SINGAPORE: Marketers in Asia-Pacific need to escape the tyranny of numbers that has resulted from the growth of digital, a leading industry figure has said.

Tripti Lochan, CEO of marketing agency VML Southeast Asia and India, told ExchangeWire that there were other ways of measuring the success of a campaign than the digital touchpoint figures typically advanced by the industry.

"We have boxed ourselves into a space where we're cannibalising ourselves when, [in reality], nobody lives only in the offline world or only in the online world," she said.

Consumers may well make a purchase in store as a result of seeing an online ad. That sort of correlation is not at all well-established but is an area that FMCG companies, for example, would like to see developed.

"Digital agencies are so caught up in measuring themselves that we're not connecting that properly the way we should", Lochan said. "Today, digital agencies [shouldn't be] about digital marketing. It's about [building] an experience."

She acknowledged, however, that agencies themselves were partly to blame for this state of affairs, having extolled the measurement capabilities of digital to advertisers. And agencies will have to work to change the prevailing attitudes that set such store by raw numbers.

"As agencies, we need to get out of this [mindset] and say it's about the long-term engagement with your consumers," Lochan declared.

"And this won't happen with one campaign, but over a period of time, and we need to partner well to get that longevity," she added.

If advertisers stand to benefit from such an approach, so too do agencies. "Because we have made this numbers-driven measurement into such a big thing, our services are getting commoditised," Lochan warned.

Data sourced from ExchangeWire; additional content by Warc staff