The Adobe Digital Trends study has been tracking the shifting digital landscape, ballooning customer expectations, and rising customer experience leaders since 2006. As we look to the future, the Digital Economy is set for growth, and the bar for customer experience expectations keeps rising. The strongest experiences will demonstrate empathy, imagination, and creativity to create rock-solid, trust-building connections. To find out more about the characteristics of today's CX leaders and how they are doing it, Adobe surveyed 9,247 marketers and CX professionals from around the globe. The study compares "leaders" and "laggards" to spot links between commercial performance and customer experience maturity.
State of Digital Experience
The rise in world-class digital experiences over the past two years has led to a rise in customer experience expectations, and nine out of ten senior executives believe customers are constantly resetting their expectations to match their best omnichannel experiences. However, only 7% of practitioners consider their organization's digital CX to be exceptional, while 42% of organizations believe their customer experience sometimes falls short of customer needs.
Customers' high expectations for digital experiences have made it a business risk for organizations to fall short. Building customer trust through exceptional CX is especially important for younger Millennial and Gen Z consumers, and over half of customers will not buy again from companies that violate their trust. In 2023, the strongest experiences will come from organizations that use data and human insight to anticipate customer needs and create emotional connections. Despite potential employee headcount and budget constraints, organizations can still close the gap with experience leaders by being creative with their people, processes, and technologies.
Look Ahead, Then Look Further
The article reports that many senior executives prioritize short-term gains over long-term planning, with short-termism being more pervasive among lagging organizations. This short-term thinking is partly due to short-term measurement strategies, with clients often focusing on vanity metrics or quarterly revenue goals. However, it is important for organizations to plan for the future, especially in challenging markets where survival depends on fending off competitors and defending market share. The article suggests that organizations are not making the most of their technology investments, with many clients having AI or machine learning functionality but not using it effectively. The key to success is for organizations to have a clear CX plan and well-defined strategies to make the most of these investments.
Find the Perfect Beat
Organizations struggle to meet mounting content demands
Organizations are finding it difficult to keep up with the increasing demand for content. They struggle to maintain their presence across multiple channels, respond to customer interactions in a meaningful way, and react quickly to new opportunities and disruptions. 89% of senior executives acknowledge that the demand for content has significantly increased. To create personalized and emotionally-resonant experiences, organizations need to produce a lot of content quickly, and this requires proper alignment between people, processes, and technology. The organization also needs to be adaptable and make changes as needed. It's crucial to translate customer insights into creative content, promote collaboration between teams, and minimize inefficient creative administration and edits.
Few plan and prioritize content effectively
Many organizations struggle with meeting the increasing demand for content. Brands face challenges in maintaining a presence across different channels, responding to customer interactions in real-time, and adapting to new opportunities and disruptions. Despite the growing demand for content, only a third of practitioners consider their organization's content planning to be good or very good, and leaders are twice as likely to view their content planning favorably. The article suggests that it's important for organizations to have a clear understanding of the role of content for each stage of the buyer's journey and the relationship between content and business strategy. Additionally, companies need to tailor the cadence and substance of their content to meet their customers' preferences and serve it across relevant and helpful channels at the right time.
There are boundless opportunities in the Digital Economy, offering significant gains for those who can succeed in creating exceptional experiences that emotionally connect with their customers. To achieve this, organizations must be imaginative, attuned to customers' needs, and willing to overcome obstacles and rethink processes in new and creative ways. To help brands succeed in 2023 and beyond, here are some recommendations:
Look beyond the present and focus on both current and future experiences. Organizations should rally around long-term customer goals, eliminate unnecessary distractions, and make deliberate plans to optimize investments in CX technology.
Plan, prioritize, and streamline content teams and workflows to meet rising content demands. Ensure that content objectives align with the business strategy and use technology to translate customer insights into content efficiently.
Stay in sync with customers' ever-changing needs, emotions, and contexts, responding with warmth, empathy, and understanding. To achieve this, organizations must improve real-time, individual-level data access and enrich data points with customer insight.
Make time for creativity by leaning on existing technology, automated tools, workflow management, and AI/ML to free teams from trivial design tasks and allow them to focus on higher-value creative thinking.
Prepare for new possibilities by ensuring that the technological foundation is compatible with new channels and platforms, and creating a culture that is comfortable with imperfection and willing to learn from experimentation. It's crucial to create the conditions to test new ideas and prepare for the future of CX.