ASEAN Market Insights from Vero COO Raphael Lachkar

ASEAN Market Insights from Vero COO Raphael Lachkar

Vero COO Raphael Lachkar recently had a great discussion with the blog Son Talks for its series “The Nomad,” in which the blogger talks to “professionals in PR and Comms who are from a country but spend their love and life in different countries and cultures, then delve into the insights which might help other people to live or to do business in an inter-cultural world.”

Raphael, who is originally from France but has worked in China and Myanmar and now heads Vero’s office in Vietnam, discussed what makes the ASEAN market so interesting and shared insights into the influencer landscape, trust, ethics, and measurement in PR. Here are a few of those:

  • The growth of micro-communities has accelerated during the pandemic, as digital content has become integrated further into people’s lives, and now users are looking less for influencers than relatable publishers.
  • The influential personalities emerging today make their mark with quality content, not necessarily because of TV/music stratification.
  • Audiences are now empowered to not only become brand ambassadors, but also creators for brands. A consumer who is very influential within a niche network may be equipped to create brand content better and faster than the brand itself. The ecosystem is a lot less linear, and increasingly “Meta”.
  • PR consultants are more than ever positioning themselves as the main brand advisors. As they are no longer solely talking to the Head of Comms, but also advising organisations’ top leadership, they must formulate strategy and success with tangible indicators of a campaign’s ROI that a CEO can show their board to qualify the brand’s larger business strategy.
  • Marketers now have access to tools that allow them to screen deep conversations and assess engagement opportunities for brands, so they can be a lot more precise when devising strategy and reporting results. As a result, success is now measured with new KPIs: sentiment rating and qualified share of voice.
  • Trust is the absolute, ultimate goal for PR, and awareness and empathy are only tactics along the way. Trust is what brands work very hard to earn, and it is consumers’ strongest weapon. No positive brand relationship can exist if it is not built on consumer trust.
  • If social media users and their data are seen as commodities, then brands will not have less incentive to act in users’ best interests compared to their paying customers.
  • A lot of multinationals land in Singapore hoping to centralise decision-making and consultation for the region there, but Singapore is very different from the rest of the region, and firms there are often ill-equipped to support comms outside the island. Connecting with a regional firm or several local boutiques is often a better choice.

If those spark your interest, you can read the full interview here for more!