As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen significant change in how businesses are investing in technology and transforming both their employee and customer experiences to suit a digital-first era. Acquia recently surveyed 800 marketing leaders and 8000 consumers globally to understand today’s customer experience (CX) trends that are shaping both marketing strategies and consumer experiences. We gathered insights across different regions including conducting reports for Singapore, Australia and Japan.
Our recent webinar series has been exploring the three key trends we’re seeing in the data across Asia Pacific. We identify where marketers in Asia Pacific are focusing their efforts, and what they are finding challenging as digital experiences become an even more integral part of consumer’s daily lives.
So what are the key trends that are shaping CX across Asia Pacific today?
Martech Investment Continues to Accelerate
Australian marketing teams have responded with increased investment across platforms that help them connect with the customers, and deliver data-driven insights and customer experiences.
Australian businesses are building their digital capabilities roughly inline with their global peers with the exception of marketing automation where Australian brands are showing increased levels of investment.
Brands in Singapore have also been investing in building their digital capabilities the past year, in many cases exceeding global investment trends:
- Marketing automation: 65% of Singapore brands vs. 63% globally
- Customer data platforms (CDPs): 64% of Singapore brands vs. 54% globally
- Personalisation: On par with global peers at 43%
- Low-code or no-code tools: On par with global peers at 24%
Customer data platforms are seeing increased levels of investment in Singapore also with 64% of marketers investing in CDPs compared with just 54% of their global counterparts. As part of a customer-centric data strategy, customer data platforms can help marketers build a unified customer data profile, across digital, e-commerce, retail and call-centre interactions. While investment into technology will provide better CX through areas like personalisation and AI, marketing teams are still finding challenges to find the expertise to take full advantage of the technologies available.
Our first webinar for a deeper discussion on how open source technologies drives value for your business.
Digital Talent Remains a Key Challenge Across Asia Pacific
While investment into digital platforms is increasing in order to scale at pace, businesses need people with the right expertise to understand how to engage customers using the range of marketing technologies available.
Australian marketing teams noted talent shortages across key digital roles. While machine learning is definitely an area of significant growth, 45% of Australian marketers reported difficulties in finding the people needed to deliver their CX vision.
In Singapore, marketers also reported challenges in finding the right talent:
- Brand marketing leadership, 46% Singapore vs. 44% globally
- Digital customer service roles: 54% Singapore vs. 44% globally
- Data analysts/scientists: 46% Singapore vs. 43% globally
- Growth marketers: 45% Singapore vs. 38% globally
- Web developer talent: 34% Singapore vs. 33% globally
CMOs in Asia Pacific are setting the vision for their CX in a fast-evolving context – but many are doing so faced with reductions in team size due to COVID-19 and skills shortages in both marketing and technical roles.
One of the key outtakes is that strategically deployed technology can help increase capacity and support new CX and marketing initiatives by closing talent gaps. Reducing reliance on talent is not just about automation. DXPs that reduce the need for very specialised and hard-to-find talent help brands deliver better customer experiences faster and with more agility.
There are a number of ways that brands can help combat talent shortages in these areas, such as working with platforms that provide marketers with access to intelligent data without the use of data-scientists or developers, using low-code platforms, and identifying where automation and artificial intelligence can help reduce dependency on talent in short supply.
Our second webinar explores how marketing teams can plug talent gaps with intelligent or automated technologies.
As digital usage explodes, building consumer trust has never been more critical
Ultimately, the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on digital consumer behaviour won’t be known for some time, but one thing we do know already is that consumers have rapidly shifted to digital channels as a response to social distancing restrictions.
It’s clear that consumers in both Australia and Singapore have quickly turned to digital channels as a response to social distancing requirements.
A staggering 63% of Singaporean consumers reported an increase in their usage of Social Media which well exceeds the global consumer average.
We know that delivering a consistent, seamless customer experience across digital, retail and service channels requires sharing customer data across these channels. Email relevancy can be improved via access to retail transaction data. Developing a first-part data strategy is key.
In Singapore, only 57% of consumers trust brands with their data but 70% of marketers believe they do. Marketing teams must close this trust gap if they’re serious about building consumer engagement through personalisation.
Providing data transparency, giving consumers control over their data and clearly explaining the benefits to the customer of providing their information are some of the ways that brands can build confidence.
Businesses that build trust with consumers to give them confidence to share their data will reap the rewards as post-pandemic consumers engage further online.
Our final webinar in the series explores how to enhance CX through personalised automated solutions.