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Insight: Kantar Philippines reveals 9 out of 10 Filipinos want to hear from brands during COVID-19 pandemic

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Kantar revealed that 92% of Filipinos expressed that they still want to hear from brands despite the global pandemic. In the Philippines, Kantar said that brands have an important role to play, adding that Filipino consumers expect them to help and lead the change.

Based on latest data from Kantar’s COVID-19 Barometer, Filipinos expect brands to help consumers in their everyday life (25%), be an example and guide the change (25%) and demonstrate how to fight the ongoing health crisis (17%).

Vicky Abad, Chief Client Officer at Kantar Philippines, expounded on how the ongoing pandemic has affected local businesses and the necessary steps that must be done to regain all the losses incurred in the last few months. “We are all on the same boat. Both consumers and businesses are trying to stay afloat amid the pandemic,” she said. “However, we believe that the way for businesses to survive this is difficult time is by being proactive. Right now, they must start thinking of ways to reactivate market demand, bend the curve, and beat fair share in order to speed up their recovery after this pandemic.”


In one of its surveys, Kantar asked businesses from across industries – from retail, finance, energy to automotive – to gauge the impact of COVID-19 on their operations. Based on their responses, almost 7 out of 10 companies said the coronavirus had a negative impact on their business from April to June 2020. In the same survey, Kantar found that the companies are planning for recovery in spite of constrained resources, as 60% have reduced their marketing spend while 48% expect to do the same for their market research budget.

Crafting a ‘road to recovery’ plan

To help local brands survive and maximize their resources, Kantar has identified ways to plan and effectively execute their strategy for recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Abad, there are three (3) things that businesses have to take into consideration when crafting their plan to recover incurred losses during the pandemic.

  1. Historic performance. Businesses must revisit the demand forecast across all markets and regions. Business leaders should closely examine emerging brand and category trends, as well as the brand’s historic performance, to determine the direction the company is headed towards in order to bounce back.
  2. Macro-economic factors. Businesses should also look and collate macroeconomic forecasts. These forecasts include disease progression, economic indicators, and government policies to make the necessary actions that will lessen the impact of the global crisis and help their company and employees recover.
  3. Human and cultural insights. The nature of human reactions must not be taken lightly as they help businesses find the market-level early predictors of demand in order to accurately predict most macro scenarios that will help them determine their next course of action.

Execution to ‘beat fair share’

In addition, Kantar noted four (4) principles that will help businesses execute their recovery plan effectively. The first thing, Abad said, is for brands to develop their message to amplify their reach to consumers. During this time of COVID-19, 67% of Filipinos call for brands to advertise what they are doing to help the community. Simultaneously, brands should establish product superiority, provide a sense of certainty and reliability, as well as simplify the decision process for customers.

In executing their recovery plan, it is imperative that brands know how to manage brand building versus performance driven marketing. Brand equity and media investment has been proven to drive long and short-term sales, as well as impact company sales. On average, media investment helps explain about 13% of contribution of sales, Kantar said.

Abad also emphasized the importance of creativity when businesses execute their recovery plan. Amidst all the other factors, creativity remains to be an effective tool to get a brand’s messages across to their consumers. According to Kantar, creative quality is the dominant driver of salience at 50% followed by reach (25%), frequency (16%) and media synergy (9%).

Lastly, business leaders should understand where they should invest their resources in. During the lockdown, overall media consumption increased, particularly in digital and TV. More Filipinos were watching online videos on YouTube, spending more time on social networks, and watching shows on TV and via online streaming services. In the Philippines, there was a 15% increase in TV consumption, providing an opportunity for brands to reach more consumers at home.

“Today’s reality might be different from tomorrow’s reality,” Abad said. “Therefore, it is important for brands and their executives to proactively craft recovery plans that not only helps their company recover, but also provides their employees and customers a sense of stability in these times of uncertainty.”

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