According to Kantar TNS’s latest Connected Life research, brands struggle to connect with Malaysians via online channels, despite high levels of connectivity. The research consist of 70,000 people across 56 countries and 104 in-depth interviews, in order to explore consumer trust in brands in relation to four themes: technology, content, data and eCommerce.
Findings also reveal that Malaysians spend 7.2 hours online every day, showing that the opportunity for brands to engage with them there is in threat since consumers are mistrusting of online content and are sceptical of brand motivations.
It was also revealed that only 17% of connected Malaysian consumers consider social media content to be reliable, which is a considerable difference with other Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines (59%) and Indonesia (61%) trust social media content.
Apart from that, the trust put in brands vary significantly between markets. In Malaysia, consumers are moderately cynical, with only 41% of the connected consumer population trusting global brands. However, the trust level decreases in other markets such as Australia (19%).
Overall, the study shows that even though benefits can be delivered through sharing data, Malaysians are cautious about how much of their personal data they share online. 38% of Malaysians object to connected devices monitoring their activities even if it makes their lives easier, compared to 15% in Indonesia.
Meanwhile, 51% Malaysians have concerns about the amount of personal data that brands have on them, compared to 33% across the region. They are becoming increasingly aware of the price they are paying for their connected lifestyles and many fell on the losing end of an affair exchange.
“Marketers need to realise that Malaysians are not easy targets in this digital world. Brands need to step up their game and demonstrate the value they can bring to consumers’ lives if they want to earn their trust and ensure that they are able to use these channels for meaningful brand conversations,” states MC Lai, Managing Director, Malaysia, Kantar TNS.
Currently, Malaysians are ambivalent on the matter of chatbots. While 38% say they would welcome interactions with an AI-powered machine such as a chatbot if it meant their query was dealt with more quickly, a similar number (30%) objects on using one.
New technologies like mobile payments are making eCommerce increasingly frictionless. However, despite the mature digital ecosystem in Malaysia, 29% of Malaysians say that they are willing to pay for products using their mobile phone. What’s more, 39% would object to doing so. Cash is still king in Malaysia, so innovative solutions that make people’s lives easier are needed before consumers are convinced to move onto newer payment options.
The Global Lead of Connected Solutions, Kantar TNS, Micheal Nicholas adds: “Trust is fragile. To build and protect trust, brands need to put customer first by understanding their motivations, understanding the right moments to engage with them and respecting their time. This is something that many marketers have forgotten to do.”