APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard 2014: The gap continues to widen between digital leaders and those falling behind
Hisamichi Kinomoto, VP of Marketing, Japan and Asia Pacific, Adobe Systems
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The third annual APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard reveals a fragmented digital marketing landscape is emerging as some Asia Pacific countries surge ahead of others which are falling behind. Furthermore, while all countries understand the importance and value of digital to their overall marketing strategy, no country is taking full advantage of the opportunities it presents.
The research was conducted by the CMO Council in partnership with Adobe and includes the largest gathering of marketing insights from the region, representing more than 700 senior marketing executives across key countries. Overwhelmingly, 92% of respondents stated that digital will bring competitive advantage to their organisations. But within this optimism, we begin to see key differences between the leaders and the laggards. Countries such as Australia, India and Singapore are pulling away with strong executive support and digital champions, while Korea, China and Hong Kong struggle with support and skill shortages.
Here are some key findings from the research this year:
- Marketing readiness across Asia Pacific is on the rise
- There is an increasing market readiness for digital in Asia Pacific
- Senior executive support drives digital marketing adoption
- In Australia, Chief Marketing Executive ownership is at 54% in 2014, well above other countries such as India (42%), Hong Kong (40.6%) and Korea (39%).
- Having a strong digital champion within the leadership team remained steady across the region at 38% between 2012 and 2014; however, Australia is pulling away with 62% in 2014, followed by Hong Kong (46%), Singapore (41%) and India (39%).
- Organisational alignment across Asia Pacific increased with a ranking of 3.8 compared to 3.2 in 2013.
- Channel partners and sales teams have emerged as strong advocates for digital marketing, calling for increase digital spend across Asia Pacific.
- Since 2012, the number of channel partners and sales teams who have called for increased investment in digital has more than doubled from 15% to 34% in 2014.
- The importance of ROI is growing though some countries are skill skeptical.
- Across Asia Pacific concerns about ROI has risen slightly from 17% in 2012 to 21% in 2014.
- However, the Dashboard reveals that in Korea, 50% of senior leaders are not convinced of digital marketing ROI.
- Small improvements in skill levels but leaders pull away.
- There are small improvements in skill levels across Asia Pacific with dedicated digital headcount increasing from 13% in 2012 and 2013, to 15% in 2013.
- Yet, gaps are continuing to grow between countries which have a dedicated digital headcount in 2014:
Australia – 26%
India and Singapore – 18%
Korea – 13%
China – 9%
Hong Kong – 7%.
- The use of analytics and reporting technologies has remained steady, but leaders are pulling away.
- In Australia, 91% of marketers are using analytics and reporting tools, followed by Singapore (79%), India (77%), Hong Kong (73%), China (70%) and Korea (60%)
- However, marketers are not moving beyond basic measurement with only 13% of marketers across Asia Pacific said they are measuring throughout the life of campaigns, compared with 14% in 2012.
What does this mean for digital marketers in APAC?
The 2014 Dashboard has uncovered the varying degrees of digital marketing maturity across the region, and highlights the need for marketers to continue to demonstrate value and ROI. With customers having the ability to touch any part of an organisation, the role of marketing in transforming business is crucial and requires executive support and investment. Marketers in those countries which are lagging, like Korea, China and Hong Kong, need to leverage the data they receive to help educate senior managers of its value.
Big data is powerful and essential to creating personalised customer engagement and experiences. With so much data available, and more tools than ever before, marketers are in a strong position to drive business results, but no country is Asia Pacific is taking full advantage of the vast amounts of data they receive. Opportunities exist for marketers to lead by measuring and analyzing their full campaigns, not just implementing a piecemeal approach.
The good news for Asia Pacific is that it is slowly stepping up on the global digital stage, closing the gap between matured marketing regions like North America and Europe. However, regional marketers within Asia Pacific that are falling behind will face increase global pressure to keep pace. In order to bridge the gap, organisations need to accelerate their investment in employee’s professional development as well as the right technologies to leverage the benefits of digital. In addition, a bolder approach is needed to applying metrics and driving a more compelling case for increase investment. The time to start making the move to digital excellence is now. Will you take the leap or get left behind?
Stay tune to this channel as we continue to launch country-specific findings across the region this week.