Asia-Pacific (APAC) marketers are leading the way in adopting of artificial intelligence (AI) and the level of investment in digital skills training when compared to their US and European counterparts, new research has revealed.
Adobe and Econsultancy have released their annual Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2018 Digital Trends report, which provides insights into the state of digital marketing and the trends shaping the industry.
Globally, the report found that top-performing companies are more than twice as likely to be using AI for marketing (28 per cent versus 21 per cent).
However, 15 per cent of global respondents said their companies are pushing forward with AI, and 48 per cent said their organisation has inconsistent integration between technologies.
While 51 per cent of US marketers see ‘no perceived need’ for AI, only 38 per cent of APAC marketers share this sentiment.
Furthermore, APAC respondents (16 per cent) were more likely to have an integrated, cloud-based technology stack, compared to their North American (10 per cent) and European (nine per cent) counterparts.
Personalised experiences continue to drive quantifiable uplift for companies
Optimisation of the customer experience is the top priority for marketers in 2018, according to the report, with 19 per cent of global respondents saying it is the most exciting opportunity currently.
APAC marketers are focusing on making the experience as personalised and relevant as possible, whereas North American and European respondents said their main focus is on making the experience as valuable as possible.
Organisations with ‘well-designed user journeys that facilitate clear communication and a seamless transaction’ are 57 per cent more likely to be exceeding their business goals.
Meanwhile, organisations with a ‘cross-team approach with the customer at the heart of all initiatives’ were nearly twice as likely to exceed their top 2017 business goal.
Yet, 38 per cent of global respondents still do not have a cohesive plan, long-term view and executive support for the future of their customer.
Investment in digital skills and education pays dividends
The report also revealed companies that are ‘combining digital marketing skills with technology’ are nearly twice as likely to have surpassed their 2017 business goals by a significant margin (20 per cent versus 11 per cent).
However, the intended level of investment in digital training for 2018 differs greatly by region.
APAC marketers are more than twice as likely than their North American counterparts to invest in digital skills and education (34 per cent versus 16 per cent), while those in Europe fall in the middle (25 per cent).