Southeast Asia "fallen behind" when measuring digital campaigns

Only 28 per cent of survey respondents happy with how campaigns are measured and half say it's difficult to get accurate stats

ranked the sophistication of digital measurement at 4 out of 10
ranked the sophistication of digital measurement at 4 out of 10

SINGAPORE - According to new research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) marketers in Singapore are unhappy with the level of digital measurement, despite the launch of several new measurement systems in recent months.

Given the high penetration of smartphone usage in the market and mobile being the key channel for first-time access to digital content for most of emerging Southeast Asia, marketers cited this as a top concern. However, despite the development of technologies and standards to better understand mobile tracking, brands say there hasn’t been a huge amount of traction in the space.

The IAB Singapore’s State of Digital Measurement study combined data from 25 in-depth interviews of leaders in the Singapore digital-marketing industry with a quantitative online survey of 50 senior marketing professionals from brands, publishers and agencies.

Marketers gave the sophistication of measurement a 4 out of 10, with 10 being on-par with the most advanced markets. Further, only 28 per cent said they were happy with how campaigns were measured by their companies, and as many as 88 per cent stated that current metrics are only somewhat effective or ineffective.

IAB puts this down in part to the availability of too many metrics. For example, just last month, Nielsen announced its flagship digital advertising measurement solution, Digital Ad Ratings, in seven markets across Asia including Singapore. Two in five executives in the IAB research said the overabundance of metrics leads to a reluctance to deviate from the traditional channels they know and understand.

Half the respondents said that it is difficult to get accurate results from digital measurement. This possibly reflects issues with siloed data capture and lack of integration of existing data sources, which exacerbates the challenge in achieving internal consistency across channels, IAB said. 

"Digital marketing is still relatively new in this region and with technology evolving as rapidly as it is, we’ve unfortunately fallen a little behind in tracking and measuring our efforts," said Peter Hubert, head of insights for APAC, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, and co-chair of the IAB Singapore Measurement and Standards Committee. "This needs to change if we are to prove the value of digital in the boardroom. It is the medium of the now and the future, afterall."

The study also shows a lack of certain resources, such as case studies specific to Singapore and Southeast Asia, benchmarks to provide context and gauge success, and support to gain a better understanding of measurement and metrics, all of which would help narrow the digital spending gap.

This article first appeared at Campaign Asia

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