The ever-increasing number of digital platforms on which brands can engage consumers is causing confusion among marketers in Asia-Pacific, according to the TNS Marketing Monitor 2016 study.
Marketers are having difficulty identifying which platforms their customers are using and how best to engage with them on their selected channels. Just 34 percent of marketers surveyed said they felt in control of the touchpoints available to them.
The TNS report surveyed 2,250 marketers in July this year from 11 countries across APAC: Australia China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.
Confidence in using touchpoints effectively was lowest in markets with the most developed media ecosystems, such as Singapore and Japan (29 percent), Korea (28 percent) and New Zealand (24 percent).
The sheer number of platforms used to engage consumers—both online and offline—in these markets is the main cause for concern for marketers, who are struggling to keep tabs on which touchpoints consumers are using the most.
Thai marketers were most confident at 50 percent, followed by Malaysia at 36 percent. TNS said this was due to consumers in these markets using a far smaller pool of social-media touchpoints to access the web and online content, and that this would change as people’s digital lives become more complex.
Nitin Nishandar, APAC regional marketing director, brand and communications for TNS, said: “It’s understandable that marketers want to be across as many platforms and touchpoints as possible. However, with new touchpoints entering the mix on a regular basis, large numbers of businesses are still seeking to identify the ones that deliver results most consistently.
“We know from TNS touchpoint research across a number of categories that on average, 20 percent of the touchpoints used by a brand can have up to 80 percent of the impact. It’s clear that brands need to be doing more to understand where to place their focus and budgets to get the most value.”
Indeed, the TNS report found little consensus on the best way to manage touchpoints. Almost one in four of the marketers surveyed (22 percent) spread their budget across as many channels as possible, while 41 percent stick to the ones they know and 37 percent experiment with new ones.
The importance of digital platforms continues to grow, with social-media monitoring (46 percent) the most popular metric for informing marketing strategy, followed by marketshare data. Moreover, 38 percent of marketers are spending their paid advertising budget on social media, compared to 35 percent on television.
That said, the TNS study found that just 18 percent of budgets are currently devoted to online video, when TNS data shows that 67 of connected APAC consumers are watching free online video content every week, illustrating a huge growth opportunity for marketers and brands.
Zoë Lawrence, APAC digital director for TNS, said: “Digital has been a big driver in the explosion of touchpoints that marketers are grappling with. It’s important to focus the majority of their efforts on the touchpoints that they know will deliver brand equity that converts to sales, but to balance this with some experimentation on the newer digital touchpoints where consumers are spending time.”