Marketers believe they are next in line to seize the customer experience, a new study has shown, with 86 per cent of them confident they will “own” the end-to-end customer experience by 2020.
The study, conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit on behalf of Marketo, spoke to nearly 500 CMOs and senior marketing execs from around the world, and builds upon the 2015 findings that showed marketers feel their organisations need to undergo a dramatic shift to keep up with tech and consumer demands.
The Path to 2020: Marketers Seize the Customer Experience study took an in-depth look at how buyers engage with brands today and the impact that will have on how marketers reach them through 2020.
A Myriad of Channels
As you’d expect, marketers are increasingly using digital channels to build closer customer relationships. Globally there is an increase in the importance of mobile web and apps, but the report highlighted a number of regional differences for other digital channels.
In Australia, for example, 77 per cent of marketers see email as their number one channel, compared to just 47 per cent of European marketers. Social media, the lead channel in New Zealand, ranks third in Australia.
“Technology’s rapid evolution allows customers to engage with brands across myriad new channels in real time, translating to billions of marketing-driven touch points,” Marketo chief marketing officer Sanjay Dholakia said.
“With 86 per cent of CMOs and other marketing leaders of the mind that they will own the customer experience by 2020, it is essential that organisations maintain a singular, comprehensive view of their customers. This is the key to building enduring customer relationships and ultimately successful brands.”
Additional findings include:
- Marketing complexity is growing: More than half of respondents believe the accelerating pace of technological change, mobile lifestyles, and an explosion of potential marketing channels via the Internet of Things (IoT) will change the field the most by 2020.
- The strength of mass media is declining: By 2020, marketers expect they will increasingly interact directly with their customers through technology and personalisation as opposed to indirectly through media and advertising.
- The top marketing channels are those that can be personalised: Globally, the top channels to the customer in 2020 will be social media (63 per cent of respondents), the World Wide Web (53 per cent) mobile apps (47 per cent) and mobile web (46 per cent).
ANZ slower to change
The study shows that marketing will no longer be just about acquisition, although it remains more of a focus in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) than the rest of the world (53 per cent for ANZ versus 42 per cent for ROW).
ANZ marketers are also less focused on bringing new skills into their marketing departments (13 per cent for ANZ versus 20 per cent ROW). Only 29 per cent of ANZ marketers expect to see this as a strategic priority, compared to 40 per cent in the rest of the world (ROW).
“We need to move-on from a pure focus on acquisitions and embrace technology that will help build better brand relationships,” Marketo’s MD in Sydney Greg Taylor said. “This report should be a warning bell for the local industry.”
Other global findings show:
- Customer experience drives brand equity: Raising customer loyalty and better brand perception are the two top benefits (both 53 per cent) marketers aim to realise through a more positive customer experience.
- Innovation will focus on small screens and no screens: Mobile devices and networks (59 per cent), personalisation technologies (45 per cent), and IoT (39 per cent) are the three technology-specific trends that will have the biggest impact on marketing organisations by 2020.
- Marketers’ influence is growing: Eighty-seven percent of marketers believe their departments will exercise significant influence over business strategy by 2020, with 78 percent expecting to have the same influence over company technology decisions.