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Study: 47% consider digital marketing the biggest way to capture attention

Study: 47% consider digital marketing the biggest way to capture attention

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Asia based marketing communications professionals believe the region is flourishing and are increasingly focusing their efforts on digital campaigns. In fact, 78% are positive about their ability to capture and grow opportunities for their business clients and nearly half (48%) believe the marcom industry in Asia is established and thriving. 

However, over-measuring marcom return of investment (ROI) and a lack of skills in more technical digital areas remain a concern. 

This is according to Aspectus Group's latest survey on the state of the marcom industry in Asia which drew from insights from leading marcom experts in the region.

Don't miss: 10 APAC trends marketers should know to stay ahead of the curve in 2024 

“The marcom space in Asia is thriving. The confidence and optimism among respondents are crucial to encourage growth and secure investments for marcoms activities," said Koh Juat May, president of the Institute of Public Relations of Singapore

"Asia is unique and what is clear is the most successful marcom team is one that embraces cultural diversity and understands the sensitivities that work on the ground – and displays this through their marketing campaigns.”

In a digital first world, nearly half of all respondents (47%) view digital marketing as the biggest opportunity to capture market share. 16% voted for strategic communications, while another 16% voted for branding and messaging. 

Interestingly, when it comes to Gen Z respondents, 83% view digital marketing as the single biggest way to obtain audience cut-through.

When asked what their most important communication channels are –social media (90%) platforms and online media - such as digital ads - (87%) came out on top. This is ahead of traditional media (43%) and events and conferences (37%).

Aspectus Group also found that the age-old perception of marketing's value and intrinsic relationship to the sales pipeline still rings true in Asia. 72% of respondents said they face the expectation of immediate monetary returns. In a digital world, this means quantifiable outcomes are expected more than ever. 

"Any marcom specialist will know that demonstrating results that go towards the sales pipeline has never been more important – and more demanded – by key stakeholders," said Louise Veitch, head of Southeast Asia, Aspectus. 

According to the survey, 51% of respondents said that they experience an undervalued perception of the marcom function, while 42% said that there is a lack of understanding of the ROI that marcom can provide.

"What often goes overlooked however, is the ability of an omnichannel campaign to show exactly what has been achieved," continued Veitch. 

"Everyone knows that earned media or PR drives brand recognition and encourages sales conversion, but it’s often hard to show evidence. By combining stories into wider digital marketing campaigns – marketers across Asia will have something more tangible to show.”

When it comes to global companies seeking to grow market share in Asia, 92% of respondents said that on-the-ground representation in Asia is vital.  

In addition, 70% said that failure to understand local dynamics is the biggest issue in achieving success. Meanwhile, cultural and language differences (35%) can be a major drawback to success in Asia, said the survey.  

Depiction of Asian communities have always been a challenge, especially for global companies. 

The APAC region is home to more than half of the world’s population, making it a critical player in media and advertising. However, the "Asian" experience is very often misrepresented, perpetuating possibly harmful stereotypes that can lead to gaps in the world’s understanding of the region.

In fact, less than 10% of most popular visuals for Australasia, Japan, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan accurately represent Asian people and their lived experiences, according to a 2023 report by Getty Images. 

Instead, most used imagery tends to lean heavily towards perpetuating common stereotypes: depicting Asians as youthful, slender, possessing lighter skin tones, and predominantly portrayed in work‑related contexts. Furthermore, popular visuals remain similar in their underlying messages, styling, and emotion: often overly happy, and with little to no connection to each culture.

Related articles: 
How can APAC marketers maximise their social spend in 2024? 

Study: APAC ad revenues to grow by 6% to US$304bn in 2024

10 digital marketing trends marketers need to look out for in 2024 

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