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WARC Digital Transformation Priorities for Marketers Jan2021If COVID-19 has spurred anything along in a positive way it’s been digital transformation. This is according to The Marketer’s Toolkit 2021 [download page] from WARC, which found that 93% of the more than 1,000 global marketing executives surveyed agreed that the pace of digital transformation has been hastened by COVID-19.

Alongside this quickened pace towards digital transformation, businesses have continued to make customer experience a top priority. Indeed, half of the survey respondents list it as their top priority — the same percentage that did so in a similar survey for 2020.

Compared to respondents to the 2020 survey, this more recent report shows that more marketing executives have listed drawing insights from big data as one of their top priorities. Some 47% of respondents are making this element of digital transformation a priority this year, compared to 39% who said they would do so in 2020.

Additional data from WARC has revealed that two-thirds of client-side marketers believe the shift in customer behavior towards shopping online is here to stay. This has no doubt led to 44% of respondents noting that they are making e-commerce and new routes to market a top priority in 2021, a large jump from the 26% who said so last year.

Conversely, in 2021 fewer marketers are prioritizing elements of digital transformation such as data organization and management (35% vs. 40%), restructuring the marketing team (20% vs. 26%) and changing company culture (17% vs. 28%).

Separate from these shifts in priorities for digital transformation, other results indicate that the events of 2020 have led almost 8 in 10 respondents to strongly agree (42%) or agree (36%) that brand purpose is more important as a result of the disruption to society in 2020. Also, 7 in 10 strongly agree (29%) or agree (42%) that in a time of volatility, it’s harder for brands to plan for the long term.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a global survey of more than 1,000 client and agency-side marketers.

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