Australia Dominates APAC In Marketing Maturity: Adobe

Australia Dominates APAC In Marketing Maturity: Adobe

Australia is leading the region when it comes to digital marketing maturity, but resting on our laurels looks like a recipe for eating our neighbours’ dust according to research conducted by the CMO Council in partnership with Adobe.

Liz Miller, SVP of marketing, CMO Council told a group of journalists in Sydney earlier this week that any regional study was difficult to benchmark because of the various stages of economic development across the region, but the pace with which emerging Asian economies were evolving coupled with their first experience of the online world often being via a mobile device, meant that the acceleration of the region’s development was likely to be eye-wateringly rapid in the next few years.

Paul Robson, president, Adobe Asia Pacific said that marketing skills throughout Asia more broadly were very poor – scoring only 1.8/10 – largely because of the widespread adoption of “tenure-based hierarchical system” of seniority within corporations.

In other words, until the senior people who’ve been with the organisation for 35 years gets out of the road, many companies within the region will not get the senior support to make the digital transformation for development.

Australia, on the other hand, has better support for digital marketing development, with the report revealing 51% of marketers reporting that they have strong support.

Miller also added that owing to the affordability of labour, marketing teams within Asia tended to be much larger than in Australia or North America, which perversely meant that it made collaboration much harder.

“If you have a giant team, you can’t collaborate effectively,” she said.

She also added that “social is throwing us through a loop and we can’t even identify the data that we have that will move the needle”. In other words there was still a high instance within the region of collecting a mountain of data on customers and prospects and then doing nothing with it.

Robson chimed in with the observation that when companies started using algorithmic analytics not as a tracking tool, but as a predictive one then there were real signs of digital maturity.

In Australia, Robson added, predictive analytics was more prevalent and that you could see the competitive advantage it delivered by the trend of whatever one large corporate in a sector did, such as banking, the others would soon follow. “One of them breaks ranks and does something new and gets ahead, then the others all follow and catch up again.”

The full report can be downloaded here.

Adobe’s full release is below.

Adobe Research Sends Message to Marketers: Embrace the next evolution of customer experience – integrate content and creativity

Sydney, AUSTRALIA — EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:01AM, THURSDAY 29 OCTOBER – New research from Adobe and the CMO Council reveals marketers need to turn their attention to the next evolution of marketing, boosting focus to integrate content and creativity as the foundation of customer experience, the driver of how customers interact digitally and a critical point of alignment for organisations.

The fourth annual APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard was conducted by the CMO Council in partnership with Adobe. It included a three-month in-field program comprising quantitative surveys with over 900 marketing executives. The study benchmarked the levels of adoption, traction and success of digital marketing in Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, Singapore, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and India. For the first time, the 2015 Digital Dashboard also examined creative empowerment and content velocity indicators, both critical to delivering an integrated and compelling customer experience.

The 2015 Digital Dashboard has found a significant majority of Australian marketers believe digital marketing can create a competitive advantage for their organisation, and Australia continues to lead the region when it comes to digital marketing maturity. However, the inclusion of creative empowerment and content velocity indicators has uncovered challenges for the next frontier of customer experience.

“The 2015 Digital Dashboard has found 28% of marketers report creativity and the development of content are handled ad hoc and as needed; there’s no over-arching, organization-wide strategy driving it. Further, just 29% advise that content creators collaborate and share creative content to unify and align across all customer touchpoints,” said Paul Robson, President, Adobe Asia Pacific.

“Organisational silos have long been a pain point in digital transformation, but the focus has been on solving them for data. What we are seeing now is that silos also exist across creativity and content creation and that will hold back advances in customer experience, which is a critical requirement for competitive advantage and business success.”

Australia leads the Asia Pacific region when it comes to digital marketing maturity, senior management support and sophistication of marketing analysis.

“In the 2015 Digital Dashboard more Australian marketers report that their digital marketing maturity is highly evolved, up to 23% from 14% in 2014; 49% of marketers rated their ability to measure the value and return of digital investment as excellent or very good, a jump from 36% in 2014,” said Mr Robson.

“More Australian marketers are measuring data throughout the life of campaigns, up to 26% from 11% in 2014. The increase is promising but still low and means many marketers are missing important data points that could be used to drive better business results.”

More key findings from the 2015 Digital Dashboard include:

  • Organisational support for deploying new insight-driven, omnichannel programs is generally low across Asia Pacific, with just 9% having a culture dedicated to a unified, dynamic customer experience, 14% for Australia
  • 25% of Australian marketers take a mobile-first mindset when mapping experiences and engagements; the Asia Pacific average is 18%
  • 24% of Australian marketers are struggling to connect functional silos in order to achieve a single customer truth, above the APAC average of 17%
  • Skill levels remain stagnant with 18% of marketers advising their skill set for digital analysis is a high priority; only 22% advise they have an experienced, dedicated headcount for data analysis, down from 26% in 2014.

Liz Miller, SVP of Marketing, CMO Council, said the 2015 Digital Dashboard has revealed Australian marketers are entering the second wave of digital transformation.

“Australian marketers have moved beyond discussions about the value of digital. While some organisations are just beginning their digital journeys, questions now centre on how to implement and better align to the expectations of the customer, rather than whether to go ahead. Marketers want to re-start innovation, with a focus on content and creativity, and mobile,” Ms Miller said.

“Delivering the next evolution of customer experience won’t be possible without the right marketing leadership and vision; a CMO or Head of Marketing who can bring together all of the creativity and content silos and deliver a seamless campaign.  Without a leader who has a view of the entire eco-system, the evolution and implementation of customer experience will be threatened.”

Liz Miller offers three areas of focus for marketers in the year ahead:

  • Keep reporting against business KPIs and define digital success in terms of business goals – this is what resonates with the leadership team.
  • Re-define what data means and see it as the embodiment of the customer, not just a reporting metric.
  • Content and creativity are key, and together with strong organizational data mindset and execution, will be the fuel that catapults customer experience forward.

Download the APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard 2015.

APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard Methodology 

The 2015 Adobe APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard was compiled through quantitative surveys with over 800 marketers across the region. Marketers from Australia, New Zealand, Korea, China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore and other countries responded and completed the surveys.

About the CMO Council

The CMO Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide-range of global industries. The CMO Council’s 9,700 members control more than $450 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. In total, the CMO Council and its strategic interest communities include more than 20,000 global executives in more than 110 countries covering multiple industries, segments and markets. Regional chapters and advisory boards are active in the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, India and Africa. The Council’s strategic interest groups include the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE),, Marketing Supply Chain Institute, Customer Experience Board, Market Sense-Ability Center, Digital Marketing Performance Institute, GeoBranding Center, and the Forum to Advance the Mobile Experience (FAME). More information on the CMO Council is available at

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