Precision marketing: Where are marketers parking their dollars?

Facebook (60%), Google (43%) and mobile (42%) have come out as the top three platforms where advertisers across the Asia Pacific region will be allocating their marketing spends in the next six months, according to Nielsen's "A Digital Giant Awakens" report.

Investments in precision marketing, which enables personalised connections with consumers by understanding who they are at scale and getting intimate with their path to purchase, are expected to increase in the next 12 months, from 14% of marketing budgets to about 19%. This will go beyond social, search and mobile toward newer applications. Meanwhile, investments in advanced applications are increasingly gaining pace, particularly for data-science/modelling (36%), high-quality third party data (32%) and analytics to measure ROI (28%).

Currently, top applications of precision marketing include understanding the consumer journey more clearly (71%), enabling personalised communications for consumers (61%) and profiling consumers to understand them more holistically (53%).

According to the report, data management platforms (DMPs) are pivotal technology enablers for advertisers to successfully implement precision marketing in their overall strategy.

If deployed well, Nielsen's report said DMPs can be "game changing" as they allow marketers to understand and profile consumers more intimately, connect with them where they are most receptive with personalised messaging and understand what worked and what did not each time to limit media waste.

In Asia, however, the DMP opportunity still has a long way to go, said the report, as some of the more progressive advertisers have only started experimenting with this technology in the last three to five years. This is due to their experiences in Western markets. While advertisers find the technology to be critical to the success of precision marketing in the region, only some acknowledge that they fully understand it, few believe DMPs work, and even fewer are currently invested in this space.

When selecting a DMP platform, advertisers listed analytics and data science prowess (59%) as the most important factor, followed by by servicing support grounded in a strong understanding of the digital space (54%). The ease of implementation (46%), ability to demonstrate ROI (46%) and affordability (41%) were among the top five factors.


Three key factors in accelerating precision marketing

Marketers believe that higher quality and reliability of data (65%) will help accelerate the progress for precision marketing.

According to the report, much of the data in the region today is either sourced from data aggregators, where questions remain on sourcing and skepticism remain on privacy compliance. While good-quality data is available in pockets, there is still lots of opportunity around transaction-based and buyer-graphic datasets, Nielsen said.

Marketers also asked for clearer demonstration of ROI (53%), which is something all data and technology vendors will need to pay special attention to since budgets will continue to remain small.  Finally, marketers also seek more education and understanding in the space (48%). Nielsen said that agency, technology, data and analytic partners can play an enabling role here.

With advancements in technology and popularity of digital media, Ranjeet Laungani, managing director, media, North Asia, Nielsen said there is tremendous headroom for growth in precision marketing across Asia Pacific.

“Precision marketing is capable of driving marketing applications out of predictive analytics and forecasting results and it is strongly recommended for advertisers to consider in their repertoire of new-age tools," Laungani added.

Laungani explained that the precision marketing space is "under-invested" but broadening expert ecosystems, presence of higher quality datasets, and presenting more success stories will drive up confidence and adoption in the industry. The void in awareness and education can be filled by agencies, media owners and advertisers by maintaining an eye on the long-term and short-term potential of precision marketing,” Laungani said.

The survey ran from 21 November 2018 to 1 February 2019 across APAC countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Hong Kong. A total of 81 respondents offered insights.

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