How Australia grabbed the top spot for digital marketing in the Asia Pacific

By Sandra D’Souza

Australia has emerged as No. 1 when it comes to digital marketing expertise in the Asia Pacific, according to a survey of the Chief Marketing Officer Council and Adobe. Here’s how the region bested its counterparts in the Asia Pacific.

Broader horizons: Digital marketing on different platforms

The famous saying, “hitting two birds with one stone” has been used countless times to describe objects, places or circumstances with utmost practicality, where goals are achieved with strategic effort. The premise behind this appears to be working for Australia right now, in terms of its expertise in digital marketing. Australia has landed the top spot for digital marketing across the Asia Pacific region, according to a survey done by the Chief Marketing Officer Council and Adobe. About 52% of organisations in Australia assign their chief marketing executives to manage digital marketing strategies, higher than the regional average of 39%, the survey found.  Moreover, 62% of the companies studied said they have a digital marketing expert in the leadership team, twice the Asia Pacific average of 39%.

This means that companies in Australia take a serious approach todigital marketing, especially considering the strong need to reach out to the “omnichannel” digital customer to gain an edge. This has prompted Australian marketers to expand their strategies to mobile, social and digital platforms to engage audiences. In addition, they use data not only for measurement, but also to develop effective online and offline marketing strategies.  Unlike China and Korea, Australia usesdata to influence campaign life cycle, said Liz Miller, vice president of marketing at CMO Council. “The skill level, mindset, expertise and sophistication (of the Australian marketing industry) are far more aligned with the US and Europe,” she said.

It can be said that Australian organisations use inward and outward approaches to maximisethe effectiveness of their digital marketing strategies. They ensure digital marketing expertise internally, and they use data to improve marketing tactics. Meanwhile, they utilize different platforms to reach out to more customers, but ensure a central integration to avoid digital silos.

Overcoming Barriers: Changing the marketing mindset

The CMO survey above noted that there remains a conflict between marketing and IT departments amid the growth of digital marketing in Australia. The issue may liein the perception of marketers seeing the IT as “hired help” which could prevent them from working together to create effective strategies.  However, there are companies that are no longer hindered with this kind of thinking. With the understanding of data and analytics, American Express has stopped sending emails to “everyone dead or alive in Australia,” said Jeffrey Evans, the company’s head of global digital marketing. Better relations with the IT department have allowed them to take on a wiser approach.

In order for brands to remain competitive, they need to rethink their digital marketing, saidCatherine Heath, head of strategy and planning for the U.S. west coast operations of digital agency Huge. They need to get past the “digital” label and inject life into their marketing. This is crucial nowadays that the first point of contact brands have with their customers is through the digital platform.

Aside from this, brands need to consider the entire purchasing process to craft effective digital marketing tactics. This includes using analytics to gauge the reaction of customers toward digital marketing platforms. It also entails interacting with them even after a purchase is made. This is especially important since customers can bolster marketing through word-of-mouth referrals.  Furthermore, this can yield vital information for a company’s product and/or services.

Maximising social media: Driving customer engagement

A LinkedIn study found that 89% of small and medium enterprises in Australia use social media to interact with their clients. Social media has allowed SMEs to maintain a consistent dialogue with their customers throughout the purchasing process. About 13% of 200 SMEs in Australia experienced hyper-growth last year related to their social media marketing platforms. Marketers, in turn, can help SMEs further their growth if they assistthem to integrate all the parts of their value chain on social media.

Australian marketers have achieved success in digital marketing by employing a multi-faceted approach to engage their customers on a wider scale. This includes improving their internal approaches to digital marketing, as well as improving their outward strategies, such as utilising the social media platform. Using this perspective may enable companies in Australia or worldwide, to enhance their digital marketing strategies and make them more effective.

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