79% of businesses believe their brands should be more active on digital platforms, yet 70% are unable to integrate multiple data sources – such as social media, blogs, website traffic and search data - leaving them unsure what action to take 

18 August 2015 – Businesses in Asia Pacific have never had so much data at their disposal but new research from Kantar TNS reveals that many are failing to use the information to help them make informed decisions. According to the Kantar TNS Marketing Monitor, a survey of over 2,700 marketing professionals across Asia Pacific, the volume and variety of data is obscuring valuable insights and making it harder for businesses to use it to their advantage.

Businesses across the region are investing more in data-driven digital platforms and tracking systems to help them understand the challenging online landscape. Much of this data comes into the marketing department, with one in three marketers (34%) now managing real-time data as part of their role.

However, almost three quarters (70%) of marketers admit that they find it difficult to integrate data from different sources. With so much data available, marketers know they should be able to make decisions in real-time, but many are struggling to integrate traditional and digital measurements.

According to Nitin Nishandar, Managing Director of Brand & Communications, Asia Pacific, Kantar TNS, many South Korean businesses are overwhelmed by the volume of data. “Instead of being daunted by the challenge, marketers should see this as a golden opportunity to leverage the data to build a fast-paced, real-time marketing function.”

Because of the difficulties with real-time data, many marketers are falling back on traditional measurements. According to the survey, sales uplift metrics are still used as the number one way of evaluating the success of marketing campaigns. Despite their importance, these metrics are retrospective and do not empower businesses to track the ongoing reception of campaigns, react to live issues and make the changes that could nudge their marketing activity in a more favourable direction.

In addition, current market research methods are not helping marketers make quick and informed decisions. Analysis is viewed as ‘not actionable enough’ (68%) and ‘too slow’ (66%) to be of use, according to the marketers surveyed across the region.

Nitin Nishandar, Managing Director of Brand & Communications, Asia Pacific, Kantar TNS, explains: “The difficulties in extracting valuable insight from data means that marketers have a rear-view mirror approach, only understanding their performance and brand equity weeks or even months afterwards. Real-time data needs to deliver real-time value -otherwise it’s just distracting noise.”

Some countries are further ahead than others in integrating insights from digital channels. Singapore is leading the way, with 55% of marketers using social media monitoring when making marketing decisions, with Malaysia closely behind at 50%. Despite having some of the most advanced social media platforms in the world, China is lagging behind, with only one in three (30%) monitoring this data.

Countries using social media monitoring to inform decisions

  1. Singapore – 55%
  2. Malaysia – 50%
  3. Thailand – 46%
  4. South Korea – 45%
  5. Indonesia – 43%
  6. Australia – 43%
  7. India – 42%
  8. China - 30%

Tapping into digital data has the potential to unlock future opportunities for those businesses that can leverage it. The survey highlighted that two out of three marketers (67%) are frustrated with the lack of predictive insight provided by traditional market research. New methods are showing that digital data, when integrated correctly, can not only help make real-time decisions, but can also predict brand equity.

Nitin continues: “As the pace of change accelerates across the region, we need to start using data to gaze into the future, not just measure the here and now. Tracking social and search data to form the basis of a predictive spine delivers insight months ahead of survey data or sales figures. This gives marketers the power to anticipate changes to brand equity in time to actually do something about it. In such a volatile environment, having a telescopic view into the future is an invaluable competitive advantage, and one that businesses can’t afford to overlook.”


-      ENDS -

Notes to editors

About the survey

Kantar TNS Marketing Monitor is based on research carried out by On Device and undertaken across all markets in July 2015. Research is based on responses from 2,716 marketing professionals across eight markets in Asia Pacific:

Australia: 177
China: 463
India: 533
Indonesia: 236
Malaysia: 224
South Korea: 319
Singapore: 220
Thailand: 427

About Kantar TNS

Kantar TNS advises clients on specific growth strategies around new market entry, innovation, brand switching and customer and employee relationships, based on long-established expertise and market-leading solutions. With a presence in over 80 countries, Kantar TNS has more conversations with the world’s consumers than anyone else and understands individual human behaviours and attitudes across every cultural, economic and political region of the world.

Kantar TNS is part of Kantar, the data investment management division of WPP and one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups. Please visit Kantar TNS for more information.

About Kantar

Kantar is the data investment management division of WPP and one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups. By connecting the diverse talents of its 12 specialist companies, the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and inspirational insights for the global business community. Its 27,000 employees work across 100 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at every point of the consumer cycle. The group’s services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies. For further information, please visit us at Kantar.