APAC marketers still lacking in customer experience maturity, finds Adobe study

Customer experience optimisation is a top priority for businesses this year, with 19% of marketers viewing it as the "most exciting opportunity" in 2019. Even so, only 9% of marketers in Asia Pacific regard their CX as "very advanced", while 15% those in the US describe their companies that way. Meanwhile, 54% of global companies categorise their CX maturity as either not very advanced (46%) or immature (8%).

According to the “Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2019 Digital Trends” report by Adobe and Econsultancy, 44% of marketers said the biggest challenge they face in 2019 is difficulty getting a holistic view of customers across all interactions. Almost one-third (31%) of marketers see a lack of marketing technology integration as a barrier to securing an end-to-end view of audience and customer interactions.

Nonetheless, delivering personalised experiences in real time remains by far the most exciting prospect for 32% of marketers within the next three years. This comes as CX remains a main competitive differentiator, with businesses aiming to deliver data-driven, personalised marketing at scale.

The report also showed that most businesses globally have yet to implement effective, future-proof marketing and CX technologies. About 64% of organisations are either basing their marketing activities on a fragmented approach with inconsistent integration between technologies (46%) or little or no cloud technology (18%). Additionally, 9% of businesses globally have a highly integrated, cloud-based technology stack, despite the 2018 report stating that top-performing organisations were three times more likely than their counterparts to operate with one.

Even though adoption rates of integrated technology stacks remain low, the report said that 55% of all respondents expect better use of data for more effective audience segmentation and targeting to be among the top three marketing-related areas jumping furthest up their organisation’s priority list this year.

Meanwhile, marketers in Asia Pacific seem positive about automation, with only 24% being cautious compared to 34% in the US. Furthermore, businesses in Asia Pacific (24%) state they have experienced a positive rather than negative impact from the increased focus on consumer data protection. Data from the report showed that 50% of respondents are already using or are planning to invest in AI and machine learning to improve their businesses.

Paula Parkes, Adobe Asia Pacific senior director of marketing, said that as new techniques and practices related to customer experience emerge, organisations are struggling to keep up with the rate of change.

“Although organisations understand the importance of data-driven marketing and technologies such as AI and machine learning, there is a lag in implementation. Instead, many companies resort to using a patchwork of technologies, resulting in business fragmentation," she added. As such, Parkes said Adobe's priority is to work with brands to unlock the possibilities of CX management and accelerate their business transformation.

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