Consumers are no strangers to runs being sponsored by insurance companies and banks to promote the idea of healthy living. But what isn’t as common is to see an eCommerce marketplace head down this path for a region-wide initiative.
Lazada, however decided to break this norm by creating a run that cuts across six countries, with PUMA coming on board as an exclusive partner. The activity will be spearheaded by Marcus Chew, chief marketing officer, Lazada Group, who interestingly honed his marketing skills with the likes of NTUC Income and Adidas.
According to a statement to the press, Chew said the team wanted to make Lazada Run an event in which the company could grow its digital reach and connect with our customers to add more to life, starting with fitness. Moreover, to inject more fitness elements for all ages, the Lazada Run will also introduce an additional race, the Kids Dash, which will cater to families with young children (aged 5 to 12) who are keen to participate in a group activity.
In a detailed conversation with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Chew shared that since Lazada launched its brand platform “Add to Cart. Add to Life.”, the company has been continuously looking for innovative ways to add to customers' lives beyond the products it sells.
He added that Lazada's network spans across six cities in Southeast Asia, each one possessing its own unique running culture and experience. “We wanted to offer our customers a chance to experience different city races and conquer race routes across Southeast Asia. We believe there is immeasurable value in the physical connections we can make with customers through offline events like this,” he said.
Moreover, a half-marathon run is an activity that requires high involvement and commitment from customers. “This allows us to have a much deeper interaction with them compared to an online transaction,” he said.
The move is also very much in line with Chew's personal philosophy when it comes to marketing. In a previous interview with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Chew shared that great marketing has to go well beyond just awareness, recall and engagement. "Great marketing should ultimately enable customers to discover or understand something about themselves, and for them to then be able to act on it in the most efficient way possible," he previously said.
The insight behind the run
Beyond just forging deeper relationships, Chew also shared that since COVID-19, health and fitness has been a growing topic of interest in Southeast Asia. As such the idea of the run was conceptulaised as a way for Lazada to add value to consumers' well-being.
Chew added that in the recent past, Lazada has also fast become the home for top sports brands, sports electronics, health and wellness and several other products that customers who have an interest in fitness need. As such, the run was also created new ways for Lazada to work with its brands and sellers, and deepen partnership with them, he said.
In fact, just last month lululemon launched its branded store exclusively on Lazada. While in the Philippines, consumers on Lazada’s platform are also able to purchase the Jordan Brand on the platform. All of these elements, come together to place the brand in a “great position to deliver a very unique race experience”, Chew explained.
But with so many fitness led activities already well known across Southeast Asia, why enter a crowded space, we asked Chew.
While the jury is still out on the final result of the initiative, Chew was of the view that what made Lazada’s run different is in its race entitlements which covers multiple brands and categories on its platform. Being a tech-led company, also gives his team the confidence to create a seamless experience from registration to on ground engagement through its app.
“Running a marathon is about ambitions and dreams. As the eCommerce trailblazers in this region, we hope to provide inspiration to our consumers, and empower them to reach that dream,” he added.
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