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Asian digital marketers 'spray and pray'

News, 16 November 2015

SINGAPORE: Consumers across Asia are being bombarded with irrelevant emails from marketers according to research from Experian.

The data marketing firm surveyed 1,200 people across Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and China, and found that 70% complained that the emails they were getting from brands were not relevant, rising to 80% in Thailand.

While email was the worst offender in this regard, other digital channels were also failing to deliver relevancy, Mumbrella reported.

Almost six in ten (57%) social media users said they had received content from brands they followed that was not relevant to them, while a similar proportion (56%) of SMS users reported the same experience.

Social chat (49%) and apps (44%) fared better but there remains a lot of work to do here as well before consumers can feel happy about what they're receiving.

"Many businesses are not collecting the relevant data they need, so they cannot send out relevant content," explained Jermyn Toh, strategic marketing director, Southeast Asia, Experian.

They also need to consider whether they even need to be present in some of these channels. Only two in ten (21%) respondents liked to receive brand communications via app notifications, and three in ten (31%) via social chat apps.

It may not be the most exciting channel available but, despite the volume of irrelevant content in their inboxes, three quarters (76%) of Asian consumers preferred to be kept up to date via email. Social media was a top choice for 49% and SMS for 39%.

Experian also explored the user experience on the different marketing channels and found that for three – SMS, app and social chat – a majority of respondents felt that the content had simply been repeated from another platform or channel or was boring.

For email and social media, however, consumers were more likely to regard the content supplied as varied and tailored.

"The mentality among marketers seems to be, if I've finishing bugging you on email, I'll try to reach you in social media in the same way," said Patrick Sim, GM of Experian's marketing services division.

"They are thinking of the consumer in silos, but the consumer sees the brand as one voice."

Data sourced from Mumbrella; additional content by Warc staff