Marketing leaders are taking on broader strategic responsibility, expanding the remit of marketing from the already-reasonable burden of brand stewardship and customer experience to encompass business growth overall.
The knock-on effect? Changes to metrics and decision-making frameworks, with data integration and analytics to measure impact becoming the new essentials.
We recently conducted qualitative and quantitative research with more than 1,000 marketers in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and India to find out how they’re responding to the new growth mandate, the challenges they’re facing with data integration and analysis, and their solutions.
The full results are published in the Marketing Intelligence Report Asia-Pacific – here are the highlights.
“The ultimate challenge is demonstrating results in the short-term and setting up at the same time for those longer-term results … let’s call it equity versus performance. With such a high degree of measurability across channels today, the business is always looking for ROI ... there is constant pressure to be delivering results, every quarter.”
Approaches to ‘growth marketing’, however, vary greatly, with 54% marketers saying they think of driving growth and efficiency as a long-term play that builds equity and loyalty; 11% looking for short-term gains including increased sales, acquisition and retention; and the remaining third describing a mix of long- and short-term goals.
Time periods aside, the top growth-related sales initiative for marketers across APAC is connected customer experience across marketing, sales and service, making the top barrier – misalignment across teams on measurement and reporting – essential to overcome.
Many of the barriers APAC marketers identify to effective growth marketing stem from inadequate cross-channel activity and performance measurement.
The average APAC marketer is managing 7.4 marketing channels. A third experience challenges unifying data from different sources, and 64% spend a week each month – or more – doing this.
“Data integration is critical, but many businesses are still travelling this roadmap!”
Data-driven customer engagement and personalisation at scale drive increased lifetime value and assist in immediately boosting ROI – presenting a straightforward ‘growth marketing’ opportunity for the 71% of marketers in APAC who are still integrating data manually.
Data accuracy – rated the most important factor for marketing performance – is fundamental to effective analysis and optimisation. It must be solved first if any other challenges are to be addressed with impact
Other challenges include sharing and collaborating on data analysis, and connecting marketing investments to business outcomes – more than a third of marketers face each of these.
“It is important to get back to the business’ goals. What is the business trying to achieve? Does the data help us get there? If not, what data do we need and how do we need to make it work for us?”
Marketers are optimistic – 66% say they’ve made excellent progress in gaining executive support, 64% rate the progress on aligning KPIs across teams, regions and partners excellent.
Still, there are three underlying issues with marketers’ data practices:
54% don’t have access to real-time reporting or daily reports.
68% don’t have fully automated cross-channel reporting.
40% operate in silos, measuring performance independently within each of their tools or relying on spreadsheets.
“Driving this increased automation of marketing will be about removing barriers around staff knowledge, creating scale, demonstrating the benefits – getting people to want to be on the same platform.”
In the data revolution, tools and processes are vital – but so is a data culture. People need enablement, and they need to be part of a culture that shapes decisions and actions around data insights at every level, that gathers and manages the right data mapped to desired outcomes – now and for the future – and that prioritises the democratisation of real-time data so that it is not locked up in the IT department.
Find out more about how marketers are using data to fuel growth marketing. Download the Marketing Intelligence Report Asia-Pacific.