Forget content marketing, mobile, and personalization. Customer experience outranks them all as marketers’ most exciting opportunity this year, reveals a recent report [download page] from Econsultancy and Adobe. Based on a survey of more than 6,000 marketing, digital and e-commerce professionals from around the world, the study shows that customer experience is a growing priority and one that’s unlikely to go away any time soon. Retailers in particular recognize this, with 9 in 10 North American retailers responding to a newly-released survey [download page] from SDL strongly agreeing that customer experience defines their brand.
Of 10 options listed in the Adobe and Econsultancy report, 22% of respondents cited customer experience as this year’s most exciting opportunity, up from 20% in last year’s survey. Compared to last year, a smaller share of respondents this year identified mobile (13% vs. 18%) as their most exciting opportunity, with fewer also calling social (7% vs. 10%) and multichannel campaign management (7% vs. 10%) their most exciting. (It’s worth noting that this year’s survey contained an additional option – location-based services, though only 3% cited it as their top opportunity.)
This year’s study also looks at how last year’s predictions played out, as respondents were asked which of the 9 areas measured last year turned out to be their biggest opportunity. Customer experience (CX) – last year’s most exciting opportunity – turned out to be the biggest opportunity for 17% of this year’s respondents, tied with content marketing, which had been third on the list of exciting opportunities last year. Of note, social seemed to outperform predictions: while only 10% of respondents last year indicated it was their most exciting opportunity, 16% this year said that it turned out to be their biggest area of opportunity.
Looking forward, marketers remain eager about CX’s potential: a leading 20% named it their most exciting opportunity in 5 years’ time. Respondents see their enthusiasm for content marketing and mobile waning over time, as each was cited by just 8% of respondents as the most exciting in 5 years (down from 15% and 13% this year, respectively). By contrast, personalization should grow to be a greater area of opportunity, as will big data and multichannel campaign management.
About the Data: The survey was carried out between December 2014 and January 2015 among 6,333 marketing, digital and e-commerce professionals, including 54% on the client-side and 46% on the supply-side. Some 34% are based in North America; 23% are based in the UK and 21% elsewhere in Europe. Respondents were from a mix of industries and company sizes.
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