afaqs! news bureau

Marketers should focus on digital transformation: APAC CMOs

The report is based on survey of 1000 CMOs and senior-level marketers in 10 markets – including Australia, China, and Japan in Asia Pacific.

Dentsu Aegis Network’s 2019 global survey highlights a growing challenge for marketing leaders, as they seek to move beyond optimisation and drive business transformation through digital.

Globally, eight out of 10 surveyed recognise the imperative to transform the business in the face of digital disruption, as well as taking more responsibility for product and service innovation over the next two-three years. China, in particular, comes out leading this trend with 98 per cent and 96 per cent of respondents, respectively, prioritising these areas as key elements of the marketing function.

Marketers should focus on digital transformation: APAC CMOs

Across a spectrum of marketing capabilities, CMOs were asked what they believe to be important to future success, versus their current ability to execute. The data shows a significant gap emerging between the two:

85 per cent believe creativity is critical to future business success, 54 per cent believe they are delivering well today.

83 per cent identify the importance of seamless customer experience and commerce across channels, yet only 60 per cent believe they are developing this capability well.

But the divide is most stark in data management and analytics, where 84 per cent identify these capabilities as important to future success, yet only 49 per cent are confident in these capabilities today.

The divide between existing capabilities in data skills and the importance these skills will have on future business performance is perhaps the greatest risk CMOs must address, as the growth of the global digital economy shows no signs of slowing down.

Globally, an inability to secure long-term investment is cited as the most significant barrier to delivering on marketing strategy (rated as a top three concern by 50 per cent of all CMOs).

In contrast with their global counterparts, top barriers faced by CMOs in APAC are linked to the challenges associated with digital transformation as opposed to securing long-term investment.

For Australia and China for example, the inability to transform the business quickly enough is the number one barrier to delivering on marketing strategy. Also, cited among their top three challenges is insufficient control over digital investments or programmes across the company. In Japan, the lack of access to requisite talent emerges as the top challenge.

While globally, two-thirds (64 per cent) say they expect to come under further pressure to demonstrate tangible short-term results, marketers in China (84 per cent), Japan (71 per cent), and Australia (49 per cent) are more likely to plan their marketing strategy over the longer term, at least two years in advance.