Budget Restrictions and Talent Shortage Fail to Dampen

Budget Restrictions and Talent Shortage Fail to Dampen Confidence in
Digital Marketing as Transformation Continues Across Asia-Pacific 
New Study From CMO Council and Adobe Shows High Hopes and Increasing
Management Support for Investment as Marketers Commit to Digital
Marketing to Engage Consumers More Effectively 
PALO ALTO, CA and SINGAPORE -- (Marketwire) -- 11/20/12 --   Digital
marketing transformation across Asia is advancing thanks to high
levels of optimism in digital marketing's ability to attract and
engage a highly mobile and digitally connected consumer, according to
findings of a new study from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
Council. Regional and global leaders largely support the move to
digital, but the reality of limited budgets, a lack of talent across
both in-house and agency teams, and a desire to move slowly in
"pilot-mode" versus full deployments may slow the march forward as
Asia looks to catch up with global digital marketing practices. 
The study, dubbed the "APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard,"
revealed more than 90 percent of marketers believe digital marketing
could create competitive advantage for their company, and 52 percent
feel that digital marketing is crucial in helping create a more
customer-centric organization. Management's view on digital also
bolstered confidence, as 38 percent of marketing leaders said they
had at least one strong digital marketing champion on the APAC
leadership team of their organization, and a further 60 percent said
the promise of greater accountability from the marketing function was
driving the leadership's interest in digital marketing strategy and
Despite management support, strategy and capabilities are falling
short as only 6 percent of respondents said they rated their own
digital marketing operations as "highly evolved." Low budgets are
also slowing the advancement of digital, with 53 percent of
respondents citing budget limitations as a significant factor
preventing them from undertaking critical activities such as testing
and analysis.  
But marketers are hopeful for the future and expect to increase
investment in the fiscal year ahead. In fact, 47 percent of
respondents said they would increase allocation to digital marketing
to between 10-24 percent of total marketing budgets, and 22 percent
said they would increase spend to 25-49 percent.  
"Interest and optimism in digital marketing are high, but investment
levels across Asia-Pacific are still low," noted Mark Phibbs, Senior
Director of Marketing for Adobe APAC. Seventy-two percent of APAC
marketers spend less than 25 percent of their total budget on
digital, and 37 percent allocate less than 10 percent. However, the
percentage of marketers expecting to allocate more than 50 percent of
their budget is set to almost double in the fiscal year ahead. The
commitment to digital is clearly happening." 
As their global marketing peers are looking to digital marketing
channels to deliver insights and intelligence to help power
everything from customer engagements to products, APAC marketers have
a more tactically focused data agenda. Only 7 percent of marketers
see data as a key competitive differentiator, instead looking to data
to measure KPIs (key performance indicators) and campaign results.
Only 15 percent of respondents leverage data continuously throughout
a campaign's lifecycle, and only 19 percent diagnose results and
enhance audience segmentation with data collected through digital
Significant gaps appeared across the region between countries using
digital marketing analytics and reporting technologies. Seventy-two
percent of all respondents are using analytics and reporting
technologies, with Australia and Korea recording the highest levels
at 84 percent. However, at the other end of the spectrum, 62 percent
of respondents in China, 35 percent of respondents in India and 31
percent of respondents in Hong Kong said they were not using any such
"As marketing pushes forward to a more measured and customer
data-driven future, marketers in Asia-Pacific must evolve their
thinking to see data as more than a reporting tool and begin to
leverage enhanced analytics and intelligence to improve digital
performance, enhance targeting and segmentation, and better direct
relevant content and experiences," said Liz Miller, the CMO Council's
Vice President of Global Programs and Operations. "It is clear that
marketers across the region are ready to run into a digital future,
but as the hyper-connected digital consumer continues to evolve,
marketers must invest in the people, processes and platforms that
will better predict and prepare them for these engagement
Nearly half of respondents believe their current marketing teams do
not have the right skills, experience or talent needed to take on an
advanced digital strategy. While many are limited in their talent
acquisition by a lack of budget to bring on the right level of
skills, it is also clear that the right talent is hard to find in the
region. One in four respondents say they are unable to find the right
staff with the right skills, while 32 percent say that their agency
capabilities are also lacking, limiting their ability to execute
The study highlights the varying levels of readiness, mindset and
adoption of technologies and channels across the region. "While
Asia-Pacific marketers are eager to advance, they lag behind more
developed markets like North America and Europe in adoption and
advancement of data-driven digital decisions," Miller noted. 
Phibbs continued that research was significant in understanding how
Asia-Pacific's marketers are leading their organizations into the
digital future. "It's not only important in terms of reaching and
engaging domestic markets; Asia-Pacific companies are competing
globally, and digital marketing is a critical factor in identifying
and qualifying new markets, reaching new customers, building the
brand and maintaining strong business opportunities internationally." 
The study includes a comprehensive dashboard that benchmarks the key
drivers and influencers of digital marketing advancement: market
mindset, organizational alignment, marketing readiness and marketing
skills. Also featured in the 85 report are in-depth findings from
quantitative and qualitative surveys conducted across key
Asia-Pacific markets. The inaugural study benchmarked the levels of
adoption, traction and success of digital marketing in Australia,
China, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and India, and 295 senior
marketers from a range of industries took part. The report, along
with a complimentary executive summary, is available for download at:
About the CMO Council 
 The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is
dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership, and
personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing
leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide-range of global
industries. The CMO Council's 6,000 members control more than $300
billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex,
distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. In total, the
CMO Council and its strategic interest communities include more than
20,000 global executives in more than 110 countries covering multiple
industries, segments and markets. Regional chapters and advisory
boards are active in the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East,
India, and Africa. The council's strategic interest groups include
the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE),
LoyaltyLeaders.org, Marketing Supply Chain Institute, Customer
Experience Board, Market Sense-Ability Center, Digital Marketing
Performance Institute, GeoBranding Center, and the Forum to Advance
the Mobile Experience (FAME). More information about the CMO Council
is available at www.cmocouncil.org. 
About Adobe Systems Incorporated
 Adobe is changing the world through
digital experiences. For more information, visit www.adobe.com. Keep
up to date with news and views from APAC digital marketers on the
Adobe Digital Dialogue blog at blogs.adobe.com/digitaldialogue/. Join
APAC marketers on the Digital Dialogue Asia-Pacific LinkedIn group.
Follow Adobe Digital Marketing Suite news and updates via
CMO Council Media Contact
Crystal Berry
Communications and Marketing Program Manager
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