ASEAN businesses don't take complete advantage of the interactive opportunities presented by digital technologies.
This finding is evident from a new study by Accenture that notes only a third of the respondents agree that customer-facing digital strategies are at the heart of corporate strategy.
Sixty-six percent of respondents face challenges in meeting customer service expectations and 63 percent complain that they face challenges in finding talent with the right digital experience.
The survey of over 400 businesses executives across six Southeast Asian markets shows that Southeast Asian companies are largely using these new media for 'broadcasting' information, instead of using it to engage their consumers in any form of co-creation or dialogue.
Seventy percent of Southeast Asian organisations believe there is a divide in digital knowledge between senior managers and digital natives within their company.
"The challenge is as much one of culture as it is one of technology. Employees who make full use of digital and social media platforms to collaborate with each other are more likely to engage more effectively with consumers," said Marco Ryan, managing director, Accenture Interactive, ASEAN. "For instance, Accenture research finds that companies looking to leverage the high social media engagement are using gamification to create differentiation."
World's most active digital consumers
Accenture says the Southeast Asia region is no longer a 'future potential' digital market as it already has among the world's most active digital consumers.
Eighty-one percent use digital channels to provide basic product or service information and 63 percent provide real-time customer service advice.
Twenty-nine percent of responding companies have not changed their digital spending over the past year and are not planning on changing in the next 12 months.
Fifty-one percent see small net spending increases on customer-facing digital strategies. Fifteen percent have increased and are increasing their digital spending by over 50 percent.
Fifty-two percent of businesses are not measuring the Return on Investment of customer-facing digital activities.
"Our research shows that businesses have yet to make digital strategies central to their thinking," said Trent Mayberry, managing director, Technology, ASEAN, Accenture. "This points to a good business case for more investment, but also for more effective measurement of the return on that investment."