21 Oct 2019
Accessing the ASEAN Consumer Market: Electronic Accessories (Marketing)
Regional and Local Electronic Trade Shows
Exhibiting at a trade show allows brands, suppliers, and traders to meet prospective customers or partners or reconnect with former clients. Some electronic trade shows in the region also provide opportunities to reach local consumers and listen to their feedback. For many electronic accessories manufacturers and suppliers who want to make an inroad into an unfamiliar market, exhibiting or visiting a trade show offers numerous benefits: 1) gain knowledge and exposure to new trends; 2) stimulate new ideas for product innovation, 3) gain access to competitor information; and 4) generate leads for strategic alliances and potential customers.
The HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair and electronicAsia are held concurrently. The two fairs gathered more than 4,300 exhibitors and attracted around 87,000 buyers from 139 countries and regions, representing the world’s largest electronics marketplace to showcase a wide variety of intelligent products, innovative start-up ideas and electronic components.
Singapore’s largest consumer electronics exhibitions, CCE offers a full range of electronic products and IT gadgets. Major product categories at the event include consumer electronics, video games and interactive entertainment, and multimedia technologies. Even though CCE is mainly a B2C platform, brands regard it as a good opportunity to showcase their latest innovation and interact with consumers.
SITEX, Singapore’s annual consumer and lifestyle IT exhibition, is jointly organised by SingEx Exhibitions and the Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF). The four-day event attracts top industry players to showcase their latest products and technology. SITEX 2018 feature four experiential zones – Smart Home setups, Immersive and Console Gaming, TravelTech & ActiveFit and Portable Audio.
ICEEI is jointly organised by the Ministry of Commerce of the Republic of Indonesia and DFE International (Hong Kong) Co. Ltd. The show attracts more than 9,000 visitors, of which 57% are professional buyers and 93% are from Indonesia and Southeast Asia countries. Products exhibited include 3D printing, family entertainment devices, health and sport devices, life science and technology, video/audio products, robot equipment and intelligent household wearable devices.
Bangkok Electric & Electronics is a four-day event being held at the BITEC Bangna in Bangkok, Thailand. A complete range of products and related services are exhibited – from household electrical appliances and audio-visual gadgetry, to lighting, to industrial parts and accessories.
International CES (formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show) is an annual trade expo organised by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). Held in Las Vegas, the event typically hosts presentations of new products and technologies in the consumer electronics industry. While the products and demos showcased at CES may not always reflect the technology consumer will be able to buy in the near future, the show does offer some insight into where tech giants are putting their time and resources.
The electronics and accessories sector should be at the forefront of digital advertising as its target customers are the most connected, tech savvy, and have the fast-changing shopping habits. To reach and engage this consumer segment, electronics brands should build a strong online presence to talk to consumers in their world. Electronics brands and companies need to make sure that their social media content is timely and engaging and resonates with the target market. Video is useful to better engage the target audiences. Brands can also consider buying paid online ads or sponsored posts on social media such as Facebook and Instagram to boost visibility.
Today, it is not enough for brands to put products on an online marketplace and engage in paid advertising campaigns every now and then. In ASEAN, IT gadgets companies have started to use live streaming for promotion. Major social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Snapchat have been adding live video streaming to strengthen their hold on social media users.
It is difficult to stay on top of technology – electronic products are constantly being upgraded and new video games released. It can be a struggle for consumers to know what the best of the best is, which is why tech influencers are great sources when consumers are looking for the next gadgets to buy.
Electronics brands and companies should make influencer marketing part of their promotional mix. Tech influencers should have the ability to share a personal bond with their followers and introduce IT gadgets in a way their viewers will connect with. Influencer marketing platform MuseFind says 92% of millennials trust a social media influencer more than the most famous celebrity. With adblockers flooding browsers, it is likely that a brand’s target consumer simply will not even see its advertisement, no matter how much money it pours into the advertising campaign.
Many electronics brands like to collaborate with influencers in ASEAN as they understand that there is a lot of advertising power behind them. However, many brands do not know how to find and evaluate these influencers. Seeing a gap in the market, Hong Kong-based start-up, Advwhere Limited, built a data-driven platform called Cloudbreakr to match brands with the right influencers in different markets. These platforms connect brands with the most influential content creators, who will turn the brand message into a steady stream of compelling stories, photos and videos on social media platforms. (See www.cloudbreakr.com for more details.)
However, as easy as social media has made it to connect and interact with customers, it does come with a few drawbacks. Unlike other forms of marketing, in which marketers retain control of the content, there is no control on public comments on social media. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter allow everyone to share their opinions, which makes for interesting conversation, but can be risky for marketers.
|Pros and Cons of Social Media Marketing|
|Access to large audiences||Marketers do not have control of the public comments|
|Encourages sharing and interaction with customers||Potential for negative comments|
|Increases brand awareness and loyalty||Takes a lot of time and effort to maintain an interactive social media|
|Uncovers valuable customer insights||Must react to public relation crisis swiftly|
Before jumping on the social media bandwagon, brands must have clear objectives of what they want to achieve and plan tasks that bring them closer to these goals. Thanks to the analytic tools on popular platforms like Facebook and Twitter, brands can measure how successful they are in reaching these goals.
The Importance of Product Reviews
Major e-marketplaces like Lazada, Shopee, and 11 Street are not just popular platforms, they also serve as resources for consumers to obtain product information. Hundreds of thousands of shoppers visit these websites daily to research products based on customer reviews and ratings. Product reviews are becoming an integral part of an online store’s branding and marketing strategy. They help build brand loyalty and customer trust and set a brand apart from others.
Also, product reviews can help increase a store’s online publicity. Since customer feedback appears on each product’s page, reviews can help pages be found on search engines via unique keywords. When customers share product reviews across their social networks, the brand will gain even more exposure.
Further, reviews can help brands better understand user habits and the features, functions, and designs that shoppers want from electronic gadgets. Customers will notice things that a company may miss. That means customers can give their first-hand feedback, ideas for improvements, or even valuable marketing ideas.
Anker, a Chinese consumer electronics firm, is pioneering charging technology to power phones, tablets, and laptops at superfast speeds. The Anker brand is always high up in search engine results for electronic accessory searches like “cellphone wall charger” or “lightning cable” and its products usually get a good rating. The brand quickly built a strong presence in the field of charging technology by offering innovative products and by inspiring customers to share their thoughts about the products.
Today, launching new products on e-marketplaces with payment and logistic support is not that hard, but getting exposure for the product among competitors is the hard part. Older products already have thousands of reviews, while newer ones need to earn placement in the search rankings and collect testimonials before more consumers will purchase.
Companies need to have a strategy in place for how to generate customer reviews. The best way to get customers to write reviews for items they purchased is by on-site requests and/or follow-up emails. Offering an incentive is a great way to get people excited about sharing information. The incentive could be a discount coupon for the next purchase, or a gift. Product reviews accompanied by pictures and video can create richer, more interesting stories that appeal to other shoppers.
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