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Word of mouth marketing still the most credible in SEA

By March 27, 2018October 18th, 2019No Comments

Living in Southeast Asia (SEA), what is credible word of mouth to you?

Word of mouth (WOM) marketing is organic marketing from people that you trust and/or know. To continue strong in marketing, especially in south-east Asia (SEA), you need to know this.

How do you continue to be the most trusted source of advertising?
round red and white Trust signage


Here we have Nielsen Global Survey to guide you into the consumer’s circle of trust. They found out that WOM advertising continues to be the most credible.

Nielsen Global Survey

They polled a total of 30,000 online respondents across 60 countries in 2015.

SEA results for Word of Mouth recommendations
woman standing facing back with both hands on back pocket


The unison result across SEA shows a high level of trust in WOM recommendations (88%).

Breaking down, we have the Filipino consumers leading at 91%. WOM endorsements (a common form could be social media marketing) gathered the highest increase in approval across Vietnamese consumers (89%), followed be Indonesians (89%), Malaysians (86%), Singaporeans (83%) and Thais (82%).

What is the best way to reach your audiences?

Combining WOM recommendations together with the power of television and digital advertising is the highway track to your consumer. Mastering the art of WOM online can result in quicker and faster reach. Through influencers, brands can widen the circle of trust to get their message across.

How to do digital marketing correctly?

Now in this digital revolution, trust is fragile. It is always important to practise transparency and accountability for your brand and advocates.

71% of respondents actually indicated that they trust online consumer opinions.

  • Traditional advertising lives on
    people on road during nighttime


Although the increase of online formats has not eroded trust in traditional (offline) paid channels. Traditional offline channels (television, magazines and newspapers) continue to be among the most trusted forms of paid advertising in SEA. 

Nearly 8 in 10 consumers indicated their trust in television ads — all above or consistent with the global average of 63%.  

  • Indonesia (79%),
  • Thailand (78%),
  • Philippines (75%),
  • Vietnam (69%),
  • Singapore (64%),
  • Malaysia (63%)

Overall, 70% of Southeast Asian consumers continue to trust ads in magazines and 69% in newspaper ads.

Is traditional marketing still of value?

While digital forms can present considerable advantages like focused campaigns with more creativity, moving away from traditional advertising such as TV is a bold move for any marketers. The best mix of offline and online channels yield the safest results.