Australian marketers lead Asia Pacific in digital marketing but advanced implementation has stalled
Chris Skelton, Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand, Adobe Systems
New research from Adobe and the CMO Council has revealed Australia continues to lead Asia Pacific in the adoption of digital marketing, pulling away from other countries in the region. However, skill shortages and budget constraints have stalled the implementation of more advanced measurements.
The third annual 2014 Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard included a six-month in-field program comprising quantitative surveys with over 700 marketing executives. The study benchmarked the levels of adoption, traction and success of digital marketing in Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and India. Senior marketers within the Asia Pacific region from a range of industries took part, with 44 percent holding a title of Vice President or higher.
This year, the Dashboard exposes several factors which allow Australian marketers to pull away from their counterparts in Asia Pacific. These include strong support from company leadership, having a strong digital champion in the leadership team and increased support from stakeholders. In the 2014 Dashboard, channel partners and sales teams have emerged as digital advocates with support for increased digital spend more than doubling since 2012. Strong senior executive and stakeholder support is a key factor in driving digital marketing adoption and allowing Australia to pull away as a leader in Asia Pacific.
Key findings from the study for Australia include:
- 52% of organisations advised that Chief Marketing Executives own the digital marketing strategy, compared with 39% across Asia Pacific; 62% of Australian companies have a digital champion on the leadership team, well above the Asia Pacific average of 38%.
- Skill levels have stalled across Asia Pacific and while Australian marketers have reported some improvements, skill shortages remain. Across Asia Pacific, companies with a dedicated headcount to carry out digital marketing analysis has lifted only slightly between 2012 (13%) and 2014 (15%); however, in Australia a dedicated headcount has increased from 15% in 2012 to 26% in 2014.
- Three quarters of marketers in Asia Pacific are measuring and analysing data, however implementation of more sophisticated performance indicators remains low across the region. There has been no progress across Asia Pacific in measuring data across the life of a campaign, and percentages remain low year on year: 2012 (14%), 2013 (10%) and 2014 (13%). In Australia, measuring across the life of a campaign is lower than the Asia Pacific average and has dropped to 11% in 2014, from 13% in 2012.
- The ability to better engage and activate audiences is driving the adoption of digital; 81% of Australian marketers cite engagement as the key driver compared with 58% across Asia Pacific.
- The proliferation and capability of mobile has increased as a driver of digital adoption in Australia up from 52% in 2012 to 65% in 2014.
This year’s research shows that many marketers are not measuring across the life of a campaign and that means they’re missing important data points that could be used to drive better business results. While Australia leads the pack, skill shortages remain prevalent and the ability of marketers to leverage more complex measures is stalling growth. With better skills, marketers could be taking advantage of more data to drive business results and demonstrate ROI.
Looking forward, Australian organisations need to accelerate their investment in skills development to close the skills gap s faster and look into new technologies for better measurement to prove ROI and drive a more compelling case for increased investment.
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