The digital and physical world boundaries in the marketplace continue to blur and everyone’s embracing the new changes setting into the DNA of business models. Admen Hassan (pic), Brand Communications, MDEC, gives us a rundown on some of the changes, that are also opening new opportunities and new windows for growth. Admen also shares about MDEC’s role in maximizing the disruptive force called ‘digital transformation.’
The world of modern retail is a turbulent one. While Retail did see better days, today’s savvy consumers are mixing brick and click to enhance their shopping experience; in short, they are driving change.
For decades, the sales funnel concept drove marketing behavior. This concept taught us that one should get a consumer’s attention; pique her interest or create a perceived need. In essence, the marketers “pushed” consumers towards their brands. Now consumers are creating the need which marketers follow.
Also, paradoxically, in Malaysia, while number of malls have increased, shops and anchors are facing the heat with many outlets within the malls shutting shop. Even the “uptowns” have seen better days.
Interestingly, billboards by local businesses have started to come up more than ever. One needs to just drive down the PLUS highway. Who knew even a Muslim prayer-specific product like Telekung Siti Khadijah can afford to have multiple billboard advertising and on overhead bridges? The hybrid retail innovation is giving fresh impetus to marketing where business owners are not restricted to any selling medium; and they are out to grab the attention of the consumers; anywhere.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED?
MARKETPLACE: The marketplace has been completely reinvented and reimagined. Marketers, always alert on any socio-economic trends, are now being enabled by technology. This has led to few trends that need mention.
Decentralisation of wealth: With digital, you no longer need to be in prime urban centres to be working internationally. Many international services like freelancer.com allows professionals to work from any location, urban or not.
The rise of the cash-rich and nouveau-riches: The rise of new local entrepreneurs takes attention away from white collar PMEBs. While PMEBs’ spending power is capped by their increasing financial commitments thanks or no thanks to their financial-eligibility record, new entrepreneurs who don’t even have a pay-slip are starting to climb. We see the emergence of new entrepreneurs selling tudungs, herbal soaps, cosmetics, perfumes and many more, earning more than some of our multinational country managers.
Marketers need to see beyond PMEBs, to target audience with new spending power. Targeting needs to also look at multiple other dimensions, not just the PMEB and salary-based income definitions. Some other countries have already embarked on different digitally-sourced credit ratings systems to profile income categories.
COMMERCE: Another significant change is occurring in commerce with the arrival of Data analytics.
Customised data analytics is the new trend; not just to get insights of market but also predict market movements. Locally, we have people like Fusionex, Kesatria and others who can help marketers with audience analytics. Malaysia is also home to ASEAN Data Analytics Exchange (ADAX) where the region’s Data Science talents upskill themselves, exchange ideas and provide analytics services.
Personalised e-commerce growth in the South- East Asia is among the fastest in the region. Malaysia’s National eCommerce Strategic Roadmap in 2016 already outlines our target to double the growth by 2020. However, it’s not as simple as just putting up a website for selling your products. Facebook has started the option for advertising to lead directly to Facebook messenger and local e-commerce services like Avana allows automated response and purchase facility within Facebook messenger chat interface.
Smaller businesses currently have the advantage, so much so, that the government had to intervene to curb online sellers using private message methods. But with AI and Conversational Interface, different forms of chatbots will soon fill this gap, making online purchases more personal. Here is the opportunity for Marketers to inject creativity and personality in more ways than they used to do. Media agencies will also look at new product openings as conversational interface and analytics will open-up new advertising opportunities.
Crowdsourced Trading and Marketing
Digital has opened-up new resources. Already many small businesses have begun employing crowdsourced and dropship marketing, using social media to gel their communications. Dropshipping has enabled part time sales channels, “having shops going to the customers” instead of the other way around, disrupting retail. Customers now can buy products from their friends be it at the mamak, birthday parties or even and at the workplace.
Marketers will need to look at having more social media resources to not only to handle social media, but also look at engaging their trade resources. Trading will become more social.
In the light of the above changes in the business model, how is MDEC stepping up as a facilitator in this transformation journey?
Agencies and marketers need to get updated and adapt to latest developments. Beyond the analytics and ecommerce references above, MDEC has introduced Digital Technology Acceleration Programme to help corporations customise technology to their needs. Already we have corporations improving customer experience, marketing and operations with customised, cost-effective solutions with local startups. Companies can find out more at http://www.mdec.my/dtap
MDEC and partners have also set up a free online learning platform for any organisation and individual to learn new skills in eCommerce. Just register at http://www.go-ecommerce.com