Clients face online shortfall

04 May 2012

HONG KONG: Advertisers often alienate consumers with poorly-targeted digital campaigns, research firm Experian has suggested.

According to a new survey conducted by the company, marketers' ineffective segmentation plans are helping to cause a significant disconnect between brands and consumers.

A majority of Hong Kong marketers (52%) believe it is becoming increasingly difficult to "cut through the noise" and reach consumers, who are using an increasingly diverse range of new media platforms.

At the same time, a similar number of the city's shoppers (47%) told the researchers that they have decided not to engage with at least four separate brands due to what they considered to be "poorly targeted" ads.

In all, 85% of marketers polled said they had developed a plan to target individual consumer cohorts, and 64% said this strategy was proving "effective".

But many also reported disappointing results from targeted campaigns, particularly those using digital. In all, 75% of marketers said they had invested in an online initiative that had failed to achieve the ROI targeted before launch.

When asked for the reasons behind this lack of success, 30% of respondents cited "poor" understanding of the channel.

Further, marketers were found to have underestimated their audience's engagement with traditional media. Just 39% of marketers cited print as a valued source of brand information, compared to 68% of consumers.

John Merakovsky, managing director at Experian's Asia Pacific marketing unit, said: "Marketers are working hard to ensure their messages are heard, but the research highlights that there is still huge room for improvement.

"The opportunity for marketers over the next year is to make their customer segmentation strategies more sophisticated, to create more tailored traditional and social campaigns to target the consume."

Despite the difficulties associated with online campaigns, a clear majority (65%) of marketers said they would raise their spend on social media ads over the next year. Just under half (49%) said the same about online advertising in general, while just 35% planned to raise TV spend.

Data sourced from Experian; additional content by Warc staff