Kantar research agency wants Pakistan’s advertisers to invest in influencers, omnichannel

Latest trends report from Kantar found that advertisers in Pakistan are increasingly banking on audiences’ trust created by influencers for their campaign messages

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By 2020, advertisers in Pakistan are expected to create products and services that keep up with expectations around the speed of service, agnostic availability, and avenues to build brand trust that integrates seamlessly within online content. The findings are part of the Pakistan Trend Report 2020 from Kantar, a data insights and consultancy company under Bain Capital, which said that up and coming generation has become fine-tuned to using apps and services held by companies that are agile and leaders in customer experience, that the patience for local companies that fall flat is wearing thin.

“Consumers want everything faster, which results in a rise of instant gratification,” the report says. “Brands can gauge this by giving consumers results faster, through compelling ideas, which in turn have meaningfully differentiated communications to build on trust and affinity.”

The report also shared that the omnichannel approach will be the way forward for consumer goods businesses, as Google search data coupled with the latest COVID-19 Community Mobility Report from Google, shows that shoppers are searching online and buying offline, instilling the need for order management systems that sync digital product displays with physical warehouses. This is a challenge faced by Daraz ad nauseum, with technology companies such as SAP and Brandverse offering solutions against them.

“Leaving a buyer unhappy does not mean the loss of one customer,” wrote Munir Rahool in a detailed report on barriers to eCommerce trust. “It means that one buyer can stop hundreds of potential buyers, and a happy buyer can multiply the business just as much. To have happy buyers, companies under the spotlight need to act like true leaders and take responsibility to reduce damaging elements to the online shopping experience.”

Citing the report by Rahool, Kantar said that if brand marketers in Pakistan want to convert buyers online – whether it be on their owned stores or with an online marketplace – they need accurate product listings, sufficient product information to make a decision, list the number of units available of each product, doing away with lengthy return policies for defective items and replicas, and introduce delightful after-sales service.

“Given the above online bottlenecks, it’s little wonder that Pakistani consumers rely heavily on online searches yet complete the purchase in-store,” the Kantar report says. “This lack of trust in the sellers proves the importance of improving consumers’ online experiences. Businesses need to establish their credibility and consumer trust to accelerate online sales and reduce in-market barriers. Best your brand works on improving the online customer experience, so your customers are delighted, wherever they choose to complete their purchase.”

The report from Kantar also notes that the rise of influencer marketing is tied to the trust deficit among brands in the eyes of a savvy new generation, capable of cutting through the noise and able to clearly see a commercial angle. Campaign resonance studies show that Generation Z has developed a mental filter to forget content that is sales-first and instead retaining content that is meant to entertain or educate. On that note, the report from Kantar suggests that influencer marketing spending will grow in Pakistan as brands look for organic-looking integration within content that has viewers hooked. At Effie Pakistan 2020 this week, the use of influencers won gold for McDonald’s and silver for Jazz, for using Ali Gul Pir and Eva Zu Beck respectively, with the former being covert while the latter was overt.

“All considered, it’s clear that to succeed in the post-coronavirus future, businesses need to ensure that their brand, influencer, message, and target audience are all operating on the same wavelength,” the Kantar report says. “When done right, influencers create community-driven buzz and make the brand more relatable to the target audience. Having the right influencer onboard changes customer perceptions, which can pave the way for higher returns on investment. This, coupled with increased engagement with the brand’s social media presence, can have a very positive impact on the company’s bottom line.”

Researchers from Kantar added that there is an opportunity for influencer marketing to become an important way to engage audiences that are flocking to digital platforms amid the outbreak, adding that since social media celebrities will never stop pleasing audiences – even without branded deals – it is wise for advertisers to collaborate on genuine brand messaging that connects with a captive audience, perhaps creating long-term engagement.

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