Ramadan and Hari Raya Aidil Fitri are extremely significant for Muslims, for they represent a time for spiritual reflection and family celebrations. In order to connect with consumers better during this period, it is imperative for brands to understand the motivations and priorities of Malaysian consumers so as to further cultivate brand loyalty while also realising sustainable growth.
Knowing this, Isaiah Saw, Nuffnang’s Senior Leader who leads Campaign Strategy and Operations shares insights, including the demographic and psychographic elements that drive behaviours to understand consumers. These insights serve to enable brands to tap into elements that build deeper emotional connections with consumers.
Big picture on Malaysians’ motivations for 2023
In Google’s 2022 Major Searches report, Nuffnang studied three major themes of Malaysian motivations: soul searching, value hunting and finding joy.
In this report, Google elaborated that under the ‘soul searching’ criteria, there were more searches related to personal, professional and cultural identities last year. Searches about local food, cultural interest, mental health and even salary negotiation increased significantly during this periods.
Malaysians also sought to define ‘value’. In particular, searches on inflation grew by 220% as the economic pinch continues.
However, Malaysians also try to go beyond monetary terms by seeking more knowledge and even brands they can trust. Value seems to have a broader definition these days than its literal sense. Malaysian consumers are keen to invest time, money and effort for – in a true “make the most out of what is given” spirit – things such as ‘feel good’ gestures or luxuries to give themselves joy despite the surrounding negativity. Terms like “glamping”, “cheap flight” and “cheap hotel” had increased more than 100% in searches too.
“What Malaysians are truly looking for are accessible and worthy experiences that can bring them happiness or a sense of gratification. Whether that is through a deeper understanding of self or a self-reward, there seems to be a craving for something deeper in value; though it may come with a heftier price tag, they seem to be willing to spend to attain it if they deem it worth their investments.”– Isaiah Saw, 2023
Based on these findings above, we believe that we are able to help brands and influencers reach their target audiences in the right way this Ramadan and Raya season:
Brands need to intentionally focus on the human touch
With a softer market and higher financial awareness among Malaysians, brands need to be even more ‘human’ when it comes to marketing communication. As brand trust is highly demanded among consumers, an omni-marketing strategy (involving both online and offline channels) that involves high human connection is very much needed, especially since the Ramadan and Raya season promotes togetherness among family, friends and peers.
This could look like offline experiential events that engage your target audiences (such as Nuffnang’s Activation arm that curates community events and activations that engages brands with their communities and users) or with online influencer marketing sharing content with the right brand messages for the season.
“Malaysians are seeking knowledge and, ultimately, brands they trust. They want to know their money is invested in the right brand, product and places that deliver on their promises. An effective and agile marketing strategy of paramount importance that brands should invest in is influencer marketing because it hits the right touch points and you humanise brands and products, deepening consumers’ emotional connections.”– Isaiah Saw, 2023
For example, popular American beverage brand, Starbucks, actively engages influencers like Jessie Costantino, and example being their honest review of one of their newly launched beverages, the Pistachio Cream Cold Brew. While the content is simple and straightforward, it humanises the brand and helps develop new followers who relate with Jessie.
A simple but strategic activity like this example goes to show that marketing metrics can be met – in this case, almost 50k views and over 500 likes on Tiktok, further showing how consumers appreciate the human touch in content.
Brands need to know their target audience’s specific age group
However, Isaiah notes that there are more layers to look at when it comes to influencer marketing to truly develop a more human touch while diving deeper into separate target audience groups. In this case, Nuffnang looked at four different groups: Gen Zs, Millennials, Gen Xs and Boomers.
Nuffnang found that these 4 groups define what brings them joy and purpose in life are different, often contrasting preferences. In one of the findings, Gen Zs are more focused on personal success and technology and often look for ways to achieve their goals digitally.
In contrast, Gen Xs seem to be more content with their lives, placing importance instead on safety and security which may extend to the wellbeing of their families.
“At Nuffnang, we believe that it is important to create stories from these life aspects so that any content created by influencers or brands can go beyond the product and hit the right notes with the target audience. Functional messaging, while helpful, puts products on the same commodity pedestal which makes consumers choose the lowest prices 90% of the time.
But if we are able to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the target audience’s emotions and needs, it shifts the focus from price to value in multiple layers, which gives brands an edge in the competition.”– Isaiah Saw, 2023
Isaiah added, “Nuffnang places importance on creating lasting impact and value for our clients. We put extra thought into selecting influencers and the strategic planning of their content. Especially during spiritual occasions like Ramadan and Raya, this plays an important role in brands creating cohesive messaging to build a strong connection with their audience.”
To help brands get the most out of their campaigns this Ramadan and Raya season, Nuffnang can and are currently using these insights to strategise content for brands. Our services include:
- Selecting influencers that are aligned with the brand objectives and insights,
- Strategising content imageries, messaging and distribution to be cohesive and moving towards an agreed objective, and
- Identifying what content the selected influencers can be involved in to maximise the potential of our postings.
To know more about these insights and discuss how to best strategise your next social media campaign, get in touch with the Nuffnang team at [email protected]!
This article was originally published on Marketing Magazine.