90% of marketers in Southeast Asia say remote and virtual work impacted their ability to deliver exceptional customer experiences.
Remote and hybrid work environments created dispersed marketing teams that significantly impacted marketing’s ability to drive the same high quality Customer Experience (CX).
This is according to Optimizely, the leading digital experience platform (DXP) provider, which announced the results of a new global survey revealing how dispersed and remote work have impacted marketers’ abilities to drive creativity and deliver strong customer experiences (CX).
In fact, 97% of SE Asian marketers surveyed said the ability to deliver content to the right audience at the right time was impacted by remote and hybrid work. The survey also analysed what factors about remote work and dispersed teams created these barriers to driving exceptional CX – finding that more than 90% of marketers also agreed dispersed teams have impacted:
- The ability to develop creative ideas
- The ability to optimally execute marketing campaigns
- Collaboration with members from other teams such as IT, finance, etc.
- Ability to deliver exceptional customer experiences
The findings show the pandemic significantly impacted marketing creativity, in large part due to dispersed and remote teams, and lack of effective technology and collaboration tools. Analysing what creativity means to marketers and how they overcame challenges, Optimizely surveyed 900 senior marketers from across the globe – including countries in Asia such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and India.
Technology is Fundamental to Driving Creativity
Despite marketing challenges with remote and hybrid work, many marketers were able to overcome barriers to creativity by relying on the right content management, experimentation, and collaboration tools. Especially in remote environments, marketers rely on agile, flexible technology to drive creative ideas. Optimizely’s new survey went on to reveal key findings among marketers in Southeast Asia:
- Over three in five SE Asian marketers say they bring creative ideas to life by using marketing orchestration and/or content marketing platforms to execute campaigns.
- Three in five marketers in Southeast Asia say they get inspiration when working on creative projects from attending industry conferences and/or events.
- While they’ve done alright during the pandemic, almost all SE Asian marketers say they know their creative ideas were better before.
- Over four in five marketers in Southeast Asia worry if they go back to the office full time, some of their creative and marketing team will leave.
“Creativity is essential when it comes to creating strong marketing campaigns that impress customers,” said Kirsten Allegri Williams, CMO at Optimizely. “The pandemic caused all marketing teams to rethink not just how they define creativity, but how they inspire it and deliver creative experiences to customers. Remote and hybrid work won’t be going away anytime soon, and senior marketers need to be thoughtful—applying strategies and technologies that combine the art and science of marketing to ensure they continue inspiring creativity in their marketing teams, and in turn, drive strong customer experiences.”
Paul North, Senior Vice President APJ at Optimizely noted, “Marketing is a discipline that thrives on collaboration and creativity. Facing a considerable creativity drought through COVID and teams dispersed across APAC, business leaders must prioritise designing an environment that spurs creativity and cooperation. Businesses have no end to their capacity for creativity – but how they inspire and celebrate it will be the deciding factor on how they can deliver on this promise.”
Additional survey findings reveal that, while all marketers agree creativity is necessary and even imperative in this field, not all marketers agree on what defines creativity. However, one clear theme emerged – creativity is critical in driving strong customer experiences.
- Over three in five marketers in SE Asia (62%) have tried investing in or leveraging existing content management tools and platforms, while less than half have tried hosting team-building exercises or games (47%), offering wellness and/or mental health resources (47%), recognition and incentive programs (46%) and contests, giveaways and/or prizes (45%) to spur creativity.
- Over one-quarter (27%) say chat collaboration tools and almost one-quarter (23%) say experimentation platforms and tools to test new ideas were most useful to drive creativity.
- 39% of marketers in SE Asia say disparate platforms and disconnected data sets not giving the full picture were the top barriers to driving creativity
- 27% say encouraging employees to embrace failure has been most useful to spur creativity