Eight out of ten companies in APAC are behind the digital transformation curve: OgilvRED

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The evolving consumer landscape calls for digital transformation as companies rethink their marketing strategies, but 80% of companies in Asia-Pacific are behind that digital curve, according to a new survey from OgilvRED Asia Pacific, the consultancy arm of Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific.

OgilvyRED’s Digital Transformation Survey explores the transformation journey of different industry sectors across Asia Pacific, and how prepared – or unprepared – businesses are in tackling those challenges and changing trends. The survey analyzed a cross-section of senior marketing executives, of VP and CMO positions, on their view of “Marketing 3.0” and the challenges they face on their journey.

According to OgilvRED, the time for leveraging technology to transform marketing has come. With consumer digital adoption moving at a rapid pace, marketers are charged, now more than ever, to find more effective engagement strategies to respond to the always-on consumer, specifically through digital transformation.

The ultimate challenge is how to grow brand and business value through great customer experiences. Marketers need to make their brands matter in every channel and every touchpoint, delivering content through more relevant digital experiences, said Lucy McCabe, President, OgilvyRED Asia Pacific.

“Digital adoption has passed the tipping point. The time has come for digital to make an impact and revolutionize organizations and the ways in which they connect with their consumers,” she said. “Yet, results show that the journey to true digital transformation is, in fact, a road less far travelled than we might think.”

Over 90% of the organizations surveyed described themselves as “somewhere on the journey” to transformation, with only 17% of those surveyed currently delivering a new digital experience, leaving over 80% of companies with no plan or behind the digital curve.

“Challenges vary between sectors and markets, but the key is to identify the road blocks and bridge those gaps. Companies need to challenge traditional success metrics and deliver consumer experiences based on intimate algorithms that shape the experience around that consumer,” adds McCabe.

What does digital transformation mean today?

The current challenge in marketing transformation is no longer purely about technology. Organizations need to embrace and leverage technology to create fresh business models and adopt new digital channels to meet the needs of its consumers.

The increasing infusion of digital into marketing has already started to change certain industry sectors – some accelerating faster than others.

Industry sectors such as IT, telecoms and travel/tourism lead the way in digital transformation, according to the survey, and even the FMCG sector is focusing more on marketing transformation as a way to build direct relationships with consumers at every stage of the marketing funnel.

86% of respondents had seen significant increases in digital marketing budgets over the last three years, and 55% also pointed to growing e-commerce as a priority, speaking to a broad buy-in and investment in digital transformation across the industry.

The top four outcomes organizations seek from marketing transformation are customer-focused, which indicates that marketers are finding it increasingly challenging to drive efficiencies at the top of the funnel, both in traditional and digital channels. These are:

  • Extending reach to new audiences
  • Increasing relevance and engagement with consumers
  • Transforming the way value to customers is delivered
  • Increasing customer satisfaction

Perceptions of challenges

Respondents identified leadership as the key driver of success in an organization’s transformation process, whether that’s brought in internally or through an external agent to drive the process. But, the majority of marketers identified internal change management as the most significant barrier to success. Organizations need to integrate and departments need to work closely together to effectively deliver transformed customer experiences.

Additionally, many of the surveyed emphasized their struggle to find an integrated agency that demonstrates a depth of specialist expertise. Partnerships are becoming increasingly important in order to bridge these gaps.

“We are competing in a data-driven digital world. Brands need to unblock internal barriers and seek a trusted partner with deep expertise to deliver tailored content and consumer experiences as individually relevant as possible,” said Jerry Smith, chairman of OgilvyRED Asia Pacific. “More organizations see this as a high priority on their marketing transformation agenda, but need to move faster on their path to transformation.”

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you, I gave a special attention to this article as digital marketing technology nowadays interested millions of CMO’s. Digital technologies change the world around us – the truth is yours. So with a time flow business also changes, at least it should be changed.

    For some companies implementation of the digital strategy is a real challenge. Maybe this is the reason why 90% of companies still in a way to digital transformation. But, as I can see from your survey 17%, however, delivering a new digital experience:)

    I like your notion that in our modern world former models and business processes become not effective, old methods of communications don’t work – and I absolutely agree with you. Nowadays speeds of business development amazed and to be effective is necessary to run at high speed. Information occupies us, and it needs new methods of implementation.

    Some enterprises are already leveraging the benefits of digital transformation, while others struggle with incorporating the necessary changes into their business processes.

What do you think?