Matthew Keegan
Sep 18, 2023

Asia tops list of business challenges for global comms professionals: survey

TOP OF THE CHARTS: Survey by IPREX of nearly 500 communicators from 28 countries finds budget is the top challenge globally, with stakeholder engagement and language barriers key issues for Asia.

Asia tops list of business challenges for global comms professionals: survey
  • Over a third (35%) of communicators listed their respective regions as presenting the most challenges for doing business. However, when their regions were removed, Asia ranked the most challenging (16%) and the Middle East (13%).

  • The fact that legal systems, governance, business etiquette, culture, and on-ground challenges vary widely between countries in Asia plays no small part in this. That wide variance is not surprising, given Asia includes 60% of the world’s population.

  • APAC's top challenges are “Budget” (22%) “Stakeholder engagement” (20%), followed by “Language barriers” (16%).
  • “Stakeholder engagement” was cited as a challenge by APAC respondents more than twice as often as those in the Americas or EMEA. While Americas (21%) and EMEA (20%) listed “Too Few People To Do The Work” in their top two issues, it was reported as an issue for only 13% of APAC organisations.
  • APAC is the region where organisations are markedly more likely to rely on third-party providers. Almost 60% of APAC organisations use a network, like IPREX, compared with one-third of those headquartered in EMEA and The Americas.
  • APAC (58%) is more likely to undertake lead generation strategy at headquarters when compared with EMEA (44%) and the Americas (46%), but more likely to undertake their public affairs/government relations work at the local level (56%) than the Americas (42%) and EMEA (38%).
  • 93% of organisations headquartered in APAC launched a communication program to familiarise the local population with their organisations when expanding into a new international market - this dropped to 67% for the Americas and 64% for EMEA.
  • APAC (58%) is twice as likely as its American counterparts (31%) and almost three times as likely as those in EMEA (22%) to use social media for cascading messages throughout their organisations.
  • APAC is 4X more likely than American (7%) organisations and 2X more likely than EMEA (13%) organisations to use WhatsApp for internal cascading messages.
  • APAC is an optimistic region, with two-thirds (62%) of respondents believing that communicating across borders will become less difficult in the coming years. 
  • APAC leads the way in running global DEI programs. In fact, over two-thirds of APAC organisations (64%) have a global DEIB program that is consistent across the company, compared with about half of American organisations (48%) and around a third of EMEA organisations (35%).
Marketing communications key global issues
Leadership does not respect marketing and communication as a discipline
  • 46% of organisation’s reported that "leadership does not respect marketing and communication as a discipline". Larger organisations were more likely to report they were improving on the issue. Overall, the smaller organisations, and medium to a lesser degree, were less optimistic about improving upon this issue.
Communication assets are not being shared across countries
  • 61% of global organisations report communication assets, such as content or graphics on the same subject, are not being shared across countries, causing double work and missed opportunities. 
Message and brand inconsistencies across countries
  • 53% said they are not “ensuring message and brand consistency from country to country.” However, of those who identified it as an issue, 64% said they were improving on it.
431 responses
Responses from 28 countries
Responses collected from December 2022 through February 2023

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Top of the Charts: Key data at a glance


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