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Survey finds China digital marketing has miles to go

12-04 12:11 China Daily
The carrier has started to provide "unique personalized content to customers" based on basic information about the customer and even weaving in tailor-made information or commercials.

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A joint study by Adobe Systems Inc and CMO Council has found that about 87 percent of the respondents from China exhibited faith in the competitive advantage created by digital marketing. [Photo/Agencies]

Marketing professionals from China had the lowest digital mindset in the Asia-Pacific region despite the rapid development and high penetration of mobile devices in the country, a global survey said on Tuesday.

The survey was jointly conducted by the California-based computer software company Adobe Systems Inc and global executive affinity group CMO Council. About 87 percent of the respondents from China exhibited faith in the competitive advantage created by digital marketing, including marketing campaigns launched on websites, social media, mobile devices and other platforms with the help of big data. However, this is still lower than the 92 percent observed throughout the entire APAC region on average.

According to market consultancy firm eMarketer, China had the world's largest number of mobile Internet users at 500 million by 2014, which is more than three times the number of mobile Internet users in the United States. However, inconsistent with the rate of this high mobile penetration, only 33 percent of the respondents believe that the proliferation, appeal and capability of mobile devices are driving the acceptance of digital marketing.

The survey polled 800 marketing executives from the Asia-Pacific region over a period of six months. Adobe and the CMO Council found that only 9 percent of the companies in China hired the experienced, dedicated and in-house headcounts necessary for digital marketing analysis while the Asia-Pacific average was 15 percent. Australia, which leads in digital marketing in the region, saw 26 percent of its companies hiring the right digital marketing talents.

That, however, does mean that Chinese companies should be disheartened, the survey said. Liz Miller, vice-president of marketing at the CMO Council, said that "no country is truly taking advantage of the huge amounts of data they are collecting" even though more marketers in Australia, India and Singapore are using analytics and reporting technologies.

Paul Robson, president for Adobe System Asia Pacific, said industries such as online retailing, travel and leisure, airlines, hotel and banking are acting more rapidly to adapt to digital marketing. In China, traditional companies such as Air China, are among the best examples to show the transformation toward digital marketing.

The carrier has started to provide "unique personalized content to customers" based on basic information about the customer and even weaving in tailor-made information or commercials.

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