SYDNEY/AUCKLAND: Nearly three-quarters (74%) of CMOs in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) believe that the structure and design of marketing will need to change over the next three to five years, according to a new survey.

However, ANZ marketers feel the need for change less acutely than their counterparts in many other regions, the Economist Intelligence Unit revealed.

The independent analysis firm questioned 92 senior marketers in both countries as part of a global survey of 660 industry practitioners.

It found that only 30% of ANZ respondents strongly agree that the marketing function will have to change to meet the future needs of their organisations compared with almost 6-in-10 in Asia-Pacific and 50% in the rest of the world.

While they feel less strongly about the need to overhaul their organisations, ANZ marketers still expect a major shift away from advertising and branding as marketing responsibilities.

Just 35% expect the primary function of marketing to be advertising and branding in three to five years compared with 62% at present.

Instead, they expect their focus to shift in the coming years to customer experience and engagement (51%) and customer retention (47%).

Interestingly, these two areas are considered among the least important considerations for marketers in Asia-Pacific, meaning ANZ marketers are more in line with the views of their counterparts in Europe and North America, the report said.

Respondents in ANZ also believe that customer engagement and retention will be the biggest marketing challenge with close to half (45%) citing customer acquisition as the single biggest challenge over the next 12 months. This is a higher proportion than in any other region.

In addition, ANZ marketers voice stronger concerns than in other regions about having sufficient budgets (42%) and managing the shift to digital marketing and engagement (36%).

By contrast, respondents in Asia-Pacific appear relatively unconcerned about the need for customer acquisition (28%) and the shift to digital (21%).

Turning to some of the broader technological trends facing the industry, the survey found nearly two-thirds (65%) of ANZ marketers believe real-time mobile personalised transactions will have the biggest impact by 2020.

This is a much higher proportion than 47% of respondents in the rest of the world who share that view.

The results tally with those from Warc's latest study into mobile marketing in Asia-Pacific, which found that 84% of respondents intend to use location-based marketing this year, while 40% plan to use mobile wallet capabilities. In regard to the latter technology, adoption is expected to rise to 64% by 2020.

Other technological developments that ANZ marketers expect to have a major impact on marketing include the Internet of Things (42%), wearable technology (32%) and virtual and augmented reality (30%).

"[ANZ marketers] believe that social marketing, mobile transactions and the Internet of Things will be the technologies most central to shaping the future of the function," the report concluded.

Data sourced from Economist Intelligence Unit; additional content by Warc staff