New research from Adobe and the CMO Council has revealed Australia is pulling away from other Asia Pacific countries in the adoption of digital marketing, but skill shortages and budget constraints have stalled the implementation of more advanced measurements.
The third annual APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard was conducted by the CMO Council in partnership with Adobe. It included a six-month in-field program comprising quantitative surveys with over 800 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.
The 2014 Digital Dashboard shows there are several factors allowing Australian marketers to pull away from their counterparts in Asia Pacific, including stronger support from company leadership and having a strong digital champion in the leadership team. For the first time, the Dashboard also reveals that stakeholder support for digital investment has increased significantly. However, despite Australia’s digital leadership in Asia Pacific skill shortages remain prevalent and marketers are still focused on more basic performance indicators.
Adobe’s MD for Australia and New Zealand Chris Skelton said strong support from senior leadership shows Australian businesses understand the importance of digital in their organisation’s transformation.
“We know that customers can touch any part of an organisation and having a single view of that activity data is crucial. CMO’s are in a strong position to drive digital transformation because they’re at the nerve centre of customer insights,” said Skelton.
“The 2014 Digital Dashboard reveals 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,” he added.
“While Australia is surging ahead of other countries in Asia Pacific, skill shortages and the ability of marketers to leverage more complex measures are stalling growth. With better skills, marketers could be taking advantage of more data to drive business results and demonstrate ROI,” said Skelton.
“Looking forward, organisations will need to accelerate their investment in skills development to close the skills gaps faster and leverage the benefits of digital. A bolder approach is also needed to applying metrics and driving a more compelling case for increased investment,” he added.
“There is no doubt that undergoing digital transformation is a complex and challenging process. Adobe has been on our own journey of transformation and we understand the pain-points marketer’s face as they adjust to a new digital world,” Skelton said.
Key findings from the 2014 Digital Dashboard include:
- In Australia, 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%.
- Stakeholder support for digital is increasing; channel partners and sales teams have emerged as digital advocates across Asia Pacific with support for increased digital spend more than doubling between 2012 (15%) and 2014 (34%).
- 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