SINGAPORE: Twitter, the messaging service, believes the relatively undeveloped state of social data and analytics in Asia-Pacific means it can offer added value to brands and agencies in the region.

Ben Truscello, Head of Global Brands and Agencies at Twitter Data, outlined the company's approach in an interview with Campaign Asia alongside his colleague, Scott Hendrickson, Twitter's Global Director of Data Services.

"Seeing Twitter as an advertising platform and way to reach new customers is very obvious," Truscello said. "There's increased interest in data, and even though we have some global corporations with operations here, the unique nature of their interest in Twitter data is very specific to APAC."

He said that is largely because – outside well-developed analytics markets, such as Singapore – access to third-party data is very limited in the region.

"That really doesn't exist in APAC. Twitter Data can help brands understand the kinds of things their customers care about, when they don’t have access to that kind of data already," he explained.

Hendrickson provided an example of how use of Twitter data helped Unilever to target sales of its Ben & Jerry's ice cream brand.

The consumer products group had been exploring pricing analytics, but said Hendrickson, after it added data from Twitter, Unilever found that consumers were talking about buying ice cream in preparation for rainy weekends.

"It was really counter-intuitive," he said. "But Unilever found a market they hadn't tapped into, that of people buying comfort or entertainment food in preparation for a rainy weekend. It shifted Unilever's digital marketing strategy on Thursdays and Fridays."

Discovery Networks is another leading brand in APAC to have teamed up with Twitter to tap its data capabilities and Winradit Kolasastraseni, the company's SVP for Innovation in APAC, said he believed data could help to deepen understanding of consumer trends.

"Social data can provide us with valuable insights and analysis of rapidly changing consumption patterns and preferences of our evolving consumer base," he said.

Data sourced from Campaign Asia; additional content by Warc staff