Singapore company stakeholders uninterested in digital

A new Adobe study found that company stakeholders, lines of businesses as well as channel partners and sales teams continue to be strong advocates for digital marketing with more calling for increased digital spend across Asia Pacific. However, Singapore is an outlier in this front.

Since 2012, the number of lines of businesses who are calling for increased investment in digital has increased from 15% to 25% in 2014. But in Singapore, lines of businesses as well as channel partners and sales teams are the least interested in pushing for digital programs in 2014. This could be because leadership teams are not convinced of the ROI of digital marketing.

Despite the lack of interest and confidence from stakeholders however, the good news is that leadership teams in Singapore are the most receptive (46% SG vs 31% APAC) to piloting and testing new digital channels and programs.

“The results are extremely interesting for us because they show that the lack of interest and confidence is not based on an outright rejection of digital marketing. It is more likely that stakeholders do not have a good understanding of digital and what it can be used for,” said Stephen Hamill, managing director Adobe Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, countries with strong support for digital marketing from senior executives are moving to leadership positions. In Australia, chief marketing executive ownership is at 54% in 2014, followed by India (42%), Hong Kong (40.6%), Korea (39%) and Singapore (37%).  Having a strong digital champion within the leadership team remained steady across the region at 38% between 2012 and 2014; however, Australia is pulling away with 62% in 2014, followed by Hong Kong (46%), Singapore (41%) and India (39%).

Marketers also need to leap ahead by using data to enrich and guide the customer journey, not just reporting on KPIs or implementing a piecemeal approach. Hamill, added that there needed to be a shift in thinking in the region.

In Singapore specifically, more needs to be done to prove the value of digital marketing investment. For brands that do not have e-commerce channels, it's hard to directly link revenues to campaigns as there's a gap in the fulfillment process. Hence, there may be a difficulty in convincing stakeholders based on proving financial ROI alone.

“This means marketers have to be more strategic in showing value. Unfortunately, of the Singapore marketers surveyed, half are using data to merely report KPIs or are not doing anything with it at all. A mindset change is needed, where marketers need to look at data at every point along their campaigns and use the insights to generate improvement for their activities – this is especially critical in a fast-paced market like Singapore where informed business decisions need to be made swiftly,” said Hamill.

This is not a problem plaguing just the Singaporean marketers. Marketers in countries Australia and India are also using analytics and reporting technologies but without truly taking advantage of the huge amounts of data they are collecting.

“Few see leveraging data as a competitive advantage, whereas globally, advancing the customer experience with deep personalization and smart adaptive engagements is driving revenue gains and measurable advantage”, said Miller.

The third annual APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard was conducted by the CMO Council in partnership with Adobe. It included a six-month in-field program comprising quantitative surveys with over 800 marketing executives. The study benchmarked the levels of adoption, traction and success of digital marketing in Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and India. Senior marketers within the Asia Pacific region from a range of industries took part, with 44% holding a title of vice president or higher.