How are CMOs in APAC meeting the growth challenge?

The APAC region is a marketing powerhouse, recognised globally for its many dynamic cities spearheading marketing excellence, not least Singapore. Yet while growth may have been less challenging to achieve here than in other areas of the world, businesses are still fighting to drive growth in an increasingly competitive environment.

Here we explore new research revealing how CMOs in APAC are flourishing versus their global peers, and the particular challenges they face to driving growth.

CMOs in Asia are generally more switched on than their peers at placing the customer at the heart of their growth plans. They are more likely than their global peers to agree that new technologies fundamentally impact the way we engage with customers. They are also more likely to acknowledge the need for Marketing to develop products, services and experiences that are more relevant to customers at different times and contexts[1]

Growth challenges

Where CMOs in the region do align with their counterparts globally, is on the number 1 priority: to better understand new sources of growth.

The number 2 priority for CMOs in APAC however shines light on a key differentiator versus their global peers. They are heavily focused on the need for more and different skills and talents in their marketing organisations. At our CMO Innovation Series, co-hosted by Accenture and Brand Learning at our Innovation Hub in Singapore, a significant discussion for leading marketeers across the region centred on the challenge to find the right talent. Key themes included:

  • Needing the flexibility to bet on raw talent and train them vs. HR hiring internally
  • Finding talent that can balance a strategic and executional mindset
  • Feeling that there is a low talent density for entrepreneurial thinkers
  • Recognising that digital talent is a revolving door
  • The challenge of finding talent with the right blend of skills, experience, technology savvy and innovative mindset
  • How to ensure that HR ‘gets’ Marketing and the talent needs of the function

Some solutions to these challenges are emerging in our research which shows that pioneering CMOs are 29% more likely than their peers to be in-sourcing new capabilities and 23% more likely to be focused on their people as they establish a customer-centric organisation.

One way to overcome talent challenges, can be to align more closely with HR and L&D when taking stock of how to better leverage the existing organisation, including designing the Marketing function, and the precise roles needed. Pioneering CMOs are thinking about entirely new categories of marketeers: Immersive experience designers. Storytellers. Growth hackers. Trust leaders. They are creating roles that straddle traditional boundaries for a future-oriented culture.

Those leaders challenging business as usual and inspiring lasting change, are also focused on how to rewire their organisations with a new, more connected operating model. Our research shows pioneering CMOs in APAC believe this rewiring should consider Marketing’s relationship with partners and agencies, and the dynamic orchestration of a more complex ecosystem of partners and agencies will be a core activity for the CMO going forward.

To learn more about how pioneering CMOs are delivering growth in practice against these challenges and more, download the report now. For a personalised discussion of the findings and implications for your company please get in touch.

BRAND LEARNING: Creating Growth Capabilities


[1] Way Beyond Marketing