The Digital in 2020 report gives us a statistical picture of the internet landscape across the globe. What it doesn’t tell us is the impact of these numbers on brands’ digital communication goals.

Breaking Down Digital 2020 Part 1

As most of you may know by now, We Are Social has released the highly anticipated Digital in 2020 report. Suffice to say, the said report needs no introduction.

In this article, DBrew will digest the report by contextualizing the numbers. We will do this in a couple of ways. Part 1 of this article will assess the state of the internet in the Philippines and what it means for the brands. Part 2 will delve into the state of digital advertising and how brands can leverage the numbers.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

Part 1: Internet in the Philippines

The Digital in 2020 report gives us a statistical picture of the internet landscape across the globe. What it doesn’t tell us is the impact of these numbers on brands’ digital communication goals.

The first part of our Breaking Down Digital 2020 Report series will set these numbers in motion to exhibit what they mean for brands in the Philippines.

High Online Presence. Tougher Competition.

Out of 46 surveyed countries, the Philippines lands 43rd with 16.8mbps and 42nd with 25.6mbps of the report’s mobile and fixed internet connection speed ranking, respectively.

Although the country recorded 11% and 34% year-on-year change in average speed of mobile and fixed internet connections, the Philippines has a long way to go as it remains shy by more than a half from the global average speed of 32.01mbps (mobile) and 73.6mpbs (fixed).

The report also finds that Filipinos spend 9:45 hours on the internet daily – 5:11 hours of which are spent browsing the internet using mobile phones and 4:34 hours using laptops, desktops, and tablets. Worldwide, the Philippines is topping the global chart, which has an average daily internet use of 06:43 hours.

Netizens spend 3:53 hours on social media, which is over an hour higher than the global average of 2:24 hours. Suffice to say, the Philippines is not dubbed as the world’s social media capital for no reason.

The report further notes that Filipinos spend 2:05 hours listening to music streaming services such as Spotify and iTunes. Additionally, the country follows the global trend of consuming more videos with 69% of Filipinos streaming video content. 

What Does this Mean for Brands?
Despite the sluggish internet speed, Filipinos still manage to enjoy the digital space as much as, if not more than, their counterparts from countries with high-speed internet. In fact, their online activities further suggest that Filipinos are pushing internet speed into the backseat.
Looking at the content landscape in the country, there is no doubt that the coming years will be a bloodbath to win netizens’ attention. With Filipinos cementing their high digital presence, brands must expect tougher competition in the virtual space i.e. influx of social media contents coupled with other digital tactics as influencer relations to stand out. It is important to note, however, that the social media landscape in the Philippines is reaching a saturation point. Brands should, therefore, challenge themselves to achieve goals beyond vanity metrics and employ strategies that can cut through the noise.
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Keeping Up with the Rising Digital Consumerism

The report finds that 87% of Filipinos are playing games on smartphones and 22% use game consoles. Additionally, 11% of Filipinos play a game on a cloud gaming or streaming platform, and 34% watch a live stream of other people playing games. It’s also worth noting that e-sports is booming in the Philippines, with it being officially included in the recently concluded South East Asian Games (SEAG). It’s no wonder why the report finds that 17% of Filipinos watch an esports tournament.

The report also notes that the Philippines recorded 58% increase in smart home penetration. This means that the country’s Internet Service Providers (ISP) are serving more than 420,000 homes that have smart home devices.

Moreover, 69% of Filipinos are heavy consumers of video-on-demand services such as Netflix, AppleTV+, Hooq, Viu, iWant, and Hayu.

What Does this Mean for Brands?
The Philippines’ digital adaptation and consumerism are still peaking. With it is the evolving digital interest and behavior of Filipinos whose online presence are no longer limited to the top social media platforms. The rise of internet-based games, video-on-demand services, smart home devices, and even e-commerce platforms such as Lazada and Shopee add to the increasing number of online touchpoints through which brands can leverage for goals such as awareness and lead generation.
More than just a touch-point, these internet-dependent platforms are a clear telling that Filipino audiences are looking for a personalized and engaging digital journey. Brands must, therefore, consider employing tools or platforms that provide a seamless consumer journey. DBrew, for one, is an official partner of HubSpot, the world’s leading provider of growth platform that streamlines communication across multiple digital touch-points.
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Welcome to the Age of Digital Trust and Transparency

It is interesting to note that the Digital 2020 report leaves the Philippines out from the list of countries embattled by fake news, which reached new heights in the middle of the last decade and prompted several organizations to mount online and offline countermeasures. Upon its rise, in fact, social justice, truth, transparency, alternative facts, and post-truth era were some of the keywords or phrases that dominated the social conversation in the Philippines. As such, whether or not Filipinos are indifferent to fake news remains debatable.

On another note, the report states that 67% of Filipinos expressed their concern about how companies use their personal data. With it is the question of trust and transparency. More than the usage of their data, Filipinos are skeptical about how companies protect their information. The report also notes that 63% of Filipinos use tools to block online advertising each month and that 75% deleted cookies from their web browsers.

What Does this Mean for Brands?
The numbers are clear with one thing: Filipinos are exhibiting heightened awareness of how their digital footprints are used by brands.
This affects hundreds of ad campaigns that use a targeting methodology that heavily relies on audience behavior and interest. In fact, it has been widely reported that web browser giants such as Safari and Firefox are blocking third-party cookies. Google Chrome is set to join this move and is proposing alternatives that are less invasive.
Trust is the new currency, as it has been said. The online clamor is a snippet of netizens’ quest for truth and credible organizations they can trust. In a way, this is an opportunity for brands to win consumers’ trust. Beyond ensuring the delivery of quality products and services, it’s important to note that Filipinos are becoming conscious consumers. They patronize products and services from brands that take a stand on social issues. It is, therefore, imperative that brands implement digital campaigns with messages that convey inclusivity and promote social good.
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Does this mean that Filipinos do not trust ads? If so, what is the future of online advertising and what alternatives can brand resort to in reaching a wider audience?

To answer these questions, stay tuned for the second part of Breaking Down Digital 2020 Report.

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