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Waggener Edstrom: The more you’re online, the more consumers spend

Effective brand story telling online can influence increased consumer spending, advocacy and engagement in the Philippines, contrary to ongoing pessimism that there is no concrete return on investment from content marketing.

A new study from Waggener Edstrom Communications found that 98% of digital consumers in the island nation follow brands online – the highest among 10 Asian markets that were studied.

This is despite having an internet penetration of only 35%. Online following was strongest with mobile brands (89%), followed by consumer electronics and food and beverage.

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More interestingly, the “Content Matters: The Impact of Brand Storytelling Online in 2014” study revealed that at least three of the six business sectors it looked into can expect an incremental impact on spending in the long term.

Consumers who are regularly exposed to branded content online spend a whopping 257% more on related products and services on Healthcare (per purchase), 160% for travel and tourism (per year) and 47% for mobile devices (per purchase).

Blame it on Social

As expected from the “Social Networking Capital of the World”, much of this activity was through social media.  Around 88% of the respondents said they obtain information about products and services on networks such as Facebook or Twitter.

Another 83% look for good deals and promos on social media while 81% said they like to participate in contest and giveaways.

Having your brand on social media also gives it better chances to reach more people. Around 83% of respondents said they do share what they read about products and services on their social networks.

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Overall, digital Filipino consumers had the highest levels of brand advocacy across six categories compared to countries like Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam.

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Scored on a scale of -100 to 100, mobile brands got the highest net promoter score of 48% while travel & tourism got the lowest with -12%.

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