Commentary

Japanese Marketers Investing In Retargeting, Slower To Understand Attribution

Over half (58%) of Japanese marketers spend at least 10% of their online ad budget on retargeting, per a new AdRoll report, with 84% of Japanese marketers expecting to maintain or increase that level of spend over the next 12 months.

Japan is one of the fastest-growing countries when it comes to programmatic adoption. A Magna Global forecast from 2013 estimated that programmatic technology would represent 40% of all display ad spend in Japan by 2017.

AdRoll, a retargeting firm, wanted to see where retargeting fit into the picture. The new data helps quantify how much Japanese marketers have taken to ad tech, and what their plans are for the near future.

For the study, AdRoll partnered with research firm Qualtrics to survey 200 Japanese marketers. AdRoll also analyzed data from its platform on campaigns that ran in Japan, spanning over 4,000 advertisers and 33.5 million impressions.

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For what it’s worth, AdRoll clearly liked what they saw before releasing the data. Last month, the company announced it has opened an office in Tokyo with plans to have over 25 employees in the region by year’s end.

But while the current market and future projections are promising, Japanese marketers “lag behind on understanding attribution” compared to Europe and the U.S., writes AdRoll. Half of those surveyed called themselves “rookies” on attribution.

Perhaps because of this, Japanese marketers run into attribution troubles more often. Over one in four (27%) Japanese marketers reported attribution challenges, which AdRoll says his a much higher percentage than in the U.S. (3%) and Europe (5%).

The fact half of Japanese marketers describe themselves as attribution rookies may also be causing them to underestimate its importance -- or at least not accept it wholeheartedly.

Only 6% of those surveyed said they don’t consider attribution important, or don’t track it at all. But one in five (19%) said they think attribution is “not that important,” while just 12% called it “critical.” Nearly half (43%) called it “somewhat important.”

In an ironic twist, there is 20% missing from this pie. The marketers who think attribution is “not that important” or “unimportant” don’t care about this, I’m guessing.

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