New Study Reveals Optimism for the Future of Digital Marketing Among North Asian CMOs

Long-term Planning and Profound Data Strategy are Critical to Long-term Success

HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 22 November 2022 - Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) in North Asia are reportedly embracing new platforms and approaches and shaping the global future of digital marketing, a new survey-based research study revealed by global advertising technology leader The Trade Desk (Nasdaq: TTD) and conducted by research firm Kantar. Insights from the new research indicate that implementing data and omnichannel strategies with right measurement metrics can build stronger brands and deepening customer relationships.

From left to right: Jason Spencer, Managing Director, Kantar Hong Kong; Benson Ho, Senior Vice President of North Asia The Trade Desk; Chris Ngan, General Manager, Hong Kong and Taiwan The Trade Desk.
From left to right:
Jason Spencer, Managing Director, Kantar Hong Kong; Benson Ho, Senior Vice President of North Asia The Trade Desk; Chris Ngan, General Manager, Hong Kong and Taiwan The Trade Desk.

Multi-channel branding strategies without diversified goals could be a waste

As the pandemic accelerated mass digital adoption, Asian consumers have subscribed to more media channels than ever, using an average of 7.6 channels to engage with brands based on the new research. This is pushing many CMOs to stretch their marketing budgets across multiple channels. Hong Kong CMOs surveyed use an average of nine channels, just ahead of the Mainland China (8), Taiwan (8), Japan (7) and Korea (6), and more than 27 percent of such CMOs intend to use 10 or more channels in the next 12 months.

The research also shows that the majority of CMOs are investing their advertising budgets in fast-growing channels like connected TV (CTV), over-the-top (OTT) platforms, and digital out-of-home (DOOH), rather than in virtual reality and the metaverse. However, many of the buying decisions are made without an integrated strategy to track and activate different customer touchpoints.

"North Asia has one of the highest internet penetration rates in the world. This is a boon for the region's CMOs, since going beyond traditional media to connect with consumers across diverse channels has been shown to increase both customer traffic and customer retention," said Benson Ho, Senior Vice President of North Asia, The Trade Desk. "However, multichannel does not equal omnichannel. To help drive customer engagement and build loyalty and sales, it is important for marketers to implement an integrated communications plan, supported by data and insight, where each media channel contributes to the overall marketing strategy."

Short-term thinking can hinder efforts to build brand value for lasting resilience

The new research identified calculating ROI as reportedly the biggest challenge for CMOs in digital marketing, while as many as one-third of North Asian CMOs surveyed are using performance marketing metrics, such as click-through rates (CTR), cost-per-click (CPC) and sales, to measure the success of their brand-building campaigns.

For small and medium-sized companies especially, the lure of immediate returns and the need to justify marketing investments in the wake of the pandemic slowdown is shifting the focus away from brand building toward performance marketing. This can increase the likelihood that these smaller firms will lose market share to bigger players that actually invest even more in brand-building campaigns during times of uncertainty.

"Digital marketing is an incredibly effective tool for brand building, allowing marketers to engage with customers at the right moment, on the right channel, with consistent and personalized messages. But commercial metrics cannot help identify which moments, channels and messages contribute the most to building brands. CMOs need proper mapping of KPIs to improve and optimize subsequent media campaigns for long-term success," said Chris Ngan, General Manager of Hong Kong and Taiwan, The Trade Desk. "CMOs need to establish a mixed measurement model in order to deliver accurate and actionable recommendations for planning and optimization."

Over-reliance on third-party data must be managed, even if it is difficult

In anticipation of the elimination of third-party cookies, expected within two years, 83 percent of CMOs in North Asia have already collected some form of first-party data for their ad campaigns. However, two out of three CMOs feel either unprepared for a cookie-less world or have only just begun discussions on how to tackle the situation. The need to move away from external data sources is particularly acute in Hong Kong and Mainland China, where nearly 60 percent of the CMOs still rely on third-party data as their primary source.

While many larger enterprises are leading the charge on first-party data, CMOs across the board agree that collecting this data can be challenging. Consumers can be reluctant to share their data on company-owned platforms and data gathered in this way can be limited in scope and audience base, making it difficult to scale.

"As more companies look to invest in customer data platforms and offering customers incentives to provide access to their data, such as long-term loyalty programs, brands can leverage channels that do not rely on cookies, such as CTV, OTT and DOOH. These data-rich channels present strong branding opportunities. Delivering an innovative and integrated marketing strategy through these premium channels can help brands build awareness and enhance their reputation for the long term," Ho concluded.

Survey Methodology

The Trade Desk 2022 Future of Digital Marketing study was conducted by Kantar Global Monitor to investigate how Chief Marketing Offices (CMOs) across North Asia are rising to the challenges and opportunities of the rapidly changing digital marketing sector. It included both qualitative and quantitative research, with nine in-depth interviews with CMOs across different sectors (two in North America) and a survey of 280 CMOs in five key markets Mainland China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Hashtag: #TheTradeDesk

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About The Trade Desk
About The Trade Desk
The Trade Desk™ is a technology company that empowers buyers of advertising. Through its self-service, cloud-based platform, ad buyers can create, manage, and optimize digital advertising campaigns across ad formats and devices. Integrations with major data, inventory, and publisher partners ensure maximum reach and decisioning capabilities, and enterprise APIs enable custom development on top of the platform. Headquartered in Ventura, CA, The Trade Desk has offices across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. To learn more, visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

The Trade Desk


Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations


22 Nov 2022

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