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Digital Trends in APAC- 2020

Adobe’s Digital Trends report, now in its 10th year, is an annual survey of marketing, advertising, ecommerce, creative and technology professionals around the world.

Here are the key highlights of the report which gives us an insight into the rising importance of customer experience in APAC and the findings that have led to this conclusion.

As shown in Figure 1, it is evident that APAC nations have a sudden rise in one aspect. 19% of APAC organisations have agreed that CX is an excellent opportunity. Also, APAC is encouraging the return on investments made for IoT. Moreover, APAC marketers are ahead of EMEA when it comes to calculating returns on IoT.

Figure 1: Area that shows the best opportunity for organization growth in 2020.

CX is the most exciting opportunity for APAC organisations

The GSM Association has concluded that APAC nations are currently working fast-paced strategies to better their customer experiences. 19% of the companies of this region believe CX is their pathway to increase their demand.

APAC has shown significant ROI, about 47% on IoT investments with different focus points. Australia and New Zealand have been inclined towards better products and services while India works towards web applications, and China prefers to stick to design. India and China have given priority to mobile and video as part of their brand engagement strategy. Mobile video consumption is likely to grow three times, according to Forrester. 4G and 5G technologies are also fast expanding their reach.

A detailed graph shows the digital- areas that nations have chosen to work on to improve their CX (Figure 2). As per the statistics, mobile engagement and optimization is a popular and preferred communication channel.

Figure 2: Digital-areas that are a must for your company to work on in 2020.

APAC organisations are less mature than the ROW in delivering CX

Given the quality of CX in the rest of the world, APAC nations report only 7% of the companies that call themselves "mature." Meanwhile, 12% agree that they are still lacking. 11% of the companies in the rest of the world consider having brilliant CX. Australia and New Zealand show the lowest maturity at 3%, but consider CX to be a major priority (35%).

However, the APAC nations are catching up and developing new strategies constantly to better their consumers’ brand experience. These country-wise strategies are further demonstrated in figure 3. Various improvement methods are being employed by APAC nations to equal the rest of the world in CX. As per the report, merely 7% of the APAC organizations consider themselves as ‘mature ones’, whereas the rest of the world has 11% of the organizations considering themselves as mature.

Figure 3: Different strategies used by APAC nations to better their CX.

APAC organisations planning to invest more in CX-enabling technology in 2020 than the ROW

There is an evident gap in CX maturity between APAC regions and the rest of the world. However, to eliminate this gap, the APAC organizations have expressed their interest in increasing their budgets. They intend to invest in technology that improves their CX.

About 57% of APAC, in contrast with 47% of the companies of the rest of the world have shown an inclination towards major tech-investments. In India alone, 46% of companies reveal their plans to invest in AI and Machine Learning, while 30% are already working with these.

China is said to be planning a $30 billion fund to work on AI while India plans to invest about half a billion dollars in AI-related technologies. India and China have also prioritized mobile technology to target 'unbanked' consumers, who constitute 191 million of the combined population.

Figure 4 is a comparative report of the responsiveness of companies in APAC and the rest of the world towards tech-investments. The report clearly shows that when it comes to APAC organizations, they have a far better capacity for making investments in AI and ML, a good 34%. On the other hand, it is just 25% across the rest of the world.

Figure 4: Is your company already using or thinking to invest in AI/ML in 2020?


It is evident from the highlights discussed that CX has emerged as a priority for APAC organizations. This has led them to believe that they must catch up with the rest of the world in terms of their quality of brand experience. Major investments are being planned to advance in areas of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

The most exciting tech developments are happening in China and India right now – a region that could be leaders in IoT by 2025. This year, we’re also seeing businesses in Australia and New Zealand going all-in on CX to catch up with other countries. 

To download the full complimentary 2020 Digital Trends in Asia Pacific report, click here.


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