Adobe Digital Dialogue

October 29, 2014 /Digital Marketing /

Skill shortages in Hong Kong hinder digital marketing growth

Adobe Asia Pacific President - Paul Robson

Paul Rob­son, Pres­i­dent, Adobe Asia Pacif­ic

The third annu­al APAC Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Per­for­mance Dash­board by Adobe and CMO Coun­cil reveals that the devel­op­ment of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing in Hong Kong is still strug­gling as skill short­ages con­tin­ue to bit. Across the region there are widen­ing gaps in dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing matu­ri­ty and while all coun­tries under­stand the impor­tance and val­ue of dig­i­tal, no coun­try has man­aged to take full advan­tage of the oppor­tu­ni­ties that exist in this area.

Joint­ly con­duct­ed by the CMO Coun­cil and Adobe, the third annu­al APAC Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Per­for­mance Dash­board was derived from a sur­vey field­ed across Asia-Pacif­ic dur­ing the sec­ond and third quar­ters of 2014. The study bench­marked the lev­els of adop­tion, trac­tion and matu­ri­ty of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing across Asia-Pacif­ic which includes Aus­tralia, New Zealand, Chi­na, South Korea, Sin­ga­pore, Hong Kong and India. It includ­ed a six-month in-field pro­gramme com­pris­ing quan­ti­ta­tive sur­veys with over 800 mar­ket­ing exec­u­tives, the largest gath­er­ing of mar­ket­ing insights over the years. Senior mar­keters with­in the Asia Pacif­ic region from a range of indus­tries took part, with 44% hold­ing a title of Vice Pres­i­dent or high­er.

The Dash­board has found that the over­whelm­ing major­i­ty of the respon­dents (93%) believe dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing can bring com­pet­i­tive advan­tage to their orga­ni­za­tions. Although most of the exec­u­tives in Asia Pacif­ic rec­og­nize the role of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, the sur­vey shows that coun­tries have dif­fer­ent per­for­mance on var­i­ous indi­ca­tors. Coun­tries such as Sin­ga­pore, Aus­tralia and India are pulling away with strong exec­u­tive sup­port and dig­i­tal cham­pi­ons, while South Korea, Chi­na and Hong Kong strug­gle with exec­u­tive sup­port and skill short­ages.

The role of stake­hold­ers in dri­ving dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing

The Dash­board iden­ti­fied that those coun­tries with strong sup­port for dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing from senior exec­u­tives are mov­ing to lead­er­ship posi­tions. In Aus­tralia, Chief Mar­ket­ing Exec­u­tive own­er­ship is at 54% in 2014, fol­lowed by India (42%), Hong Kong (41%), South Korea (39%) and Sin­ga­pore (37%). 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%).

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, some lead­er­ship teams are not con­vinced of the ROI of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, and although they are open to learn­ing more, this skep­ti­cism is hold­ing back adop­tion rates in some coun­tries. Across Asia-Pacif­ic, con­cern about ROI has risen slight­ly from 17 per­cent in 2012 to 21 per­cent in 2014 while Hong Kong (19%) is slighlt­ly above aver­age.

As for Hong Kong, 36% of mar­keters think that there is very strong sup­port for dig­i­tal from the lead­er­ship team, com­pared to 6% in 2013. 46% of mar­keters in Hong Kong say they do have a strong cham­pi­on with­in the lead­er­ship team, which shows sec­ond high­est lev­els of sup­port among oth­er coun­tries across Asia-Pacif­ic.

Chan­nel part­ners and sales teams appear 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 are call­ing for increased invest­ment in dig­i­tal has increased from 15% to 25% in 2014. Chan­nel part­ners and sales teams who are doing so have more than dou­bled from 15% in 2012 to 34% in 2014, while there is a tremen­dous increase in Hong Kong which has rock­et­ed from 9% in 2013 to 40% in 2014.

Accord­ing to 25% of the respon­dents from Hong Kong, IT is a big con­trib­u­tor and active part­ner in select­ing and deploy­ing solu­tions while 41% express func­tion­al heads and Line-Of Busi­ness (LOB) lead­ers are pro­vid­ing input and advice, and both rank sec­ond high­est across Asia-Pacif­ic. Rel­a­tive­ly, IT experts, func­tion­al heads and LOB lead­ers serve as more sup­port­ive facil­i­ta­tors in Hong Kong when com­pared to oth­er coun­tries in APAC.


Slight improve­ments in skill lev­els but lead­ers pull away

There has been a small improve­ment in skill lev­els across Asia Pacif­ic with ded­i­cat­ed dig­i­tal head­count increas­ing from 13% in 2012 and 2013, to 15% in 2014. How­ev­er, gaps are con­tin­u­ing to grow between coun­tries which have a ded­i­cat­ed dig­i­tal head­count in 2014:

  • Aus­tralia – 26%
  • India and Sin­ga­pore – 18%
  • South Korea – 13%
  • Chi­na – 9%
  • Hong Kong – 7%.

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 South Korea (60%).

The Dash­board also found that mar­keters are not mov­ing beyond more basic mea­sure­ments. Asked whether they are mea­sur­ing through­out the life of cam­paigns, only 4% of mar­keters in Hong Kong said they were, com­pared with an aver­age of 13% across Asia Pacif­ic.

Despite the lack of analy­sis through­out the life of cam­paigns, the skills and aware­ness of Hong Kong mar­keters are improv­ing as proved by the fact that 60% of mar­keters in Hong Kong express they are cur­rent­ly mea­sur­ing and test­ing the results of their dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing cam­paigns, up from 47% last year.


Inter­est­ed in find­ing out how else mar­keters in Hong Kong fared in com­par­i­son to the rest of the APAC? Check out the links below:

Down­load the com­pli­men­ta­ry exec­u­tive sum­ma­ry

APAC Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Per­for­mance Dash­board Info­graph­ic

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  • By John - 2:56 AM on October 29, 2014   Reply

    Im sur­prised to see Hong Kong lag­ging behind to be hon­est and even more sur­prised to see Aus­tralia lead­ing the pack. It would be inter­est­ing to know how the UK are doing and the rest of Europe 🙂

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