SINGAPORE: Digital measurement in Singapore has a "long way to go" if it is to catch up with the standards set elsewhere, according to a new study.

IAB Singapore, the trade body, surveyed executives from brands, agencies and publishers in the country, as well as conducting in-depth discussions with several senior marketers.

When asked to assess the current state of digital measurement using a ten-point scale - where ten reflected the situation in the most advanced markets in this field - the average rating from the panel stood at just four points.

Additionally, only 28% of respondents were "happy" with existing practices, while 88% agreed the metrics now in use are either "somewhat effective" or "ineffective".

"Our interviewees felt that the relative infancy of digital marketing in Singapore, coupled with this backdrop of technological innovation, has led to a real lack of understanding and engagement with key digital measurement techniques across the market," the study said.

Numerous further issues were raised by contributors, with two in five complaining there are too many new-media metrics, serving as a disincentive to switch away from tried-and-tested strategies.

Elsewhere, exactly half of the survey cohort found it hard to secure accurate results from their digital tracking, which hinted at problems of "siloed data capture and lack of integration".

Also featured among the "whole host of challenges" cited by industry experts were connecting digital metrics to business objectives, and the absence of common currencies between new and traditional media.

Looking forward, the study asserted that handheld devices are of increasing importance, but simultaneously represent a source of anxiety for practitioners.

"In Singapore, there is clear agreement that the biggest gap that needs addressing in the near future is measurement on mobile," the report stated.

"The challenge of measuring mobile and consumer behavior across devices and touchpoints is a burning issue, as well as the walled gardens and barriers around demonstrating mobile ROI seem to be the likely contributor to why marketing spends on mobile continue to remain disproportionate to consumer time spent."

In tackling these issues, 64% of survey participants wanted benchmarks to provide some wider context for their marketing performance, while the same proportion are "looking for help" to better understand digital measurement.

Data sourced from IAB Singapore; additional content by Warc staff