SINGAPORE: Brands must not fall into the trap of thinking integrated marketing and digital marketing are the same thing – each requires a different approach, a top regional brand marketer has said.

Rahul Asthana, Regional Marketing Director for Baby & Child Care, Digital & e-Commerce at Kimberly-Clark Asia-Pacific, addressed this subject at the Digital Marketing World Forum 2016 in Singapore.

Many brands in Asia are rethinking their marketing strategies as a proliferation of new platforms and the fast growth of digital requires consistent branding across more touchpoints than ever.

And Asthana stated that integrated marketing which includes both digital and traditional touchpoints is critical. (For more, including how a campaign combined brand values and technology, read Warc's report: How 'Huggies Momentcam' changed Kimberly-Clark's integrated marketing in Asia.)

Asia's marketers should also draw on their own buying experiences to better understand integrated marketing strategies, Asthana suggested. In 2016, customers research products across a variety of different mediums, online and offline, and brands must respond accordingly.

Brands should also avoid lumping consumers by age demographics, and target Asia's shoppers at a much more granular level. "We strongly believe in a customer-centric approach," said Asthana.

"We really need to understand the customer or the user as an individual. Gone are the days when we used to define the consumer as a 25–45 (demographic)… that might be useful in some context, but you really want to speak to an individual," he said.

Asthana also revealed that CRM is central to the company's marketing efforts, allowing Kimberly-Clark brands to target shoppers at a one-to-one level and integrate marketing outreach across multiple platforms in a much more efficient way.

But he added that company culture was crucial. "Are you building a culture where marketing is different from digital marketing, or where sales is different from marketing?" he asked.

Data sourced from Warc