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APAC marketers focused on AI and digital skills: Adobe’s 2018 Digital Trends report

This year’s report uncovers distinct differences between Asia Pacific (APAC) marketers and their North American and European counterparts

Adobe and Econsultancy have released the Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2018 Digital Trends report, which provides insights to the state of digital marketing and the trends shaping the industry. This year’s report uncovers distinct differences between Asia Pacific (APAC) marketers and their North American and European counterparts, particularly on adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and investment in digital skills.

Investment and integration of technology is key to business success


Adobe’s 2018 Digital Trends report found that globally, top-performing companies are more than twice as likely to be using AI for marketing (28% vs. 12%). This aligns with Adobe’s “Future of Work: APAC Study” which found that organisations investing in workplace technology are more likely to be successful. Despite this, the Digital Trends report found that less than one in five global respondents (15%) said their companies are pushing forward with AI and nearly half of respondents (48%) said their organisation has inconsistent integration between technologies.

While half (51%) of North American marketers see ‘no perceived need’ for AI, only a third (38%) of APAC marketers share this sentiment. Furthermore, APAC respondents (16%) were more likely to have an integrated, cloud-based technology stack, compared to their North American (10%) and European (9%) counterparts. This indicates APAC marketers are ahead of their global counterparts when it comes to leveraging the power of new technologies to automate the delivery of personalised content, empowering them to work smarter and faster.


Sunder Madakshira, Head of Marketing, Adobe India, said, “New-age technologies have taken the centre stage for developing digital marketing strategies for leading businesses in India. With brands witnessing significant business impact from their digital transformation investments, Adobe is constantly innovating and investing in integration of such disruptive technologies with business solutions to empower brands to deliver incredible experiences and become experience makers.”

Personalised experiences continue to drive quantifiable uplift for companies


Optimisation of the customer experience is the top priority for marketers in 2018, according to Adobe’s 2018 Digital Trends report, with 21% of APAC respondents saying it is the most exciting opportunity. APAC marketers are focusing on making the experience as personalised and relevant as possible, whereas North American and European respondents said their main focus is on making the experience as valuable as possible.

Organisations with ‘well-designed user journeys that facilitate clear communication and a seamless transaction’ are 57% more likely to be exceeding their business goals. Meanwhile, organisations with a ‘cross team approach with the customer at the heart of all initiatives’ are nearly twice as likely to exceed their top 2017 business goal. Yet, over a third (38%) of global respondents still do not have a cohesive plan, long-term view and executive support for the future of their customer.


“Producing tailored and personalised content for customers is the most important factor of consideration in delivering compelling experiences. The ever-growing demand for generating contextual engagements has compelled the brands to invest in newer technologies and design-based on data insights. Adobe, with its seamless offerings across creatives, marketing and analytics is empowering brands to deliver extra-ordinary digital experiences for their customers,” added Sunder.

Investment in digital skills and education pays dividends

Adobe’s 2018 Digital Trends report revealed that companies that are ‘combining digital marketing skills with technology,’ are nearly twice as likely to have surpassed their 2017 business goals by a significant margin (20% vs. 11%). However, the intended level of investment in digital training for 2018 differs greatly by region. APAC marketers are more than twice as likely than their North American counterparts to invest in digital skills and education (34% vs. 16%), while those in Europe fall in the middle (25%).

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