The celebration of Ramadan focuses on spirituality, togetherness, and reflection, whilst also providing an opportunity for brands to create lively advertising campaigns and build cultural relevance.
With more than 1.9 billion people celebrating Ramadan globally, the season offers advertisers exciting opportunities to develop their ideas and expand their reach. However, with ongoing Covid-19 restrictions and lockdown still in place for countries such as India, Indonesia, and Malaysia, many brands and marketers must think on their feet to stay relevant this season.
With advertising spend jumping 20% during Ramadan, according to estimations in 2018 and 2019, online retail sales start increasing up to 10 days before Ramadan.
Consumer behavior changes drastically both online and offline in the month leading up to Ramadan. Practicing Muslims have been known to alter both sleep and work schedules during this period, and often spend more time with family. Focuses shift towards self-improvement, worship, and community. Online spending for groceries, clothing, home appliances, and even travel increase during this period. According to InMobi, decisions can be influenced through the use of personalization, discount coupons, recent brand ads, and brand loyalty (8%).
The lessons learnt from last year’s celebration during the peak of the pandemic should be applied by brands and marketers, enabling them to navigate smoothly through our new post Covid-19 reality. This is the perfect time to embrace more empathetic and authentic tones.
Monirul Kazi, Httpool Country Lead in Bangladesh: "This is going to be a unique Ramadan in Bangladesh. The country approached the cessation of growth due to the pandemic, with a goal to ensure Httpool emerged in a position to assertively regain socioeconomic vibrace and agility post Covid-19. The extensive use of digital platforms, specifically Facebook, has ensured that brands remain connected with their customers, engage with their followers, and above all, communities remain interconnected. Bangladesh has not previously experienced this level of rapid digital transformation, it is therefore very important for brands to be made aware of the transformation, enabling them to be more receptive to the changes in consumer mindsets”.
As we enter into the post Covid-19 reality, understanding changes to trends is becoming ever more important. During Ramadan last year we witnessed an extensive rise in mobile application downloads, and e-commerce apps increasing in popularity. Festivals and Celebrations, such as Ramadan, have massive implications on consumer mindsets and shopping habits globally.
Malaysia experienced a vast development of new platforms and apps during the pandemic, supporting traders who ordinarily are able to operate in food markets, ensuring customers didn’t miss out on their favorite Ramadan delicacies.
Meera Muhunthan, Managing Director, Httpool Malaysia: “We experienced many changes in Malaysia throughout the pandemic, which we are expecting to continue into the post Covid-19 reality. A positive result seen in response to the pandemic, is the increased involvement in charity operations. As seen on a global level, many people have lost their jobs and many businesses have been strained, especially those within the SMB sector. Therefore many brands, NGOs, and governmental parties are understanding the importance of charity work, finding ways to get more involved, and support charities through ad placements. Now is the time for advertisers to be compassionate, and support their ‘neighbours’ as you would like to be supported”.
85% of the Indonesian population celebrate Ramadan, and 79% of this have said they will be more likely to spend more time on social media compared with other activities, followed by movie streaming and online shopping.
Devinder Sharma, Twitter Partner Director, Httpool Indonesia: “With multiple brands trying to reach out to the same target groups simultaneously, marketers need to adapt to stand out, understanding consumer emotions and focusing on communication more than ever. Unfortunately last year due to the pandemic many special occasions were celebrated alone for some. Hence, people will feel connected with brands who are able to demonstrate empathy in their communication. Ramadan is all about togetherness.”
This year Ramadan’s celebration will embody hope, purity, and giving to a whole new level, and encompass a strong mutual understanding, cooperation, and value of life for many brands and their consumers. “Winning as a whole rather than winning just as one would be the entire period’s fundamental undertone.” concludes Monirul Kazi, Country Lead of Httpool in Bangladesh.
THIS RAMADAN, TALK WITH COMPASSION AND LEVERAGE DATA ON FACEBOOK
With significant media budgets at play during Ramadan, and people spending more time on social media, measurement becomes vital to marketing success. With Facebook Measurement solutions like split testing, brand lift, and conversion lift studies, brands can drive success and measure their investments’ actual value.
Archana Roche, Facebook Measurement Lead, Httpool APAC: “Measuring what matters and focussing on the right metrics, rather than proxy metrics or tracking, will help ensure that the real business impact is assessed. Businesses often rely on metrics like shares, impressions, comments, and views to determine ROI, hence the term proxy metrics. For this year’s Ramadan celebration focus on what truly matters to your company. Start with aligning on business objectives and setting metrics and KPIs that are directly linked to your business, ranging from sales or conversions, to brand metrics, based on causality and incrementality. Planning will make all the difference to success this Ramadan. Before you launch your campaigns, make sure your house is in order. That means your pixel and SDK integrations are working correctly, you have built and updated your product catalogue, implanted offline conversions, developed a strategy for messenger, and established your presence there.”
Ramadan is an ideal opportunity to test and scale, learning what works, and refining marketing activation based on learnings. The 30-day period with at least two peaks of heightened shopping activity is a competitive time, and to measure the true value of your advertising savvy, marketers must complete rigorous testing. By comparing the outcomes of two different groups of people, those exposed to your strategy and those who are not, marketers are able to identify purchases as a direct result of the ad, in contrast to those who would have made the purchase ordinarily. Consumers directly influenced by the strategy are called incremental customers. This allows us to understand the direct impact Facebook has on marketing activity. With Facebook measurement, we measure this incremental impact.
RAMADAN ADS: LEVERAGE STORYTELLING ON TWITTER
Ramadan presents an opportunity to connect with new audiences. With 133 million Tweets globally, it’s clear that Ramadan is happening on Twitter.
Plug in when conversations peak
Starting a month before the events begin, conversations revolve around family, fasting, and prayer. However, towards the end of the month topics shift to homecoming (mudik) and celebration.
Digital communication and social media connections are still highly important during Ramadan in Indonesia. Many people prefer to stay in touch online in comparison to calling their family and friends at this time of the year.
Thus Twitter remains a great opportunity for brands to talk to their clients. A successful Twitter campaign is one in which brands tell a story, and following some of the below expert advice.
Get the timing right
Before the sun rises at 4am, Tweet volumes begin to rise, reaching a peak during the breaking of fast between 7pm and 10pm. For marketers, this represents an opportunity to stay connected to their audience during crucial periods where they are the most active. Adding dayparting as another layer of campaign strategy will surely uplift the results. With more than 60% of Indonesian users planning for Ramadan shopping just one week in advance, offers and promotions should be timed towards such shopping patterns to maximize sales.
Have a dedicated mobile strategy
Ramadan is the time of the year where mobile first is paramount. In Indonesia, the mobile-first market has an estimated 71% mobile phone internet user penetration rate in 2021. Users will spend more time on mobile than ever before, therefore a dedicated mobile communication strategy will not only add reach but will also help gain improved engagements. People are going to be on the move during these festival seasons. Mobile marketing gives you more layers of targeting and response tracking.
Focus on convenience
In many cases consumers prefer convenience over brand loyalty, with a huge spike in retail and e-commerce occurring each year during Ramadan, brands should be focusing on the users’ online shopping experience. Faster delivery time might encourage an increase in sales figures.
Target your competition
Dining with family and friends is another high-priority activity for most celebrating Ramadan. Targeting competition outlets, leveraging big data, and gathering audience insights on food consumption patterns is a beneficial digital investment. A smaller QSR brand targeting a big chain customer will spike sales.
Explore some examples of brands that leveraged Twitter to reach their audiences during Ramadan here: https://business.twitter.com/en/resources/region/mena/ramadan.html