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For the second year running, Econsultancy has published a freely available trends briefing about digital trends in South-East Asia, based on the Digital Cream Singapore event for senior client-side digital marketers held in November last year.

Digital Cream Singapore 2013 brought together more than 120 B2B and B2C in-house marketers from around the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region and beyond to discuss best practice and common challenges in digital marketing, and learn from each other.

Delegates discussed a wide range of topics, ranging from managing and making sense of audience and customer data, increasing personalisation and loyalty, to using video marketing and cross-channel marketing.

Monetising social media

Monetising social media and a lack of communication between business units continue to present challenges for ASEAN marketers.

For example, Christel Quek, Regional Social Business Lead at Samsung Asia, who moderated the social media roundtable, said:

Every delegate for all three sessions had different views on monetisation with social media and mostly cited organisational silos and the complexity of different markets in Asia for scaling operations and understanding different customer requirements, which were heavily influenced by different cultural nuances in each market.

Being able to step away from the brand in the social media era and focus on the customer's needs – especially in video marketing – was a core theme to emerge.

It’s not about the brand, it’s about the customer, according to John Sinke, AVP of Digital Marketing, Ecommerce and Social Media at Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore. Sinke said:

We all want to be the next Steven Spielberg. That's why it is tempting to start with content when developing a video marketing programme. But just like with any other marketing campaign, video marketing should start with clear objectives, a solid strategy and a well-defined target audience.

Managing big data was naturally, another key topic. Dominic James of The Change Effect, who moderated the big data debate, found three core areas emerging:

  • Traditional organisations versus born-in-digital organisations
  • Too much data versus the desire for more data
  • Commercial data exploitation versus personal privacy

James added:

The three roundtables had three distinctly different conversations about big data. The discussions were characterised by an inconsistent understanding of what big data is and polarised perspectives across the topic.

Another element in the big data debate centred around how it is making the most of 'small data' that really matters. Widely, there was agreement that the tools were there to help optimise performance and major companies can now turn the vast quantities of data into actionable insights.

Some common themes from previous Digital Cream events in Singapore remain, such as common frustrations with siloed organisations, in which a lack of transparency between departments hampers digital efforts.

Digital skills development across ASEAN is also a key concern, significantly at a strategic level.

The feedback and commentary from both delegates and moderators has been used to create our annual South-East Asia Digital Marketing Trends Briefing, which provides an insight into the challenges faced by digital marketers in South-East Asia.

The report, which is free to download to all registered users, provides highlights from 12 different roundtables at Digital Cream. As Digital Cream is conducted according to Chatham House Rules, marketers have spoken candidly about their issues in the following areas:

  • Digital marketing attribution.
  • Social media: managing, marketing, measuring and monetising.
  • Customer experience and lifecycle management in a digital world.
  • Big data – the next frontier for innovation, competition and ROI.
  • Cross-channel marketing.
  • Email marketing and CRM strategy – managing, marketing and measuring.
  • Integrated marketing management to drive maximum return on marketing investment (ROMI).
  • Marketing automation – best practice and implementation.
  • Loyalty marketing – achieving success in the digital age.
  • Online advertising – strategy and maximising returns.
  • Video marketing.
  • Web analytics and actionable insights.

This trends briefing is just one of many free reports available for all registered users of Econsultancy. Or, become a subscriber today to gain access to our entire collection of industry leading reports.

Keynote presentations from Chris Lee, author of the Marketing Automation in Asia-Pacific Best Practice Guide and Michael Buckley, Managing Director, Australia & New Zealand at Accenture Interactive, talking about disruption, can be found here.

Chris Lee

Published 28 January, 2014 by Chris Lee

Chris Lee is a freelance digital consultant, trainer and copywriter. He is also @CMRLee on Twitter.

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