In the era of Experience Business, design and creativity are key differentiators for businesses looking to pull away from competitors and deliver the best experiences for their customers. New research from Adobe has highlighted the role of design thinking and creativity as key components of business transformation.
Adobe’s 2017 Creative Pulse research surveyed more than 5,000 creative and marketing professionals and examined the role of design and creativity in businesses transformation across Asia Pacific (APAC). Markets surveyed include India, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.
The 2017 Creative Pulse found that merging online and offline experiences is the biggest driver of change for the creative community, followed by the adoption of data and analytics, and the need for new skills. The research also found that customer experience is the number one investment by businesses across APAC.
“There is an increased focus among businesses on providing the ultimate customer experience. More and more businesses are making it central to their organizational strategy. The merging of online and offline experiences is a significant shift in a way that organizations must prioritize customer experience. While many organizations have been focused on digital transformation and experiences, people still expect great physical experiences as well,” said Kulmeet Bawa, Managing Director, Adobe South Asia. “The recognition of new-age technologies as the next big disruptor reasserts the need for constant upskilling and reskilling among the employees.”
Impact of New Technologies
Online and offline experiences are being driven by new technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, powered by artificial intelligence. The 2017 Creative Pulse found that over 50% of those surveyed across APAC did not feel concerned by artificial intelligence or machine learning, however, 30% of respondents did feel concerned about the impact of these technologies. Respondents from India were split and had the highest number, at 27%, who advised they were extremely concerned about the impact of new technologies.
“While artificial intelligence and machine learning provide an opportunity to automate processes and save creative professionals from day-to-day production, it is not a replacement to the role of creativity. It provides more levy for creatives to spend their time focusing on what they do best – being creative, scaling their ideas and allowing them time to focus on ideation and creativity,” said Kulmeet Bawa.
Respondents in India felt the most concern about new technologies and this reflects India’s role as a ‘content production hub’. Creatives in India are concerned that new technologies will take over their jobs, however, as they embrace AI and machine learning, creatives will be able to increase their value through design thinking. A whopping 59% find it imperative to update their skills every 6 months to keep up with the industry developments.
Summary of key findings for India from the 2017 Creative Pulse research include:
– Customer experience is the number one investment by businesses in India, followed by social media and content.
– More than 50% of respondents feel that reskilling/upskilling every six months is important in the creative field, considering the pace at which the industry is progressing.
– Over 60% of respondents believe that new-age technologies are going to impact their workplace practices and this will be the next big disruptor in the industry. 42% of creatives and marketers in India have recently implemented a customer experience program; 34% plan to develop one in the next 12 months.
– India creatives and marketers are integrating design thinking across functions; creatives (65%), those working in product development (50%) and marketers (47%).
– 65% of participants in the survey established that customer experience was at the center of their organization’s strategy which proves that the ‘Experience Era’ is upon us.
Content and Social Media
The 2017 Creative Pulse identified social media and content as key investment areas by APAC organizations, behind customer experience, however, they also present challenges.
“The age of social media has augmented the demand for content and organisations have struggled to keep up. Budgets were identified as the biggest challenge, followed by conflicting views and internal processes. Data and analytics become their primary tool to ensure that what they are creating is relevant, and delivering an amazing experience for customers,” said Kulmeet Bawa.
The 2017 Creative Pulse has reinforced the importance of design and creativity in digital transformation and Experience Business.
“Experience Business is not about transitioning traditional experiences onto a digital platform. It is about understanding the power of great design and creativity and differentiating one’s services from the competition to ensure a compelling experience for customers,” said Kulmeet Bawa.