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, according to digital agency ADA.

There are 240 million Muslims in Southeast Asia and 600 million Muslims in South Asia and with the Islamic holy month just around the corner, the challenge lies in standing out during one of the busiest ad seasons of the year to capture a slice of a US$2.2 trillion-dollar market.

In its Ramadan 2020 Data Trends for Marketers report, the agency highlights seven data trends that Marketers in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Bangladesh should consider to optimise a dynamic marketing strategy:

1. 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.

2. Visits to mosques, prayer rooms, and cemetaries 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 cemetaries visit.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Muslims are searching for different content at different times

According to the ADA's data analysis, 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.

7. 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?

  • Consider each pain point your target audience may have.
  • Connect with them through authentic and hyper-targeted content.
  • Celebrate with entertaining content.

“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,” said ADA.

Sourced from ADA