In the era of Experience Business, design and creativity are key differentiators for businesses looking to pull away from competitors and deliver the best experiences for their customers. New research from Adobe has highlighted the role of design thinking and creativity as key components of business transformation.
Adobe’s 2017 Creative Pulse research surveyed more than 5,000 creative and marketing professionals and examined the role of design and creativity in businesses transformation across Asia Pacific (APAC). Markets surveyed include Hong Kong, India, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Southeast Asia, Taiwan and China mainland. Among them, 571 respondents were from Hong Kong.
According to the 2017 Adobe Creative Pulse Survey, Hong Kong creatives believe their companies and the customers they served placed social media investment as the top key strategic investment in the last 12 months, higher than customer experience. This is in contrast to other countries across the Asia Pacific who placed customer experience as being of higher importance.
Customer Experience topped strategic investment in APAC
According to the survey, over half of APAC creatives surveyed said customer experience was the key strategic investment of their companies and the customers they served made in the past 12 months, followed by social (53%) and content (43%). However, Hong Kong respondents regarded social media (60%) as the major strategic investment, followed by customer experience (44%) and digitisation and automation (36%). Hong Kong respondents also saw social media impact (51%) as the next disruptor in the creative industry. Despite recognising customer experience as a crucial investment in APAC, just over a third (36%) said they had designed a customer experience program; with Hong Kong trailing at 26%.
"Hong Kong gave social media a dominant share of strategic investment, showing some companies in the region placed more emphasis on a single section of an online experience rather than a comprehensive customer experience journey," said Alan Chan, general manager of digital media for Hong Kong and Taiwan at Adobe. "However, while many organisations have been focused on digital transformation and experiences, people still expect great physical experiences as well. Simply transferring an existing ordinary experience onto a digital platform is not becoming an Experience Business. Those businesses which understand the power of great design and creativity have the opportunity to pull away from competitors by delivering exceptional, compelling experiences for their customers."
As social media has played a dominating part in strategic investment in Hong Kong, the importance of refining the quality of content at speed is likely to grow. Across Asia Pacific, budget was seen as the biggest challenge to achieving content velocity (46%). But Hong Kong again stood out in APAC as having a different popular response. 44% of Hong Kong respondents said internal production processes hindered content velocity, followed by budget (43%) and conflicting business and creative views of content (41%). Marketers should remember that even the best content can be ruined when content delivery becomes problematic.
New technologies to free up creatives’ time and concentrate them on creating
Hong Kong creatives agreed that the merging of online and offline experience was a key game changer in the creative industry; this was mirrored by respondents across APAC. Online and offline experiences are being driven by new technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, powered by artificial intelligence. Hong Kong creatives were not afraid of the impact that AI or ML had on their profession with a majority of them (57%) regarding it as a tool to support and stimulate creativity. Moreover, the city’s creatives expressed a desire to upskill in machine learning and automation (49%), UX/UI experience (48%) and saw virtual reality and augmented reality as a valuable skillset to possess (46%). "These new technologies are not going to replace the role of creativity; they can support creatives to spend their time focusing on what they do best – being creative and scaling their ideas," said Chan.
For professional development, Hong Kong showed a very different pattern compared to respondents in APAC. Just 14% of Hong Kong creatives said they took part in workplace education, half the regional average (32%). However, Hong Kong had the highest share of undertaking industry certifications (24%) to improve their skills.
Big data and analytics platforms could play an important role in various decision making processes
The survey also discussed how big data and analytics platforms helped make various decisions. Creatives in Hong Kong discovered how to invest wisely with the help of analytics. 27% of respondents in the region agreed that big data and analytics platforms have helped them make better product decision while 29% thought data and analytics can provide unique insights into their audience. Notably, 18% of Hong Kong respondents agreed that they made better budget decisions with big data and analytics platforms; a number greater than any country within the region (APAC average: 13%).
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Published: Tuesday, September 5, 2017
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