Paula Parkes, Head of Mar­ket­ing, Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Busi­ness, Adobe Asia Pacific – LinkedIn @Key­we­bird

PaulaThe release of the sec­ond annual Adobe Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Per­for­mance Dash­board reports that Asia Pacific mar­keters are gain­ing in dig­i­tal con­fi­dence – is this the case for Greater China where the dig­i­tal dynam­ics are unique?




In fact, not only are Chi­nese mar­keters con­vince that dig­i­tal is a path to com­pet­i­tive advan­tage, 97% of Chi­nese mar­keters, com­pared to 81% last year, said they were putting their faith in the busi­ness ben­e­fits of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing. Respon­dents from China are telling us that they’re ready to bring dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing to the next level, learn­ing more about how to apply mea­sure­ment and ana­lyt­ics to build stronger busi­ness cases to encour­age more investment.

Much like the rest of APAC, where social opti­miza­tion and con­tent strat­egy are main pri­or­i­ties in dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, China has taken it a step fur­ther with 90% of respon­dents stat­ing that social net­work­ing and gam­ing is dri­ving dig­i­tal adop­tion, which was the top response for this ques­tion in all of APAC. The suc­cess and pop­u­lar­ity of strong play­ers such as Sino Weibo and Ten­cent WeChat demon­strate the poten­tial for social net­work­ing to help mar­keters engage cus­tomers in China. In addi­tion, China’s mar­keters will be plac­ing par­tic­u­lar empha­sis on mobile rela­tion­ship mar­ket­ing (60% ver­sus 25% of regional aver­age), a response which is con­sis­tent with the high lev­els of mobile adop­tion among China’s cus­tomer base.

Even though 77%  of Chi­nese mar­keters  spend less than 24% of their total mar­ket­ing bud­get on dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, which is about the same as the regional aver­age of 71%, Chi­nese mar­keters are more pos­i­tive about their chances of boost­ing invest­ment in the future. 40% of Chi­nese respon­dents are plan­ning to increase their bud­get to align with or even exceed the global aver­age in 2014. It will be inter­est­ing to see if this con­fi­dence brings the desired results.

On the other hand, China lags behind the regional aver­age regard­ing mea­sure­ment and analy­sis. Up to 27% of respon­dents are not mea­sur­ing the results of dig­i­tal cam­paigns and ini­tia­tives at all.  Of those mea­sur­ing their results, 57% of respon­dents con­firmed they are using mar­ket­ing ana­lyt­ics and report­ing tech­nolo­gies. Although it increased from 33% in 2012, this is still far behind the regional aver­age of 80%.


Hong Kong

Unlike con­fi­dent China, HK mar­keters showed lower con­fi­dence in their dig­i­tal capa­bil­i­ties com­pared with the other APAC coun­tries. This could be a real­ity check after embark­ing on more com­plex and sophis­ti­cated pro­grams in the last twelve months. How­ever, they are still opti­mistic and inter­ested in dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing with 84% of respon­dents believe Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing can open up new chan­nels of engage­ment & com­merce (dou­ble last year result and much higher than regional aver­age of 60%).

In China, social net­work­ing and gam­ing drove dig­i­tal adop­tion. The case is very dif­fer­ent in Hong Kong, where half of mar­keters admit that com­peti­tor use of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing tech­nolo­gies were one of the key dri­ves for them to adopt dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing. Hong Kong mar­keters def­i­nitely see the ben­e­fits of social net­works with mar­keters shift­ing their bud­gets to focus on social media com­mu­nity devel­op­ment (47%) and social media adver­tis­ing (38%), but their innate com­pet­i­tive nature to get ahead of the com­pe­ti­tion is essen­tially what dri­ves their deci­sion to adopt dig­i­tal marketing.

In addi­tion, while bud­get lim­i­ta­tion seems a sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge across APAC (51% on aver­age), 38% of Hong Kong mar­keters did not recog­nise it as the biggest obsta­cle, yet half of them (50%) agreed they are fac­ing chal­lenges in lim­ited train­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for staff to gain skills & lim­ited dig­i­tal agency capability.


Next Steps for Greater China marketers

Bud­get and tal­ent are keys to APAC dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing devel­op­ment. Most Chi­nese mar­keters are con­sid­er­ing shift­ing more resources to dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing next year, espe­cially focus­ing on social net­work­ing and gam­ing.  Observ­ing the bet­ter devel­oped dig­i­tal mar­kets in APAC, we’ve learned that 19% of Aus­tralian mar­keters and nearly 7% of Sin­ga­porean mar­keters are now uti­liz­ing data for cru­cial busi­ness dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion, com­pared to 4% and 2% respec­tively last year. The results imply that big data and ana­lytic insights are indeed the cru­cial. Becom­ing more adept at han­dling and lever­ag­ing insights gained from big data, will be a crit­i­cal step for tak­ing Greater China the next step forward.


Inter­ested to find out more about dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing in Greater China? Check out the links below:

Down­load the com­pli­men­tary exec­u­tive summary

View the Dig­i­tal Dash­board Info­graphic and see Hong Kong & China’s results