Digital Trends 2018 – A Customer-centric Approach

In a new series of blogs, we’re going to take a look at some of the main takeaways from the Digital Intelligence Briefing, published by Econsultancy in association with Adobe.

Based on a global survey of nearly 13,000 marketing, creative and technology professionals in the digital industry, the report looks at where top-performing companies are focusing their activities when it comes to all things digital.

We’ve already explored the digital trends in fashion retail, including the importance of omnichannel customer experience and how CX can help to create an effective website.

Our first digital trend from Econsultancy’s report feeds into each of these topics and stresses the importance of a strategy that puts customers first.

A Customer-centric Approach

According to their Digital Intelligence Briefing, Econsultancy found that almost one in five businesses across the globe saw optimising their customer experience as the single most exciting opportunity for their organisation.

This was followed closely by the opportunity to concentrate on data-driven marketing which focused on individual customers.

The report also found that organisations with a ‘cross-team approach with the customer at the heart of all initiatives’ were nearly twice as likely to have exceeded their top 2017 business goal by a significant margin (20% vs. 11%).

The important point here is that companies were seeing quantifiable results.

Skills and technology will only get you so far

While many businesses now have the skills and technology to make digital transformation a more achievable goal, data-driven marketing alone won’t be enough.

“Essentially, digital transformation is about people, process and technology, and you need the right mix of skills and an environment for people to flourish in, as well as the right technology to enable them.”

Jamie Brighton, Head of Product Marketing for Adobe Experience Cloud, EMEA

Creativity and intuition were found to be key when it came to creating a great customer experience (CX) both online and offline.

The four key elements to leading this CX transformation were:

  • Culture – A cross-team approach that recognises the importance of the customer
  • Skills – Combining digital marketing skills with technology
  • Data – Access and control over customer data
  • Strategy – A cohesive plan with long-term support and executive support

What does customer experience mean in a digital world?

Customer experience can be defined as the complete set of interactions and engagements that a customer has with a brand.

Today this can include a multitude of online touchpoints from video views and e-commerce transactions to consuming content such as blogs or web pages on mobile and desktop devices, not to mention emerging technologies like chatbots and connected IoT devices.

The relationship between customer experience and business performance was cemented by another report by Adobe.

The Reinventing Loyalty report, published by Goldsmiths University in partnership with Adobe, found that nearly two-thirds (61%) of 5,000 European consumers surveyed agreed they felt loyal to brands that tailored their experiences to their preferences and needs.

Value and Relevance

The importance of customer experience is now widely accepted.

In the Econsultancy Digital Intelligence Briefing, European businesses placed the highest emphasis on improving customer experience in two areas:

  • Making the experience as valuable as possible
  • Making the experience as personalised and relevant as possible

However, businesses need the right digital building blocks in order to achieve this.

Digital building blocks

A website or app needs to be easy to use, feature clear informative content and be accessible on any device, which means it should be built on a responsive website design.

When these platforms are also built using UX design principles, the entire focus for their structure and layout will be based solely on the end user and their needs.

While the aesthetic features of the front end of the site are important, just as much care needs to be taken when it comes to the back end of the site.

The collection, management and analysis of data (especially in a post-GDPR world) are vital to ensuring that these digital platforms are profitable.

A content management system that links with an organisation's CRM will allow staff to monitor visitors, leads and sales more effectively.

If you’d like to find out how our team of designers and developers can improve the digital experience for your customers, get in touch today.

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