SYDNEY: CMOs in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) seem to be more hesitant than their global counterparts in tapping new technology to engage audiences, according to a recent survey, but that may change in the year ahead industry figures have suggested.

A global study by the Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by marketing automation software business Marketo, found that only 29% of ANZ marketers viewed new tech as a strategic priority in their attempts to engage consumers, compared to a global average of 40%, Exchange Wire reported.

More than three quarters of Australian respondents regarded email as their main channel for building customer relationships; for those in New Zealand it was social media.

In a related finding, they were less likely to feel the need to introduce new skills to their departments: just 13% of ANZ respondents were focused on this compared to 20% in other regions.

"The study hints that we are slower to adopt some of these changes," said Greg Taylor, Marketo's Sydney-based managing director.

"Australia and New Zealand are both relatively small, yet lucrative, markets. It makes sense to focus on building a strong bond with your existing customers to leverage greater value," he added.

But he also felt it was necessary to move on and embrace technology that would help build better brand relationships.

One aspect of that is likely to be greater use of programmatic to facilitate the use of formats such as native and video in fast-growing channels such as mobile, where spending was up 81% in 2015, according to IAB Australia figures.

Steve Wing, vice president of international mobile and marketplace at adtech business Rubicon Project, suggested that programmatic would play an important role in "knitting together the fragmented mobile marketplace".

Add in the possibilities offered by location-based data, he said, and "we'll be looking at better, more relevant, more targeted, and more engaging mobile creativity, knitted together by automation, to deliver the scale and efficiencies this market deserves".

Data sourced from Exchange Wire; additional content by Warc staff