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Southeast Asians most influenced by online ads: Nielsen

Veronica C. Silva | Sept. 8, 2011
Targeted campaigns, friends affect influence

They may be annoying to some but a recent study reveals that online advertisements are effective in influencing some Internet audience.

A study by Nielsen showed that among regional groups, digital consumers from Southeast Asia are the most influenced by online ads, particularly if the ads were specifically targeted or if there is peer influence.

Almost three quarters, or 73 percent, of Southeast Asian consumers are influenced by online ads from social media sites, with 19 percent of them "highly influenced" and 54 percent "somewhat influenced" by the ads. The global average is only 60 percent for both types of consumers saying they were either "highly influenced" or "somewhat influenced".

Among the Southeast Asian consumers, those from Vietnam and the Philippines were most influenced, even exceeding the regional and global figures. In total, 95 percent of consumers in Vietnam were either "highly influenced" or "somewhat influenced" by online ads, and 83 per cent of consumers in the Philippines also said so.

Country trends

In fact, for the other questions in the study, consumers from the Philippines and Vietnam were more positive about online ads.

When asked how they feel about online advertising which was targeted at them based on previous purchases or websites visited, 74 percent of consumers from the region said this technique "makes their lives easier", compared to only 58 percent globally. Consumer responses from the Philippines and Vietnam were notably higher, with 83 percent and 82 percent respectively agreeing or strongly agreeing with this statement.

There are also more consumers from Vietnam and the Philippines who said they "liked" or followed a brand or company - 79 percent of respondent from Vietnam and 75 percent for the Philippines. The regional result was only 69 percent while the global result was 52 percent.

"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," said David Webb, APMEA region managing director of advertising solutions, Nielsen. "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."

Social media

Southeast Asians also find consumer-generated media, such as consumer opinions posted online, as one of the most trusted forms of media. 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," said 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."


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