Recently, nearly 100 senior brand marketers met in Singapore for a full-day of roundtable discussions of the issues that we are all facing in digital.

As with every Digital Cream event, the Chatham House Rule applied, so what was said cannot be attributed to any individual. But at the end of the event, the hosts of each table helpfully provided a summary of the day's discussions.

Here is an overview of the topics covered by the Online Advertising and Ecommerce & Onsite Conversion Rate Optimisation tables, along with notes of what brand marketers thought.

Online Advertising

The Online Advertising table was hosted by Andrew Agbay, Senior Marketing Communications Manager at Microsoft.

Here are the main topics that were discussed:

Data

75% of attendees use some sort of audience segmentation and use first and third party data for that purpose. Everyone uses data to improve their search engine marketing and some use it for social.

Custom segments are now widely used for social media targeting, even though most find that the match rate is low

Attribution

Half of the attendees said that they need to improve their attribution because they have a very limited digital budget.  There is still a lot of confusion in how to do attribution properly and many are looking to case studies for guidance.

The reason that attribution is important, is if it is done well, it will help them both be precise with their spending and help them show ROI.

But in order to show ROI, participants said that having business objectives, KPIs, and targets was key both for branding and acquisition campaigns.

Agencies

Half of the participants said that they use agencies, whereas the other half have almost all of their marketing budget in-house.

Very few are using 3rd party verification providers to check ad viewability and review click fraud.

Many people do look to outside sources, such as Econsultancy, to keep up-to-date on digital trends.  Great to hear it!

Ecommerce & Onsite Conversion Rate Optimisation

The Ecommerce & Onsite Conversion Rate Optimisation table was hosted by Ajay Shankar, Asian Ecommerce Leader Asia at 3M.

Ecommerce in APAC

One of the most interesting bits of feedback from participants was their ranking of where ecommerce is working well - and where it isn't.

Marketers said that they were having most success in north Asia (China, Japan, Korea) and felt that these were well-developed ecommerce markets.

Next down the list were India, Thailand, and Indonesia. Attendees felt that these countries were emerging as profitable ecommerce markets.

But, surprisingly, marketers found Singapore along with Australia and New Zealand as very challenging places for ecommerce. In general, brands agreed that they were struggling to make much impact in those markets.

Also, in APAC, marketers found that promoted offers were typically more successful than content marketing in driving conversions.

Ecommerce technology

Particpants said that new technologies were becoming increasingly important to keep delivering growth in ecommerce.  

Mobile optimization was one challenge that many faced.  Some felt that the answer was to try and move as many customers to an app, whereas other feel that mobile-optimized browser experiences were good enough.

Some used A/B testing frequently. One brand does over 30 major tests a year, but most said that they were still developing their experiment capabilities.

Everyone agreed, though, that personalization and localization were key to driving more conversions and more revenue.

Ecommerce in the organization

Many attendees said that they were frustrated with how ecommerce was structured in their organization. Ecommerce typically does not have its own P&L and so it was hard to get dedicated ecommerce resources.

In this area, banks, technology companies, and ecommerce pure-plays are ahead, whereas insurance companies and B2B are still trying to develop their ecommerce organizations internally.

Marketplaces

And finally, participants vented that they were frustrated with managing ecommerce cross-platforms.

Marketplaces, such as Tmall and Amazon, offer amazing opportunities for brands but marketplaces do not provide the data that marketers need to optimize conversions and deliver higher ecommerce ROI.

A word of thanks

Econsultancy would like to thank all of the brand marketers who participated on the day - especially our volunteer table moderators.

We hope you all enjoyed the exchange of ideas and new insights as much as we did - and hope to see you all next year for Digital Cream 2016!

Jeff Rajeck

Published 18 December, 2015 by Jeff Rajeck

Jeff Rajeck is the APAC Research Analyst for Econsultancy . You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.  

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