SINGAPORE: A majority of brand owners in Singapore are adapting their communications strategies to take advantage of new digital opportunities, research has revealed.

Experian, the information services firm, polled 302 marketing executives, and found 82% believed their brand messages were consistent across channels, reaching 87% for tech brands and 72% for retailers.

By contrast, a separate Experian survey of 1,048 shoppers showed that only 61% stated that corporations integrated their communications successfully.

Members of the business and public panels did agree that company websites were the most important sources of information for customers, posting 78% and 91% respectively.

The industry specialists placed social media in joint second position with search engines here, on 57%. For consumers, search yielded 75% and social media was on 73%.

One area of considerable difference between these groups was concerning print media, as just 28% of experts thought it was important, whereas 86% of shoppers took the same view.

Elsewhere, 53% of advertisers concurred it was now "more difficult to get messages across to the right people", while 81% were more "selective" upon choosing which channels to use.

Social media was regarded as an effective medium when it came to providing a tangible payback by 95% of businesses, ahead of online advertising on 89%, the top two on this metric.

However, 63% of firms had previously pursued a digital strategy which did not deliver the hoped for return on investment, rising to 74% for online and mobile companies, and 68% for financial services.

The primary reasons for this included the lack of understanding about the target audience on 26%, and a similar failing related to the channel itself on 23%.

Looking forward, 80% of brand owners said they expect to boost their social media spending, with 61% doing the same for internet ads, beating online video on 51% and email marketing with 50%.

A further 53% anticipated increasing their investment in traditional media, with around 38% planning to allocate this incremental expenditure to TV and radio.

"For companies to successfully select the right channels for the right audiences, a consultative culture must be fostered," said Graeme Beardsell, Experian Asia Pacific's chief customer development and marketing officer. "Consumers are looking to be engaged in dialogues that seek their opinion or response through their preferred channel."

Data sourced from Experian; additional content by Warc staff