Adobe Report: Marketers Look To Generative AI As Customer Expectations Increase

Adobe Report: Marketers Look To Generative AI As Customer Expectations Increase

Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) brands will lead the next wave of global customer experience innovation as consumers become aware of new technologies and more deeply explore virtual and immersive environments, according to new research from Adobe. To help fuel this experience transformation, marketers and consumers alike are eager to embrace artificial intelligence (AI), especially generative AI.

The global survey of 13,000 consumers and 4,250 marketing and customer experience professionals outlines the broad impact of breakthrough technologies on consumers and businesses, highlighting new frontiers for living, working and shopping online.

According to Adobe’s Future of Digital Experiences Report, 87 per cent of ANZ consumers shop in physical stores today – but that percentage will drop to 66 per cent in two years. This shift will be more prominent in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region overall, dropping to just 40 per cent, lower than the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Consumers expect brands to expand their digital experiences into new formats with over two-thirds (70 per cent) of ANZ consumers wanting to view products through virtual or augmented reality, and 60 per cent wanting to engage with brands in immersive and virtual worlds. 

Today, ANZ brands are planning to respond with new and innovative digital experiences such as:

·       Virtual/immersive events (67 per cent)

·       The ability to build virtual products and convert them into physical items (67 per cent)

·       VIP access to virtual influencers and celebrities (65 per cent)

·       Offering digital tokens to trade for virtual and physical products (63 per cent)

Expectations rise in the current climate

While the future is exciting, the current economic environment pressures brands to up-level their customer experiences: Almost half (44 per cent) of ANZ consumers say their expectations are heightened by a worsening economic climate. This is particularly true for ANZ Gen Z and millennials, where half say their expectations are higher in a down economy. ANZ consumers also place an outsized premium on trust and price in a challenging economy.

“Consumers across Australia and New Zealand have high expectations for brands, and this is only increasing as economic challenges grow in the region,” said Katrina Troughton, vice president and managing director for Adobe ANZ. “Marketers already recognise the potential of artificial intelligence. The next step is to invest in such emerging technologies and apply it across all CX workflows to accelerate the delivery of personalised experiences.”

Brands and consumers see Generative AI’s enormous potential

As expectations escalate, ANZ marketing and customer experience professionals are already relying on artificial intelligence (AI): Almost half (46 per cent) say AI is helpful in their work, with 12 per cent calling AI “a miracle”.  Marketing and customer experience professionals are even more optimistic regarding emerging generative AI technologies – eight out of ten respondents anticipate generative AI will help increase their work product quality and volume (85 per cent), enhance their creativity (82 per cent), and help reach more of the right customers (85 per cent). Strong majorities also believe generative AI will help better personalise customer experiences (85 per cent), as well as identifying new audiences and customer journeys (88 per cent).

ANZ consumers also recognise the potential for generative AI to transform their brand interactions. Almost two thirds (63 per cent) say it will enhance the customer experience; 66 per cent believe it can improve product quality. Consumers are excited for brands to use generative AI, as longs as they do so responsibly. When asked how a company should use generative, 37 per cent prioritised ethical considerations, while 47 per cent prioritised actions that would improve their customer and employee experiences. Only 16 per cent said companies should not use generative AI at all.

APAC consumers at forefront of demand for new digital experiences

The research reveals diverse perspectives across the range of APAC countries. Consumers and marketers in India, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand are generally more active in embracing new digital experience formats, environments, and tools than in Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

This includes 81 per cent of consumers in India, 70 per cent in Malaysia and 66 per cent in Singapore, who expect more personalised and relevant digital experiences, given the data and technologies brands can access. These numbers significantly contrast with 32 per cent of consumers in Australia and New Zealand, and just 13 per cent in Japan. 

These numbers parallel national consumer expectations that brands will offer new and innovative experiences. For example, 91 per cent of Indian consumers, 87 per cent in Singapore and Thailand and 83 per cent in Malaysia expect new ways for brands to engage in virtual or immersive worlds. The same is true for 62 per cent of Australians and 59 per cent of New Zealanders, compared with just 48 per cent in Japan.

Similar variations are seen when it comes to the perceived potential of generative AI to enhance customer experiences or products. In Thailand (94 per cent) and India (93 per cent), over nine in ten consumers believe generative AI can improve customer experiences and product quality – in Australia and New Zealand, the numbers are in the six in ten range (60 per cent and 67 per cent respectively).




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