SINGAPORE: Asian marketers see the development of creative marketing solutions as a priority for the year ahead, just as they did last year when few felt they had achieved that aim, according to new research.

Campaign Asia-Pacific's 2015 Marketers' Outlook surveyed brand marketers across ten countries – China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam – and found that marketing solutions were seen as more important than other areas such as measuring campaign effectiveness or understanding the target audience.

Some 58% planned to focus on developing creative marketing solutions in 2015 and 53% were looking to make those solutions more data-driven.

This was an increase on 2014 when 52% had signalled this area as a priority. But only one in three (34%) thought they had managed to actually produce relevant and effective work.

Priorities were not uniform across the region however: South Asian marketers were more concerned with developing a better understanding of their target audiences (63%) while those in India were looking to target more data-driven solutions (71%).

More generally, respondents expressed a cautious view of the year ahead, with the proportion having a better, or much better, outlook for their brands slipping back from 61% in 2014 to 56% in 2015.

And a similar trend was evident in the outlook for their industry generally, with the equivalent figures dipping from 42% in 2014 to 39% in 2015.

Less than half (47%) expected to see an increase in brand investment and just 39% expected media spend to rise.

At the same time, however, just over half (51%) expected budgets to increase, with social media and mobile the channels most likely to benefit.

The survey revealed that 61% of marketers would be either starting social media marketing or investing more than last year, with the comparable figure for mobile marketing only marginally less at 60%.

These two were also seen as being the most effective mediums over the next three years, although work remains to be done to fully integrate these with more traditional campaigns.

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