Gabey Goh
Nov 12, 2015

Asian consumers still find marketing content irrelevant: Experian

SINGAPORE - Personalised mail reaches 74 percent of Asian consumers, but 70 percent find the content irrelevant, according to a study by Experian Marketing Services Asia Pacific.

Patrick Sim
Patrick Sim

The latest Digital Consumer View 2015 (Asia) report found that despite marketers being aware of the need for personalised data, personalisation does not necessarily equate to relevant content.

Patrick Sim, general manager of Experian Marketing Services for South East Asia, said the marketing industry is at an interesting turning point, as consumers are increasingly empowered by social media and mobile technology.

“The new generation of digital consumers today access information on their own terms, expecting it to be current, relevant as well as device and platform compatible,” he added. “This has forced marketers to rethink their engagement strategies when it comes to achieving a single customer view.”

The study takes a closer look into the digital consumer landscape in Asia and highlights the pressing and immediate need for businesses and marketers to re-examine their approach to engaging with consumers.

In order to improve the business bottom-line by increasing the effectiveness of their marketing spend, business need to improve their understanding of consumers’ preferences and behaviour when it comes to channels, devices and content.

Sim said that businesses need to move away from a one-size fits all approach.

“They need to focus on content relevancy and accurate targeting efforts or risk seeing constant missed opportunities, ultimately impacting a company’s business growth,” he added.

Top line findings of Asian consumers from the study:

  • Smartphone usage dominates across Asia, with 88 percent using their smartphone most or all of the time. Consumers often or very often use their smartphones for social chat apps (83 percent) and surfing the internet (77 percent).
  • Across Asia, email was identified as the best performing channel for driving a purchase (64 percent) followed by social media (53 percent).
  • The majority of consumers receive personalised content via email (74 percent), social media (69 percent) and SMS (69 percent) but find the content on email (70 percent), social media (57 percent) and SMS (56 percent) irrelevant.
  • The accuracy and messaging on integrated content can be improved across channels with 29 to 44 percent of respondents reporting they receive conflicting messages depending on the channels such as email, SMS and apps.
  • Asian consumers are happy or very happy to receive offers based on their purchase history (59 percent).


Consumers spend the most time on their smartphones

With nearly all respondents (98 percent) in Asia owning a smartphone and 88 percent choosing to use the device most or all of the time, the smartphone is the device of choice in Asia, making it a channel that cannot be ignored by businesses seeking to reach consumers in Asia. Consumers in China are the most prolific users; 94 percent use their smartphone all the time.

Consumers are also buying more on the move, with 91 percent of them having shopped at least once on their smartphones. This means that a robust mobile strategy would have a direct impact on business revenues.

Email is best performing avenue despite challenges

Email on mobile is the best way to reach out to the digital consumer. Across Asia, mobile is the most popular platform for opening emails (68 percent).

At the same time, the best performing channel for driving a purchase is also email. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents have purchased something as a result of promotional content they received via email.

This is followed by social media at 53 percent Asia-wide but especially in Thailand (65 percent), Indonesia (63 percent) and Malaysia (62 percent). Content from SMS and social chat apps like Line and WeChat are also largely successful in driving purchases (both 39 percent).

Surprisingly, despite being highly connected, consumers in Singapore were found to be the least responsive to marketing content across channels such as social chat (19 percent) and mobile applications (27 percent), while email remains as a key driver for purchase (60 percent).

Opportunities abound for businesses

With only 10 percent of respondents indicating that they do not wish to receive any promotion content, there is still a huge opportunity for marketers to reach out to consumers. The need for mobile responsive mails, content marketing and placement is greater than ever against today’s increasingly crowded digital space.

Key to this would be the refinement of personalisation strategies across devices and channel with more than half of the respondents showing positive sentiments towards receiving content based on their purchase history (59 percent), delivery options (57 percent), and recently viewed history (55 percent).

Sim said while most companies recognise the benefits of a multi-channel and multi-touch point approach, the challenge is to provide content that is sufficiently interesting and relevant to the audience.

“Businesses and marketers need to relook at their marketing strategies to ensure sufficient engagement occurs across key channels without sacrificing consistency and cohesion in their messages,” he added.


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