Adobe Digital Dialogue

September 25, 2014 /Digital Marketing /

New research has confirmed widening gaps in digital marketing maturity across Asia Pacific

Stephen Hamill, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, South East Asia, Adobe Sys­tems

20140510-0013 copyIn our blog yes­ter­day we shared the results from the APAC Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Per­for­mance Dash­board 2014, show­ing that coun­tries such as Sin­ga­pore, Aus­tralia and India are lead­ing the pack in the Asia Pacif­ic. The Dash­board, which stud­ies the state of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing across the Asia-Pacif­ic region, sur­veyed over 700 mar­ket­ing exec­u­tives. It revealed exec­u­tive sup­port and data-dri­ven approach cre­ates a widen­ing gap between dig­i­tal lead­ers and those falling behind.

The research uncov­ered that while more mar­keters in coun­tries like Aus­tralia, India and Sin­ga­pore are using ana­lyt­ics and report­ing tech­nolo­gies, no coun­try is tru­ly tak­ing advan­tage of the huge amounts of data they are col­lect­ing. Few see lever­ag­ing data as a com­pet­i­tive advan­tage, where­as glob­al­ly, advanc­ing the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence with deep per­son­al­iza­tion and smart adap­tive engage­ments is dri­ving rev­enue gains and mea­sur­able advan­tage.

What about Sin­ga­pore? Here are some key find­ings:

In Sin­ga­pore specif­i­cal­ly, and more gen­er­al­ly right across the region, more needs to be done to prove the val­ue of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing invest­ment. For brands that do not have e-com­merce chan­nels, it’s hard to direct­ly link rev­enues to cam­paigns as there’s a gap in the ful­fill­ment process and there­fore, there may be a dif­fi­cul­ty in con­vinc­ing stake­hold­ers based on prov­ing finan­cial ROI alone.

This means mar­keters have to be more strate­gic in show­ing val­ue. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, of the Sin­ga­pore mar­keters sur­veyed, half are using data to mere­ly report KPIs or are not doing any­thing with it at all. A mind­set change is need­ed, where mar­keters need to look at data at every point along their cam­paigns and use the insights to gen­er­ate improve­ment for their activ­i­ties – this is espe­cial­ly crit­i­cal in a fast-paced mar­ket like Sin­ga­pore where informed busi­ness deci­sions need to be made swift­ly. That in itself is already a quick win for prov­ing the val­ue of dig­i­tal cam­paigns.

Lines of busi­ness­es as well as chan­nel part­ners and sales teams con­tin­ue to be strong advo­cates for dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing with more call­ing for increased dig­i­tal spend across Asia Pacif­ic. Since 2012, the num­ber of lines of busi­ness­es who have called for increased invest­ment in dig­i­tal has increased from 15% to 25% in 2014. Sin­ga­pore is an out­lier on this front, with lines of busi­ness­es (9% SG vs 25% APAC) as well as chan­nel part­ners and sales teams (18% SG vs 34% APAC) here being the least inter­est­ed in push­ing for dig­i­tal pro­grams in 2014.

Some lead­er­ship teams are not con­vinced of the ROI of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, but are open to learn­ing more. Across Asia Pacif­ic con­cern about ROI has risen slight­ly from 17% in 2012 to 21% in 2014. The Dash­board reveals that in Korea 50% of senior lead­ers are not con­vinced of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing ROI but want to gain a bet­ter under­stand­ing, fol­lowed by Sin­ga­pore with 22%.

Despite the lack of inter­est and con­fi­dence from stake­hold­ers, the good news is that lead­er­ship teams in Sin­ga­pore are the most recep­tive (46% SG vs 31% APAC) to pilot­ing and test­ing new dig­i­tal chan­nels and pro­grams. These results show that the lack of inter­est and con­fi­dence is not based on an out­right rejec­tion of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing. It is more like­ly that stake­hold­ers do not have a good under­stand­ing of dig­i­tal and what it can be used for. This rep­re­sents a gold­en oppor­tu­ni­ty for mar­keters to set the dig­i­tal agen­da and edu­cate their stake­hold­ers on the ben­e­fits and val­ue of dig­i­tal. In fact, with Sin­ga­pore lead­er­ship teams being open to pilot­ing and test­ing, field-test­ing could be an excel­lent way for mar­keters to demon­strate dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing ROI.

While 93% of mar­keters believe dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing can cre­ate a com­pet­i­tive advan­tage, dif­fer­ences in exe­cu­tion are evi­dent around the region. Across Asia Pacif­ic, use of ana­lyt­ics and report­ing tech­nolo­gies has remained gen­er­al­ly steady (72% in 2012 and 74% in 2014), 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 the research has high­light­ed that mar­keters are not mov­ing beyond more basic mea­sure­ments. Asked whether they are mea­sur­ing through­out the life of cam­paigns, only 13% of mar­keters across Asia Pacif­ic said they were, com­pared with 14% in 2012.


Stay tuned to this chan­nel for more Dash­board news and find­ings. You can also find out more results from the fol­low­ing links:

Down­load the exec­u­tive sum­ma­ry

APAC Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Per­for­mance Dash­board 2014 Info­graph­ic

You can also fol­low the con­ver­sa­tion on twit­ter via #APDash.

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