Digital marketing budgets set to rise in Asia

Laura Britten

Head of Marketing


Econsultancy’s State of Digital Marketing in Asia 2013 – the highlights

A recent report compiled by Econsultancy and Campaign Asia-Pacific has revealed that 66% of Asian businesses plan to increase digital marketing budgets in the next 12 months with SEO, Content Marketing and Mobile Marketing topping the list of areas most likely to increase in relevance and budget over the next year.

Email is the top choice

The report revealed that email marketing is still Asia’s digital marketing discipline of choice with 79% of respondents actively using this channel for marketing purposes. Off-site social media marketing on the likes of Facebook and Twitter came second and SEO third, whilst Content Marketing and paid search were ranked in the fourth and fifth positions respectively.

Content marketing is going global

Content marketing has long been the buzz word of choice for UK marketers, but it seems the Asian market is catching up fast with 73% of client-side respondents agreeing that content marketing will become more important for their organisation over the next year. 97% of companies surveyed also plan to either increase or keep their budget the same for content marketing showing Asia to be embracing this digital marketing channel.

Digital marketing budgets in Asia

Offline marketing channels decrease

Whilst the digital marketing outlook is largely positive in the Asian market, more traditional forms of marketing are decreasing, most likely as a direct result of increased spending in digital. The percentages of companies who use print media, conferences, direct mail, outdoor advertising, TV and radio advertising for marketing purposes have all fallen, some more drastically than others. For example radio has fallen by 12% in the past 12 months and outdoor advertising by 9%.

Level of digital knowledge

Asia’s level of digital marketing knowledge has also increased in the last year with 77% of respondents describing their company’s level of digital knowledge as either excellent, good or okay. In 2012’s survey only 70% of companies were put in this bracket, this increase in knowledge could account for why so many companies are planning to increase their digital marketing investments this year. However, there seems to have been a dip in senior level support for digital marketing activity with only 75% of companies reporting that they do have support at a senior level for digital marketing activities, which is down from 84% in the last year.

Barriers to investment

The report also outlined what the biggest barriers preventing organisations from investing more money in digital marketing, the most prominent factor being company culture with 39% of respondents saying this is an issue. The second most preventative barrier is lack of staff to make the most of any digital investment. This statistic may also explain why 76% of those asked said that they outsource at least some of their digital activity to external suppliers, specialists or agencies, which is an increase of 11% as compared with 2012. More specifically the top three digital areas that are regularly outsourced are web design, SEO and PPC.

Ecommerce growth in the Asian market

The increase in digital marketing budget in the next twelve months could be linked to the predicted growth in ecommerce sales in Asia-Pacific in the coming years. It has been predicted by eMarketer  that by next year Asia-Pacific will be the highest spenders online spending $501.68 billion while North America is predicted to spend the second largest amount with $469.49 billion.

B2C Ecommerce Sales Worldwide

Global online retailers are also realising the potential of the Asian market, ASOS has recently revealed its plans to take on the Chinese market with a dedicated website after having successfully taken on the Russian market only months ago.

Time to head East

With this information it is clear that now could be the time to spread your online presence into Asia to take full advantage of the expanding market.

To find out how we can help you expand into Asia, contact us today.