The study surveyed more than 6,000 marketers worldwide, and 14 per cent of respondents were from the Asia-Pacific region. While all the marketers surveyed were “aligned in their determination to differentiate their business through customer experience”, the findings revealed regional differences in how marketers interpret and prioritise what makes “a brilliant customer experience”.
For example, Asia-Pacific marketers are more concerned with “delivering the most personalised and relevant experience possible”, with 38 per cent nominating this as their top priority, compared to 32 per cent in both other regions.
While getting the customer experience right is not a simple proposition for a business, the study indicates that marketers in Asia are “embracing the challenge”, Paul Robson, president of Adobe Asia-Pacific, said in a press statement.
Asia’s marketers are also more focused on becoming “mobile-first” in relation to differentiating their business through customer experience. A tenth of respondents in Asia said mobile-first is a top priority, compared to 7 per cent in Europe and 5 per cent in North America.
“The smartphone dominates as the device of choice among the majority of APAC consumers, and is used to research, communicate and make purchases,” Robson said. “So it makes perfect sense that more marketers here than anywhere else in the world are prioritising development of a mobile-first business.”
Regarding the ingredients needed for a company to build an “exceptional customer experience”, Asia-Pacific marketers also have views that contrast with that of their counterparts in Europe and North America.
While 55 per cent of North American respondents ranked technology and tools as being among the three most critical elements in the delivery of customer experience, only 43 per cent in Asia-Pacific believed that to be the case.
Instead, Asia-Pacific marketers identified “strategy, culture, and the development of digital marketing skills combined with analytics and technology” as the most important building blocks.
To transform a company with customer experience, these marketers agreed that a “cross-business approach” with the “customer at the heart of all decisions” is needed first and foremost
Summarising the study, Robson said the research shows “a high level of marketing sophistication in digitally-aware Asian businesses", whose marketing leaders are "transforming their organisations to ensure brand is central at every moment of customer experience”.
The root cause of which, is that “customer experience is forcing organisations to create a more integrated approach", with marketing no longer simply carried out by the marketing department.
Other nuggets of insight and advice, taken verbatim, from the report:
- For many organisations, the goal of turning customer experience into a competitive advantage means re-creating themselves. That’s because the customer’s experience is the result of every part of the company working together, or failing to. Decisions made in finance and human resources can have just as much impact as those in marketing and product teams.
- The product and service commoditisation in many sectors means that while offerings must be competitive, they’re less likely to be a competitive advantage. Even starker is the end of the price war; only 5 per cent of respondents see themselves as being able to set themselves apart with their pricing strategies.
- Strategy is the easy part. As challenging as it is to discover and define corporate direction, strategy is a malleable set of ideas that depends on the buy-in of a relatively small group of people.
- It’s within the context of culture that strategy becomes practice. Its success or failure depends on whether the wider audience of employees, partners and other stakeholders understand and support it.
- Use a cross-team approach. Building a truly customer-centric enterprise means working together. It’s not simply a marketing initiative. Product, finance, customer service, sales, marketing and management have to work together.
- Everything is part of customer experience. From the moment a prospect sees an ad the customer experience has begun and it doesn’t end until the relationship does.
- It is important to realise that mobile’s relevance has actually increased, even if the excitement around it has dipped
Another study on service appreciation in Hong Kong earlier this year highlighted the importance of service in marketing. An article in our current issue, Customer care steps into the limelight, delves into that aspect of customer experience.