To get media right in Asia Pacific the industry needs to come together

In a world of ever-multiplying channels and touchpoints, marketers are diversifying their media allocations. However, this means it’s getting harder to understand the overarching impact of their media activity.

According to the results of the latest Getting Media Right report from Kantar Millward Brown, marketers are concerned with their current ability to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. The report, which is based on interviews with media experts and marketers globally, found that measuring digital activity was understandably a key issue for many, but the ability to understand cross-channel activity was the core stumbling blocks holding them back.

Aligning metrics across channels

Marketers in APAC had some of the biggest concerns when it came to measurement, with 84% saying that they believed they had a gap in their cross-channel measurement needs. One of the reasons behind this gap is the fact that there is little alignment on which metrics to use across the industry. The marketers we spoke to for the Getting Media Right report confirmed that while they mainly use reach and frequency for TV, online metrics focused on ROI or sales figures and with mobile, they preferred behavioural metrics.

It’s clear that the discrepancy in metrics is causing a real headache for marketers – something the industry needs to come together to solve. There are movements in this direction: iab published Connecting the Dots earlier this year, providing best practises for marketers and brands looking to create more robust measurement frameworks and processes. Steps are being taken on a local level here in Asia. The Digital Measurement Board in the Philippines is working to create a digital standard to align conflicting metrics.

However marketers are still far from satisfied. Proving return on investment is still their biggest challenge, as only 21% in APAC feel confident to measure cross-channel ROI. In an age of shrinking marketing budgets this is critical. Over four in five (83%) of marketers declared that they would increase cross-channel investment is they could actually measure the return of that investment.

Human insights into the data

The need to identify the metrics that matter in a vast sea of data was another trend that came through strong from the research. Marketers understand the advantage that can be gained from using big data, however the problem is that the amount of data is often too overwhelming to make sense of. Despite advanced ways of using this data to power campaigns such has programmatic marketing and segmentation, 81% of marketers in the region claimed that they needed more ‘human insights’ to help them navigate the data available to them and make informed decisions.

But who do marketers turn to for direction? The need to work with reputable partners in this space was also apparent. Trust was a key factor for marketers choosing a data provider. With so much uncertainly, they are cautiously opting to work with partners they have worked with before.

Getting it right

In an age of media diversification, it’s clear that marketers cannot get media right alone. The industry needs to come together – brands, agencies and publishers - to identify a holistic way of measuring cross-channel performance. Alignment on the metrics that matter will give marketers the confidence to optimise their campaigns in real time, based on real-time measurements, there are very interesting initiatives globally and in APAC, but still is a long way to go. And finally, trusted partners need to provide human insight and interpretation of these metrics to help marketers navigate the data out there so that they can make better decisions about where to invest their budget.

Pablo Gomez is head of media, APAC at Kantar Millward Brown.

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