It’s official. Customer experience is in charge.
This year’s “Digital Trends” report–part of the Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing series that Econsultancy publishes in partnership with Adobe (CMO.com’s parent company)–tells the customer experience story. When the 7,000 professionals who participated in the survey talked about their most exciting opportunity, the top three answers were “optimising the customer experience,” “creating compelling content for digital experiences,” and “data-driven marketing that focuses on the individual.”
So businesses are investing in experiences, but there’s more to it than that. This customer experience mandate is permeating everything else these businesses are doing.
Take data. It should be the underpinning of any customer interaction, from advertising through to service. And, strategically, decisions about data-driven marketing should be made with customer experience in mind. In this year’s study, marketers show they understand both the opportunity and the obstacles to achieving it.
When asked to identify their strategic priorities for 2016, more organisations (53%) chose data-driven marketing with their top vote. That’s a huge majority, but again, when you look at this information in the context of the larger study, it becomes apparent that marketers are prioritising data-driven marketing because of customer experience, not instead of it.
Without a mastery of data, they simply cannot provide the experiences they aspire to.
But there are obstacles. The report explores the challenges in turning data from raw material into useful insight, and they often come down to people and processes. As in 2015, only 37% are satisfied in their ability to attract and keep analysts to make sense of their data. But there is some improvement when it comes to technology. Forty-one percent report having a good data collection infrastructure, which is up 10% from 2015.
On the other side of data is content. It’s a fundamental part of the customer experience and that fact is shown in this year’s results. I mentioned earlier that marketers see creating content as one of their most exciting opportunities, but that proves true both for 2016 and throughout the next five years. At the same time, the top of respondents’ priority list is dominated by personalisation and content optimisation.
Of course, experiences only work if businesses can create and deliver this content efficiently and effectively. But because this content is so much more abundant and complicated today, people, teams and companies need to work together better.
Clearly the respondents agree. Ninety-four percent say that improving the process behind content creation and delivery will be important in delivering a great customer experience. Further, 91% say the same about the importance of improving collaboration between creative and marketing teams.
Marketers in every sector are embracing this new customer experience reality. And while it brings new challenges, it inspires creativity, enthusiasm and success.
As you begin your 2016, we hope this report is useful to you, and perhaps even inspires you with ideas about what marketing can mean for your organisation.