Lessons from Asia-Pacific experience makers

2023 is a year of opportunity for marketers and businesses alike to take customer centricity to the next level.

Adobe’s 2023 Digital Trends: APAC in Focus report found brands that prioritised investments in the speed, scale and efficiency of their content creation capabilities and workflow can expect to succeed.

But in the face of shrinking budgets and ongoing uncertainty, marketing leaders are looking for ways to improve efficiencies and maximise impact.

We spoke with leading experience makers in Asia-Pacific to understand where they’re focusing their energy. Here are four lessons from experience makers to drive success in 2023.


1. Customers’ experience expectations extend beyond industry or category

“Customers’ demand the best in class and that extends across industries.”

Francis Rodrigues

senior vice president of e-commerce and digital marketing, HDFC Life.

“Just because you are a bank or an insurance company, they measure you to the same yardstick in terms of ease of use, friction and seamlessness of experiences as they would with an e-commerce company which they engage with,” Rodrigues says.

Sunil Mathur, Executive Vice President and Head of Analytics and Marketing at HDFC Bank, echoes that sentiment.

“Consumers expect digital banking to match the seamless experience of their favourite e-commerce and social media platforms,” he says. “We are continuing to invest in technologies to improve customer experience and enhance efficiencies by providing a seamless experiences.”

More than three quarters of senior marketing executives say customer expectations are continually resetting to match their best omnichannel experiences, yet only seven percent of practitioners consider their organisation’s CX to be exceptional, according to the 2023 Adobe Digital Trends report.

2. Keep pace with customers’ content demands

“Content has to be relevant, it has to be personalised, and it has to be customised to a person who is trying to buy a product or offering or anything.”

Zankhana Srivastava

Senior AVP, ICICI Securities.

“The customer has a very low attention span so content has to be very, very intuitive, relevant and personalised,” says Srivastava.

The demand for content is ever-increasing; in Asia-Pacific 79 percent of senior executives say demand for content has significantly increased. The challenge then falls to brands and marketers to meet those needs head on.

Only 25 percent of Asia-Pacific practitioners consider their organisation as good at planning, scoping, prioritising and assigning content tasks to achieve measurable outcomes. And 41 percent put that down to workflow issues as a barrier.

Brands that are able to leverage integrated, user-friendly applications to accelerate their content workflows are significantly less likely to come up against workflow challenges.

3. Get your data foundation in place to power personalisation at scale

“When you talk about customer engagement, the important aspect is about staying relevant. How the brand is staying relevant to the customer persona, across the journey across the engagement cycle.”

Baskaran Natarajan

Head, TCS Interactive-ABU, Tata Consultancy Services.

Outdated experience infrastructure is holding back half of organisations. Forty-three percent of Asia-Pacific marketing practitioners say they don't have access to real-time customer data, and just seven percent are personalising content based on intent or prediction.

Without that data foundation, marketers a hamstrung in their ability to truly create those one-to-one experiences that customers demand.

Tata Consultancy Services’ Baskaran Natarajan says brands that invest in understanding their customer are setting themselves up for success in the digital economy.

“Experience matters. Staying relevant, prioritising experience first, and helping them at the moments that matter is a key thing,” says Natarajan.

4. Look beyond the short-term

“Marketing departments are now defining the tech and digital strategy for their organisation.”

Sunil Mathur

Executive Vice President and Head of Analytics and Marketing, HDFC Bank.

“In the past, marketing has been primarily responsible for creating awareness,” says Mathur. “Now, particularly in the digital era, marketing is responsible for delivering incremental revenue for the business. Leveraging tech and data to truly understand the customer and drive conversions is key for marketers in 2023.”

With marketing having more responsibility than ever before to drive bottom-line impact, it’s integral that a focus on short-term growth doesn’t overshadow long-term planning.

Two-thirds of Asia-Pacific senior executives say a focus on immediate challenges has come at the expense of longer-term planning and strategy.

Experience matters now

There’s no question the pressure is on marketers to maintain growth and momentum despite uncertainty and budget pressures.

Powered by the right technology, people and skills, CX leaders can respond to dynamic customer expectations, find creative solutions to problems, and align people, processes, and technology.

And ultimately deliver experiences that delight and engage customers.

We’ve only scratched the surface here of insights we found in our survey. To explore the data in more detail and find even more useful information, get the latest Digital Trends: APAC in Focus report.