The consumers have changed. They spend the majority of their lives indoors, browsing their social media feeds and streaming content from apps. The appeal of going outdoors for recreation is decreasing.
People are also losing a reason to go out. Work, especially during the pandemic, has transitioned online. Consumers can now purchase ready-to-eat meals, groceries, and other goods from the internet and have them delivered right to their doorsteps. The newest blockbuster movies are available right on their television.
People Spend More Time Indoors
In the United States, the average person is estimated to spend the majority of their life (as much as 93%) of their entire lives indoors.
There is no recent data on how much Singaporeans spend outdoors. But, one poll found that on average, Singaporeans spend up to 12 hours using their electronic devices every day. If you factor in eight hours of sleep, Singaporeans only have a few hours without a smartphone or a laptop on their hands. Is there enough time to go outdoors?
How It Will Affect Traditional Advertising
A number of traditional advertising models rely on consumers going outdoors. The billboards, for example, are situated along roads that get high traffic which means the ads can be seen by more people. Brochures are printed out and handed to passers-by on their way to work, school, or to the mall to promote a product and service. Stores hang posters on glass windows to entice potential buyers to come in and check out their goods.
But, when people do not go outdoors, these strategies would not be effective. Should businesses instead concentrate their marketing budget toward social media and search engine campaigns?
Malls are Still Huge in Asia
Not quite yet.
While, with e-commerce, malls are dying in the West, in Southeast Asia, these hubs for shopping and leisure are still going strong.
In Singapore, despite the threat of the pandemic, consumers continued to shop in-store. Following the city-state’s lockdown from April to June 2020, e-commerce activity dipped while foot traffic in-store grew.
CapitaLand Mall Trust reported that in Q3 of 2020, foot traffic and tenants’ sales recovered by about 60% and 89% of levels observed the year prior. While businesses overseas file for bankruptcy because of the pandemic, Singaporean businesses seem to be bouncing back.
Malls are important to Singaporeans. To give up advertising and marketing opportunities by going mostly online would be a tremendous waste. Digital OOH (Out of Home) advertising, placed in strategic locations, will still draw the eye of passers-by who may become customers. Your store still needs posters and standees to encourage people to come in and browse.
Even if your business is online, through traditional advertising, you still will be able to reach out to consumers who otherwise might not hear about your products and services.
Singaporeans Use Public Transportation a Lot
Singapore has one of the best public transport systems around the world. It is no surprise that many of them take the train or bus to work or school.
As of 2018, an average of 7.54 million people used public transport.
There is still appeal to big billboards and wrapped vehicles. A passenger looking at the passing scenery to take a break from their device or to see where they are going will still be witness to a business’ advertising efforts. Even when the consumers are driving, a traffic jam can lead their eyes to wander around and look at advertisements on the road.
Big Brands Continue to Use Out-of-Home Advertising
If you are not convinced yet, look at the strategies of bigger brands. Lazada, a popular e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia, continues to use OOH advertising. Although the company wants to convince consumers to do their shopping online, they still rely on more traditional strategies to push their service. They have efforts to market their service online and in the real world.
What Lazada does, therefore, is to increase visibility. Their ads are on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Whichever site a consumer is browsing, Lazada will be there. Through OOH, the company can also place posters and billboards in the real world. As soon as a potential customer looks up from their smartphone or laptop, Lazada is still there. It creates a much stronger brand recall that, according to the e-commerce platform, still effectively encourages new sign-ups.
There are benefits to marketing online. People spend more time with their devices. That is how they encounter and be exposed to advertisements most of the time. However, traditional forms of advertising are still relevant because they continue to encourage interest from potential customers. In the modern world, there is a place for both to co-exist.