AFL Grand Final Fever Feeds Social Media Buzz

There was a lot of social buzz in Australia over the weekend as the Australian Rules Football League (AFL) Grand Final between Hawthorn Hawks and the Sydney Swans took place with the Hawks coming out on top with a convincing win.

The passion for Aussie Rules had spilled over into the ongoing inter-city rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney. In the lead up to the clash the internet was full of buzz. In the 30 days ahead of the Grand Final fans of both clubs from around the globe took to the internet to show their support, but the Hawks had already won the psychological social media battle, edging out the Swans in the number of mentions.

Fan reactions ranged from joy their team had made it to the biggest game of the year, to surprise they had done so. 14% of Hawthorn’s social media mentions expressed surprise the defending champions had made it to the Grand Final for the third year in a row, while just 7% of Swans mentions were surprised the 2012 champions were back again.

The Adobe Digital Index tracked thousands upon thousands of social mentions across multiple platforms from both teams as they made their way through the finals series, capturing the number of mentions of “AFL Grand Final” and the sentiment people were expressing. The analysis of more than 500,000 social mentions relating to the Grand Final also showed that the Australian football code is punching above its weight on a global scale, gaining almost as much social media traction outside its home country as the National Football League in the United States. Geo-tagging social media mentions revealed that 19% of the social media buzz is coming from outside Australia, compared to 21% of the social media buzz surrounding the American National Football League (NFL) which comes from outside the US. The AFL may not be a global sport in terms of participation, but like the NFL, this figure clearly shows it has a huge following beyond Australian shores.

Key Findings

  • The battle for the Grand Final social buzz champ is dead even; Hawthorn has a slight edge over Sydney over the last 30 days. The state of Victoria is producing 32% of the buzz from within Australia, with New South Wales a close 2nd.


  • The state of Victoria is producing 32% of the buzz from within Australia, with New South Wales a close 2nd.


  • Buddy Franklin leads the player buzz going into the final against his former team, but not all of the buzz is positive; Buddy has two-and-a-half-times more mentions than Hawthorn buzz leader, Luke Hodge.


  • Social buzz is mixed with 54% relating to joy or admiration and 46% of social buzz relating to sadness or surprise.


  • Some 81% of all mentions came from Australia, with 6% from the UK, 5% from the US and 3% from Germany, reflecting the global appeal that the AFL has managed to generate. The AFL has only slightly less international appeal than the NFL; AFL (19%) and NFL (21%) produce similar percent of buzz from outside their home country.



New research has confirmed widening gaps in digital marketing maturity across Asia Pacific

Stephen Hamill, Managing Director, South East Asia, Adobe Systems

20140510-0013 copyIn 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.

Australian marketers lead Asia Pacific in digital marketing but advanced implementation has stalled

140714 Chris Skelton6Chris Skelton, Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand, Adobe Systems

New research from Adobe and the CMO Council has revealed Australia continues to lead Asia Pacific in the adoption of digital marketing, pulling away from other countries in the region. However, skill shortages and budget constraints have stalled the implementation of more advanced measurements.

The third annual 2014 Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard included a six-month in-field program comprising quantitative surveys with over 700 marketing executives. The study benchmarked the levels of adoption, traction and success of digital marketing in Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and India. Senior marketers within the Asia Pacific region from a range of industries took part, with 44 percent holding a title of Vice President or higher.

This year, the Dashboard exposes several factors which allow Australian marketers to pull away from their counterparts in Asia Pacific. These include strong support from company leadership, having a strong digital champion in the leadership team and increased support from stakeholders. In the 2014 Dashboard, channel partners and sales teams have emerged as digital advocates with support for increased digital spend more than doubling since 2012. Strong senior executive and stakeholder support is a key factor in driving digital marketing adoption and allowing Australia to pull away as a leader in Asia Pacific.

Key findings from the study for Australia include:

  • 52% of organisations advised that Chief Marketing Executives own the digital marketing strategy, compared with 39% across Asia Pacific; 62% of Australian companies have a digital champion on the leadership team, well above the Asia Pacific average of 38%.
  • Skill levels have stalled across Asia Pacific and while Australian marketers have reported some improvements, skill shortages remain. Across Asia Pacific, companies with a dedicated headcount to carry out digital marketing analysis has lifted only slightly between 2012 (13%) and 2014 (15%); however, in Australia a dedicated headcount has increased from 15% in 2012 to 26% in 2014.
  • Three quarters of marketers in Asia Pacific are measuring and analysing data, however implementation of more sophisticated performance indicators remains low across the region. There has been no progress across Asia Pacific in measuring data across the life of a campaign, and percentages remain low year on year: 2012 (14%), 2013 (10%) and 2014 (13%). In Australia, measuring across the life of a campaign is lower than the Asia Pacific average and has dropped to 11% in 2014, from 13% in 2012.
  • The ability to better engage and activate audiences is driving the adoption of digital; 81% of Australian marketers cite engagement as the key driver compared with 58% across Asia Pacific.
  • The proliferation and capability of mobile has increased as a driver of digital adoption in Australia up from 52% in 2012 to 65% in 2014.

This year’s research shows that many marketers are not measuring across the life of a campaign and that means they’re missing important data points that could be used to drive better business results. While Australia leads the pack, skill shortages remain prevalent and the ability of marketers to leverage more complex measures is stalling growth. With better skills, marketers could be taking advantage of more data to drive business results and demonstrate ROI.

Looking forward, Australian organisations need to accelerate their investment in skills development to close the skills gap s faster and look into new technologies for better measurement to prove ROI and drive a more compelling case for increased investment.

Download the complimentary executive summary.

APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard 2014 Infographic.

Follow the conversation via #APDash.

APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard 2014

This infographic illustrates the state of digital marketing adoption across the Asia-Pacific region
with respect to four key areas: mindset, marketing readiness, organizational alignment and
marketing skills. All ratings are on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the highest. The overall rating
for each category is an average of the four key indicators beneath each measure. The ratings of the
individual countries are then depicted below, with the highest rating for each measure appearing in
that rating’s specified color.

The infographic below displays the comparison between the 2013 vs 2014 APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard results.

Stay tune to this channel as we continue to launch country-specific findings across the region this week.

Download the complimentary executive summary.

Follow the conversation via #APDash

Adobe Digital Marketing Symposium Singapore 2014: Marketing’s role in real-time enterprise

What role does marketing play in building real-time enterprise? Watch what some attendees from the Adobe Digital Marketing Symposium in Singapore had to say: