MANILA: The Philippines has a huge Gen Z population, which will offer new opportunities for marketers in 2017 despite the political and economic uncertainties the country faces, according to an industry figure.

Joan Mae Encarnacion, of Ogilvy and Mather Philippines, writing for Warc on trends set to shape marketing in the Philippines for 2017, highlights unpredictability as a key theme.

The election of the Duterte administration in 2016 has changed the political landscape of the Philippines, affecting international relations, economic development, and the socio-cultural setting of the country, she says. The economic performance of the Philippines has also shown signs of slowdown during the latter part of 2016.

"The socio-political situation is definitely worth considering because there is no one definitive outlook on the market and the margin of error on these forecasts is incredibly wide," noted Gino Borromeo, VP/ Chief Strategy Officer at McCann Worldgroup Philippines.

The rise of fake news in the Philippines, particularly on Facebook, is also reason for marketers to be concerned.

But marketers are optimistic that the country's booming Gen Z demographic – 59% of the country's total population – will provide rewards for brands courageous enough to take the leap.

That means shifting attention away from older demographics, according to Shen Acosta, Head of Customer Engagement Strategy and Consumer Insights Director at Ogilvy and Mather Philippines.

"Brands in the Philippines should start focusing more on Gen Z," she said. "A lot of marketers are focused on the millennials because they have the buying power, but these brands have to prepare for the future. The Gen Z group is different vs. Gen Y. You cannot fake anything with Gen Z."

Data sourced from Warc