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Brands are finally prioritising customer experience over brand awareness

Brands in Singapore are placing social media at the heart of their strategy as they strive towards 360o customer engagement.

According to a study released today by global insights consultancy, TNS for its second annual Marketing Monitor study across Asia Pacific, the centrality of social media for marketers is now ranked as the top element guiding the planning process as well as the top metric used to measure the performance of campaigns.

The study also highlighted the top priority for marketing departments this year – customer relationship management.

The Marketing Monitor findings revealed that marketers’ sphere of activity has now broadened, as they concentrate on how to deliver the best overall customer experience, ahead of the traditional aim of increasing brand awareness.

To achieve this, businesses are using social media across a range of disciplines. For example, 53% of marketers are using social media for brand communications but in addition, 40% are using it to provide customer service. Social media appeared to be a big part of e-commerce strategy, with 42% using social media advertising and one in three (32%) using social media buy buttons.

Despite this approach to using social to support a variety of marketing goals, the results showed that businesses are not working as collaboratively as they could be, with only 39% of marketers partnering with customer service teams, one in three (30%) working with the digital team and a mere 16% working with the insights department.

Zoë Lawrence,  digital director, APAC for TNS said: “With marketers using social for a range of marketing objectives, it is important that they are offering a consistent, coherent experience to the customer. Brands need to strive to break down the silos in their organisations to ensure that they are realising the potential positive impact that an aligned, well-executed social strategy can deliver.”

The study also said businesses are using a variety of sources to inform their marketing strategy, however insights gathered through social media monitoring have finally overtaken more traditional metrics such as market share data and brand tracking to become the most popular component used by marketers.

The study said the top five metrics informing planning are

  1. Social media monitoring
  2. Market share data
  3. Brand tracking
  4. What the competition is doing
  5. Information from media agencies

These findings echoed the changes happening in consumer behaviour across the country. As people become more connected via digital channels, brands are focusing on how they can communicate with their customers in the online spaces where they are already spending time – ‘social’.

Lawrence added: It’s no secret that social has become an intrinsic part of our daily lives – 96% of connected consumers in Singapore use social networks, switching between Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as the top three channels. This mass adoption of social provides marketers with an array of sources when it comes to developing strategies and evaluating the effectiveness of their marketing activity.”

Lawrence said that as the digital ecosystem evolves, whatever the metric used, it’s important to ensure marketers are monitoring the indicators that contribute to sales.

APAC Singapore
Top five metrics informing planning
1.    Social media monitoring 1.    Social media monitoring
2.    Market share data 2.    Market share data
3.    Brand tracking 3.    Brand tracking
4.    What the competition is doing 4.    What the competition is doing
5.    Information from media agencies 5.    Information from media agencies
Top priority for marketing departments this year
1.    Customer relationship management 1.    Customer relationship management
2.    Increasing brand awareness 2.    Identifying and converting new sales opportunities
3.    Transforming the marketing organisation in the digital world 3.    Increasing brand awareness
4.    Deriving value from data to inform decisions 4.    Transforming the marketing organisation in the digital world
5.    Identifying and converting new sales opportunities 5.    Marketing automation and programmatic
How marketers are using social media
46%: Brand communications 53%: Brand communications
43%: Customer service 40%: Customer service
38%: Sales channel 36%: Sales channel
37%: Amplifying other marketing activity 36%: Providing insights to inform product development
36%: Providing insights to inform product development 33%: Amplifying other marketing activity
27%: Mining for customer intelligence  26%: Mining for customer intelligence
Social media and e-commerce
47%: Using social media advertising 42%: Using social media advertising
30%: Using social media buy buttons 32%: Using social media buy buttons
Departments marketers are collaborating with
46%: Customer service teams 39%: Customer service teams
39%: Business development teams 42%: Business development teams
33%: Wider sales team 30%: Digital team
30%: Digital team 26%: Wider sales team
16%: Insights team 16%: Insights team
Social media penetration
92% 96%
Top three social media platforms used daily
1.   WeChat Moments 1.   Facebook
2.   Facebook 2.   Instagram
3.   QQ Space 3.   Twitter

The Marketing Monitor study was carried out in July 2016 across 11 countries in Asia Pacific, comprising Australia China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.

 

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