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Asian marketers face data challenge

News, 31 August 2016

SINGAPORE: Across Asia, consumer preferences and behaviours regarding digital marketing channels vary widely depending on the particular stage of the purchase journey, according to a new study which also highlights concerns around data integrity.

The findings are detailed in a new report – The Digital Consumer View 2016 (Asia) – from information services business Experian, based on research and analysis by IDC of surveys with over 1,200 digital consumers in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and China.

This showed that SMS, for example, was most important in driving online-to-offline conversion in Indonesia (57%) while video ads and social media took equal top billing (23% each) in Hong Kong, a reflection of the current state of digital sophistication in each country.

Chat apps were most important in this regard in China (51%), while social media headed the list in Malaysia (44%) and Thailand (51%); email was preferred in Singapore (27%), Campaign Asia-Pacific reported.

Marketers need to consider carefully which channels will work best in which countries, the report advised, and to limit the volume of material they push out to consumers, with seven in ten or more in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia complaining of receiving too many messages.

It's not quite clear, however, how that can be the case in Indonesia where almost all consumers said they provided marketers with the wrong details, including name (93%), phone number (94%) and email address (95%). Or that behaviour may be a reaction to digital marketing overload.

If Indonesia was an extreme instance of the lack of data integrity, it was still the case that a significant number of consumers across the region were either knowingly or unknowingly providing inaccurate information, leading to errors in marketers' data sets.

For example, some 40% of consumers in China, and over 20% of consumers in the rest of the region, provided a wrong address at online checkout.

The challenge for marketers is not only to understand the distinct differences in consumers' digital behaviour across the region but also to ensure the reliability of the data they use to develop insights and plan campaigns.

Data sourced from Campaign Asia-Pacific; additional content by Warc staff