Strategy, culture, development of digital marketing skills important building blocks
Smartphone is device of choice for majority in Asia Pacific
MARKETERS are grappling with the complexities of creating a customer experience-friendly culture but are aligned in their determination to differentiate their business through customer experience.
This was one of the findings in a study by Econsultancy in partnership with Adobe, which reveals regional differences between Asia Pacific, Europe and North America, shedding new light on how marketers interpret and prioritise the different elements of what makes a brilliant customer experience.
The Econsultancy report, Digital Trends 2015, surveyed more than 6,000 marketers worldwide, with 14% of respondents from Asia Pacific.
Paul Robson, president of Adobe Asia Pacific, said that getting customer experience right was not a simple proposition for a business.
“Customer experience represents the entire range of interactions a customer might have with a business, covering a range of touch points from awareness and discovery, right through to purchase, use and ideally, advocacy.
“It’s a complex proposition for a business to serve up a consistent and excellent series of touch points across a lifecycle that moves from real life to digital; from store front to website and social networks. But it’s a challenge that marketers in Asia are embracing,” he said in a statement.
The Econsultancy report drilled down into where organisations were placing the highest emphasis on in terms of improving customer experience. Compared to marketers in North America and Europe, Asia Pacific marketers are betting big on delivering the most personalised and relevant experience possible, with 38% nominating this as their top priority compared to 32% in the other two regions.
Figure 1: Where does your organisation place the highest emphasis in terms of improving the customer experience?
When asked about the primary ways in which their organisation will seek to differentiate itself through customer experience in the next five years, more regional differences were revealed.
The majority of respondents in all three regions selected customer experience and service: Making it fun, easy, valuable and pleasurable to do business – North America 42%, Europe 46% and Asia Pacific 46%.
However, more Asia Pacific marketers were focused on becoming a “mobile-first” business, with 10% of respondents identifying this as their top priority compared to 7% in Europe and just 5% in North America.
Figure 2: Over the next five years, what is the primary way your organisation will seek to differentiate itself from competitors?
“The smartphone dominates as the device of choice among the majority of Asia Pacific consumers, and is used to research, communicate and make purchases, so it makes perfect sense that more marketers here than anywhere else in the world are prioritising development of a mobile-first business,” said Robson.
However, when asked about the building blocks needed for a company to create an exceptional customer experience, Asia Pacific marketers also had some distinctive views that may impact the development of some of their more ambitious visions.
Fifty-five per cent of North American respondents ranked technology and tools as being among the three most critical elements in the delivery of customer experience, compared to only 43% in Asia Pacific. Among North American respondents, 15% of the 55% ranked technology and tools as the most important delivery factor and 18% as second most important; compared to 7% (first) and 16% (second) in Asia Pacific.
Instead, Asia Pacific marketers identified strategy, culture (a cross-business approach with the customer at the heart of all decisions) and the development of digital marketing skills combined with analytics and technology as the most important building blocks that will help a company transform its customer experience approach.
Marketers in North America and Europe were aligned, identifying the same three elements as the most critical.
“Customer experience is forcing organisations to create a more integrated approach, with marketing no longer simply carried out by the marketing department but at every customer touch point, which is dramatically changing how the brand experience is delivered,” said Robson.
“This research shows that we’re seeing a high level of marketing sophistication in digitally-aware Asian businesses, whose marketing leaders are transforming their organisations to ensure brand is central at every moment of customer experience.”
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