Businesses in Malaysia and Asia overwhelmed by real-time data
By Digital News Asia August 25, 2015
- 82% of Malaysian businesses want to be more active on digital platforms
- Yet 73% are unable to integrate multiple data sources
BUSINESSES have never had so much data at their disposal but new research from TNS reveals that many are failing to use the information to help them make informed decisions.
According to the 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.
Malaysian businesses are investing more in data-driven digital platforms and tracking systems to help them understand the challenging online landscape, TNS said in a statement.
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 (73%) of marketers in Malaysia admit that they find it difficult to integrate data from different sources, the market research firm said.
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 Dan Foxman, director of Client Impact & Expertise at TNS Malaysia, many businesses are overwhelmed by the volume of data.
“The increasing availability of data ought to enable better decision-making, but many marketers are instead being flooded by information that threatens to seriously impair their ability to think strategically,” he said.
Because of the difficulties with real-time data, many marketers are falling back on traditional measurements.
According to the TNS survey, sales uplift metrics are still used as the No 1 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, TNS said.
In addition, current market research methods are not helping marketers make quick and informed decisions, the company argued.
Analysis is viewed as ‘not actionable enough’ (71%) and ‘too slow’ (69%) to be of use, according to the marketers surveyed in Malaysia.
“The difficulties in extracting valuable insight from data mean that marketers have a rear-view mirror approach, only understanding their performance and brand equity weeks or even months afterwards,” said Nitin Nishandar, managing director of Brand & Communications, Asia Pacific, TNS.
“Real-time data needs to deliver real-time value – otherwise it’s just distracting noise,” he added.
Some countries are further ahead than others in integrating insights from digital channels (click infographic to enlarge), TNS said.
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, TNS said in its statement.
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.
“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,” said Nitin.
“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,” he added.
TNS Marketing Monitor is based on research carried out by On Device and undertaken across all TNS 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); and Thailand (427).
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