Mobile app marketing and retargeting platform Liftoff revealed in a report that publishers operating in the region can find significant growth opportunities, mainly due to the region being home to the world’s most engaged mobile users. However, this will be dependent on whether mobile marketers can adopt localized approaches that are needed to capitalize on opportunities within the heterogenous regional market of over 650 million people.

The Liftoff 2019 Southeast Asia App Engagement Report provides data on the various aspects of app usage – covering everything from mobile engagement benchmarks, seasonal trends, costs per conversion rate, engagement platforms and retention rates across the region. It provides marketing insights from Liftoff’s mobile app campaigns in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand between 1 March 2018 to February 28, 2019; spanning 28 billion ad impressions, 656 million ad clicks, 5.2 million installs, and 13.5 million first-time post-install events.


Liftoff noted in its report that Southeast Asia has the worlds most engaged mobile users, and mobile has transformed into a central pillar of the region’s economic transformation. To illustrate, up to 90 percent of people in Southeast Asia connect to the internet via their smartphones and spend an average of four hours on mobile apps; an hour more than the rest of the world. Rising affluence, urbanization, and growing demand for convenience are the key drivers of further mobile growth in the region.


However, despite the extensive use of mobile engagement in the region, the adoption of digital technology and growth of income in Southeast Asia is still much lower when compared to other major markets; requiring mobile marketers to take a hyper-local approach in each country and rely on data to guide their strategies.


Below are some of the key insights obtained from the Liftoff 2019 Southeast Asia App Engagement Report:


Scaling user acquisition in a diverse market comes with its own set of challenges

Southeast Asia is regionally diverse in culture, politics, religion, language, and income – meaning that marketers need to take a localized approach in each country. As part of this challenge, seasonality affects shopper behaviour in Southeast Asia more so than in other regions. For example, June 2018, the month of Ramadan, had the highest cost for acquiring mobile users who made a purchase, signalling that for the best ROI, marketers must learn and engage high-value mobile users at the right time and plan their campaigns around local and cultural holidays.

Consumer patterns in the region are also highly influenced by tourist seasons, the countries local New Year celebrations such as Songkran in Thailand, shopping holidays and the weather.


Affordability in acquiring users

Data shows that acquiring users within Southeast Asia far more affordable compared to the more mature markets where mobile has become ubiquitous. Obtaining users in Southeast Asia is 73 percent less than in the U.S. and 65% less than in other APAC countries (excluding Southeast Asia).