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Truelogic Episode 82 Recap: Digital Marketing Trends in 2024

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Ever wondered how the digital marketing landscape in the Philippines is shifting? We shed light on the fascinating changes that occurred in 2023 and what’s on the horizon for 2024.

This episode is teeming with data, trends, and strategies from 73% of Filipinos expressing concerns about online privacy to the growing relevance of email marketing. Yes, you read that right, email marketing is still in the game. YouTube is another key player with an astonishing 88% of online Filipinos tuning in. But that’s not all. We discuss the strong influence of word of mouth, the rise of social commerce, and why podcasts are capturing more ears across the archipelago. So whether you’re a digital marketing agency owner, a marketing professional, or just curious about digital trends, don’t miss out!

Podcast Transcription

Berns San Juan:  Hi, everyone and welcome to another episode of the Truelogic DX podcast. As we approach the ber, actually we’re not approaching the ber months like, we’re right smack dabbing in them. And with only three months left in 2023, we’ve begun drafting, or some of you have probably also begun thinking about your 2024 marketing strategies.

So today, we’re going to deep dive into some of the marketing trends that might shape 2024, but we’ll begin that by looking back at our predictions for 2023 and some of the more common trends that appeared in digital throughout 2023. So welcome to a recap of the 2023 digital marketing trends in the Philippines.

Recap of 2023 Digital Marketing Trends in the Philippines

1. Data Privacy

So let’s start with some of the most salient topics that affected digital this year. The first one is data privacy. So Cisco created a global benchmark on a study on privacy in 2023. In their survey, what they see consistently is that businesses are beginning to value data privacy more and more and more, specifically since consumers are beginning to value privacy more and more and more and more. That’s a Cisco data privacy benchmark study.

But in 2019, yeah, because you know, that’s how long it takes to get studies out in the Philippines. The National Privacy Commission commissioned a study and their findings were that Filipinos were becoming more data privacy conscious where it was not a topic of conversation or where this was probably 30%-40%, 3-4 years ago. It has risen to 73%. 73% of Filipinos expressed some or a lot of concern about their online privacy.

2. Email Marketing

Still by and large not as easy as it used to be a decade ago but remains relevant. And even with the rise of new platforms like TikTok, and social media marketing, all of these marketing strategies are relatively new compared to email which is the OG of digital marketing. But there’s still a lot to gain from doing email marketing.

In 2020, Statista surveyed the Filipino population and found that about 48% of Filipinos still consistently check their emails daily. Like this is daily, right? Like 48% of Filipinos check their mailboxes daily. That gives you a lot of exposure.

When we create our marketing strategies, we have some audiences that we believe, and these are older audiences that we believe are more receptive to email marketing than they are to any other type of marketing. Take for example, for me, I belong in the Gen X demographic. I am particularly prone to be marketed to dissuaded, convinced, and persuaded by email messaging. There are some items that I only exclusively buy because I got an email that reminded me that I needed to remake the purchase.

3. Video Dominance

So from YouTube to vlogs to TikTok, video content resonates a lot with Filipinos. YouTube in 2019 reported that the Philippines was its largest content-consuming audience in Southeast Asia. And 88% of all online Filipinos use the platform. That’s huge. So if we crunch the numbers, and this probably is updated, there are about 74 million Filipinos online. 88% of them use YouTube, right?

So it’s a big deal, like in terms of being able to reach your target audience, in terms of being able to reach your consumers, in terms of being able to reach your promoters. So if video is not part of your equation and it’s appropriate to you, you are probably missing out.

4. Word of mouth and influencer marketing

word-of-mouth-marketing

I can’t just do word of mouth, right, because I said digital, right? And so that’s hence, influencer marketing. So, the Filipino culture has a kumare-bro-barkada mentality. Right? These recommendations have now taken on their own digital life as influencer collaborations become more authentic, and more and more brands see the genuine impact of Filipino influencers on their audiences.

And the general rule of thumb is if you’re looking for, a top funnel, you go with, mainstream. And if you’re looking for bottom-funnel impact, you go for smaller. You go for micro-influencers, nano-influencers, and so on. The Philippines ranked eighth globally in the number of internet users in 2020, making digital word of mouth immensely influential. Right? Like take note, by the way, we’re the eighth largest internet user in the world, but we are only the 14th by population. So we are disproportionately using the internet.

5. Social commerce

Like this is the new kid on the block. Filipinos are known for their social media activity platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, which are for more than just connecting. They are now viable selling channels. I think I’ve mentioned before, that I gallivant around Green Hills every Saturday.

And while, when you go to Shoppesville, there are like two, or three social selling live streaming events going on at any one point in time. It’s amazing, it’s mind-blowing. It’s amazing and it’s mind-blowing and in my opinion, it’s great. I had seen that trend in the Chinese market two to three years before I ever saw it here. But it seems like everybody is catching up and catching on and it seems like it is very valuable for the Filipino market.

So in terms of social commerce, in 2021, the Philippines had about 89 million social media users, including duplicates like, yeah, looking at you guys, you know who you are. But that is a lot of social media users, right? Like 99% of people in the Philippines who have mobile internet, that have smartphones, access social media through their mobile phones. Right? And so that’s an immense market that you can be talking to.

6. Podcasts

Like a lot of local celebrities, experts, and enthusiasts have started their shows. I enjoy podcast content coming from the US. I follow a few, right? I like the content from The Bulwark, from Pod Save America. I like their content. During the writer’s strike, my favorite late-night talk show hosts from the US did their podcasts. Unfortunately, the strike is gone so no more podcasts but that was fun. If you haven’t looked for it, go check it out.

Spotify noted that the Philippines is one of its fastest-growing markets in Asia with local content being one of the primary drivers. In a separate episode of the Truelogic DX, I talked to you guys about podcasts and I even have an episode on the Truelogic DX webinar where I interviewed Ron Baetiong, who is our partner at Pod Machine.

And I tried to study what the impact was of podcasting on our business performance and the metric that seems to be most highly correlated to it was conversion time. Right, like so, yes, sure, it got a trickle of leads, not enough to want to continue to justify it, but when we saw our lead conversion times go down from 120-some days down to 58 days, that was amazing. So, podcasts, if it’s appropriate to you, if it’s appropriate to your vertical, you should explore thought leading through this channel.

7. Chatbots

With the rise of online business services, chatbots on Filipino websites are now, I would say, amplifying user experience, right? Because you don’t need to afford 20 customer service people to be able to support your clients. If you’ve ever been on Lazada, you know what I mean, right? There are in-the-box Facebook chatbot apps that you can implement onto your website.

Significant Digital Marketing Trends for 2024

1. Artificial Intelligence

In 2019, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council did a survey and they found that 40% of Philippine businesses indicated an interest in integrating AI-like solutions or AAI solutions like chatbots within the next three years. And there are a lot of providers out there that do chatbots. I think the introduction of ChatGPT and large language models is only going to improve the experience because right now it’s still like a search engine when you use it, right? As you prompt it, it uses keywords and gives you canned responses. But I think that will improve over time.

Now what does all of this mean for you in 2024? I will indicate, what technologies you should be paying attention to in 2024, and so on. I’ll do a couple and then an asterisk. Let’s start with the most important and the one that’s generating a lot of buzz, AI. AI is sort of like the halo-halo of tech. It mixes various elements to transform customer engagement and provide insights like never before.

It can take what is a relatively large data set that only trained technical people know how to understand and dumb that down in a way that a business decision-maker can make critical decisions. So AI has a lot of potential. The Philippines has not maximized its readiness for adopting AI. In 2019, the Philippines was one of the more breakout, “breakout countries” in AI readiness.

We are, in terms of business readiness, we are 10th globally and we are 12th in overall readiness. But AI is happening. We had been using AI tools at Truelogic, I think as early as 2018-2019, way before ChatGPT was even out there. And so we don’t believe that AI will take jobs, but we do believe that the jobs that will not learn to utilize AI will become obsolete. So we don’t anticipate any of our jobs becoming obsolete, but we do expect them to all have their very own J.A.R.V.I.S.

2. User-generated content

Web 2.0 The User’s Web

Super important, don’t underestimate it. Again, in a previous episode, we talked about the impact of your reputation and reviews, right? These are reviews from Lazada to Shopee, to review websites, to your Google Business profile. User-generated content has a huge influence on Filipino purchasing decisions. In fact, for me, I would not buy a product on Lazada without looking at its reviews. I think the only problem with Lazada is that users will rate a product 5 stars and then in the comments say, it’s a scam product. Why would they do that?

But anyway, Filipinos pay attention to reviews. In a 2020 report by Kantar, they emphasize that Filipino consumers trust word of mouth a lot. Word of mouth includes looking at online reviews, people who are like you and me, and what we have to say about a specific product or service, or commodity.

3. Interactive marketing and immersive technologies

This is not new but this is probably going to expand. I will give kudos to Ortigas Land and Ayala Land. I’ll have to say like, when I say immersive and interactive technology, I’m not talking about augmented reality and virtual reality, right? But to a degree, they sort of are. Like have you guys been to some of the Ortigas properties websites where you can take a virtual tour of the property? It’s amazing. They’re amazing.

And I think it’s common sense for real estate to adopt this. They have been the ones to adopt this the fastest. Philippine-based companies like Ayala Land have previously showcased their properties using VR tours. And it sets trends for other local businesses where you could do virtual tours, and so on.

4. SEO: The Shift to Google Analytics 4

I cannot forget SEO. And the big shift to Google Analytics for this year, we put out four episodes on it, and then we have an introductory episode to that in the earlier podcasts. But Google has upgraded and updated the analytics platform so that it now holds front and center the most important information to us, and it filtered out all of the information that 1%, less than 1% of all users were using. It is a must now.

If you aren’t on GA4, you need to be ready to say goodbye to your data. If you want to be able to react and act on the behavior of your users within your website, you need to be on GA4 because overall, it’s a more powerful platform than Universal Analytics ever was.

5. Hyper-personalization

One of the analytics’s biggest capabilities is to create what are called audiences. And what you do with audiences is you create buckets of audience types so that you give them a certain type of content. In short, you’re giving them more personalized content. Filipinos appreciate the personal touch and now digital marketing is even making it more tailored. 85% of Filipinos expect personalized experiences when shopping online, at least according to a 2020 report by Econsultancy.

6. Social Media as a Search Engine

Another one that I want to take note of, is social media. In the same way that in 2016, the second most popular search engine was Amazon because of Alexa. In 2016, the second most popular search engine was Amazon. Today, people are using TikTok as a search, they’re using Facebook as a search, and the volume of searches happening on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are increasing. People are doing brand discovery and product discovery not from search but beginning on social.

So these are some of the trends to look out for in 2024. AI, user-generated content, interactive marketing, Google Analytics 4, hyper-personalization, and social media for brand discovery or product discovery. In short, social media is a search engine, right? So what are the things you can do? A, leverage AI technology, right? Like, of course. Leverage AI technology, get insights into what Filipino preferences are and what Filipino shopping habits are, and refine your strategies.

Strategies for Successful Digital Marketing in 2024

1. Make the most out of AI technology

I think we all know Filipinos like to shop in person. Yes, we have learned to shop online, but we still love to shop in person. I’ll challenge you with this. Go to the malls this holiday season and tell me if you found parking, in 5-10 minutes, right? We still like to shop in person.

Analytics, AI specifically, can tell you what the perfect blend between your digital and your face-to-face interactions ought to be. But if you are not working with any AI tool in your business right now, you might want to start reading more, you might want to start understanding more about what this technology can do for you. Like what portion of your business does it have the ability to accelerate?

2. Personalization at scale

Personalization from curated audiences, curated shopping experiences, and targeted messaging. Consumers are more likely to purchase from brands that offer personalized experiences. If you don’t believe me, look for the 2021 Accenture Report.

3. Content quality over quantity

Content marketing is going to be the name of the game. In the past 5, 4, 3, and 2 years, some brands have been stumbling onto content marketing. Like they didn’t mean to, they just did. Like they just wound up there. And what they’re discovering is that the benefits are amazing. Truelogic has about 17,000 visitors. Only 2,000 of those are commercial visitors. The other 15 are not, right? These are people watching the podcast, looking for the blog, reading the content, doing research, but that’s amazing, right?

But content marketing via your website has never been such a very deliberate strategy. There are some brands out there, like I’ll make some notable brands that have stumbled into it like Sun Life looking at you. Good job on the content marketing that you did. I hope that that was deliberate because your competitors are noticing. Some banks are going into financial education topics, they’re reaching out to consumers, and so on.

So content marketing will continue to be the name of the game. If you have not started yours, you’re sort of, like it has gone mainstream. So if you start your content marketing in 2024, you’re sort of already lagging.

4. Diversify your channels

When I say diversify your channels, don’t just stick to, oh, I’m only web and Facebook. Oh, I’m only web and YouTube. No, I’m only on Facebook and Instagram. Explore where your audience is, right? If your product adds genuine value to their life, if it creates an improvement in the quality of life of your audience and your customers, it is your moral obligation to be where your customers are.

This was a pretty long episode of the Truelogic DX podcast. Thank you to everybody who’s given us a shout-out on social media and it’s not too late if you haven’t yet. If you have any comments on what we talked about, yes, you can drop us a message on Facebook. We’re listening. I’ll be there. Topics and guest suggestions that you have for us. We keep our pulse on our Facebook page.

Truelogic DX is available on  Spotify, Google, and Apple accounts. Anywhere you get your podcasts. And thank you as always to our friends from Podmachine for continuing to produce this for us. Cheers, guys.

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