Stephen Hamill, Managing Director, South East Asia, Adobe Systems
In our blog yesterday we shared the results from the APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard 2014, showing that countries such as Singapore, Australia and India are leading the pack in the Asia Pacific. The Dashboard, which studies the state of digital marketing across the Asia-Pacific region, surveyed over 700 marketing executives. It revealed executive support and data-driven approach creates a widening gap between digital leaders and those falling behind.
The research uncovered that while more marketers in countries like Australia, India and Singapore are using analytics and reporting technologies, no country is truly taking advantage of the huge amounts of data they are collecting. Few see leveraging data as a competitive advantage, whereas globally, advancing the customer experience with deep personalization and smart adaptive engagements is driving revenue gains and measurable advantage.
What about Singapore? Here are some key findings:
In Singapore specifically, and more generally right across the region, more needs to be done to prove the value of digital marketing investment. For brands that do not have e-commerce channels, it’s hard to directly link revenues to campaigns as there’s a gap in the fulfillment process and therefore, there may be a difficulty in convincing stakeholders based on proving financial ROI alone.
This means marketers have to be more strategic in showing value. Unfortunately, of the Singapore marketers surveyed, half are using data to merely report KPIs or are not doing anything with it at all. A mindset change is needed, where marketers need to look at data at every point along their campaigns and use the insights to generate improvement for their activities – this is especially critical in a fast-paced market like Singapore where informed business decisions need to be made swiftly. That in itself is already a quick win for proving the value of digital campaigns.
Lines of businesses as well as channel partners and sales teams continue to be strong advocates for digital marketing with more calling for increased digital spend across Asia Pacific. Since 2012, the number of lines of businesses who have called for increased investment in digital has increased from 15% to 25% in 2014. Singapore is an outlier on this front, with lines of businesses (9% SG vs 25% APAC) as well as channel partners and sales teams (18% SG vs 34% APAC) here being the least interested in pushing for digital programs in 2014.
Some leadership teams are not convinced of the ROI of digital marketing, but are open to learning more. Across Asia Pacific concern about ROI has risen slightly from 17% in 2012 to 21% in 2014. The Dashboard reveals that in Korea 50% of senior leaders are not convinced of digital marketing ROI but want to gain a better understanding, followed by Singapore with 22%.
Despite the lack of interest and confidence from stakeholders, the good news is that leadership teams in Singapore are the most receptive (46% SG vs 31% APAC) to piloting and testing new digital channels and programs. These results show that the lack of interest and confidence is not based on an outright rejection of digital marketing. It is more likely that stakeholders do not have a good understanding of digital and what it can be used for. This represents a golden opportunity for marketers to set the digital agenda and educate their stakeholders on the benefits and value of digital. In fact, with Singapore leadership teams being open to piloting and testing, field-testing could be an excellent way for marketers to demonstrate digital marketing ROI.
While 93% of marketers believe digital marketing can create a competitive advantage, differences in execution are evident around the region. Across Asia Pacific, use of analytics and reporting technologies has remained generally steady (72% in 2012 and 74% in 2014), but leaders are pulling away. In Australia, 91% of marketers are using analytics and reporting tools, followed by Singapore (79%), India (77%), Hong Kong (73%), China (70%) and Korea (60%). However the research has highlighted that marketers are not moving beyond more basic measurements. Asked whether they are measuring throughout the life of campaigns, only 13% of marketers across Asia Pacific said they were, compared with 14% in 2012.
Stay tuned to this channel for more Dashboard news and findings. You can also find out more results from the following links:
Download the executive summary
APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard 2014 Infographic
You can also follow the conversation on twitter via #APDash.