Liz Miller, Senior Vice Pres­i­dent of Mar­ket­ing, CMO Coun­cil -@lizk­miller

Con­fi­dence is grow­ing. Sophis­ti­ca­tion is esca­lat­ing. Mar­keters are advanc­ing dig­i­tal like never before across Asia-Pacific and Japan. But now comes the really hard work.

Today’s mar­ket­ing orga­ni­za­tion is at an impasse. We must all make the active deci­sion of whether we are going to cling to the brand­ing and adver­tis­ing tenets of the past—filled with loose mea­sure­ments and tra­di­tional tactics—or ven­ture into the fast, often out-of-our-control space known as our customer’s dig­i­tal reality.

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG /



Here is the sin­gu­lar point of truth to remem­ber: Our cus­tomers are already dig­i­tal. Con­sider this:

1,621,000: The num­ber of active mobile con­sumers in Asia

969,583,240: The num­ber of active social media users in Asia

1,255,745,291: The num­ber of active Inter­net users in Asia



While mar­keter con­fi­dence is grow­ing, so is a sense that we are just at the start of one of the hard­est jour­neys that the indus­try has ever seen: catch­ing up to our cus­tomers. We are fac­ing a rein­ven­tion, a renais­sance of mar­ket­ing that will usher in a new era of business-minded, data-driven, social and mobile-savvy marketers.

When I look at the find­ings from last year’s “APAC Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Per­for­mance Dash­board 2013,” con­ducted by the CMO Coun­cil in part­ner­ship with Adobe, two items imme­di­ately jump out as things we must stop doing imme­di­ately as this rein­ven­tion takes off:

• Stop accept­ing less than excep­tional mea­sure­ments. We can­not afford to mar­ket with­out mea­sur­ing. Accord­ing to last year’s sur­vey, only 17 per­cent of mar­keters feel they have an excel­lent or very good grasp on dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing mea­sure­ment and ana­lyt­ics, with 34 per­cent admit­ting this area needs improve­ment. We need to mea­sure mar­ket­ing out­comes and results against the busi­nesses we are being tasked to drive.

• Stop hedg­ing your dig­i­tal bets…allocate! Global mar­keters are invest­ing between 25 and 35 per­cent of their over­all mar­ket­ing bud­gets specif­i­cally to dig­i­tal, and we are see­ing this num­ber shift and grow dra­mat­i­cally year over year. How­ever, mar­keters in APAC are spend­ing far less as only 14 per­cent of sur­vey respon­dents are spend­ing on par with their global peers. We need to invest prop­erly in the engage­ments, expe­ri­ences and chan­nels that are yield­ing mea­sur­able and prof­itable impact for our brands. It will be hard, but it can and should be done. Con­sider Molen­dez, the com­pany behind brands like Oreo and Tri­dent, which will allo­cate 50 per­cent of its bud­get to dig­i­tal by 2016. Will it be easy? No. But Molen­dez rightly believes it needs to go where its cus­tomers are engaging.

As we pre­pare for the upcom­ing Adobe Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Sym­po­sium, I chal­lenge all of us in mar­ket­ing to take a hard look at what we need to stop doing in order to spark this rein­ven­tion of mar­ket­ing. What role will each of us play in this advancement?

If you thought the data points I shared in this post were inter­est­ing, I’d like to invite you to be part of our 2014 study by tak­ing a short sur­vey that will ask where you are in your brand’s dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing matu­rity. As a thank you for your time, we will share a com­pli­men­tary copy of the report with you once it is pub­lished later this year. Take the sur­vey here.