Asia frontrunner to tap digital relationships

The region has many digital media consumers who are also active social media users which companies can easily leverage to form better relationships, says Accenture executive.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

SINGAPORE--Enterprises in the region have a head start in creating more quality "digital relationships" with their customers, who are typically more active in using social networks.

In Asia, particularly in South Asia, a lot of consumers who consume digital media are also the most active group in social networking, said Trent Mayberry, managing director for mobility services for Asia-Pacific, and technology for Asean.

"They will use the digital device to find friends who can recommend them music or services," he said during a media briefing here Wednesday. Mayberry added this trend facilitates building "relationship at scale" very strongly here in Asia.


Leveraging technology to create digital relationships at scale is one of the key trends of the company's Technology Vision 2013 report. Mayberry explained the trend means moving beyond transactional relationships with customers to deliver more personalized interactions.

The Accenture Technology Vision report is an annual report from the Accenture Technology Labs. This forecast how IT developments will have a significant impact on businesses over the next three to five years.

Key trends in Accenture Technology Vision 2013

1. Leverage technology to create digital relationships at scale
2. Design for analytics to get the "right" data
3. Take advantage of data "velocity"
4. Make work and processes more social
5. Bridge the last mile of virtualisation with software-defined networking
6. Be active--not just defensive--with security
7. Go beyond the cloud

Asia firms prefer retaining premium customers
According to the report, another significant trend is the use of analytics to find the right data. According to Mayberry, while analytics is equally important in Asia as in other regions, companies here apply it for a different set of problems.

"In a very mature market, a lot of focus [for analytics] might be on how to target very micro segments to get new customers," he said.

But the scenario is different in Asia where customer acquisition is not as important as retaining profitable customers. Mayberry said: "A lot of clients [in Asia who] I talk to these days say, 'I have a lot of customers so I don't need analytics to help me find the next best customer. What I need analytics for is to help me understand the needs of the customers that are most profitable to me so I tier my service and offers towards those individuals.'"

Another trend in the report is taking advantage of data velocity, which is to gain real time insights from data. However, Mayberry said the trend of real-time decision making will likely come to Asia in later years.

He explained that the benefit of real-time decision making is to allow companies to use part of their resources and spend it "where it matters".

For many Asian companies, there is no urgency as they are "fairly cashed up", he said. However, the executive noted governments in Asia can benefit from real-time decision making. "If I look at governments here in Asia, one of the challenges they are facing is how to service a hyper-growing market and hyper- growing pressure on public infrastructure," he said.

With real-time traffic monitoring and decision making tools, the government will be able to divert traffic to a less used route to maximize utilization, he said.

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