Philippine brands prioritise content marketing, but lack new skills, says study

Content marketing is the new industry frontier in the Philippines, with brands placing the channel high in their priority list this year even as they admit that they lack skills and resources to effectively run campaigns themselves, a pioneering white paper showed.

Brands surveyed by content marketing network GetCRAFT named content marketing their third top priority in 2017, next only to earned and paid social media. This puts content marketing above the more traditional email marketing, paid search, and display ads.

Marketers’ interest in content marketing is likely explained by the fact that they deemed the channel among the most effective last year. Content marketing got an effectiveness score of 2.52 topped only by social media ads 4.43 and earned social media 4.39.

Almost three out of five brands, however, said gaps in skills and resources prevent them from effectively running content marketing campaigns. Other hurdles include budget restraint; lack of digital tools, absence of defined goals or strategies, and weak performance indicators.

A similar portion (57%) of the brands polled by GetCRAFT  also said it was unclear to them how digital marketing drives their business objectives. From that ratio, 35% had defined business objectives and digital strategies, while 22% had no clear goals at all.

The GetCRAFT white paper is the first report published on content marketing in the Philippines. It is based on a survey of 150 brands in major cities, including players in the FMCG, retail, technology, e-commerce, tourism, finance, energy, manufacturing, and other industries.

“Our findings highlight the need for brands to improve their competencies in using content marketing. Brands that pour funds into content marketing without bridging their skills gap risk wasting their investment,” GetCRAFT co-founder and group CEO, Patrick Searle said.

Lack of skills and resources might also explain why eight out of 10 brands polled said they used content marketing mostly for awareness, a practice which GetCRAFT said could limit gains from content marketing to the beginning of the consumer lifecycle.

“Besides creating brand awareness, content marketing can also help generate leads, nurture leads into actual clients, as well as engage and retain existing customers,” Searle explained.

GetCRAFT put the spotlight on the challenges faced by content marketing practitioners as it expects brands to spend more on digital marketing amid greater social media penetration, mobile phone dependence, and time spent watching videos.

The survey placed digital ad spend at 21.5% last year, but GetCRAFT projects that this number will grow on the back of expected improvements in the internet infrastructure, continuous dominance of mobile, and increase in knowledge among brands.

“As digital ad spend rises, so will pressure on marketers to demonstrate ROI. This requires a clear understanding of business objectives and the role digital efforts including content marketing play,” said Kate Delos Reyes, GetCRAFT Managing Director for the Philippines.