There are 240 million Muslims in Southeast Asia and 600 million Muslims in South Asia representing a $2.2 trillion dollar market that brands would be foolish to ignore. With Ramadan just around the corner, brands are racing to stand out during the busiest ad season of the year.
During this time, brands often make the mistake of creating a single message that they simply flip from subdued to celebratory between Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr festive periods. Brands ignore that Ramadan can be a journey full of changes in behaviour, emotions, and needs; and in doing so, fail to connect with their target audience.
Timing and location matters. With XACT, our proprietary data management platform, we’ve uncovered 7 data trends Marketers in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Bangladesh should consider to optimise a dynamic marketing strategy grounded in data.
Travel to hometowns is common – but travel patterns may differ by country. People in Indonesia tend to travel back the month before. Malaysia however, sees two spikes in travel – a week before Eid, and on the third week of Eid. In Bangladesh, travel out of the city on peaks after the second week of the festive period.
Visits to mosques, prayer rooms, and cemeteries shift. In Indonesia, people tend to head to the mosques more, compared to prayer rooms, and the cleaning of loved ones’ graves only picks up closer to the second week of Eid. Both mosques and prayer rooms are frequented just as much in Malaysia, and people tend to start visiting graves earlier – from the second week of Ramadan onwards. Surprisingly, Bangladesh sees a dip in mosques, prayer rooms, and cemeteries visit.
The usage of religious apps fluctuates. Before Ramadan, there is a 327% increase in religious apps use in Indonesia, but it drops to -96% by the third week of the fasting month. There is a sharp 82% increase in Malaysia just before Ramadan, but drops to -2% once the fasting month starts – however, it picks back up during the second week of Eid. Interestingly, in Bangladesh, the usage of religious apps drops throughout Ramadan but picks up closer towards the festive period.
Muslims start eating out less. As the number of cooking enthusiasts spike in Indonesia, there is a correlating dip towards eating out. People in Malaysia quickly shift their habits of dining out to cooking at home, and this trend is maintained through the festive period. During Ramadan, Muslims in Bangladesh dine out more often, however, they follow a similar trend of opting to eat in throughout the festive period.
Last minute buying of big ticket items. During Ramadan, purchase of home appliances and electronics in Indonesia sees a slight dip during the first two weeks, and in Malaysia, auto intenders pick up leading to Eid.
Muslims are searching for different content at different times. According to the Video Analytics and Creation Engine by ADA, there is interest in recipes for kue kering, and the latest festive clothing in Indonesia during Ramadan, and insights for Malaysia show that during Eid, people search for entertainment and celebrities.
Avoid clutter when uploading videos. During this busy ad season, brands and creators in Indonesia tend to publish videos on two days before Eid, and Malaysia posts at least 10 days before.
So, what does this mean for marketers? There is no one-size fits all solution when it comes to marketing during this season. People have different needs, interests, and pain points – these go through lulls and peaks throughout the season. In order to connect with Muslims during this period, marketers need to make sure they are serving the right message at the right time. Otherwise, they run the risk of being seen as tone-deaf, or wasting valuable marketing dollars on a blanket approach while hoping that something sticks.
- Consider each pain point your target audience may have.
- Connect with them through authentic and hyper-targeted content.
- Celebrate with entertaining content.
Learn more about these data trends by reading it here.