SINGAPORE: Asian marketers take a long-term view of brand building, as a new report shows that they are more likely than those in the rest of the world to regard consumer engagement and brand health metrics as important KPIs, while placing less emphasis on factors such as revenue growth.

The findings emerged from research by brand positioning outfit Effective Brands, whose Marketing 2020 report was based on the views of more than 10,000 professionals across 92 countries.

Consumer engagement was regarded as the most reliable KPI among the Asian marketing community, with 49% putting it top, compared to a global average of 37%. Similarly, brand health was prioritised by 40% in Asia but by only 32% elsewhere.

And while marketing ROI was seen as important by 45% of marketers in Asia, they were less focused on it than others, as the global average was higher at 52%. Another significant point of difference was revenue growth, cited by 40% globally but by just 32% in Asia.

The report also threw up a contradiction in that Asian marketers appeared more inclined towards analytics but at the same time were more likely to feel that this stifled inventiveness.

Two thirds (65%) said their brand KPIs were linked to business performance (56% globally) while 45% had structures in place to track brand equity (39% globally). But 29% also said data and KPI-driven thinking was the enemy of creativity.

Nico Stouthart, Effective Brands managing director, attributed this attitude to "infobesity".

"Big data is hot but it is big insights that really matter," he told Campaign Asia Pacific. "When this is not organised in the right way, data can become 'too big', organisations will suffocate and not be able to translate it into insights, drive creativity and consumer engagement."

For the future, brand positioning was widely seen as a capability that would become increasingly important, cited by 72% of respondents. Others included consumer understanding and insights (69%) and segmentation (67%).

Then followed customer service (59%), pricing strategy (53%) and packaging and design (48%). Only 31% thought data mining and analytics would be more important five years from now.

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