APAC firms turn to hybrid workplace for agility, insights

Image courtesy of Adobe

The speed and action of insights will be an overriding focus and key investment area for many Asia Pacific (APAC) businesses in 2021 according to Adobe’s 2021 Digital Trends report.

Conducted in partnership with Econsultancy, the report surveyed 13,000 marketing, advertising, e-commerce, creative, and IT professionals, working for both brands and agencies across the world, including Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), India and Asia.

Digital disruption in 2020 led businesses to realize they need to understand and act on data faster.  Only one-third (35%) of ANZ leaders believe their organisation has strong capabilities in accuracy, actionability, speed and access of insights, while Asian leaders are far more pessimistic at around 9%. 

However, respondents across Asia (49%) and ANZ (40%) are planning to invest resources in improving insights and analytics capabilities to achieve their top marketing goals in 2021. 

For leaders in ANZ this is a focus on personalised customer experience (33%), while Asian leaders are committed to enabling digital customer acquisition (35%).

Duncan Egan, Adobe’s VP of DX Marketing in APAC and Japan, said organisations with better access to insights are more likely to say their customers are positive about their digital experience compared to their peers with lower levels of insight.

“Customers now have the upper hand in the ‘digital relationship’, with more than half of marketing respondents across APAC reporting unusual changes in customer behaviours and journeys in 2020,” said Egan.

“This report highlights that organisations need to accelerate their insight and action capabilities by moving to more flexible technologies and cloud-based platforms, as well as a unified and real-time view of the customer journey,” he added.

Respondents who are confident about their company’s customer experience feel optimistic about their corporate strategy (63% in ANZ vs 73% in India vs 56% in Asia) and their own prospects for career growth (61% in ANZ vs 70% in India vs 57% in Asia).

According to Adobe, speed to insight and action is critical in a changeable business environment and a core driver for customer experience and growth. 

However, organisations across APAC report three significant barriers that are hampering marketing and experience — legacy technology and systems (51% in ANZ, 37% in India and Asia), workflow issues (38% in ANZ, 33% in India and 48% in Asia), and a lack of digital skills and capabilities (34% in ANZ, 24% in India and 43% in Asia).

Egan said the most progressive companies are looking ahead and investing in hybrid workplace approaches for improved productivity and as a hiring differentiator for the best digital and CX talent.