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Southeast Asia businesses are not fully tapping the potential of data-driven marketing strategies to increase their revenue and realize cost efficiencies, according to new research from The Boston Consulting Group and Google.

The research also found that the most digitally mature brands report significant benefits from data-driven marketing, with an average incremental 11% revenue impact and 17% in cost efficiencies.

The “Digital Marketing Maturity Study” surveyed over thirty brands across seven industries from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, India and Hong Kong. It found that no brands have achieved the potential of multi-moment digital marketing in the region – that is, those that exceed consumer expectations by consistently delivering coordinated, relevant and sequenced experiences across a range of online and offline channels.

“Brands in SEA are yet to reach the full potential of multi-moment marketing, which is an approach that optimizes single-customer business outcomes across multiple channels by delivering meaningful connections with consumers. In short, there is an opportunity to establish meaningful connections with today’s consumers to improve both cost efficiencies and revenue,” said Luc Grimond, Partner and Managing Director at BCG Singapore.

The study assessed brands across industries and their maturity levels on a four-point scale. Companies at a nascent stage typically execute simple campaigns mainly using external data and direct buys, with limited links to sales. As brands mature, they improve discrete channel activation and then go a step further to more connected, multi-channel activation, with a demonstrated link to ROI and sales proxies. The study found that it is a progressive journey for companies to navigate through the four phases of digital maturity.

“It’s like long-distance running. You need to focus on the next step rather than worry about how far you still need to go. It sounds like a cliche, but considering how many people are involved in enabling this change in an organization, it is important to break it down into bite-size pieces and make everyone part of the journey,” according to Tom Van Den Berckt, Head of Digital & Web Services at Maxis.

The study identified three technical (“connected data”, “automation and integrated technology” and “actionable measurement”) and three organizational factors (“strategic partnerships”, “specialist skills” and “agile teaming and fail-fast culture”) that are common to mature digital brands.

Through this research, BCG and Google have identified some clear steps on the path to digital maturity.

“In this study we identify the steps on a path to digital maturity. The least mature brands can get started by setting the foundations, including identifying a senior sponsor, leveraging partners to fill capability gaps, understanding available data and building on that by implementing the back-end technology and analytics required to progress,” added Luc.

Brands can build connections both in bringing cross-functional teams together and connecting data to drive automation – by breaking down barriers between ‘traditional’ and ‘digital’ marketing capabilities, embedding scarce skills such as data scientists, and using them to define common KPIs and a measurement framework that feeds into message delivery and optimisation.

To reach the highest level of maturity, brands can make every moment matter by identifying signals across online and offline data, understanding the value of each moment through sophisticated attribution, and measuring this against tangible business outcomes.

A copy of the finding can be downloaded here.

Should you have any media related queries and or to arrange for an interview, please contact Anita Bernardus at +62 811 189 264 or bernardus.anita@bcg.com