Sure, Digital’s The ‘New Normal’ But What About The Customer Experience?

Sure, Digital’s The ‘New Normal’ But What About The Customer Experience?
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In this opinion piece, Paula Parkes, Adobe’s director of marketing, Asia Pacific, says marketers have got digital right but maybe forgetting one thing – the customer experience…

Busi­nesses in Asia Pacific are reach­ing their dig­i­tal peak. As dig­i­tal becomes stan­dard, the pace of trans­for­ma­tion is slow­ing and mar­keters are falling into a com­fort zone, start­ing to become risk adverse and not push­ing tech­nolo­gies to the next level.

Paula-Parkes

Yet, new research from Adobe and CMO Coun­cil show that the next evo­lu­tion of cus­tomer expe­ri­ence is about to hit mar­keters and busi­nesses across Asia Pacific, with cre­ativ­ity and con­tent play­ing a piv­otal role in deliv­er­ing a per­son­al­ised cus­tomer experience.

CMO Coun­cil in part­ner­ship with Adobe has released the fourth annual APAC Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Per­for­mance Dash­board which explores the adop­tion, trac­tion and suc­cess of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing in key Asia Pacific coun­tries.

It included a three month in-field pro­gram com­pris­ing quan­ti­ta­tive sur­veys with 900 senior mar­keters. For the first time, the 2015 Dig­i­tal Dash­board also exam­ined cre­ative empow­er­ment and con­tent veloc­ity indi­ca­tors, both crit­i­cal to deliv­er­ing an inte­grated and com­pelling cus­tomer experience.

Digital marketing

Dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing is acces­si­ble, mea­sur­able, incred­i­bly cost effec­tive and absolutely unavoid­able in today’s dig­i­tal world. Dig­i­tal is no longer a ques­tion and orga­ni­za­tions are no longer ques­tion­ing the need to embark on these new customer-powered dig­i­tal expe­ri­ences. Dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing is now becom­ing fun­da­men­tal mar­ket­ing as cus­tomers demand focused and rel­e­vant expe­ri­ence across mobile, social and web.

The research clearly shows this with 91 per cent of respon­dents believ­ing dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing will drive com­pet­i­tive advan­tage. In addi­tion, dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing enjoys strong busi­ness lead­er­ship sup­port across Asia Pacific, with the CMO tak­ing respon­si­bil­ity for dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing strat­egy at 39 per cent of orga­nisa­tions across the region.

Digital Marketing

As you can see from the image above, the mind­set that dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing is impor­tant is high around the region with Aus­tralia and New Zealand lead­ing the charge. Over 60 per cent of APAC mar­keters believe dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing bet­ter engages and acti­vates their audi­ences.  More busi­ness lead­er­ship teams are recep­tive to pilot­ing and test­ing new dig­i­tal strate­gies (34 per cent) while fewer are wed­ded to tra­di­tional mar­ket­ing tac­tics only (13 per cent). Gone are the ques­tions about the impor­tance of digital.

Is digital maturity stagnating?

The level of dig­i­tal matu­rity is steadily grow­ing in the region but is this growth slow­ing to a halt? 28 per cent of APAC mar­keters believe they are highly evolved and pro­gres­sive lead­ers while the major­ity 36 per cent feel they are still explor­ing and eval­u­at­ing all options and only 6 per cent feel they are laggards.

Marketing

Mea­sure­ment and ana­lyt­ics are accepted as manda­tory for the mod­ern dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing orga­ni­za­tion, with 84 per cent of APAC mar­keters con­firm­ing they are using mar­ket­ing tech­nol­ogy plat­forms to analyse and report. How­ever, there is still progress to be made in the appli­ca­tion of these tech­nolo­gies, with only 4 per cent say­ing they believe they are doing an excel­lent job at mea­sur­ing return on invest­ment. In addi­tional only nine per cent believe data is inte­grated through­out the mar­ket­ing lifecycle!

The changes for mar­ket­ing readi­ness and mar­ket­ing skills is minor with very slight growth year on year. There is a sense that mar­keters under­stand that mea­sure­ment needs to hap­pen and that dig­i­tal is the new nor­mal, but the dis­turb­ing trend here is that mar­keters have landed firmly in the mid­dle – seem­ingly unable to take the leap from mod­er­ate results and aver­age per­for­mance to excellence.

All the Buzz about customer experience

Cus­tomer expe­ri­ence is becom­ing the new buzz word as mar­keters strug­gle to pro­vide a per­fectly uni­fied expe­ri­ence in a frag­mented dig­i­tal world. The holy grail of cus­tomer expe­ri­ence is when con­tent, data and chan­nel are aligned. By using the data to move beyond just report­ing on KPIs and look­ing into cus­tomer insights, you can deliver per­son­al­ized con­tent across mul­ti­ple chan­nels. Cus­tomers can then get per­son­al­ized con­tent from your brand any­time, anywhere.

Few mar­keters say they are strug­gling to find and imple­ment a coher­ent cre­ative voice (10 per cent) but only four per cent say they have a highly evolved cre­ative engine fueled by an organization-wide, uni­fied vision. Far more (22 per cent) enjoy a defined vision within the orga­ni­za­tion but admit that this vision fails to reach out­side their orga­ni­za­tional walls and is far less aligned with exter­nal agen­cies and part­ners. This lack of uni­fied cre­ative vision and con­tent devel­op­ment align­ment threat­ens the cus­tomer experience.

To absolutely no-one’s sur­prise, mobile con­tin­ues to be cen­tral in APAC, and mar­keters have taken pos­i­tive steps to meet cus­tomer demands with one in four mar­keters say­ing an inte­grated mobile expe­ri­ence is a core ele­ment of their cus­tomer jour­ney. In addi­tion, 29 per cent say they have enabled cre­ative teams to develop mobile-ready con­tent that is acces­si­ble on mul­ti­ple devices. Mar­keters are start­ing to adopt a mobile-first strat­egy mind­set (18 per cent in APAC) but more need to be done as cus­tomers become more mobile-dependent.

It seems that although com­pa­nies are increas­ingly data-driven, they have not yet man­aged to extend an inte­grated approach to include cre­ativ­ity and con­tent devel­op­ment. Mar­keters need to strive for a seam­less align­ment between con­tent, data and chan­nel by mov­ing beyond sim­ply using data to report on cam­paign KPIs and use it to gain cus­tomer insights, which in turn lead to action­able strate­gies to deliver per­son­al­ized, high value con­tent across mul­ti­ple chan­nels. Con­tent and cre­ativ­ity are key, and together with strong orga­ni­za­tional data mind­set and exe­cut­ing, will be the fuel that cat­a­pults cus­tomer expe­ri­ence forward.

Down­load the full report here.

This piece originally appeared on B&T’s sister site www.which-50.com

 

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