Want to know the secrets to Philippine marketing and advertising? You came to the right place. Launching a marketing or advertising campaign in the Philippines requires localization on many levels. Remember, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all strategy! You have to know what sets Filipino consumers apart from the rest of the world. Fortunately, we’re here to help.
The most potent platform for marketing in the Philippines is undoubtedly the web space. Filipinos are on top of the world’s list for most-penetrated nations on the internet. Internet users in the Philippines over time have consistently increased–starting from 28 million in 2012, now reaching 76 million in 2022. Moreover, this population uses the internet for more than 10 hours a day, and scrolls through social media for more than 4 hours daily.
Though this information may be vital, that’s not all there is to Philippine marketing. There are other points of measurement, assessment, and exploration.
In this article, we asked Mr. Arthur Sabalionis and Mr. Joon Kim — founders of AJ Marketing — for their 7 best practices in marketing and advertising in the Philippines. Let’s go and get your business noticed by the Filipino audience.
7 Tips for Marketing and Advertising in the Philippines ⬇️
- Prioritize Consumer Experience: Give priority to your consumers in order to create organic marketing
- Make Your Content Consumable: Capture the market’s attention without wasting their time
- Create Value for Money: Give the most value for the best price
- Keep Yourself Updated: Know what’s trending and shareable among the Filipino community
- Use the Power of Influence: Collaborate with Filipino social media influencers
- Be Present Online and Offline: Be visible on social media and have accessible physical stores
- Find a Local Marketing Partner: Work with a marketing agency who knows the ins and outs of the Philippines
1. Prioritize Consumer Experience
Give priority to your consumers in order to create organic marketing
Filipino consumers remember positive consumer experiences for a very long time, which leads to repeat transactions.
As earlier mentioned, Filipinos are the top social media users around the world. Once they see a product on any platform, messages will keep coming from left and right, from channels such as Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, or direct messages on Shopee and Lazada. You might easily get overwhelmed and miss the chance of providing efficient customer service.
How can your brand prioritize Filipino consumer experience? The founders of AJ Marketing believe that you have to make sure you can deliver a consistent level of experience in every channel–online, in-store, or multi-channel media.
One easy step into prioritizing CX is by using chatbots which can determine customer requests and can reply with the proper policy. These chatbots must also be able to recognize the language Filipinos mostly use, which is Tagalog.
Take a look at Ninja Van’s CX efforts.
Ninja Van was able to devise a way in which Filipinos can get live updates, track their parcels, and be attended by a live agent. Moreover, Ninja Van sends an SMS to each consumer, as well as convenient Messenger updates. Filipino consumers can also easily navigate Ninja Van’s chatbot.
This CX effort makes Ninja Van one of the most-preferred shipping companies in the Philippines.
2. Make Your Content Consumable
Capture the market’s attention without wasting their time
From TikToks, Instagram Stories, Reels, to YouTube Shorts, the Philippines has it all. Social media users in the Philippines are now preferring short-video experiences that can catch their attention within the first 20 seconds.
The Filipino market is composed of different types of audiences, including those with hectic and busy schedules, as well as those with short attention spans. By creating short content, people may be more open to micro-learning, and more able to consume your brand’s message.
For video content, a brand needs to compress entertainment and information within 20 seconds to 3 minutes at most. Meanwhile, for captioned posts or image posters, consumers must be able to understand the message by looking at the first few words.
One of the purchase drivers of the Filipino audience is the amount of “likes” a brand gets on social media. A brand cannot get high engagement rates if its contents are not attention-getters. One piece of advice from the founders of AJ Marketing is for you to remember this–great content will be useless if not absorbed by the target audience.
Let’s take a look at this YouTube short by Netflix.
Netflix collaborated with top influencer Niana Guerrero, along with her influencer siblings, to create a YouTube short which can get the curiosity of Niana’s subscribers. The video easily gained more than 4.9M views and 175K likes.
3. Create Value for Money
Give the most value for the best price
Filipinos are one of the most practical people in the world. The “tipid” culture in this country shows that Filipinos want to get the most value out of every cent they spend. This nation hates over-priced goods, and overspending has always been frowned upon.
Among the top purchase drivers of Filipino consumers are free deliveries and coupons and discounts. This is evident considering the increase in sales during promo events on e-commerce sites such as Shopee and Lazada.
Another thing to prove this is the internet users’ main channels for brand research. Before purchasing a product or service online, 30.1% of Filipinos tend to look first at price comparison sites. 26.9% of these consumers also look into discount coupon sites to find the best deals before making a purchase.
Of course, this does not mean that price is the only factor for sales in the Philippines. This market is still heavy on research when it comes to performance, and durability of products. In fact, products with bad reviews are heavily-avoided by this market.
By “creating value for money” the founders of AJ Marketing simply mean the “best combination and proportion of price and quality of the products.”
4. Keep Yourself Updated
Know what’s trending and shareable among the Filipino community
The Philippines, just like any country, has its own ecosystem of what’s trending and shareable among the community. Although there may be universally-popular and relatable topics, nothing beats content which you think directly speaks to you.
Aside from sharing content which feels specific for their sector, this market also goes to the webspace with every intention of knowing what’s “in”. This perception can be concluded from the fact that 48.5% of Filipinos go to social media in order to see what’s being talked about.
Some of the ways to be up-to-date on Philippine trending topics is by subscribing to news sources and following news stories. Another way is to check the social media pages of entertainment outlets. To truly know whether something is trending, check the number of engagements on a post, or look into the amount of people using a specific hashtag.
One of the easiest ways for a foreign brand to accomplish this tip is by having a local social media expert by your side. The AJ Marketing founders have shared that “to know what’s trending within the community, you have to have someone from within that community.” This means an outsider’s perspective will not be enough. One would need to know the community’s history, interests, and contexts.
5. Use the Power of Influence
Collaborate with Filipino social media influencers
Influencer marketing has revolutionized the marketing game in the Philippines. Whichever industry an international brand is from, there surely is a Filipino influencer fit to represent his products to the community.
Filipinos are especially fond of influencers. Truth be told, there is a culture of fanaticism among the Philippine population. This means that once they trust someone–a celebrity, an icon, a content creator, or even a politician–they stick with this person until the end. This means the Filipino audience are loyal audiences. How can this benefit brands? It’s simple. Audience loyalty can easily be turned to brand loyalty when done right.
Take a look at above’s example. Heart Evangelista is a fashion icon and luxury influencer in the Philippines. Her vlogs are watched by Filipina women, the young and the middle-aged, who aspire to achieve her glamorous lifestyle one day.
Zalora sought the help of Heart Evangelista, to promote its Christmas Sale as well as increase usage of the platform. Zalora succeeded through Heart’s video content highlighting the wide selection of clothing she can purchase on Zalora. Zalora also implemented Tip #3, creating value for money, by giving big discounts and exclusive vouchers for Heart’s fans.
The logic behind influencer marketing may seem simple, but implementation is something not easily-dealt with. The founders of AJ Marketing believe that a successful influencer marketing campaign needs one important thing–insider knowledge. This can only be achieved by working with people with in-depth understanding of the Filipino social media culture. To know how, read until the last tip!
6. Be Present Online and Offline
Be visible on social media and have accessible physical stores
The Philippine market values product engagement before making purchases. Meaning, Filipinos appreciate it more if they can see and feel a product in real life before they buy it.
According to research, 89% of Filipino consumers visit stores because they think it is important to try on and see products in real life. On the other hand, half the population says once they’re done researching a product online, they still end up buying the same from a physical store in order to get a more general feel of the product.
Setting up a physical store will help your brand achieve omnichannel retailing. This strategy has already been implemented by Zalora as well.
Zalora set up its first offline presence in the Philippines in 2015, and additional stores kept popping up since then. In 2019, Zalora was able to open its fifth store in the country.
Zalora integrated offline and online shopping in each store. Shoppers could see, touch, and try on clothes at the store, but they could not take the products home instantly. Instead, products could be bought by scanning a QR code and purchasing through the Zalora app, or by using in-store tablets to place orders. By doing this, customers were able to touch and experience products, yet at the same time gain experience in online shopping.
This effort is a great example of providing convenience, dominating different channels, while staying on-brand.
7. Find a Local Marketing Partner
Work with a marketing agency who knows the ins and outs of the Philippines
Last, but definitely the most important tip of all, a brand must find a local marketing agency which can be its partner in creating successful campaigns in the Philippines.
All the previous tips mentioned cannot be implemented easily and efficiently without the help of someone who knows the ins and outs of the country. For example, knowing what’s trending and finding the perfect influencer will be extremely difficult without a local marketing or social media expert who has been exposed to Philippine culture for decades.
The founders of AJ Marketing believe that they can be your best partner in the Philippines. According to the founders, AJ Marketing considers a brand’s strengths and weaknesses, budget and values, before creating a marketing campaign perfect for its brand goals. AJ Marketing even has a local office in the Philippines, giving its clients the insider knowledge not easily seen on the web.
If you’re looking to launch marketing and advertising campaigns in the Philippines, check the AJ Marketing Blog.
To bring your business to the Filipino market, you must learn to adapt, adjust, and localize. The Philippines has unique cultures and customer behaviors that you need to know at the back of your hand before you can truly connect with the population. We hope these seven marketing tips–straight from the AJ Marketing founders–can help you out in your marketing journey.
We wish you luck on your next business campaigns.