New Ruder Finn Research Across Southeast Asia Offers Brands "Content Playbook"

Editor's Note: The Ruder Finn research is relevant across other geographies as well. The research captures the essence of the diverse customers today and, why, what and how they consume meaningfully content.

Image: Ruder Finn Entertain Me. Inform Me. Inspire Me. Feed Me: How to Satisfy Southeast Asia With Your Content"

Content preferences of 1,648 respondents – across six countries – offers specific opportunities for content creators

Ruder Finn 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 Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam -- the research offers deep insights into what consumers prefer, consume, share and believe with respect to online content.

Good news for brand content creators as 63 percent of content consumers surveyed said they made an unplanned product purchase motivated by online content. The top three reasons consumers were influenced to make a purchase: 1) the content offered an incentive or promotion, 2) the content was visually attractive, and 3) the content provided detailed information about the product or service.

Consumers have a heavy appetite for content, as 59 percent are asking for more content that provides entertainment; 52 percent want more content that informs and educates, and 40 percent want more help and advice. In addition, 63 percent prefer content from international brands as opposed to content from local (i.e., country-based) brands. 

Also, 69 percent of consumers want brand content to be more "honest" and "real."

"Clearly, Southeast Asian consumers -- at least from the six countries surveyed -- are open to, interested in and motivated by brand content, and companies should be proudly labeling 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 showed that half of the consumers (52 percent) prefer to read content as opposed to watch it. An overwhelming majority -- 70 percent -- prefer "digestible" content they can continually return to for more information. 

In addition, 78 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 

1) is entertaining or fun, 

2) teaches something new, 

3) is a passionate 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. Respondents 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 or 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.

 Credit: Ruder Finn/MediaOutreach