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  • Copyright CMO Council. All Rights Reserved. 2015

    DIGITAL DIRECTIONS STRATEGIES, MANDATES

    & CHALLENGESFull Report | May 2015

    APAC

  • APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    Copyright CMO Council. All Rights Reserved. 2015 2

    Introduction

    Summary of Key Findings

    Infographic

    Contributed Commentary From Adobe

    Detailed Findings

    Demographics

    Leadership Committee

    Affiliate Partners

    About the CMO Council

    About Adobe

    3

    6

    13

    15

    17

    30

    35

    55

    56

    56

    CONTENTS

  • APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    Copyright CMO Council. All Rights Reserved. 2015 3

    Voltaire said, With great power comes great responsibility. Marketers across the Asia-Pacific region are living true to this great quote as digital marketing enables marketing leaders to transform into powerful revenue generators, emerging as true business leaders who are identifying, driving and optimizing opportunities for their organisations.

    Digital transformation elevates the responsibility to deliver relevant, personalized and timely engagements. This means that marketers must stop using digital as an inexpensive push channel and realize that customers have truly taken control of their own journeys with a brand.

    Consumers around the world are rapidly embracing digital, but the rate of adoption across Asia is nothing less than staggering. According to eMarketer, 63 million people in Indonesia will access Facebook through their mobile devices at least once per month in 2015, giving Indonesia the highest rate of mobile Facebook usage in the world.

    But for every story of massive digital advancement, there come stories of digital casualties, including the cautionary tale of Cyworld in South Korea, which has officially been eclipsed by Facebook, or of Yahoo!, which finally bid farewell to China and closed the doors on its last remaining office in Beijing in March of 2015. Yet even in the shadow of Yahoo!s failure, transformation continues to take hold as BMW successfully debuted the first sponsored moment on WeChat as the social platform tests the paid model with major brands, much to the delight of customers who were more than willing to engage and see more.

    Digital is advancing as customers find new ways to connect and engage. Marketers across Asia-Pacific are already feverishly working to keep pace. But now may be the time to start sprinting in an effort to get ahead of the transformation curve or risk being left behind.

    Over the past three years, the CMO Council, in partnership with Adobe, has chronicled the journey that marketers across Asia-Pacific have been traveling with respect to digital, which has involved transforming their operations, teams, technologies and strategies, in addition to onboarding digital marketing channels and measuring every engagement along the way. To be sure, this has not been an easy road as marketers have faced skeptical senior management teams who are reluctant to change, not to mention data silos, talent gaps and doubt in their organisations ability to truly meet the needs of todays connected consumer.

    But most notable in the 2014 APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard report was the sense that the marketers who were advancing and leading the digital pack were beginning to pull away from the laggards. Take, for example, marketers in Australia. Across the four key areas of digital marketing performancemindset, marketing readiness, organisational alignment and marketing skillsAustralia emerged as the clear leader in all four categories. Not only are marketers in Australia leading the digital marketing charge, but they are also beginning to pull away from regions like South Korea, which continue to struggle with senior management mindsets and a talent gap that is proving difficult to overcome.

    INTRODUCTION

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    Consider some of the key findings from the 2014 dashboard study:

    Digital is critical. Ninety-three (93) percent of marketers surveyed believe that digital engagements will drive competitive advantage for their brands.

    Management is embracing digital. Sixty (60) percent say they have strong senior management support, including a receptivity to piloting and testing more digital engagements.

    Data, insights and analytics are becoming core competencies for leaders. Three out of four marketers are currently using some form of analytics and reporting technologies while 70 percent are actively measuring outcomes and performance.

    Data is not an advantageyet. Only 7 percent of marketers see data as a competitive advantage for their brands. The majority37 percentare only using data as a way to report on past performance instead of looking forward.

    The skills gap is not closing quickly enough. Marketers are questioning whether they have the right skills in place, both in-house and with their agency partners.

    Marketers have questionsmanagement has doubts: For the first year, the 2014 dashboard showed a slight dip in marketing mindset, the score that tallies marketings belief that digital is a more effective engagement channel driven by customer desire and its ability to deliver a competitive advantage. Marketers are questioning digitals ability to reach and engage customers just as a crisis in measuring value to the business heightens. Even in leading regions like Australia, only 32 percent believe that their ability to report on digitals value to the business and actual engagement with customers is excellent. In lagging markets like China, only 9 percent give themselves top marks in making a business case.

    In almost every category, leaders like those in Australia are adopting a drastically different stance on talent, measurement, data and engagement. They are leading with data, dedicating team resources to optimize digital, and onboarding new skills to accelerate data-driven engagements to better reach their customers. They are measuring and predicting, using insights across multiple channels to better understand where new experiences can thrill and delight customers. And management teams are responding favorably to enhanced measurements that tie back to business value and profit as opposed to measures that are tied back to clicks, views and likes.

    To be sure, digital marketing performance is advancing, albeit at different speeds, across Asia-Pacific. But the question remains: How are budgets, intentions and strategies shifting to enable even greater growth and transformation in the year to come? Is the emerging doubt in digitals ties to business performance and value impacting growth and our ability to allocate?

    As a follow up to this years APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard, published in September 2014, the CMO Council and Adobe posed a series of questions to marketers across the region to gain a deeper understanding of the budget intentions of marketers, along with the core challenges that regional teams would look to conquer in the coming year. This study includes key findings from an online survey of 648 marketers across Asia-Pacific, along with insights from key qualitative interviews with marketing leaders.

    The APAC Digital Directions study truly validates that the actions being taken by digital leaders are being rewarded through increased budgets and the ability to further expand in areas like social engagement and personalisation. For markets advancing their ability to develop a business

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    case, deliver measures that tie to revenue and customer engagement, and forge lasting digital experiences for customers, digital advancement is accelerating. For those who heed the call that todays digital customers demand experiences rather than loosely related campaigns, the payoff will be business advancement, management trust and a growing confidence in their ability to connect with customers in meaningful and profitable ways. For those who fall further behind, digital marketing will simply become another campaign delivery tool and not a mechanism for business transformation, leaving marketing to manage advertising budgets versus driving and shaping the business.

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    Copyright CMO Council. All Rights Reserved. 2015 6

    As the adoption of digital grows, so does marketings confidence in the ability of digital to better reach and engage a brands most valuable customers. Some 63 percent of marketers believe their organisations current level of digital marketing proficiency is above average, with just over one in four marketers actually feeling that their expertise ranges from pretty good to high. Those in the middle believe their expertise is moderate (36 percent), but even this is a marked improvement from 2013, when only 29 percent of respondents had a similar view.

    India and Australia take the lead in digital confidence, with 42 percent of marketers in India and 35 percent of marketers in Australia giving themselves pretty good to high marks. Lagging behind are China (51 percent believe they need improvement or are lagging behind) and South Korea (45 percent believe they need improvement or are lagging)markets that have been traditionally held back because of sluggish management support to move away from more traditional advertising-centric strategies. But even this laggard view is decidedly optimistic compared to 2013 mindsets that saw South Korean marketers far more despondent, with 75 percent believing they lagged behind or needed significant improvement.

    Overall, confidence is spilling over into a belief that digital is enabling engagement through continuous touchpoints that connect a brand directly with its customers. Some 66 percent of respondents say digital is enabling additional touchpoints and opportunities while nearly half say digital is delivering more cost-effective customer acquisition. Interestingly, 41 percent believe customer loyalty is improving thanks to digital, and 33 percent say that digital is improving the customer experience and overall responsiveness.

    Yet despite this confidence in digital as a channel, the bravado falls off significantly when it comes to digital serving as a source of customer intelligence that can impact the business. While some 42 percent believe that digital provides data that can improve campaign effectiveness and targeting, only one in four respondents believes that digitals greatest impact on the business comes in the form of knowledge and insights that can help to improve products, solutions or services. Surprisingly, only 21 percent believe digital can increase transactional volumes, revenue and margins, which is likely more telling of marketings insistence to measure based on campaign performance rather than on solid business value measures.

    Continued digital improvements seem to hold the promise of heightened customer focus as 54 percent agree that digital creates a more customer-centric and responsive organisation. But few marketers (20 percent) have confidence that these digital improvements will make it easier to make a business case for increased investment.

    This raises the key question of the study: Even as digital confidence grows, why are marketers still struggling to validate the value and return of digital marketing investments? And what transformations must occur to move away from this status quo? What emerges most distinctly from the findings are key transformation imperatives that marketers must address to advance digital transformation and continue the process of turning marketing into a true business center.

    SUMMARY OF KEY FINDINGS

    TOP CHALLENGES TO DIGITAL EXECUTION IN APAC

    1. Budget limitations (50%)

    2. Limited digital agency capabilities, knowledge or experience (47%)

    3. Making a business case for digital spend (39%)

    4. Rapid pace of change (39%)

    5. Identifying the right platforms to power digital marketing strategies (36%)

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    DIGITAL IMPERATIVE 1: OPTIMIZE STRATEGIES FOR ENGAGEMENT Top of mind for marketers across Asia-Pacific is a focus on strategy. This is indicative of the realization that digital must move beyond an advertising and communication channel, shifting marketings focus to digital as a business driver. When asked what the top priorities for the next 12 months would be, strengthening digital content strategies topped the list (66 percent). More than half (52 percent) have social engagement optimization on their list while 36 percent say their focus is on integrating social with other key customer touchpoints to create a more connected experience.

    If marketers are truly hoping to optimize the digital strategy, then advancing intelligence, insights and customer analytics must move higher on the priority list. Leading brands are looking outside of their own walls and beyond their own industry parameters and benchmarks for insights into how customers engage with and value relationships with brands. We need to look at other companies with leading customer interactions, explains Kristina Curtis, Head of Customer Analytics and Digital for the Global Wealth Division of ANZ. If customers are highly digitally connected with their supermarket, we should be adopting the mindset of those organisations to think about new and better ways to spark engagement.

    One key challenge for marketers in APAC could be where strategy is being developed and how this strategy is executed. According to more than a quarter of respondents, a global head office develops strategy, but local regions are tasked with leveraging local insights and market knowledge to optimize execution. But another quarter of respondents admit that there is no digital strategyit simply does not exist and is essentially a loosely connected series of engagements managed on a campaign-to-campaign basis.

    In leading markets like Australia, only 14 percent say digital is a campaign-based strategy compared to China, where 44 percent admit there is no digital strategy. This strategic view of digital has translated into a slight shift in priorities for the coming year as marketers in Australia will seek out stronger content strategies, richer customer insights and intelligence, and onboarding of improved measurement and analytics tools, allowing tactics around social, website functionality and search optimization to fall lower on the to-do list.

    Best-practice leaders are demonstrating this priority shift by looking beyond digital as a campaign and instead focusing on digital as a customer engagement and enablement strategy. For Curtis and the ANZ team, this means integrating tools that help streamline operations and implementing new strategies that leverage online and offline data to create smarter experiences. Using smarter and more personalized decisions [like those customers can make with Amazon and Coles] across customer touchpoints will be key for us moving forward, Curtis explains. We want our representatives to be able to have customer data at their fingertips during every interaction so they can not only provide the right type of service, but also start conversations around other ANZ solutions to help improve their financial well-being.

    DIGITAL IMPERATIVE 2: BOOST TEAM PERFORMANCE AND SKILLS The talent gap continues to be a festering problem for marketers looking to advance the digital agenda. In past marketing innovation efforts, teams could turn to agencies to add talent, capabilities and advanced knowledge of creative mediums, channels and technologies. But according to 47 percent of respondents, limited digital talent, capabilities and experience at the agency level are among the top challenges that are holding back performance and execution. This is a significant leap

    TOP DIGITAL PRIORITIES FOR 2015

    1. Strengthen digital content strategy

    2. Social media optimization

    3. Richer, deeper customer profiling and insights

    4. Higher levels of customer engagement

    5. Improve website

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    from 2013, when only 37 percent of marketers felt the talent pinch impacting the agency landscape (compared with only 34 percent in 2012). It is especially troubling when you consider that 74 percent of respondents are working with at least one digital agency across the Asia-Pacific region.

    This steady skepticism over agency resources is further compounded by a sense that marketers also lack the right skills and expertise among existing team members (according to 61 percent of this years respondents), again representing a steady increase in talent issues (compared to 53 percent in 2013 and 48 percent in 2012). The picture continues to darken when you consider that marketers also admit to being challenged to recruit qualified talent (47 percent), lacking the budget to bring on senior-level talent (45 percent), and struggling to manage the numerous agencies being tasked to fill

    the digital void (41 percent).

    But this talent gap should not be a surprise. Year over year in the APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard, marketing skills represent the weakest point of performance across all of the Asia-Pacific region. Of a total possible score of 10, talent earned a 1.7 in the 2014 dashboard, with marketers across the board admitting that they did not believe their in-house or agency teams were exceptionally skilled and adept at strategy or execution, and few believed that their capacity to turn data into intelligence served as a competitive advantage for their organisations.

    Marketing leaders are quickly realizing that the talent that was once sought to manage campaigns or channels is quickly being outpaced by teams that are pushing and advancing the customer experience, developing actionable intelligence that can be leveraged by the entire company, and exhibiting characteristics of excellence that do not necessarily come with a traditional marketing communications background.

    When we brought the concept of digitization to the travel industry, we faced a number of challenges with people not having experience or knowledge using online platforms, explains Kousik Bhattacharya, Head of Digital Marketing at Via.com, a leader in online travel services in India that started its own business in a garage and has now grown to 650 employees and more than $500 million (USD) in revenue. We had to bring in people who understood digital and also had good knowledge of local segments and customers. This has contributed a great deal to the success of the company.

    For others, the talent needed to truly accelerate and advance digital has not even come from within the marketing team, but rather from strategic and intentional partnerships with IT. According to 23 percent of respondents, resistance and challenges from IT teams specific to implementing new marketing solutions and technologies are primary constraints to executing digital strategies. This is

    Q7. What challenges and complexities have you experienced in building in-house and virtual digital marketing teams?

    Lack of the right talent, skills and expertise among existing team members

    Difficulty recruiting qualified talent

    Lack of budget to bring on the right level of senior talent

    Managing different agencies for different elements of the digital marketing strategy adds to the cost and time of execution

    Gaining buy-in from corporate HQ to add headcount to regional teams

    61%

    47%

    45%

    41%

    36%

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    especially important when you consider what marketers believe has held them back from being able to quickly and effectively deploy new digital technologies: 59 percent cite a lack of in-house skills, and 37 percent point to a lack of support from IT to execute and deploy.

    According to Andrew Knott, Vice President of Digital with McDonalds in Singapore, the partnership with IT has helped to elevate digital and close the talent gap. This is especially critical as McDonalds looks to continue its path of customer innovation and opportunities around areas like e-commerce and a booming delivery business. To develop our new digital strategy and eliminate despondency, we are going to have to work very closely with IT. Were also going to have to bring new talent into the organisation to infuse McDonalds with the digital expertise that we havent yet identified.

    Janice Chan, the Senior Director of Digital Marketing for Starwood Hotels & Resorts in Asia, also echoed this sentiment. As Starwoods customer becomes more reliant on and engaged in mobile, Chan fully intends to be ready and waiting with robust mobile experiences, including e-wallet options, to exceed customer expectations. The speed of digital is moving so quickly that oftentimes, brands need to team with stronger partners to get where they want to be. This will be key to leading rather than following, she says. Chan also believes that innovations in e-commerce and mobile wallet will force talent boosts as well as cross-functional alignment. When you consider allowing a customer to make payments on a site or to use an e-wallet/mobile payment option, it involves finance, legal, IT and more in order to make the right decisions for the business, she explains.

    By looking to bring in digitally savvy teams, leaders are helping their brands pull away from the campaign-dependent pack. For Magdelena Kotek, the Chief Marketing Officer of GE Capital Global Financial Solutions, the gap is most definitely closing, allowing the brand to focus on content strategies and engagements that are thoughtful and responsible to both customer and to the bottom line. The greatest challenges we faced around the implementation of digital early on were around resources, but with the number of people in the market who are proficient in digital, that challenge is going away, she says.

    DIGITAL IMPERATIVE 3: BUDGET FOR A CUSTOMER-CENTRIC BUSINESS CASE Overall, marketers are slowly increasing digital budgets. Seventy-nine (79) percent of respondents indicate that they have increased budgets in the past 12 months. According to 30 percent of respondents, 25 to 49 percent of total marketing budgets has been allocated to digital while 37 percent say that between 10 and 24 percent is now earmarked for digital engagements. Among the top spenders, 13 percent are now spending in excess of 50 percent of their budgets on digital, but the majority of marketers admit that this increase is really just a slight adjustment, as 35 percent say the increase has been moderate, and 35 percent call it slight a increase.

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    While more marketers than ever before are allocating between 25 and 50 percent of overall marketing budgets to digital, what emerges from the data are ramifications of the skepticism over measurements and valueand the overarching question of whether the budgets being allocated to digital are actually moving the needle.

    For the majority of marketers, digital has emerged as a low-cost solution when in fact, it needs to be a catalyst for transformation and customer engagement optimization. Marketing continues to look within itself to determine budgets and allocations, with 68 percent of respondents indicating that they work with marketing teams to determine mix and budget. Interestingly, less than half are assessing the needs and then presenting a business case for funding.

    In fact, as noted in the dashboard study, marketers are holding fast to performance measurement through single-vector metrics that assess the past success of an individual campaign or single channel, failing to look at key business value metrics like customer revenue, lifetime value or market share improvements. Little has changed in this Digital Directions in APAC study as some 64 percent of marketers are presenting a business case for digital based on campaign KPIs. Almost half have adopted a strategic assessment of potential business impact and contributions, but only 14 percent are including sales pipeline performance as a key measure.

    This focus on rearview mirror metrics is reflected in the individual measures and metrics being deployed, including conversion rates (66 percent), response rates (65 percent), click-through rates (62 percent), and campaign ROI measures (62 percent). Far lower on the list are critical business value measures like revenue per customer (17 percent), customer lifetime value (12 percent), and market share improvements (14 percent).

    Despite indications in the dashboard study that senior management leaders were open and receptive to more testing and piloting of digital campaigns, marketers are not readily leveraging those tests and pilots to mold their business cases. In fact, only 38 percent of respondents are using the measures, metrics and insights gleaned from tests and pilot results to make a stronger business case for digital.

    17%

    19%

    13%

    22%

    23%

    30%

    47%

    42% 37

    %

    14%

    16%

    21%

    20

    12

    20

    13

    2014

    20

    12

    2013

    20

    14

    2

    012

    20

    13

    2

    014

    20

    12

    2

    013

    20

    14

    More than 50% 29 - 49% 10 - 24% Less than 10%

    EXPECTED DIGITAL SPEND FOR THE NEXT 12 MONTHS

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    But according to Bhattacharya of Via.com, testing and leveraging analytics from those pilots have been core to elevating the digital budget. Eighty percent of our marketing budget is devoted to digital, he says. When we start a campaign from scratch, a portion of the budget is set aside for tests, with unique criteria and measures so we can measure the success of campaigns.

    Correlating digitals impact in terms of sales performance is also increasingly important to best-practice leaders. We work closely with sales, and aligning our customer intelligence across these teams makes us better equipped to identify and act upon opportunities that may not have been engaged or converted within the sales process, says Ashley Tollitt, Vice President and Director of Marketing for Verizon Enterprise in Asia-Pacific. We are seeing improvements in performance and acceptance of digital across the board as we form the whole picture of the customer journey rather than focusing on disparate data.

    LEADING WITH BUSINESS MEASURES: IS THERE A PAYOFF? The reality is that those marketers who are tying digital performance to business performance (versus those only tying success to campaign metrics or single-vector measures) are enjoying increased budgets. Consider the following comparison of those respondents who readily use customer revenue, customer lifetime value and market share improvements as part of their business metrics versus those who fail to use these measures:

    Measuring Revenue, Customer Lifetime Value and Market Share Improvements

    Not Measuring Revenue, Customer Lifetime Value and Market Share Improvements

    Above-Average Digital Confidence 75% 59%

    Digital Can Grow a Profitable Business Faster 45% 33%

    Richer Data and Insights Are Priority in 2015 54% 42%

    Struggle to Make a Business Case for Spend 31% 40%

    Digital Spend Is More Than 50% of Overall Marketing Budget 19% 10%

    Percent Increase From Last Year 86% 78%

    What is apparent is that the marketers who are leveraging metrics tied to the bottom line, profitability and growth are not just increasing budgets, but they are also finding a slightly easier path to justifying future increases by presenting a solid business case. While identifying new digital means to connecting and engaging with customers is central to the value of digital marketing, savvy marketers must also weave in how these engagements tie to business impact for key internal stakeholders.

    Having the voice and perspective of the customer drives how we set the digital strategy, but we have to do it in a way that caters to our internal stakeholders as well, states GE Capitals Kotek. From the CEOs perspective, its all about telling the story of our business. For sales, we do everything we can to grow the network, help sales have deeper conversations with customers, identify leads and amplify their voice in the market.

    LOOKING FORWARD: WHAT WILL MARKETERS CONQUER NEXT? The advancement of digital will continue at a rapid pace, working to stay ahead of the technology innovation curve and in front of the customers appetite. Looking later into 2015, marketers admit that their greatest challenge will likely be how to tackle the very voice of the customermanaging the data, insights and analytics that are being collected by digital marketing engagements. According to 27 percent of respondents, facing down data will be their single greatest challenge in 2015, followed

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    by connecting online and offline engagements and intelligence (15 percent). Some 14 percent of marketers feel they will be challenged by the increasing profitability and opportunity of digital engagement, which warrants deeper questioning around how marketers will know they are increasing profitability if they are not measuring revenue.

    But what of those marketers who are measuring revenue-based business value versus those who are not? Are their greatest challenges the same?

    Ranking Percentages

    Measuring Revenue, Customer Lifetime

    Value and Market Share Improvements

    Total Audience Average

    Not Measuring Revenue, Customer Lifetime

    Value and Market Share Improvements

    1 Managing Data (33%) Managing Data (27%) Managing Data (27%)

    2Connecting Online to Offline (13%)

    Connecting Online to Offline (15%)

    Connecting Online to Offline (13%)

    3Demands to Monetize Digital (10%)

    Increasing Profitability & Opportunity (14%)

    Increasing Profitability and Opportunity (13%)

    4Increase Profitability and Opportunity (9%)

    Creating a Business Case (1 2%)

    Creating a Business Case (13%)

    5Adopt a Mobile-First Mindset (9%)

    Demands to Monetize Digital (7%)

    Demands to Monetize Digital (7%)

    What is most evident is that while business-minded digital marketers are advancing their skills, increasing budgets and focusing on monetization and profitability over campaign clicks and views, everyone is looking to tackle the issue of data head-on in the coming year. This is extremely important as we delve further and further into the age of the customer-defined engagementone where the customer identifies where, how and when a relationship starts and stops. It demands that marketers focus on content and channel, adopting a stance as a storyteller and IT guru.

    Digital transformation is no longer a far-off idea that marketers can prepare for. It is a fast-moving train that the laggards are struggling to catch. Asia-Pacific marketers are in a full sprint, looking to not only catch the leaders in the region like Australia, Singapore and India, but also to close the proficiency gap between Asia and advanced digital markets like North America and Europe, where data, personalization and cross-channel experiences are the table stakes of the customer experience.

  • APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    Copyright CMO Council. All Rights Reserved. 2015 13

    OVERALLRATING

    6.7

    MINDSET

    OVERALLRATING

    5.1

    MARKETINGREADINESS

    OVERALLRATING

    1.7

    MARKETINGSKILLS

    3.8OVERALLRATING

    ORGANIZATIONALALIGNMENT

    by BUDGETS

    by LACKINGIN-HOUSE TALENT

    STILL, DIGITAL EFFORTS ARE STIFLED...

    50%by inability to make a BUSINESS CASE FOR SPEND

    39%by LIMITED AGENCY CAPABILITIES

    47%35%MARKETERS ARE ADVANCING CUSTOMER INSIGHTS, BUT...

    believe DIGITAL IS EASIER TO JUSTIFY

    20% still using REARVIEW MIRROR METRICS AND REPORTING ON PREVIOUS CAMPAIGN RESULTS/KPIS

    64% say DATA WILL BE THE BIGGEST ISSUE IN 2015

    1out of every 4 Only

    CONFIDENCE IS ON THE RISE

    believe DIGITAL MARKETING PERFORMANCE IS ABOVE AVERAGE

    63% say DIGITAL IS ENABLING GREATER OPPORTUNITIES66%

    say CUSTOMER LOYALTY IS IMPROVING

    41%will INCREASE DIGITAL BUDGETS

    will DECREASE BUDGETS

    Only

    SPENDING MORE ON DIGITAL

    79%will spend MORE THAN HALF OF BUDGET ON DIGITAL

    13%will spend 1024% OF TOTAL BUDGET ON DIGITAL

    37%

    2%

    DIGITAL DIRECTIONS FINDINGS ACCORDING TO 648 SENIOR CORPORATE MARKETERS ACROSS APAC:

    APACDASHBOARD FINDINGSWHAT WE KNOW TO BE TRUE:

    PULLI NG F U R T H E RAWAY FROM THE LAGGARDS

    LEADERS AREBOOMINGDIGITAL ADOPTION IS

    IS SWALLOWINGOPPORTUNITIES

    THE TALENT GAP

    TO GAIN SUPPORT FOR DIGITALSTRUGGLINGMARKETERS ARE

  • APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    Copyright CMO Council. All Rights Reserved. 2015 14

    Optimize engagement strategies 1

    Look for the right talent that knows digital, data and the customer to fill digital positions2

    Create business case for investment by measuring business impactnot campaign performance3

    IMPERATIVES FOR ADVANCEMENT:

    WHAT THIS TELLS US:

    looking to optimize social

    52%SOCIAL MEDIA IS A

    LISTENING& ENGAGEMENTTOOL

    37% lack support from IT

    But...

    PARTNERSHIPS ARE CRITICAL TO GET THE MOST FROM DATAIT

    A REARVIEW MIRRORCANT MAKE A BUSINESS CASE

    Revenue/customer Customer lifetime value Market share improvements( (

    Leaders measuring BUSINESS METRICS are spending more on digital

  • APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    Copyright CMO Council. All Rights Reserved. 2015 15

    By Hisamichi Kinomoto, Vice President of Marketing, Japan and Asia-Pacific, Adobe

    Ask any builder, and theyll tell you that without the right tools, they cant do their jobs. But even if you give the very best tools to someone who doesnt have the appropriate skills, training and experience, they still wont ever be able to build what you need them to.

    Asia-Pacific marketers continue to struggle to find the right tools and skills, whether in-house or within their agencies. Both elements are key parts of the winning formula that is being successfully used by the early leaders in the race as companies in Asia-Pacific transform their organisations to become customer-centered, digital powerhouses. The other critical components of that powerful formula include adequate investment and support from the executive team to drive the program across the whole organization. Building a customer-centric business model requires vision, cross-functional goodwill and alignment, as well as the time and willingness to experiment, build learnings back into the strategy, and improve.

    The leaders of Asia-Pacific have a very significant role to play in setting expectations and supporting and guiding their teams through this experience. As in any major business re-design, the CEOs role as the vision-setter, wise counselor and inspiring motivator for their teams is absolutely vital, and Asia-Pacifics early movers are already seeing the benefits. In the next three to five years, well see more companies solving challenges and transforming to put the integrated, seamless digital customer experience at the heart of their business operations.

    Marketing has changed so dramatically in recent years. Think back to the not-so-distant past, when brands controlled the message and pushed it to the marketplace to broadcast what they wanted to say to their target audienceor not their target audience, as frequently proved to be the case.

    Today, with the evolution of digital devices that deliver an increasingly personalized stream of content to consumers when and where their owners want to, the challenge for brands is to stand out in what has become a stream of constant content and messages.

    Creativity continues to play a role in this brave new digital world. Integrating data with content to deliver the right message at the right time is what will win the hearts and minds of todays consumer.

    The expectations of customers have changed forever. The bar for capturing their attention, beginning a conversation, persuading, entertaining, informing and selling is higher than ever before. Yet with this fairly daunting realization also comes a new opportunity. For those brands who are able to deliver a personalized message that really resonatesreaching the person at the precise moment when they are most receptive to and interested in it and continuing to meaningfully engage with them as they move through the purchase cycle to become a qualified lead, a strong prospect and finally a customer, and then continue to provide a valuable relationship to that customerthe potential rewards are enormous.

    Look at Nissan, which manufactures and sells three vehicle brands (Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun) through office locations in 20 countries around the world. The company found that executing digital marketing tactics under the direction of each region was preventing them from maintaining a unified image. With a vision to deliver an integrated customer experience and a consistent image across its brands, Nissan deployed a unified global digital platform to ensure the right presence to engage, listen and ultimately sell in the space where their customers were already engaging: the digital world.

    CONTRIBUTED COMMENTARY FROM ADOBE

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    This research, conducted by the CMO Council with 648 respondents from eight Asia-Pacific countries, shines a revealing light on the progress that the regions enterprises are making in their own journeys.

    Confidence in the value of digital marketing continues to grow even as the regions marketers struggle to validate performance and build a business case for higher investment. Despite the potential for marketing to be the catalyst for business transformation and customer engagement optimization, APACs marketers are still largely focused on single-vector metrics that measure past success or single points of campaign performance. Typically, they are not measuring impact on harder business metrics, such as sales pipeline measurement or customer lifetime value.

    Is this continued reliance on rear-vision, basic metrics driven by familiarity and reliance on them by both marketing and business leaders? Is it due to the absence of integrated, organisation-wide business processes to track progress? Is it the lack of the software and technology to make sense of the data and to deliver the actionable insights needed to build a business case for more dramatic change? Or do they simply not have the right skill setseither within the marketing department or digital agenciesto drive the transformation?

    This report reveals that its probably a combination of all these issues that is holding back many of Asia-Pacifics marketers while their early-adopter peers in the region advance their digital presence and prowess at a rapid rate as marketers in North America and Europe continue to explore new horizons.

    With the right strategy, process, tools and people, the power of digital can be unlocked and applied. Its time for Asia-Pacifics business leaders to step forward to become digital visionaries for their organisations and create the climate needed for this transformation to take place.

  • APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    Copyright CMO Council. All Rights Reserved. 2015 17

    Q1. How do you rate your organisations current level of digital marketing proficiency compared to other companies in the Asia-Pacific market?

    DETAILED FINDINGS

    Moderate

    Needs improvement

    Pretty good

    Lagging

    Very high

    Not sure

    36%

    23%

    22%

    13%

    5%

    0%

    Q2. What are the most important ways that your current digital marketing programs have benefited or improved your business?

    Enable continuous touchpoints and engagement opportunities with customers

    Acquire, convert and retain customers more cost-effectively

    Provide knowledge and insight for better targeting and response

    Further loyalty and brand affinity

    Improve customer experience, convenience and responsiveness

    Provide knowledge and insight for better product and service development

    Increase transactional volumes, revenue and margins

    Reduce customer handling and support costs

    Identify customer issues earlier, before they become problems

    Other

    66%

    47%

    42%

    41%

    33%

    28%

    21%

    7%

    7%

    1%

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    Q3. How do you believe additional digital marketing improvements and maturity can impact your business?

    Create a more customer-centric and responsive organisation

    Improve efficiencies and effectiveness of our marketing programs

    Makes us a more agile, opportunistic and innovative company

    Open up new channels of engagement and commerce

    Grow business faster and more profitably

    Create brand differentiation and greater customer affinity and attachment

    Better embrace customers with real-time experiences

    Allow us to address and serve more diverse and distributed markets

    Make a better business case for marketing spend and investment

    54%

    42%

    40%

    34%

    31%

    27%

    23%

    20%

    19%

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    Q4. What are your top priorities specific to digital marketing in the next 12 months?

    Strengthening digital marketing content strategy

    Social media optimization, including boosting community growth, engagement and content

    Richer, deeper customer profiling and insights

    Higher levels of customer engagement (listening, feedback, community, etc.)

    Improving functionality of website

    Cross-channel management (integrating traditional marketing activities with digital elements to boost effectiveness)

    Introducing better measurement and analytics tools

    Integrating social media communities with key customer touchpoints

    Encouraging consumer-inspired content and conversation

    Increasing and improving search and online display advertising

    Mobile relationship marketing

    Mobile application development

    Online retailing and merchandising

    Establishing and improving performance of blogging sites

    Email and instant messaging services for sales and customer service departments

    Delivering real-time or streamed online events

    Online banking and payments

    Other

    65%

    54%

    43%

    36%

    33%

    32%

    31%

    30%

    28%

    27%

    19%

    13%

    10%

    7%

    7%

    7%

    5%

    1%

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    Q5. How does your organisation set up and execute its digital marketing strategy?

    Strategy developed by global head office, but local regions/countries/offices use local insights and knowledge of the market to optimize execution

    Digital marketing strategy is not formalized and is executed on a largely campaign-to-campaign basis

    Countries are responsible for developing and executing digital marketing strategies at their discretion

    Strategy and execution are the responsibilities of a regional APAC team

    Strategy is the responsibility of an APAC team, and localization and execution take place at the country level

    Strategy developed and executed from global head office using global marketing insights and brand directions

    28%

    24%

    17%

    15%

    9%

    8%

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    Q6. What have been the greatest challenges in executing digital campaigns in APAC?

    Budget limitations

    Limited digital agency capability, knowledge or experience

    The rapid pace of change makes keeping up a challenge.

    Making a business case for digital marketing spend

    Developing a connected, comprehensive digital strategy for APAC markets

    Unable to find staff with the right skills and experience to execute the strategy

    Determining the best technology solutions and services to use to support our digital marketing strategy

    Localizing and executing global digital marketing campaigns in APAC

    Resistance and challenge from IT teams in implementing new technologies

    Understanding and identifying resource needs and requirements

    Gaining consensus among APAC senior management and stakeholders on digital marketing direction and focus

    Lack of understanding from global HQ on the complexity and differences in the APAC market

    Overcoming local legal, privacy and regulatory concerns or limitations

    Limited training opportunities for staff to gain skills needed to execute the strategy

    Difficulty retaining staff with the right skills and experience

    Other

    50%

    47%

    39%

    39%

    36%

    35%

    32%

    30%

    24%

    23%

    21%

    20%

    16%

    13%

    10%

    3%

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    Q7. What challenges and complexities have you experienced in building in-house and virtual digital marketing teams?

    Lack of the right talent, skills and expertise among existing team members

    Difficulty recruiting qualified talent

    Lack of budget to bring on the right level of senior talent

    Managing different agencies for different elements of the digital marketing strategy adds to the cost and time of execution

    Gaining buy-in from corporate HQ to add headcount to regional teams

    Identifying the right tools and technologies needed to take the next step

    Cannot find an agency with the right skill set and expertise to execute the strategy to the expected standard

    Clearly defining the talent need and new job requirements

    Centralized APAC team cannot manage all of the localization requirements in the field

    Difficulty retaining and advancing internal talent

    Other

    61%

    47%

    45%

    41%

    36%

    33%

    26%

    16%

    15%

    10%

    2%

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    Q8. What percentage of your total marketing budget do you expect to spend on digital marketing in the next 12 months (including search, either digital direct or email marketing, website, social media, e-commerce, e-retail, etc.)?

    Less than 10 percent

    1024 percent

    2549 percent

    5070 percent

    More than 70 percent

    21%

    37%

    30%

    10%

    3%

    Q9. How has this changed compared to your digital marketing budget allocated in the past 12 months?

    Increased dramatically

    Increased moderately

    Increased slightly

    Stayed the same

    Decreased slightly

    Decreased moderately

    Decreased dramatically

    9%

    35%

    35%

    20%

    1%

    1%

    0%

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    Q10. How are you determining budgets for digital marketing investments?

    Working with marketing teams to determine mix and budgets

    Assessing overall needs and presenting business case for funding

    Allocating a percentage of overall marketing spend

    Inviting vendor/agency proposals and recommendations

    Tapping regional or country marketing budgets

    Reviewing competitor investments and category innovations

    Assigning costs to business lines or product areas

    Relying on consultant assessments and specifications

    Using co-op marketing funds to support the channel

    Gaining contributions from sales or customer service groups

    Other

    68%

    47%

    42%

    19%

    17%

    15%

    13%

    7%

    6%

    3%

    1%

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    Q11. Where are you currently allocating your digital marketing funds?

    Website content, development and performance optimization

    Social media community growth and engagement

    Search engine optimization

    Paid search

    Social media advertising

    Email marketing

    Online display advertising

    Online media analytics and insights

    CRM system build-outs

    Mobile advertising

    Online events (including webinars, audiocasts and webcasts)

    Lead provisioning and lifecycle management

    Digital asset management

    Mobile applications and messaging

    Campaign execution systems

    Gaming (social gaming, gamification of content, casual gaming, etc.)

    Other

    69%

    53%

    51%

    46%

    44%

    41%

    40%

    33%

    28%

    26%

    25%

    20%

    19%

    15%

    14%

    5%

    1%

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    Q12. How are you making a business case for digital marketing expenditures?

    Reporting on previous campaign results and KPIs of key digital campaigns

    Strategic assessment of potential business impact and contributions

    Metrics and measures, including insights into test and pilot results

    Customer data showing digital content preferences and patterns

    Using new digital media studies and analyst research reports

    Analysis of how competitors are investing in digital infrastructures and channels

    Overhead and operational cost savings, including analytics on how leads, contacts and referrals can be sourced more cost-effectively

    Pipeline performance relative to internal sales, field and channel partners

    Sourcing best-practice use cases and third-party studies

    Analyzing cost-savings and performance improvement potential

    Other

    64%

    49%

    38%

    31%

    19%

    19%

    19%

    14%

    13%

    13%

    1%

    Q13. Who in your organisation is primarily responsible for developing and executing your social media strategy?

    Country head of marketing

    Global dedicated social media head

    Distributed model with different lines of business owning different elements of the social strategy

    Country head of communications

    APAC head of digital marketing

    APAC dedicated social media head

    APAC head of communications

    37%

    19%

    15%

    10%

    9%

    6%

    5%

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    Q14. Which of the following best describes how your organisation leverages social media today?

    Fast, inexpensive way to deliver messages directly to customers

    Listening tool to better understand customer interests and needs

    We do not leverage social media in an effective manner

    Open forum to communicate and speak directly with customers

    Highly effective advertising channel

    A channel for customers to connect with other customers

    Customer service channel to manage issues and deliver better experiences with customers

    We have social media channels and are creating content, but we are not sure how to best leverage social.

    Market research tool to learn about market shifts and demands

    62%

    35%

    35%

    33%

    27%

    26%

    20%

    19%

    8%

    Q15. Thinking specifically about deploying new digital measurement or automation technologies, what have been the challenges to deploying solutions?

    Tight budgets

    Lack of skills in-house

    Lack the support of the IT department to execute on this

    Failed to make a business case for new investment

    Technology is evolving too quickly: We get one installed only to learn the solution is now old.

    Solutions are too complicated.

    We dont think we need automation solutions or tools.

    Were happy using free solutions.

    Other

    63%

    59%

    37%

    25%

    24%

    13%

    8%

    7%

    6%

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    Q16. What measures and metrics are you using to evaluate the performance of digital marketing programs?

    Conversion rates

    Response rates

    Click-through rates

    Campaign ROI

    Website performance data, including traffic and traffic sources

    Customer acquisition/cost per acquisition

    Cost per lead, cost per click

    Quantity and quality of leads

    Opt-ins, sign-ups and registrations

    Social media sharing, tagging, pinning or re-tweets

    Cost per sale/average order value

    Channel ROI

    Sales and channel feedback

    Return on ad spend

    Customer engagement and advocacy (Net Promoter Score, etc.)

    Revenue per customer

    Market share improvements

    Customer lifetime value

    Satisfaction and retention levels

    Online versus offline revenue

    Transactions by country or region

    Customer churn rate

    Point-of-sale, customer service, or in-store surveys and comments

    Upsell and cross-sell activity

    Time to market improvements

    Other

    66%

    65%

    62%

    62%

    59%

    53%

    45%

    43%

    32%

    32%

    24%

    19%

    18%

    18%

    17%

    17%

    14%

    13%

    12%

    8%

    8%

    7%

    7%

    7%

    3%

    1%

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    Q17. Are you working with one or more digital agencies across the APAC region now?

    Yes

    No

    74%

    26%

    Q18. Looking forward to 2015, what do you expect will be the greatest challenge facing digital marketers across Asia?

    Managing data, insights and analytics

    Connecting online and offline engagements

    Increasing profitability and opportunity of digital engagements

    Creating business cases for investment into digital marketing

    Adopting a mobile-first mindset to keep up with customer mobile demand

    Demands from senior management to monetize digital channels

    Finding and training the right talent to advance the marketing agenda

    Consolidating marketing teams and strategies to better focus on the customer

    Resisting the urge to chase the next big thing or bright, shiny toy

    Recovering from economic hardships and budget cuts

    Other

    27%

    15%

    14%

    12%

    7%

    7%

    5%

    5%

    4%

    3%

    1%

  • APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    Copyright CMO Council. All Rights Reserved. 2015 30

    What best describes your industry?

    Information technology

    Food and beverage

    Healthcare

    Retail

    Travel and hospitality

    Manufacturing

    Banking

    Electronics and miscellaneous technology

    Consumer durables

    Telecommunications

    Insurance

    Media and publishing

    Packaged goods

    Entertainment

    Professional services

    Education

    Government

    Automotive

    Construction

    Energy

    Pharmaceuticals

    Transportation

    Other

    17%

    11%

    8%

    6%

    6%

    5%

    4%

    4%

    4%

    4%

    3%

    3%

    3%

    3%

    3%

    2%

    1%

    1%

    1%

    1%

    1%

    1%

    6%

    DEMOGRAPHICS

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    What is your company size by global revenue?

    Less than $50 million

    $51 million to $100 million

    $101 million to $250 million

    $251 million to $500 million

    $501 million to $750 million

    $751 million to $1 billion

    $1.1 billion to $5 billion

    Greater than $5 billion

    8%

    8%

    5%

    11%

    7%

    4%

    18%

    39%

    Where is your company headquartered?

    Asia-Pacific

    North America

    Europe

    India

    46%

    22%

    22%

    10%

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    Where are you and your marketing team located?

    Australia

    South Korea

    China (Mainland)

    China (Hong Kong)

    Singapore

    India

    Other

    19%

    16%

    17%

    15%

    15%

    15%

    5%

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    What countries does your company serve within the Asia-Pacific and Japan regions?

    Australia

    Singapore

    South Korea

    India

    New Zealand

    China (Mainland)

    Malaysia

    Japan

    China (Hong Kong)

    Indonesia

    Thailand

    Philippines

    China (Taiwan)

    Vietnam

    Other

    54%

    52%

    49%

    45%

    43%

    41%

    41%

    40%

    39%

    38%

    36%

    36%

    33%

    31%

    4%

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    What is your title?

    Which of the statements below best describes your role in the marketing decision-making process?

    Director of Marketing

    Head of Marketing

    Marketing Manager

    VP of Marketing

    Chief Marketing Officer

    VP of Marketing and Sales

    SVP/EVP of Marketing

    Director of Corporate/Marketing Communications

    Other

    27%

    23%

    13%

    12%

    6%

    2%

    1%

    1%

    13%

    I am an influencer and actively contribute to the budget.

    I am a final decision maker and control marketing budget.

    I am a final decision maker but work with others to manage budget.

    I am an influencer but do not directly control budget.

    I am focused on tactical execution, with budget and final decision being made by others.

    None of the above

    29%

    25%

    20%

    18%

    6%

    3%

  • APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    Copyright CMO Council. All Rights Reserved. 2015 35

    S. RajendranChief Marketing Officer AcerIndia

    Kristina CurtisHead of Customer Analytics and DigitalGlobal Wealth Division ANZ

    Magdalena KotekChief Marketing Officer GE Capital Global Financial Solutions

    Andrew KnottVice President of Digital McDonaldsSingapore

    Ralph BrunnerChief Marketing Officer MetLifeAsia

    Corinne MontyChief Marketing OfficerAsia-Pacific Microsoft

    Mari TakabaHead of Marketing and Corporate Affairs NokiaJapan

    Basker RangachariGlobal Head of Brand and Retail Marketing Standard Chartered Bank

    Janice ChanSenior Director of Digital Marketing Starwood Hotels & Resorts Asia-Pacific

    Ashley TollitVice President and Director of Marketing Verizon EnterpriseAsia-Pacific

    Kousik BhattacharyaHead of Digital Marketing Via.com

    LEADERSHIP COMMITTEE

  • APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    Copyright CMO Council. All Rights Reserved. 2015 36

    S. RajendranChief Marketing Officer

    AcerIndia

    Today, India is an emerging hub for outsourcing diverse digital services, such as online advertising, social media and website design. As an information and communication technology company, Acer considers the main drivers of digital marketing growth to be the availability of skilled resources, high levels of Internet penetration, fast connectivity, and the growth of smartphone users, social media and e-commerce. S. Rajendran, CMO of Acer India, says the company has paid close attention to these changing dynamics for the past three years on both global and national levels, and new insights in this area have helped the company formulate appropriate strategies to be responsive to these changes.

    To enhance the companys digital presence, Rajendran is focused on exploring new types of content marketing, which he believes is the future of online marketing.

    We really want to leverage Instagram as a medium for visual communication, he says. In addition, we are focusing on developing stronger listening tools and having tighter integration with other elements of the marketing mix to drive synergies with those efforts.

    At a broad level, consumer age and demographics have prompted increased engagement from the companys target audience due to their adoption of digital technologies. This is enabled by the flood of new cost-effective devices.

    Conventional marketing is increasingly being replaced by new-age digital marketing techniques, which are fast, extensive, measurable and highly targeted, he says. This is true for India as well as many other countries across the APAC region.

    Digital media has redefined and transformed customer relationships with many brands, bringing consumers closer to the brand through channels like mobile and social media. As a result, real-time marketing has become a necessity. Rajendrans goal is to minimize customer response times and to get their valuable feedback regarding the products they offer. To this end, Acer already manages a sizable percentage of consumer complaints from social media.

    This has given us an edge since it allows a seamless connection with customers from the pre-purchase stage to the post-purchase relationship, he says. This has helped us create a 360-degree experience for the customer.

    Certain complexities, such as the need for coherence in communication across the spectrum of marketing, speed of deployment and development of associated metrics, have added to the challenge of integrating localized campaigns.

    In addition to all of this, the diverse nature of content consumption by the target audiencewhich is attributed to multiple types of devices, as well as consumer age, time spent, content engagement, shortened attention spans, etc.adds to the complexity of connecting with consumers through digital, he says.

    Acer uses a 360-degree approach to evaluate its digital marketing initiatives. Some evaluation criteria are based on popular opinion, user base of the medium in India, TG mapping and business requirements. Regular performance reports are then generated to

    LEADERSHIP COMMITTEE

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    measure success and effectiveness. Using evaluations from various tools allows Acer to fully optimize campaigns and take calculated risks when experimenting with different kinds of digital communications.

    Based on ROI reports, Acer has been able to invest in many different digital marketing tools, platforms, services and social/paid media. The company has achieved significant organic growth from Twitter followers and other social media fan bases, has consistently maintained higher engagement rates than competitors, and has also achieved the highest industry scores.

    Rajendrans main objective for his team is to continue building the companys reputation in the APAC region and improve overall brand perception, and he recognizes McDonalds as having solid social media, mobile media and online advertising strategies.

    McDonalds has always had a clear picture about their local audience, their global campaign ideas and their goals, he says. This helps them craft their marketing strategies to gain maximum output that is in tune with the local markets requirements.

    For their part, Acer adheres to a typical framework at a global level, but it is reinterpreted for the local market.

    During the Olympics, there was a global campaign for our exclusive hardware sponsor, he says. Without deviating from the theme of the Olympics, we focused on the national fervor in India in terms of patriotism, and we featured our local brand ambassador, Hrithik Roshan. We rolled out a digital campaign that featured him to encourage people to engage with Acer as a brand and to talk with pride while well-wishing the Indian contingent that was participating in the Olympics.

    Realizing that India has a young consumer audiencewith more than 50 percent of the population being younger than 25 years oldAcer also worked strategically with Intel to create a social media campaign called Click Karo Dreams.

    We let the imagination of aspiring individuals run wild when we asked them to define what they wanted in life, what they dreamed of and what they looked forward to achieving, he says. Participants were evaluated by an experienced panel of judges, and winners were declared. The engagement with the audience was quite good, and it achieved good scale.

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    Kristina CurtisHead of Customer Analytics and DigitalGlobal Wealth Division

    ANZ

    Digital marketing provides a number of advantages for marketers in the financial services industry. Kristina Curtis, Head of Customer Analytics and Digital for ANZs Global Wealth division, says that putting the right tools in place gives marketers the opportunity to connect more fluidly with customers and at the appropriate frequency, and the key to success lies in a personalized approach.

    For Curtis, the greatest driver of digital marketing is the heightened expectation from customers to have personalized interactions with organisationsnot on a group level or even a segment level, but on a one-to-one level.

    We have so much opportunity to better understand the customer through their everyday and digital interactions with the bank, she says. This allows us to really target our messaging based on what they are looking for and in the channels where they are interacting.

    Digital marketing strategies are driven collaboratively with the traditional marketing team, along with Curtis, who manages digital and customer analytics. While marketing does have buy-in from senior leadership to embrace digital initiatives, Curtis says the company is still working to upgrade the digital tools they have and supplement with new best-in-class tools.

    We do some aspects of digital better now than we ever have before in terms of personalization, but as far as getting these efforts to scale, we are still a few years away, she says. In terms of how we view success, I really believe that we should not be comparing ourselves to other banks. We need to be looking at other companies with leading customer interactions. If customers are highly digitally connected with their supermarket or an online shopping site, we should be adopting the mindset of those organisations to think about new and better ways to spark engagement.

    The challenges that ANZ faces with respect to implementing digital involve cultural mindsets and marketing bandwidth. While senior management supports digital, she says there is sometimes a lack of recognition of how certain roles may need to change and how budgets and organisational structure need to evolve.

    It is really hard to shift people away from old habits and toward something new when they arent sure its going to work for them, she says. Teams have their KPIs and targets, but implementing a new model is hard because people have to let go of how theyve always done things and experiment with something new. And when we do begin testing, sample sizes are often a challenge, which necessitates the need to either run the campaign longer or aggregate the results over several campaigns.

    The company is currently working on the optimization of digital content and creative so that the information is more focused and targeted. Oftentimes, a single variable within creative may change, so they are working to get back to the fundamentals of direct marketing to determine the best way to vary their approach.

    To measure digital success, Curtis says the company takes into account click-through rates, as well as completed sales and how valuable a given account proves to be over time. She also believes that ANZ has led the way in some areas of digital, including the development of their mobile apps.

    We were the first to recognize the need for a mobile app in 2010 and were one of the first to get a mobile banking app into the market, which we followed with a tablet version, she says. Weve also

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    done a lot in the social media space. We publish ANZ BlueNotes, which has been praised in the media for thought leadership content that spans across new technologies, in addition to financial services. Its about growing your financial position, not simply managing it.

    Moving forward, Curtis says the company is looking to integrate tools that would help marketers traffic creative throughout the lifecycle and marry their online and offline data with digital media buys. She looks to companies like Amazon in the U.S. and Coles in Australia for inspiration on how to better understand and provide the right information to customers.

    Using this combination to make smarter and more personalized decisions and to leverage it within other customer touchpoints will be key for us moving forward, she says. We want our representatives to be able to have customer data at their fingertips during every interaction so they can not only provide the right type of service, but also start conversations around other ANZ solutions to help improve their financial well-being.

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    APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

    Magdalena KotekChief Marketing Officer

    GE Capital Global Financial Solutions

    GE Capital Global Financial Solutions CMO Magdalena Kotek says that digital marketing efforts are driven by consumers push for digital engagement, and this influences the B2B sector as well. While she says that North American companies tend to be most advanced with respect to digital, she believes that digital marketing in Europe and Asia are making meaningful progress. As time moves on, she believes that it is becoming increasingly important for companies to engage in digital in order to be competitive and to position themselves well for the future.

    In the B2B financial services market, Kotek says that the bulk of the work around digital is currently centered on simplifying and digitizing the customer experience, branding and driving company awareness. More and more, she says digital marketing will be used to create customer relationships and experiences, and her company fortunately has support from the top to make the necessary investments in digital.

    Im part of a large American-based company that is making investments into digital, and both GE Corporation and GE Capital believe in, understand and support our digital efforts, Kotek says. We are lucky to have that support, and it is up to us to continue to evolve in this space.

    While key stakeholders in digital include the CEO, sales and legal/compliance/technology teams, the digital strategy is driven by marketing, so they are able to determine which direction to take, set the strategy and decide how they want to execute it. They often partner with external vendors to execute the implementation of various technologies, platforms, etc.

    Having the voice and perspective of the customer drives how we set the digital strategy, but we have to do it in a way that caters to the stakeholders as well, she says. From the CEOs perspective, its all about telling the story of our business and dovetailing our marketing messages with the messages that our CEO puts into the market. For sales, we do everything we can to grow their networks, help them have deeper conversations with customers, identify leads and amplify their voice in the market.

    The greatest challenges the company faced around the implementation of digital early on were around resources, but with the number of people in the market who are proficient in digital, she believes that challenge is going away. The biggest challenge they face today is defining the message and creating clarity around the purpose and strategies they develop while also being thoughtful and responsible around total spend.

    When evaluating the different technologies and platforms they want to use, Kotek says they take a relatively aggressive approach.

    Weve chosen the external platforms where we want to engage, and right now those are LinkedIn and Twitter, she says. We are experimenting and learning as we go. We want to give a pilot a chance for three to six months, learn from it, innovate and improve on our next effort.

    In terms of accomplishments, Kotek believes their greatest digital successes so far have been with their apps, and they plan to keep building their apps and other mobile capabilities into the future in an effort to continue simplifying the customer experience.

    We made a very large push to simplify the onboarding process for new accounts and how customers access their information, she says. And on the sales side, we built a native app that gives salespeople

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    access to their accounts and provides value-added research around their accounts so that when theyre in front of the CFO, they can have intelligent conversations about what is going on with the business.

    To drive value from digital investments, Kotek says GE has invested in people by hiring digital marketers and technologists, as well as partnering with third-party companies.

    When we think about ROI for digital, we measure conversion, but we also take into account the level of productivity, she says. If we can save time for our salespeople so they can be selling more, then that provides great value for the business as well.

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    Andrew KnottVice President of Digital

    McDonaldsSingapore

    McDonalds serves 69 million customers daily and is present in more than 100 different countries. As Vice President of Digital for the Singapore division, Andrew Knott finds the real challenge in digital to be meeting the demand for mobile integration. Knotts main goal is to grow the companys revenue in Singapore from $300 million in annual sales to roughly $6 billion by the year 2020.

    McDonalds in Singapore has been successful in implementing digital marketing initiatives, and Knott attributes this success to their consumers and the fact that the rate of digital adoption in that part of the world exceeds anywhere else globally. With McDonalds being one of the worlds largest consumer brandsand with some of the largest marketing budgets and volumes of customer interactionKnott plans to bring on more digital talent on a global market level.

    There are only a few brands globally that are potentially inclined to lead consumers into new spaces, and the next driver for us will be opportunities in e-commerce and building up the delivery business, he says. Secondly, mobility and consumers willingness to use mobile to engage the brand will be additional factors that determine our direction moving forward.

    The company has also seen increased engagement with customers in the digital space, with more and more consumer feedback coming from digital channels versus call centers.

    Were constantly investing in new media, and consumers are interacting with that media, he says. We need to make sure that we engage effectively and stay continuously relevant in that space to meet customers where they are.

    Knott and his teams are in the process of building out a robust digital organisation that is focused on two aspects of digital: the development and deployment of digital products (such as mobile ordering solutions) and digital engagement with consumers.

    To develop our new digital strategy and eliminate despondency, we are going to have to work very closely with IT, he says. Were also going to have to bring new talent into the organisation to infuse McDonalds with the digital expertise that we havent yet had internally.

    Despite the companys digital and social success to date, organisational challenges have still risen within the digital marketing strategy in Singapore.

    Cross-functional alignment is absolutely essential in order to get our digital organisation up to par, Knoll says. Unfortunately, lack of clarity in terms of channel performance and metrics has proven to be a challenge, so we are looking to work more closely with other teams to ensure we meet our objectives and improve moving forward.

    As the organisation looks to establish new digital functions, Knoll says they will need to consider key platforms that will better align all departments and enable them to complete global deals while getting the most preferential pricing. The majority of McDonalds investments have occurred on the market level and range from simple tests to substantial platform commitments, but they are broadening their scope and looking to develop key partnerships on the global level as well.

    If were looking at social platforms, whichever one we choose will need to work effectively across 138 markets and have several different language options, he says.

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    With regard to successes within digital, McDonalds has seen excellent results from the launch of a content app in Singapore and Taiwan. Twenty (20) percent of the Singapore population downloaded the app, with a 95-percent account activation rate.

    One of the things were getting better about is moving the traditional point of the brand-consumer engagement from a bonded state to a collaborative state, he says. Whether its on our app, website or elsewhere, we need to find out how to leverage these outlets to provide the most value. We also need to think about different ways to provide information about our food so people can make informed decisions. Its really about using content to address consumer concerns and being incredibly transparent about it.

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    Ralph BrunnerChief Marketing Officer

    MetLifeAsia

    In his role as CMO for MetLife in Asia, Ralph Brunner says the primary driver of digital marketing initiatives is the consumer shift toward a mobile-first approach to gathering information, which requires companies to change their perspective around how they deliver content and messaging to consumers. Brunner believes MetLife is well prepared to meet customers needs across Asia and looks to maintain a simple yet relevant approach to most effectively connect with them.

    Particularly within the financial services industry, more and more consumers are using mobile to conduct their initial information searches, followed by tablet and laptop-based searches. While Brunner says that consumers will occasionally make a purchase through a mobile device, most of them tend to make purchases after speaking with a representative in person.

    As consumers continue this shift toward mobile, Brunner says that companies will have to design their digital experiences for mobile first in order to meet the demands of todays consumers.

    As we do our global web redesign, we will create it with a mobile-first mindset, and as we look to launch new products, we will think about how to explain the new offering as simply as possible through mobile, he says. The same goes for engaging consumerswe need to think about how to have a dialogue with them through mobile. That kind of engagement makes us more relevant and important to their lives and also enables the potential for future purchases as they enter other life stages.

    Brunner feels that MetLife is prepared to meet these challenges, and the company is currently building, testing and launching new solutions that have already achieved early success. One example is the development of a video that was distributed through social media about a father making sacrifices to prepare for his childs educational future. It was produced in six languages for three different countries with minimal costs, but it has already reached 25 million views and yielded a global impact.

    The video has been a huge success for us simply considering how great of an impact it had in proportion to the small cost we had to invest, he says. Planning for digital first and having consumers tell your story rather than buying paid media to tell your story is the new era of marketing.

    The company makes a great deal of effort to remain consumer-centric by assessing consumers wants, needs, fears and how to best address those with a product or service. Because consumers tend to begin their searches via mobile and digital, the company starts its planning in these areas to build the right infrastructure to reach them and equip its front-line teams.

    This focus extends to social media as well, and Brunner oversees the use of social media and digital as a brand-builder for the company. One criterion for these efforts is that they must be consumer-first, telling a story that resonates with the customer and links to a product or service that can solve an issue for them.

    One of the greatest challenges in this area is to keep everything simple, he says. We apply behavioral economics to the work we do and are very intentional about the content we distribute to consumers. The other challenge is to have the patience to build the infrastructure properly so that our efforts are as effective as possible.

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    When it comes to measuring the effectiveness of these efforts, Brunner believes in focusing on two to three key metricssuch as customer engagement, repeat interactions and incremental profitso that it is very clear how success is being rated and to eliminate confusion around what success means for a particular project. He works closely with Kathy Awanis, who owns digital and direct marketing for the region, and says that they have achieved some significant accomplishments in digital.

    Kathy and her team have built a fantastic digital platform that can help meet peoples financial needs, improve their lifestyle with tips and trend information, and connect them with people like themselves who share similar interests and goals in lifeits a shining example of MetLifes best work, Brunner says. Another accomplishment was enabling digital sales capabilities within the hands of distributors so they can present solutions to customers on an iPad, keeping things easy to understand and modern.

    Looking toward the future, Brunner says the company will be building out its aforementioned digital platform, continuing to build the brand on social media and getting customers to share their stories to provide content that resonates effectively with their audience.

    If you can provide information to consumers that adds value to their livesparticularly through examples from happy customersyour story will be much more effective, he says. Getting this type of participation will lessen dependency on paid media, saving money for the company while sharing the brands story in a more effective and engaging way.

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    Corinne MontyChief Marketing OfficerAsia-Pacific

    Microsoft

    In her first year as CMO for Microsoft in Asia-Pacific, Corinne Monty sees incredible opportunity within the emerging markets, specifically with respect to consumers reliance on digital and social media. Although the countries within the region are quite diverse, Monty believes that social and mobile are creating opportunities in this area that have never been available before.

    Microsoft is constantly evolving, and under its new leadership, the company is taking a mobile-first and cloud-first approach to innovation. As such, Monty believes the company is not only ready to meet the challenges presented by digital, but also to be a leader in the space.

    When it comes to the management of digital marketing, overall strategies come from Microsofts US headquarters. However, the company also has a separate headquarters location in Asia-Pacific, where Monty is based.

    I manage the central marketing functions for the region, and I have someone who reports to me whose primary responsibility is digital, she says. That person is accountable for developing digital strategies, as well as implementing and executing digital capabilities and social programs across the region.

    While Monty believes Microsoft is leading the way for digital in the region, she outlines a couple of challenges that are also opening new opportunities for the company.

    The biggest challenge for us is keeping abreast in such an innovative world and recognizing the requirement that every campaign must incorporate digital and social media, she says. Analytics and tracking must also be at the forefront so that we can track the performance of all of our campaigns and understand how we are progressing. I think thats both the challenge and the opportunity of digital.

    When it comes to budgeting for digital initiatives, Monty says this is done on a quarterly basis, with refinements being made throughout the year. They look at different campaign priorities and the engines behind them and set aside the funds to support those campaign engines and to try new things throughout the year.

    Our leadership has a saying of fail fast, and that certainly is part of our mantra as it relates to digital and testing new things, she says. We do our best to see what works quickly; if it doesnt work, we move on to something new, and if it does, then we roll it out and do more of it. We arent afraid to embrace new technologies, but we also dont put all of our resources into one area.

    This year, the company has invested in creating an orchestrated process around content delivery through social channels that can be accessed by subsidiaries, as well as their partners and sales team. Microsoft has also built out its social engagement channels to respond to and manage all of the feedback they receive. The goal of this investment is to understand what customers are saying online, respond to them and continue building those communities in ways that are most valuable and relevant to their customers.

    We have achieved great success this year in terms of better understanding and meeting the needs of our customers, she says. As we move forward, we are going to have a greater focus on how we can tell the Microsoft story around what were doing as a company to provide the best solutions for our customers in a secure and privacy-compliant manner.

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    Mari TakabaHead of Marketing and Corporate Affairs

    NokiaJapan

    Digital marketing for Nokia in Japan has unique challenges, according to Head of Marketing and Corporate Affairs Mari Takaba, especially as it relates to B2B marketing. She believes that digital marketing receives less focus because fewer B2B professionals check these communications throughout the workday. Furthermore, when it comes to business opportunities, she says that people in Japan still rely heavily on face-to-face interactions.

    As in most regions of the world, Takaba believes that digital marketing in Japan is driven by the mobile connectivity of its consumers, and as mobile gains greater adoption among various audiences and revenues increase, the marketing focus will continue to shift to this area as well. However, she believes that mobile is a less important area of focus for the B2B sector.

    When I was with my previous company, those who were in the manufacturing space didnt use mobile devices during working hours, so it was very challenging to drive digital marketing, Takaba says. Based on my B2B marketing experience, your targeted audience has to use digital as a medium for getting information. I think social communities are where the real power of digital exists in this space because people access them over the weekends and even during work hours, so it has the potential to be successful as a 24/7 approach to reaching consumers.

    She believes that digital marketing serves two purposes: to provide information about products or services and to demonstrate a humane touch and connect with people in a more personally engaging way. While informative content is typically distributed through websites or newsletters, the humane touch is typically provided through social media.

    The personalized marketing needs are far greater in Japan than many other regions, and digital can provide one of the strongest approaches to reaching people in this way at a relatively low cost while adding value to the relationship, she says. Digital is also one of the most effective ways to gather data, and I think this is a big reason behind why it is used so widely.

    Takaba says that challenges exist both internally and externally with regard to digital marketing implementation. Internally, she says talent is a struggle because they dont yet have the level of expertise that they would like. Furthermore, the sales process is still driven primarily by paper or in-person communications. Externally, she says they need to work to determine the best frequency at which to reach their audience through digital.

    When it comes to understanding customers and engaging them through digital, Takaba says their CRM system has been critical for gathering customer data, but the biggest challenge is making sure that it is complete from end to end in order to achieve consistent tracking so that the data can then be aligned with the sales platform.

    While she believes the company is driven heavily by innovation, she says that companies need to pay increasingly more attention to customer loyalty and satisfaction.

    In order to gain more loyal customers, we really need the right data and analytics around their behavior to start with, she says. We also need to be able to gather information about them without them realizing it. By better understanding them, we can drive their attention to the right areas.

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    Basker RangachariGlobal Head of Brand and Retail Marketing

    Standard Chartered Bank

    Digital marketing has transformed the way that companies communicate with consumers across all industry segments. Basker Rangachari, Global Head of Brand and Retail Marketing for Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), says that while digital makes marketing much more exciting, it is important to be agile and constantly learning. Those who treat digital as the final solution to their marketing and disregard the fundamentals of marketing will be set up for failure, but those who continue to evolve and prove their value through the use of digital will be successful in the long term.

    The pivot to digital marketing is influenced heavily by three factors: customer adoption of technology, improved measurement capabilities and the lifestyle of its customers across Asia-Pacific, who often work long hours and rely on digital devices to consume information. Previously, marketers could measure clicks to get an idea of the customer journey, but targeting opportunities were limited. That has changed due to the availability of new and improved technologies, and Rangachari says digital is now a much more natural way to communicate with customers.

    Adoption by our clients of mobile and social media are so high that they naturally accept digital marketing as part of their journey, he says. Furthermore, Asian consumers are not averse to marketing communications; in fact, they like them, especially when the messaging is targeted to their needs and preferences.

    Digital also provides the ability to distribute content in a much more interesting way, and when consumers are willing to view the content, it provides companies with the opportunity to create deeper relationships and learn more about them.

    While Rangachari says that many banks have marketing units that serve as subsets of various business lines, Brand and Marketing is one global organisation at SCB and is considered a center of excellence. He believes the company has achieved some notable successes with respect to digital, particularly as it relates to the banking industry. They are continually building upon the shift to digital as a percentage of total marketing investment and have had very successful campaign performance.

    In todays world, when marketers execute integrated campaigns, they need to ensure that offline and digital marketing plans are running in parallel, he says. A customer might see a message on a billboard on his way to work and then see a commercial on his smartphone, tablet or PC while reading the news, and marketers have to ensure there is connectivity across the entire experience.

    To measure the success of digital initiatives, Rangachari says it is important for a marketer to gather performance metrics and feedback and correlate these with business results across the customer journey.

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    Janice ChanSenior Director of Digital Marketing

    Starwood Hotels & ResortsAsia Pacific

    Starwood Hotels & Resorts has a strong focus on digital marketing and has had great success in using digital to enhance the customer experience. While digital is often viewed separately from traditional marketing efforts, Senior Director of Digital Marketing Janice Chan says that digital can no longer be viewed apart from the overall marketing strategy, and not having an integrated digital presence could be a critical mistake for companies.

    Chan believes that mobile is currently the greatest driver of their digital efforts due to the penetration of smartphones across the Asia-Pacific population. It is often cheaper to use mobile than desktop computers, so it is critical to reach consumers through this channel. Also, the fact that a growing number of consumers prefer to make purchases online is driving digital adoption and advancement.

    In addition, digital efforts in countries like China are driven by the unique nature of the different sites and platforms they use, which have actually surpassed revenue volume and advertising dollars in much of the region.

    While Chan believes the company has a strong digital presence, she says they are closer to the forefront of digital in some areas than others.

    We feel pretty good about our digital presence, our digital strategy and our content strategy, and we have the people, plans and budgets in place to maximize these channels, she says. Digital is owned by the entire organisationfrom the top downwhich is great because that type of commitment is necessary in order to secure the budgets you need.

    The marketing teams are very focused on driving digital innovation in the company, and they work closely with other cross-functional teams in order to make progress. They partner with IT to build out the back end and develop the proper infrastructure, and she says the relationship between marketing and IT has never been stronger. As they look to utilize e-wallet services, they are also partnering strongly with finance.

    E-wallet is going to be a big area for us this year, and as an e-commerce site, we need to partner with finance in order to determine which direction is best for the company, she says. When you consider allowing customers to make payments on a site or to use e-wallet, it involves finance, legal, IT and more in order to make the right decisions for the company.

    When it comes to challenges, Chan says that talent and compensation have been key issues. Attracting talent and then retaining it are becoming increasingly difficult as digital becomes a priority for more companies. In terms of execution, she says localization presents challenges due to the time, budget and people needed to support multiple-language campaigns.

    We have seven languages that we have to translate our campaigns into every time, in addition to creating the original creative in English, she says. Its not just a lot of time and work thats requiredits also very costly.

    When it comes to evaluating, testing, selecting and measuring different digital technologies and channels, Chan says the company has multiple processes in place that allow them to maximize every channel, from websites, mobile web and apps to search, social, email, SMS and more.

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    Embracing these channels and having the right tools in place to measure performance have led to a great deal of success, but she says mobile apps still present some challenges.

    The technology around mobile apps is newer, and the industry is still developing tools and solutions to measure mobile app performance, so thats something were working on now, she says.

    In terms of platforms, the company is looking to invest in popular mobile and social plaforms and to localize several apps in the near future. They are constantly upgrading their desktop and mobile sites and apps to maximize return, and everything they do must be tied to ROI. Fortunately, being in the hotel industry makes it relatively easy to measure bookings and revenue.

    Starwood has also seen a lot of success from its digital efforts and is proud of its digital innovations. In fact, the company has a strong partnership with Apple and was featured as a co-partner in the keynote presentation around the unveiling of the Apple Watch, which also showcased its app.

    Our app is industry-leading in that its not just functional; its also a state-aware, meaning it will change its look and feel based on where you are planning to go, she says. The latest feature that we have added to the app is specific to our SPG members and offers keyless check-in. Customers are allowed to select this option when they book, and the day before they check in, they go through a process to set up the necessary security within the app. We send your room number, and youre able to bypass the front desk and unlock your room using the app on your phone.

    Looking toward the future, Chan believes that the real leaders in digital will be the companies who invest in mobile and enlist the help of the right partners to move forward.

    The speed of digital is moving so quickly that oftentimes, brands need to team with stronger partners to get where they want to be, she says. In my opinion, this is really the key to getting to a point where youre leading rather than following.

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    Ashley TollitVice President and Director of Marketing

    Verizon EnterpriseAsia-Pacific

    Verizons senior marketing teams are committed to digital as their main channel for delivering messages to customers and prospects. Verizon has invested in cutting-edge marketing automation tools that allow teams to leverage sophisticated digital marketing programs and customer intelligence. As Vice President and Director of Marketing for the Asia-Pacific region, Tollitt measures the value of their digital efforts by their ability to drive increased qualified sales leads and by their progress against industry benchmarks.

    In January of 2014, Internet penetration across the Asia-Pacific region was 37 percent, comprising 47.5 percent of total global Internet users. Mobile penetration was more than 93 percent, although 3G capability is not universally available across the region. Even so, the opportunity for digital in this area is huge and simply cannot be ignored by marketers.

    The Asia-Pacific region is poised for enormous digital growth, but the challenge lies in both developing targeted content that consumers want and ensuring the content reaches its intended audience, Tollitt says. It also has to be created in the right languages and delivered at the right time, which is a big shift away from the previous U.S.-centric view of the digital world, but it is vital for digital success in this region.

    Digital marketing allows Verizon customers to have intimate conversations on a mass scale, and the companys marketing teams are also able to proactively communicate and respond to customers in real time.

    Digital makes it possible for us to be more adaptable in our marketing styles and focus on what the customer wants and will react to, he says. It also enables us to track those responses in a far more focused and effective way than ever before.

    Verizon and its APAC business organisation have implemented a number of steps across the organisation to help meet new market requirements more effectively.

    Weve implemented a new marketing automation system that helps us to have the kind of customer conversations that are driven by their business challenges and interests, Tollitt says. We are also proactively creating in-roads to leverage social engagement tools such as Twitter and LinkedIn. Again, the end result is to ensure were having meaningful conversations.

    Tollitt says it is important to ensure that all of Verizons digital programs across the marketing mix are fundamentally aligned with the overall global marketing push, but they do allow for some flexibility for the different geographical regions.

    Digital gives us more opportunities to localize, adapt, test and do guerilla-style campaigns based on feedback from sales and product marketing teams, he says. We also use our engagements to get feedback on shifts in market conditions that we can further refine, improve and then apply back to the digital marketing engagement process.

    Tollitt has experienced three major challenges in the digital realm, and these include content, contacts and compliance.

    We have to make sure that we have the right messages in the right place and deliver them at the right time because good digital engagement relies on getting content to the right person, Tollitt explains. Compliance in Asia-Pacific is very diverse as we are a collection of disparate countries,

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    so we have different legal and data protection legislations that we need to be aware of and adhere to. Getting a team together that can solve all of those challenges is the key to delivering integrated, localized campaigns.

    Verizons marketing teams employ tools for measuring customer engagement depending on where they exist along the customer journey, which may include the awareness stage and various customer touchpoints throughout the marketing and sales funnels.

    We measure our website and social media stats through global tools, and the challenge here is to make the statistics talk to each other and form the whole picture of the customer journey rather than focusing on disparate data, he says. We also work closely with sales, and aligning our customer intelligence across these teams makes us better equipped to identify and act upon opportunities that may not have been engaged or converted within the sales process. Were seeing improvements in sales acceptances across the board.

    Verizons current focus is to continue to build upon and leverage the knowledge gained from marketing automation and customer intelligence tools. Tollitt and his team will continue to ensure that tools are effectively utilized and will draw the insights needed to continuously improve engagement with customers.

    There is always going to be the temptation to try every new thing that digital marketing can offer, such as mobile and SMS, he says. The key is to look at your audience and how they will benefit from what you are doing, and then keep that at the center of your thinking.

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    Kousik BhattacharyaHead of Digital Marketing

    Via.com

    As an e-commerce travel company, Via.com relies almost completely on digital marketing efforts to reach consumers and is also seeing a huge shift toward mobile. Head of Digital Marketing Kousik Bhattacharya says that the penetration of smartphones and other mobile devices is creating an imperative to reach consumers on the go in order to provide them with the maximum amount of flexibility in booking their travel.

    Bhattacharya owns all of the traditional and digital marketing efforts for the company across five countries, including India, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Dubai. He says that digital is in the DNA of the company, so every aspect of their marketing strategy touches on digital.

    When it comes to social media and mobile, time spent by users has increased by 200 percent, he says. People are very active in these channels, and anything they experience in terms of issues or concerns can go live online within seconds, so we have to ensure we are focusing our efforts in these areas.

    The company is always customer focused and tries to be easily accessible to every consumer at their convenience. As technology advances, the company has marked its presence through different consumer platforms, such as the website, corporate channels, mobile app, etc., in order to be available to the customer when they require.

    By taking the approach we did, we have gained more than a million Facebook fans, and that growth has been organic, he says. We provide content that is informative, and growing our fan base to such a great extent is evidence of the success of this approach. We want customers to get a lot of information about the places where they are traveling so that they dont have any issues once they arrive.

    The industry originally had a great deal of fragmentation, which presented some challenges in creating a seamless digital experience and uniting all of their partners on a single digital platform.

    When we brought the concept of digitization to the travel industry, we faced a number of challenges with people not having experience or knowledge using online platforms, he says. We had to bring in people who understood digital and also had good knowledge of the local segments, and this has contributed a great deal to the success of the company.

    Senior management for Via.com is very focused on digital from the top down. The CEO brings experience from a number of e-commerce companies and understands the DNA of digital marketing, so he is keen on implementing digital strategies. In fact, Bhattacharya says that 80 percent of the total marketing budget is devoted to digital.

    When we start a campaign from scratch, one portion of our budget is set aside for test campaigns, and every test has different criteria so that we can ultimately refine our efforts and arrive at a point where we achieve optimum results from each campaign, he says. We use a number of analytics toolssome of which are built in and others that are widely usedto measure the effectiveness of these campaigns.

    Looking toward the future, Bhattacharya says the company has plans for expansion that include going completely mobile and expanding their offerings through the travel app to include a number of features that no other travel company currently provides. Overall, he believes that in order to become a leader in this industry, companies must provide new features that enable customer convenience.

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    Looking at the travel industry worldwide, Priceline, Hotels.com and Booking.com are examples of companies that have good digital strategies because they dont talk about selling onlythey provide information that increases convenience for their customers, he says. We are taking this path to the next level because we dont want to make an impression with customers just by providing cheap tickets. By choosing us as their travel partner, we want customers to have an experience that they will remember so that they choose us again and again.

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  • APAC DIGITAL DIRECTIONS TM | REPORT

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    The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is the only global network of executives specifically dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide range of global industries. The CMO Council's 8,500-plus members control more than $400 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. In total, the CMO Council and its strategic interest communities include more than 35,000 global executives in more than 110 countries covering multiple industries, segments and markets. Regional chapters and advisory boards are active in the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, India and Africa. The council's strategic interest groups include the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE), Mobile Relationship Marketing (MRM) Strategies, LoyaltyLeaders.org, CMOCIOAlign.org, Marketing Supply Chain Institute, Customer Experience Board, Digital Marketing Performance Institute, GeoBranding Center and the Forum to Advance the Mobile Experience (FAME). For more information, visit the CMO Council at www.cmocouncil.org.

    Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences. For more information, visit www.adobe.com. Keep up to date with news and views from APAC digital marketers on the Adobe Digital Dialogue blog at blogs.adobe.com/digitaldialogue/. Join APAC marketers on the Digital Dialogue Asia Pacific LinkedIn group. Follow Adobe Digital Marketing Cloud news and updates via @AdobeMktgCloud and join the conversation about this report via #APDash.

    Additional Resources

    Adobe Digital Marketing Blog: CMO.com

    Read about Adobe Marketing Cloud.

    ABOUT THE CMO COUNCIL

    ABOUT ADOBE

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