Adobe APAC Digital Marketing Report: 60% Asia-Pacific Marketers Show Strong Support For Digital Marketing

Adobe released 'APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard', a study done along with the CMO Council looks into advancement of digital marketing across the Asia Pacific region.

It’s no secret that digital is the future and Asia is where the action is. The advancement of digital marketing transformation across Asia is the basis of findings of a new study from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. Initially reported by IDR, “APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard’ is a study by the CMO Council in partnership with Adobe.

While the study highlights where and how senior marketers from across the region are shifting digital marketing priorities and advancing digital strategies, at the same time it highlights that marketers are struggling with finding the right talent and skills to effectively execute digital strategies, in addition to implementing key ROI measures to make a business case for digital investments.

In a nutshell the report highlights the state of digital adoption across Asia-Pacific, as well as best practices, challenges, setbacks, and imperatives for moving forward.

The 85 page paid report includes detailed findings; an extensive 295 senior marketers operating in APAC took part in an online quantitative survey; an infographic detailing the state of digital marketing both across the region as a whole and in individual countries; and best practices being embraced by senior marketers from 23 companies like Toys R Us–Asia, Commonwealth Travel, ING-BOB Life Insurance, Fuji Xerox, Tupperware, and more. The surveys and interviews were conducted through the second and third quarters of 2012.

APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard

The infographic that follows illustrates the state of digital marketing adoption across the Asia-Pacific region with respect to four key areas: mindset, marketing readiness, organizational alignment, and marketing skills. All ratings are on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the highest. As one can see, the mindset around digital adoption is strong across the region as a whole, but talent, readiness to implement, and organizational alignment must improve in order to capitalize on these efforts.


Expectations from Marketers

1. Sixty percent of executive teams across Asia-Pacific show strong support for digital marketing, recognizing the rapid shift in customer preference for digital engagement and on-demand interaction.

2. Forty-five percent of business leaders are driven by competitor adoption, concerned they might fall behind in the race for new markets and growth.

3. Sixty-three percent of respondents in the survey for this report said customer preference for digital engagement is driving the shift in their organization.

4. 59 percent of their business leaders support digital marketing because they expect it to provide a greater level of accountability and transparency.


1. 72 percent of APAC marketers are leveraging analytics and reporting technologies, with Australia and Korea proving to be the most advanced in the region, with more than 84 percent usage.

2. Only 19 percent of APAC marketers rate their ability to measure ROI as excellent or very good. Forty-one percent believe they are getting better, while a further 38 percent feel they are poor or need improvement.

3. Less than 25 percent of marketers are measuring critical data such as revenue per customer, cost per sale, return on ad spend, or channel ROI.

4. Only 43 percent of marketers are measuring ROI even at the specific campaign level, and this metric ranks ninth out of 25 items on the overall list of what’s being measured.

There has been a clear lack of alignment between marketing measurement and strategic business goals.

Marketing investments

Digital_investment_in_APAC1. Website content and optimization receive the majority of budget allocation with 82 percent, followed by email campaigns at 63 percent, search engine optimization (SEO) at 61 percent, and social, search, and display at 45 percent.

2. Thirty-four percent of APAC marketers plan to invest in analytics and insights this year, with Korea the highest in this respect at 60 percent, Hong Kong at 38 percent, and Australia at 35 percent.

Lack of dedicated resources impacting digital

1. In almost 50 percent of companies, the APAC region or country teams hold primary responsibility for the development of their organization’s digital strategy and execution.

2. However, only 25 percent report that they have a dedicated senior digital marketing or interactive marketing director owning the program.

3. Only 15 percent of companies felt they had the right teams in place, with 49 percent of companies citing lack of in-house digital expertise as their greatest challenge.

4. Only 13 percent of companies across APAC have dedicated and experienced resources to provide marketing analysis.

5. APAC marketers rely heavily on their agencies, as 72 percent are using multiple agencies to manage disparate channels within the marketing mix. The diversity and duplication of agencies only adds to the difficulty of achieving a holistic, integrated, analytic view incorporating measurement and optimization across all digital channels.

Asia has the largest percentage of worldwide Internet users (40 percent) by population but only has 21 percent Internet penetration. According to a study by the ADMA, there are 1 billion users online, but dig deeper and you will see that 620 million of these users are searching on mobile Internet.

The possibilities are immense and Mark Phibbs, Senior Director, Marketing, APAC, Adobe Systems shares three insights on “The Next Steps to Success” for APAC digital marketers.

  • Appoint dedicated, senior digital marketing leaders to own the marketing strategy alignment to key business drivers. It’s particularly important to make sure your organization is measuring the right elements in order to demonstrate ROI.
  • Bring in dedicated analytics resources to drive the shift from tactical KPI measurement and ensure the organization is leveraging data for continual optimization.
  • Continued investment in measurement and optimization technologies.

Download the executive summary report here.