According to “The Asia Pacific Marketing Monitor 2016” study by TNS, marketing departments in Asia Pacific are shifting focus and budget to social media. Nearly half (46 percent) of marketers are using social media monitoring to inform overall planning, more than any other source.
Marketers are almost equally as likely to use social media for brand communication (46 percent) as they are customer service (43 percent). It’s also being leveraged as a sales channel (38 percent) and to amplify other marketing activities (37 percent).
More than a third of surveyed marketers (38 percent) have paid for advertising on social media sites and 26 percent are leveraging social influencers through sponsorship deals.
As far as priorities, customer relationship management is number one for marketing departments in the Asia-Pacific region and it’s also a priority development area for 40 percent of marketing professionals. Other development areas identified by Asia-Pacific marketers include innovation and product development (36 percent), real-time marketing (36 percent) and social media analysis (34 percent).
With a growing focus on the customer journey, it follows that the data shows three of the 10 most important customer touchpoints are related to customer service and customer experience: social media customer service, interactions with in-store staff and online customer service channels.
“As the digital ecosystem evolves, we will continue to identify new ways to build insights,” Zoë Lawrence, APAC digital director for TNS, told Campaign Asia. “However, whatever the metric used, it’s important to ensure marketers are monitoring the indicators that contribute to sales.”
One of the areas where marketers may be falling short is online video. According to the study, online video is an important element to marketing; 95 percent of connected consumers in Asia Pacific are now watching free video content online with the majority watching videos weekly. However, only 18 percent of marketers are devoting budget to online video.
TNS surveyed 2,250 marketing professionals across all levels in 11 key markets in Asia Pacific, including Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
Investment in Social Media Advertising Growing
A recent iResearch study, “China’s Innovative Social Networking Marketing Report,” found the social media revenue of China’s social networking advertising was 13.82 billion yuan (approximately US $2.07 billion) in 2015 and projects revenues to reach 40 billion yuan (US $6 billion) by 2018.
The study points to the social networks’ large base as a tool for marketers to reach and engage targeted groups, interests and demographics.
The data showed the number of Chinese users logging into social networks on their mobile devices has been steadily growing over the past year. There were more than 346 million monthly active users via mobile as of March 2016 and 458 million desktop users.