Marketers in Southeast Asia are not investing enough in the talent needed to glean the right information from data, according to the IAB Singapore.
The trade body has released a whitepaper and announced a new Measurement and Standards (M&S) Committee in order to help the marketing industry tackle the issues around using data effectively.
A key focus for the group is looking at two sides of data use in businesses; primary research and platform analytics. The IAB Singapore argues that as both of these industries have changed so much recently, marketers need to find new ways of breaking them out of silos and traditional organisational structures in order to use data to solve business problems.
Miranda Dimopoulos, CEO of IAB Singapore, said global digital firms were part of the group to help drive local standards:
“Establishing this committee now means that companies such as Google, LinkedIn, comScore Inc, SapientNitro, Yahoo, Xaxis, Hewlett Packard and a host of other top digital companies can all contribute and teach the region how to be more successful when it comes to leveraging their data,” she said.
The whitepaper, written as a result of the first roundtable the committee conducted, found five key issues in tackling the use of data in the region.
The first issue is that organisations are “designed for the industrial age, not the technological age”. Of this problem Kevin Tan, CEO of Eyeota, said: “There’s a structural problem, as we view the world in a traditional way in that we have research and insights on one side and analytics on the other.”
The second reason is that there’s an under-investment in people, despite most businesses now having the technology in place. The whitepaper quotes Pavel Bulowski, partnerships and new business lead at Keboola, who said this issue could be generational because “Millennials don’t natively understand the distinction between analytics and research, it all blends into one”.
Thirdly, collaboration within businesses was stated as a problem. Emily Ketchen, VP of marketing at Hewlett Packard, said: “[At HP] we are further refining our scorecards so we are focused on the most meaningful data…(but) getting the right level of collaboration is important or you can be overwhelmed trying to thread the needle with many different points of view”.
The next issue was around asking the right questions of the data and having a purpose in using technology and analytics. Tim Kelsall, chief client officer, Asia, at Kantar said “The real issue is people understanding the fundamental business questions they’re trying to solve. It’s often the case that you’ve got the technology and data but it’s not intelligently applied back to solve the actual business issue”.
The final issue was that newer technologies were breeding lazy behavior and that some of the fundamentals of marketing were being lost to vanity metrics and tactics.
Damien Crittenden, director of analytics and insights at Xaxis, said: “It’s common for marketers, working in newer disciplines such as social media to talk in vague terms about metrics like likes, interactions and engagements. If you ask a CRM person to talk about the same thing, they’ll talk about it in an entirely different way with a much stronger strategic foundation. Much more grounded in business value”.