Asia Pacific marketers more open and enthusiastic towards Artificial Intelligence than their European and North American peers

19 March, 2018

As the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) increases across the aviation and wider travel sector it has emerged that marketers in the Asia-Pacific region are leading their European and North American counterparts in terms of usage and the level of investment businesses offer in digital skills training for employees. This was among the findings discovered in the 'Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2018 Digital Trends' report from Adobe and Econsultancy published earlier this month.

The report explains that within the Asia-Pacific region marketer base, 38% see 'no perceived need' for AI, compared with 51% of marketers in North America, although this remains a strikingly large base of users that AI proponents need to win round. A majority (53%) of APAC marketers are either using AI already, or are planning to use it in the next 12 months, whereas in Europe and North America, adopters are in the minority.

The findings also highlight that different regions are coming at AI from slightly different angles. Analysis of data is a key focus for all geographies - a mark of the ongoing struggle to create insight out of the vast quantities of often unstructured data being generated by customers' activity, says the report. However, in North America, marketers are more interested than their peers in using AI to enhance 'core' digital marketing techniques such as optimisation and testing, and on-site personalisation. In Europe, programmatic advertising is the second main use of AI.

Drilling into marketers' spending priorities for 2018, the report again demonstrates the burgeoning role of content as a differentiator in digital marketing. The report says: This year, marketers will continue to focus heavily on creating compelling and useful content that can enrich the customer experience, and grease the wheels for acquisition, retention and conversion."

While content management refers to the creation and modification of digital content, content marketing is about the distribution and promotion of that content to the right audiences. Content marketing (58%) is the area where respondents are most likely to be planning a budget increase during 2018, while content management is also being allocated greater investment by a significant proportion of marketers (48%). These trends are consistent across regions, according to the report's findings.

For the second year running optimisation of the customer experience tops the digital agenda with just under a fifth (19%) of respondents describing it as the most exciting opportunity for their organisation. While there has been a statistically significant drop from 22% since 2017, this is not a reduction in the importance of customer experience but merely that some companies are "more focused on other, more specific, opportunities, all of which feed into the overall customer experience, to a greater or lesser extent," says the report.

[perfectpullquote align="full" cite="" link="" color="" class="" size=""] "Essentially, digital transformation is about people, process and technology, and you need the right mix of skills and an environment for people to flourish in, as well as the right technology to enable them."
Jamie Brighton, Head of Product Marketing for Adobe Experience Cloud, EMEA [/perfectpullquote]

Now in its eighth year, the research looks at the most significant trends that will impact companies in the short to medium term. As part of this year's study, a number of top-performing companies were identified in order to see how they are focusing their activities and investments differently compared to their peers.

Key findings from the report, based on a global survey of 12,795 marketing, creative and technology professionals in the digital industry across EMEA, North America and Asia Pacific, include:

  • Companies continue to focus on the customer experience (CX), as well as the content required to facilitate this. Organisations committed to CX are shown to outperform their peers.
  • We are entering a 'design and creativity renaissance', with top-performing companies recognising the importance of these capabilities to complement data and technology excellence.
  • Investment in technology and related skills is paying dividends, with integrated platforms fast-becoming a prerequisite for success.
  • AI set to play a growing role in helping marketers to deliver more compelling real-time experiences.

READ MORE - View the full report: Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2018 Digital Trends