1 in 4 marketers consider expanding commerce capabilities as their big challenge for 2021

Dentsu’s iProspect has launched Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated as the essential read for conscientious marketers seeking to explore and exploit the latest consumer and industry advancements for brand growth. 

The 75+ page report addresses some of the most pressing aspects of modern marketing including: the battle for attention, wholesale changes in data privacy, and the emergence of assisted commerce.

Combining evidence-based research with interviews and responses from over 200 brand marketers in 29 countries, the Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated report delves deep into the challenges and opportunities faced in the current global climate and within the immediate media landscape. 

And, convenience and relevancy of media to the consumer is key, as 61% of marketers, polled for the report, considered ‘building a highly convenient experience for the consumer’ as the most powerful lever to generate business growth*.

Marketers need to focus

Kien Eng Tan, Group CEO of dentsu malaysia, comments, “Marketers need to remain focused on long term sustainable growth by winning, keeping, and growing their best customers. CMO’s should be able to use Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated as their playbook for unlocking growth at the intersections of media, data, commerce, and culture.”

Although this is the sixth edition of the Future Focus series, this is the first large scale report released by iProspect since it launched as a new digital-first end to end media agency last month and, its content typifies the intricacies of bringing brand and performance together to achieve growth.

The findings showed that around 2 in 5 marketers (42%) still think the linear path to purchase is as relevant today as it was decades ago, despite the rise of digital. While at the same time 32% of marketers feel that expanding commerce capabilities was important for the 2021 roadmap, however 26% see this as one of the most difficult challenges to face this year.”

Dheeraj Raina, Media CEO of dentsu Malaysia, adds, “In the current Malaysian digital economy, inspiration is abundant and constant, but attention is scarce. It is the act of great balance between brand storytelling and performance mindset that unlocks the true and meaningful growth for brands. This is what we strive to deliver for our clients in Malaysia through the new iProspect.”

Practical advice to marketers:

#1: Commerce is Everywhere
Organisations should strive to build and maintain an accurate picture of their commerce capabilities across five key dimensions: desirability, availability, findability, buyability, and repeatability. This will help them define the most profitable commerce model for their brand, better integrate their e-commerce and stores into an actionable omnichannel strategy, explore new growth channels, and turn media opportunities into transaction opportunities.

#2 The Battle for Attention
Brands should consider factoring attention into their media optimisation and measurement efforts to elevate the impact and efficiency of their investment. To maximise audience attention, they should ensure the content and experiences they design truly align with consumer intent, and that the campaigns they develop do not relegate diversity and inclusivity as afterthoughts.

#3 The New Data Playbook
On the data front, organisations should embrace the new privacy-conscious world by re-evaluating the value exchange they offer to their audiences and anticipate technological changes to minimise business disruption. This is the occasion to explore opportunities for automation, evaluate the quality of the data they collect and process, and more broadly reflect upon how data is effectively used to inform decisions.

The last point is of particular significance as the report found in some circumstances there are huge disparities between what the consumer and brand marketer think, when it comes to assessing data value. Only 9% of marketers believe helping a company improve products or services is an incentive for consumers to share their data, while 44% of consumers believe it is a good enough reason to release personal identifiable information (PII) to the brand.**


*Proprietary omnibus survey: iProspect, 2020 Global Client Survey, 12 Oct–11 Nov 2020, 202 respondents.
**iProspect 2020 Global Client Survey (Oct 2020) and iProspect and Microsoft Advertising, Consumer Privacy and Data Survey (Mar 2020)

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