HONG KONG: Asia's online marketers are frustrated by the lack of systems available to measure the investment returns of their campaigns, a new report has suggested.

The Asia Digital Marketing Association (ADMA) has released the results of roundtable talks with agencies and clients it moderated in Hong Kong and Singapore. These showed agencies and clients shifting focus away from soft metrics for digital campaign effectiveness such as Facebook "likes" and towards hard data such as sales results.

The roundtable participants defined Return on Investment (ROI) metrics as including a company's Net Promoter Score, database building, lead generation and customer engagement metrics.

"Marketers focused on the importance of ROI and voiced frustrations that measurement systems are not yet in place to effectively track their business KPIs," ADMA said in the report.

Other problems identified by agencies included "a disconnect between what clients say they want in their creative and media briefs, and the business results they increasingly expect their agencies to generate".

Both Asian cities lag behind rivals in terms of clients' willingness to spend on digital. Just 6% of overall adspend in both Hong Kong and Singapore goes on digital, compared to 25% in the UK.

"The question isn't whether to go digital or not," one participant in ADMA's round table talks said. "Instead, we require an altogether new marketing model to replace the old, broken one."

ADMA's findings chime with a recent study by AdAge's sibling publication, BtoB, which found that "While 93% of marketers are engaged to some extent in social media marketing, 75% have no ROI attribution program in place to measure its effect".

Data sourced from Asia Digital Marketing Association and AdAge; additional content by Warc staff