Making The Most Efficient Use Of Marketing Dollars Remains A Key Challenge For CMOs And Business Leaders - Abhinav Maheshwari, VP Marketing Effectiveness, Asia Pacific, Nielsen

In Asia Pacific, 75% of Asia Pacific marketers say they have access to quality data to maximise the impact of their media budgets - but that around one-quarter of marketers still struggle with different metrics of their audience data

Making The Most Efficient Use Of Marketing Dollars Remains A Key Challenge For CMOs And Business Leaders - Abhinav Maheshwari, VP Marketing Effectiveness, Asia Pacific, Nielsen
Abhinav Maheshwari - Vice President, Marketing Effectiveness, Asia-Pacific - Nielsen

1. Abhinav, share with us the Importance of Quality Data, analytics & research in performance marketing 

Quality data is everything - especially in today's attention economy where advertisers are competing not only with brands but also consumers’ attention span. As customisation and digital savviness dominates, analytics is increasingly becoming crucial to predicting people’s next move. 

In Asia Pacific, 75% of Asia Pacific marketers say they have access to quality data to maximise the impact of their media budgets - but that around one-quarter of marketers still struggle with different metrics of their audience data, including data access, identity resolution and actionable data insights, which present areas of opportunity if they can align.

To overcome these challenges, the collection, maintenance and application of person-based identifiers requires an investment in first-party data. It is encouraging to note that a majority of marketers in the region say they have access to quality data to maximise the impact of their media budgets, which puts Asia Pacific on the path towards excellence in performance marketing.

 

2. In your opinion , why marketers and Marketing leaders, are now vying for budget for Online Marketing Channels alongside Channels that have traditionally been seen as drivers of awareness, such as TV or out of home (OOH)?

While traditional media formats like TV and radio are more aligned with brand building and customer acquisition, compared with paid digital, our survey found that Asia-Pacific marketers plan to spend less on these mass-reach options, highlighting a possible mismatch between their top business goals and marketing strategies. 

Having said that, marketers are increasingly discovering the effectiveness of paid digital. In 2021, around half (51%) of Asia-Pacific marketers’ total advertising budget was spent on paid digital; with social media, online and mobile video, and online and mobile display advertising considered to be the most effective channels, so I expect budgets for social ads will continue to grow in 2022. 

  

3. Share with us your opinion; what part do budgetary challenges play in shifting channel priorities?

Making the most efficient use of marketing dollars remains a key challenge for CMOs and business leaders. While the digital and social media ecosystem marketing provides a range of opportunities for advertisers, assessing fragmented audience behaviour across multiple devices and third-party cookies being phased out poses new challenges. 

First-party data, while costly, is crucial to overcome these challenges. And it seems that Asia-Pacific marketers are starting to recognise its value with more than half (57%) of Asia-Pacific marketers believing that first-party data is important for their strategies and campaigns, and close to half have gained confidence in their ability to measure full-funnel ROI.

More recently, industry partners have been looking into cookieless identity solutions such as the Trade Desk’s open-source Unified ID 2.0, LiveRamp’s ATS and the enhanced Digital Ad Ratings powered by the Nielsen Identity System. The Digital Ad Ratings break down de-duplicated audiences across devices so as to uncover the true measure and reach of campaigns across digital media platforms. Hopefully, with such solutions, APAC marketers can gain more confidence in their ROI measurement and overcome budget-related hesitation.

Also read: NTT Launches IoT Services For Sustainability 

4. Why is Traditional Ad Spending Less Popular in APAC Than Globally?

APAC is now renowned as a global hub for e-commerce and CPGs, and online retail marketing is synonymous with social media live videos, targeted social ads and flash sales alerts. It’s no surprise that compared to Traditional Ad Spending, 56% of Asia-Pacific marketers find modern formats such as social media the most effective paid channel.

And although brand building and customer acquisition have been key priorities, many Asia-Pacific marketers have decided to allocate lesser budgets on mass-reach options (TV and radio) that can achieve this. This highlights a possible mismatch between top business goals and marketing strategies, and potentially means adjusting budgets for desired outcomes.  

 

5. What are some of the marketing trends that you foresee in 2022?

Driving brand awareness via a mix of channels, tactics, and KPIs will remain a key focus for marketers. Casting their nets further advertisers will continue to consider online video and Connected TV (CTV) to engage even wider audiences than before.

Investments in social media will continue to pour in, although marketers will continue to explore alternatives in social media. They should keep an eye out for short videos and influencer marketing as they gain rapid popularity. Mega Sales Days for promotional events will be another avenue for investment which can also serve as a platform for brand building.     

Increased media fragmentation will amplify the need for holistic measurement. I foresee marketers striving to measure both upper- and lower-funnel marketing efforts. They will also do more ‘test and learn’ to evaluate the incremental impact of different media channels or tactics. 

 

6. Which industry and sector tends to spend more on online channels, which are those effective channels and why?

The e-commerce industry is leading the way for omnichannel marketing, which constitutes consumer outreach across offline and online channels. As consumers in the endemic era are more accustomed to digital platforms, the shift as an industry to spend more on online channels has been the natural next step.

As e-commerce forges ahead with online marketing, video continues to thrive. Drilling deeper, studies predict that digital video viewers will exceed 2 billion by 2022, driven massively by TikTok and Instagram.  

Search and Social are also big channels for e-commerce ad spending. For marketers, paid search and social channels ranked top two in perception of effectiveness according to our Era of Alignment report, earning the confidence of 58% and 64% of global respondents. This has translated to changes in expenditure, as budgets for social media and search will increase by aggregates of 53% and 45% over the next year resp. 

Spokesperson - Abhinav Maheshwari - Vice President, Marketing Effectiveness, Asia-Pacific - Nielsen: Abhinav has over 18 years of experience in consumer & market insights, marketing analytics, attribution and innovation consulting in multiple industries. As APAC Vice President of Marketing Effectiveness in Nielsen, Abhinav has extensive experience working with brands across the region to improve their strategic planning and optimize marketing investments with data-driven insights.