Home » Webinar Recap: Understanding the Customer Journey in Asia Pacific

Webinar Recap: Understanding the Customer Journey in Asia Pacific

Lindsay Tjepkema
Lindsay Tjepkema , Global Head of Content , Emarsys

This webinar served to highlight results from Econsultancy’s Understanding the Customer Journey in Asia-Pacific report, produced in association with Emarsys. The report looks at how organizations map customer journeys and their understanding of them.

The live session was hosted by Jeff Rajeck, Research Analyst, APAC at Econsultancy and co-hosted by Daniel Hagos, Client Success Director at Emarsys.

Woman buying bread at counter

Context and Respondent Data of the Report

The report, Understanding the Customer Journey in Asia Pacific, focused on seven countries in the Asia-Pacific region and consisted of 1000 survey respondents giving feedback between September and October 2016.

The survey focused on  China, Malaysia, India, Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, and Indonesia. Most respondents were from Singapore and Indonesia, but there were over 100 respondents overall. To break it down further, 42% of respondents were in-house marketers and 58% from agency, vendor or external consultancies. Most operate in the consumer goods industry, and the company size varied.

Why Understand the Customer Journey?

1. Understand consumer channels:

The number of contacts using four or more devices increased during the first half of 2016.

2. Improve customer experience:

The majority of contacts use mobile devices to go online and educate themselves before making a decision. This highlights the importance of understanding what customers do before they actually make purchases.

3. Defend brand from disruption:

Understanding the customer journey allows businesses to make an honest assessment of the areas in which they are doing well, as well as highlighting areas where they are not.

Understanding the Customer Journey: Measuring The Progress

The Scorecard below gauges how well APAC marketers are performing in the following areas:

1. Readiness:

How prepared are businesses in the region to understand the customer journey?

2. Strategy:

Are firm businesses in APAC ready to make changes based on customer insights?

3. Execution:

To what extent do businesses in the region use the customer journey to improve the customer experience?

The Readiness

How prepared are businesses in the region to understand the customer journey?

Data sources:

Which sources of consumer data do businesses rely on to inform their understanding of the customer journey? The majority use email data, followed closely by online analytics like Google analytics and finally CRM data.

But, for this scorecard, the focus was on how holistically responders sought to understand the customer journey. In other words, did the data sources actually speak directly with the customers? That number was around 53% for in-house respondents and 49% for agency/vendor/consultant respondents. Singapore scored highest in this aspect of readiness at 65%.

Mobile Influence:

To what extent is the business measuring how your mobile activities influence behavior in other channels? Only 21% for both in-house and agency/vendor/consultant respondents measure mobile activity to and from other channels.

Measuring Effectiveness:

What types of metrics do you use to directly measure the effectiveness of initiatives aimed at understanding the customer journey? Over 75% of in-house and 68% of external respondents use sales and revenue data, followed by customer satisfaction and then customer retention.

So how prepared are businesses in the region?

In summary, the majority of marketers in APAC are using methods conducive to effectively understand the customer journey. However, the region as a whole is falling behind on measuring the link between mobile and affiliated marketing channels.

The Strategy 

Are businesses in APAC ready to make changes based on customer insights?

Customer Experience:

How well developed is the strategy for improving the customer experience? The majority are only in the beginning phases of strategy development. Only 11% of internal and 10% of agency/vendor/consultant respondents have a well-developed strategy, and 37% in-house and 32% agency/vendor/consultant have implemented a strategy in need of review. Indonesia, India, Malaysia and Singapore all scored over 50% for both internal and external respondents.

Mobile Strategy:

How would you describe the maturity of your mobile strategy? Far fewer businesses are ready to implement changes on mobile. Only 8-9% have a strategy and only 25% of in-house and 26% of agency/vendor/consultant have implemented a strategy that may need to be changed. Since mobile is growing in importance, it is surprising that so few are ready to change in response to this customer behavior. India and China with their strong app culture are the most prepared.

Are firms in APAC ready to make changes based on customer insights?

Overall, firms in the region are doing fairly well when it comes to making changes on their customer experience improvement strategy, but less so on their mobile strategy

The Execution

To what extent are brands in the region already using the customer journey to improve the customer experience?

Integrated touch points:

How integrated are customer touch points across different channels within the business? 7% of in-house respondents and 5% of agency/vendor/consultant respondents believe they have achieved a seamless integration of channels that allows exploitation of opportunities. 24% of in-house and 19% of agency/vendor/consultant respondents feel the business is integrated across channels but focuses on channels rather than the customer. But there were huge differences between countries as China was much more likely, 49% overall, to have integrated touch points as opposed to Australia with only 17%.

Online to offline tracking:

How does the business join the dots to map and track website visitors and customers who engage both online and offline? The majority use tracking codes generated online for use offline, with 49% of in-house and 54% of agency/vendor/consultant respondents. China, again, is the leader in this field with 63%.

Mobile moments:

To what degree do the respondents agree or disagree with the following statement related to the role of mobile within the overall customer experience?

The statement that best reflected whether individuals truly understand the customer journey was the last on the list, “We work to engineer mobile moments which reflect well on our brand.” Taking into account overall percentages, 15% strongly agreed, 34% someone agreed, 32% were neutral, 13% somewhat disagreed and 5% strongly disagreed.

Those who are likely to agree are much more in touch with the mobile trends that influence the customer experience, thinking beyond just making a website mobile friendly to asses what a mobile user actually needs or is looking for in mobile. China, India and Indonesia are best prepared in this area.

To what extent are brands in the region already using the customer journey to improve the customer experience?

Overall, the scorecard showed that touchpoints aren’t as well integrated as they could be. Tracking capabilities between online and offline are developing, as brands are beginning to think about including mobile moments as well as delighting mobile their customers.

Conclusion of Findings

About half of the businesses in the region are relatively switched on when it comes to understanding the customer journey, even though, given its importance, more attention could be placed on mobile. Overall percentages for each area across both internal and external respondents are:

Readiness:

Data sources: 53%

Mobile influence: 21%

Measuring effectiveness: 53%

Strategy:

Customer experience strategy: 48%

Mobile Strategy: 21%

Execution:

Integrated touch points: 31%

Online to offline tracking: 49%

Mobile moments: 49%

Respondents’ Self-Assessment

How would you describe your business’ understanding of the overall customer journey? Overall, respondents felt they are well positioned, however, very few felt advanced. Most fell in the intermediate category, believing they are missing important pieces of their marketing puzzle.

The scorecard average was 41%, while the self-assessment average of “intermediate” or “advanced” was 63%. This indicates that many of the respondents may believe they are further along in understanding the customer journey than they actually are, according to the data.

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