Ruder Finn research in M’sia offers content playbook

Ruder Finn today announced results from its latest research, “Entertain Me. Inform Me. Inspire Me. Feed Me: How to Satisfy Southeast Asia With Your Content”.

Conducted among 1,648 people — from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam — the research offers deep insights into what consumers prefer, consume, share and believe with respect to online content.

Malaysia-based respondents make up 16 percent of the sample size.
Good news for brand content creators looking to connect with audiences in Malaysia, as 69 percent of local consumers surveyed said they made an unplanned product purchase motivated by online content.  

The top three reasons Malaysia-based consumers were influenced to make a purchase: 1) the content provided detailed information about the product or service; 2) the content offered an incentive or promotion, and 3) the content was visually attractive.

Consumers in Malaysia have a heavy appetite for content, as 56 percent are asking for more content that provides entertainment; 56 percent want more content that informs and educates; and 50 percent want more help and advice — which is higher than the regional average.

In addition, 54 percent prefer content from international brands as opposed to content from local (i.e., country-based) brands. Also, 71 percent of consumers want brand content to be more “honest” and “real.”

“Clearly, consumers in Malaysia are open to, interested in and motivated by brand content, and companies should be proudly labelling their content with their brands,” says Martin Alintuck, managing director, Southeast Asia for Ruder Finn.

“The work to be done by brands revolves around ensuring their content creates a perception among consumers of authenticity, honesty and reality.”
Despite the accepted opinion that video is “king”,the research shows that half of consumers (51 percent) prefer to read content as opposed to watch it.

An overwhelming majority — 73 percent– prefer “digestable” content they can continually return to for more information. In addition, 86 percent would rather consume “factual” content versus “emotional” content.

“The research argues for brands to strike a balance between appealing to the emotional needs of a consumer while also sharing the relevant information to influence the purchasing decision,” says Alintuck.

“At the same time, consumers seem to desire an ongoing story or flow of content that brings them back to familiar information and places. And they are very open to not just watching content but reading it as well.”

The Ruder Finn research identified the top 10 preferences for content across the six Southeast Asian countries. These include, in order of preference, content that is: 1) entertaining or fun, 2) teaches something new, 3) is a passion topic for consumers, 4) is always up-to-date and keeps consumers informed, 5) is seen as trustworthy, 6) is visually attractive, 7) is part of an evolving story, 8) rewards consumers, 9) offers sales or promotions and 10) makes consumers feel like they are part of a community.

The 1,648 respondents participated in the research through an online survey. There were 259 Malaysia-based respondents. Participants in the overall study were 18 to 35 years old and an even mix of male (49 percent) and female (51 percent). Respondents were predominantly full-time employees (70 percent).

Visit to download “Entertain Me. Inform Me. Inspire Me. Feed Me: How to Satisfy Southeast Asia With Your Content” and find out more about Southeast Asia’s content habits, preferences and expectations.

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