Most Malaysians cautious, distrustful of online content, says report

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PETALING JAYA: A survey on how people respond to living in the online environment of today has found that Malaysian consumers generally mistrust online content and are sceptical of companies that promote their brands in the digital sphere.

Kantar TNS´s latest Connected Life research found that this was despite Malaysians spending 7.2 hours online every day.

According to the findings reported by Digital News Asia (DNA), sceptical Malaysians do not trust the content they are consuming online, as just 17% of connected consumers consider social media content to be reliable.

This contrasts significantly with consumers in other Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia, where 59% and 61% respectively trust such content, the report said.

It said the findings showed that despite the benefits that can be delivered through sharing data, Malaysians are cautious about how much of their personal data they share online.

It said 38% of consumers in Malaysia object to connected devices monitoring their activities even if that could make their lives easier, compared to 15% in Indonesia.

Some 51% of Malaysians are also concerned about the amount of their personal data that brands get hold of, compared to 33% across the region, it added.

The report also said 38% Malaysians aged between 16 and 24 think they use their mobile phones too much and only 29% are willing to pay for products using their mobile phone.

It cited Kantar TNS Malaysia managing director MC Lai as saying that marketers need to realise that Malaysians are not “easy targets” in the digital world.

“In comparison to other less developed countries in the region, consumers here are more mistrusting of what they see online, and are more uncomfortable with brands collecting their personal data,” he was quoted as saying.

“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,” he added.

Kantar TNS surveyed 70,000 people across 56 countries and conducted 104 in-depth interviews as part of the 2017 Connected Life study.