Study: Rapid migration to digital has done little for digital experience maturity


The rapid migration to digital technologies driven by the pandemic has done little for digital experience (DX) maturity in the ASEAN region, according to a new report, developed by Sitecore, Ecosystm and AKQA. While digital adoption efforts in the region have many bright spots, including more investments in building experiences that are not only easy and effective but also memorable to earn the loyalty of customers, these efforts are often slowed down by gaps in their marketing technology stack.

Currently, only 56% of businesses having integrated their marketing technology stack, and just 50% supporting their martech stack with sophisticated optimisation—there is an opportunity to do more.

Nonetheless, businesses show a greater propensity to invest in data driven decision-making, optimisation, and marketing technology (martech) to improve their DX maturity levels. Of the factors contributing to digital maturity, businesses in the region are strongest in driving robust executive vision and organisational strategy; and in their people and process strategies. So how can companies improve their overall digital experience maturity? Businesses across Asia Pacific should focus on five capabilities:

  1. Executives should drive the vision: Your senior managers need to be behind your digital transformation and the experiences you offer. They should build a business capable of designing, creating and improving these experiences.
  2. Motivate people and improve processes: While digital experiences take humans out of processes, humans still design, build and manage them. Businesses need to create processes and teams to support the continuous improvement of digital experiences.  
  3. Deploy a modern marketing technology stack: Start with a Digital Experience Platform (DXP) — and then integrate that platform and data across all marketing and customer experience systems and platforms. The automation and personalisation of entire customer processes using machine learning should be a goal of all digital and customer experience teams.
  4. Drive better decisions from all available data: Start by analysing the data that is readily accessible in your DXP. Then move on to unifying data across all touchpoints — digital and physical world. And finally complement internal data with external data sets that add value and insight.
  5.  Optimise experiences — and make them personal: A personal experience is exactly that — one which suits the individual. Optimised experiences are efficient, but personal experiences are ones that drive loyalty and trust. Build an ability to personalise experiences for your customers based on their needs and desires. 5 Businesses that master these capabilities are positioning themselves to be customer experience (CX) leaders — and to set the benchmarks that others strive to achieve.

To understand the digital experience maturity levels of businesses in the region, Ecosystm conducted a study across Asia Pacific with 600 businesses, including the 400 businesses in ASEAN (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand) using Sitecore’s Digital Experience Maturity Model (DXMM) assessment. The DXMM assessed organisations’ current capabilities on a five-stage digital index - ranging from organisations that are at the beginning of their digital experience journeys to those that set the benchmark that other businesses aim to achieve.

“As the report identifies, companies need to align their digital experiences around their customer needs. Companies who do this well are going further to recognise that customers don’t segment their view of the business by channel, so when considering customer journeys, it’s important to look at the full picture of how your customers are engaging with your business beyond just digital touchpoints. It’s also not a once and done exercise. Strong experience-focused businesses continue to learn and evolve their views of the customer journey as they strive to remove pain points across touchpoints and better engage their customers,” said Eric Orton, executive technology director AKQA, ANZ.

Rethink digital transformation

Delivering new and improved digital experiences requires organisations to rethink their digital transformation strategy. Ecosystm’s Digital Priorities in the New Normal Study identified that

13% of businesses across ASEAN and ANZ were forced to start their digital transformation.

These were often the companies who were convinced that they would never have to become digital businesses, and likely represent the 11% of firms that eventually launched a website in 2020. 25% of organisations are accelerating their digital transformation and 38% are refocusing their digital transformation as the needs of customers rapidly changed. Only 2% of businesses interviewed did not change their digital strategy in 2020.

digital transformation study

growth in 2020

“Southeast Asia will be home to 310 million digital consumers by the end of this year, and their readiness to use technology presents tremendous opportunities for businesses. We created the DXMM assessment for organisations to not only understand their own digital maturity levels but also to benchmark themselves against their competitors and adequately prepare for emerging trends and potential disruptions,” said Nick Boyle, vice president, Asia, Sitecore.

Tim Sheedy, principal advisor, Ecosystm added that organisations in the region are at different stages of digital maturity and it’s crucial to provide them with a benchmark industry standard as well as best practices. “We hope that by sharing the right data and actionable insights, businesses are able to carve out a roadmap to increase their own digital experience maturity,” said Sheedy.

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