Only one in ten APAC marketers believe their organisation has a well-developed customer journey strategy in place; seven in ten say customer touchpoints are not integrated

SYDNEY, Feb. 8, 2017 – New findings from Econsultancy’s Understanding the Customer Journey report, published in association with Emarsys, a leading global B2C marketing cloud company, demonstrate that much of Asia Pacific (APAC) is at an ‘intermediate’ stage of understanding their customers’ journey, while Australia is only in the ‘beginning’ phase, falling behind other countries in the region.

“The promise of marketing has always been to deliver personalised interactions that consumers deserve – and that they are growing to expect,” said Ohad Hecht, Chief Executive Officer, Emarsys. “Marketing teams around the world work hard every day to exceed their customers’ expectations; however, a gap is emerging between customer expectations for a personalised interaction and the marketer’s ability to deliver. An explosion of data, channels and point solutions are at the core of this growing gap and are ironically making it harder, not easier, for marketers to understand the customer journey.”

Room to improve in Australia

According to the report, nearly half (47%) of respondents from Australia say they are at a ‘beginner’ stage where their understanding of the customer journey is elementary, and with suffers from many missing aspects. By contrast, India and Indonesia are leading the way, with 31% and 34% of respondents respectively saying they have an ‘advanced’ understanding of the overall customer journey.

Similarly, 57% of Australian respondents say they are only just beginning to develop a strategy for improving their organisation’s customer experience. Indonesia, by comparison, emerges in the lead with 18% of company respondents claiming they have a well-developed customer experience strategy in place, and just 3% saying there is no strategy. Australia also lags behind others when it comes to having a monitored, implemented strategy in place, with just 20% claiming this position (compared to 47% of Malaysians, for example).

Almost half of Australian respondents (48%) say that their customer touchpoints across different channels are managed in silos, with inconsistent delivery, while just 14% of Chinese respondents cite this as being the case. In contrast, 22% of respondents from China say there is seamless integration of channels while a mere 2% of Australians can claim to be in this situation.

The customer journey in Asia Pacific

According to the research findings, 41% of client-side marketers in Asia Pacific admit that the customer journey is understood, but there is little management across touchpoints. Complexity of the customer journey, difficulty with unifying data sources, a lack of collaboration between departments and IT bottlenecks are the main barriers to understanding the customer journey.

“The idea of providing a consistent and connected customer experience across marketing touchpoints is not a new concept,” said Jefrey Gomez, Managing Director, Asia Pacific at Econsultancy. “However, the ability to achieve this remains a challenge for the majority of APAC marketers. In 2017 we may see change in this regard with more organisations focusing on customer needs and established channels.”

Other APAC-specific findings from the report include:

  • The majority of respondents believe customers are using mobile for product research and later purchasing online.
  • Companies say they lack the systems (79%), data (74%) and analysis skills (68%) to effectively map the mobile customer journey.
  • Two-thirds of companies rely on email data to inform their understanding of the customer journey.
  • Sales and revenue is considered the primary indicator of success  and way of measuring the impact of initiatives aimed at understanding the customer journey.

The report is based on a survey of almost 1,000 digital marketers and ecommerce professionals in Asia Pacific, carried out by Econsultancy between August and October 2016.

Get this report

The full report is available here

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