts

APAC is catching up on the global podcast boom and with the West experiencing podcast-related budget cuts and layoffs last year, this will be seen as a new source of growth for brands here in the coming years.

70% of APAC consumers report a higher level of attentiveness while listening to podcasts, and 26% of podcast listeners in the region prefer ads in podcasts that feel organic. Additionally, 71% of APAC consumers take action after listening to ads on a podcast.

It is important for brands to recognise that podcast listeners seek a specific type of relationship with podcasters where they want to feel like they are chatting with friends highlighting that brands should not be too intrusive.

7. All eyes on APAC

Termed ‘The Asian Century’ by consulting firm McKinsey, APAC is now getting the spotlight as global brands localise their strategies, such as animal-themed luxury collections for Lunar New Year.

Support for local businesses is also strong among most consumers in Indonesia, Australia, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Singapore. APAC consumers are also putting a modern twist to their heritage with Halal food options in Malaysia more accessible through a Halal-certified delivery fleet by foodpanda.

To hop on this trend that fuses technology and diversity, brands in APAC can leverage the rich heritage and diversity to celebrate the people in the region.

8. Balancing data collection and privacy

Consumers today rely on innovations in biotechnology and wearables to track their health. The treasure trove of data gathered by these apps can help brands personalise consumer experiences.

While such personalised health information is generally classified as sensitive, data from health-tracking apps are not considered health information. This means that they do not have the same protections and could be used for non-health related purposes such as location tracking.

Brands should find a balance between providing one-of-a-kind benefits for consumers while protecting their data. They must also ensure consumers are educated on how much data is being taken and used by only collecting data that is relevant and ensuring it is protected or anonymised.

9. Visual search in a phygital world

Online shopping has become a norm and visual search offers a smoother experience. As humans can process images eight to 600 times faster than text, presenting shoppers with visually similar options to their query images boosts conversion by +6%.

The rise in visual search is expected to continue in APAC in the coming years, and brands need to be prepared to offer as much product data as they can to be more easily searchable.

10. Get out of your comfort zone

Tech that has led us to focus on what is easily measurable instead of the biggest payoffs happen over the long term may lead us to a more uniform world with little differentiation.

Companies might leave behind significant growth opportunities if they do not continue to drive creativity and originality in their own product and communications.

Along with new trends and innovations that have emerged where consumers now seek more real experiences, brands need the courage to leave behind their comfort zones and turn the notch up on creativity or risk getting left behind.

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