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APAC marketers reveal innovation concerns

News, 15 May 2017
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SINGAPORE: Asia-Pacific today accounts for most of the growth of the global economy, yet surprisingly few C-suite marketers in the region feel completely confident about their ability to remain competitive in the near future.

According to global marketing consultancy R3, just 10.3% of the 28 director-level CMOs it surveyed totally agreed with the statement "With our capacity today, I am confident that our organisation will be able to remain competitive in the market in three years".

While nearly half (48.3%) said they "somewhat agree" with the statement, around a quarter (24.1%) said they "somewhat disagree", with a further 17.2% neither agreeing nor disagreeing.

The survey findings, first reported by Campaign Asia, also revealed that just 3.4% of these CMOs totally agreed that their marketing strategies were innovative, while only 6.9% said they were "very prepared" to navigate their brands into the future.

The survey sample may be small, but R3 interviewed some of the top marketing executives in the region, including representatives from leading brands, such as Coca-Cola, Singtel, Myntra and Tiffany & Co, and their responses have helped to inform a new book that R3 has published recently.

"Asia CMO: Driving Brand Growth seeks to identify the challenges that Asia's CMOs are facing today, and identify what tools the CMO of the future will need to be successful both in Asia and globally," explained Shufen Goh, co-founder of R3 and co-author of the book.

R3 also asked the survey participants "What keeps you up at night?" and found the biggest worries CMOs faced centred on "Staying ahead or taking advantage of digital technology" (24.1%) and "Aligning marketing with overall business strategy" (24.1%).

Other major concerns included "Building effective teams" (20.7%), "Creating sustainable and engaging customer relationships" (17.2%) and "Demonstrating marketing ROI" (13.8%).

And when asked "What would improve your organisation's use of digital and technology the most?", close to half (44.8%) cited a skilled team or agency partner, while just 6.9% thought a bigger budget would provide the answer.

However, despite their concerns about their capabilities, the APAC CMOs also strongly agreed that it's important for their role to be seen as innovative.

More than half (55.2%) said they "totally agree" that it's important to be regarded as an innovative CMO, a third (31%) said they "somewhat agree", while just 6.8% said they "somewhat disagree" or "totally disagree" (3.4% each).

Data sourced from Campaign Asia; additional content by WARC staff

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