Staff Reporters
Feb 4, 2022

Half of APAC marketing teams 'completely exhausted': Research

Yet a relatively small cohort is thriving, rather than feeling burned out, because it's energised by the opportunity to remake marketing, according to research by Accenture Interactive.

Half of APAC marketing teams 'completely exhausted': Research

Half of the APAC marketing executives responding to an Accenture Interactive survey said the past year has "completely exhausted" their employees, and in Singapore, this figure jumps to 72%.

Accenture's The Great Marketing Declutter report is based on a survey of more than 1,000 marketing executives globally, including 200 in APAC.

According to the report, 60% of APAC respondents fall into a group the report authors dubbed 'Strivers'. These are marketing teams that have some autonomy to meet customer needs but have limited awareness of customer changes. A fifth (21%) of respondents are merely 'Survivors', defined as those who are burnt out and not in tune with the pulse of customer change. Members of this latter group assume that changes among consumers are only temporary, the report notes.

The remaining 19% of APAC marketers are 'Thrivers', and the report delves into what separates this group from the rest.

Globally, 17% of respondents fall into the Thrivers category, while 66% are Strivers and 17% are Survivors.

Among the Thrivers group, the vast majority in APAC (87%) say their marketers have been "energised" by the need to service the rapidly changing motivations of their customers, and 38% say their marketing organisation is much stronger today than last year because it has been pushed to think differently about marketing.

The report authors cite five ways members of the Thrivers group stand out:

They're more in touch with consumers. Only about half of APAC marketers are using either social-listening technologies and strategies (56%) or surveys (51%) to better understand their customers’ needs and values. This figure is 74% among the Thrivers group.

They know that delivering differentiated customer experience takes collaboration across diverse functions, including product development, commerce, sales, service and marketing. APAC Thrivers are 17% more likely than Survivors to report that their input is considered highly critical to key business decisions on customer experience.

They’re nearly twice as likely as Survivors (100% versus 51%) to have increased their investments in scale and speed in order to deliver messages, content and experiences that are relevant to customers’ real-time needs.

They're leaning into process automation: Nine out of 10 have "industrialised" marketing operations to deal with complexity, compared with 62% of Survivors. They are also not averse to discarding tasks.

They own their brand purpose. Thrivers are nearly five times more likely than Survivors to view the shifts in pandemic-fuelled customer values as an opportunity to rethink marketing’s role and reimagine their brand purpose, the report says.

“On a global and regional level, marketers who have thrived despite the disruptions were able to seize this unprecedented reality to redefine what they do, how they do it, and the overall role of marketing in the business," said Thomas Mouritzen, Accenture Interactive’s lead for Southeast Asia. "By uniting their colleagues behind a common ambition and brand purpose—from the leadership to the most junior of employees—and connecting with customers through empathy and authenticity, these Thrivers are laying the groundwork for relationships that can endure even as customer preferences shift."

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