“Communication is not communication, it is changing consumers’ perception, changing consumers’ attitudes, and to lift up a brand’s image and make sure that the consumer understand the core value of the brand”

Understanding consumers crucial to success: ad man

THE NATION September 2, 2013 1:00 am

UTILISATION OF THE media and understanding consumers’ behaviour will be necessary components for competitiveness in the Asean Economic Community (AEC), an advertising expert says. To be successful in business, many aspects are required. However, in the final outcome, marketing and advertising play a dominant role. This rule applies everywhere in the world, including Thailand, said Dr Wilert Puriwat, chief consultant for Spa-Hakuhodo Advertising Co.For many entrepreneurs, Thailand is seen as a major economy in Asia and the economic centre of Asean. The country has attracted entrepreneurs and investors for long-term business purposes and as a bridge to other Southeast Asian nations.

Business in Thailand is very competitive. Consumers have great choices of products, services, and good-quality work. For a business to be a success in this environment, marketing, advertising and communication are needed.
“Communication is not communication, it is changing consumers’ perception, changing consumers’ attitudes, and to lift up a brand’s image and make sure that the consumer understand the core value of the brand,” Wilert said.
Each year, Spa-Hakuhodo, a leading marketing and advertising agency in Thailand, is chosen as a place for students from the University of Southern California working for a Master of Business Administration degree to get a real business perspective from case studies of countries outside China and the West.
John Van Fleet, assistant dean and executive director of USC’s Marshall School of Business, said: “We have opportunities to talk to the really important people here who are leading valuable businesses, who can give us the real business perspective that we want to gain and help us know more about how businesses work here.
“We also tend to focus on what specific companies or specific industries are doing, because that tends to be more practical for our students.”
Because of the rapid changes in global trends, marketing and advertising must be done in parallel with changing consumer behaviour by understanding their needs. Wilert said this work must be presented to the client in a smart and creative way to keep him or her updated.
“In order to do that, we don’t just do advertising, but we have to understand consumer insights, market analysis, consumer insight analysis, competition analysis, and try to understand what is inside the customer, what is the key message that we communicate to [them] that makes them open up their minds, and then bring the brand into their perception.”
Most businesses focus on television advertising, but Wilert said the trend of mobile-device usage was increasing.
Entrepreneurs have to understand the advantages of social media and utilise all kinds of media.
Apart from being creative, another challenge for marketing and advertising is how to create a concept that can be used and understood in other countries, especially for the upcoming AEC.
When the AEC arrives in the near future, business competition will no longer be just local. Consumers will come from everywhere around Asean, as well as the broader world. Communication and advertising are important tools to help businesses compete.
“Quality work and good communication can come from any country in the world, and any company, as long as you understand the core concept and the core value of advertising,” Wilert said.
“In terms of cultural differences, the bottom line is that we can adapt and adopt them to capture consumers’ attention. Once consumers pay attention, it will help enhance brand awareness and preferences for specific product brand.”

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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