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The Role of Talent in the Digital Customer Journey

Focusing on digital talent and developing strategies to reduce the impact of talent shortages is key to keeping pace with consumer expectations.

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. Our second webinar explored how marketing teams can plug talent gaps with intelligent or automated technologies

One of the key themes emerging from the survey results was the role of talent in the digital customer journey and specifically how talent shortages across the region are impacting a brand's ability to create highly personalized and optimal digital customer journeys. 

So how does talent contribute to the digital customer journey and what are the trends happening across Asia Pacific?

Digital Talent Remains a Key Challenge Across Asia Pacific

One of the key findings of the CX Survey was that both Australian and Singaporean markets are under pressure to deliver what customers need due to difficulty finding key talent. Talent shortages across brand marketing, digital customer service, data, analytics and machine learning are limiting brands’ ability to keep pace with consumers’ digital experience expectations.

In Australia, more than a quarter of brands reported reductions in the workforce overall as a result of COVID-19. Additionally, significant talent shortages we reported in technology related roles that are needed to deliver personalised customer experiences. 

Digital talent shortages in Australia also exceeded global levels in many important roles:

Digital Customer Journeys are Becoming Increasingly Complex

Brands are facing an ever-increasing range of digital channels and applications where they need to engage their customers. For both marketing and IT teams, this presents a real challenge. Marketing teams are looking to provide a consistent and high-quality experience across an ever changing digital landscape, while IT teams need to maintain architectural integrity and application and data security, while ensuring compliance with consumer data privacy regulations.  

It’s clear from the data that brands across Asia Pacific are investing in marketing and CX technologies to try to keep pace with the increasingly sophisticated demands of digital consumers.

Australian brands have spent the last year aggressively investing in marketing and CX technologies. In fact, Australian brands lead the technology curve, reporting that they embraced the following technologies ahead of global peers:

Wearable devices also continue to grow in popularity.Health, fitness, communications, entertainment and access to information are key applications that are driving consumers to investing in wearable technology. 

Research from Gartner predicts an 18% increase in global spending across wearable devices in 2021. While smart watches, wristbands and ear-worn devices are clearly leading the way, head-mounted displays and smart clothing and patches are also gaining popularity.

Close Talent Gaps with Open Technologies

Open technologies can help brands close talent gaps in a number of ways. 

First, open source solutions like Drupal are supported by large communities of developers, partners, contributors and marketers. Rather than relying on hard to find specialised developer resources with skills specific to a proprietary platform, open technologies offer brands access to a wide pool of experienced people ready to deliver the brand’s digital experience vision.

Open technologies like Acquia Customer Data Platform help brands by making customer data, insights and analytics available to decision makers across the business, without the need to submit requests to data science or business intelligence specialists. 

Low-code content management solutions like Acquia Site Studio remove the reliance on developers while providing governance to help marketing teams create consistent digital experiences faster. 

Transform Faster with Digital Agencies and Data Partners

It’s clear from the survey results that COVID-19 has driven a real shift to digital that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, even once social distancing restrictions are lifted. Over half of Singaporean consumers are buying more online than they were before, and 47% of consumers reported that the digital experience matters more than it did before. 

Brands need to evolve quickly to take advantage of the shifting landscape and working with agencies and partners can be an effective way to reduce the impact of talent shortages. At a tactical level, talent gaps can create a direct impact across the customer journey.

For example, shortages of data scientists can lead to a backlog of requests to build reports and to provide insights to the business, slowing down business decision making. Digital customer service agents can become overwhelmed because customers cannot complete their service interactions on the mobile app. Customers have poor mobile app experiences because the app is not updated frequently enough due to lack of mobile app developers. 

Partners can help brands overcome these talent shortages by providing experienced specialist teams or individuals required for key roles. At a strategic level, agency partners can ensure that brands have the right strategies in place to drive their CX transformation. At Acquia, we recently launched our DX Alliance, a partner community focused on creating combined technology solutions and accelerating time to value for businesses. 

We recommend brands seek out partners that align with their strengths and embrace a mutual growth mindset focused on customer success. Brands need a well-defined CX vision and roadmap to define their future digital experiences and agency partners can bring the experience and expertise to help brands provide this direction faster. 

A strongCX strategy should include how the brand will leverage personalisation, automation and customer data to deliver their digital experiences of the future. 

Agencies can provide a different perspective and approach things in a way that brands hadn’t thought about before. Partners can help to identify valuable personalisation use cases, and work with brands to build a prioritised personalisation roadmap. Personalisation strategy will look for opportunities to deliver better CX or improve digital KPIs by providing personalised experiences. 

An effective automation strategy will identify customer journeys where automation could be applied to deliver the largest business impact at the least cost. Data partners can also help brands build a customer data strategy that will act as a solid foundation for building a data and customer-centric organisation.

A customer data strategy will define the customer data model and focus on how the brand should be collecting and processing customer data to deliver the most value to the brand and the best experience for the customer.

Many organisations do not have the experience or expertise to develop these strategies and capabilities. Partnering with experienced agency partners can help everyone understand the strategy and transform the business faster. 


Our final webinar in the series explores how to enhance CX through personalised automated solutions. Download the full CX survey results for Singapore, Australia and Japan to learn more.

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