New research released by Adobe with CMO Council, shows confidence in the value of digital marketing is still growing. This is despite the region’s marketers struggling to validate performance and build a business case for higher investment.
At a time when marketing is fast becoming the catalyst for business transformation and customer engagement optimisation, APAC marketers are still largely focused on single vector metrics that measure past success or single points of campaign performance, said the study. The study also states that companies are typically not measuring impact on harder business metrics, such as sales pipeline measurement or customer lifetime value.
The APAC digital directions report saw 62% of respondents saying that they measure click-through rates and campaign ROI, and 65% said they measured response rates, compared to just 17% measuring revenue per customer.
Meanwhile, 13% measure customer lifetime value and 14% measure market share movements. However, this minority that is measuring business value metrics are reaping the rewards, as 79% indicate they will be increasing budgets dedicated to digital. This group, is taking a more transformational approach, and have a substantially different viewpoint on the impact of digital to their business, said the study.
Marketers who measure business value metrics spend a higher proportion of their marketing budget on digital, and are almost twice as likely to allocate more than 50% of their budget to digital than marketers who don’t measure the same metrics.
Similarly, marketers who track business value metrics have higher levels of confidence in digital than their non-measuring peers (75% vs 59%). They are also more likely to say that digital can grow a profitable business faster (45% vs 33%) and are less likely to say they struggles to make a business case for digital spend (31% vs 40%).
“We have seen and worked with many companies to successfully transform their operations, teams, technologies and strategies as they consolidate digital channels to deliver a unified, exceptional customer experience,” said Paul Robson, president, Adobe Asia Pacific.
He added that while the task is complex and challenging, the rewards are great. Early adopters have now consolidated their position as leaders and are able to prove value to their organisations and industries, creating a virtuous cycle of funding and resources.
“Those companies use customer intelligence in an insightful way, are leading with data; measuring, predicting and using insights across multiple channels to raise the bar by creating new experiences to satisfy customers.”
Liz Miller, senior vice president of marketing at CMO Council, agrees.
“Digital has truly come of age. Respondents are confirming that digital enables additional touchpoints with customers (66%), delivers more cost-effective customer acquisition (47%), improves customer loyalty (41%) and improves the overall customer experience and responsiveness (33%),” said Miller.
She added that the challenge now is to turn marketers’ attention to extracting greater value and insights from data to provide ideas and knowledge that improve product, services and customer engagement and provide the foundations for a stronger internal pitch to boost investment and resourcing.
The report recommends three digital imperatives for APAC marketers to adopt to accelerate their digital journey.
1. Deep dive into analytics
Optimise strategies for engagement and enablement by diving deeper into intelligence, insights and customer analytics.
Best practice leaders in the region are demonstrating this by integrating tools that help streamline operations, and rolling out new strategies that leverage online and offline data to create smarter experiences.
2. Boost team performance and skills
The talent gap consistently manifests as a major obstacle to digital advancement. In 2013, 37% of marketers said their agency’s capabilities and experience were holding them back. In this latest survey, that number has jumped to 47% of respondents, which is especially problematic considering that 74% of respondents said they were working with one or more digital agencies across APAC.
3. Allocate around a customer-centric business case
Digital budgets are slowly increasing in Asia Pacific, with 79% of respondents say they have increased budgets over the last 12 months. Marketers who leverage metrics tied to the bottom line, profitability and growth, are having greater success persuading internal stakeholders to increase their investment in digital.
“The data is there; now it’s up to the marketers of Asia Pacific to apply it to drive business growth, and demonstrate the value of their function,” said Robson.