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Half of SEA marketers using some form of marketing automation

Marketing automation is a priority for many marketers in Southeast Asia as half of them are using some form of it. This was highlighted in the State of Email and Marketing Automation report by Econsultancy in partnership with IBM Marketing Cloud. About 51 per cent of marketers surveyed are using basic marketing automation techniques such as automated or triggered email messaging.

The report also found that of the ones who are using marketing automation, 88 per cent of company marketers (57 per cent of the total) say that they only have a ‘basic’ marketing automation capability and 86 per cent of agency respondents (63 per cent of the total) felt the same about their clients. Just over one in ten (12 per cent) client-side marketers are outsourcing the management of marketing automation systems to an agency.

However, marketers face a number of challenges in the implementation of the automation strategy. The biggest one of these was integrating data for 37 per cent of client-side marketers and among the top three for agency respondents.

The report also highlighted that adoption rates for marketing automation are currently relatively low and a unified database – essential for the process – is present in only one in four companies (26 per cent) and one in six (16 per cent) of agency clients. Only 11 per cent of company and 14 per cent of agency respondents (or their clients) have a single platform allowing them to manage data across multiple channels.

The report is based on a survey of more than 500 client-side marketers and agency respondents based in South-East Asia, mainly Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines and Thailand.

When it comes to email marketing, 63 per cent of company respondents and 67 per cent of agencies believe they (or their clients) have only achieved ‘average’ performance with email campaigns. The biggest barrier in this area, according to respondents, is the quality of the email database, with almost half (47 per cent) of client-side marketers reporting this is the case.

About 50 per cent of companies and 55 per cent of agencies reported that the ROI from their email marketing was only ‘average’. Only 29 per cent of company marketers and 36 per cent of agency respondents deemed their (or their clients’) ROI as either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.

Spend on email marketing accounts for less than a fifth of marketing budgets for 82 per cent of client-side marketers. Nearly three in five (58 per cent) of client-side marketers plan to increase spend in this area in 2016.

Jefrey Gomez, Managing Director, Asia Pacific at Econsultancy, said, “Successful marketing automation programmes can bring efficiency and coherence to marketing campaigns, but there are plenty of barriers to overcome when it comes to integration. Companies are dealing with legacy systems, or multiple data management systems which do not match up or provide a clear single customer view. With marketers planning to place more focus on marketing automation in 2016, we should hopefully start to see wider adoption of systematised email and marketing automation.”

The full report is available on the Econsultancy website here: State of Email and Marketing Automation in South-East Asia. The report is available to Econsultancy subscribers.

Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon is the Assistant Editor at Digital Market Asia. Fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, she has focussed on tracking developments in the Asia Pacific market since 2014.