In Forbes’ Best Countries for Business 2014, the Philippines climbed to No. 82, from being No. 90 in 2013. It bested neighboring countries Vietnam at No. 111, Cambodia at No. 121, Laos in No. 130, and Myanmar at No. 143. Business analysts have stated that the improvement in ranking wasn’t unexpected, considering the resilience of the Philippines in overcoming financial and global economic declines.
According to the ASEAN Outlook released by Moody’s Analytics, of the 33.6 million internet users in the Philippines, up to 42% spend as much as 21.5 hours a week online. Notwithstanding the limited access of high-speed internet in the country, the Philippines is still considered the Social Media Capital of the World, with 96% of its overall internet users spending 11 hours more per week than the global average on various social media platforms. In addition to this, mobile subscriptions in the Philippines reached more than 105 million as of 2014. With these highly promising numbers, online businesses, both B2C and B2B, are expected to thrive even more this year.
Entrepreneurs and business owners have an online audience in the country, but the question remains: how can clients stand out from the competition?
The focus of the year is on the overall shopping experience of the customers. Everything that they need – shoes, bags, real estate, vacation packages, and other products or services – should be easy to locate by creating searchable, helpful content. Brands are expected to focus on educating their respective target audience with information that can be found on their websites which can help their customers make smart shopping decisions.
Brian Honigman, Marketing Consultant at Honigman Media says, “Your messaging will be lost in the future if you aren’t optimizing content across channels and keeping in mind the unique nuances of each community and platform, while remaining consistent.” This means that automatic cross-posting of content in different platforms should be avoided like the plague. Marketers should be well aware of formatting their content so that it reads right in the channel it’s being marketed in. Filipino shoppers are smart shoppers who will most likely bookmark and save links to discounts and promos when presented in the right platform, ie. promo mechanics poster on Twitter, status posts of discount terms and conditions on Facebook, etc.
Of the mobile internet users in the Philippines, 88% are aged 34 and below, a demographic that’s considered the better-earning group. As such, marketers should be looking to understand the spending patterns of this demographic and create marketing content that can be easily digested through a mobile or tablet device.
No matter how big or small your business is, by developing and applying the right digital marketing strategies, you’re sure to catch the online Pinoy buyer’s heart. In the end, all they really care about is getting the most bang for their buck so make sure that your products and services will live up to its marketing hype.