Not all consumers are made the same; and this is certainly true, even within markets in the Asia-Pacific region, making the art of marketing challenging. However, the volume of mobile data generated today has helped brands make smarter decisions about who they’re targeting and how they’re doing so, writes Nandita Pal, Near’s Southeast Asia and Hong Kong general manager. In this industry byliner, Pal highlights five things marketers in the region need to keep in mind when they embark on their data-driven ad campaigns.
Media planning has become a bigger challenge as marketers and agencies become more sophisticated with their data use.
Today, they tap research and insights from mobile data to ascertain and curate specific audiences before running campaigns. This not only helps them better plan and, as a result, get better results from their campaigns, they also get granular insights on consumers and competitors that help them take smarter business decisions.
This is especially vital in Asia-Pacific, where consumer needs, behaviours, tastes, and cultures change drastically from market to market. To use data effectively, and better improve their efforts and results, it is essential they consider the following in their data strategy:
1) Your data must be fresh
Historical data does have its uses; but real-time data is much more powerful because it shows up-to-the-minute information on consumer preferences and trends. This allows marketers to tailor their strategies to address these preferences.
By using real-time data, brands can provide consumers with products and services that line up with their needs. Furthermore, acting on fresh data improves conversions and leads to better sales. Marketers using the freshest data are certainly going to have an edge over the competition.
Using fresh data can also help brands optimise their spend. For example, a retailer depending on historical data alone to determine their product range can end up wasting both time and money on products that a substantial slice of their customer base no longer purchase, resulting in a hefty loss.
Or, an eatery using past buying patterns to predict the kinds of food their customers lean towards at different times of the year may be missing out on the sales they could be leveraging, by using fresh data sources to reveal the dynamic buying behaviour of their patrons.
No matter the business case, there is really no industry that cannot benefit from using real-time data to predict, analyse, and market to their customers in real time.
2) Use the right medium
There is so much information coming from mobile data that brands simply can’t use it all, and they shouldn’t have to. They need to find the right insights, such as audience profiles, customer engagement, and foot traffic, that fit the audience they’re targeting.
Once they have pulled the correct data, they can use these insights to decide how much to spend on online and offline campaigns and where to open their next store, as well as feed these insights to the product development team. Measuring the impact of their media spend can help brands determine what works for each of their product lines and services. In addition, they can determine how different consumer categories respond to different interactions.
Considering the omnipresent nature of smartphones, mobile data is very valuable to extract these customer insights.
3) Know thy consumer
Understanding what consumers want is vital to marketing and overall business success. Marketers must carefully analyse why a consumer bought their product, instead of going to a competitor, what they were doing when they made the purchase, and what other actions they engaged in before and after the purchase.
Mapping the consumer journey is vital to influence purchase. Data convergence of social, location, mobile, TV data, amongst others, can help the brand map the classic engagement scenario. With this, brands can plan audience-targeting efforts across the consideration, awareness, purchase, and advocacy stages. This is one area where analysing both historical and real-time data can provide insights into the trends.
In Asia-Pacific, it’s also vital to understand the various consumer markets because these trends can change so drastically. Marketing strategies that work in Hong Kong, for example, may be useless in Malaysia or Thailand. It’s all about cultural perspective and knowing how consumers from each area behave in the market.
4) Invest in data products
Consumers interact with a brand through various platforms, devices, and channels. Linking all these engagement points will allow brands to better understand how to reach their audience and increase opportunities.
This can be very challenging because companies collect a huge amount of data every day. It is, however, still achievable by leveraging new technologies that allow marketers to fuse various data sets, like demographics, interest, location, and CRM. The benefits of doing so certainly outweigh the cost of acquiring this technology.
5) Measure the impact of your strategy
Before marketers launch their marketing strategy, they can use the data on hand to experiment and test potential marketing tools and plans. The insights will allow them to determine just how effective their strategies are.
Marketers need to do as much A/B testing as they can for each campaign and for each medium, audience, and geographical location. Once they have measured the impact of their campaign, and compared it to others, they can optimise their marketing plans to reach a larger audience with reduced spend.
Overall, brands must leverage relevant insights from the data they have to learn about their consumers, and to make certain they are getting the biggest returns on investment. This is especially critical in regions such as Asia-Pacific, where customer needs or interactions with the brand can change drastically.