A new study shows a strong digital integration across the communications workstream in Asia-Pacific, but slow adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) tools. The study added that most businesses plan to increase digital transformation investment in the next three years, driven by a need to enhance audience engagement and inform strategic planning within communications.
The according to the inaugural Digital Transformation in Asia-Pacific Communications Study from BCW’s Digital Innovation Group, which surveyed 182 senior marketing and communications professionals across nine Asia-Pacific markets, found communicators gave an average rating of 7.25/10 when asked how well digital capability is integrated within their communications workstream.
However, the study notes, when asked about their organization’s use of AI or machine learning to drive and manage content, the rating dropped to 5.72/10, suggesting a need to maximize the opportunities new technology like content labeling offers them.
The data reveals that overall, 98% of communicators in the region are confident in their understanding of digital transformation, with BCW finding that 47% claim to understand it very well. Seventy-one percent of Asia-Pacific companies also plan to increase their digital transformation investment by 2025 – despite ongoing global economic certainty.
“While digital integration within the communications function in the region has matured in recent years and adoption of new technology tools is continuing at a startling pace, there is a lot of room for improvement.”
According to BCW findings, this is driven by a need to prioritize effective and efficient engagement with external audiences (56%), planning and implementing effective strategies (54%), and enhanced cross-team collaboration (41%). Communicators identified digital tool integration (32%), content development and creativity (27%), and cross-team synergy and collaboration (26%) as key areas for investment.
“Our Digital Transformation in Asia-Pacific Communications Study shows us that while digital integration within the communications function in the region has matured in recent years and adoption of new technology tools is continuing at a startling pace, there is a lot of room for improvement,” said Matt Stafford, Global President, Practices & Sectors, and Asia-Pacific President, BCW.
“For businesses to move they must move people, and this data tells us exactly how and why digital transformation is critical to demonstrating how communications can add value to organizations both now and in the future.”
This transition will not be without its challenges the study notes, saying that “while communicators claim proficiency in the use of digital tools, the findings uncover an inability to draw meaningful insights from the wealth of data available.”
Half (50%) of those surveyed revealed a need to enhance their digital measurement and evaluation capabilities, with 43% of communicators saying they are still adopting data analysis tools – without which they are unable to draw useful insights and drive effective recommendations in real-time conclude BCW.
“In Asia-Pacific, many companies have already built a multichannel engagement strategy that drives the right content through the right digital channels, but that is only one part of an organization’s digital transformation journey,” said Joe Peng, Chief Digital Officer, Asia-Pacific, BCW.
“It is critical they have the right digital ecosystem – the tools, processes, and channels – in place to deliver their strategy and drive meaningful results.”
Of particular note, only 31% of communicators surveyed cited insufficient budget as a key barrier to digital transformation.
“The findings instead show a widespread lack of senior management direction and participation in the process (49%) to be a greater barrier to success, regardless of the leadership’s ability to recognize the importance of digital transformation,” BCW said in a release.
You can learn more about the study and its findings here.