In this guest post by Billy Loizou, APAC Area VP at Amperity, offers us the tech trends marketers need to know to triumph in today’s brand-landscape:
Evolving consumer expectations paired with ever-changing privacy and data regulations leave brands with more questions than answers when it comes to their marketing and technology investments. At a recent Supper Club hosted by Amperity, we turned the table over to Teresa Sperti, founder and director at Arktic Fox to address these queries.
Drawing from the findings of the recently released Digital & Marketing in Focus study, she shared her expert insights that are vital for all brands to thrive in this evolving landscape
1) Executive buy-in hampering digital transformation:
According to the study, the biggest difficulty leaders face when it comes to digital transformation is the knowledge and understanding (or lack thereof) of executive teams. Nearly 4 in 10 leaders (39 per cent) cited this as one of their key difficulties.
Sperti says: “A lack of executive knowledge and understanding when it comes to digital makes it harder to drive alignment and focus. This results in less investment whilst increasing the likelihood that more leaders and teams work against, not for, the change.”
2) Preparing for Australia’s privacy proposal:
Privacy is a significant focus for brands this year. The good news is, according to the study, 41 per cent of leaders believe they have their house in order as it pertains to privacy. These leaders believe they have a clear path they are implementing or are well on their way to evolving in the privacy space.
The bad news is, more than half (59 per cent) don’t. Even more, less than one in four say that improving compliance with data privacy is a key priority in 2023. Considering the fines involved with non-compliance and the risk to brand reputation from the fallout of a breach, this should be a key priority for every leader in the year ahead.
3) Balancing short-term versus long-term initiatives:
Given the uncertain economic lookout, the key priority for 78 per cent of leaders is driving growth. Building a customer data strategy and better utilisation of first-party data came in as the second most important priority for the year ahead.
Sperti explains: “In an environment where growth is harder to come by, driving retention will be paramount, as will building assets to manage the transition away from third-party cookies. This is why we see this rank so highly in the research.
“Like always we see digital transformation feature prominently within the top five priorities, coming in at fourth place. However, for organisations earning more than AU$100 million, digital transformation ranked among the top three priorities as many still grapple with the complexity of driving transformational change to remain relevant in a changing market.”
4) Investing in future technology projects:
Whilst leaders are beginning to pare back investments in MarTech overall, investment in CDPs is accelerating. In fact, the study demonstrates that 40 per cent of brands say that CDPs are a key priority for investment – double that of last year.
Sperti said: “2023 is clearly the year of the CDP in Australia. Over the past three years, we have been tracking investment in MarTech and priority areas for the year ahead. With demonstrable growth in the number of platforms available and the providers serving the industry, it is fair to say organisations are still trying to make sense of the complexity of what is out there and what is the right choice for their brand.
“And whilst there are promises of improved efficiency, effectiveness, relevance and automation at scale – for many the returns are still too elusive as they grapple with how to integrate and embed platforms to derive value and to my earlier comments invest in training so people know how to use the systems most effectively. CDP uptake is being driven by gaps in the MarTech ecosystem, limiting teams to go after opportunities and work through key challenges.”
Key stats to know: Businesses have many data challenges and opportunities they are leaning into.The study found…
- 61 per cent believe they need to improve data quality
- 64 per cent want to drive personalised experiences
- 55 per cent say building out a customer data strategy and better utilising first-party data is a priority
- 59 per cent are still trying to embed a data-driven approach – a common theme over the past three years of the study
5) Enabling teams to overcome internal skill gaps:
The study also revealed that a third (33 per cent) of leaders felt their teams’ lack of capability and skills make driving change challenging when it comes to digital transformation.
Sperti confirmed: “Data and analytics once again topped the list of technical skill gaps within digital and marketing functions today – with nearly half (47 per cent) of all participants, citing it as a key skill gap.
“What’s more, when we asked teams about the level of data literacy in their departments, only 35 per cent said it was strong. This means two-thirds of teams are operating without strong knowledge and skills in the data and analytics space.
“We have seen very little progress in closing the skill gaps in areas of data and analytics over the past three years. Trying to conceptualise and roll out strategies like a first-party data strategy is impossible if one, your team doesn’t have the capability to do so; two, your teams don’t know what good looks like; and three, if you are trying to build skills and capabilities whilst implementing change.”
Revealingly, the study also demonstrates that whilst skills gaps abound, not only in technical but soft-skill areas as well, brands and organisations aren’t doing enough to address them. In fact, 43 per cent of leaders admit they have no training budget, holding their teams back.
The future is first-party
Looking toward the future, the evolving privacy landscape presents several challenges but also numerous opportunities for marketers and brands. As consumer expectations and data regulations continue to evolve, brands have the chance to differentiate themselves by prioritising privacy and data protection.
By taking proactive steps to build trust and transparency, they can forge deeper connections with their customers and create personalised experiences that genuinely resonate. Embracing privacy as a strategic priority not only mitigates risks but also unlocks the potential of data-driven insights, enabling brands to make more informed decisions and drive meaningful growth.
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